In the middle of December I received a holiday dispatch from dear friends of mine, The Andersons. Amber wrote the letter (with the support of her “posse”):
The Anderson Posse

Emmry Kate, Morgan, Kendyl & Amber

Here’s the excerpt from the letter that delighted me the most:

In March the daughter of a former smoker, still known as Glen, encountered the scare of a child’s lifetime: the big C. Lung cancer not only brought us together, but it strengthened us all in individual ways. Though my dad can now be referred to as “one-lung Houdy”, he is also proudly known as a lung cancer survivor. I now formally believe in miracles. Who knew that my mother who became a teacher because she couldn’t be a nurse (couldn’t stand the sight of blood) could be the best nurse in the world through two surgeries and three months of chemo? They are my heroes.

This was, truly, unbelievable news. The prognosis for Amber’s Father had been extremely grim; this was a thrilling, unforeseen miracle.

Then, a little more than a month ago I received an email from Amber that said, in part:

My dad’s recovery from lung cancer was joyous the past 3 months, but suddenly there was a problem, and the cancer spread to his brain. The doctors say he has a week to months to live.

So devastating. Today I received the news that Amber’s Father, Glen Houdersheldt, had succumbed to his disease a little more than a week ago. I write this entry in his memory.
Glen F. Houdersheldt
Beloved Husband, Father, Grandfather, Brother and Friend
December 10, 1937 – February 16, 2007

Here’s a link to his obituary with a guestbook you can sign, which will be available, I believe until March 20, 2007.

My deepest sympathies and all my love go out to his family and his friends. I feel deeply honoured to have been acquainted with such a wonderful man – always so full of life and humour; I am truly lucky to know such an incredible family. I believe that it must have been a great blessing that Glen had the comfort of his loving family around him when he died. And as difficult as it was (I cannot conceive of how hard it must have been), I can only imagine that they felt privileged to have been there.

I love you, Amber and Morgan!