Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Momsters

Hey Monmsters. Yep, that's what I'm going to call you. I know our kids sometimes feel like that N should be there instead of the M but I don't agree. We have Cysters, CFers and you I will affectionately call Momsters.

So Momsters, here I am on the otherside of CF. I know you are wondering what it is like. I know I always wondered but then most of the Momsters I knew would disappear. I had very little contact. So this is not something I have had any pre-experience with.

I assure you there is still peace.

I'm not going to start to lie to you now so I will tell you there has been some stress. Trying to work out the logistics of a funeral that involves very large families, and logistics that span travel time of nearly an hour, wasn't easy. But each time I thought I would crack trying to figure it out God put someone there who gave me the perfect answer. Pastor Naumann figured out the timing and then a place for visitation. Pastor Weigand figured out the logistics through our church at Faith. Dale Witte is working out the music and the Van Deurzen's figured out the place to have the Eulogy. Bear is figuring out the ride and Mike's final requests. Derek, Mikey's first cousin, is taking care of directing the whole thing. He is doing a beautiful job. When I mess up he just fixes it for me. How strong he is to do this for Mikey.

There have been little snags in the plans. Things we will have to let go of like the belt with the belt buckle Mikey wanted to be buried in. I wish I could find it but it is a temporal thing and Mike is in Eternity now. I'll just keep doing the best that I can.

My heart feels so full. I have so many blessings. I have fond memories. There are little leaps of joy followed by tears of sadness.

The tempter is still here because the tempter is gonna tempt. He wanted to give me a good poke yesterday but my hubby Paul gently guided me. And I could feel that my brothers and sisters in Christ are still praying for me. Big Mike assured me too. The tempter wants my focus to go to me right now. He wants me to think about all the things I did wrong. He wants me to second guess the decisions that had to be made. We don't have to put up with that NOISE. God promises forgiveness even when we make mistakes. God promises to take those thoughts away and he did. So far I can assure you that God has kept all of his promises. I have focus and peace. I want to mourn and honor my son and my God.

What there isn't here on this side of CF is despair. No despair. Yes, there is sorrow. Yes, there are tears. But there is so much comfort from the comforter. No worry. No anxiety. But there is still love and faith and hope.

I have heard from a few new Momsters, welcome. I will get back to you soon.

Keep praying. Peace and blessings to you!

P.S. Dear God, There are lots of people mourning down here. Can you give them comfort too? I know you will if they ask you. The funeral is going to be beautiful God. Pastor Naumann is going to use some of your words to comfort all of us. And per Mike's request it will be short, which doesn't seem fair because now he is with you and he gets to pray and praise all day.

People are saying Mikey's an angel. I know that's not true. You told us you created the angels and you created us separately. We have a soul and Mike's soul is in heaven. I know he's not looking down on us either God. That would be torment and Mikey is in heaven. Thank you for putting that great chasm between us. (Luke 16:26) I know Mike wouldn't want to see our pain, he finally got to leave all this pain and we are so happy for him.

I know only you hear me Lord. You take good care of my little Mikey. Oh, my little Mikey, my little Mikey. I miss him God. I cant wait to see all of you. But I will be here, faithfully finishing out the plans you have for me. Joyfully, God, joyfully.

One of the brothers just drove by God, did you hear him? They promised me that when they are in the area they will go by and rev the pipes a bit. You see, whenever I would hear those loud pipes I would say, "Mikey's home." And God I still say that when the brothers do that because MIKEY IS HOME. Thanks for taking care of him God. You're the only one who could do a better job than his father and me.

That's all for now God. Thank you for keeping the tempter away from me. I have lots of other things to thank you for but that will be for another time. You see my heart.
Amen

P.S.S. I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and blessings to our family. Thank you is not enough for all the blessings we continue to receive. Bless you, bless each and everyone of you. Thank you for continuing to support us while we mourn. Love, love, love.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Obituary

On September 28, 2014 at the age of 31, the soul of Michael Richard Van Deurzen, Jr. was taken to our Lord in the arms of his Savior Jesus Christ to share eternity with our triune God. This did not happen because he was good, or because he had suffered enough; but because of the grace of our God. Heaven has received a bright, precious soul. His spirit has been set free, no longer to feel the pain or challenges of Cystic Fibrosis.

We will miss Mike’s creative and loving spirit. We will miss the entertainment he provided with his juggling, balloons, dancing, singing, motorcycle riding and playing guitar. He was always quick to volunteer to help out others, whether that was stopping at the children’s ward to entertain the kids with juggling or hopping on his Harley for a charity ride with his Brothers. Mike loved to give back.

But the thing we will miss most is the example he was in living. Mike exemplified life and this will be his lasting legacy. He lived life even when there appeared to be no more life left to live; purposefully, intentionally and with great passion. Mike was inspiring to many with his “One More Round” attitude. His constant upbeat mentality made us better for having known him. We have been privileged to witness his walk toward home.

Many were drawn to Mike’s easy going nature. He accepted everyone as they were. He had many friends from all walks of life and treated them all with the same dignity, respect and love that he cherished from others. Loved dearly by his family and friends, he will be greatly missed.
Mike was a 2002 graduate of Winnebago Lutheran Academy and a member at Faith Lutheran Church of Fond du Lac.

Family who await a blessed reunion with him in heaven are his mother, Gina (Paul) Thiesfeldt of Fond du Lac; father, Mike (special friend, Kay) Van Deurzen, Sr. of Little Chute; sisters, Katie Rae Van Deurzen and Amber Rettler; brothers, Richard and David Thiesfeldt; Grandparents, Jeanette Van Deurzen of Little Chute, David and Shirley Milner of Omro; and a nephew, Gage.  Aunts and Uncles are: Cathy (Jean) Van Deurzen, Sue (Jim) Spierings, Bob (Johnna) Van Deurzen, Don (Vicki) Van Deurzen, Steve (Chris) Van Deurzen, Scott (Tanya) Van Deurzen, David (Renee) Milner, Lynnette (Phil) Priebe, Terri (Mark) Gauthier, Darick (Anne) Milner, Douglas (Jo Rae) Milner, Dennis Milner, Dan Milner, Duane Milner. Mike is also survived by many cousins and his Brothers from the Top Hats Motorcycle Club in Oakfield WI and friends.

Mike was preceded in death by his grandfather, Robert "Rags" Van Deurzen; Uncle, Darrell Milner and cousin, Devon Milner.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, October 2, 2014, from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 855 Martin Ave., Fond du Lac. Visitation will continue on Friday at Faith Lutheran Church, 55 Prairie Road, Fond du Lac, from 9:00 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, with Rev. Brett Naumann officiating. Interment will be in St. John Cemetery, Little Chute, immediately following the service. Condolences can be expressed at www.verkuilenfh.com. A memorial has been established in Mike’s name.

We would like to thank the staff at UW Madison’s D6/5 unit. We especially thank NP Brooke Lachance for her personal attention and professional care. She willingly took extra time to explain things to Mike in a way that helped him understand. Thanks also to Erin Patten, who was not only his primary caregiver and advocate while hospitalized but also his friend and confidant. May every chronically ill patient be blessed with such dedicated support! Mike was blessed and comforted by their compassion. We would also like to thank Mary W. from Heartland Hospice for her comfort and care during Mike’s final hours.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

He lives - The Victory is Won

On September 28th our Savior in his infinite wisdom took the soul of my son Michael Richard Van Deurzen, Jr. to the room he prepared for him in heaven.

Not because he was good enough . . .

Not because he suffered enough here on earth but because Jesus suffered the rest for him.

Because God saw that everything he had asked Mike to do was complete, he ended his time of Grace.


Then Jesus came and said, "This one is mine, see, his name is written in the book of life. The Holy Spirit wrote it there." And Jesus carried his soul to heaven.

And before we grieve I would just ask you to join me in a prayer of thanksgiving.

Dear Heavenly Father,

I thank you and praise your holy name for the gift you have given me in this precious son. I am humbled and thankful.

I thank you for every minute of the 31 years that you loaned us your son. For all the joy and all the sorrows. Thank you for giving Mike 60 years of love in only 31.

I thank you that through your Son you assured me of Mike's salvation.

I thank you that because YOUR Son suffered and died, my son will have eternity in paradise. And thank you Lord that, that salvation covers me too, so that I will one day be reunited with Mike in heaven.

In Jesus name we pray.
Amen

1 Peter 5:10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power forever and ever. Amen
 And now my friends it is time to grieve and say good-bye.

Ecclesiastes 3:4  A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance.

Please sisters and brothers don't leave me just yet. I had to stay strong for Mike and I haven't had my time to grieve. I need your support to honor Mike's mortal remains. We will be making those arrangements over the next few days.

Please help me say good-bye to my our Mike(y). I'll see you at the funeral.

Breathe easy my precious son. Well done good and faithful servant.
 
I hope you're dancing up in heaven with King David because the Bible tells us that he can really rock out!!

I hope that I will see all of you too when I get to see Mike again in heaven.

Love, love, love you forever. My heart is so full.

Shalom

P.S. As everyone has become aware during this final round of Mike's, there are many pieces to Mike. All of these pieces are scattered through all of you. Can I get them back? Over the next months and years I will grieve all that I missed with Mike while being his nurse, manager, and tutor. You can come back here to get my pieces because I'm sure I'll be sharing them. You know how to get a hold of me to share your pieces. Thanks so much. Love it forward people, love it forward. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

In a Little While







Thank you for continuing to pray

Friday, September 26, 2014

Remember

I know, I know...
I'm incessant....but you said "Pray without ceasing" and you knew I was like this.
My other bosses know I'm like this too...Just ask Pastor Nauman or Dave.....they have to put up with me too. I know Pastor Nauman isn't my boss any more but he's still part of the plan and he's going to be contacting you soon.

Do you remember this conversation I had with Katie when she was 4 years old?

"Mommy, why do you pound on Mikey?"
Me: So he doesn't get sick.
"Oh, and what if he get's sick?
Me: Then we will take him to the doctor and they will make him better.
"Oh, and what if the doctor can't make him better?
Me: Then we will take him to the hospital and they will make him better - you know that Katie, you come there with us.
"Oh, yeah, that's right Mommy" and she scampered happily away. And in a moment she returned with a serious look on her face and put her hand on my shoulder and tipped her head and said, "And Mommy, what if the hospital can't make Mikey better?"
And I looked her right in the eye God, and you told me to say, "Then Jesus will take him and make him all better." Elated and with a giggle Katie said, "Oh, YES JESUS!"

I didn't lie did I?

So God, I can't pound on Mikey anymore.
And I can't take him back to the doctor because he has hospice instead.
And I can't take him to the hospital because he has a DNR.
So I think it is your turn now right God?

That's our plan right?

I'm getting a little excited. There is this joy coming that is new to me today. I guess you must be on your way. I'm glad I didn't lie to Mikey's sister Katie.

I couldn't sleep last night God, because I hadn't asked my brothers and sisters in Christ to pray for Mike while he sleeps. I know you promised that Mike can't be snatched from your had but you also told us all to pray. It's going to get loud.

I know I keep asking about your timing. And everyday you show me the blessings you are giving Mike and me through this pain. Thank you for always knowing what's best and having my back.

CF got much bigger than Mikey God.
And Mikey's legacy is getting much bigger than me. Help me to help them too God. It's not just about Mikey and me. There are so many that need your comfort.

Can you help them all to "love it forward?"
There are dancers and brothers and siblings and CFers and moms and dads. And maybe God, if you don't mind, you could get them all together. So that we can all feel comfort during this game plan.
They all need this peace that you've given me and Mikey, K?

Hospice nurse said you are coming soon so I'm going to go get ready now. I hope I am in the room when you get there. I told Mikey I would put his hand in yours because he will be sleeping. It's all part of the plan God, Right?

We patiently await your arrival. Thank you God, I have peace. My heart is so full.

Dear God

It's me again

Thank you Father because I still have peace.

I hope you don't mind that I'm using social media to talk to you. You must not mind because you created it. It's just that I have all these sisters and brothers in Christ praying over me right now and when they know what's on my heart they pray it with me. That makes it nice and loud so I know that you will hear me.

Job used to pray for his sons and daughters in case they were naughty, remember that? He did that before you took all of his sons and daughters to heaven in one day. So I'm going to do that too. I know that Mikey sinned God, I know he did. I wasn't always the greatest example. Please forgive us.

Mikey is still here God and he's fighting really hard. Thank you Father for giving me this awesome son. I love him. I tried really hard to do a good job. I know I messed up sometimes but I know you knew I couldn't be perfect. You blessed me far beyond anything I deserve. That is so cool about your Grace and forgiveness God. Only you could come up with something as cool as Grace.

I'm just kinda wondering God, if my son's work down here is going to be done pretty soon. I'm not complaining God you see my heart. It's just that he's getting pretty tired now. And I'm getting ready to let him go. I'm OK that it is your turn when you are ready. You are such a good Father. I know you are the only one who loves Mikey more than me.

CFers are gonna fight God. Remember when we taught Mikey how to do that. You called it discipline. I used to tell him that if I didn't make him obey you then I would be sinning too. He was a pretty obedient boy and you forgave all the rest. He's been doing this fighting thing for 31 years now God and I think he doesn't know how not to fight.

We taught him all about you too God, remember that. Yep, his baptism, then the Holy Spirit took over and voila - faith growing like a mustard seed. He hasn't forgotten that either. That faith has stood firm - just like you promised. I don't think he doesn't know how not to have faith.

Just as sure as Mikey isn't going to lose his faith God, he isn't going to stop fighting. But I'm thinking it is time for him to stop fighting and I can't do this by myself. I've told him it's OK to go now. We made a plan. But I'm thinking that, seeing that you're his Father and all, that maybe if you tell him it's OK to go . . . well, then he could go grab that crown of glory you have waiting for him.

I'm not complaining God, really I'm not - you see my heart. It has been such an honor to take care of this boy you gave me. It truly has. I enjoyed this assignment you gave me of being Mikey's mom. But you tell us to take all our petitions to you and you hear them. So I just thought I would do that again here tonight God, because I know you're still up. It's getting pretty hard to watch him suffer. He's so tired but you know Mikey he wants to keep being obedient.

No, don't worry, he's not in despair. He called his cousin Gary in the middle of the night tonight to thank him for his service. You see he and Gary went to school together and Gary is a Ranger and Green Beret. He's done two tours over in Afghanistan and just got back from 6 months in South America. I know you know all about that because you must have been there too, keeping that son safe. Mike just wanted to be sure he got to tell Gary he loved him and appreciated his service. So I know Mike's heart is still good.

Like I said, Mikey and I have a plan but we know that your plan is always the best plan. Yes, you taught us that too. So we'll wait for your perfect timing, truly we will.

Thanks for listening God. I'll be waiting for your answer.....thy will be done.

P.S. God, thank you for giving me Mikey. Do you remember when I prayed and asked you for him? I couldn't have imagined how special this gift would be. Thanks for answering that prayer too. I know you always answer prayer truly I do. Love, love, love God - you taught us that too.