Erin’s celebration service is today at 3:00 eastern. It is being held at Praise Fellowship Church on Market St. in Russell PA. Their website is http://www.praisefellowship.net. They will be streaming the service and you can watch it from their website.
Celebration September 14, 2014
We are putting together the details of the Celebration of Erin’s life. The service will be held at Praise Fellowship Church in Russell PA on October 5th. We will gather to greet and visit with people at 2:00 with the service starting at 3:00. Many people will be traveling from out of town and we want to make it as convenient as possible. If you won’t be there by 3, feel free to join us when you arrive. If you need to leave early due to a long drive please feel free to do that as well.
We are also aware that people traveling may need to have a place to stay. If you are a local Russell family and have room for guests that would be helpful, or if you are in need of a place to stay please let us know.
Diane Clifford 814-757-4772 or Joy Darr 814-757-9321 will be the contacts for housing.
Service September 2, 2014
For those who may need to plan in advance or travel, we have set a date for a service to celebrate Erin. Details are yet to come, but we will have the service Sunday, October 5th sometime in the afternoon. It will be at Praise Fellowship Church in Russell, PA.
7451 Market St.
Russell, PA 16345
Here are a couple songs Erin listed as favorites and potential “Sunday Songs” for future posts.
“Come and Listen” – David Crowder
“Everything” – Lifehouse
Praise God August 30, 2014
Mom and I wanted everyone to know that last night at about 4:00am Erin’s battle ended. It was very peaceful. She is now at the Throne of Christ enjoying her heavenly feast with Dad, Grandpa and so many others, maybe even us.
Erin’s wish was to be cremated so we are taking care of those details and will likely take some time before planning anything else. We will be sure to post once we’ve sorted out the details for a service.
Another wish of Erin’s was that her tumor be donated for research. We will be signing off on slides from her first surgery to be sent to Sloan Kettering in NYC for the Small Cell Carcinoma of the Ovary Study (link to their site below). Also, there is a link to the recent study at the Small Cell Ovarian website below.
One of Erin’s favorite passages:
2 Corinthians 5
Awaiting the New Body
For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
Conversations with Erin August 26, 2014
This is Karen writing for Erin.
On Saturday night Erin made the decision to return to the hospice house. We moved her there Sunday afternoon. She has settled in and is very comfortable. The last week or so we have had some very special conversations with Erin and would like to share some of them with everyone who has loved her and prayed for her the last 3 years.
August 21 Conversation with Anna
“I LOVE that I am getting to hear stories about people questioning faith due to what I am going through. It makes it all worth it. I feel so blessed to know the purpose.
“I don’t necessarily prefer heaven at this time, but I feel like God is preparing me for heaven rather than to continue here.”
“My soul is being shaped for and funneled towards heaven. My heart doesn’t revolve around the things of earth anymore.”
August 25 Conversation with Karen
“I am looking forward to Restoration, complete peace, and the putting on my true self. I look forward to being welcomed into the heavenly family of believers and being surrounded by that community. I am looking forward to being reunited with Christ and of course as always the heavenly banquet.”
August 26 Conversation with Karen
“I just can’t wait to go, I am ready to escape. If I could I would fly away right now, but God is the only one who can sever my Spirit from my body, my soul from my body. I am exhausted.”
“As I have tried to live with no regrets, I also feel like I am dying with no regrets. I don’t feel like there is anything left unsaid, undone or unfinished.”
She went on to share with me a prayer request and a praise. Her prayer request for today is for her throat and neck. She is having trouble swallowing and feels like there is some growth in her throat. Pray that she gets relief from how uncomfortable that is. Her praise for today is that she is surrounded by such a lovely and loving community.
Anna, Erin and I want you to know that she is resting very comfortably. The effects of the disease and the medication make it hard for her to have visitors. In the midst of all this Erin has found an unknown kindred spirit that she identifies with and would like you all to be aware of her and follow if you are interested. Erin admires her strength and faith and hopes that you will join in praying for her as well. They share many of the same feelings, but Erin feels she does a better job of expounding on them. The link to her blog is: Mundane Faithfulness
My Make-A-Wish August 4, 2014
At some point after my relapse I remember saying to someone “Why don’t they have a Make-A-Wish thing for adults?” I was mostly being sarcastic, but in some ways over the past few weeks I have had a Make-A-Wish experience of my own. It all started when I decided to send an email to a well known horse trainer and reiner Stacy Westfall. Stacy really came into the public eye in 2006 with 2 big accomplishments. The first event was becoming the first (and so far only) woman to win the Road to the Horse competition. The second was when she won the Freestyle Reining at the Quarter Horse Congress, becoming (I believe) the first person to do so both saddle-less AND bridle-less.
I first became really aware of Stacy around 2009 when I saw the video of her 2006 saddle-less, bridle-less reining ride. I was stunned. It’s still hard for me to watch that video and not have tears come to my eyes, it’s just so beautiful. Anyway, I started following Stacy’s blog late last year and after my cancer came back something in my gut told me to reach out to her. I’m so glad I did. We emailed back and forth a bit and she ended up sharing my story on her blog.
Fast forward a bit to late July and I learn that Stacy and her family are going to be spending a few weeks at Miracle Mountain Ranch. My jaw dropped. I spent many summers there as a kid and it’s just down the road from where I live. I immediately emailed Stacy and we decided to meet. Since we weren’t sure if I’d be able to come to her, she came to me first. It was great to meet her and we spent a few hours just sitting and talking in my mom’s living room.
We discussed me visiting up to MMR, both as a trip down memory lane and as another opportunity for me to see her, but weren’t sure if my health would allow it. Well I mustered up all the pain medication in my arsenal and made that trip happen this past Sunday afternoon.
I’m so glad I did. It was a full day for me, but worth every moment. One of my old camp counselors who is now married to the Executive Director of the camp was also able to spend the afternoon with us which was so great! We started out with her giving us a tour (via car) of the camp as it is today. The updates they’ve made since I was a camper are fantastic. The barns are beautiful and they even have a new cushy public bathroom facility.
After the tour we met up with Stacy and Jesse (her husband) in the main horse barn. Here I got to meet a couple of Stacy’s horses including “Popcorn” which is the horse that Stacy won the Road to the Horse competition with. I also met one of the daughters of the mare she rode in the saddle-less, bridle-less video.
After spending a few minutes (which unfortunately is about as much as I can handle) at the barn we found a comfy spot to sit and chat for about an hour. It was overall an amazing experience. I guess you could say I made my own wish happen, but it was more than just meeting a “celebrity”. It was an experience in the kindred bond between believers that will transcend this lifetime.
Update July 29, 2014
Thank you everyone for your prayers last night and this morning. I just wanted to give a quick update. As of this morning Erin’s temp was down to 99.3 and a few minutes ago it was 97 without Tylenol. We also got an update from the doctor that low grade fevers in people with tumors are not uncommon. So that’s likely what this was. Again, thank you so much for your prayers, they are as always much appreciated.