Ready for Dinner

Ready for Dinner

Tomorrow, Tuesday, December 15, is a pretty special day.  So special I am writing about it a day in advance.

First off, it’s Sherry’s birthday!  Happy birthday, Sherry!  You have been the greatest blessing, greatest gift God has ever given me.  I pray we will have many more birthdays together, and that this one will be a day full of wonder, joy and love!

Tomorrow night, Sherry will hold a dinner party, but not for her birthday.  She will be hosting a gathering at our home for a group of people who have been meeting with her every week for the last 11 weeks.

Sherry doesn’t hold just any job.  She doesn’t hold a job just anyone can do.  She has spent the last 19 years working for Wiederspahn Radomsky Chapel of the Chimes funeral home.  She works with people who have lost a loved one in their lives, helping them cope with the grief, sadness and, sometimes, utter devastation when that occurs.  She gets right in the trenches with the people she works with.  She is not a therapist, and she doesn’t work one-on-one. Rather, she holds support groups for people.  It’s a 12 week program, and the only charge incurred by the participants is a modest fee for a few books.  Wiederspahn’s has been underwriting these groups from day one, never charging anyone, and not limiting the groups to people who worked with them.  They deserve a great deal of credit.

The last week of the 12 she has her group come to our house for a pot luck dinner. They eat, have some conversation, and finish their formal sessions.  Most of the time, the group will continue to meet once or twice a month, sometimes for a year or more.  They have seen each other at their most vulnerable and in their most raw emotions.  Sherry guides them through this unbelievably difficult time, and she does it with grace and love, tempered with mercy.  Hers is truly a ministry and a vocation.

The people in her groups think she is a saint.  I would not disagree.  By the way, a week ago she had a dinner for people who have been in her groups in the past. Last Wednesday we had 22 people for dinner at our home.  Tomorrow there will  be nine.

Finally, December 15 is the 9th anniversary of the day I became a cancer survivor.  I wrote about this some time ago and find it interesting to go back and read it every once in a while.  If you have any interest in it, I would invite you to do the same.  But for this year, I just thank God for all he has given me, especially my health.  Without his intervention, I probably would  not be alive today.

Happy birthday, Sherry.  Know that my love for you is stronger today than it has ever been.  May God continue to bless you all the days of your life!

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