This is not my quickest trip to Idaho ever save one other time. With an already packed schedule, when I got word on the 3rd of Jerry’s (surrogate family from our growing up years) passing I prayed that his service would fall on one of the three days this month that we didn’t have commitments. When the memorial service times and dates were announced I started running through all my options of how it would be possible to make it to the service. I did and still do feel incredibly blessed to have made it to the hospital a few weekends ago to say goodbye in person. Perhaps it is the nurse in me that made me want to show my support of the family in person, but it was more than that. I wanted to witness the legacy I knew and felt especially in my conversations with Jerry in the more recent years, I wanted to be home and grieve with other people who felt the same loss, and I was looking forward to the faces from my past that I would get to see in the process. Coined by his grandson, Jerry was a giant (figuratively) his character and integrity are unmatched in anyone else that I have ever known, he was instrumental in the Cambridge community, serving on boards and giving time and money to many causes and missions, yet he was humble, always studying and reading his Bible a well as creation science research. It was amazing to sit and hear from the congregation time and time again where the example and life that Jerry lead had touched each one of them. I also loved that, in such a painful time as this, his wife Carol had this encouragement…. “Anyone could live a life like Jerry’s if only they would spend time everyday in God’s word.”
I would not change the decision to drive from The AWHONN conference in Medford yesterday afternoon to Salem then to Pendleton on to Cambridge and now back all the way to Salem. Jerry has passed the baton to all of us. We know the gospel message, we have a Bible in our homes and we know what it takes (see above quote). The ball is in our court let us run the race set out for us.
Below is a picture of our farm dinners. I am missing (I think at kids camp) but Steph, Suzanne, mom and dad are on the right. On the left is Ron, Kris and their boys and at the far end of the table is Jerry and Carol.