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If you are new to the blog, you probably want to start at the beginning of the whole sad story. To get there, use the "Blog Archive" tool in the right column of the blog and click on "2009," and then "January 25." From there you can continue to click on each week to see the weekly entries.

I would love to hear from you! If you would like to leave a message, you can reach me at aheetderks@wcsmiami.org!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Late Saturday night, we received a call that Doug’s Dad had died. It hardly seems possible.

When I think of him, all I think of is a man who was always filled with life. Doug’s Dad was a middle school principal, Science teacher, career elder at his church, director of a children’s Science camp, lover of nature, faithful servant, loving husband, awesome Dad and Grandfather, and one heck of a father-in-law. He was wise, kind, patient, and knew how to cut through nonsense to get to the simple truth. When you were with him, you were always learning something new, or discovering something you had never thought of before. Whether collecting eggs from his chickens in the backyard, picking up leaves at Camp Roger, or taking a walk in the woods, Dad always made you feel special and happy to be with him.

After much deliberation, Doug and the girls left this morning to go to Michigan for the wake, funeral, and Thanksgiving break. I so wish that I could have joined them. However, Doug and I both knew that knocking my ankle around while travelling would not be helpful for anyone. Part of me hopes that I can have my surgery while they are gone just so the girls don’t have to see me in the hospital. We will see. The girls were very brave—they said that Grandpa was such an “alive and active” man and that they didn’t want to think of him as being gone. Doug is very sad but feels a great deal of peace knowing that his dear Dad is in heaven breathing with ease. Dad Heetderks was not a man who would have wanted to be hooked up to a respirator.

I know that many have said that our family has been hit with a lot over the last year. It is true. But somehow God has given us the strength to get through it. It hasn’t always been pretty—and I grieve for our girls—but we have been given the opportunity to be lifted up by God and others in ways we would have never known had we not gone through this time of trial. Seriously.

I will write more later when I know more.

Love to you all.


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