Eternal Rest Grant Unto Him…

Today isn’t going to be a ‘mix-up’ like normal on Mondays here at the blog, instead I have sad news to share…

In the past I’ve told you that Kent’s Dad was diagnosed many years ago with Alzheimer’s (read more at that link). Saturday his battle ended and he was finally free. When Ron took his last breath and his heart beat for the final time, he was surrounded by his ever faithful wife, all five of his sons, and many more precious family members. Kent had been calling and texting me and when “Anytime now…” came through, I replied, “Tell him to hold his angel’s hand and go see Jesus and we’ll meet him there.” The kids and I prayed and cried and thanked Jesus that because of Him and what He did for us, we know that a goodbye now isn’t forever.

As heartbroken as we are to no longer have him here on earth with us, in a way we are also rejoicing that it’s finally over for him. Now he’s with his great-grand baby, precious Annabel, who passed away just a few months ago; and thirteen years ago to the day, our sweet thirteen year old niece Leah went before him after a devastating brain tumor diagnosis nine months prior. Now of course we pray that God’s love and grace and peace will be like a blanket surrounding Kent’s Mom in the coming months. Please say a prayer for her. She went to see him every day. They modeled what marriage and commitment means – and that’s not something the world sees much of anymore.

Guess how they met? It was when they were both driving their tractors into town to the elevator to deliver their grain, isn’t that the best story?! Mary Ellen’s parents wouldn’t let her marry until she was 19 years old, so they got married the day after. I’ve told her before how much it means to us that she was such an example of faithfulness to our kids.


One thing that isn’t in his obituary, because it’s not something that’s easy to put into only a few words, is the kind of guy he really was. He was solid. He was strict with his boys and loved them deeply. He never ever tip-toed around them in fear that he might hurt their feelings, because he wanted them to grow up to be real men. He always had a wisecrack on his lips (those who know his sons won’t be surprised to learn that), but never a crude or hurtful one. In the almost thirty years that I’ve been in the family, I’ve never felt anything but loved and welcomed by he and Mary Ellen, and everyone who knows them would say the same. The fact that their five boys grew up to be so close, that they’d do anything for each other, and enjoy being together so much (all we do is laugh when we get together) says a lot. Each one of them have turned in to solid men themselves. They all love kids as much as Ron did. The four who are dads put their families first, well before their careers. The one who isn’t a dad is a police officer, so he knows what it’s like to put others first, too. (He works every Christmas so the guys with kids can be home, is that cool or what?) Like Ron, they do the right thing in life. Even when it’s not easy.

I told the kids that heaven must have been celebrating, because look at the sunset that evening:

What a man. What a legacy. Thank you Lord for such a gift.

boys

Comments

  1. Martha says

    What a day of rejoicing for Ron! Praying for comfort for the rest of you and peace for the Christmas season without him.

  2. Jill says

    Oh, so sorry for your family’s loss and for the difficult struggle your father in law and his wife endured as well! So glad that his burden is lifted and that all is truly well with him now. What a beautiful legacy he left for his family. Praying for peace and comfort for all of you! Blessings!

  3. Dorsey says

    I do pray that the Lord will feel extra close to you all through this holiday season. This brings an even deeper meaning to “rejoicing” this Christmas and in the year to come.
    Blessings to you all……

  4. Susan, OCC says

    May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

    His family is in our prayers.

    Susan, OCC
    +

  5. Pat says

    Thank you for sharing such a moving tribute to both your in- laws. Please know your entire family is in our prayers. May the spirit of Christmas bring you comfort.

  6. norma tumberg says

    I am so sorry to hear of your sad news. I will remember you and your family in prayer. May God comfort you.
    Norma

  7. Victoria Bloch says

    Blessings of Light and comfort to Mary Ellen, to you, to Kent and his brothers, and to all your family in this time of parting. And blessings to Ron on his journey home. Thank you for sharing with us all, and may your Christ-Mass be full of peace.

  8. Jenny says

    Even knowing his end was coming and that you all had been slowly losing him for years, when the end finally comes, even if prayers were for the Lord to please come for him, because of his condition and maybe because of the slightly selfish reason that his family was at the end of their rope, the end is agony. I know what it feels like and I felt everything I just wrote when my dad finally died after years of dementia and five days of not eating or drinking. I am crying for your family right now and praying God’s peace.

  9. Jackie says

    Kelly, I am so sorry for your loss. We suffered one today, also. There is pain in the passing of a dear friend, but we hold the special memories as a light of joy during the upcoming days. I hope that you do, as well.

  10. Lenetta says

    And let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace, amen. Our loss is heaven’s gain. Merry Christmas, Kel.

  11. %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook says

    My condolences. So sorry to hear, but as you said, it is not the end!! My grandmother died on Christmas morning 6 years ago with my cousin and aunt right there holding her in her bed. What a blessing to have family so faithful and close. May your memories ease the pain this loss has and rejoice that heaven has a new angel!

  12. says

    What a wonderful gift you’ve had in your inlaws, Kelly – I’m happy for you, and I grieve with you at the loss of your father in law. Such families are incredibly rare, and it must be a remarkable thing to have that in your life. I pray for you and your husband, and especially your mother in law, as you go through the strange mix of grief tinged with relief that he’s been released from his illness. I pray that you can all enjoy your Christmas despite your loss. xoxo

  13. Jennifer says

    Kelly – what a beautiful, loving tribute to your father-in-love (I say, rather than in-law, as it is evident how much you love and respect him). Even with the devastation that Alzheimer’s brings, the passing of the loved one still leaves such a void. Your family, and your husband’s family will be in my prayers.

  14. says

    I have wanted to get back here to leave this comment. I feel for you from the bottom of my heart. My own father-in-law, also named Ron, died fifteen months ago from a massive and sudden heart attack. I know what your family is going through. I will keep you all in my prayers and offer a rosary for the repose of his soul.

    • Kelly says

      That means SO much to me Melissa, thank you.

      Last night at the scripture service 3 people spoke. One sweet man read a prayer “I’m spending Christmas with Jesus this year”, my brother in law Kraig, Ron’s youngest, spoke of how proud Ron always was of his four older brothers, but of course he was just as proud of him, too. And my sister in law told about how blessed us girls are because he taught his sons by his example how to love, honor & respect their wives. So true. Later Mary Ellen told me that she misses the love she always saw in Ron’s eyes when he looked at her, and now she sees it when her sons look at their wives.

      We’re getting ready for his funeral now…

      Thank you again Melissa & all of you for your sweet words.

      Kel

  15. %kelly the kitchen kop% via Facebook says

    awww so sorry for your loss. I still miss my Father-in-law too, but someday we will all be together again! :o)

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