|This sign which sat at the intersection where M 55 meet US 23 at the bay is no longer in place. According to my aging aunt, someone didn't stop for the light and ended up in the bay.|
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. (Proverbs 18:10)
|Roland and Marian Buch|
Back in the 1950’s the world was a somewhat safer place to live. We walked to and from school every day. We lived close enough that we were able to walk home for lunch and then return to school for our afternoon classes.
On hot summer days my sister and I walked to the beach to swim. Many a summer afternoon were spent enjoying the cool water and the sand. We had strict orders to swim on the side of the pier where there was a lifeguard to keep us safe, but most often without our parent’s knowledge, we swam on the other side where the beach was cleaner and less rocky. I admitted this to my mother in later years. She gave me a very stern look and then we laughed about it together.
In the winter we spent time as a family at Silver Valley, a nearby resort where there was a toboggan run, sledding and ice skating. We would spend the whole day there, warming up periodically in the club house, eating hot dogs and drinking hot cocoa. At home we made igloos from the huge snow banks which piled up beside our driveway.
|Easter Sunday - 1953|
Barbara and Christine
Christmas was an exciting time, as it is for all children. Each year there was an air of anticipation as we prepared for the children’s Christmas Eve program, followed by the opening of gifts at home; then off to Grandma and Grandpa’s to celebrate with our aunts, uncles, and cousins.
But in October of 1958 without any hint or foreknowledge, our life of happiness and contentment was about to change.
There was excitement in the air. It was Grandpa’s birthday and we were having a party for him. Later in the evening we children were sent home (next door) to prepare for bed. Our father came home to check on us about 8:30 and tell us goodnight. I have treasured the memory of those few minutes with him over the years. They were our last.
|Our last Christmas with him|
The lives of my mother, myself (age 8), my sister (age 11) and our little brother (age 3) changed in a heartbeat from that of happiness and contentment, to sorrow, loneliness and pain. How could we ever be happy again? How could we grow up without a father? Would our little brother even remember him? It was a comfort to know that daddy was in heaven, but what were we going to do without him?
|Our first Christmas without him|
The death of a parent is a very traumatic thing for young children. My sister and I both suffered from nightmares after his death. I am so thankful that I was brought to baptism as a baby and taught to love God and to know Jesus as my Savior from sin. Even at the young age of 8 my faith sustained me. I was able to turn to Jesus for help and comfort. I knew that He loved me, that He knew what was best for me and that He was in control of all things. I was not alone. He knew what was in my heart and understood the loneliness I was feeling.
|Winter - 1946|
As I look back on my childhood years I can see how God has blessed me through the death of my father. His death taught me that life is a precious gift that can be taken away in a moment. It taught me to be strong and trust in the Lord. I learned to value each day that God gives to me and to thank him each morning and evening for the gift of another day. I learned that material possessions mean absolutely nothing. They aren’t what make people happy. I am more compassionate and understanding toward others who are facing losses and hardships. Most importantly, it has taught me to turn to God for strength during trial. God tells us, the name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. When you find yourself struggling with hardship or losses, call on the Lord. He will wrap His loving arms around you to protect you and comfort you. You are not alone. You are loved!
My husband and I visit my little home town fairly often. We have even considered the possibility of moving back there for our retirement. But for now we are happy to be close to our children and grandchildren. Maybe someday…
By Kristeen – To God be the Glory!