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January 24, 2018

I was going through the old blog today, reminiscing, and going down memory lane.  I didn’t realize that I had re-published an old post, and I am sorry that everyone received that in their email.

Mel

April 17, 2013

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.  In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.  John 16:33

To our Family and Friends,

Today is a milestone in the journey we have been on.  It has been a hard journey, but we can see many instances of God’s love and goodness to us throughout.  The most amazing thing is that our God does give us peace.

Today has been a year since Suzanne was taken home.  We look back and it is a fog.  But we know life does continue on.  I was reading this morning again in Duet 30:19 “therefore choose life”.  I am so thankful at how our Father in heaven has taken care of us and has lead us on this journey.  I am also thankful for all of our loved ones who have prayed for us and supported us along the way.  It is so encouraging to know that we are not alone.

As we continue on, this will probably be the last update post on this blog.  It is my intention to switch over to a family blog and give periodic updates on there.  When I do get that started, I will post the new address on here.

Thank you for being with us through this trial!  We value your prayers for us for the future.

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith”,

Mel Rogers

March 19, 2013

To my dearest Suzanne,

It is hard to believe that 19 years ago today, we were married.  Normally it would be you who would be remembering our anniversaries.  This year the memory is all too painful and very real.  How could I forget?  You are always on my mind.  How I wish I could remember to get you flowers at the last minute now and bring them to you!  I think of the 18 years that we were married, and I have really good memories of having you as my bride.  You became my best friend and my companion that I didn’t want to be without.  You were the one that kept the home fires burning, so that I didn’t have any desire to be anywhere else.  It was because of you that I would look for the Suburbans with the bench seat up front.  I was always so proud to have you sitting next to me even though that middle seat wasn’t the most comfortable.

Suzanne, I have all the kids in Firm Foundation Christian School now.  I know that wasn’t the plan to be doing that so soon, but I couldn’t do it any other way.  There was no way that I could even try to homeschool the kids here at home plus run the business.  It has worked out well having them all in school.  The teachers have all been very kind to each of the children, and they are doing very well with the structure of going to school.  Luke has been going to the Skills Center this year for Automotive Technology.  He has his license now and drives there in the morning before returning to the school for the remainder of the day.  You would be so proud of him.  He has perfect grades there and seems to really enjoy it.  Last month I got the call from Firm Foundation that Stephen won the Student of the month for his grade and they would be honoring him at the school assembly.  It was a surprise, so I didn’t tell him that I was going to the asssembly.  What they didn’t tell me was that out of all the students of the month they picked Stephen for the Eagle award!  It was a happy day!  Then I got another call a couple weeks ago that I would need to come to another school assembly.  Not just one assembly but two!  Matthew was awarded Student of the month in first grade, and the next day I went to the assembly where Heidi was awarded Student of the month for  ninth grade.  People say what good kids I have, Suzanne, but I know it was your influence on the kids that helped to form them.  They seem to be adjusting to this new life we are in now, and all I can do is thank our Father in Heaven for His kindness to us.  Oh, don’t get me wrong Suzanne, we don’t it like this way at all.  We would take you back if there was any way we could.  Almost every Bible study or other meeting at our church group, Matthew pulls the picture of you holding him, out of his Bible to show me.  It just about breaks my heart.  He always has a big smile on his face when he is showing me that picture.

I also wanted to tell you, Suzanne, about all the help that we still get.  It is unbelievable!  There are still ladies that bring meals over 3-4 times a week.  It seems like we are always getting some goodies to help us along.  I had a huge wakeup call when you were sick, and then when the Lord took you home.  I realized that I knew nothing about fixing meals or caring for anything around the house.  People have been so kind to us and have given to us in so many different ways.  It was hard to think of Susanna getting married when we heard about it.  She had been helping around the house for so long, but I think it was a gradual weaning process so that by the time she got married, we were more used to doing things.  We still get your sister Maureen and my Mom coming into the home about once a week.  Your sister Beth and sister Maureen have been coming about once a month to give the house a deep cleaning.  We really are getting taken care of.  We really would be floundering more if so many people haven’t stepped in and taken care of things that I couldn’t even see needed done.  I do have to tell you, Suzanne, that I am learning to do more things around the house now.  If there was any way I could go back in time and start doing more of these chores for you, I would do it in a heartbeat.  You always made the work around the house look so easy.  I have no idea how you could pull a full meal together out of nowhere and have it on the table in time for dinner.  I realize now that you must have been thinking about the next dinner by the time we finished the last one.  I just can’t do that.  Five oclock rolls around, and I start to wonder what we are going to have for dinner if it already isn’t provided.  We have learned to keep some Costco sandwiches in the freezer for those emergency meals.  We have been learning other essential household routines now.  I have to keep the kids remembering that they have chores to do, but it sure helps that they help around the house.  I am learning to remember that they are still kids and still need reminders all the time.  I still can’t figure out how you did all this before, Suzanne?  But I always knew that you were an amazing woman!  Oh, how I miss you!

I wanted to share with you Suzanne, how the Lord has taken care of the business.  It doesn’t make sense how everything has been taken care of in the business this last year and a half.  It is hard to believe that the two of us could do so much together in the business before.  When you were diagnosed in October of 2011, my brain fell apart, and the Lord has provided so many people to come help us get through.  It doesn’t make sense how enough work could be provided so that we would be able to hire those that could help us over the last year and a half.  My brain is slowly returning now, and feel like I can do a lot more than I have been doing.  The business is in the process of slowing down right now, and I am afraid that I will have to do the majority of the work again.  I know that if the Lord allows that to happen, then I will be able to do the work again.  I have been so grateful that I can work out of the house and have flexibility with my schedule.  There have been so many times where I have been needed with the kids either at school or having them home sick, and I have been so thankful that the office is in the basement.  I just wish you were here Suzanne to see how we have been taken care of.

I know there is one thing I don’t really want to tell you Suzanne, because you would get so upset at me.  So many people have been so generous to us, and I have been a failure at getting all the thankyou’s done.  Someone just sent another ice chest full of frozen casseroles to us from the Tri-Cities area for our freezer.  There have even been some neat treat boxes that have been sent all the way from New York!  Some of the ladies over in Idaho got together and sent over ice chests full of food for us.  The kindness that people show to us is so overwhelming, and I know you would have sent a thankyou each and every time.  So, I am sorry that I have failed in that way!  Just the fact that we aren’t bankrupt now is because of so many people who took over when all of those medical expenses were due.

Your illness really took its toll on your family.  I know that some of your siblings didn’t agree with the treatment that we chose.  I can understand them not agreeing with your treatment or not choosing that way for themselves, but what has shocked me is how far they have taken it.  I had no idea that an illness like this could divide a family so hard.  I tried to shelter you from it, Suzanne, while you were ill.  I know it was hard on you that some of your siblings had turned against you.  Some of the accusations that have been said against us Suzanne, has been very hard to take.  I have wanted to defend us and justify why we chose the route we chose.  In the end, I realized that I couldn’t defend or justify against what was being said about us.  It just hasn’t made sense to me.  I have heard some crazy stories about us and I have no idea how they originated.  I wish you were here with me so I could talk to you about it like we always talked about things.  It has been so hard to go on like this alone.  I did appreciate that some of your brothers came and helped prepare for your memorial service.  It must have been hard for them to come to our home, but I am grateful for all the help that they provided.  Suzanne, I wanted to let you know, that I have been learning to let this go and not become bitter.  It has been hard for me.  I have even said some hurtful things because of what was being said about us.  So I didn’t help things either.  I know that only the Lord can help in your family Suzanne, and heal the wounds that are hurting so bad right now.  There have been some of your siblings, Suzanne, who have been right there for us all along the way.  Constantly helping in any way they can.

Your parents have become very close to us.  They have been so kind to us, Suzanne.  I know they have been going through the grieving process so much also.  You were a very special daughter to them.  I think you were special to a whole lot more people than I realized.  I thought I had you all for myself, but I realize now that you impacted far more lives than I knew about.   I know we had always talked about being the ones who would take care of your parents when they got older.  I think your parents know that I will still take care of them when they need it.

I think alot about where you are now.  I think of that reunion some day where all of us will be together again, and I get excited!  Some day soon, Jesus might come back for all the rest of who are left here.  I know that Jesus has become so much closer to me now that you are gone.  I know He wasn’t the one far away before, but I realize now that I didn’t give Him all the thanks and praise that He deserved in my life.   He means so much to our family now.  He has held us together when the storm around us is raging so strong.

Suzanne, I need to end this letter now.  This has been very hard to do because I miss you so much!  The kids all miss you so much too!  Thank you for being such a big part of our lives for those 18 years.  See you soon!

Love always,

Mel Rogers

June 21st

It is so humbling to know that so many people care about us, and so many people ask about how we are doing.  It has been two months now since Suzanne was taken home to be with her Saviour.  I wasn’t going to update the blog again, but so many people have asked how we are doing and so many have asked me to update the blog, so here I go….

It seemed like the first two weeks without Suzanne was like a blur, a feeling of numbness.  There was that sense of relief that she wasn’t suffering anymore, but a huge loss with all the good memories.  After the first couple of weeks wore off, the next few weeks were very painful.  Then there was her birthday which was the day before Mother’s day.  I didn’t know how we were going to handle that.  I think that a lot of people were praying for us that weekend, because that weekend ended up being a nice time as a family.  We were invited to the beach for the day with another family we have become acquainted with.  He also had lost his wife to cancer some years back, and they invited us to the beach with them.

We had such a nice time together with their family.  We were all able to talk about what we have gone through.  It was good for the children to visit with their children who had gone through the same thing with losing their mom when they were about our kids age.  It hasn’t been easy for us as a family.  We spend a lot more time in the evenings talking and figuring out how we can all work together on what seems like such a mountain to climb!

Many have asked how we are doing financially.  I am thankful to say that all of our expenses have been covered.  I know that a lot of money was going out to pay for medical costs and a lot of other things that wouldn’t have been in our normal budget.  I know too, that our God who we serve knows all about the financial needs we had and saw to it that all of it was covered.  Many people and groups of believers, some who I wouldn’t even know, were sending us financial help without even being asked to.  We also replaced our 2003 Suburban that was wrecked in December with another 2003 Suburban we found fairly recently.  I know in the future there will be additional costs with having more help come into the home and take care of all those things that “magically” was always done before.  For now, we are humbled and very thankful for the love that has been shown to us.

I have signed up all the children this fall in the Christian School that Luke has been going to for the past two years.  I realized that there was no way I could oversee the homeschooling for the other three, and decided for at least this next year it would be best if they were in school.  This will get us on a schedule and keep some structure in our lives for now.  The kids are all looking forward to school even if they are a little nervous about being in a new place.  Those that we have gotten to know at school have become like family.  They are so loving and have been so kind to us.

A little while ago, we were invited to a camp in Wyoming.  We have never been to this camp before.  We have heard about this camp called “The Bright and Morning Star Camp” and we have always been interested in going to this camp in years past, but never felt like we could leave before.  This year, all my excuses were chipped away one by one.  I said that I wasn’t interest in going and staying in a tent right now.  Dad & Mom Cook offered the use of their little travel trailer to take.  (That excuse didn’t work).  I was talking in the office about how I just can’t go right now since I had taken so much time off taking care of Suzanne over the past half a year.  I was told by those helping in the office that we need to go as a family, and that they would cover for us while we are gone for the week.  (That excuse didn’t work).  I was asking the kids if they would like to go to this camp, and they all really want to go.  So, we have been planning now the last few weeks and getting ready for our trip to Wyoming this weekend.  In our planning, we have been curious about what this camp is like.  So we looked it up online and were reading some information about this camp and how to prepare for it.  In a lot of ways, we won’t be completely prepared for it, because we have never been there before.  We think we have an idea of what to pack, but will probably find we overpacked on some things and underpacked on others.

While we have been planning this trip, it makes me think of another trip we will all be making someday.  None of us know for sure when we will be going on this other trip.  Suzanne already made the trip home.  I believe she is in Heaven now.  Her trip came way earlier than we had ever imagined.  When we were married 18 years ago, I would never have dreamed that she would be making that trip at 37.  She was my best friend, and I couldn’t imagine her leaving so soon.  As it was, I had 6 1/2 months with her at the end to say goodbye.  I cried more in those months than in all of my life before that.  I was thankful that I had that time, when so many others get taken in a car wreck or a sudden accident.  But none of us know for sure when we are taking the “real trip”.  I think about all the time we are planning for our trip to Wyoming and looking up information on it, and then I think about how much planning are we putting into our trip to Heaven?  Do we really wonder what it will be like there?  Are we looking at “maps” and reading about what it is like?  Are we going to be surprised by what Heaven is like, or worse, be surprised that we are there?  How do we know for sure that we are going there?  These are things I think about.  I know for sure that I am going there.  I don’t know when.  None of us know when that trip will be.  We naturally think that we will be in retirement age spoiling the grandkids, and hoping that all of our hair is still on our head.  But none of us know for sure what our future is!  The Bible says that our days are numbered.  We can’t add or take away from those days.  When I take that trip to Heaven I believe the first one I see will be Jesus.  Jesus is the one who paid that price on the cross so I can even go to Heaven.  I will also be looking for Suzanne, our little baby, my Dad, and many others.

My desire now is that everyone I know, is in Heaven with us.  Do you know if you are going there?  I want you to be there with us!  Life is too fragile here to think it will last forever!  Be sure of where you are going when you take that trip!

Many have asked how they can get ahold of me without posting on the blog.  I decided that I would put my email on here and my phone number for those who have been wondering how to get ahold of me.  My email is mel@ridgefieldrogers.com.  My cell phone is 360-904-0595.  I know our spam folder is pretty active, so you might want to request a “read receipt” or text my cell phone to make sure I get your email.  There are many that I have heard from that I haven’t seen for years and some that I went to school with.  Just be patient with me since I am juggling so many things right now.  I also may not be able to answer till we get back from our trip to Wyoming.

We still value each of your prayers for us.  Two months seems like a long time but it also seems like yesterday.  I have enjoyed that song “The God of the mountains, is still God of the valleys”.  I don’t know if I am quoting it exactly, but we continue to go through that valley.  We also know that our God is with us through this valley.  Life isn’t always going to be a mountaintop experience.  We all experience those times when we are going through the valley and it feels really alone.  That is when we need that relationship with Jesus.

God Bless!

Mel Rogers

April 17th

Suzanne Naomi Rogers

May 12, 1974  –  April 17, 2012

“…with Christ; which is far better:”  Philippians 1:23

April 12th

I read to Suzanne a couple nights ago John 21:22.  “Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.”  This gives us courage to continue on even when things seem so hopeless here on earth.  This trial has changed our focus, and it makes Heaven seem so much more real.

Suzanne has been on oxygen for the last week and a half.  This helped until this last Monday when even the oxygen wasn’t working.  She was finally ready for something more to help her breathe.  I arranged for Hospice to come out and they were able to give the medications that help relax her lungs and help her breathe better.  She hadn’t been able to sleep for so long that with the medicine starting Monday evening, she has been sleeping almost continuously just catching up.  It is very hard to see her going through this time.  We continuously cry as we see what she is going through and knowing that it could be very soon when she is in a better home.

Matthew had his 6th b-day yesterday, and received lots of attention for which we are thankful.  He has had a nice birthday.  It makes me cry when I hear him pray for “Mom that she would get better”.

Some in Suzanne’s family are fasting and praying for 7 days right now for her healing.  We know that our God is able to heal, but we don’t know if that is His plan.  We continue to plead even though it looks like she won’t be with us much longer.

We have enjoyed correspondence here to our home, and it has been very encouraging.  Last night I didn’t get the mail out of our locking mailbox, and someone broke into all the mailboxes and took all the mail.  This makes me so frustrated, because I don’t know what was sent to us or for Matthew’s birthday.  I prayed about it and asked the Lord to just take care of it for us.  For those of you who might have sent something to us that would have arrived around yesterday, just call me on my cell phone at 360-904-0595.   I think I better have our correspondence sent to our business PO box for now.  They have broken into the mailboxes before, but we had always gotten the mail.

Our business address is Mel Rogers, PO Box 65023, Vancouver, WA  98665.

Thank you to all of you who have been with us on this journey.  We have felt the love and support, and we know that Jesus is giving us the peace that we so desperately need right now.

Love,

Mel, Suzanne, and family

March 12th

“And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” Mark 10:27

Last night before I put the children to bed, we were looking for the Sunday School verse to memorize for next week.  It turns out that nobody had it.  Since I normally keep our reading and prayer short on Sunday evenings, I asked the children if any of them had a bible verse that we could go over.  Matthew, our 5 year old, was sitting next to me on the couch and he pipes up, “Psalm 30, verse 2”.  I looked at him and asked which verse that was?  He didn’t know and said he “couldn’t remember”.  So I smiled and decided to turn to it and look it up.  This is what it said:  “O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.”  We all told him what a nice verse that was, and we felt like that verse was given to us from the Lord.  When we went into the bedroom to say goodnight to Suzanne, we told her the verse, and it encouraged her also.  She said “out of the mouth of babes”.

This last saturday afternoon we had a prayer meeting according to James 5, verses 13-16.  It was an encouraging time for prayer and a reminder that our God is able to heal Suzanne.  We looked at different verses, and also looked at Daniel 3, verse 16 again at how “our God whom we serve is able to deliver us….”.  Suzanne even mentioned how either way, God will heal her!  The song was going through my head this morning,  “through it all, through it all, I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, and I’ve learned to trust in God”

Suzanne has been in bed since last Tuesday.  Her pain level has been pretty high at different times.  It will subside occasionally and she will have times when she can enjoy company for short periods.  She has been so strong through it all.  She is confident that the Lord is going to heal her!  We have heard from some who have called wondering if she is as bad as they are hearing.  I have to admit that it has been very rough this last week.  We can get very discouraged and I get very afraid.  I sat down with Matthew for a few minutes this morning as he was doing his homeschool video.  The teacher was talking about the story in Mark 4 where there was a sudden storm and Jesus was in the boat asleep!  As I sat there for those few minutes I realized that was just like how we feel.  We have storms that can suddenly come up in our lives and we get very afraid.  How often we look at the storm raging around us and we don’t know what to do.  Jesus can say “Peace, be still.”  We have to keep looking to Jesus who is our hope!  Each one of our family has chosen to follow Jesus in our lives.  This life that we are living here is not everything.  The life that is after this life is so much more exciting than this one!  Jesus has promised us in the Bible that if we put our trust in Him, that one of two things will happen to us.  The first thing that could happen would be that Jesus would return for us while we are still alive (the Rapture).  (Nobody knows when Jesus is returning.)  The second thing that could happen, is that we could die before Jesus comes back.  If we die first, we know that we will go to heaven to be with Him.  Either way, we have something to look forward to!

Continue to pray on for Suzanne and the rest of us!  We all need the prayers and encouragement, especially through these difficult times!  So many of you have been so kind to us, and eventually we will have the time to thank everybody!

Love,

Mel, Suzanne, & family