The “1912” Model was a great Model of Life for Us

It was my husband’s Grandpa Folkert’s birthday today. If he would have lived a few more years, he would have been 103. Grandpa Julius was always a jolly hard-working man. He knew the secret of contentment. He lived to be 98 1/2 years young, and had his mind intact until the last day of his life.

Thinking about his birthday, I dug up a cassette tape we have of him. It was recorded in 2001 when my son Andrew needed an interview with someone elderly in the community. Grandpa must have been only about 88 then. Andrew was taking a “Hamilton History” class in Junior High. Of course I was more excited about it than he was, and we marched right over to Grandpa Julius. He knew more about Hamilton, our families, and the community than anyone we knew. I think he knew every road in three counties. He was born and raised in the house he still lived in until the last couple years of his life. He got married and raised his five children in that same house until his late 90’s. He was such an interesting man and I sure wish we had more of his stories now.

My sisters and I went to pick peaches and apples the other day, and we remarked on the way home, how much Julius would know about our family. You see, my family and my husband’s families were connected in many ways. He was my dad’s cousin and he and Julia were neighbors across the country street their whole lives. Yes, I married a third cousin. But that’s a whole other story.

Grandpa Folkert loved talking and laughing with people in his Dutch brawl. You would always be welcome any afternoon to sit at his kitchen table at 3 p.m. for cookies and coffee. Especially on Saturdays. Even when he spent a little time in Assisted living, no matter how long it had been since you had seen him last he was always welcoming. Never a hint of shame if it had been a long time. He always encouraged you to have a seat and chat.

My husband and I with hisGrandpa Folkert in 2010.

My husband and I with his Grandpa Folkert in 2010, when he was 98.

When Andrew and I interviewed him, he said he was a “1912 model” when asked when he was born. We went on to have the most delightful interview talking about his growing up years, his schooling, his vehicles, etc. He talked about going to church in Hamilton with the buggy in the summer, and the sleigh was attached in the winter. So many stories told at one time or another. But so many stories lost too.

If I could, I would share the interview, to encourage people to make sure you appreciate your elders while you have them, and listen. Ask them questions. Ask them if you can record them. You think you will remember their voice but you won’t. It was also sweet to listen to that tape again after many years, because my son Andrew’s voice was so cute and young.

Andrew and his Great Grandpa Folkert at his high school graduation open house. Grandpa must have been almost 94.

Andrew and his Great Grandpa Folkert at his high school graduation open house. Grandpa must have been almost 94.

When I got home from the orchard with my sisters yesterday, I posted some pictures on facebook. Grandpa’s grandson on the other side of the family began sharing memories of him and driving the country roads with him. His daughters all chimed in about some of their memories and one thing led to another. They even talked about how Grandma Julia was best friends with my mom and how hard it was for her when she went to heaven. Our families were intertwined in many ways. They even had a water contraption under the road so that if one of them lost water, they could open the valve and help one another out.

Grandpa Julius knew my Grandpa Gerrit. The story from one of my sisters is that one day he noticed the barn doors weren’t opened up at the normal time. It was the day my Grandpa K. got kicked in the head by a horse and they had gone to the hospital where he later died. Grandpa and Grandma Julius and Julia were a huge help to my dad, being a young man of 18 suddenly running a farm and taking care of his mother on his own.

A day never went by without some of us waving to one another while on the road, mowing lawn, playing ball, swinging on that tree swing,https://myrnafolkert.wordpress.com/2014/10/06/if-a-tree-could-talk-the-stories-it-could-tell-part-2/ buying eggs, or just visiting.

The country way of growing up really formed me in solid ways.

Grandpa Julius outlived both of my parents even though he was 8 years older. He was the glue that seemed to hold the whole neighborhood together and it has never been the same since he left. He knew everyone it seemed.

When I was young, I didn’t appreciate the history and wisdom. Now I do.

His way of living is an excellent model for us. Live with integrity and solid faith. Care about people. Live Real Life. Laugh.

Posted in ancestors, Ancestry, faithful members of our community, Family, integrity, listen, Memories | Tagged , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Who? Me?

I attended the Speak Up Conference in Grand Rapids Michigan the end of July. I tend to feel inadequate at these conferences because it seems that I’m surrounded by much more accomplished and experienced people. Some joined the Speaking Track, and some the Writer’s Track. I kept mostly to the Writer’s Track. We were told there was an “umbrella of grace” to attend seminars of our choice and make some changes if we felt led.

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Attending the four-hour intensive book proposal clinic at the beginning of the conference, with Dave and Cindy Lambert, was very informative. I’m glad I did as much preparing as I did, so that it all made more sense when I was there. I met old and new friends there. That was a great kick-off. I also forced myself out of my comfort zone, to sit at different tables with as many new faces as possible at each meal during the conference. Because of that I made many contacts and new friends. I found out that I wasn’t the only one who came by themselves, and most are there to mingle and meet others. I was impressed that the “important” people sat at varying tables too, and were humble, caring and friendly.

 

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So many choices of seminars and so little time…I found myself checking my handbook several times, saying little prayers asking God to lead me to just the right ones.  A few times I changed my mind at the very last minute and it was just exactly what I needed. Some of the seminars I attended were,  “Telling Your Hard Story,” “Mind Mapping,” “Prayer Strategies,” “Balancing Privacy and Personal Relationship When Writing About Real Life,” “YOU are your brand,” and “Finding Your Voice.” That doesn’t include the drama skits, the wonderful worship times with musician extraordinaire, Robin Rost, Publisher and Editors Q and A sessions, exceptional keynote and special speakers. There is so much in such a short period of time it’s mind-boggling.

A very useful hour for me was the 15 minute appointments you get to have with publishers, editors, and/or author mentors. I went to the “prayer corner” with a prayer leader, just beforehand. I had total confidence and calm. That was strange because I usually get very nervous in those types of sessions. Let’s give the Holy Spirit the credit here…there’s no other explanation except divine intervention. I knew my “pit crew” at home was praying for me. I had a clear and narrowed vision this year on my book, and it is taking form. Not that all the details are worked out, but now am on one course at a time. I sat down with three representatives from publishing houses and a caring and helpful author mentor. I presented my “one sheet,” which is a short bio, an “elevator pitch” about your book idea, a picture of yourself and contact information. I spoke to them, we asked each other questions, and they gave me advice. I didn’t get a contract yet, but that’s okay, because I realize I am not ready. I need to do a lot of work and learning before publishing. The more I learn the more I realize there is to learn. So why try to rush God? When He and I are ready, I’m sure we’ll both know about it.

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In the meantime, I’ll work on my devotionals, manuscript, book proposal and blog. In one session, the speaker said, speak (or write) like someone’s life depends on it, because it probably does! Even if I had an audience of one, that would be worth it. We were also reminded that the Apostle Paul had a speaking and writing ministry. And look how far-reaching that has become!

It’s sometimes hard to go to Writer’s conferences.  I imagine that everyone else knows each other, has written books, published in magazines, spoke in front of many audiences, or has millions of followers on blogs. Satan wants to tell me about all my inadequacies. God speaks in His still small voice about how much He loves me and has a calling chosen especially for me. Cindy Bultema reminded us in one of her messages, that fear and “shoulds” are bricks that hold us back. We need not compare to others, and we need to cheer each other on in successes. I left feeling I had many more friends, who are just people like me, saved by grace.

The Lord keeps leading me to conferences and urging me to write. I think, “Who, me Lord?” Susan Call gave me a small stone inscribed with Exodus 4 on it. It’s the story of Moses having a long conversation with God with all the excuses he had for not doing what God told him to. Finally, after quite an exchange, Moses pleads with God to send someone else. God is angry at Moses and says, “who gave man his mouth?….now go, I will help you speak, and I will tell you what to say.”

That says it all.

 

I’ve been to several writing conferences now, and they each have their own style and feel. I really enjoyed this one even more than in other years. It is so covered with prayer before and during the conference and the presence of the Holy Spirit is so evident. Consider going to Speak Up at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI, July 7-9, 2016.

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Posted in Speak Up conference, writing, Writing conferences | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Free Ticket to Unity Fest!

I have one free ticket to give away for the Unity Christian Music Festival in Muskegon for the next few days. Beginning tomorrow, this would cost you $70 at the gate!

All you have to do is join my email list on my blog here, and leave a comment and it’s yours! Give it a try! You might like something else you read too! Rules are that you need to comment on the WordPress blog site.

Sorry to my dear list of current subscribers! I love you dearly, but giving it to a new subscriber.

Message me for a time and place to get the ticket from me.

It’s a wonderful 4 day concert of dozens of artists on the beautiful shores of Muskegon Lake, near Lake Michigan and it is packed full of bands on the Main Stage, lots of teen bands on the A-stage, wonderful speakers, affordable food booths, activities for kids, and more. You will love it! The weather is supposed to be great this week too! Bring a friend or family members!

Here’s the link for the event! Matt Maher, Third Day, Crowder!, Salvador, Matthew West, King and Country, Mark Schultz, many more! You don’t want to miss this!

Here’s the link for all the info!

http://unitymusicfestival.com/schedule/main-stage-schedule/

 

A teaser: A video of “King and Country”…..wow.

 

Posted in Give-Aways! | Tagged | 13 Comments

Happy Birthday Dad

Dear Dad,

Happy Birthday Dad! It would be your 95th birthday today and I am thinking about your past life, and what it would possibly be today. If you wouldn’t have had to begin suffering strokes and then finally die at the age of 82…what would you be doing now if you were healthy? So many things I wish I would have asked you. Now I would sit at your side and record you and ask you questions all day long. Were you hurt that I never took more time to listen to your stories?

You worked hard as a farmer without question. It was what you always knew since you were a small boy. Your father began that farm, building the farmhouse around 1905. It was your passion and purpose. Being born in 1920, you were a teenager during the Great Depression trying to keep a farm afloat. Do you know that I can’t imagine how you did it dad?

Meeting the “city girl” Martha, briefly when you were a teen, piqued your interest I believe, from what we can assume from mom’s diaries. She actually was a housekeeper for you and your parents for a very short period of time because grandma Bertha was weak and not very healthy. A friend of the family had gained her that job. She penned in her diary, “there’s a 17 year old son, he seems nice.” That was all. Do you know, I’m sure she saw quality in your hard work ethic dad?

After the sudden passing of your father, Gerrit, when you were only 18, you took over the farm and cared for your mother. You lived dedication. A couple years later, we see that Gordon was calling on the beautiful young city girl, frequenting Holland more and more. You finally convinced her to come out to the country and be the farmer’s wife marrying her on June 5, 1942, with a simple service at her father’s home, with parents as witnesses.  She must have been afraid, and that was a huge leap of faith in you and God. Dad, do you understand that she must have seen commitment in your eyes? What did you admire about her the most?

My mom and dad's wedding picture.

My mom and dad’s wedding picture.

The early years of your marriage was an adventure of traveling, working hard and visiting with neighbors, relatives and friends. Little ones came along and you completed your family with six of us.  Except for your beloved daughter Audrey, you saw all of us develop our lives, until I, as the youngest was 39. You saw many fruits of your prayers with mom. Do you know that all of us have many of your qualities such as dedication, work ethic and faith in God?

You suffered the loss of our mom, then a daughter. You married again, losing her after only ten years. You had so many heartaches in your life. Mostly keeping them all inside must have been hard. A woman who loved farming was your last love, as Pauline brightened your days. Did she help you get through all the struggles and losses you had in your life Dad? Could you talk it all out with her? What was the saddest moment in your life? What made you the happiest?

A pile of my mom's many diaries.

A pile of my mom’s many diaries.

Dad, I’m so thankful my own sons can remember their “Grampa K!” You took them to “John Deere Days,” climbing up on the tractors, and out to eat on Sunday noons. You had Andrew up on the ladder at 9 years old helping you put siding on the farmhouse. You considered James too young at six, and he had to pick up nails, which did not make him too happy. You paid them a very small sum. But they got to know what hard work was, to earn your pay. Even though they’re vague memories, because you died when they were 13 and 10 years old, they knew you. Do you know what it means to me that they knew their grandpa? Do you think I did a good job of mothering them? Do you know that you and mom have 20 great-grandchildren today? 

I’m melancholy today, as I remember that you could have had a vibrant life even today, at 95 years old….a few people do….but it wasn’t God’s plan for you. Your time on this earth is past and now I’m in the oldest generation. What is the most important thing you’d tell me today dad? 

Love, Myrna

 

 

Posted in ancestors, Ancestry, Childhood, Dad, Death, faith, Family, Farming, Father loss, Grief and loss, listen, Marriage Commitment, Memories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

A reminder of the purpose.

“You’ve been missing in action!” Mia said as stepped down into the boat. The creaking of ropes and clanging of sailboat masts were the song of the day.

“I know…” Jen sighed.

“What’s the matter?”

“I don’t know. It’s like a wall in front of my mind that I just can’t seem to see past” An occasional swallow clattered as he flew over.

Mia asked, “Well, can you talk about it?”

Jen began slowly, “Every time I try to write a story lately or get a document started for this upcoming writing conference, I get distracted by something else. It’s usually my fault. Even when I came out here to the boat to get inspired,  things just aren’t coming together. I feel so overwhelmed!”

“Have you prayed about it?”

“Of course I’ve prayed about it! It seems that’s all I do in between wondering what to write and how to get all this stuff done,” Jen retorted quickly. “Sometimes I feel like I don’t hear the Holy Spirit like many others do.”

“Why?” Mia asked.

Jen barely dared to say it again, “Maybe…I’m just not cut out for this writing stuff. Maybe I’ve been hearing God wrong all this time. I might not have the talent or the discipline that it takes to do this writing thing. I just don’t know–”

“Hey! Don’t you start that again,” Mia chided, “You know you have been affirmed many times that you are called to write. You can do this and–”

“I don’t know.” Jen interrupted, “It’s much harder than people think. I am dry as a bone and sit with a blank computer screen. So it’s easier to get on emails, social media, texting friends, reading a book, eating…anything but actual writing!” She admitted, as she looked at the floor.

Mia peered silently at Jen until she finally looked back up into her eyes.

“You know what I’m going to say.” Mia spoke softly.

Jen knew from many years of experience of being around Mia, that she was very sure that Jen was called to write many stories of life and hope. Much more sure lots of times than she was.

“Ok…you can say it again, but I know what I’m experiencing. Even after searching through my bible and praying, I just feel dried up. I don’t know if I can do this mother-loss thing and all the interviews, the devotionals and documents to finish, and not to mention the stories on the blog, and–” Mia put up her hand in a gentle manner.

Mia asked, “Do you like it?”

Jen replied, “What?”

“The writing, giving hope and stories to the world, directing them to the gospel?”

“Yes.” Jen wouldn’t look into Mia’s eyes. “People say I’m gifted. They say I’m touching people. But I’m not sure anymore.”

“Do you think God gave you this time for a reason?”

Jen spoke through her tears now, talking fast, “Yes, and I feel guilty that I’m wasting God’s time. I’m not producing like He wants me to–I mean, I’ve said no to pool dates with friends, I’ve taken a short leave of absence from Hospice work, I’ve said no to most things at church, all in the name of ‘getting work done.’ Trying to ‘say no the the good, in order to say yes to the best’ thing!” Jen folded her arms in front of her.

Mia replied gently but firmly in her usual way. “I think you’re trying to force the creativity. Open yourself up to let the Holy Spirit flow through you, let Him wash over you.”

Finally Jen lifted her eyes to meet Mia’s. A tear dripped down onto her shirt. They knew each other’s thoughts.

“Let’s pray.” Mia barely whispered, as she waved her to sit down and placed her hands gently over top of Jen’s.

The sun shone down on them through the open hatch, and the sea gulls called. The next few moments were filled with the soft sounds of Mia speaking to the Heavenly Father. Jen didn’t know how long she had been sitting there with her head bowed and whispers coming forth out of her mouth which she didn’t even recognize.

When Jen came back into realization, Mia was just smiling at her, one sister in Christ to another.

The breeze shifted and offered refreshment to their souls.

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Phil 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

My Dad…

My dad was a hard-working farmer who loved to talk to people. I can’t remember him ever telling me in words that he loved me. Hugging was also not really done in my family. My old-fashioned Dutch dad was very stoic. He would say “Life is for the living,” “If you don’t work you don’t eat,” “All I want is cooperation!” and similar sayings. The Webster’s dictionary defines the word stoic as, “a person who can endure hardship or pain without showing emotion or complaining” I think the word stoic fits him pretty well.

 

My dad, Gordon B. Kleinheksel, could be the most frustrating, stubborn man on earth at times. It was his way or the highway. He made us work on the farm, and you never skipped church unless you were in the hospital. But I respect the qualities which made him so much more than that.

The tree branch is still there, where my swing was.

The tree branch is still there, where my swing was.

Love was shown in many ways other than words. One of the earliest remembrances I have of my dad, was of him pushing me in the swing. The tree which held the swing was on his way from the house to the barn. No matter how busy he was-if I was sitting in that swing it would happen the same way. I would just have to look at him. Being the youngest of six, and a girl too…he would walk my way and take the time to push me a few times. I would giggle and say, “Push me higher!” and he would.

 

A very early memory is a time when I was really naughty…I played with a neighbor boy when I was only about four years old. I can’t even remember the boy’s name-I think they were renters. We were playing near an old chicken coop. He handed me the other stick and it seemed so fun to hear the crash of around one hundred square panes of glass. The deed was told, as everything was on that country street. I was standing in the back porch of that old farmhouse with my head down. I don’t remember my punishment. I remember my dad looking at me and saying not to play with that boy again. I then understood it was wrong, and obeyed him.

 

When riding with a girlfriend in high school, we got in a bad car accident. A farm implement scraped the entire side of the car and cut out all the windows on my side, and most of us were completely covered in glass. We went to the hospital and my dad was there before we were. He didn’t hug me or anything, but he was there with a very concerned look on his face.

 

My girlfriends and I just “had” to go to the Sunrise service way out in Bentheim, after a huge ice storm. My dad drove us on the thick ice instead of letting any of us drive at six o’clock in the morning. There was a hill in front of Randy Klingenberg’s dad Willis’ farm and the wheels just spun. He instructed us all to push the car, even in our new Easter dresses, nylons and heels.

 

A couple times, when I would back out of the parking spot at home, I ran over one of my beloved farm cats. I would run inside crying to my dad about it. He would calmly tell me he would bury the cat. I know what he did when he thought I wasn’t looking….he would put the cat in an old feed sack and bring it way out in the field beyond where I ever walked.

 

I never had an official curfew time in high school. But one time it was extremely late as I tip-toed past his bedroom door. After that same irritating creak in the floor that you could not avoid to get to my bedroom, my dad said, “it’s awfully late.” I felt guilty and always tried to get in a lot earlier after that.

 

One of the few times I saw him show emotion was when my sister Audrey died. At one point during that first awful day he took off in that old jalopy pickup that we called the “Sanford and Sons” truck. Gravel flew as he drove very fast down the road. No one ever knew where he went to grieve the sudden unexplained loss of one of his daughters. It scared me. I never saw him drive fast or behave in that way. When we were gathered in the living room a few weeks later, he was the one who announced what would be written on her gravestone. “In youth and love she sweetly rests.” Dad said so, and that was it.

 

In college, I dated a guy that I thought I could change and we would have a dreamy life together. One time, when I was home for a weekend doing a load of wash, dad came in and sat in the kitchen near me. He nonchalantly said that the boy was not a good influence on me and was a little “different.” At the time of course I knew everything, but it sure made me think.

 

When his dear third wife Pauline was under for a very serious cancer surgery and we didn’t think she would live, he sat with me in the waiting room. We were the only ones there at the time. He expressed to me along the lines of “you never know when someone will be taken from you, it’s hard.” I didn’t know what to say but just looked at him. He’d been through so much in his life.

 

Certain sayings of my dad are forever family keepsakes. Like, “Ya got that too yet then!” “If there’s food ya eat it, and if there’s not food ya don’t complain either!” We still say them to each other and laugh.

 

When I began dating my husband, he greatly approved of him. He said he was a reliable, hard worker. Dad was surely was a good judge of character. When he stuck out his elbow to walk me down the aisle, it wasn’t a “tearful give away my daughter time.” He said something like, “ok, is this how I do it, let’s go.” So funny, I loved him for that.

 

 

My dad walking me down the aisle at my wedding.

My dad walking me down the aisle at my wedding.

Grandpa K. always loved to sit and hold my babies. He didn’t talk to them, but just wanted to hold them. Later he took my boys to the John Deere Days, or had them up on the roof shingling with him. He was so proud of those two little white-haired boys. I’m glad he lived long enough that they know who their grandpa was.

 

It was “my” Saturday to have dad after his stroke. He was sitting in his wheelchair near me while I was doing household chores. We began discussing my younger years. Usually his speech was hard to understand, but he told me plainly, “Yes, those years weren’t good for you were they, I’m sorry they were really hard,” with tears in his eyes. Sometimes I could finally see what was behind those olive-colored eyes. The last five years of his life were very difficult for him but I never heard any complaining. My dad had been a very active person who drove all over the nation, worked hard on the farm, and got together with people constantly. Activities like driving, walking, dressing, bathing, his dignity, and finally talking, were all stripped away from him in painful shreds.

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One of the first buds...

One of the first buds…

When my husband and I built our house in the country, my dad and stepmother Pauline gave us money to buy a special tree. We chose a Red Bud tree and I watched that tree grow along with my boys, for 15 years. Every spring we’d have a few weeks of enjoying the little purple buds right outside our living room window. First the boys played under it with the dog, then mowed the lawn around it, and later had their prom pictures taken in front of it. It was a symbol of my dad. It bothered me that we couldn’t take that tree along with us when we moved into town last year. One day this Spring, my dear husband drove in with a Red Bud tree to plant. I watch it change through the seasons, and think of my dad. It’s outside the living room window behind my mom’s piano.

Do you have a story about your dad or a special male mentor in your life? Pass it on.

Posted in Childhood, Dad, Family, Father's day, Grief and loss, trees | Tagged , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

My Uncle–A Memorial Day Story

 

Out of respect, I gained permission to post this story…

Many people have a story of a relative who served in a war or in the service. My hero is my Uncle Art. He is a very humble man.

But I want to honor him on this Memorial Day.

My Uncle Arthur Volkema is a veteran of WWII. There aren’t too many of them left anymore as he served very young. He’s 89 years old, his health isn’t where he would like it to be, but he still gets around. He is like a lot of veterans…they don’t want to be the center of attention and they don’t think they did anything special. They were just doing their job.

An amazing story of his Navy days in WWII, is about when he was serving on the aircraft carrier “U.S.S. Bunker Hill” when it was hit by the Japanese out in the Pacific Ocean. Over three hundred sailors died, some missing, and hundreds more injured, but thankfully not my Uncle Art. He has a picture of that ship hanging in his garage with huge billows of smoke rising above it. It’s a miracle that any of them survived.

The U.S.S. Bunker Hill after it was attacked.

The U.S.S. Bunker Hill after it was attacked.

 

We have a recording of my Uncle Art when he was interviewed long ago, about that awful day in WWII. It came without warning and was gruesome. Two Japanese kamikaze planes evaded the radar and crashed into the ship.

Webster’s dictionary describes them this way: “Kamikazi–(in World War II) a Japanese aircraft loaded with explosives and making a deliberate suicidal crash on an enemy target.”

The fact was, those who were left alive had to carry on immediately. They had to do what soldiers do. They put out the fires and burial at sea had to take place for hundreds of men. They had to take the dog tags or the marked belt off each one, if it was possible, so family could be notified. The clergy-person said a few words, and by tens they were put to sea. All this while wondering if they would be attacked again.

The first and only time my Uncle was willing to be in a Memorial Day parade to be honored was in Holland, Michigan a few years ago. His entire family came along to watch and we were all so proud of him. He rode by in a car wearing his “Bunker Hill” cap and waved and smiled. Then we walked to the grave-sites of my grandparents and lots of other relatives to reminisce.

Of course my Uncle Art has always meant a lot to me personally, because he is my mom’s brother. He is also the only surviving sibling of five children. After the war, he went on to marry my Aunt who has a gentle, loving and encouraging spirit towards me and everyone who has ever met her. Uncle Art and his wife Pauline are about the sweetest, kindest couple you could ever meet. They have been like second parents to me. Being the extremely welcoming and caring people that they are, they have been so encouraging to me over the years.  My Aunt Pauline still writes hand-written letters to the “elderly” people in the nursing facility nearby their simple suburb of Chicago area. They go to church, read their bibles and pray. They brought up their three children to be wonderful Christian people and now have several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They live a quiet God-honoring life.

I’m so thankful that I got to enjoy my Uncle Art all these years.  I wouldn’t have had the cousins that I do. I wouldn’t have known him and experienced the stories he tells of the history of our family and the town he grew up in. He was the youngest brother my mom watched over. They lost their mother at a very young age too, so the family struggled.

 

My mom the oldest, holding her youngest sibling, Arthur.

My mom the oldest, holding her youngest sibling, Arthur.

Today, on Memorial Day, I think about my Uncle Art and the sacrifices he made for our country. If men and women wouldn’t serve our country in the military, we would not be free. I enjoy freedoms of The United States of America because of brave soldiers who have died, or served in the past or present.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you Uncle Arthur Volkema.

 

I have another Uncle, Fred, and my Grandfather, who also have stories I’d like to tell…to be continued another day.

Posted in Ancestry, Family, God's faithfulness, Memorial Day, Memories | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments