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About Robes

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    Can't believe how thick the coffee is here
  • Birthday 02/07/1960

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  1. Mike Straw, our wonderful friend from WayDale, GSC, & The OddList (formerly the Way@ One List) is on his way to war. I don't know if I can say where, but the 'when' is now. He is currently at his training location (far from his home in Athens, Ohio). He will deploy to one of the war zones on Dec. 19th for an entire year. Please keep Mike in your thoughts and prayers. Mike's been around from the early days of Waydale and the One List, when he was in the Air Force in England somewhere. Many of us got to know him then when he'd be around in the middle of the night to chat w/the 'Left' coasters & all-nighters. He was married then & had a small daughter. His daughter is now a beautiful young woman training to be a chef, I believe, and Mike is newly engaged to a lovely woman, Deanna, who will miss him very much! Mike is on FaceBook, if you'd like to chat w/him or send him well wishes. He will be able to access it while deployed so he can keep in touch there or various other places. I have his direct mail address if anyone wants to send him cards, letters, or care packages. Before I give out his address, I FIRST will verify his permission to give it out to whomever asks, and it will be done PRIVATELY. Or, you can ask him yourself! Let's band together to support one of our own! Please keep Mike, his family, and his fiance in your prayers as it's going to be very difficult for them all. He's only been engaged for about a month...but his gal is worth waiting for and worth coming home to! We love and support you, Mike! Go with God, stay safe, and keep the other good guys safe! Thank you so very much for your service to our country!
  2. Waysider wrote: "Gosh, Robes, I don't really know what to say. I mean, if it weren't for the "blood is thicker than water" thing, would you still be interacting with this person?" Heck No! I wouldn't have a damn thing to do with her. I am, however, trying to get my kids to learn that family takes care of itself...regardless of whether or not you 'like' them. It has been important to me to teach them that because they are always getting mad at one person or another in the family and saying they aren't going to have anything to do with them (like my son...he is ....ed at his dad from years ago and my daughter thinks my mom is a nut case...and she probably is to a grand kid who gets lectured to all the time, even though she's a great kid. A grand mom thinks her job is to lecture...that kind of thing.) Because I am trying to teach my kids to hang in with family when they are going through tough times, I don't want to ditch her, even though she's a nutcase half the time. I agree...I think she has some issues that she needs counseling about but she refuses to see that she has a problem. She thinks the problems all lie with the other people. For instance, she is a truck driver. She has left jobs because they insist on sending her to NY & NJ and she refuses to go there. Uh, when you work for someone else, you don't refuse that kind of thing. Yet she thinks THEY have a problem. I do know that it's not healthy to stay in a relationship that is draining and I don't intend to let her drain me. I want to be there to offer help when she wants it, but I'm not going to break my neck (or my heart) trying to 'fix' her. All I'm going to do is talk to the family about the concerns I have with her behavior (with her there, of course. I don't think I need to do it behind her back). As I said, I brought up some concerns, and I've seen a little change. I will continue along those lines. You are right, you can't make someone get help, but I can offer her reasons why she might want to consider it. She's lost one child to suicide already, has another child who is so angry at her (since the divorce that was not even her fault) that he won't speak to her, and her 3rd child has already told her that he's depressed and wants to get treatment. What better time for HER to get treatment than to show her child that it can be helpful...I'll try to bring it up that way to her and hope it works. Trauma can be VERY stressful..and deadly. They are finding (and I certainly believe it) that it is a leading cause of illness. What a terrible way to be ill. Not that that would motivate her to get help. I'm just saying I agree with you and I'm not going to keep myself stressed out over it all. However, I don't want to see my parents stressed out about it either. I don't want them sick. " I had a friend who was diagnosed schizophrenic and took heavy medication. Everything seemed to be going great for him. He got a job, a place to live, a reliable car, etc. I took him to twig because I thought it might help him. One of the believers told him they thought he was born of the wrong seed. You and I might have shrugged it off as wackiness but for him it was the straw that broke the camel's back, the cumulative effect. He killed himself.I've tried to make some sense of it over the years but I still don't have any answers. " Yikes, Waysider, what a terrible thing! I would have been SO careful to never tell anyone that directly for exactly that reason! Why the heck did they think that was a good idea, anyways? How stupid of that believer to have the arrogance to do something like that. What would it EVER have profited? Nothing. I'm sorry you were involved in something like that and sorry you had to feel bad for it. Thanks for your prayers and your comments. I won't put up with my sister's junk for long, you can be sure of that! Lifted, you are right about the pain thing. It's possible that he felt enough pain in his own life that he either didn't care about the pain he caused others or he didn't think about it. I just don't think I can understand anyone being in THAT much pain that they think death is the answer. And I'm not saying it doesn't exist. I'm just saying I don't understand it. I think that as long as you are alive, there is hope. With death, there is no hope...unless you are counting on the final Hope...the Hope of the Return. In Michael's case, I don't think that was the case because he didn't know enough, if anything, about The Hope. I'm just saying I can't imagine that much pain. It's sad to think anyone would or could be in that much pain. Well, today (Saturday) is the funeral, 11:30 Eastern time. At a Methodist Church. My sister has neither asked me to assist with the service nor has she asked me any questions about how accurate it will be. She left it all entirely up to her ex-husband and criticized him the whole time since he didn't do it in a more timely manner. Of course, I'm sure she will have much more bad to say about him (her ex) tomorrow after the service. I have come to see that my sister seems to LOVE being the victim with her ex. It's time she gets over that. But maybe she will have a few questions that I can help her out with when it's over. My nephew was creamated last week when they went to Virginia. They will place his ashes in the military cemetary in middle Georgia sometime next week (my sister wants him to have that respect since he was a veteran). Thanks again for your thoughts on this...and your prayers.
  3. For you guys who were discussing whether or not there was medical coverage for those on staff in the early years....I don't know. I will add this thought to the mix, though: many of us were so young that we never NEEDED medical coverage of any sort. Back in the 70's and 80's we were in our teens, twenties, and maybe a few in their thirties. It's not like now...middle agers we are! When you were that young, there wasn't much thought of needing to go to a doctor for anything. As for the discussion on Claudette...I can add that the few times I spoke with her (we had a mutual friend, Debra Sleeper Olthouse) she was a very lovely, sweet person. I visited her in her room at HQ. It was in that building with a bunch of dorm rooms in it...was it Founder's Hall? She had a room there, nothing special. No smaller nor larger than any one elses. Yes, she got a lot of adoration on stage...but she earned that. Joyful Noise and Glad Tidings and some of the other groups melted my heart on so many levels. Notice I didn't say "Way Productions"? That's because by the time they began calling them "Way Productions" and depersonalizing the various groups that exhisted in the old days, the singers were, uh, crap. But Joyful Noise, during the "Take A Stand Caravan" days and Glad Tidings taught me the Word of God in ways that the MOG's couldn't. They healed my heart first, then they showed me how to place the Word of God in there. I remember thinking I would pay everything I had based on the knowledge that it helped support the people who could do that to my hurting heart. I would LOVE to know they got more money or better treatment for doing what they did....but I don't know the answer to that. Again I will say to Claudette...if you ever find that you want OUT of TWI, I will be there to help you, my friend. You, too, Debra. If you need a place to live, if you need help in any way, I will be here for you, just PM me or email me. Robi2777@yahoo.com Ya'll did so much for my heart when I was in, and it carries over to this day. More music, Sudo! robi
  4. I appreciate the discussions about devil spurts vs. chemical imbalance as the cause of depression. As a healthcare worker, I definitely am a proponent of getting people who are depressed and/or suicidal immediate medical & psychiatric help. In the case of Michael, he showed ABSOLUTELY NO outward signs of depression. Believe me, we would have noticed...so he hid it even better. You see, my mother is a nurse, I am a nurse, and several members of our family have been treated for depression. In fact, Michael's younger brother, the 16 year old, had just recently told his mother that HE was depressed and wanted to get treatment for it. Michael, though, kept a happy face, made up a bunch of lies about his new job and probably about being accepted to pharmacy school, and fooled us all. How do you fix that? I have to apologize for not posting for a while but so much has been happening. The 8 page suicide letter? It didn't really say that much that was suprising. We were braced to hear some lifeshattering news. There was none. Basically Michael wrote that he never really felt "loved". Funny how he could say that when his mother doted on him...to the point that he accused her of 'controlling' his life and trying to 'live vicariously' through him. He started writing the letter several weeks before he actually killed himself. He wrote little notes to several family members and several friends. Basically, he says, the "straw that broke the camel's back" was a girl he met on myspace or facebook back in 2007. He says they chatted for a while before they met face to face, and the first night they met was one of the "luckiest" nights of his life. They then decided to date...but several weeks later she dropped him with no explaination. That was December 7, 2007. The last time he joined a family function on my side of the family (and the first time in a while, I might add) was at Christmas, 2007. He told us things were great with him. He refused other invitations to family functions on our side, but spent much time with his brothers, step-mother, and his adopted father. He wrote about how death was a better alternative to living...and that's something I don't think I will ever understand. How could something that happened over a year ago be the thing that caused him to kill himself. Why not tell someone that he had pain or concerns? I just don't get it that anyone could think death would be a better alternative. Can anyone who's been there share that thinking with me? I've been depressed in the past before. I've even taken antidepressants from time to time...but I never was suicidal because it always came to my mind how badly it would hurt and mess up my children (not to mention the rest of my family) if I killed myself. I guess I can't understand it because I've never been there but I would love to hear from someone who has been there but thankfully came out of it. In the days since my nephew's death, my sister has made some alarming decisions which cause me a great deal of concern. She went out and bought a log cabin house kit to build a house on some land my mother owns and has been offering us both to build on. I had, in the past, thought about building a house there in order to be close to my parents as they get older...but I always thought that a duplex would be the best way to go for my sis and I so we'd each have our own place, yet we'd both be close. She wants to build a house for herself and will build a basement 'mother-in-law' suite for me to "rent" (that doesn't help me with taxes, nor does it help me build equity of my own...a win/win situation for my sister and a lose/lose situation for me). She want's her latest 'boyfriend' to live there with her and help her build the house even though she's told me many times that she doesn't love him and will never marry him. What does that teach her remaining sons? I don't like the 'boyfriend'. I think he's an idiot, and I have told her, very diplomatically of course, that I did not think it would be a good idea for us to live in the same house, even if it was separated by a floor. She assured me that if there was a conflict between us then HE would go before I would. Yeah. Right. Oh, when I asked her the interest rate for the house...of which she proudly stated she had a construction loan that they would 'roll over' into a mortgage...she DIDN'T KNOW THE INTEREST RATE!! Good God! The first thing you do is find out the interest rate when you are spending $100,000! Then you figure out your monthly expenses and income. She had done none of that. She also has decided to get custody of her 16 year old son and put him in private school. It costs $800.00 a month for that. To finish the house, the $60,000.00 kit she just bought, she has to put at least another $50,000 or so into it (it is raw land...no water, sewer, needs to be cleared, etc.). The house kit is the outside walls & window only. To keep her son at home in private school, she'd have to quit her job and take a local driving job (she is a trucker-18 wheeler kind and she usually stays gone for months at a time). Well, she made all these decisions, and I went away last weekend to work. The more I thought about it, the sicker I got in my stomach. Everyone knows the FIRST RULE after a trauma is to NOT make any major decisions...and here she was making decisions about EVERY area of her life!! So...I came home after working the weekend (I now work out of town since I've moved back to my family's hometown, about 2 hours from where I work) and went to my mom's to talk with them all. I told them that my sister could still back out of the house deal since you generally get 3-5 days to back out of legal contracts and it had been only 2 business days (since it was the weekend). I told her we could do it several ways...she could back out and re-think everything and make sure she could afford it all without putting my mother's land in danger of being sold if she couldn't afford it. Or, we could do it the way it would be fair to both of us...do it as a duplex with BOTH of us getting the tax benefits and equity. Well...that ....ed her off very badly. Although my parent's agreed with me, that my sister did not need to go into this without having thought it through very well she had them believing she could handle it. I kept telling them it was because she was counting on me to pay her "rent" of $400 or $500 a month, and she was counting on that guy to live there with her and her son and help with expenses (why would you do that when you just got custody of your son? what kind of example is that?). In either case, I was NOT going to pay her rent for 20 years by any means. I told them I may not be ready to buy another house this month, but I was going to do it within a year or so...when I built up my savings again and when I could make sure I didn't get into a financial bind. My sister got very mad with me, even though I told her I was making these statements and suggestions in the hopes that she didn't get into a financial problem and not because I wished her bad. I was trying to give her a way to insure she could build a house and keep it without having trouble. She didn't take it that way at all, and she became verbally abusive to me, insulting not only me, but my kids as well. She gets that way when things don't go her way and I'm beginning to wonder if she's a little bipolar. Most people go out and buy a pair of new shoes or a cupcake when they are down. She went out and bought a damn house! I told that to my step-dad when he laughingly said women go out and spend money when they are upset. I told him she could buy shoes all she wanted but not a damn house!! LOL! Anyways, that's the way my sister is. When it suits her, I'll be her best friend. Right now, I'm not. That's another reason it wouldn't be good for me to "rent" a basement apartment...she'd throw me out the first time she got ....ed off at me! I'm not stupid enough to put myself in that position. I did talk with my mother 2 days after talking with them all. My mother says my sister did back out of the house contract and stop payment on the check because they wouldn't give her figures on how much it would cost to build the house. I don't know where everything else stands. But, after insulting me and my children (with my daughter sitting right there and getting very hurt and angry by it all), my sis called me today to tell me about the funeral service this coming Saturday. Like nothing at all had happened. Sheesh.... Bipolar, I think. Instead of calling her ex and finding out when the stupid funeral is (time, place) and instead of placing the obit herself, she says, "he needs to call me" meaning her ex. You'd think with one son dead and two others hanging in the balance, she'd quit playing games and start talking to the guy. When her ex drove 2 hours to come tell us that the son was dead, she made his 2nd wife sit out in the car! Yikes. Mebbe I need another family. Anyways, you all can see why I've been too busy to write much. Thanks again for your prayers and for your comments and suggestions. I'd love to see my sister get evaluated for her "issues" but she refuses to talk to anyone about herself (meaning a therapist) and she refuses to take medication for her problems...even when she was severely depressed right after her divorce back when our brother was burned. Some of you may even remember a nasty comment or two that she posted on my brother's web site that my daughter had to remove. Keep the prayers coming. I'm thinking of moving back OUT of town! hugs, Robi EDITED TO FIX THE DOUBLE POST THAT MY LITTLE WHITE KITTY CAUSED! BAD BOY!
  5. Rocky, you have been incredibly loving and supportive in this. Thank you very much for that. I appreciate it more than you know. Jen-o, yes, I did catch the reference to the service as being a little different from the usual, but very healing for the friends and family left behind. That is definitely a thought. I guess we will talk about what sort of service my sister wants when we gather today. I actually did my brother's service a few years ago when he died, although I was never a great twig leader or teacher back in TWI days. I just shared the Hope of the Return with everyone. His girlfriend spoke about him as well. It was a very beautiful, loving service. My brother would have loved it because he HATED it when he went to funerals and it was so obvious that the person speaking did not know the deceased. I thought he would have liked it better for me to do it. My mother loved it and it seemed to be very comforting to those who were there. I spoke to my sister tonight. She sounded good. She called me to make arrangements for the family dinner tomorrow afternoon! I had to laugh at that...my mother is the greatest cook ever, and I was even planning on making some things to bring, but her boyfriend wants to cook steaks for us all and she was busy organizing that and sounding, well, almost cheerful about it. Actually, she did say that she was having good moments as well as bad, but that she was hanging in ok. That was good to hear. And it was good to have her keep busy planning a meal. I actually wasn't sure she would want the entire family gathering at my mom's tomorrow (where she is staying through this) when she will just be getting back from such an ordeal...but she said she would welcome the distraction. That was good that we got to clarify. One thing I mentioned to her was how I always endeavored to beat the devil at his games by making something good come out of something bad. I told her that it was my hope and prayer that somehow, someway, we could all see some good come out of this horrific experience...whether it was her younger son getting the help he needed for his depression and becoming a happy boy, or whether her 2nd son would finally see that his "pouting" for the past few years and not talking to his mom was stupid in light of the big picture. Or whatever. Anyways, she got the message and agreed. Hopefully, we will see some good out of it all. The good thing is that when I talked with her tonight, her heart was not terribly heavy...and that is an answer to prayer. Kimberly, I'm so sorry words of anger were the last ones spoken between your sister and Josh. How awful to have to live with that. After my brother was burned, then lingered barely alive for 3 months before passing, I swore I would learn something from it. Anytime my daughter, or son, would get mad with someone in the family, I would remind them that they could be mad, but they were still family. It has kept their hearts open and softer than they might otherwise have been had it not been for the things we experienced. I will continue to pray for your family. And you, my dear. Thank you again, to all of you. My son arrived tonight. I just tucked him in and now I will go to bed in anticipation of a busy day on Sunday. Thank you for your continued prayers. I can see they have been working in a big way! hugs, Robi
  6. Oh Kimberly, my love and prayers are with you and your family for continued healing. I needed to hear from people who've gone through it, as well as from people who could teach me what I needed to know from the biblical standpoint. I'm sorry you had to go through it. I know it was very difficult for you to read, let alone post, but I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Please keep in touch and let me know of your family's continued healing as we continue to pray for them. Sweetie, one of the things I would suggest to you is to lay it out here and have our GS family help you work through it. It is what has helped me through so many crisis' (sp) in my life. I've always been able to count on coming here to get answers from people who've been through it and who can add a biblical knowledge to it all. Waysider, I agree. I wouldn't want just scriptures being thrown at me. But I would, however, want someone to be able to speak to me in an educated manner, based on biblical scripture, about the situation. Caveman has done an EXCELLENT job of that. Thank you very much for the scripture back up. You see, I know the general principle, but I wasn't able to logically teach it to my sister. I will now be able to, when she is ready. Right now, all she needed to know was that it was NOT true that suicide meant not going to heaven. That's exactly why I posted here, and I thank you. We all have learned from coming here that we tend to grieve in different ways, at different speeds. I will keep gently reminding my family of that if it should become a problem. Waysider, your reminder of the different grieving was timely. Thank you. As was your mention of how TWI simplified everything down to a devil spirit. That is something I would certainly NOT want to hit my sister in the face with...."Oh, your son committed suicide because HE WAS POSSESSED BY THE DEVIL!" How hateful it was for them to teach us that...and how especially hateful it was for them to not ever allow us to grieve when we had losses. A period of grieving is so very necessary when there is a loss, no matter how small or large! I was thinking just exactly what you wrote about the devil spirits. Jen-o, now I remember your telling us about your son's friend. I know I've seen several discussions of suicide here and I appreciate the reminders. Thank you for your prayers. Lifted, thank you for giving me the location of one of those discussions of suicide in PM. I will definitely go there and read about it to see what I can learn. Jim, thank you for your message. I can only hope and pray that you never have to go through a dark period again. It boils down to people reaching out for help when they are down, I think. Many times I hear people have gotten counseling or tried a medication for depression only to quickly decide that it's not helping. I can only encourage people to try many different counselors and several different types of medications before they give up on that type of 'help'. Every body is different. There is no ONE answer...but many, and some work better than others for each individual. Thank you to all of you who have prayed. I feel like I've gotten a reprieve, a chance to gather myself, while my sister went to get her son's body. For that I am very thankful. It has allowed me to get some very good information to have on hand for when she asks questions. Our time will come in the days after his funeral service. Michael was cremated last night and my sister is now on her way back to Georgia from Virginia with his remains. She will be here either late tonight or sometime tomorrow, if they stop and stay somewhere. She has already had one 'breakdown' where she became a little kooky about something, but I think she's entitled...she had just seen her son with a gunshot wound to his head...(God Bless her...I still don't think I could do that with my kid). Anyways, she is calmer today, and that's good. Tomorrow (Sunday) is the day we will all get together again at my mothers to mourn and figure out where we go from here. Please keep praying because that will certainly be a hard day for all. I have heard a little more about what is in that letter...it seems it has to do with his mom and his adopted father (my sisters 2nd husband, who adopted Michael when they married when he was about 8 or so) and how badly his father treated his mom during (and after) the divorce. From what I understand, he is blaming his adopted father for causing my sister so much grief during the divorce and for splitting up the family...but I'm sure there is more. After all, that was about 8 years ago. Since then, there has been a lot of bad blood, but I'm not sure what his take on it all has been. At least this shows us that he understands his mother was not the one at fault. Whatever... oh, it seems he started writing that letter about 2 weeks ago. That's the saddest part. Actually, guys, I am doing very well through this. Although it hurts me tremendously to see my sister and the rest of my family hurting, I cling to The Hope. It is such a comfort to me. As are you all. Thank you again for your thoughts and prayers. love, Robi
  7. Thank you for some very wonderful answers here and in PM. I appreciate them so much. First of all, an update: Right now my sister is in Virginia with her boyfriend and 15 year old son. Also there is her ex-husband, his new spouse, and her 19 year old son. She has had little contact with the 19 year old son since her very bitter divorce and there has been nothing but hatefulness and trouble from her ex. My mother, when she spoke to her today, asked her if her ex was being ok to her and my sis replied, "I guess." They have spoken to the detective and have probably already been to the funeral home. Evidently he was take to one and 'cleaned up' and my sis was told he was ok to be seen if she wanted to view him. I think she wanted to, so she may have by now (last I spoke to my mom was 3 hours ago). They will all come back to Georgia tomorrow night, very late, so I won't see her until Sunday, probably. Back to your comments... Bow-Twi & WG, thank you for your very kind words. Fortunately, since my brother's also traumatic death, my family has had many discussions about the Hope of the Return and we cling to that. It is a great comfort to us...and it was why I was so suprised that my sister thought her son wouldn't go to heaven because he committed suicide. I'm not sure where she learned that, but I think some mainstream churches probably teach it. I did tell her, very firmly yet lovingly, that our God was not like that at all. I think she is ok with that by now. I STRONGLY agree that she is going to be in need of a great deal of love and comfort...and NOT in the form of bible verses being tossed her way. I think I was just wanting to make sure I had the back up verses for when I start talking to her about what happens to a saint when suicide is involved...if there is even anything in the bible about that? I don't remember that there is. I'm not really a bible quoting type person...but I'm real good at remembering how much God loves us and will do "above all that we can ask or think." Gosh, does anyone really need to know any more than that? That about covers it, in my book....but I want to be as comforting to her as I can, you know. I think, too, that I am most concerned about the 15 year old son. See, he was just down for a visit and he had just told his mom that he was very depressed and wanted to see about getting help for that...whether meds, counseling, or whatever. Now, I know that half the problem is solved just by an ADMISSION, so I am proud the little guy could get that out. I'm just worried that this will really lay heavy on him. I will personally see that he gets to a doctor as soon as everything dies down about Michael. In the meantime, we all plan to stay very close to him and his mom and we will do our best to love and comfort them. Rocky, you are right...time does help. I used to say it "helped heal." Since my brother's death, though, I've begun to see it as "time helps take the sting out of death." I still hurt over my brother's death, but the hurt doesn't sting quite as bad. I'm not arguing with you at all...just sharing a little something I learned the hard way! I appreciate your words. You are very right about watching out for people being judgemental. At this point, the family is of the consensus that he must have been in a great deal of pain to feel like this was the only thing that would ease him. Everyone wishes they could have done something, etc. So far, the comments have been loving and not of a blaming or angry nature...which is good. I am afraid, however, what might be said when we learn what is in the 8 page letter that he left. I have spoken to my children (my kids are in their early 20's) and to my parents about us having to be VERY careful what we say or how we react when we learn what's in it. That is an awful long suicide letter. I'm concerned we are in for some bombshell news and I want us all to be prepared for it (not scared, just prepared). My 70 year old mother is the matriarch of the family and she is very conservative...she wouldn't be accepting of many types of lifestyles or situations that were too far off the straight and narrow. I have already spoken to her, as well, about how we have to be very careful not to say anything that would cause any guilt or sound judgemental. Mr. P-Mosh, Thank you for your words, as well. I'm sorry for your losses in life. I think we would have a much better time of healing and moving on from these things if we didn't just miss the people so darn much...don't you? Not only their lives and personalities, but in the case of a child or baby, all that their live's represent for the future. *Sigh* No, life after a suicide will not be normal for my sister or her other sons. It will be very difficult. Hopefully, the 19 year old son who's been "mad" at his mom for the past 8 years will realize that life is too short to play stupid games...and he will return to the 'fold'. I learned that after my brother's death, for sure. I remind my children often that even though 'this' person acts stupid from time to time and 'that' person is rude from time to time, they are still "family" and as such, we forgive and move on because "family is family". I've said it so many times recently when they get into tifts with other family members but it's so true! Life is just too short. Moving on one day at a time is a good piece of advice. I will definitely remind my sister of that when she gets down. We don't have to get through the next few years with this grief. We just have to get through today. Then we will do it again tomorrow. It makes it more manageable. Lifted, again, thank you for your heart and your friendship over the years. You are a precious friend with a huge heart. In my brother's case, I had to keep it together the whole time. I couldn't loose it. I was the one making all the decisions. My mother was non-functional in the ordeal because she couldn't handle the death of her child and she was angry at him over the way he got burned. The other siblings had other things going at the time. I could not allow myself to grieve at the time...and I think it's why it's taken me so long to get over his death. It still stings me to this day and it's been 7 or 8 years. Well, I guess one NEVER gets over the death of a loved one...it just stings a little less. My mother did thank me, just the other day, for "bearing the burden" of Pete's ordeal. Of course I never thought of it as such. She was telling my sister that she wished she could do something to help "bear the burden" of Michael's death. She kept saying, "I feel so helpless. I wish I could do something." I told her she had already done her job...she'd raised up a couple of very strong daughter's and we would all get through this. You know, in the past when I had periods of depression (especially during the ending of my marriage) I remember feeling so "cotton-brained". I couldn't think straight or make appropriate decisions. I have told my children that if they ever get down, and if they ever feel that way, please get help. Depression runs in our family and at that point it is time to get treatment of some sort. Thanks again, y'all. I appreciate the tidbits of advice from people who've been there just as much as people who can tell me the biblical side of what I'm dealing with. Now we just have to see what that letter reveals. Please continue to pray for that situation. By the way, Michael was a veteren. My sister will have his ashes interred at a military burial site here in Georgia. She also wants to keep a small portion of his ashes in a heart shaped locket that she will wear. Is that weird? I don't think I would want to do it, but if she wants to, it's her decision. hugs, Robi
  8. Today we were notified that my sister's oldest son, Michael, committed suicide. There is no question that it was intentional because he left an 8 page letter. We haven't been able to read it because he and it are several states away and we won't travel there to handle his remains until later today. From what we know, he shot himself in the head. There is no question that he was serious about doing it. His aim was deadly. What horrified me the most was that my sister became hysterical at the thought that she would never see him in heaven because he'd committed suicide. I very quickly informed her that it NEVER says that anywhere in the bible and anyone who does say it is WRONG. That helped a bit...but I just couldn't think of much else to say to her about the situation and I am here to BEG for your help with this. Paw, if there is a more appropriate forum for this topic, please place it there. Thank you for your kindness and patience. Below, in bold print, is what I need, specifically, from all the g'spotters. The rest is just filler... I have already posted a prayer request but this is more than that...I want and need instruction on how to help my family heal and I hope you all will help me, knowing what we know from TWI and what some of you have learned since leaving. It is very important for me to be correct and careful in what I say to my family. (A little background for those of you who don't know me or my family: I was in TWI from 79-94 (with a little time off for good behavior in the late 80's to early 90's). My 23 year old daughter & 22 year old son has a father (my ex) who is still in TWI to this day, although he didn't get in until the mid 90's). They have some knowledge of TWI beliefs from going to some things and what I've taught them since. I used to post here pretty regularly until it was time for me to start moving on. This is always a place of comfort for me to come back to when I need to ask questions, or ask for prayers and support. My mother (Michael's grandmother) originally took PFAL in the late 70's and she got me in at that time. Although my sister (the mother of the deceased child) and step father have taken the class in the early 80's. they never really did anything with it and didn't go to fellowship much. Although the family has always heard my mother and I discussing bible issues and different things from PFAL's point of view, none of them really went to church or anything. Basically they all were 'non-believing believers'. I suppose that means they all basically believe in God but they don't really know much else about that.) My question to all of you is this...what do I tell them or teach them to help them? I was so horrified at my sister's comment on her son not going to heaven "because he committed suicide" that I was very careful not to say anything erroneous until I could do some research. This was all extremely sudden, of course. The great thing is that just 2 days ago, before we had an idea of what was to come, my sister and I were talking about my brother's death when he was burned about 7 years ago and lived 3 months...and we weren't sure when he was in the hospital if he was "saved" or "born again". When I told one of his nurses that we weren't sure, that nurse came in to work on his day off and spent the afternoon with me talking to my brother about being saved and why you need to be and what it takes. We also talked a little about the Hope and being together again when there is no more pain and no more tears. With that conversation fresh, we didn't need to speak much about the Hope because I know she knows we have Hope. My mother and my children are up to speed on the Hope, as well. I have no idea about my sister's other 2 children. It's these other 2 children left behind that I am mostly having trouble with, as far as what to say to them or to teach them. My sister, too, of course. Michael was 29 or 30. Not married, no kids. His brothers left behind are 19 and 15. I have NO idea if they have ever been presented with Romans 10:9 & 10 and I will certainly start there. Presently, they both live with their dad in about 2 hours away from their mom (and me) and the youngest only sees her on routine visitations. The 19 year old has been mad with her since his mom & dad divorced 7 or 8 years ago and he refuses to speak with her. (The divorce was NOT my sister's fault, for what it's worth, but the 2nd son, the 19 year old, has been mad with her since). Neither my sister or her ex-husband have ever attended any sort of church with their kids so I don't know what the kids know about God at all...little to nothing, I would bet. How do I help them? What do I teach them? Have any of you been through a traumatic sucide such as this and been left so suprised? We had no clues. His father says he had no idea that the son was depressed or having problems. He swears there were no signs of problems and Michael had been at his house very frequently in the past few weeks visiting and having dinner with them. Perhaps when we get a copy of that suicide letter, we will have a better idea about WHY he did it, but the questions about suicide itself remain. I have Elizabeth Kubler-Ross' books on Death and Dying that I will take to my sister and mother tomorrow (my sis is staying with my mother right now). My mother and I are both RN's so we've certainly seen death. It's the suicide part that I'm not sure of how to teach from a biblical perspective. This is what I need, specifically, please: I would appreciate a serious discussion on suicide...how to move on, how to help the family left behind, etc., from a "post TWI and having learned more" perspective. How to know that you WILL see someone again in Heaven even if you don't KNOW if he was 'born again' or saved? My personal opinion on that one (about how to know if you will see someone again) is that if God can answer our prayers even "above all that we can ask or think" then I'm sure He has a plan for those who haven't been saved in this lifetime. I guess, in this case, it could even fall into the category of "he may not have ever learned enough to be saved." But, does a mother's believing still carry her 29 or 30 year old son? I don't know...do any of you? Well....let me rephrase...I guess that none of us will KNOW for sure until we are there, but what have you all learned from the bible on this/these subjects? We don't even know who to get to do a service in the Atlanta/Gwinnet area. Any former TWI people there who are now going to a regular church in that area that you would recommend? My sister has even talked of doing it at a funeral home but is it even MORE important in this case to have someone teach about the Hope? I personally dislike the thought of a 'teaching' at a funeral but, unfortunately, many churches do just that. I guess I should say, is it more important in this case to have someone do the service who has an accurate knowledge of the Hope so that they can leave the family, my family, with Hope? My deepest thanks to those of you who can help me with some of these questions. I will peek in from time to time to see what I can learn and I will post again when I can. I'm not yet sure just who is going to make the trip to pick up my nephew's body and his personal effects...we will decide that later this morning as we talk to the detectives and other people involved. Again, thank you so much for a discussion that will help me be the best I can be for my family at this time. Robi
  9. Raf, dude... Fine. She can have ALS. Who says she has the disease has to keep progressing in her? Thhhbbfftt! Seriously, my heart and prayers are with you and your family. All my love to you all. I'm so glad you have a wonderful wife to share your grief with. And a wonderful family. I don't know much about ALS, other than Stephen Hawkins is a BRILLIANT man...what came first? :B) Let me know if I can do anything for you, my dear friend. Hang in there and enjoy your family...our family's are one of the most precious things we have and we don't realize it until something like this happens. hugs and prayers, Robi
  10. Robes

    The Raf Wedding Countdown!

    Congratulations ((((Raf)))) & Christine! I'm sorry I missed it, but I'm glad you did it! I know how long you have been looking for the perfect woman for you and I'm so thrilled that you've found her and started on a wonderful. I wish you all the best. I'd love to see pictures and hear the story! Package up your wedding photos and send us a link! Christine, welcome to the family! It's a big one! As you must have already realized, we all love and respect Raf SO much! He will be a great addition to your life, as if you didn't already know that! What a great idea about the Broadway Themed wedding. My daughter loves Broadway & theater...send more details. She's gonna get married some day soon, I guess (she's early 20's, but not currently dating anyone special), and I'm sure she'd love your ideas. She currently manages an Arts Center and is interviewing to work with a wonderful theater (she loves the backstage stuff & management). Do you have any links to wedding registries? I'd love to help you get your new life started but I have no idea what you guys might like or need. PM me with your snail mail addy as well! Again, all the best to you guys. I'm so happy for you! hugs, Robi
  11. Happy birthday, Psalmie! Sorry I missed it...I can't seem to stay up to date lately! Must be this oldtimer's that I have....don't worry, you'll get it! hugs, Robi
  12. Robes

    A special mesage

    Awww...I love little white kitties!
  13. Sorry I missed your BD, Dot! I've been busy in real-world land (as opposed to 'computer land'!). Hope it was happy...and I hope you have many more healthy ones! hugs, Robi
  14. Actually, urine is sterile when it comes from the bladder. Uh, I guess that is if the person is not infected with HIV or some other disease that is transmitted by body fluids. Ick. I'll take my chances and rely on hand cream and gloves if it ever comes up...
  15. I loved going 'home' and meeting up with all my old friends from around the country. I used to think that I could go anywhere in the country and have friends, and the ROA was our homecoming, our reunion, where we'd all get together once a year. I loved hearing, "It's good to be home again!" announced over the loudspeaker because I truly felt like I was home. I loved seeing the fly-over and seeing VPW & MRS. waving at us from the gazebo. I loved the way I could just wander around and run into the people I wanted to see. I never used that little tented area where people left messages for each other....I'd just say, "God, I need to see ______" and they'd appear...usually on my way to the farmer's market or the main tent. I loved the early morning frost in tent city. I grew up in Florida, so it was the coldest I'd ever been but it was cool! I loved getting a shower early & going to the farmers market for the wonderful fruit and cinnamon yogurt! Then I'd find a place to sit and run into someone cool to talk to and we'd have the best time chatting! I loved how we could shut out the entire world and pretend they didn't exist. There were no cell phones and only, maybe, 2 pay phones. You had to be very serious if you wanted to call anyone from grounds. You had to stand in line for a while. There was no one I wanted to talk to bad enough! I loved the single guys! I was a single girl for my first couple of rocks and it was cool seeing who you could meet! The guys were always so respectful.... I loved Way Productions! Since I lived with one of them for a while, I got to know some of them and I thought it was so COOL since they were ROCK STARS! LOL! I loved the Way Woods when it got so hot in the afternoon. It was great going over there just to lay down on a blanket and rest a while in the shade....that was before the Auditorium and all that stuff....back when they were just woods, with the House Of His Healing Presence there....and the log cabin, before it was commandeered by stupid old craig... I loved tent city...even when it rained because then I could see how God worked in people to help others out. Once I got totally flooded out and a guy let me sleep in the back of his pickup with him. Of course, I knew him from my city, but he was a complete gentleman. I think he even slept up front in the truck cab. I loved when the had the Arts tents....where people could display their arts and crafts. And the International tents....where we could see people from so many other countries. All these things were in the late 70's, early 80's......I missed going from 1983 to 1993. When I went back in 1994.. OMIGOD were things different!! Not much to love at the rock after that....I never went back after the rock in 1994. It was too controlled. Although I wanted to believe it was the 'same old way' it just wasn't. Things were not the same. My 'old friends' who were still around were wearing suits and acting suspicious...like, "Where've you been?" I missed the big exodus because I was busy having kids and going to nursing school. I'd never taken sides, or crossed the 'line in the sand' but I got treated with suspicion that was palpable!! Still, I was sad to hear that the Rock was cancelled. VPW promised us that it would always be home. Then LCM took it all away from us....like he took the Corps Chalet away from the corps!
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