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Posts tagged ‘Death’

Change | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on August 30, 2016:

changeI don’t do change very well. I don’t know if that’s a result of nature or nurture – in other words, I don’t know if I was simply born with a natural aversion to change or if I have developed that aversion because very little changed in my world when I was growing up.

Not that my childhood was boring, but it didn’t involve a lot of variation. When Mom placed furniture in a room, that’s where it stayed. Dinner meant one of a few familiar menus, and family vacations usually included a week in a cabin on Lake Ouachita in Arkansas. That kind of lifestyle gives a solid sense of stability and security, but it doesn’t offer much opportunity to learn to deal with change. (more…)


A Life Well Lived – Betty Brendle 1928 – 2014



Today we are celebrating the life of Betty Nichols Brendle. Betty was born in Houston, Texas, on October 31, 1928, and she went home to be with the Lord August 21, 2014.

I first met Betty fifteen years ago shortly after I met her son, David. He and I were moving quickly from friends to a more serious relationship, and he thought it was time to take me home to Mama. He said she had reservations since, like me, he had not always made good relationship choices, but she made me feel like a part of the family from the beginning.

Yesterday, we planned how we would lay to rest the body that she no longer needed. She had left us some ideas.

“I think I want to be cremated,” she said a few days ago. She didn’t want us to think she had given up, and she always left room for a woman’s right to change her mind. “I not sure, though.”’ After a few minutes, she continued. “I want Woods to do the service.” Woods Watson is the Senior Adult Pastor at her church. “I don’t know what he’ll find to say about me that’s good,” she worried.

“Mom,” said Deb, her youngest daughter, “You have a servant’s heart. You’ve always been there for anyone who needed you.”

“And you raised three wonderful children,” I added. She smiled and nodded. “Yes, I did.”

Family was important to Betty. In her last days, her family gathered around her. As her hold on this life weakened, she asked about those who had not yet arrived.

“Is Jerry here?” she asked about her younger sister who flew in from Astoria, Oregon. When Jerry arrived, she offered words of love and made sure Betty was comfortable.

Betty also asked about her granddaughter. “Is Krista coming?”

After Krista arrived from Austin, Texas, Betty seemed to relax. Shortly after midnight she simply stopped breathing.

As I write this, some of the kindness she showed to others is coming back to her family. Friends are bringing food and preparing to serve lunch before we go to the funeral home where we will laugh and cry as we share stories and memories of a life well lived. Let the celebration begin.

So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.  2 Corinthians 5:6-8



Graveyard Humor | by Linda Brendle

dead_end_graveyardWhen I was younger, I thought operations and medications were the only subjects older people talked about. As I “matured,” I realized that I was wrong. Sometimes we talk about our final wishes–how we want our earthly remains to be put to rest when we leave them behind. A couple of Sundays ago, several of us went to lunch after church. By the time our meal was finished, we had solved the world’s problems, and our conversation drifted to more practical matters like the choice between burial and cremation.

One couple, while they took part in the discussion, remained non-committal about their personal plans. David plans to be buried at Uncle Sam’s expense, thanks to his eleven years of service in the Navy. The rest of us plan to be cremated. (more…)

When You Don’t Understand, Bow the Knee | by Linda Brendle

My church family suffered a tragic loss Sunday morning when one of our members, the thirty-one-year-old mother of three, died suddenly. Her death was so unexpected that she and her husband were listed in the bulletins as the greeters for the day. This week has been a time of grieving, reaching out to each other, and asking Why? (more…)

A Tribute to the Harmons| by Linda Brendle

RVI met Brent and Sharon Harmon in early 2007 when David and I first got serious about the RV lifestyle. I’m not sure how our interest was first piqued. The first thing I remember is David showing me a luxury motorhome on his computer. It sported a mid-six figure price tag, and we laughed over the impossibility of owning one as we oohed and aahed over the fancy, tricked-out bus. (more…)

Senior Humor – Edition 7 | by Linda Brendle

It’s been a long week. Friends in Florida battled Tropical Storm Debbie, friends in Colorado fought wild fires, I went to the doctor with something like Pink Eye, and David went to the dentist with an abscessed tooth. Time for another look at the lighter side of life. (more…)

Just Let Me Feel Bad | by Linda Brendle

There is a scene in “Ordinary People” where Conrad is talking to Dr. Berger after Karen has killed herself. Dr. Berger is trying to console Conrad, but it’s not working. Finally, Conrad explodes in frustration.

“I feel bad about this! I feel really, really bad about this. Just let me feel bad about this.” (more…)

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