Good morning. I sure hope today’s post finds each and every one of you guys in great spirits and health. May the Good Lord Bless you all.
This morning I’d like to discuss a person who is very near, and dear to my heart. She is the other, and the better half, of this site known as Dub and Deb’s.
Yesterday, at 12:15 in the afternoon, marked 5 months since my Deb passed away. Good night guys…I miss her.
I know that each and every one of us must go through passing from this life to death. I also know that when this passing occurs, prior to that…we have a choice to make in our lives.
This simply being, eternal death, or, eternal life.
I’m very proud this morning to state that I know, undoubtedly, that my Deb, through her deep conviction and belief that Jesus Christ did in fact die on the cross to wash away OUR sin, she simply went to sleep 5 months ago, then awoke…in the presence of God.
What a comfort to me personally, this is.
We started this site at the end of Jan, 2011, because of Judi and Brian, and the Canada Free Press. Little did we know what a blessing these two had instilled in our lives. By this, as I sit here this morning, I’m struck by the fact once again, of how God does work mysteriously in our lives.
Judi, Brian…I love you guys! Deb did too, by the way!
Deb and I were having such a good time cutting up with you guys, and as you can see from some of her posts early on…she was quite the character too!
She used to tell me how blessed we were with this site because in some of her writings she’d talk of growing up. This made her so happy, because through these memories, she got caught up, once again, in days gone by.
She loved sharing these memories of hers, and she stated in some of her posts that she sincerely hoped that by reading of her past, that this indeed would evoke fond memories of your own!
Shortly after starting this site though, in April, actually April 1st (April Fools Day, believe that?) Deb was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer. We were told…it WAS terminal, and that there’d be no cure.
For those that know, I won’t get into the rest of this story, I’ve told it before…for those that don’t, here’s the link.
Speaking of this story, I attended a good friend’s surprise birthday party last Saturday.
Anyway, I met a guy, John, and we got to talking there at the table. Imagine that, me wanting to talk? Usually I’m the quiet, reserved guy sittin around saying nothing! LOL!
Anyway, somehow we got on the topic of Deb. I mentioned that Deb had chosen alternative treatment, and had decided against chemo after her first treatment. He then asked me to tell him the story.
Come to find out, his own wife had been through “the cancer thing” herself, a couple years back. It was found VERY early, they had a single mastectomy, and had had, no trouble since. Praise God, huh?
Well, by now the table is filling and John’s wife comes up and sits down.
John now says, “Share your story with my wife please.”
I look at John and go, “You’re killin me here John.”
He then apologizes, but I say okay, here goes…again.
Good night, I started once more, and dad-gummit, I was teary-eyed on a few occasions. The WHOLE table was listening, and I’m actin like a “titty-baby.” LOL!
Let me say this very quickly though…I’ve LEARNED…showing emotion is not a bad thing at all. At first it used to embarrass me to no end, but now…I could care less. Ain’t nothing but a thing!
They told me I could stop, but I said, “No, just give me a minute and I’ll be fine,” and I was. BUT, I also told them that this was the LAST time I’d be telling it today!
Deb’s story was, and still is such a story of inspiration, and by doing what SHE knew, in her heart, that this was indeed the way God had instructed her in this regard. To be honest…I HAVE to tell it from time to time.
I feel…it NEEDS to be told!
When Deb passed, the first couple three weeks, were very hard. I could NOT focus on anything. I’d start a project to stay busy…only to lose interest in it altogether. That’d be the end of that.
Then I came to the realization that I MUST start over…I had to focus once again on living life.
My entire character is built upon the “pedal to the metal” mentality. I’ve always believed that once I “stepped into the ring of life,” I’d take a few shots, BUT, this mentality also instilled into me that although I may indeed take a few shots, before I left the ring, I’d have chunked a few more than I took!
So, away I went. I’d put this loss behind me, and everything would be just fine. Deb had told me on numerous occasions… “LIVE LIFE! GO ON, with YOUR life, and I’ll always be there, in your heart, to help fill the void if anything ever happens to me!”
She has! She does every day!
I still have my days, plus, looking back now, I did some awfully stupid things after her passing, thinking the whole time that I was acting quite sanely, but at times I was acting quite the opposite, actually.
Only now am I getting things really back into perspective.
Grief, I’m finding out, is a come and go thing. One minute you’re feeling as if you’ve got “the bull by the horns” again, only to figure out shortly thereafter, that you ain’t even grabbing the bull at the end WITH THE HORNS!
You go through some pretty confusing times.
Anyway, I guess this post today is kinda like a thank you to Deb. She is in fact gone, but she still lives on, in my heart!
It also is a thank you to all the people out there who contacted us throughout our, actually HER ordeal, and wished us the very best. You guys sent such heartwarming condolences, and prayers. I’ll never forget this!
This is so odd.
If you put 5 months into your mind, and consider how quickly the weeks pass in our normal, daily routines, it passes so very quickly. As an example, I can’t believe today is Thursday? Seems like Monday… was yesterday.
Do you guys go through this? I guess this comes with age, or at least that’s what I’ve always been told.
Yet this past 5 months in Deb’s regard seem…so, so long ago! It seems like it was back in my distant past. Is that crazy, or what?
I really can’t comprehend it in any other way. I try, but it just seems so long ago? I don’t know?
Deb, as most everyone knows by now, had a saying that has always been very dear to her. It simply states, “Keep a smile on your face, AND one in your heart.”
I have to be honest with you all this morning…SHE lived this daily.
No matter what trials or tribulations lay ahead of her, or she was experiencing already, SHE ALWAYS had that smile of hers on her face, and if you knew her, you were very much aware that it was in her heart as well.
It showed constantly! Debbie was truly…a beacon of love.
I’ve been thinking about the holidays. Thanksgiving is just next week. Good night, how will I deal with it when the time comes?
But you know what…I’’ll be fine. I’ve come to realize the Good Lord has blessed me in so many ways. Bringing Debbie into my life is probably the greatest. We had 26 years of Thanksgiving daily! How great is that?
So this is exactly what I’ll be giving thanks for this Thanksgiving. Those 26 years we shared with each other! Our God continually blesses me!
We were so blessed during our lives together, and those last 9 days together were such a blessing as well. Deb was at home with me, and I was able to take total care of her. God was looking after us.
The love we had shared during our lives together was allowed to be a part of our closure as well. I am a very blessed man indeed!
How blessed? Listen to this…
1 Thessalonians 54:15-17
This comes from a letter written by Paul to the Thessalonians…
We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died.
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First the Christians who have died will rise from their graves.
Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
Then we will be with the Lord forever.
My journey into Christianity again, is only beginning. But I tell you this..I fully intend on being caught up in the clouds and being with our Lord and Savior, hoping as well that I’ll be with Deb once again…eternally.
Then, in verse 18, we are told…
So encourage each other with these words.
This, as Christians, is exactly what God wants us to do. Encourage others. We can make a difference in a persons life, saved, or not, simply through…encouragement.
How hard is that?
In closing today I’d like to share with you guys a video I did, I think about 16 days after Deb’s passing. I don’t think I ever put this up on this site, but only on YouTube. If I did, I apologize.
I know that I had told of Deb’s passing in the post I linked to above, but just like you guys, we have so many friends on YouTube that consoled and prayed for us during that time, I knew I had to let them know about Deb too.
To all you guys out there, this is not about me, but about the love Deb and I shared. It was incredible guys, it really was.
If I could ever bless you guys with anything, it’d be simply for you all, when your time comes, to be able to share with your own spouse, the blessing that Deb and I received. This, just being able to be at home with each other, to comfort and console each other, and to take care of your loved one just as Deb and I were blessed to do.
She would have done the very same for me.
Verse 18 spoke of encouragement, right? Well, hopefully this little story will do exactly that.
God Bless you all, and remember… “Keep a smile on your face, and one in your heart!”
Dub and Deb
Dadgum ya’ Brother,
I’m sittin’ here with tears running down my face right over the big smile on my face. I love ya’ Dub.
I just hope that some day I can become as strong a man as you. You’re doing well Dub. Just keep it up. My faith has been constantly growing over the last couple of years since I realized I needed to get back to our LORD and reach for his grace and salvation. Deb had us all beat on that. That’s why whenever you mention her anymore I don’t automatically get down in the heart. We KNOW where she is and although the LORD does not like jealousy, I’m jealous. But it’s a good kind of jealousy… It’s the kind that makes me want to get as close to the LORD as Deb was. I can only hope that some day we will both see Deb and laugh with her as we keep that smile on our faces and one in our hearts.
I love you too, Brother!
It’s not that I’m a strong man Gary, just simply the fact that in all honesty…I’ve really never known adversity, or realize now that I wasn’t very good in handling it, though I always thought I was. Debbie showed me what true adversity really is, and not only that, how YOU SHOULD handle it. SHE is the true example of strength in character…not me! What strength I have now was given to me by one fine teacher, and she taught me SO many other things as well.
Things like, the TRUE meaning of the word…love. Not just through the husband-wife example, or through the mother-grandmother example, or even the love of others example. She showed me the meaning of love through the example of living your life as a Christian, and the conviction it takes to do so.
She showed me the love that it takes to trust in GOD, and knowing in your heart that HE showed her the way HE intended for her to deal with her cancer, and by this, showing all her family and friends the right way of doing things. She also showed us one other type of love, and this love is what me, Mark and Josh, and our other family members realize today. What we hold on to.
She showed us that through HER love, she was in essence preparing us for the day when she no longer would be here to walk on this earth with us. But to understand that even with that being the case, she would still…FILL US WITH HER LOVE! Gary, she does my friend…each and every day!
She got me started, to an extent, in my own walk with God, but she is my inspiration of getting to know him more and more. I saw firsthand the difference HE made in her life, and without a doubt, I know I have to have some of that too! What an incredible journey she and I had together, and I thank God EVERY day for putting Deb into my life. She was, and still is such an incredible blessing to me!
Glad to hear your getting back into your own walk with the Lord, but in all honesty Gary, I know you well enough now that you didn’t stray far my friend! You too were a blessing in my Deb’s regard…she thought very, very highly of you! She enjoyed speaking with you, and I regret now that we didn’t get together while she still walked here among us. You would have loved her, Gary! All that knew her did!
“I can only hope that some day we will both see Deb and laugh with her as we keep that smile on our faces and one in our hearts.”
Amen to that Brother!
Again, I love you too Gary, and for what it’s worth, there’s no doubt that Deb loved you as well! That’s a mighty powerful compliment my friend, because she was many, many things, but maybe her strongest attribute was simply …her judge of character!
Thanks for everything, and God Bless you!
And I miss her too Dub. This is the first visit to your site on CFP in a long, long time.
Down in the dumps today, feeling so alone. Decided to see what Miss Judi is up to
on the Libyan thing and there is my most special of a duo “Dub” counting the months.
Well I am counting too. 4 months and one week. Hard to look back on it. Try not to let my mind wander to those last days of my husband’s life. Deb and Husband were very lucky people. They left behind a full life and loving family members. I know you will get to where you need to be as time goes by. It is wonderful you have a public forum to discuss the Light of your Life. We must always remember some people
never have the kind of life you and I have experienced. So be thankful and put your head to the ground and doze those things that bother you right out of the way. And as Scarlet used to say “Tommorrow is another day” whilst she munched upon her dirty carrot. Miss you both.
Alone in Mississippi
from what I understand your husband passed away not long ago…
I am really sorry to hear that…
I am sorry for the once left behind ..
you know, it was eleven months between the dreadfull “news” and my Husbands passing…but …in the very beginning …
we were in shock…!!!
in shock, I’ll tell you..
I mean how you go from feeling kind of down to death sentence??!!
In all honesty?…
few days after it felt like twilight zone…
After Roberts death I took 2 months off work…
I possibly couldn’t handle people with their little pitty complaints!!!!
and idiotic problems while I have just experienced the ultimate face-up!!
I am not sure what to tell you, because everyone is different and deals with their own inner emotions on a different level…
what helps some, drives others crazy…
…I do must tell you what helped me a lot!
My Daughter was a huge help and a pillar to rest upon for few days, but than I have told her:
Honey, I love you more than life itself, but you need to go home to your husband and I need to be a big girl!!!
and I wandered through the house…made dinner for “us”…
watched our favorite movies (“The Music Man” and “Affair to Remember”)…
cried my head off…
I washed his clothes, pressed his shirts…
CLEANED THE HELL OUT OF MY HOUSE!!!!!
(come to think about it, few months after my husbands death my basement floor was cleaner than my dishes right now!!!!)…
I guess, I am coming back to one single solution:
keep busy and pretend for a while your husband is coming home in few minutes…
it does sound silly, but also helps the transfer procedure…
I know Sandra it is hard…it is going to be hard…
My Husband passed away almost 9 years ago and there are days I am working around the house…pretending he will be home at 4:30….
or just carring on like he would be in the next room or in a door frame watching me…with a mischievies look on his face….
and maybe he is…
we will never know..will we?….
Oh my dear Sandra…
Life sure is tough at times, isn’t it? It will get better though…in both our regards. My healing has really began to make itself known to me. It ain’t nothing to write home about as yet, but I know with certainty that I’m on the right track! Deb helps me with this daily, and I know this to be fact.
You miss her too? Yes Ma’am, I know you do! You became a very integral part in Deb’s life Sandra, and I know you realize this as well. In regards to her cancer, you became a true inspiration to her through your own battle with this dreaded disease, and the support you gave to her so freely. You, Sandra, are a wonderful person, and one dear to my heart as well. Although I don’t communicate with you as often as I should, and I get busy or dealing with troubles on my own from time to time, NEVER doubt the love I have for you in my heart. It is love well earned, and one I should profess to you much more frequently. Never, ever doubt it though!
You too will continue your mend, but I know you realize as much as I do, that this is going to take some time. You and I were two very lucky people that those two came into our lives…you’re exactly right in that statement. Too bad that many others never experience this type of bond with their own spouse. It truly is a shame. So, remember all the good times, and hopefully as time goes by, we remember less and less of the bad times. I promise you that Deb and Chet both are busy working away at helping to heal our hearts! This is a given.
So, not unlike Scarlett munchin away on that dirty carrot of hers, I can hear Rhett proclaiming, though not in the edited version of the movie, “Scarlett…pass the dern pork chops, woman!”
Jus kiddin, Mississippi! LOL!
Oh, what an incredibly super woman Joanna is, huh? I know you appreciate her “steppin up to the plate” for you as well! That is one fine example of one person’s love, a total stranger at that, that has made a difference in my life! I love her for this, and wish for her only the very best that life has to offer her! She touched my heart deeply! God Bless her! Also, we can chalk up “another friend” in our lives, can’t we?
God Bless you as well my good, and dear friend Sandra! you’ll never know how much you mean to me!
I have been reading Dub and Deb for some time, way before Deb’s illness…
but commenting for the first time.
My husband passed away almost 9 years ago…and …some days it feels like it was a century ago, and some days seem like hardly days after his funeral.
Our bad news came on a Valentines Day 2003…
with the death sentence of cancer in colon and liver leaving him months to live.
So, yes he put up a good fight …
He always said: Joanna, you are a tough cookie and with me watching over you from above you must be well.
With times it does get better…
If you don’t mind I will share with you my short story:
After my husband passed away I was so angry with God, I wouldn’t go to church for months…
One day I ran into my Pastor in a grocery store and he asked me why I wasn’t in church for such a great while, offering some time to talk if I am interested.
I wasn’t interested!
I have told him that if God’s justice was to take a wonderful man leaving all kind of evils walking among us, I am not interested in any association with him!!
So the Pastor told me: Joanna, God does have a plan and you might find tomorrow or never but you must trust in His love he does the best…
By now you know my answer:
couple of months later I have moved closer to my Daughter, as I was to become Grandma!!
Few weeks after my Grandson was born, my Daughter has had a gallbladder laparoscopic surgery done and end up back in the hospital few days after that with an excruciating pain…sent her husband home and called me to be by her side.
I was at work, so I left in a hurry surprised out of my wits and end up by her bed in a little clinic near Ann Arbor (MI)…within 20 minutes. It took me few minutes to raise a holy hell with the attending doctors and request immediate transfer to University Hospital in Ann Arbor. She was on an operating table hour later…not able to judge surroundings.
After the surgery the doctor told me: you have saved your daughters life…doctor performing laparoscopic surgery made 2″ hole in her colon and infection was spreading through her body…another hour and there would be nothing anyone could have done.
So there I was :
understanding Gods plan!!!
If my husband would lived I would never made it to Ann Arbor in time!!! (from Cleveland, OH)
I am not going to tell you your Thanksgiving and Christmas will be fine, you will be fine.
It is going to be hard. After many years it is still hard, but I am more reflective and do some stuff my husband liked and was having great time with, being decorations and/or food.
That is my way to prepare myself ahead of time and say: “Thank you Sweetheart for watching over us!!!”
God Bless You Dub and Your Family
Good mornin Joanna…
Thank you for sharing your story. I thought it was great, and as you saw firsthand, God does indeed have a plan! Actually, it’s all pretty amazing to me the way things in life somehow, someway just always seem to work themselves out. To me personally, I’ve come to realize that life’s ups and downs many times are God testing us. In situations like the one you went through and so many others have, or are going through, myself included, I believe most of us do go through an… “angry time.” I did for sure, although it was short-lived.
But, as time passes we see that God does work in mysterious ways, and at times we do get little pieces of the puzzle to fit together, and see…there WAS a reason for this or that. So you’re so right in your statement… “Thank you Sweetheart for watching over us!!!”
Very true, AND very well put!
I have a neighbor that lost her husband and our good friend Ronnie, almost 5 years ago now. I saw her the other day and she was giving me examples she had experienced that very day where in fact, Ronnie was still looking after her! These things happen, and I KNOW Deb does the same thing for me as well.. They do look after us Joanna, don’t they?
Thank you again for your story Joanna, I appreciate your sharing it with us so much.
God Bless you and YOUR family as well Joanna, and “Keep a smile on your face, and one in your heart!”
This is what I read at Daddy’s funeral. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
I’ll be home the 27th of November. I’ll call you and come see you.
Yes sir, I found this very, very profound! Kinda hard coming to grips such as this comin from MY mouth, huh JC? God sure works in mysterious ways brother!
Lookin forward to seein you my friend, and also…THANKS FOR THE WARNIN! LOL!
Please tell your Mom, and everyone else hello for me!