Monday, October 13, 2008

Honoring Chad, with love and Miah.

Well, this week marked the one year anniversary of Chad going Home to be with our Lord. It was a difficult week, but was drenched in the peace and power of our sweet Abba. I have been praying for quite some time now how we should mark such a difficult day. It is not so much about what I would like, but rather, what will mean the most to my sweet children. He was their daddy. They are so young. How do you honor such tragedy . . . yet display to them the hope that we have through Christ?

My prayers were answered, as God so clearly showed me exactly how to spend October 7th. In retrospect, I am very thankful that our day had structure from beginning to end. It really helped. We had lunch in our home for our closest family and friends (about 30) at 11:30. Just before lunch we each wrote Chad notes and attached them to balloons. Following lunch we had a time of dessert and our head pastor, Joel Stocker, and his wife, Donna, joined us for a time of ministry from the word. Pastor Joel is an amazing communicator, but more than that, he is a pray-er! He prayed about what he should share with our family, and it was just perfect.

He shared with us out of the Word that Chad’s passing was a result of a ‘finite body’s failure.’ We have grappled all year with the question, “who do you blame this on?” Did the enemy win? Did God ‘take him’ home? Somewhere in all of this IS God’s plan, but Chad died because his earthly body gave out on him. Period. Joel also shared with my children that in Hebrews 12 it tells us that we have a ‘great cloud of witnesses,’ and that their daddy is alive in Heaven and is part of that ‘great cloud.’ He told them that their daddy is the biggest cheerleader they could ever have, and to always ask the question, “what would my daddy be cheering me on to be and do?”

After the time of ministry, Pastor Joel and Donna left to be a part of the most exciting part of the day… we’ll get to that. The rest of us took the balloons and went to the cemetery. We had been informed by the police department that the headstone had been put in place on Monday . . . it was so exciting to finally see Chad honored in this beautiful piece of art. What a treat that it was there for our graveside celebration.

As a side note . . . I had not known what to expect from the police department. You know, Chad wasn’t their beloved . . . their husband or father. So, I didn’t know if they would remember. But, they did! And very beautifully! The night shift placed flowers on his grave at 1:11 a.m (that’s how they knew the stone had been delivered,) and at 1:11 in the afternoon they had a minute of silence over their radios. Chad’s badge # was 111. What a beautiful way to honor him. Thank you, Midland Police Department! Thank you! You touched us all. Thank you for remembering us! Thank you for the flowers, driving by his grave all day, and for honoring him! You are appreciated.

Well, back to the cemetery. . . it was a warm, sunny day. We took pictures at his grave, and took all the balloons out into the open space nearby to release them into the big, blue sky. One of the balloons got lost . . . how appropriate. . .as Chad got lost everywhere he went J!

Once back home, I gathered everyone in the living room and told the children that last year Pastor Joel brought them some very bad news (he was the one who told the kids that Chad had passed away,) and that this year I had asked Pastor Joel and Miss Donna to bring them some very good news! I told the kids that in Jeremiah 29:11 God promises us that He has good plans for us . . . plans to give us hope, and a future, and that this good news is a part of our hope and our future. Right then Joel and Donna came in with our new puppy cradled in their arms! My kids were absolutely speechless. Abbi’s eyes filled with tears and she said, “Mama, is this really for us . . . to keep?” Chad and I had always told them NO dogs! They are too much work! Well, as I prayed about October 7th, I just knew that this was what was supposed to happen. My new friend, Marni, helped me with the search to find our sweet little girl, Miah, for JereMIAH 29:11. She is a chocolate brown Standard Poodle. She is very mild mannered and calm. She hasn’t mastered the art of “potty outside,” but is only 11 weeks old and I’ve been told they don’t figure the pottying out until around 16 weeks. Yikes . . That’s five more weeks of constant vigilance! Oh well, it is worth it to see the joy on my children’s faces! Little Miah was the perfect ending to the day! Thank you, Jesus, for your continued guidance as we walk out this life we have been given.


Jen said...


I don't know you but I have lived in Midland all of my life. Well up until I got married. I heard about what happened to your husband last October when I came home to visit family. Then on August 18th of this year I lost my husband as well. He was only 31 years old (I'm 30), and died of a heart related problem as well. He was not feeling well but nobody thought of testing his heart because he was so young. He died of a blood clot that had formed in his cornary artery and it led to Shawn having a massive heartattack. Three weeks after his funeral I miscarried our first child. With my family being life long Midland residents we ordered the flowers for his funeral from Little Pear Tree. The ladies there told me about you and suggested that I tried to get in touch with you. That maybe you could be of some support to me. However, I just didn't know if that was something that I thought I should do. But I found your blog and have been reading it since. I was very touched by your last post about how you honored your husband on the one year anniversary of his death. I'm doing ok. I have good days, and then really bad moments, but I guess bad moments are better than bad days. My husband always told me that I was a stronger woman than I ever gave myself credit for. I guess he was right, because I think I'm handling everything that has been given to me in the last 8 weeks reasonably well. Many friends have told me that they didn't think I would handle everything how I have. I know it is because my husband is giving me his strenght and is watching over me. But it still dosn't help heal how much I miss him. I think whoever said it gets easier with time was lying. I don't know if I believe it. I think about him hundrends of times a day and I miss him so much.
I didn't know if meeting would be something you would be interested in.I'm living in Midland with my parents until I can figure out what to do next. I'm pretty sure you are way more religious than I am by reading your blog and I hope you don't mind the fact that I'm not at that point yet. I just wondered if maybe you could tell me when or if it does get easier and kind of help me to understand what this next year of firsts is going to be like. I'm already dreading Christmas and November the month of both of our birthdays.
I have a blog as well so you can leave me a comment there or through email.
My blog is and my email is
Thank you in advance for even considering talking to me, I know how difficult this is.
I just got a new puppy as wellI get to pick him up on Oct.31. I hear ya about the potty training thing. 16 weeks yikes!
Thank you again
Jenny Coin

Mary said...

Praise God!
Sounds like an incredible day!
God is SO good!

Anonymous said...

Dearest Sarah,
God is amazing...I had no idea why he led me to pay for your Starbucks that morning but when I saw your face, I just knew I was supposed to. After reading your blog, I was in tears. You and your children will be in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Sarah, I'm from Midland and too heard about your story and was brought to tears even though I don't know you. I am married to a Huntley (and his mother is part of the Schieber family, Sheryl belongs to Charlene and the late Donald Schieber).
I want to commend you for finding strength in the Lord and 'being' there for your children. My father died when I was 16 years old and it felt like I lost my mom that day as well.
I will keep you in my prayers.

Shawna said...

What a beautiful way to celebrate Chad's passing.
Your boys look just like him. IMO!!!!!
Pray for you lots!
Of course,you know,that dog is GOD spelled backwards. HE knew what he was doing when he created those four legged creatures as they seem to bring so much to us humans.
Poodles are VERY smart;you won't have to wait till 16 weeks!
Prayers and love,