Note from Miriam:
I first met Christy in Colorado Springs, Summer 2012. She had just moved into her new home with sons Landon, Caleb, and Joel, ages 12 to 3. She hosted a group of military widows. I had the humbling honor of listening to their stories, and their unique needs. Yes, we laughed, cried, and found we had some things in common, though the military experience is truly unique. At her lower level, these young widow’s children romped and played. The city was under pre-evacuation warnings due to wild fires, but we took little notice. We were connecting, I was learning, and they were eager to share so others could gain comfort from their journeys. Here’s a bit of Christy’s story. HERE
Hatie’s story is a departure from those you see here. She entered heaven decades ago. Grandma Hatie was an intriguing lady. She and Grandpa lived with us during his illness, and she lived with us much of her widowed life, which was probably 30 years. During the years I knew her, I listened to stories about her life in rural Kentucky, her thoughts on the Hatfields, her suiters, as she called them, and how she taught herself Algebra and Geometry. We never really talked of her widowhood. I was a young mother when she died, and probably consumed with parenting my little brood rather than considering how her life changed when she lost Grandpa.
Her greatest gift for me (and the rest of us) was not discovered until after her death at age 97. She left a sturdy suitcase packed with a few cotton dresses and talcum powder. These words were crowded efficiently onto three small sheets of paper. READ HERE
“Hi Miriam. My name is Brittany Grider and I am a 28 year old widow. My husband, Aaron, was killed in September of 2010 while serving in Afghanistan. My worst nightmare had come true, and now I faced life on this earth without my husband, partner and best friend by my side. It has been a year and a half of deep discernment, time spent in God's Word and with fellow believers; time learning more about and remembering God's sovereignty, mercy, and unshakeable, unbreakable love. Aaron's witness to me in his life on this earth and his sacrificial death has changed my life...and I am so grateful to our Father for sharing Aaron with me.”
I’ll share more of what Brittany is doing today. But first, meet Aaron. ...more HERE
Darlene Parks has said yet another, “Good bye.” Her hardest ‘Good Bye’ was in December, 2008 when her husband Dan was tragically killed in an accident leaving her with children ages 17, 14, and 13. With our email meeting, she shared her reality today. ...read about it HERE.
I have not met Kerri personally, however, I think her story is important to us all. What a woman of courage! This is taken and used with permission from From Stories of Faith and Courage from the Home Front by Karen Whiting and Jocelyn Green. Copyright © 2012, God & Country Press, an imprint of AMG Publishers. All rights reserved.)
Kerri Hartwick, wife of Chief Warrant Officer Michael Hartwick, Iraq 2005–2006
Michael and Kerri Hartwick were high school sweethearts. They married during their senior year of college and then decided together that he would join the military.
“His dream was always to fly,” said Kerri. “He loved airplanes, anything that flew. I was supportive.”
MY JOURNEY WITH GOD FROM MOURNING TO JOY
My name is Joanie Woodall. I would like to share my story on how God has truly turned my mourning to joy. Jeremiah 31:13 My dear husband Joe and I were married for 28 years. We have two wonderful sons Brian and Joey, and I also have two beautiful step daughters and four amazing grandchildren. In February of 2009 God provided for me to go on my first mission’s trip to Africa. Joe was on cancer meds at the time and could not travel, but was my biggest supporter back home God changed my heart forever on that trip, when I visited a children’s school in the slums of Kibera, Kenya. ...more HERE.
Forgiveness at the Foot of the Cross
Cheryl McGuinness’s husband, Tom, had been a copilot on American Airlines Flight 11 when it was hijacked and crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City. At that moment, Tom was ushered into heaven, which gave Cheryl and her two teenagers great comfort—but the loss was still piercing. ...more HERE.
For Those Who’ve Experienced Loss and Those Who Love Them
• Please say “I remember...” We love to hear tender, funny, and just interesting things from your perspective.
• Let go of your expectations: yourself and others.
• Be willing to flex from traditions. Changes are not necessarily permanent and things will be different anyway.
• Guard your heart from your ears. You will hear people say things that you shouldn’t take personally.
• Prepare for the unexpected, both positive and negative. Remembering a favorite dish that does not need to be prepared, an item that needn’t be purchased, an empty chair, will occur when we least expect it.
• Make a memory. For example, for Christmas, create an ornament with the persons name and a word that describes them, or simply a picture.
• Try something new, light-hearted, and fun.