Friday, April 30, 2010

Trials & Spiritual Growth

Trials are food for faith, George Mueller.

I came across this quote recently in my quiet time. I know God works all things together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28), but, sometimes, trials can leave us wondering what good can possibly come from them. God has our best interest at heart, though, when He allows trials and the pain that comes with them in to our lives. It's how He grows us in our walk with His Son and draws us closer to Himself. This quote reminds me that the growing pains of our spiritual growth are for our own good.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Brain Tumors & Kids

The ABTA's monthly Tips for Living and Coping Bulletin is about talking with your child about your illness. This is a great article for a parent with a brain tumor (and their spouse) as well as family and friends that spend time with the children too.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Are you as prepared as Dora?

A friend, fellow church member and former co-worker of Kent's talks about the five things Dora the Explorer teaches us about personal financial planning in a recent post on his blog. It's definitely food for thought!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Gift of a Prayer Blanket

Do you know someone with cancer? If so, a prayer blanket is a great gift.

These black or gray 50 x 60 fleece blankets are available for every cancer with their coordinating colored ribbon on one corner with the arched sentence above it, You are covered with prayer.

They sell on eBay for $25 plus shipping and handling. When you order, specify which of the following you want in the notes section:

bladder - yellow
brain - light gray
breast - pink
cervical - teal & white
colon - dark blue
esophageal - periwinkle blue
head & neck – red & white
kidney - kelly green
leukemia - orange
liver - emerald green
lung - clear
lymphoma - lime
melanoma – black
multiple myeloma - burgandy
ovarian - teal
pancreatic - purple
prostate - light blue
sarcoma & bone – yellow
testicular - orchid
thyroid - teal, pink & blue
uterine – peach

When a prayer blanket is purchased, a portion of the proceeds will benefit the American Brain Tumor Association in memory of Kent to support their research programs.

Order one today!

If you live close to me, e-mail your order to me at to avoid the shipping and handling charge and to make arrangements for pick-up or delivery.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Growing Like A Weed

Belle sure is growing! This is her at almost 12-weeks-old.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hey, batter, batter, swing!

The boys' first little league games of the season were today.

This is J's fourth year playing and second year of B Minor.

It's E's second year of playing and he's in Coach Pitch.

Last but not least, it's N's first year of play and is in T-Ball.

These boys take after their daddy with their athletic ability, because they sure can hit, run, catch and throw!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

10 Lessons I've Learned About Grieving

1) There isn't a detour around it even if it's delayed.

2) There isn't a right or wrong way to do it.

3) It's wise to share with family and friends the way in which we plan to do it.

4) People do it at their own pace.

5) It can be all-consuming happening at the most unexpected, inopportune times.

6) Guilt and regret are a natural part of it.

7) There's loneliness but not aloneness in it.

8) There's joy in it, but it can be dampened by a deep sadness.

9) It leaves a scar.

10) It's a tool by which to glorify God and grow in Christ's likeness.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Palliative vs. Hospice Care

We chose palliative care over hospice care for Kent's end-of-life care. The American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) recently published a Palliative Care Guide that explains what it is and how it differs from hospice care. While this may not be the best option for everyone, it was a great one for Kent.

Monday, April 19, 2010


Kent gave this envelope to me the night before his first scheduled surgery with a list inside of it explaining what to do if he dies. The list includes instructions for obtaining a death certificate, contacting the life insurance company to submit a death claim, how to initiate social security survivorship benefits, accessing his laptop and business accounts with usernames and passwords and selling his financial advisory practice and the order in which to pay off or down debt.

In addition to this list, he made sure all of our marital assets were jointly owned which made managing the accounts during his decline and death and settling his estate much easier without going through probate. He had excellent health insurance as well as disability insurance that proved beneficial while waiting for social security disability benefits to start. He also made sure his will and trust including a living will declaration and appointed health care representative as well as power of attorney and their successors were current. He even planned a lot of his funeral and, last but not least, left me in the hands of a great financial advisor and accountant.

Being a financial advisor himself, he had his ducks in a row in case of something catastrophic, but a 32-month warning from his cancer diagnosis to his death gave him time to make changes and finish planning his end-of-life wishes. Because of his pre-planning, I only had to carry through with his decisions instead of making them for him.

Are you prepared if your husband (or wife) is unexpectedly diagnosed with a serious illness or suddenly dies? If not, you may want to research what steps have to be taken in your situation to be prepared, because it's one way to make the burden of such a trial much lighter.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


This is Belle, our new loving and playful nine-week-old yellow Lab. Her name means beautiful and she represents it well. It's been an entertaining week of watching her explore and settle in at our house. She certainly doesn't replace Hank, but she's definitely a healthy addition to our family.

Friday, April 9, 2010


We put Hank, our 13 1/2-year-old yellow Lab, down a week ago today. Even though he was blind and deaf and had severe arthritis, this was a decision that was made with many tears. He was Kent's dog and reminded us so much of him. He was a faithful friend to him and us. We don't know for sure if dogs go to Heaven, but, because animals were a part of God's original plan for Earth and mankind and the Bible tells us He'll remake both, we want to believe they do. He'll be missed, but it's comforting to think about him and Kent playing fetch again.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Path to Progress

Hi, everyone!

I'll be participating in the American Brain Tumor Association's 5th annual Path to Progress 5K run/walk on Saturday, May 22nd at Chicago's Soldier Field in memory of Kent to raise funds to support their research programs. For the last three years, I've walked this event, but I've decided to run this year!

My team, Hearts for Heads, has a fundraising goal of $4,500, but my personal fundraising goal is $1500. I hope you'll help by joining my team to walk, strut (new category this year) or run or supporting me and my team with a tax-deductible donation. Both registration and donations can be done on-line safely, quickly and easily through my Path to Progress webpage. If you prefer, though, a printable registration form and/or check can be mailed to:

2720 River Road, Suite 146
Des Plaines, IL 60018

The registration fee is $30 for adults and $10 for kids 4-12.

Checks should be made payable to ABTA/Path to Progress and remember to include a note indicating that you're supporting me.

If you're going to participate in memory or honor of someone other than Kent, please let me know, so their name can be added to our team t-shirt.

I greatly appreciate your support and will keep you posted on my progress.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010


After a very public trial with my husband's cancer and death that was documented on a family website, I have vacillated for months about whether or not to continue blogging. I actually started a new website to encourage young Christian widows last summer but wasn't emotionally, mentally or spiritually ready to share my life as one, so it was removed from the Internet.

Upon the completion of converting our family website into book for my three sons this past February, it's not on the Internet anymore either. Since then, many people have asked if there is still a way to share our story with others going through a similar trial.

So, after a lot of pondering and praying, I've decided to resume blogging. While this blog will offer a window into our life as we continue to heal from our loss while persevering through widowhood, single parenting and fatherlessness, it also includes Kent's story and health history, my story and our story as well as encouraging resources that have blessed us through these trials.