Happy 45th Anniversary!

David and Linda, December 31, 1975. They married under the “tent” with Christ is the Answer Ministry.

What a glorious anniversary it is! I just have to shout out to our Lord and Savior for this wonderful couple, Bill’s brother, David, and his lovely wife, Linda. Linda is actually more than a sister-in-law to me. I need a blog post just on what a positive influence she’s had on my walk with the Lord. But for today, I need to share how much their marriage has helped us and SO MANY others!

I’ve talked about them several times in past blog posts. Particularly when Bill was facing heart disease as written about here. Click to read the whole blog, or at least, read this paragraph:

Thankfully, Bill’s brother and his wife are both in the health care field and are very experienced with this issue. They knew about the test, so they wanted the results. They live states away, but thankfully, only a phone call away. They began to mentor us. First, they are strong Christians and helped us in our divorce and remarriage by their prayers and counsel. So everything was bathed in prayer. They gave us some great tips and suggestions while Bill had to make a decision.” AND as in every bit of advice they have given us over these 45 years, it was rock solid. Bill today is enjoying excellent health! We also married 45 years ago, so they have been in my life for 45 years from today forward.

Or when we spent one of the most meaningful Memorial Day weekends with them, written about here. Best part of that blog post, which I would HIGHLY recommend reading, is their picture at the event:

David and Linda, Memorial Day 2015

They not only probably helped saved Bill’s life – or at least helped him enjoy a longer and healthier life – they helped restore our marriage. You can read about it here or read the most important except below. Had it not been for Linda’s fervent prayers, I’m pretty sure I would not be writing this post about my dear brother-in-law and his wife! Our lives would have been a mess and no telling where we’d be spiritually. This paragraph was after we were well into the divorce process:

I dove into God’s Word and also into a book recommended by my sister-in-lawLove Life for EVERY Married Couple: How to fall in love, stay in love, rekindle your love by Ed Wheat, MD and Gloria Perkins.  (This is the Biblical marriage manual and is the BEST book ever written for marriages, taken straight from the Bible!  In my next post, I will share the five types of love needed in every marriage!)  Linda pleaded with us to read it before our divorce was final.  Bill did and he tried to get me to read it.  But I was not ready, until we finally lived apart.”

But today, I just want to share a little about them and their marriage. Or maybe you are getting the “picture” of this happily ever after couple! I am imagining Linda cringe as she would read this. She would say, “but OH WE HAD TOUGH TIMES!” Yes, they did and they are open to share – how they got through them by God’s Grace! And how they made their marriage better and better and better! But of course, there was pain in suffering along the way. In fact, what marriage hasn’t had tough times? The secret is what do you do to get through the tough times? Not only is their pathway to the Lord but that became our pathway after we remarried!

David and Linda have been dedicated Christians, parents and health care professionals. They have enjoyed many great hobbies, have traveled to many wonderful places and have now entered into their “golden” years as retirees.

There is only one little twist to this ideal couple. And I am sharing this for you to join us in prayer! On June 2, 2020, just two months shy of their official retirement, a CT scan revealed David had stage 4, Peritoneal Carcinomatosis (PC) which originated in the appendix. This is an extremely rare form of cancer. (Actually the scan showed the doctor more testing was needed.)

PC is a late stage manifestation of several gastrointestinal malignancies including appendiceal, colorectal, and gastric cancer. In PC, tumors metastasize to and deposit on the peritoneal surface and often leave patients with only palliative treatment options.

by JRW McMullen Mar 22, 2017

David was in essence told to get his affairs in order, he only had a few months to live. WE ALL WERE DEVASTATED!!! But as people of faith, we all bowed to the Lord and prayed for His divine intervention. And to make a long story short, HE HAS DELIVERED!!! It was a miraculous surgical option and he is thriving. It had been our prayer he would live until we could see him again. It was VERY hard to travel to see them, with all the concerns over COVID and the fact we had our two grandsons living with us, to make the trip to Missouri to be with them. But here we are on Christmas Day, 2020!

Christmas Day 2020. David and Linda Lees with us.

Just a few more pictures to commemorate their 45 years together, including all their children and grandchildren! They have enjoyed a rich life and we all pray they have many more years to continue to serve our Lord and Savior. Amongst their hobbies, his are hunting, fishing and anything outdoors with family while hers are rug hooking, painting, crafts, daily Bible study and anything outdoors with family. Together they love to hike, camp, bike ride, be with their children and grandchildren and anything outdoors! Click for a slideshow:

Let me close with my favorite memory of their marriage. Just know that Linda and I are very close so we have no secrets. We know the good, the bad and the ugly! A few years ago, she shared how they had a couple over for dinner. They ministered and mentored SO MANY couples and individuals over their 45 years, they can’t be counted. Anyway, there was a couple who knew them well and saw them in both good and bad times. The wife confessed how she wished she had a marriage like theirs! She never saw them fight or be disrespectful to each other. We know they’ve had tough times behind closed doors, but no one saw them. Well, except maybe their children-and even then, I doubt they could recall any “fighting.”

They have been GREAT examples to their three adult children. All of them became Christians and serve the Lord in some way. They are proud grandparents of seven. But it’s not been all joy and happiness as there has been serious pain along the way. But they can honestly say, they will continue to Praise and Worship our Lord and Savior all the days of their lives!

From YouVersion Bible App

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV

(For more information on what this verse means, here is one resource. David and Linda don’t want to waste their pain, the are praying the Lord will use his illness and their suffering for HIS Glory!)

The Wilderness

The Wilderness

I’ve missed blogging, both on this blog and on our Travel Adventure site. I usually say these posts are more for me – as a diary of where my life was going, where it went and where it needs to be (this site is more for where it needs to be). As I am aging, I see more and more the need to have these events documented somehow. I am so sad I never blogged about all of our motorcycle adventures (many were pre-blog days) nor do I have a good journal of our early years in Florida (2004-2011). I started a few journal entries to keep our daughter informed of those times – but until I actually began blogging, those memories are now about lost except on some digital and paper photos “somewhere.”  Continue reading

A  Tribute to My Mother-in-Law

A Tribute to My Mother-in-Law

Ruth Brunner Lees

Obituary for Ruth A. Brunner Lees

Ruth A. (Brunner) Lees, 98, formerly of North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania died Thursday, June 20, 2019, in Mount Vernon, IL. She was born March 17, 1921 in West Newton, a daughter of the late Walter and Minnie Louise (Huber) Brunner and was also preceded in death by her husband Earl Lees, and siblings Rosella “Posey” Fulmer and Warren H. Brunner. Ruth graduated from Westmoreland Hospital School of Nursing in 1943 and served in the Army Nursing Corps during WWII serving as a Lieutenant. She worked as a private duty nurse after the war. She was active with her late husband in the 9th Infantry Division Reunion Group and was a Red Cross volunteer for over 45 years. Ruth was a professing Christian and humble follower of Jesus Christ. She demonstrated her faith in daily practical help to those around her. She was a member of a local church wherever she lived. She will be best remembered for her selfless service to others. She is survived by her sons David E. Lees and his wife Linda and William D. Lees and his wife Debra; her grandchildren Rebecca (Byron) Jones, Matthew (Lindsay) Lees, Rachel (Fernando) Navarro, and Jessica (Shane) Cox; nine great grandchildren; also nieces and nephews. Friends will be received from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Wednesday at the William Snyder Funeral Home, 521 Main Street, Irwin, 724-863-1200, where a funeral service will follow at 11 a.m. with Rev. Terry Schmelvenbach officiating. Interment will follow in Union Cemetery, North Huntingdon. For online condolences please visit www.snyderfuneralservices.com.

My husband and I are grateful we both had such wonderful parents who then became wonderful in-laws! Both Ruth and Earl Lees were two very special people with timeless and interesting backgrounds. So while I am highlighting Ruth, much of this is about Earl as well. Her two siblings were also remarkable. We are talking about the Greatest Generation! Continue reading