Dear Mom, Andrew and Sarah

Mom, I’ve wanted to write some reflections ever since the day you went to be with Jesus, four weeks ago today. The words haven’t been there until now. I’ve included my son and daughter in these reflections as I hope that they can learn from me…and from you mom.

Mom, you loved your Lord. You lived for Him and longed for us to do the same. You moved to Fargo in the midst of my own struggles and felt right away that perhaps you shouldn’t be here. You thought you complicated things. Truth is, it is always easier to walk through the darkness when you know mom is close by. For many days I didn’t believe God was close by, but I knew you were. Your unconditional love and care helped me move through the darkness into the light. Over the last couple of years you will never know what our phone calls meant to me, or what it meant to me to be able to stop in and say hi. I still see you in the hallway watching me walk down to your apartment. I’ve missed you very much these last four weeks.

Andrew and Sarah, I’ve included you in these reflections. I know you love it when I do such things:) Over these last few years you’ve seen your dad struggle now and then. You’ve seen him in a dark place and spent time worrying and praying for him. In many ways I regret that you have had to see my journey and I am sorry. I know you never thought I was super-dad, but you want to hide some things from your kids. Truth be told, I now am at a stage in my journey and recovery that I am thankful that you have seen my vulnerability. I’m glad you know that I understand what it means to walk through the darkness and to come out on the other side. I want you to know that I get it. That I understand. I didn’t see my mom’s vulnerability until recently. She hid it. Because she did, it was hard for me to talk to her about my own struggles. My prayer is that you will always know that you can talk to your dad.

Yep, you’ve learned over the years that when I share something personal with you kids, I tend to share it with the whole world. So it is today. Truth is, others can learn from us. I’m so proud of you both. You were good to your grandma and it warmed my heart. She was proud of you too. She is bragging to Jesus about the young man and young woman you have become. She rejoiced that you too know Jesus as your savior and friend. And perhaps now, after four weeks of “welcome to heaven” orientation she understands that her kids and grandkids are human beings too. The ground is level before the cross of Christ. We are all sinners in need of forgiveness and redemption. Don’t you ever forget it. You are no better or worse than anyone else. You are a masterpiece of God in need of His grace.

So Mom. Thank you. Thank you for your love and grace. Thank you for adopting four children and giving us every opportunity in the world to become ourselves. Thank you for your unconditional love and for being there when I needed you. Thank you for guiding me in my faith and showing me that “one life, it will soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.”

Say hi to dad. Tell him I look forward to biscuits and gravy at the buffet table in heaven. You are now free of all the worry and things that bound you in this life. Free! You are free indeed.

And to you, Andrew and Sarah. Thank you too for hanging in there with your dad. I wish I could protect you from the struggles that come in life. I know I can’t. All I can do is live today to bring glory to God and to tell you that your old man understands. My arms are big and warm and my love is unconditional and never ending.

Your Loving Son and Devoted Father,



One thought on “Dear Mom, Andrew and Sarah

  1. Paul Bauman says:

    Dale, I just read this and it was the first news I had of your Mom’s passing. I know how hard it can be. You probably did not know that my Mom just passed in late March as well. I know that the knowledge that you will be able to see here again is a comfort. I have thought of you more than once recently and you have been in my prayers. Pass on my thoughts to Dean as well. All my best to you and your family. Paul

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