Category Archives: Family

Our Prince of Peace Family


I miss our Prince of Peace family.

Barb Perri religiously brings us Communion every week which is really nice but I miss going to mass. The Lambert and the Beckman families have been members of that parish from the very beginning, forty years or so, and it’s where all of our kids were baptized, received their First Holy Communion, Reconciliation and were confirmed. Kelly and Chris were married in that church and Harrison was baptized there. Our friends from the church helped us plan beautiful funeral celebrations for my parents, my brother, my sister, my aunts and a close friend. And now they are helping me plan mine.

What I miss the most about not going to church is seeing and talking to people. I miss catching up with friends after mass at coffee and donuts. We’ve formed some pretty strong bonds over the years because our families grew up together. Our Prince of Peace family has helped us with so many things, but the most significant was helping us plan and execute a very successful benefit dinner for my sister Jean who had leukemia. We gained a lot of new friends during that time and we are very grateful. Even if we don’t know your name we love all of our friends at Prince of Peace and we will never forget you.

May God continue to bless us all.

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Doddie’s 75th Birthday


In October of 2002 Mark’s mom Doddie turned seventy-five years old so Mark’s siblings decided to all meet in Florida where his parents lived to surprise her. Debbie, Wes, Mark and I flew in on the day of the party where we met up with Vicki, Bruce, Patti and Luz at Vicki’s house. Shortly thereafter a limousine arrived and drove all eight of us plus Vicki’s kids, Christopher and Monica, to Doddie’s house for the surprise. Upon arriving the six out-of-towners stayed in the limo while Vicki and her family went into the house to escort Doddie and Louie outside. Up to this point Doddie and Louie don’t know that their Michigan children were in town or that there was a limousine parked out in front of their house. As they walked toward us we could hear the excitement in Doddie’s voice and Luz was patiently waiting with his video camera to capture this memorable occasion on film.

After the surprise everyone except the kids rode around West Palm Beach in style drinking champagne. We stopped at the ocean for a photo shoot and our evening ended back at Vicki’s house for a beautiful candlelit seafood dinner served by Christopher and Monica. This day was definately one we will always remember.

I would like to thank David and Kate Bower at Old to New Media for getting this video online.

A Surprise from China


Melissa and Allison, our beautiful nieces, pulled off a wonderful surprise recently. Melissa, who has lived in China for the past three years, flew into Grand Rapids for four days to surprised her mom Deb and her niece Abbie for their birthdays. The surprise was a huge success and they even squeezed in a trip to Muskegon to visit us.

Three years ago Melissa’s husband Chad, who works for General Motors, said yes to an exciting career opportunity to live and work in Shanghai. Within months of the offer they sold their house and two cars, packed up everything and off they went with their two young children, Connor and Brooke, to start a new life in China. They went with a great attitude and open minds in the hopes of making this a great family experience and it certainly has been. Now their three years are over and it is time for them to move back to the United States and we will be happy to have them home.


God Plowed a Path


Our trip to Florida was perfectly orchestrated by God and carried out by Mark, Bryan, Kelly and Jim and LeeAnn White. Now we are about to enter a more difficult path in my ALS journey as I continue to decline. My physical body is a lot like a paraplegic which makes for a lot of extra work and worry for the people around me. I pray that God will continue to plow a path filled with grace and astounding beauty for all of us.

I hope everyone had a beautiful, loved-filled Easter.