Winter 2002

by Bil Keane
"Whenever I can’t Wait until tomorrow, all of a sudden it’s yesterday!"

"This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."
Psalm 118:24 (NIV)

In this Psalm of David, David’s focus was on the Sabbath day. Matthew Henry in his popular Bible commentary states in his discussion of this passage: "Here is the doctrine of the Christian Sabbath: It is the day which the Lord has made, has made remarkable, made holy, has distinguished from other days, he has made it for man. We will rejoice and be glad in it, not only in the institution of the day, but in the occasion of it, Christ’s becoming the head of the corner Sabbath days must be rejoicing days."

Rightly observed, the Sabbath is indeed a special day for worshipping and rejoicing, but the context in which most of us see this familiar scripture extends beyond this one day of the week. God must be well pleased if we begin each day—not just the Sabbath—with rejoicing and gladness.

To live for today is an elusive goal for me. Though I have tried for years to live one day at a time, I have a hard time accepting the fact that yesterday is gone—that I cannot redo one thing which happened yesterday—and that no matter how well I plan, I cannot control what tomorrow holds in store.

I may spend hours and days regretting hurtful words or action done in haste or by plan, but I cannot change what has passed. I may apologize and somewhat ease the pain for myself and for the one I hurt, but I cannot erase the words or deeds. Worrying about what happened yesterday will bring only misery. Whatever I put into that day is there to stay.

The events of September 11 have brought home to us in a powerful way the importance of living each day as though it will be our last. We have been made more aware of many things which we heretofore took for granted.

This last holiday season gave our family some of the best memories. [Our family singing around the piano as Ava played old hymns is a warm, lasting, and favorite memory of Christmas Day.] I have heard others say that they, too, sensed a difference this year.

Perhaps being at the funeral home has made us more aware of how quickly the life, we have taken for granted can be changed. We help families cope, often while they are still in shock, after death has changed their lives completely. We sorrow with parents whose high hopes for the promising life of their child are wiped away by an accident. We see the suffering of men and women who have lost their spouses and must restructure their lives. We see the sorrow of children of all ages when they lose the anchoring presence of their parents. We see grieving for the loss of loving friends.

When families separate at the beginning of a day, we should linger a bit longer saying our goodbyes, then breathe a prayer that God will bring us all back together safely at the close of the day. "Cherish yesterday, dream tomorrow, live today" is good advice.

Reading a newspaper or watching television these days seems more often a call to prayer than a cause for rejoicing. We should indeed be more faithful in praying for our nation. Nevertheless, of all the peoples of the world, we are surely the most blessed. God has shown favor to us throughout our history. These thoughts are sufficient cause for us to rejoice.

Those of us who enjoy good health and have happy, healthy families can always be glad in this. When we are Christians and have God in our lives, we need no more to cause us to rejoice.

Someone has said "Today is the tomorrow - you worried about yesterday." By keeping a positive attitude and leaving the cares of yesterday behind, we can joyfully anticipate tomorrow.

Since beginning thinking through these ideas, a line of a song popular many years ago has continually come to mind, "I’d give a million tomorrows for just one yesterday." I don’t recall the reason for this musical wish, but I have wondered at the significance of this impossible idea.

Perhaps, as I have been told, I like to plan in too much detail too far in advance. However, I function better when I have my plans for the week set out. Plans must often be changed and I have learned about being flexible. During Don’s eight years in the Farm Bureau office, we realized especially how essential was keeping an up-to-date calendar. Through the years going back to the early sixties I have saved my personal calendars, and they serve as a kind of diary.

As parents we may want to set directions in the lives of our children. If we hold strongly to plans contrary to their desires, we bring disappointment upon ourselves. We must not attempt to conform the lives of others to our wishes.

In Matthew 6:34 we are admonished not to be anxious about tomorrow. I like to skip over the latter part of that verse which refers to the troubles of tomorrow. The same God who is in control today will be there for us tomorrow.

On a beautiful sunny day when we feel good, we are filled with a glorious appreciation for our beautiful world— we enthusiastically rejoice and are exceedingly glad. We must accept that all our days cannot he filled with a full measure of health and happiness, and we must live the darker days also with a full measure of acceptance. Good memories can help sustain us and realistic plans for the future can lead us on—but nothing counts like today. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!


So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.
Matthew 6:34 (TLB)

Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want but the realization of how much you already have.
—Author Unknown


Life is a precious gift. A gift we too often take for granted and too often squander.

We hurtle through our daily duties, trying to cram more and more activities into too-little time. We get frustrated in traffic if we are delayed three minutes beyond the minimum time we calculated it should take us to zoom from here to there.

We get anxious in a checkout line if the line stalls for a price check.

We get impatient if someone fails to meet an appointment with us precisely at the time agreed upon.

Then comes a wake-up call. Some event or circumstance comes into our lives that hauls us up short. Something occurs that makes us realize how much we are missing by hurrying too much, how much better off we would be if we took the time to appreciate the people and wonders around us. How far from critical are those activities on which we focused too much attention while ignoring people and things that are far more important.

There are family members whose love and support are absolute.

There are children whose character and accomplishments are worthy of consistent celebration.

There are friends who have shared grief and triumph and who maintain their friendship most when circumstances look grim.

There are good books, classics that invoke the beauty and tragedy of eternal verities.

There are poems, first read decades ago, that still sing silent truths to waiting hearts.

There are songs first heard in some dim distance that evoke a day when life was young and brave and filled with mysterious possibilities.
All around us

There are sights and sounds in nature that remind us how wonderfully strong, how dangerously fragile our ecosystem is. Such as the play of sunlight on a hillside full of leafy trees— dappled, dancing and delightful as the wind ruffles them into delicate combination shapes. 

Or the elbow of a river suddenly appearing out of fog, a ribbon of history that hints of what the same elbow looked like in some misty day gone by when Indians moved their canoes around the bend in silent exploration.

Or the regiment of raccoons—quizzical masks tightly affixed—that have taken up residence in the neighborhood, sometimes approaching the house in daylight, exploring for more food to pad their already well-padded frames.

Or a spider web stretched between two day lilies, a web caught in a snapshot of sunrise, pearled with dew.

Or the grace of a white-tailed deer moving through the forest on silent feet.

Or the mournful eight-note cry of a barred owl, quizzing the moonless night.

Or the silent, contented companionship of a loved one as we watch nature paint the setting sun in shades of gold and orange and red that man could never precisely emulate.

Or the wonder of a laugh, a celebration of mirth that unexpectedly arrives to brighten a day and lift a load.

Or the shared community of faith, of depth and breadth of shared understanding of life’s expected and unexpected turnings.

Or the sunshine-flooded taste of vine-ripened strawberries.
Old times

Or a quiet evening spent exploring photo albums, renewing memories of strange fashions and fondly familiar settings that had slipped from memory in the stampede to keep up with a racing world.
Or the memory of fresh-baked biscuits, pulled from a wood-burning oven, steaming near an ice-laced window.

Or the vivid memory of blackberry briars lacerating hands, arms and legs counterbalanced against the thought of two-gallon buckets filled with ebony promises of pies and jam.

One writer has correctly proclaimed that we are "fearfully and wonderfully made." He could as well have said that we too often unmake ourselves by too much haste, too much regimentation, too much focus on things that are transitory and of little worth in the long-term view of things.

To see that long-term view correctly, we need to take the time to appreciate small things, precious vignettes. And we need to make the memories now that we will want to treasure the next time we catch ourselves caught up in the fast lane of events that are not as important as we lull ourselves into believing.

—Rich Hood, Editorial-page Editor The Kansas City Star

A Message from the Family of Patsy and Don Waller and from the Staff of Waller Funeral Home

Congratulations, love, and good wishes abound for our parents, our friends, the founders and owners of Waller Funeral Home, Patsy and Don Waller, as they pass the milestone of 50 years of marriage. They began their life as a family on February 10, 1952. During these fifty years they have set a wonderful example of devotion to each other and their family and of caring concern and service to others. Their help, care, and counsel enrich our lives daily and provide us a wonderful example!


When I ask you to listen to me,
and you start giving advice,
you have not done what I asked.

When I ask you to listen to me
and you begin to tell me why I 
shouldn’t feel that way, you are 
trampling on my feelings.

When I ask you to listen to me
and you feel you have to do 
something to solve my problem, 
you have failed me—strange as 
that may seem.

Listen! All I ask is that you listen— 
not talk, or do—just hear me.

Advice is cheap. Twenty-five cents
will get you both Dear Abby and
Billy Graham in the same newspaper.

And I can do for myself; I’m not
helpless... maybe discouraged and 
faltering, but not helpless.

When you do something for me
that I can and need to do for myself,
you contribute to my fear and weakness.

But when you accept as a simple fact 
that I do feel what I feel (no matter 
how irrational), then I can quit trying to 
convince you and get about the business 
of understanding what’s behind this irrational feeling.

And when that’s clear, the answers are obvious, 
and I don’t need advice.

Irrational feelings make sense when we 
understand what’s behind them.
So, please listen and just hear me.
And, if you want to talk, wait a 
minute for your turn; and I’ll listen to you.

from Bereavement Publishing, Inc.

Grief and Mourning

.... Grief is what you think and feel on the inside after someone you love dies. Mourning is the outward expression of those thoughts and feelings. To mourn is to be an active participant in our grief journeys. We all grieve when someone we love dies, but if we are to heal, we must also mourn!

—Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. The Journey Through Grief: Reflections on Healing


Waller Funeral Home Manager and Funeral Director Robert T. "Bob" Rosson Jr., CFSP, was recently recognized by the National Funeral Directors Association for his commitment to the funeral service profession through his volunteer service as a representative on the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) Pursuit of Excellence Taskforce.

"Bob was appointed to serve on the Pursuit of Excellence Taskforce because of his experience, standards for excellence, and enthusiasm" said NFDA Executive Director Christine Reichelt-Pepper. "He is truly a leader in funeral service, and we are honored that his talents will enhance funeral service for consumers and within our profession."

The focus of the Pursuit of Excellence Taskforce and its members is to refine and promote the Pursuit of Excellence program, which establishes the premier standard for funeral service excellence, with high-profile national recognition. The task-force also evaluates annual entries; and coordinates the Pursuit of Excellence workshops, awards presentation and exhibit at NFDA’s Annual Convention.

To achieve recognition in the program, a funeral home must meet quality service criteria in education, compassionate service, technical skills, community and professional service, library or media resources, professional development, in-house staff training, and public and community relations.

As a member of the taskforce, Rosson also serves on the Communications Committee, which maintains and implements strategic action plans for communication, membership retention, and recruitment programs. Both the Pursuit of Excellence Taskforce and the Communications Committee meet several times a year at NFDA headquarters and via conference calls.

NFDA is headquartered in Brookfield, Wisconsin, and has an office in Washington, D.C. It is the oldest and largest funeral service association, serving about 13,500 members.

Bob Rosson has also been recently awarded the designation of Certified Preplanning Consultant (CPC) by a national certification program for consultants who help families plan funeral services in advance.

"The CPC designation means that families who are planning funeral service in advance should receive the highest quality, most ethical service possible," according to Colleen Murphy Klein, who coordinates the program for the Funeral Service Educational Foundation (FSEF).

"Those who have earned the CPC designation are uniquely qualified to help families plan appropriate and sensitive services while also dealing with ethical, contractual, funding, customer service, and consumer protection issues," she added.

The CPC program was instituted in 1995 by FSEF, a foundation dedicated to advancing professionalism in funeral service and enhancing public knowledge and understanding through education and research. FSEF is headquartered in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

To be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter... to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wild flower in spring—these are some of the rewards of the simple life.

— John Burroughs 


Having grown up in Miami, Florida, I am overjoyed when it snows. Each time I see it, I am filled with awe as the world turns into a pristine wonderland. Stark trees and brown, withered grass sparkle under a white coat of soft, cloud-like cotton. What a Creator we have! Thank you, God, for winter white.

There is something wonderfully peaceful about winter. There is a sense of stillness and calmness in winter white. The cold season seems to bring a peaceful, tranquil time in our lives. It’s as if God knows that we need a gentle touch, a calm resting period, and a mild reminder of our relationship with Him. The tranquility of winter beckons us to "be still, and know that I am God" (Ps.46:10).

Winter brings with it a time for rest and renewal. It’s a time to choose to rest in the Lord. A time to choose to quietly meditate and know that God is the Great I Am! There is a wonderful solitude to be discovered in the winter. Take advantage of less activity by setting aside time to enrich and renew your spiritual life: read a book that draws you toward God, listen to the Bible being read on a tape, get out a hymnal and sing songs of worship, or get a small notebook and write a winter journal.

Fill yourself with the sweetness of the Word of God because it is through His Word that we know God—His mind, His will, His thoughts. When we quietly spend time in His Word we are spending time with Him. We understand more what He know, what He feels, what He loves, and what He desires. Quietly, peacefully surround yourself with God. "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior" (Luke 1:46-47).

—Yvonne Burrage
reprinted via Church Bulletin Service


We dedicate this issue of Seasons to those who died and whose families we served from November 19, 2001, through January 31, 2002.

Mrs. Teresa McAlister Adams November 19, 2001

Mr. Jonah Jackson November 23, 2001

Mrs. Lela Smith Addington November 26, 2001

Mrs. Ruth Lorene Pickens December 1, 2001

Annie-Leslie Elon Cain December 2, 2001

Dr. Winfred Aldridge Shaw December 2, 2001

Mrs. Mildred Woodall Onsby December 3, 2001

Mr. Hubert Lee Jones, Sr December 5, 2001

Mr. Bobby Arlen Towery, Sr December 9, 2001

Mrs. Rudelle Clifton Alexander December 10, 2001

Mrs. Marjorie Jones Weaver December 13, 2001

Mrs. Sandy Green Cook December 17, 2001

Mr. David Allen Grose December 19, 2001

Mrs. Jean Hutchings Howe December 19, 2001

Mrs. Minnie Beard Billingsley December 21, 2001

Mr. Michael Wade Chinault December 21, 2001

Katlyn Brooke Woodward December 22, 2001

Miss Lottie Mae Mayfield December 23, 2001

Mr. Richard Michael "Dick" Popernik December 23, 2001

Mr. James Murry "Jimmy" Faulkner December 24, 2001

Mr. Joe Zack Sallis December 27, 2001

Mrs. Elizabeth Vaughn Gibson December 30, 2001

Mrs. Mary Alice Ward King December 31, 2001

Mr. Russell Wayne "Russ" Gardner January 1, 2002

Dr. Annie Elizabeth Mills January 2, 2002

Mr. E. Shaw Robison January 4, 2002

Mrs. Kathryn Neal Parker January 6, 2002

Mrs. Peggy Ragland Wood January 6, 2002

Mr. Thomas Melvin "Tom" Baggett January 10, 2002

Miss Amna Mathis January 15, 2002

Mrs. Lou Anna Whitten Young January 17, 2002

Mr. Randall William Frykholm January 18, 2002

Dr. Thomas Joseph Flynn January 20, 2002

Mr. William Riley "Bill" Rikard January 23, 2002

Mrs. Orrisa Rhodes Garrett January 25, 2002

Mrs. Louise Bratton Smith January 25, 2002

Mrs. Geraldine Percival Atchley January 27, 2002

Mrs. Hazel Powell Jones January 29, 2002

Mrs. Josephine Tallant Champion January 31, 2002

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