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Celebration Planned


We have a plan now for a memorial gathering.  It will be at Illick’s Mill in Monocracy Park on Sunday, October 9, from 6 to 10 pm.

The photos in the collage above are from a walk we took last October in this very park, and the top center photo is Illick’s Mill.  We would love for anyone who is able to, to join us on that evening. There is a parking lot across the street, and here are some links for the location and additional information about the venue (there is no actual website):

You can also contact me via the comment section with any other questions (which don’t have to be published here).  Our family is looking forward to spending time with as many of you as possible – you have meant a great deal to us, both on this specific journey as well as throughout the preceding years.

P.S.  For our friends in New England, we are hoping to have an additional gathering in New Hampshire as soon as possible.  We know that traveling here, especially so soon, would be pretty difficult for most everyone.  And it seems only appropriate to be able to celebrate together in the beautiful area where we were so privileged to raise our children and serve in ministry.  We will keep you posted on the progress of that event.

God bless

Chapter’s End

This is the post that on the one hand I never wanted to make, but on the other am grateful for, because it means that Sandy is no longer captive to the shell of his once vital earthly vessel.  He is free, and he is Home.

He deserves a longer tribute, which I will attempt to finish soon, yet I did want to get the word out as soon as possible to those who have been following his story.  Thank you all again for your kind support, prayers, positive thoughts and love.

The Kravette Family


Answers to Questions

No, not the BIG questions (sorry for the teaser), but the everyday questions that people in our situation field from caring friends and family.

“What can I do?”
“How can we help?”

I’m probably not the only person who cannot answer such queries on-the-spot.  It is all so overwhelming that it is hard to think of specifics when those questions come up.  I was musing about this the other day and the thought occurred to me that there ought to be a registry – like a bridal or baby shower registry – that people can go to and see a list of what is needed and then match their own set of resources to something on the inventory.  A Help Registry.

So I made a list this morning, and I thought that that by posting it here, anyone who is in our area and has the inclination could take a look and get a better answer than my usual “Oh, we’re fine, thank you though…”  Because, to be truthful, a helping hand now and then would be a huge stress reliever, and we could bless each other in the process. Therefore, for those in the vicinity, and in no particular order, here it is:

  1. Take non-curb items and shredding to recycling center
  2. Pick up/drop off donations
  3. Yard work (weeding, trimming/pruning)
  4. Garden tool sharpening
  5. Masonry repair on Bilco doors
  6. Help with putting on a yard sale
  7. Let me give you some kefir grains (comes with personal tutorial on making your own kefir)
  8. Sheetrock finishing (mudding/taping/sanding)
  9. Check out lawn mower before winter storage and snow blower before winter use
  10. Minor carpentry
  11. Stain back deck (really small back deck 🙂 )
  12. Lunch together

We have been blessed this past year with the generosity of so many.  I hope this is helpful for anyone who has been wondering about a way to lend a hand.

Humbly and gratefully yours,





Joy in the Journey

A Varied and Memorable Adventure

This last part of Sandy’s course is not easy – for him or for those who love him.  However I cannot help but think of all the wonderful years that we spent along the way to here.  This photo that Sarah took near our home in New Hampshire strikes me as metaphorical of Sandy’s life:  the tracks symbolizing his straight, true, strong character, and the ever-changing scenery representing the many phases of his career – as student, musician, sound engineer, pastor, real estate agent, music teacher, Apple employee (and of course husband and father).  The scenery (or phase) may evolve and change, but the character, the integrity, stays the same throughout. I not only have loved this man for 30+ years, but have admired and respected him. Smart, multi-talented, kind, generous – he has made me feel very secure and very loved and brought me much joy in our journey together.



“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.
“Pooh!” he whispered.
“Yes, Piglet?”
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s paw. “I just wanted to be sure of you.”
― A.A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner

That’s sort of me with Sandy, Sandy with me, and both of us with God.  We’ve asked a lot of complicated questions in the past year.  But really most everything boils down to just being, and being assured that what and who you love is right there with you.

The disease progresses, and we adapt daily to the changes, and face the challenges of staying comfortable. Doing so is made easier with the caring and attentive hospice personnel, along with the love of family and friends. And, the presence of a new member of the household:  Tyson!  He is our very own (practically, if not officially) therapy dog, who travelled all the way from Colorado with Sarah. Banjo doesn’t quite know what to make of him, but he should warm up eventually.  Both of these furry critters are wonderful, sympathetic companions for Sandy throughout the day and night.

Tyson joining us for dinner
Tyson joining us for dinner


Banjo keeping an eye on his pal
Banjo keeping an eye on his pal

Day by Day

We seem to have reached the point of taking the hours as they come, and if they collect into a whole 24, then we’re thankful for another day to be together. For Sandy, it’s mostly sleeping, with a few precious moments of interaction with friends and family. For me, it’s lots of little things: seeing to his needs (which are minimal at this point) and basic household chores (again pretty minimal with such reduced activity). I spend a lot of time holding his hand, even when he’s sleeping.  He still gives mine a big squeeze every time.


Sarah and Anna arrived on Sunday, from Colorado and Georgia respectively. Josh and Nicole are driving down from New Hampshire today. Jeff Seward, a dear friend from our San Diego days who now is in Florida, flew up yesterday and we enjoyed some precious fellowship in the afternoon as well as this morning. Along with all these blessings, the past week has brought visits from my niece Chiara and her family, my brother Ted, his wife Mary and daughter Emma, and this weekend we look forward to seeing Sandy’s brother Randy and sister Mandy.

Our hearts are filled with gratitude for all these reunions. It has been Sandy’s primary wish to see all our children again – very much a gift considering the widespread geography. The additional visits from family and friends from out of town, as well as those from wonderful friends here in the area, and our good fortune to have had Aaron close by consistently, have truly made our cup to overflow!

P.S. Of course visits aren’t possible for everyone, and I want to acknowledge all the texts, calls and emails that we have received. Everyone has been so kind and supportive. Special thanks also to Peggy and Niki and Krista and Adley for the amazing food so lovingly prepared.

Another Week

Peaceful tableaux we came across during a hike on Father's Day with Aaron
Peaceful tableaux we came across during a hike on Father’s Day with Aaron

The last installment recounted the many adjustments we’ve been making in Sandy’s care.  They continue to come: the latest being that he is now on a morphine pump, which, on the positive side, means that he doesn’t have to worry about taking pills at certain dosages at certain times.  The pain medication is dispensed at regular intervals in the correct amount – foolproof!  The other side means that he is paired with a device full time (not bad – about the size of a large scientific calculator), but more seriously, it means that the disease is progressing enough for added palliative measures.  During the nurse’s visit yesterday, the conclusion was reached that Sandy’s liver is failing, so while only the Lord knows the measure of time we have together on this earth, experience cautions that we may be approaching our last phase, as it were.  (I’m praying for a looooooong approach!)  This is certainly not a surprise considering the nature of the disease, but distressing nonetheless.

We are thankful for the year that God has given us together since the diagnosis, and of course for the 30 years that we have been happily married, serving together, raising four amazing children together, building careers and ministries and even buildings together. Through all of it being carried by faith – sometimes strong, sometimes less so, but always there.

We will never rule out the possibility of a miracle. Next to heaven that is our fondest hope. Now does seem to be the right time however, to cherish all the wonderful relationships we’ve experienced by connecting as much as we can through phone calls, emails and welcoming visitors. We are greatly encouraged by our friends and family, and invite such contact as frequently as you (and we) are able.

Love to all,

Christy and Sandy

Adjusting the Adjustments

A lot can happen in two weeks.  Which means a lot of adjusting to go with it. For instance, Sandy isn’t typing this – he’s a bit too groggy to make an efficient typist.  So we’re collaborating to bring everyone up to speed on the latest.

First things first, which in conversation is often the weather.  It has been HOT and STICKY, and right now it’s raining which brings the promise of some cooler air and the chance to enjoy outside again. Yay!

The photos in this post are from this week’s visit with Anna and the grandchildren.  It was so wonderful to have Tristan and Madelyn light up the house with their cheerful little selves.  It was a landmark for Sandy as he had been looking forward to having them here. The chance to sit with them and just “be” as a family was so meaningful.  Our next family visit will be with Sarah in September, so another goal to look forward to.  (And then Josh and Nicole’s return from the trail at the end of September… and then Thanksgiving… and then Christmas… I have a truckload of goals for him – GRIN.)

Breakfast with the munchkins
Breakfast with the munchkins


Movie time with Grandpa
Movie time with Grandpa

More immediate goals are for pain management, and patience while dealing with the initial fogginess and disorientation as medicines get re-tuned.  It’s been a new kind of struggle since being off conventional treatment.  Facing new normals. Management as a moving target. Adjusting to changes in the adjustments.

For those of you who have been asking how you can pray for us:

  • Wisdom for the doctors and nurses and choosing a good treatment plan
  • The adjustment for Sandy to take the medications he needs (for someone who all his life hasn’t needed such things)
  • To be “anxious for nothing” (the larger the obstacle, the harder that one gets!)

We are so very thankful for every one of you and your prayers and good wishes at this time.  It’s been a difficult period for Sandy lately, and the support we feel from friends and family is an incredible boost to his spirit (and mine!)

With love,

View from the Other Half

in·sight  [ˈinˌsīt]   NOUN
  1. the capacity to gain an accurate and deep intuitive understanding of a person or thing…(in the sense ‘inner sight, mental vision, wisdom’)

Yesterday I was mulling over the complexities of what it means to empathize with someone when it is impossible to know exactly what they think about or feel exactly what they feel.  As good as our relationship as husband and wife is, and as well as we know each other after 30+ years, communication can still be less than perfect, especially when it comes to understanding this crazy journey from the other person’s perspective.  I approach things as a dyed in the wool optimist, which can come across to Sandy as ‘living in Fantasyland’, whereas he approaches the same exact issues as a pragmatist, which can come across to me as pessimism.  Luckily for us we are usually able to find the humor in our YinYang union, and ultimately know that our differences compliment one another to strengthen our bond.  But we’re still distinct people, and until we master the art of the Vulcan mind meld, our thoughts remain unique and separate.  Even when shared through conversation, words can only go so far, and part of what we think and who we are remains unknowable to anyone except our Creator.  So how to be truly empathetic with someone going through an extraordinarily difficult life event? Perhaps that’s where “insight” comes in – knowledge gained not from our regular senses, but from someplace (or someOne) else.  I will never know perfectly what the love of my life is going through, but I hope that whatever natural empathy I possess, along with much prayed for insight to cover my deficiencies, will bring me closer to understanding.  This is a shared journey, so it behooves me to be the best possible traveling buddy.  I know that I have the best!