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3 weeks

Hello all,

It has been three weeks since Derek went to be with the Lord.  And it has been a mix of emotion.  Some days are easier than others. 


I want to say thank you to everyone who made Derek's funeral a memorable weekend.

I have to make a confession.  When Derek was first diagnosed with his brain cancer, we were told that children who had this type of cancer rarely survive longer than 24 months after the cancer is found.  I had the thought, who would be at his funeral?  Like a fool, I thought he did not have that much time to establish relationships with many people who knew him. I thought the funeral would be a small group of close friends and family. 

Well, I am not ashamed to admit that I was absolutely and totally wrong with all of my assumptions.  The number of people that came out to support Derek and my family was more than I could have ever imagined.  I was told that the funeral home ran out of chairs and it was standing room only. And that does not even take into consideration all the people who came to support Derek the day before the funeral at the visitation. The amount of support for Derek humbled me greatly.  I cannot thank everyone enough who supported Derek. 

There is no way getting around it, there are definitely sad days for me.  I mean one fourth (1/4) of my family is gone, but as the Lord has shown me throughout all of this, just trust Him.  He will provide. Although through my narrow human vision, I don't yet know what those provisions might be. But like the Bible says, the Lord will provide. And He has. Before Derek's cancer, I would have told you I knew what that meant. But I have lived it on a whole new level.  I have learned to just trust.  Derek has given me assurances that there is a powerful good.

Going forward will be a very different version of how I saw my family's future. All my planning was for four.  What parent would not assume that they would get to see all their children grow up?  I have been telling people that we never intended for Derek to be an only child. There was always a small chance that Derek could have been an only child but Angela and I always planned on having more than one child.  But never once did it ever occur to us that Kate would be an only child.  Kate is a wonderful person and we now have new challenges that we never saw coming.  But our new reality is set. Please keep us in your prayers.

That is all for now,

Zell

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Comments (16)

  • Kristi Neuenfeldt
    Kristi Neuenfeldt

    Your family runs through my mind daily, hourly even. I wish I had actually words of comfort, but there are none. Please just know that you have people who will gladly and without hesitation drop everything to be there if you need us, if there is any way we can be there for you.

    one year ago · Reply
  • Margaret Meier
    Margaret Meier

    It is a different world when someone so near and dear to us leaves this world and goes to heaven. But the Presence of Jesus never leaves us - and some day we shall join Derek and Norb again. May Jesus help us to keep our eyes on Him!

    one year ago · Reply
  • Alice Bird
    Alice Bird

    It is we who must thank you for your courage, for your strength, for your Faith, for your sharing so generously everything you went through. Derek's journey was a heart-rending one that all of you traveled together with unwavering Faith. Derek has made an unforgettable impact on our lives: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." -- Matthew 18:3 Derek and his family will continue to be remembered in our daily thoughts and in our daily prayers. God bless you as you begin your new reality, and as always, Peace be with you.

    one year ago · Reply
  • Hazel Mortenson
    Hazel Mortenson

    Our hearts cry for you and your family. No one knows except God what plans are made for you. You and Angela have a strong faith and are fighters. You will survive all this turmoil and come out of it stronger. Grandpa and I love all of you. You are in our prayers. God Bless.

    one year ago · Reply
  • judy haglund
    judy haglund

    We were blessed to get to know your family. We will continue to pray for your family with love, Judy and Lyle

    one year ago · Reply
  • KAREN
    KAREN

    Derek touched so many. Today getting my hair done my stylist asked about Derek. Her parents knew Derek. She was also moved by his strength and your families strength. Derek's reach is so much farther than you will ever know. He lives in so many hearts. As he does in yours. God's strength and love to you and that he blesses the different path you will now follow. My love to you, Angela and my sweet Kate. Mom

    one year ago · Reply
  • Sandy & Leroy Thurber
    Sandy & Leroy Thurber

    Never think that you will not continue to be in our thoughts, prayers, & heart!!! Yes, Derek's journey was short but taught us so much! About life, love & our LORD. So, he did what the great commission is all about. Teach the world about our Lord Jesus Christ our Lord & Savior. His life, His death & His resurrection giving us a home in Heaven where Derek is now. Love Always, Leroy & sandy

    one year ago · Reply
  • Mary Traeger
    Mary Traeger

    We too, hold your family in our hearts and prayers every day. You all have been an inspiration for how to handle life when it doesn't go the way we plan it and we know that God is the source of your strength and the comfort for your tears. He (and so many He has sent your way) will help you move forward in this new path. Love you, Ken and Mary

    one year ago · Reply
  • Jennifer Rogers Hocum
    Jennifer Rogers Hocum

    I too like so many feel incredibly blessed to know and have known each of your "1/4"s. I also want to thank you for so generously sharing this painful journey as you may never know how many lives you all have impacted. Keeping you all close in thought and prayer. Looking forward to seeing you soon.

    one year ago · Reply
  • Mary Magle
    Mary Magle

    Your whole family are in our thoughts & prayers. Derek will remain in our hearts forever. Keep taking one day at a time to spend together as your little family continues on your earthly journey. Knowing that when the earthly journey is over you will be joined with Derek in Heaven. God Bless & Keep Us All.

    one year ago · Reply
  • Judy Dinehart
    Judy Dinehart

    Thank you for sharing this very emotional journey of Derek's life with so many that love and care about your beautiful family. It took great courage and thought to show so much personal sensitivity and feelings. Your unwavering faith will continue to guide your future and show you how to get through with out your beautiful son physically with you any longer. His spirit and energy will always be here with us all. His life made a difference and we all learned from his very being. God bless you and keep you in his peace as you continue to grow. Hugs, Judy

    one year ago · Reply
  • Stacy M Sigsworth
    Stacy M Sigsworth

    Always thinking of you all, keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Please reach out if there is anything any of you need. ((HUGS))

    one year ago · Reply
  • Terri Nagle
    Terri Nagle

    My prayers continue for you all. May God comfort you in everything you do. I love you all!!Terri N

    one year ago · Reply
  • Kathleen  Haugen
    Kathleen Haugen

    I read through all of these comments and realize I can only mimic everything family and friends have already stated. So from my heart to yours keep the faith, stay forever Young strong! Love you guys, Kathy

    one year ago · Reply
  • Julie emanuel
    Julie emanuel

    Love and prayer sent to you all daily. Derek was and is an inspiration to all....Love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    one year ago · Reply
  • Nance Alexander
    Nance Alexander

    Your family will remain in the hearts of staff and volunteers at Hearts and Hands.

    one year ago · Reply

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