Sunday, March 10th

I am at home today. Can’t do church and music yet. It is gray and rainy outside. My two dogs are lying beside my chair as I type, asleep. Although this sounds melancholy, I am actually fine this morning. I have been worshipping with the Scriptures that your comments and emails have given me, and it is peaceful and calm in my heart. I think your prayers have everything to do with that. You friends have really upheld me for the past days, and I am so thankful. There are still plenty of tears, but there is hope, too. I wrote in my journal yesterday about another set of opposites that I feel – a hole and a lump, both huge in size, both inside of me. But today it has been easy to dwell on the fact that God will fill the hole with his grace and plans for me. He will also shrink the lump in time. Some days all I can do is to feel them. But today is one of hope – thank you.

I also journaled about the things I am thankful for, and the list is long. One of these days I will share with you all of the things Kent did to prepare for this time, and it will amaze you. I need to write about the ways in which my children and friends have sustained me. They have been wonderful, and have shown me love in ways that I did not think about before. They have taught me things to say and do that are so helpful, and also things not to say and do. Helpful stuff.

Well, I must quit for now. Thank you for making me and my family your on-going ministry of prayer. God’s family of brothers and sisters has never been more precious to us.

Love,

Davidene

March 7, 2013 – update on Davidene

I thought I would keep you posted about how life is now for me. You have been faithful in prayer for years – could you keep it up for a little while longer? I need you. I have been journaling, and I thought I would share some of it with you. I call my journal “Reflections”. It is somewhat random, with scattered thinking, but that is how I am right now.

I have been a widow for 35 days.  It is not what I imagined at all.

Music hurts my heart.  You would think that it would bring comfort to hear about how God is my strength and comfort and hope. My head knows that, and I live every day only by His grace, peace, and hope. But music reminds me only of what I have lost – why I so badly need God’s presence right now. It makes attending church hard, too. I have yet to get through an entire Sunday morning at church. And yet, sitting in my recliner in my living room, with the fireplace going, not looking at the empty recliner beside mine, comforts me. You would think that spending evenings as we did for so long would keep me in tears. But the opposite is true. It seems right – restful and calm. How can such opposites reside in the same entity?

Another set of opposites in me – simplicity and chaos. The two activities that primarily defined my life were taking care of Kent and writing for him. Both are missing at present.  I should have more time, but life seems busier than ever – filled with things that are not me. Like going to the office, sorting through stuff that were in their rightful places to begin with, an activity made more painful by giving and throwing away. He doesn’t need them anymore, and someone else can use them either physically or emotionally. But my heart needs for him to need them. That would mean he is with me.

I woke up this morning thinking, “This is enough. He needs to come home now.” I cried for hours. Then my daughters arrived and cried with me. Then we all hugged, made some coffee and chai, and went back to writing “thank you” cards. And how very thankful we are for our friends and family who have so faithfully shown love and care in so many ways. Although it is real work just to think and write, I am glad for the tradition of the cards. We want to say “thank you”, and we mean it.

How do widows make it without loving children? My kids and grandkids have sustained me in so many ways. When my girls arrived yesterday, they came bearing cards and pictures made by grandchildren. Carly, my eleven-year-old granddaughter, spent a long time on the computer, printing out many many photos that she thought would make me happy. They are all of her and her brother being silly and adorable. They are now all over my house, spots of happiness everywhere. My son, Lance, has supported me in untold numbers of ways. His dad prepared him to oversee the business, and teach me what I need to know and do, and he has been amazing. He is dealing with his own grief, but he has made the way easy for me, just as Kent knew he would.

I think I am finished for today. I will keep on sharing my journal with you as I can. I love you and your prayers.

Davidene

Feb 6 – update

Dear Friends:

Yesterday we observed graveside and memorial services for Kent. Many of you were there, and came to get a hug. I loved that. Many of you are too far away to come, so I thought I would share a few things about yesterday.

One of my dear widow friends told me that, in a strange way, I would enjoy the day. She was correct. I loved it, and Kent would have, as well.

I woke up to a gloriously sunny day with no wind. Since that never happens in Oklahoma (especially the “no wind” part), I decided that the whole day was a gift from God. Heaven seemed happy. My children and grandchildren were healthy, and you should have seen my handsome grandsons in their suits. It may never happen again that they are all together in suits, but I have pictures to prove that it happened yesterday. Their “Wads” would have said, “Classic!” (By the way, for those of you who are wondering, the name Wads rhymes with “Dads”.)

Both the graveside service and the memorial service were filled with praise and honor to our Heavenly Father, as well as tribute to Kent. I think both of them were pleased. Of course, true to Kent’s pre-planning, he had his services written down for us. We just followed his instructions and added a few tiny details. He made everything easy for us before he left.

When we arrived back at the house, it was obvious that my children and grandchildren did not want to leave me there. But I had a plan to keep somewhat busy for the evening. I had my dogs returned to me.  They had been staying at a friend’s home during the past chaotic week. They are both trained therapy dogs, and I think they immediately took me on as their next work project. It is nice to have something alive and happy to see you when you get home. The house seems really big now, and empty without all the medical equipment sitting around. Please keep praying for me and my family. We need it. Adjusting to such a huge change will not be quick or easy for us, but I do know this. God would not have taken Kent if that plan did not work into the plans He has for the rest of us as well. We will trust Him to develop what life is supposed to look like – one day at a time. No hurry, just let grief and time work its way eventually into something else. How can I not be “Mrs. Kent”? Only God knows.

Again, thank you for your prayers and other thoughtful ways of expressing your care. We do so appreciate it. I’ll still be in touch to let you know how things are from time to time.

We love all of you,

Davidene and family

Feb. 3 – update

Dear Friends:

I want to share with you the beautiful tribute that our daughter, Kenda wrote about her dad:

 

The Wads

Two days ago I lost my dad.  We called him The Wads.  I know you’re thinking us kids made up that name when we were young and couldn’t pronounce words, but that is actually not the case.  My brother and I were older than I want to admit when we developed a secret language that we were sure no one else would be able to speak or understand.  Mostly, we started everything with “W” and ended up sounding a lot like the French chef muppet.  That is when dad became The Wads.
You knew the minute The Wads walked into a room…and the minute he walked out of it.  He was a loud speaking, big laughing, close talking, arms waving, fast moving, high octane, force of nature. He had a faith so big it left no room for worry, an optimism that plowed through every obstacle, a passion that sparked the fire of dreams, and a joy that swept up everyone in his path.
He taught me the value of prayer and bible reading.  As a little girl I watched him go into his study every morning to meet with God before going off to work.  He taught me not to forget the alone…the widows and orphans.  I watched as he took care of them every month with his encouraging cards and gifts.  He taught me to give to others until it hurts, then give some more.  He taught me to show grace and love not only to my friends, but to those who would wish to harm me.  I saw how he treated others in business even when they were unjust to him.  He taught me to work hard, every hour of every day.  And he taught me how to think big, dream big, and believe I could do anything.
His life was an adventure.  Definitely not because he chose an exciting career…he was a businessman, a distributer…but because he chose to dream.  He chose to allow God’s dreams to fill his heart, and he chose to pursue those dreams.  He believed God could use a single businessman from Oklahoma to change the lives of people across the world.  And he did.
My dad’s life was amazing, incredible, brave, and more powerful than he knew.  But he would never say that of himself, only of the God who gave him life.  In fact, Wads said this…”If Jesus can take a driven, impatient and religious Pharisee like me, and begin to change me, then he can do it with anyone.”
In a world full of people who are beat down, stressed out and depressed…going through the motions, but going nowhere…caught in the doldrums.  Wads would say we can all have a different kind of life.  We can all have joy and passion, energy and adventure, because we can all have the God who provides it.
I am proud, honored and eternally grateful that I got to be his daughter.  And in his honor, I will take this life and I will live it to the fullest.  I will allow myself to dream and to get swept up in the adventure God has for me.  And when I come to my last day, I will be as happy and peaceful as my dad was on his.

Feb 1st – update

Dear Friends:

Although it is relatively early, I slept well last night. I woke up to an amazed sensation of being surrounded by love, and it is true. I am.

The outpouring of your care and love toward me and my family has been amazing. Truly, God gave us a huge gift when He created the concept of family – both biological and spiritual. My family and my brothers and sisters in Christ have put their arms around me in every way. As you can imagine, I am in a fuzzy little bubble of unreality, but I am peaceful and very aware of people’s hearts of love toward me. I can’t wait for his memorial service. It is going to be everything he wanted (I know that because he planned it in advance!) My children have added their own creativity to honor their father, as well. I have incredible children and grandchildren.

This isn’t saying much. I just wanted you to know that we are doing well. God is good – all the time. We are all sharing tears, stories, and much laughter. We hope to see many of you on Tuesday for the memorial. Have a blessed weekend. I’ll blog again soon.

Love, Davidene

January 31st – update

KENT JACK HUMPHREYS

6/29/46 – 1/30/13

Lover of God – Lover of People

Dear Friends, our sweet Kent has been healed. God took him to Heaven last night about 10:00 He ran an excellent race, finished it well, and I have confidence that Jesus welcomed him as His “good and faithful servant”.

I am not sure that Heaven is ready for the boisterous personalities of both Kent and Kent’s father, Jack, but they are together again, (probably figuring out statistics about something). His sister, Jan, whom he dearly loved, is again giving him hugs, and undoubtedly showing him around with great pride.

Although it is somewhat comforting to know that he is perfectly well and healthy, and to picture his reunions, our hearts are already sad with the grief of missing him. Please thank God with me for his peaceful release, and keep praying for our family as we make such major adjustments. How quiet and slow life will seem!

Living with him has been a passionate, energetic, and active journey. It seems hard to think that purposeful life could go on without him. But, true to his nature, he gave me a purpose before he left. After the health traumas of 2 1/2 years ago, he became very focused. He felt an urgence to finish putting on paper the thoughts that God had given him to share over the years. He finished the drafts of two series of books. I will finish those books for him, as he knew I would. Isn’t that just like him?

Here is an interesting fact: the next book we were going to work on was volume 2 of “Encouragement For Your Journey Alone: Meditations of Hope for Widows”. I will get encouragement from him every day for awhile! He always did take care of me. Well, I am now officially rambling through a foggy brain, so I will quit for today.

I love all of you, and thank you for upholding us through this journey. You have been with us for years, and I am asking God to bless you abundantly in my behalf. The memorial service for Kent will be next Tuesday at Crossings Community Church. The funeral home is Vondell Smith and Sons on N. McArthur in Okla. City. If you can attend the service, come find me after and get a hug.

Love, Davidene and family

Jan 29th – update

Today was a rather quiet day. Kent’s vital signs remain held in normal ranges by medicines.  He now has a lot of edema (fluid in his soft tissues that makes his hands, feet, arms, and legs very puffy). His trach was replaced with a little longer one because the first one had a leak around it.  He just slept and we held his hands. We should be starting to get an idea in the next day or two if the steroids are going to bring the airways inflammation down.

So, again, we wait. I told myself all day today that I was going to rest rather than wait. I must have taken myself too seriously, because at one point I literally got a warm blanket from the nurses, leaned back in a recliner, and went to sleep! Our children and I have tried very hard to take care of ourselves by sleeping every night and eating correctly. We are tired anyway, just from the emotions of it all, but we are trying. Keep praying for our family’s general health. We have had 5 of our 8 grandchildren sick with ear infections and flu this week, and Kenda had a sick day as well. It is hard to do life, keep healthy, and have a loved one in ICU. We need to be strong for each other, and we have a few weak links right now. So we all need your prayers in this direction.

Thank you again for all you do. Prayer is hard work, and you have been working very hard for us! We love all of you, Davidene and family