Wednesday, July 28, 2010

How Beautiful

Peace be with all of you.

I must start by saying thank you to everyone who has called, written, attended the visitation, and the funeral. Thank you; Thank you; Thank you.

It was apparent to all just how much you all love Ann and our family with an estimated 500+ people at the funeral. It is also apparent how much that God loves us and how touching it is as you care for one another as well.

I have witnessed many beautiful scenes of nature, the birth of my children, my wife on our wedding day... I must say the way that all reached out through the visitation and funeral transformed that time into something sacred, holy and beautiful for me. Odd as that may sound, I felt the Father's love through each hug, kiss, and tear shed with you. He is surrounding us with love the way that only He can. I have learned that when God decides to show you His love that it will be through a broad array of people, nature, sounds, smells, and touch. Without taking a moment to step back to see He is at work, we may write something off as a coincidence -- I try not to if I can.

The funeral itself started with the same song that Ann walked down the isle last year for our 10 year wedding vow renewal -- "How Beautiful". It was an emotional moment for me as I followed the casket into church all the time refecting on the joy I felt last year versus the pain I was feeling now. It was hard -- as the Mass proceeded I was touched by all the ways that many of you contributed to having this be a beautiful goodbye for Ann. I was very touched by the homily from Fr. Craig -- it was spot on. Perhaps I will be able to get the text and post it here for all to read. The music was beautiful (many of Ann's favorites) the readings seemed written specifically for the occassion even though they come straight from scripture and I couldn't have hoped for things to have been any better.

I have had many prayers in these past few weeks -- God is gracious and merciful to us and has answered many of these prayers -- we are so blessed. Now, my family is pursuing a new "normal". We are working through getting setup for school and the logistics that are involved. My parents have been so helpful -- as well as many of you too; thank you. I don't think Zoe, Grace and I really know what "normal" looks like ourselves -- other than that the 3 of us are closer than ever before and we have learned to slow down and enjoy each other. Sure there are struggles each day -- we are working through them; the greiving will certainly be long and at times tough but know that our trust remains in God and He will provide the graces to us that are needed in just the moment that we need them.

To all that wonder what is next, I pray this motivation you feel to help via the Holy Spirit continues and that you seek a way to reach out in love to those around you wherever that may be and share the gifts that you have been given. Do not dispair. God is faithful and good - He loves each of us beyond all measure.

Sounds simple huh? Perhaps, but I believe that is exactly what we are called to do each moment of our day -- I just need not to make it more complicated... How beautiful is the body of Christ...



Anonymous said...

Hal, thank you for sharing all the beautiful comments and your thoughts and emotions over the past week. I was hoping you'd continue Ann's blog and keep us up-to-date on your sweet family. We're all here for you to do what ever needed as you travel down the road of life with your sweet girls.

Sue C

Angie Kuta said...

Hal know that many of us continue to pray for you Zoe and Grace daily. Ann was a true inspiration to me and I find you truly amazing. As you and the girls go through your many stages of grief, remember that God and Ann are right there with you, with many angels in the wings.

Angie Kuta

Anonymous said...

Hal - Thank you for the post - as always, beautiful. My thoughts and prayers are with you and the girls now and always.

Much love and THANK YOU for sharing your thoughts with all of us!


Tricia S. said...

After reading your blog, we are reminded that Ann has not left us at all! She will always be here through you and your girls. Your words are always as comforting as Ann's always were. Thank you for reminding us to keep each day simple and full of joy. Just the way Ann would want it. We will see you all soon!

Lisa said...

Dear Hal, Zoe and Grace,

Ann's service was beautiful... so many friends and family! Ann certainly touched the lives of many, as you all continue to do. Please know that you have a great support system - from those who are face to face with you everyday to those of us too far away to see you, but still praying for strength, peace, love and happiness.

You are so right, it's important that we all slow down and remember what is really important in life and enjoy what we have while we have it... just like Ann did throughout her entire battle with cancer.

May peace be with all of you!
Lisa Carrithers
(Relay committee friend of Ann's)

Anonymous said...

Hal and girls,

I went to high school with Ann and have been keeping up with her blog for a couple of years. We touched base a couple of times through email. I have checked her blog each day, since I found out she was doing this. All of you have been an inspiration to me. Yours and Ann's faith in God and your constant strength and the way you gave everything to Him is the way the Bible tells us to be, but it isn't always easy. Each entry has been uplifting, even through very difficult times for all of you. I can't begin to tell you how you both have touched my life, just by reading this blog and I am sure there are so many out there that you don't even know about, that have been inspired and have maybe even come to know God because of your beautiful words and how your faith just exudes from those words. Ann was so full of life and so much fun to be with in high school and from what I have read, she was like that still and now she is entertaining angels as I write. Please know that you and your sweet girls are being prayed for.
God Bless you all,
Kristen Luginbuhl Muhart
Satellite High School alumni

Anonymous said...

Thank you Hal for keeping us up to date on how you Zoe and Grace are doing. Ann truly is an inspiration and both of you continually remind me how precious each moment life is - as everyone else said -- taking time to savor all that life has to offer is a priority. My prayers continue to be with you and the girls. May you continue to be blessed.