I have thought deeply about what to write on this day.  The first year anniversary of Marisa’s death.  She wanted me to thank you,  so that I will do.

Thank you to all the people that prayed for us.

Thank you to the congregation of Fruitland Christian Reformed Church who were loving and kind to Marisa and I and the kids.  Thank you to those who ask how I am doing and those that can see in my tears that I don’t want to talk.

Thank you to Marisa’s quilting group.  She loved being with you.  Blessed are the Piecemakers.

Thank you to Janis who took the kids when Marisa was dying.

Thank you to friends like Darren, Chris, Justin, Josh who allow me to have deep, meaningful conversations as well as get in touch with my inner frat boy.

Thank you to Matt and Trevor, two friends that were with me through every groan and every gospel.

Thank you to the doctors and nurses at the Juravinski Cancer Clinic who continue to work to provide comfort.

Thank you to those who haven’t experienced deep suffering but are now more understanding and kind to a single mom or dad.

Thank you to Gary, Rose and Lauren for the much needed fun times. 

Thank you to Faye, Jen and Dan, for their visits with Marisa and your love to Her.

Thank you to my morning basketball buddies who provide me with much needed fitness.

Thank you to the Feddema’s, Harold for being a good tennis partner and Donna and the girls for babysitting and being so kind to the kids.

Thank to you Pastor Andrew and Kim for so many of those visits and for allowing and encouraging conversations that I used to think were not allowed with a minister.

Thank you to Paul, Del, Rachel, Caleb and Elysha.  Your willingness to open your home is Christ-like.

Thank you to Jen, who has been a constant babysitter for ZJZ.

Thank you to all of you who read this blog, either in silence or in written word, as well as those who have sent cards and letters to us.

Thank you to Jean and Paul Koorneef, who have sent us a card every other week for this whole year.

Thank you to Roads, Shannon, Lisa, Darren and those who have suffered before me and are willing to allow me to learn from you.

Thank you to my neices and nephews who give Zion, Jacoba and Zekijah a beautiful release.

Thank you to Marisa’s sisters; Monica for always being willing to help and organize with VanderVeen functions and to Christy for being a easy place for Marisa to land, especially that weekend a few weeks before She died.

Thank you to my brothers and sisters, Frances and James, John and Henri, Monique and Alec, Jacoba and Peter, Klaas and Tanya for being a constant source of support.

Thank you to Mom and Dad VanderVeen, a better set of in-laws a person couldn’t have.  Your shepherding of Marisa was why She grew to be so loved.

Thank you to my parents, Dr. Gerzinus and Jeannetta Hoekstra, Mem and Heit for being our number 1 support and always being willing to do anything for us.  You welcomed Marisa into our family like She was one of yours.  And She was.

Thank you to those who have been a support to the VanderVeen and Hoekstra families.

Thank you to Zion who will never allow anyone tease Jacoba or Zekijah because that is his job and his job alone.

Thank you to Jacoba who sometimes crawls in bed with me and holds my hand and who calls me from her bed when she is scared.

Thank you to Zekijah who often, especially this week, asks where Mommy is.  When you do that you prove my importance in your life.

Many tears were shed this week.   

So thank you to Jesus, who promises that one day, hopefully one day soon, there will be no more tears.  No more suffering.  No more pain.  No more tears.

Unspeakable peace to you all.