Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Cheryl Poem by Bev Pomering

The following is a poem that Bev Pomering wrote and framed honoring Cheryl.


A portrayal of God’s daughter.

Courageous only begins to describe the strength shown throughout her life journey.

A Hero not only to her children but to friends, family
and those she’s never met.

Cheryl could
send an Encouraging word by just speaking from her heart. These words, given to her by God to share with
those in need of hearing them.

To live a Righteous life for Christ was her goal. An
illustration of how following the path that God sets
before you is blessed beyond our own understanding.

She Yearned to bring glory to God
from her time here on earth by following that righteous
path sharing her faith and preserving through trials.
That just leaves one last adjective to describe
this Sister in Christ,

“And the greatest of these is LOVE.”

Written on the back of the frame.

To the Cummins Family,

My deepest sympathies to all of you. Cheryl touched my life deeply. Her strength was an inspiration! And still is. God blessed many lives through her.

I wanted you to know that her legacy lives on beyond your family tree. Her branches reached to the sky! I pray God continues to bless you all.

Thank you for allowing us to be blessed by you. I am humbled at your example of living by Faith.

Your Sister in Christ

Bev Pomering

Friday, July 27, 2007

Cheryl's impact


On July 25th, my son Sam (age 7) accepted Jesus as his Savior!

Sarah was riding the van with the kids and taking them to VBS. She saw that Sam looked troubled and she asked him what was going on. He started to cry and said he was worried that he would not go to heaven. We had some discussions prior/post Cheryl's funeral and I had told the kids that Cheryl is in heaven with Jesus.

So Sarah walked him through it and he accepted Jesus.

I just wanted to let you know that Cheryl is still impacting lives.

In Christ, Dean

Friday, July 20, 2007

Memories and Sentiments

This post is an assortment of the Memories and Sentiments shared by people whose lives Cheryl touched. These were written on cards sent to the family and on 'Memory Cards' provided at Cheryls funneral.

I encourage anyone who knew Cheryl to please share a special memory of her that they may have. You can do that by clicking on the "Comments" link at the bottom of this post. We would all love to hear how she touched your life. The more we hear, the more we know that she is not gone. She lives on in so many people.

So, please do us the favor of sharing. Even if you never met Cheryl, let us know what her story has meant to you.

Dear Gene, Emily, and Michael,
As you know, my ministry to your mother and wife was one of writing to her and sharing some of my life experiences with her. Jean and I also prayed for her multiple times daily. Old habits are hard to break and we have now shifted the focus of our prayers to you and the tremendous loss you must now feel as you begin to realize all the things a mom does that pass unnoticed until suddenly, she's no longer there to do all those things. We can't begin to imagine the adjustments required of you and are praying that you will be able to make the transition, pick up the pieces, and press on with the lives Cheryl would have wanted you to have.
Her conduct throughout this experience was exemplary in every way. And, as you might expect, she touched many lives in a very positive manner. The many posts to this web site are but a small fraction of the larger picture.
I have one last bit of irony to add to this picture. On Father's Day, our daughter, Sharon, blessed me with the gift of a book titled, "90 Minutes in Heaven." It was written by a Pastor named Don Piper who actually went through the experiences portrayed in the book. As I read this fascinating and amazing book, I began highlighting passages that I felt would have meaning for Cheryl. The next Sunday after I finished the book, I explained to Jean, my wife, that I was going to take the book to church and give it to Cheryl. Jean expressed reservations that this might not be the sort of book one would give to a person who might be in the process of dying. But, knowing how strong Cheryl was, we decided to give her the book.
As we were walking through the parking lot into the church, we came upon our daughter Sharon, the one who had given me the book. She asked why I was bringing the book to church. I replied that I had marked several passages I felt would have special meaning for Cheryl and was going to give her this copy. Sharon's response was, "Dad, it was Cheryl's idea for me to give you the book for Father's Day!"
We miss Cheryl so much but take comfort in knowing that she is basking in the presence of our Lord and Savior and will suffer no more. And, how many people do you know who have their very own "Guardian Angel" with such a vested interest in your family?
Love in Christ, Don and Jean Christman

Dear Emily, Michael & Gene,
Your mom (wife) is a wonderful individual and I enjoyed the time I spent working with her on Kodiak Flapjack. I truly loved your mom's (wife's) dedication, honesty, helpfulness, straight forwardness and sense of humor. Being separated from her will be very difficult as I have learned from losing Andy.* Something that has helped me is a statement our pastor said one morning that I ended up writing in my Bible.
    "God is really more interested in helping us to trust Him than to work according to our own timetable. If you fill your mind with the truth of God, He fills your sorrow."

Psalm 50:14-15 also helps. ...Praying for you as God brings you to my heart.

Mrs. Englert

*Andy Patton - Marine - Killed in Action 12/01/05 - He was my oldest son's best friend & my unofficial son whom I miss daily.

Dear Gene, Michael, & Emily,
Thank you for sharing your experience as a family with us these past two years. Although we were not able to meet Cheryl, the emails & calls detailing her love of Christ through all circumstances, her devotion to her family, & her devotion to God's will, have been a catalyst in stregthening our faith and desire to serve God.
There are numerous Biblical verses that would be familiar to you; this one stood out to us as we celebrated Cheryl's earthly and eternal life:
    "And He said to them, "Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the Kingdom of God, who will not receive many times as much at this time and at the age to come, eternal life."
    Luke 18:29-30

Love in Christ,
Herman, June, Simon & Jude Restrepo

I have many fond memories of Cheryl and I working in the costume shop and back stage. I will always remember Cheryl for her strength and determination and for her wit. She kept me smiling.

Julie Siger

Dear Gene, Emily, & Michael,
We are so very sorry about Cheryl's death. When we grieve, our grief is not one of despair but of hope; because we know Cheryl is praising and worshiping God.
We were especially touched by the card Cheryl sent us after the death of our daughter Emily last July. We were touched because while she was going through her battle with cancer she took the time to offer us comfort and support after our loss.
Her witness and demonstration of her faithfulness have impacted us as they have for so many people. When we think of the Lord saying to us when we meet Him face to face "Well done good and faithful servant" there's no doubt in our minds the Lord when he greeted Cheryl told her "Well done good and faithful servant."
We continue to keep you in our prayers. We pray for comfort, strength, and peace that only God can give.

Love in Christ,
Lowell and Kim Ingram

When God sends forth a tiny soul
To learn the way of Earth
There waits for her a Mother's love,
We call this wonder - Birth.

When God calls home a tired soul,
and stills a quavering breath
A Father's love is waiting there,
this too is Birth, not death

We will miss Cheryl greatly but the things she taught us through her strength courage and committment will always influence the way we remember her!
We will continue to pray as you walk this new path - God will NEVER leave you just as he He promised!

Caitlyn & Steve Scherrer

I came to know Cheryl through my granddaughter. Oh how she loves Cheryl. I love that they emailed one another & had family play days. I told Cheryl in one of our last conversations how proud of her I am. Her faith & courage never waivered. Her love for family & others was so evident. I was a prayer warrior for her & you all. Paying for total healing & now she is. How fitting is it that her home going was during our bible school she loved so much surrounded by western theme. I love her & will see her one day. For I will miss & remember her. God bless all of you.

Darene Burress

We have lost a dear friend of the Ambassadors. We had such high hopes this cancer could be stopped.

Cheryl’s commitment was so appreciated for our group and the childrens ministry. It will take many to fill her shoes. May God give you the comfort I know she wants for you. I am so glad she was able to come over to my garden & see where Michael was helping me out.

Lynn Eichman

Those lovely warm banana nut muffins & coming to work and tasting those just made my day so happy.

Thank you Cheryl.
Shena Baker

One of my favorite memories of Cheryl is seeing her welcome my daughter Abby to Sunday School. It was as if Abby were the only child arriving. She gave her a hug and her full attention. She always made Abby feel so very special.

Angie Irving

Mrs. Cummins had us do a play from the bible and I got to be a bride. I wore a white robe and a veil. She loved it and so did I.

Abby Irving

The first time I met the Cummins was about 6-7 years ago when I took their family photo for the church directory. Last year I was asked and considered it a privilege to once again take their family photo, but under very different circumstances.

Cheryl fought courageously, but when our Father calls us home, we dare not tarry. For we are truly at home with Him in Heaven.

Susan Woodman

We will always remember the kindness Cheryl showed making all the bread for our unit, especially. You (Gene) and Cheryl were a special couple.

Sgt. Maj. Sheilds (& Ellen)
** When Gene’s Guard unit was deployed to Iraq, Cheryl baked 90 loaves of banana nut bread for the unit.

Cheryl was such a fantastic woman, wife & mother. Her strong faith was a sight to behold – She will be missed.

Love in Christ,
Ellen Johansen

Often times we shared a table at Hallstrom and laughed and chatted away while our kids were in class. She was always busy sewing something or another for a production – I marveled at her busy schedule and all the driving she did to support her kids’ interests. I regret not keeping in touch with her after Hallstrom. Cheryl was such fun.

Betsy Lieske

I think about her life and what it represents to me on this Thursday, July 19, 2007. A few weeks ago there was a congregational business meeting. I walk through the doors of the Church and here comes Cheryl making a bee line for me to thank me for something I had done for her. I was thinking to myself that I should be the one thanking her and giving her a hug for how she has influenced my life. She has taught me that even through the darkest moments we live her on earth, to never take our focus off the one who has given us life.

I feel privileged to have been a small part in her life.

I will greatly miss the times when she would come in to the Church to make her Sunday School copies and watching her each week complete this task with a smile on her face.

I will miss her laugh as well. She had a contagious one!

In His Glorious name,
Kari Bartlett

I couldn’t help but think of chocolate as Pastor Bob remembered Cheryl & her sister’s love for pizza AND chocolate!!!

For Cheryl’s first time in the hospital Kari & I sent her a box full of chocolates from the He Brews CafĂ©! We had so much fun picking out each piece & piling it on knowing she would love such a package.

She exhibited such joy in the little things and continues to encourage us as we remember her strength in our LORD!!

What a blessing –

I’ll always remember the years Cheryl was our stage manager for RDC. She was strict and even scared a few of us but I guarantee our shows have never been as good as when she’s been in charge. And I’ll always remember the cookies. Every holiday and sometimes for no reason the most delicious cookies would be brought over. And I’ll always remember how caring she always was towards everyone and everything.

Brianna Wellen

I remember working backstage at “Kodiak Flapjack” with Cheryl, watching & laughing at our “kids” Emily & Samantha. I remember teaching Michael “Handsom American History” and what a fine job he always did in my class at Hallstrom!

I admire Cheryl in her steadfastness in her battle. I know she did it for her family!

Ann Humphreys

I remember when a girl put her hairnet on the wrong way at RDC. She said, “Your hair is wrong.” The girl said, “Mom did it.” and she said, “Well, your Mom did it wrong.”

Emma Porter

Gene, Emily and Michael,

Though I didn’t have the good fortune of meeting Cheryl more than a few times, I thought of her often throughout my Kerry, as she had a way of brightening the day and having such a profound and positive effect on me through her delicious cooking and the stories of her through you, Gene. I always thought she was Super-mom and a Wonder Woman as she seemed to manage what was only possible by an army of 10 women. I know she is deeply missed, but may her light shine through all of the many lives she’s touched.

I want you all to know that she’s had a profound impact on my faith through her email updates the last several months. I do not know many women of Cheryl’s caliber. She was thoughtful, caring, kind and gracious. As I mentioned earlier, she made so many people feel special with her gifts of cooking. She crafted her emails with a touch of the Heavenly Father himself, it seemed.

You are all in my prayers at this time of mourning. May you feel the Lord’s comfort and healing presence to help you through these times.

Love in Christ,
My deepest sympathy,

I think of all the neat times our families had together growing up—coming to Rocky Ford & playing in the leaves, singing & dancing at our home in Springview, seeing you in Kansas City & taking Emily with us going to Gene’s Graduation from UNL, our neat 2-day in Dillon, CO, & the many visits to Grandma Gene’s & Uncle Jim! Gene, thanks for being such a good & “iron sharpens iron” friend to Sol! I will always treasure Cheri as a friend. I know she cared about me as a friend & will be forever grateful! You are special!

Lavon Adams

I remember all of Cheryl’s wonderful cooking banana chocolate pops in the summer and delicious platter of Christmas cookies in the winter. Going to White Pines state park for a day and camping in the backyard. Tye-dying t-shirts and doing facials at Emily’s birthday party. She always had a smile on her face, a joyful sprit & a servant’s heart.

Rebecca Meyer

I will never forget how Cheryl fell in love with our girls and treated them as if they were hers - food allergies and all! They had so much fun playing at her house -Lainy always left exhausted and Abby loved her special one-on-one time with Cheryl. She was an incredible woman who will be missed by many

Melissa Curtis

Now it's your turn. Please take the time to post a memory that you may of Cheryl. Or if you never had the oportunity to meet Cheryl, but she has in some way had an impact on your life, please tell us about that.
Click on the "comments" link below and send us your story.
Our thanks to all who have been so kind as to share what Cheryl has meant to them.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Memorial Fund

A Memorial Fund has been established in Cheryl's name to benefit The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Donations to Cheryl's Memorial Fund can be sent to:
McCorkle Funeral Home
767 N. Blackhawk Blvd
Rockton, IL 61072

Saturday, July 14, 2007

14 July 2007

To All,

Cheryl June Cummins passed away at 03:00 today, 14 July, 2007. Thanks to God for answering all of you who were praying, she has now been healed with a heavenly body and will no longer suffer pain or sorrow.

Please rejoice with me and my children, remembering Cheryl and all that she represented while she lived on earth. She was a wonderful teacher, mother, wife and my best friend.

I will send out one last e-mail as soon as I have made the funeral arrangements. Please keep me and my family in prayer that we will bring glory and honor to God in remembering Cheryl and continue on strong in our faith.

Thank you again for praying and supporting us these past two years.

Love in Christ

Gene, Michael & Emily

Sunday, July 8, 2007

8 July 2007

Hello to All,

First I hope you are all managing to stay relatively cool in this summer heat. However, more to the point. This is Gene and I wanted to update you on how Cheryl is doing. Many of you have been calling and / or asking me or our mutual friends. I am sorry that I haven't gotten an update sent out sooner.

I left you all with the possibility that I would be able to bring her home on Tuesday and with God's intervention and your prayers, I did!!!

Prior to the hospital releasing Cheryl, they gave her transfusions of two units of whole blood, and one unit of platelets. Based on discussions with the doctors and Hospice, this will be the last transfusions she will ever get.

We got back to South Beloit at about 7:30 pm, just in time to pick her sister Sandy, the one from Colorado, a.k.a. "The Donor", who flew in from Denver to be with Cheryl, at the bus station and headed home.

When we got home, Sandy went to another room and Cheryl and I sat down with Emily and Michael and told them the news. I can tell you we were glad to have two full boxes of tissues around. We spent the rest of the night talking through issues and answering any of the kids questions, with lots of hugs slipped in to ward off the sorrow.

On Wednesday morning, the Fourth of July, our official Hospice nurse came over and did a thorough exam on Cheryl and looked over our house, giving me pointers on how better to care for Cheryl. When she finished for the day we had a new wheel chair for Cheryl to use when she needs to, which out side of the house is often.

Wednesday evening, Cheryl's father and mother arrived from Wyoming, Cheryl's life long friend from Nebraska, as well as her cousin and husband from New Mexico (they drove 1,400 miles non-stop to get here). On Thursday her sister and nephew arrived from Kansas. Needless to say, we had a full house. Cheryl was very happy to see everyone, what joy it brought to her heart.

Wednesday night, we went to our secret place to watch fire works, it is in doors with air conditioning, so it wasn't to hard on Cheryl. We had a great time.

Thursday morning was just for Emily and Michael. Cheryl and the kids went into the family room and closed the door to spend some quality time. Cheryl gave something to both the kids to remember her, something special to Cheryl and then the kids had a chance to ask for something that was special to them. Thursday afternoon, Cheryl and I went and picked out cemetery plots and she picked out her own casket, it is very beautiful.

Enough of the day by day details, suffice it to say that there has been a great deal of reminiscing.

I should tell you that the doctors sent Cheryl home with two medicines that should buy her a little more time. The first is a pill that helps her body hold onto the platelets a little longer and the second is a medicine that will help hold back her cancer cell growth for a short time. While Cheryl was on the study, they couldn't give these medications to her. As I said, the medicine should give us a bit more time. How much time, that is a question that only God can answer.

I won't get into the details, but her body is getting weaker and she is starting to get a great deal of petici, or where her blood is so thin it is leaking out of her smaller blood vessels in her skin. She is getting physically weaker every day. We have her on constant pain medications to mediate her pain and keep it as close to zero as possible, yet maintaining her ability to carry on good conversations and move about as she is able.

Today, Sunday, 8 July, she went to church so that the elders of the church could anoint her with oil and pray over her. We are now down to just her mother and father and her sister Sandy. Sandy will be leaving on Tuesday and her parents will be leaving on Wednesday.

We have been over whelmed by everyone from my work to church and how they have flooded us with calls, cards and brought food over. The love from our community has just been awesome. Thank you all.

We ask that you continue to pray and give praise for:
  • Divine healing giving Cheryl complete remission and a renewed physical body here on earth.
  • Praise for all of you who have called, emailed, visited and / or provided our family with meals or just a place for the kids to go and relax.
  • Praise for all the prayer we have had to date.
  • Pray that if Cheryl is not to be healed on this earth that her last days will be filled with joy, sharing with her children.
  • Praise for the fact that she is getting to spend them at home!!!!!

If you want to see her, please call me on my cell phone to see if she is up for a visit. Again, my cell phone number is (608) ###-####.

I don't know how many days she has left, but I will tell you she is not sitting around crying all day, she is rejoicing in the love of her family and friends.

Thank you all.

Love in Christ

Gene, Cheryl and family

Monday, July 2, 2007

Update: Cheryl Cummins 02 July 2007

Hello To All,

This is Gene Cummins writing to you all right now, as Cheryl is much to tired and is resting.

Cheryl was admitted back into the UW Hospital in Madison on Monday. As you all know her cancer is back and the cancer cells have been growing. Well this morning when we got her to Madison she had a fever of 102.4, was in a great deal of pain and because her platelets were so low, she was bleeding in spots.

Her lab's showed that the cancer continued to increase in volume and percentage of total cell count. A week ago, her cancer cells, or "Blasts" as they call them, was in the mid 900's representing 25% of her white blood cell count. Last Thursday, her "Blast" count was approximately 8,600 or 64% of her white blood cell count. Today, her "Blast" count was approximately 38,000 or 95% of her white blood cell count, which accounts for the high fever and possibly the aches and pains she is experiencing. As a result, the doctors immediately put her in the hospital and had a frank discussion with both of us.

They said that modern medicine has done all that it can for her and that it is time for her to prepare to die and that I should start contacting her family members. They gave us three options to choose from:
  1. Stay here in the hospital where they would make her last days as comfortable as possible.
  2. Go to a Hospice facility where they would make her last days as comfortable as possible.
  3. Go home, with the assistance of Hospice to help her be as comfortable as possible.

Well, most of you know Cheryl well enough by now the choice was a simple one, she wants to go home and be surrounded by those she loves and who love her. Lord willing I will be able to bring her home on Tuesday.

Now that being said, please let me remind you that we both continue to believe in the power of prayer and in Gods ability to heal her through a miracle. As such, she hasn't thrown in the towel just yet. We both ask that you continue to pray for her when time allows.

Please note, that although our children, Emily and Michael, are fully aware of the cancers return and the fact that Cheryl is in the hospital right now, we haven't had the chance to tell them about this most recent chain of events (face to face). We will do this on Tuesday. So please don't let on about the grim nature of the news to our children, we will do this ourselves soon.

Cheryl also wants to remind all of you, that no matter the out come we need to give thanks and praise to God for the following:

  • Praise for the loving spirit and helping hands from our many friends and family members, both at our Church and My work and Guards.
  • Praise for the devoted attention to Cheryl's care while at the UW facilities. The nurses and doctors have been wonderful....almost like an extended family.
  • Praise for the two years (almost) of additional time she has had to spend with the children, sharing is special times.
  • Praise for the possibility of being made whole through the sacrifice of God's own son.
  • Praise that for those of you who believe, will see her again in Heaven.
  • Prayer for me, Michael and Emily as well as those of you who have followed her struggles that we will continue to stand firm in the belief of a sovern and loving God and stay the course.

We both want to thank all of you for supporting and loving us as long as you have. Your kind words of encouragement, cards, letters, visits and gifts have helped us more than you may ever know.

Remember that should Cheryl die, it isn't the end, but a new beginning for her where she will receive a new body with out pain and rejoice in being with our Lord.

If you want to come visit her when she is home, please call me first to arrange a time. We will work with as many of you as possible, but her focus will be spending her last days with our children.

Feel free to call me when ever you want. I would prefer on my cell phone, (608) ###-####.

Love in Christ