Lynn's Continuing Journal

Saturday, September 9, 2000

If I thought making it through the first long holiday without Cees was difficult, yesterday was even more difficult… I woke early Friday morning, September 8th, it had rained hard all through the night… It was hard enough knowing that when I got up it would be a day of memories of the last eight weeks flooding over me, but having to face it with black clouds hanging overhead was almost impossible to bear.

I made coffee, turned on the computer and waited for my email to download while I poured a cup I looked at the angry clouds and said to myself…”Please, not today of all days” It wasn’t more than a few minutes and those same clouds parted, the sun came out from behind and threw a shock of light through the crystal heart that hangs on my east window and with it formed two perfect tiny rainbows on my family room ceiling….what else could I say except, “I love you Cees!” “Thank you for being here for me today!”

The family all met at my house…we caravaned to Tahoma National Cemetery.. It is a beautiful place with Mount Rainier anchoring the southeast corner of the view…I will try to post pictures my mother took in the near future….the weather continued to improve the whole while we were driving out there and by the time we arrived the nippy September wind had blown the dark clouds East and the larger white billowy ones had appeared again. I had been looking for a rainbow all the way out there, but none was to be found. The guard at the info center lined up all of our cars with mine in front and our pastor following behind mine, along with the rest of the family and friends…to say it was an awesome feeling to be driving down the long memorial drive right up to the largest flag pole and American flag I had seen in a while would be an understatement…as we rounded the curve to the committal shelter I had begun to realize this was truly for real and not just my imagination playing tricks on me. We got out of the car and walked toward the shelter. The lead guardsman took my arm and escorted me to my chair…Cees’ Mother was on my left. The color guard stood at attention as we entered the shelter, on my right stood the color guard and up on the hill behind them stood the lone bugler ready for his cue to sound off his haunting notes… It seemed as if my mind was saying…I think I’ve seen this in a movie once…but no, this is real, it’s really real.  It was as though I was standing in the back watching all of this happening but could not put me as the person in the picture…I so wanted it to be someone or somewhere else. It was so very hard to be there.

Our friend and pastor, Steve Hill, started the service with a prayer and then  offered a beautiful oration…we will always be so grateful to the Lord for bringing Steve and his wife, Diane, into our lives. When pastor finished his sermon the lead guardsman began his delivery of the most beautiful, fitting commemoration for a veteran and the most wonderful person I’ve had the privilege of spending the past 28 years of my life with. When he finished speaking four riflemen pulled three rallies of shots and the lonely notes of Taps began to play. For being so close, he sounded so far away…It’s one thing to see all of this on TV or at the movies, but to be front and center in the midst of it is indescribable.

When Taps completed the lead guardsman presented the flag to me and then a second guardsman presented three of the casings each one representing the three rallies shot in Cees’ honor.. They then presented me with silk Poppies in remembrance of our fallen veterans from all our foreign wars. Pastor Steve closed with a benediction, Cees' ashes were removed from the Memory Box I carried him in to be placed in his final resting place and we were dismissed.  I have kept the Memory Box to place those small mementos in hoping one day we'll be able to look through it and remember him with smiles instead of tears and help the grandchildren that never met him to try to get to know who he was....there will be so many stories circulating about him for years to come...I have no doubt that they will get to know their Grampa C.C., they have no choice!

We then were invited to one of our closest friend’s home for refreshments and we had the opportunity to watch the video my Niece’s fiancé made, a celebration of life video of Cees. It gets a little easier to watch each time, but there will never be a time I think that I’ll be able to watch it without a few tears… He just filled my life up so much…he had a wonderful saying. He  used to say, “I’ll grow you up and you can keep me young”. Even as sick as he was he not only grew me up…he even made me younger trying to keep up with him… 

After most folks left we decided to go to Chang’s Mongolian Grill. It was his most favorite place to go. It just felt fitting that we should go and remember him at a place we could all envision him at, sitting there with his plate heaping full of his favorite pan fried noodles, laughing, talking and making you feel so very special, that he really enjoyed being there with you. We left a chair open at the table for him, after all, he was the guest of honor…!

While we were driving to Chang’s it had begun to sprinkle and my Grandson, Curt, said to me…”Gramma, it’s starting to rain”. And I said to him, “No, that’s just Grampa crying ‘cause he can’t go to Chang’s with us”. I had no sooner said that and had pulled into the parking lot, than my new daughter-in-law was banging on my car window before I hardly had it in park… She was hollering, “Quick, get out of the car”. I had thought someone had been hit or something but she pointed to the sky to the east and said, “LOOK!”  “Dad’s painted a rainbow for us and what better place than over his favorite place to go with all of those that he loved best!” Lo and behold, folks, I have to tell you…it truly amazed me but there in front of us from the North to the South over our heads was a beautiful rainbow to commemorate a perfect end to a bittersweet but special day…. Each time I see that rainbow it’s like he’s saying…”The view is nice up here, and I’m doing just fine..”

We had a lovely dinner, we ambled on home to our respective homes…hopefully to  reflect on the day and what it and this wonderful man had meant to us…. I continue to have difficulty with each day being separated from him…but I hold fast to the promise that the Lord has given to me…that one day, and in His time…we will be all reunited again…never to have to be separated from each other or Him again…..

So everyone…this has been kind of a rendition of a diary that one would write  if one were keeping it secret…but I wish to share what I did yesterday, hoping that those of you that couldn’t be there would in a way experience what we did. As hard as it was, I was so pleased to be able to honor Cees in the way he was entitled to be honored. He loved his family and friends, he loved his country and most of all….He loved the Lord! What more could one ask for in a loving husband? He deserved to be given the place of honor that he received today….

I Love You Cees’

Your Wife,


& The Girls,

Mercy * Spirit * Faith * & Ruby

Journal Links

Site Map Meet C.C. Stem Cell Transplant Journal Of Days Obituary
July 31, 2000
August 18, 2000
August 31, 2000
September 9, 2000
September 27, 2000
October 11, 2000
November 14, 2000
January 1, 2001
January 20, 2001
April 1, 2001
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July 3, 2001
October 29, 2001
October 22, 2002
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Genesis 9:13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. KJV

Remember friends, Cees and all the others that have gone on before us are still on their first day. We're still working on those thousand.

II Peter 3:8 But beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.