FLOWERS BLOOMING

Shared by James Hoffman on July 27, 2013

These are the flowers that are blooming at home on Wanda's Birthday.

Mother's Day Reflections

Shared by Victor Hoffman on May 11, 2013

Man, a lot has changed for me personally in the almost three years that have passed since Mom headed home.  But I just thought I would share this story as it's just another in a string of God Moments in my life.

When we realized that we had to make a decision to remove the breathing tube from Mom after she fell, I think it was a mixture of saddness and relief that she was in the precense of a God she loved and undoubtedly had a few questions for Him (although I think her "understanding" came pretty instantaneously).  

My father, three brothers and I were gathered at her hospital bed as they prepared to turn things off and remove the tube.  My brother Shannon pulled out his MP3 player and started playing Chris Tomlin's Amazing Grace/My Chains Are Gone.  God's precense (and I believe Mom's) were heavy in the room. If you are familiar with the song you know that at one point in the song, after singing the begining of Amazing Grace, Chris Tomlin goes into the "My chains are gone, I've been set free" refrain.  It was EXACTLY at this instance that the nurse was pulling out the tubes....we had no idea when that part would have occurred and we certainly couldn't have timed it.  But, it was an amazing picture in which the message was clear...she was set free from the earthly chains of poor health and pain.

Fast forward to last September.  After a whirlwind of events in my life I decided that I would be baptized at the Journey Community Church Baptism at Mission Bay in San Diego.  Dad was there and my brothers were able to join me as well. It was an amazing day for me.  But, this little part of it blows my mind and I know was God blessing the decision I had made and perhaps even allowing my mother to take a peak at what was going on in her son's life.

Before the baptisms take place we all gather around and those of us being baptized go to the center and folks pray and we worship etc.  During the worship portion of the events...Jason Dennison (our worship pastor) was just playing some worship songs with members of the worship team while we sang along..  At one point he's trying to think of a song to play next and he says "let's sing Amazing Grace."   A woman in the crowd shouts out, "I was just praying that you would play Amazing Grace"....but then the biggest kicker of all....he doesn't play Amazing Grace...he plays the Chris Tomlin version Amazing Grace/My Chains Are Gone!  Wow!!!   Hard headed Vic just got what was only the begining of a string of "hey, I'm God and I'm RIGHT HERE!" moments in my life.....and they continue!

I don't know why Mom went through what she went through...but this is just one of the answers to WHERE He was during this time!

Happy Mother's Day to you....I know my Mom is having a great one! 

Dad's Final Gift to Mom

Shared by Victor Hoffman on May 10, 2013

Dad's final gift to Mom was having doves representing the Trinity released at her graveside service.  He released a final dove representing her spirit.  You can't tell in the video really...however the "Trinity doves" circled until Mom's dove was released.  They then circled back around and headed off together.  Pretty moving!

She won't miss us :-)

Shared by Victor Hoffman on November 23, 2010

As I get ready and plan my trips for the Thanksgiving/Christmas season I know this will be the first one without Mom.  I know that she is truely experiencing the Reason for the Season every day...I will miss her smile, her excitement regarding the Holiday menus..

As Mom's condition in later life wouldn't let her completely cook an entire Thanksgiving meal...she ALWAY participated.  Whether it was "advising" folks in her kitchen how to do things, sharing receipies, or preparing that relish tray....she participated and loved the season.

Mom loved having her family around during this time.  This year we will miss her incredibly.  But as we head into this Holidiay Season full of memories and stories to share...we will struggle to avoid dwelling on how much we miss her...However, it's somewhat comforting to know she won't miss us one bit! 

 

 

IN Heaven Now!

Shared by Jeffery Hoffman on July 4, 2010

As I look back at a wonderful upbringing I remembered this.

Living in Fulton, MO at an age of 5 or 6 I was enjoying a summer day with Stephen's pellet rifle. When I spotted a bird within range on a power line over head. Not thinking of the consequences of my actions I took aim and shot at the small bird. As the bird fell it sank in that I had killed the innocent bird. I picked it up and ran to Mamma with tear filled eyes. When Mamma finally understood what her little boy had done  she told me it would be okay and that the bird was in heaven now. Even though she was comforting in tone she told me that that bird was the state bird and I could be in serious trouble. I really was not in trouble but it was her way of letting me learn lessons in a kind and forgiving way. That was one of the things that made her a great mother.

As the loss of my Momma sinks  in more and more each day those comforting words come to mind "she's in heaven now"

What A Friend

Shared by Pastor Joyce Bailey on June 19, 2010

I was so blessed to have Wanda as a friend. I was her pastor, but her friendship was so wonderful.  I don't think I have ever met anyone as easy to share, laugh, pray with as it was with Wanda.  When she went through those challenging times here in Ohio, I saw a 'woman of faith' that taught me more then any experience of life. What a wonderful family that surrounded her; Jim, and all the 'boys'.  She trained them well.

Wanda loved the calls and visits from her sisters, brothers, family, and she shared some of the stories with me.  When I met them, I was already acquainted.  Melba became so special to me as she stayed here in Ohio for several months. 

I cannot put into the words the beautiful expierence at the Celebration Service for Wanda. But, that was Wanda, a sense that one had received a special gift when you were blessed to have her as a friend. 

 

 

Out of the hospital

Shared by Victor Hoffman on June 12, 2010

This picture was taken after one of Mom's rather extended hospital stays.  She had began planning while still in the hospital to get some flowers to plant.  We shopped for these flowers and planted them pretty quickly after she was released....flowers of all colors, shapes and sizes were something she enjoyed even when her sight was mostly gone.  She would often have you describe a flower to her and then when speaking of it to others would describe it as though she had seen it herself...it was my honor to describe many flowers to Mother over the years!

Pastor Joyce

Shared by Victor Hoffman on June 12, 2010

Pastor Joyce Bailey was Mom's pastor during the years they lived in London, Ohio.  The Selma Worship Center congregation and Pastor Bailey really helped Mom get through some tough health crisis.

Pastor Bailey made the trip to Mother's Home Going Celebration and gave and amazing eulogy....thank you so much!  Mom would have been honored....and you honored her memory so well!

cowboy boots

Shared by Shannon Hoffman on June 11, 2010

 I remember when I was 5 or 6 I had a pair of cowboy boots I absolutely loved. I thought they made me the Lone Ranger or at the very least a formidable local sheriff. One day I anxiously tugged them on to begin another adventure in the wild west of our backyard. But this time  something was wrong, they were  to small...i couldn't get my foot all the way in. I had apparently grown to much (overnight) and my beloved cowboy boots no longer fit. I was heartbroken...what is a cowboy without his boots? An indian thats what....just an indian. (no offense to indians, I just wanted to be a cowboy, anyway I had assigned my brother stephen to be the indian) In frustration I started bawling (cause cowboys never cry) and calling for momma. She quickly came in with much concern, picked me up in her arms and held me close. What's a matter shanny? she asked. She listened patiently and even in all the tears and blubbering momma was able to decipher that my favorite boots didn't fit. She squeezed me and said it would be alright and then said, well.. lets have a look. Still holding me in her arms, she bent down and picked up one of the boots, looked it over, and then reached inside it. She smiled sweetly and said, Oh you know what it is? I shook my head still heaving sobs, She pulled her hand out of the boot and held up a balled up sock she had retrieved from inside the toe of the boot. You left your socks inside your boots she said.  With wide eyes i replied...........I did.......? I remember being overjoyed and throwing my arms around Momma's neck and thanking her.   She set me down on the edge of the bed, retrieved the sock from the other boot and helped me get them on my feet. Perfect. fit. Then with this disaster averted, she wiped my tears away, kissed me and sent her little man on his way out west. Little cowboys are awful tough, but the still let their momma's and only their momma's kiss them. (well with an exception for their horses too) That's just one small memory, but that was Momma,,,,, loving,sweet, patient, caring, helpful, considerate and kind. I have to believe that was a small glimpse of what heaven will be like.....safe and secure in loving arms, all our concerns also his concerns though minor fixes for him, a sweet and gentle smile, and all our tears wiped away. Momma I know that you are experiencing that and even more.....but I do remember when as a child you gave a touch of it to me here below and I will always be thankful for you, my gift of a mother..... from a loving God. I will always Love you.  I will  miss you too...........until I see you again.

Wando..One of My Bestest Friends

Shared by Shirlely Rosinski on June 8, 2010

From a grateful sister, friend, and caregiver -  Sharon P. Gawthorp

What a privilege I"ve had to care for Wando. Going to dialysis, I would start singing, 'God  will make a way where there is no way,'  and she in her soft voice, would join right in. She was also a caregiver because when she prayed, she would bring other people to the throne of God with such care...always praying for others. even though she had needs of her own! I'm so grateful that God made a way for her  and Jim to move down here, What a blessing! Jim has also been her wonderful caregiver. Thanks Jim! You and Wando have raised fine boys! Thanks to my siblings and families for your love and care for our sister!  There are so many people  to thank! God bless you all!    Grateful Shae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                          

               

Wanda

Shared by Katie Manning on June 7, 2010

I met Wanda on one of the first few Sundays that Jon and I attended Ebenezer when we moved to town last fall. She asked about us and made us feel so welcome. When she told me her name, I said I knew already that I'd like her because that's my Granny's name too, but it would've been impossible not to like her no matter her name. Although I didn't get to know her for very long, I will miss her. She and Jim are such a beautiful example of a loving marriage, and I'm thankful to have such models in my life.

Thanks For Coming Home

Shared by Shirlely Rosinski on June 7, 2010

The Petrys are so blessed that Wanda and Jim came to live among us these last four years.  It was a joy to be able to see them several times a week (not sure how Jim felt about this) . We had loads of fun as we talked about our growing up years and our wonderful parents.  We are a blessed family who loves God.  We are so grateful to all the people who loved and cared for Wanda.

Jim was wonderful as he cared for her.  We never heard him complain and there were many things that he did each day for her.  We couldn't ask for a better brother-in-law.

Wanda,  It is hard to let you go, but I know you are better off..  Don't jump around too much on your new leg  and as you take in all the beauty of Heaven with your new eyes, remember to save a place for me also.

Save a Place for Me

Shared by Amby Richardson on June 6, 2010

I'm not much of a writer, but one of the things I loved and admired about Aunt Wanda was her forever and never ending PATIENCE.  I never once heard her speak out in anger, she always had such a sweet,  soft voice....even when yelling at the boys... her yelling was like my whisper hee hee    "V-I-C-T-O-R......J-E-F-F.....S-H-A-N-N-O-N....S-T-E-P-H-E-N...J-I-M....WOW! What a great woman to raise such wonderful (wild-mischievous- crazy)  boys and  not killed one of them along the way    Ha Ha  Aunt Wanda I want to live my life like you did and make my place in heaven  like you did..save a place for me......you will be missed   I Love You    Amby

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