The Rest of the Story 02/11/2010

Thank you so much for the outpouring of concern, emails, prayers, and beautiful comments that came following yesterday’s post, “24 Hours”.  Since writing that story, I have spoken with several island residents and with Don.  He is with family down state in Michigan.  A joint memorial service for Karen and Edye will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, February 13, at the First United Methodist Church in South Lyon, Michigan.  I know Don and his family would appreciate your continued prayers.

It’s been a really strange day.  In her blog this morning, Liz said she felt disconnected and disoriented.  I have felt the same way.  I just still couldn’t seem to get my head wrapped around what happened.  Then I remembered a poem a dear friend gave me when my daddy passed away.  It is by Henry Van Dyke, and I’d like to share it with you. 

I am standing  by the seashore.
A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze
and starts for the blue ocean.
She is an object of beauty and strength,
and I stand and watch
until at last she hangs like a speck of white cloud
just where the sun and sky come down to mingle with each other.

Then someone at my side says, ‘There she goes!
Gone where? Gone from my sight – that is all.

She is just as large in mast and hull and spar
as she was when she left my side
and just as able to bear her load of living freight
to the places of destination.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

And just at the moment when someone at my side says,
‘There, she’s gone! ‘ ,
there are other eyes on another shore watching her coming,
and other voices ready to take up the glad shout :
‘Here she comes!’

I’ll return to the weekly updates to this blog on Monday, February 15, and I promise to tell the rest of our Winter Festival story, catch you up on Tim Leeper, and share lots of other information that will make all of you feel connected to our favorite island.  In the meantime, please visit Mike Forrester’s blog for pictures and videos of our trip.  Mike is becoming an excellent historian of the island, and if you are not already following his blog, one visit will make you an instant fan.  Liz also wrote a wonderful tribute to Karen and Edye at

You will never know how much your heartfelt words meant today.  Hugs to you all, and thank you, my friends – for caring.  On Monday, we will speak of happier times.  God bless.


10 thoughts on “The Rest of the Story 02/11/2010

  1. What a beautiful poem Brenda. You know that they were standing on that shore with arms wide open to welcome and embrace Karen and Edye to their amazing forever home.

  2. A writer has a story to share.

    Sometimes the story isn’t pretty or easy to tell.

    Sometimes the story doesn’t have a happy ending.

    A GIFTED writer is brave enough to find the words even when her heart is heavy–to comfort even in the face of extraordinary sorrow.

    Thank you for sharing your gift.

  3. Robin, you couldn’t have said it any better.
    Brenda has a way of putting into words what
    we are all feeling…deep from the heart.

  4. That was an awesome poem..and one that is so comforting during times of pain and mourning. When one of my grandparents died I came across a poem. I haven’t been able to find the exact one, but this one is somewhat similar.

    Near a shady wall a rose once grew,
    budded and blossomed in God’s free light.
    Watered and fed by morning dew,
    Shedding its sweetness day and night.

    As it grew and blossomed fair and tall,
    Slowly rising to loftier height
    It came to a crevice in the wall
    Through which there shone a beam of light.

    Onward it crept with added strength,
    With never a thought of fear or pride
    It followed the light
    Through the crevice-length,
    And unfolded itself on the other side.

    The light, the dew, the broadening view,
    Were found the same
    As they were before,
    And it lost itself in beauties new,
    Breathing it’s fragrance more and more.

    Shall claim of death
    Cause us to grieve,
    And make our courage faint or fall?
    Nay let us faith and hope receive –
    The rose still grows beyond the wall…..

    Scattering fragrance far and wide,
    Just as it did in days of yore,
    Just as it did on the other side,
    Just as it will for ever more.

    This poem is much more common than I believed when I was originally introduced to it, yet it still is comforting to me at least.

    Again, thank you for sharing with us and you all will be in our prayers here in Kansas city (we actually talked about this in our bible study last night).

  5. Brenda – Your words brought tears to are such a sweet and kind person and I am sure Karen is happy in heaven with her sister, especially after having a wonderful weekend on Mackinac, her favorite place.

  6. Blessings, Brenda. We had heard about the women on the news here in the western Upper Peninsula and I had been wondering if you might have know them. Thank you for telling the story of what happened…they sound like they were two very precious women. Your blog posting is a wonderful eulogy for them.

  7. thank you brenda for sharing with us, but not even with your insightful words can i make it be real. my heart goes out to you all.
    my florida friends want the family to know they are also “holding you up in there prayers”.
    thank you for the wonderful poem, i will hold it to my heart and i will share it with my family
    don and i will continue to pray for the families and there friends. again, our hearts go out to you all

  8. What a beautiful poem. Thanks for keeping us updated and I will contine praying for the family. You are an amazing writer Bree.

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