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.


Terry L. said...

Just below the email about the blog about Cheryl was an email from Day Spring with the following quote of Roy Lessin. I think it is very fitting of Cheryl.

The Impact of One Life

When a stone is dropped into a lake, it quickly disappears from sight- but its impact leaves behind a series of ripples that broaden and reach across the water.
In the same way, the impact of
one life lived for Christ
will leave behind an influence for good that will reach the lives of
many others.
-Roy Lessin

Gene, Emily and Michael...I pray that you will find peace in the precious memories you treasure of your Wife and Mom.
Terry Lane

Terry L. said...

After reading the email about the blog for Cheryl, there was an email from DaySpring with the following quote from Roy Lessin -

The Impact of One Life

When a stone is dropped into a lake,
it quickly disappears from sight-
but its impact leaves behind
a series of ripples that broaden
and reach across the water.
In the same way, the impact of
one life lived for Christ
will leave behind an influence for good
that will reach the lives of
many others.
-Roy Lessin

I thought it was so fitting of Cheryl. Gene, Emily & Michael, I will continue to pray for your family and peace as you treasure the memories of your wife and mother.
Love in Christ,
Terry Lane

Gretchen Franks said...

Dear Gene, Emily, and Michael,

Your family is a big memory of my college days. Cheryl often called to invite me t o church and lunch, to the zoo, or some other fun outing. After laughter and fun Cheryl would send me home with some baked goodies. Around finals time I would recieve a whole care package of incredible stuff from her. It was so fun to play with and watch Emily in return. your family was so great.

I will always remember those times. Cheryl always found the funnest things to do for super inexpensive or free. She was always reaching out to neighbors, serving at church church, and talking of friends. I learned so much practical living and serving from her. She always seemed to so enjoy every aspect of motherhood too - making the environment around her so inviting.

Now that I am a mother and wife, I have found myself pondering at various times things Cheryl had done. I have modeled a few things from her. Now after reading about her fight and her solid fear of God and desire to glorify Him, I am again finding myself praying that God would teach me these attributes that I have seen in her.

Thanks for sharing her story. Cheryl and your family has a fond place in my heart.

Gretchen Franks

Lisa said...

Cheryl was a friend growing up, we lived just houses away from each other and her sister, Sandy was/is one of my very best friends in the whole wide world. Typing this makes me sad, yet remembering things from our childhood makes me smile. We (a bunch of us neighborhood kids) used to camp out in the summers, taking turns at each others yards, treehouses, garages, and sometimes back ends of cars. We would walk around all night long, going to the grocery store to get munchies, playing all sorts of different games or barbies. (Things have changed a lot since those days, I wouldn't let my kids do that now!) Cheryl was ALWAYS a sweetheart, always had that beautiful smile, and her giggle was contagious. We always were together, playing barbies, school, you name it. My memories of Cheryl will always stay with me. I got to talk to Cheryl a few days before she went to her Heavenly home, we hadn't talked for YEARS. As odd as it was, I am very glad that I got to have a nice conversation with her again. It made me remember her voice, her giggle, her personality and I will always cherish that. To Gene, Emily and Michael...and Sandy, Selma and Carl, and the rest of the family, my heart breaks with you and for you. Please know that you all continue to be in my prayers. God's blessings to each of you. Lisa (Engstrom)