Grown our Family to a dozen
Saturday, February 13, 2021
Grown our Family to a dozen
Sunday, December 27, 2020
COVID has taught us many things:
> all plans can be subject to change, even at the last minute
> enjoy, enjoy, enjoy your people when you do get a chance to be together.
We made our plans -- to get together last Sunday - on the 20th --for a safe Christmas lunch together all 12 of us. I had stuffed all one dozen twice-baked potatoes, the ham was big enough, roll dough was made and all I had to finish was two desserts when Bethany got a call from the school principal that Campbell had to be quarantined so they would have to miss. I had been battling an infection for two weeks - not sure if it was COVID-- so we decided to call it off and all stay safe and celebrate separately in smaller groups. Both Mat and Marshall got the first vaccine a few days ago -- but we have to be cautious, anyway as they battle COVID every day.
Marshall was on call all week in Edmond - so Terry and I headed to Edmond Tuesday 12/23 in the afternoon and celebrated with our Bell bunch Tuesday - Thursday. Even though they live only 100 miles down the interstate, we hadn't been over since mid-summer.
We resorted to our hobbies, computer work, school work for the kids we each had our work with us and lots of games and toys for the kids.
Pawpaw was the source of fun and settling booboos and broken hearts.
Thursday, December 10, 2020
Allen, was right, you did "cut in line" and go first.
Allen was right again-- you are ALL our heroes.
I like that phrase I read from Beth Moore, "Laughter is inaudible HOPE".
Your sense of humor and the ability to help others laugh is what so many people mentioned right along with your faith, devotion to family, the Church and your love for life. People were drawn to you for your stories -- and Oh, we remembered so many. You spread HOPE with your humor.
Bethany said, Uncle Bill is the one I'd most like to sit beside at his funeral -- he would say something to make me giggle.
Bethany posted on Instagram that everyone needs an Uncle Bill in their life during these crazy times -- a person of integrity, honesty, and humor spreading hope and love.
Marshall remembers the way you would convince others with detailed facts when you were pranking them.
As I heard the stories and watched your boys -- young men with families of their own -- I see so much of Dad in you and them. Quiet gentleness -- devotion to the Church-- leading as an elder.
When Dad passed, the Lord became even dearer to me as the Everlasting Father.
You would have been proud of your boys -- they spoke so well -- they capitalized on everything you taught them. Casey demonstrated your "Junior Birdman" pose -- Tyler recalled that you taught him that pie was an acceptable breakfast food and he planned to pass that on. Casey and Tyler have been strong support for their mom. Char has been such a tower of strength moving through these past days. She is seeing God's hand in all of this. In our first phone call that day -- she talked of your wonderful 45 years together.
So many glitches -- the plumbing that backed up in your basement just after you passed and your brother-in-law Scott having to come in with backhoe and plumbers to get it all working.
--Tyler having to wait out a CoVID test -- only to find out he had the flu.
But we made it through. . . now what? The Word says in Christ all things come together.
I'm trusting the verse that says precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints -- -- it just all feels so raw right now.
You leave such a huge gaping hole. My prayer today and for the days to come is that your beautiful family will feel our Father -- the EVERLASTING FATHER wrap His arms around them and hold them close. We know HE will, the Word promises it.
Thursday, December 3, 2020
It doesn't seem at all real and when I look at my phone and see his name in the contacts or a recent text message, my heart sinks.
My brother, William Brian Neese, transitioned to Heaven in the early morning hours of this past Sunday, Nov. 29. He had just turned 68 on Nov. 4.
After I got the word, there were so many phrases and scriptures running through my mind . . .
"The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away." I've heard that scripture all my life. It was a faith statement of Job that he followed up with "Blessed be the name of the Lord" Augh -- Those words stick in my throat.
John, the apostle wrote -- "I was in the Spirit on the Lords Day." On Sunday as my mind was trying to grapple with the devastating news, I couldn't help but think about the reunions that were taking place right then in Heaven. I could imagine my Mom & Dad at the gates so excited to see their youngest come home just as they would wait for him to come for a visit., Best of all, Bill was seeing Jesus face to face. I have never felt more linked to Heaven.
Hebrews talks about us being surrounded by such a great Heavenly crowd of witnesses -- Bill is now in that circle cheering us on.
So many of my people die on Sunday . . . both my grandmothers, my mother passed late on a Sunday night.
For all of them, Sunday was always a special day. Char went to wake Bill to get ready for Church on this past Sunday.
Growing up we shared a rich family life of close community in our local church. We 3 kids grew up on the hard pews of Central & Madison and Vaughn Hill Church of Christ. Those people were like aunts and uncles to us.
Bill and I had just texted a contest back and forth to see who could remember the names of all those folks. 10 points to the person who could remember a story or a first name for each person we would suggest.
Our parents took us to family lectures at David Lipscomb -- it was a big church conference with something for every family member. We all 3 graduated from Lipscomb and it was at Lipscomb that Bill and Char met.
As he grew in years wherever they moved the Church was central in Bill and Char's lives. Bill's strength and quiet wisdom were an integral part of his leadership
8 years ago, Terry and I got to visit with Bill and Char at their home in Iowa. Bill was leading the singing and it brought back the dearest memories of when my dad would do the same. Bill looked and sounded like dad and it took me back all those years.
I've spent the past few days with so many Bill stories coming to mind.
Bill was the one in our family that kept things lively. As my cousin Mary said, there was always so much joy and laughter around him.
As a little boy he had a vivid imagination -- with his imaginary farm (always the farmer at heart) he would relate vivid stories of what his farm workers were doing that day. It often mirrored what Mr. DeWerff, the farmer next door was doing -- harvesting, combining or plowing. He would often watch out the window of his first grade classroom to see what the farmers were plowing that day in their nearby fields.
Bill was the most athletic one of us 3. Whatever sport, he took it on with the utmost energy. He would ski, bicycle long contests in the heat in his later years, even teaching skiing.
That creative world opened doors for him later in the world of Agri-business. Bill became a successful businessman managing grain shipments all over the world.
The land was important to Bill. He was loyal to John Deere tractors growing up and would love to hang out at the repair shop. Berry farming in the rich soil of PA was a love of his. Bill has always been a hard worker.
Bill inherited the Brian humor which included lots of pranks. Bill preyed on those of us who were gullible and could make us believe all sorts of wild stories. When I was about 8 - he almost convinced me that I was adopted because as he said, "This family only has boys."
For all his antics and humor - Bill was wise and his wisdom went deep.
If Bill were here today in these times of world chaos -- he'd be giving us something to laugh about and he'd insert good counsel for navigating these difficult days.Bill and Char have raised two strong sons who modeled his love of family, the church, and the outdoors. His humor and creative nature is evident in both of them.
Bill and Char created lots of projects together. . . I just put up one of those in my Christmas decorations. Bill the builder -- Char a gifted painter and quilter.
As Bill retired a little over a year ago, -I wondered- why are Bill and Char moving back to PA when their boys live in different states?
I believe that God goes before us and prepares the way. I've seen it over and over -- Char, our Father prepares the way before us. He moved you back here into this wonderful country filled with family, memories of great times raising your sons and a strong Church community.
HE will walk you and your precious family through this time.
Bill's legacy of faith is being passed on to Casey, Layne ,Tyler and Emily and these 6 beautiful grandchildren: Ivy, Will, Caleb, Oliver, Theodore and Eleanor.
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