Sunday, December 28, 2008

GRAVE MARKERS


Another post by Milton:


For new readers to this site, I am writing since Kristy's battle with a GBM brain tumor and her passing on July 21. Kristy made me a romantic so I write to share christian love stories.


***

What do you want put on your grave marker? 

I really haven't ever thought about grave markers until this year after Kristy went to heaven. She planned everything to the max but she never told me what she wanted put on her marker.

I have waited these months to reflect and think what I would put on hers . I felt that Julie and Jennifer and I would talk about that sometime during our Christmas Holidays together and during all the joy, reflections, some tough tears, and celebration of her life we did discuss it.

Visiting her grave hasn't been on my mind even though I actually drive by the cemetery often without even a thought of stopping. In my mind she is not there. She is in heaven. I just haven't felt a need or desire to go there. I certainly understand and respect others who visit their loved one's graves, but thoughts of her are in my mind and heart--not in a cemetery.

I had thought that after the first of the year I would finalize my plans for a marker and what I it should read. My discussion with my daughters wasn't long on this subject. I was working on her blog and read the first part of her bio. There the words were. She had written them for all to read. Florence Littauer wrote a bio quote that Kristy used to begin her bio. I mentioned it to the girls and right off they said that was it.

I thought of using a favorite verse of Scripture.  She loved Matthew 6:33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you."

 or

Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

or

She often quoted Psalm 56:3  "What time I am afraid I will put my trust in thee."

or 

Romans 8:28, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love the Lord...."

Kristy also had several quotes that she loved and had placed in various parts of the house and office. Maybe one of them should be on her marker? There was so much that could be engraved to remember her.

But here is what I will put on her marker. It fits her. It was the essence of her life and how she lived it. She lived her life to glorify God, to bless her husband, children, and family, and to help point the lost to a loving God.

She did it all with -- Pizzazz, Enthusiasm, High Energy

That is Kristy. She had passion for life.

Kristy Roberts Dykes

08/02/51--07/21/08

Pizzazz! Enthusiasm! High Energy!


16 Comments:

At 8:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Milton,
How beautiful, and perfect....I know what you mean about visiting the grave site...you are right they are not there, they are with the lord in heaven.....its the memories of them....I am speaking not of a spouse but our son who left us when he was 17 years old...I thank God everyday that he knew the lord and is spending eternity with Him and I will see him one day as well.....What a great portrait of Kristy....Your are an insperation and testimony of what God can do with the tragedy in our lives if we will let Him..yes its tough but you have a choice...we can be miserable without Him...and go our own way or we can let Him comfort us and guide us in a new direction.....thanks for sharing all your grieving and growing with us....We love you and pray for you...
Pat

 
At 11:34 AM, Blogger Robin Bayne said...

Great choice, Milton.

 
At 1:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful tribute to Kristy's life. I was thinking about what Kristy tried to communicate before her going home--that you would marry a certain woman. It must've been in the back of her mind what would happen--not necessarily that she wanted it to happen. I'm certain it was difficult for her to communicate clearly with a brain tumor. I believe Kristy knew there was an attraction there a long time ago. Please pray and fast and get grief counseling before you proceed with any life-changing plans.

In His love!

 
At 1:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Milton,

Would you share the story of the beautiful painting of Kristy?

 
At 2:53 PM, Anonymous milton dykes said...

In response to 1:02 PM,

Kristy told my sister and daughter her feelings on this matter long before the GBM tumor took hold of her thinking processes. She didn't tell me.

As to an attraction from time past, there was respect for Wanda and her husband Jim who I had led to the Lord as well as the fact Kristy and I had mentored. Wanda and Jim had a wonderful, godly marriage and Kristy and I had an equally great marriage. We have all lived to honor Christ and bring glory to His name by our lives and marriages.

God put this new relationship together. Please accept the honest, transparent story for it is. It is an amazing story of God's unique love and provision for two people who have lived godly lives to honor the Lord to the best of their abilities. That is the long and short of it--God did it. Try reading the pure love stories of the Bible and maybe you will have faith to believe that it can happen today too.

I agree with the statement to fast and pray and get grief counseling. Certainly I have done that and will yet get more counseling.

Finally, I have lived a life of honor and integrity before God and have accountability partners who are mature christians of great stature. They are helping watch over my life.

I will not allow suspicious, wrongful, unfounded guesses to cloud a holy and pure love story. Any comments that do not honor Christ, build His Kingdom or do hint of unfounded ill actions will be immediately removed. I suggest that any comment of honest, pure help can be written in a manner that will bless readers and those trying to live a godly love story to encourage others.

***

To 1:35

The portrait was painted by my barber, Jami. She did a great job! I had Jami paint it to show Kristy before she passed. I am very proud and thankful for this portrait.

 
At 3:02 PM, Blogger Karen Eve said...

Excellent choice Milton. And I agree, Kristy isn't there, she is in a far better place, full of enthusiasm she never knew existed. Blessings for you and your family, and perhaps your new family additions, in the new year.

 
At 3:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greetings Milton and family:
These past few weeks...what a hustle and bustle of the beautiful season of celebrating our Lord...
Jesus! The one whom Kristy sees face to face at this blessed and eternal time of her life today and forever! She is celebrating! Feasting! OOOOOHHHHH...what JOY!
and...
You... Julie and Jennifer took special moments of your Christmas time together to make a decision about her marker...which will be planted there...for those who walk by her grave for a moment in time
...whether in their own personal grief and sorrow...words...a 'note of the legendary words engraved to help brighten their moment's glance for a bright-spot'...
and it will be Kristy's marker...
stately written...
it will put a SMILE on their face
...and...
they WILL NOT forget what is written there...
because it is Kristy's ongoing way to be 'a shining light' in someone's darkness once again! Beautiful!
Priceless!
...and...
How thoughtful!
How special!
...and...
those of us who were honored to know her...have a 'light in our world' because she was...is...and
always will be...KRISTY!
Forever Special!

Thanks for sharing this precious statement with us all!

I pray the twinkle of hereyes... will give a 'spiritual wink' to whomever is priviledged to read precious words describing who she truly is to all of us... this day and forever!

God Bless You...
Keep you in His care...
Give you wisdom for each day...
and...
Shelter you...
as the Word declares,
"...cover you with His wings...as a Mother Hen protects her young..."

Friends...
Prayers for a Blessed New Year 2009!
Steve and Darlene Allen
West Columbia, South Carolina

 
At 3:13 PM, Anonymous Norma McGee said...

To my dear brother,

So glad that you responded to the comment that hinted at an "attraction". I have admired your commitment to being a faithful christian gentleman. You have been faithful in action and I believe in your heart.

When Kristy talked to me about Wanda she had "sized up" both of you, discerned that you would be a perfect "match" and believed that God would bring you two together. She was right!!!

Be happy--this is going to be a good year for you.

Love you,

Sis

 
At 3:16 PM, Blogger THOMBU1 said...

Blessing unto you.

 
At 3:19 PM, Blogger THOMBU1 said...

Sorry Brother, my message was not delivered right. I would wish that this epitaph would describe all of Gods children service to Him
tom

 
At 8:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Milton, as I've read the comments from readers as you've told the story of the next incredible chapter in this most incredible story, I've been dismayed that some would be so presumptuous to judge your motives or your judgment.

I am one of those you have submitted to for counsel and accountability and I can attest to the fact that your character, integrity and sensitivity to your daughters, Kristy's family and your wonderful congregation have been greater than your grief and larger the hole left in your heart after Kristy's death.

That some would think it's too soon and that you should wait the usual or customary time after her death causes me to wonder why anyone would expect anything to be usual or customary about the next chapter when the previous chapters could have only been written by our creator whose thoughts and ways are higher than ours.

To those who have presumed to judge and criticize, I suggest they follow their own unsolicited advice; slow down, take some time, examine their hearts and motives and get lots of counsel.

I've known you for over 40 years and have been married to your sister, Norma, for 39 years. You are one of the most godly, pure, careful and compassionate people I've ever known. I believe in you, and I believe you have heard from God about His direction, His purpose, the person of His choosing and His timing. You weren't looking for Wanda and she wasn't looking for you. God supernaturally directed her into your life and her into yours at His appointed time. Your daughters believe that, the rest of your family believes that, Kristy's family believes that and I believe your congregation believes that.

So, in conclusion, let me quote the words of an old hymn,

When we walk with the Lord
In the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Not a shadow can rise,
Not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away.
Not a doubt nor a fear,
Not a sigh nor a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.

Not a burden we bear,
Not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay.
Not a grief nor a loss,
Not a frown nor a cross,
But is blest if we trust and obey.

But we never can prove
The delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows,
And the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.

Then in fellowship sweet
We will sit at His feet,
Or we'll walk by His side in the way.
What He says we will do;
Where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.

Trust and obey,
For there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus,
But to trust and obey.

So my advice to you is "Be happy in Jesus". I don't think any of your critics can ever make you happy.

You're more than a brother-in-law, you're my brother.

I love you,
Ron

 
At 8:31 PM, Anonymous milton dykes said...

Thanks, Ron.

I am humbled and grateful for what you have written. God knows my heart and life. He knows the desires and intents of my heart. I have attempted all the days of my life to trust Him and follow Him and I will continue in that manner of commitment.

It is easy to understand how some at a distance might not understand all that has happened and how it has happened quickly, but we are not formerly engaged and we are waiting on God for His guidance and wisdom. I have submitted my life for accountability to others and am getting godly counsel for dealing with grief and will be getting pre-engagement counsel.

You are right--I cannot and will not please judging critics. I further realize that to write this in a public and transparent fashion makes me, and Wanda, vulnerable. However, I have felt that I should continue to write this story as God has also put that into my heart. God has done some incredible things in my life that I believe will help and bless others.

Sometimes faithfulness comes with a price.

I will strive to please God, obey His Word, listen to godly counsel, seek decisions that make for peace of mind and heart, and follow the doors that God opens to me.

What more can I do?

You are my brother and I am so grateful for all of my dear family.

Milton

 
At 10:29 PM, Blogger Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

Anonymous seems to go around to blogs and spread negativity. I always notice that they don't print their name at the end of the comment.

I think it's sad that folks feel they have to tell a man of God how to handle his business.

You and Kristy have been so inspirational to me. I am happy that you are looking to a companion and moving ahead with your life. I know I never met Kristy, but through her writings I believe she wanted you to be happy and move on with your life. I pray you and the girls will be encouraged. Please don't let these mystery folks that hide in the shadows get to you for one second.
You've lived your life for the Lord and He's really the main one we have to please. I pray you have a wonderful new year. You went through a lot with the illness. My daddy had cancer and it took such a toll on my mother and I. Unless someone has truly gone through something like that they don't really know the pain of watching a loved one suffer and go through walking through the valley of the shadow of death. I believe, as Christians, we are supposed to want others to be happy and not be so judgemental. I need to just pray for Anonymous. God bless you and the girls!

 
At 8:06 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

Dad, I believe you are doing the right thing sharing this story. It's too wonderful not to. I believe the love developing between you and Wanda is God given.

The fact some can't understand that is the exact reason it needs to be told! Without Christ love is distorted, people need to know of the amazing, unique love God offers!

 
At 2:31 PM, Blogger Barbara J. Robinson said...

As the Kingdom Heirs sing in their new song, "Good News From the Graveyard," Kristy is not there. It's just an empty tomb. Perfect choice for her grave marker. Awesome. I believe some people are concerned for you, but no matter, God knows your heart. Kristy is living her heavenly life now.

Blessings and prayers,
Barb

 
At 8:54 PM, OpenID campergirl said...

Milton, After reading and following your blog I feel I know you. I hope you don't take this the wrong way but don't you want people in the future who haven't followed your blog know she was a Christian, a person who loved her God to the end. Just the word Christian would be a great testimony and is definitely a major part of who she was. Sue

 

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