What are Vitamins for the Heart? Additionally to the physical help for us the spiritual support has likewise a big meaning. ‘Vitamins for the Heart’ is the title of series in which we publish new articles monthly. The Vitamins are compositions out of texts, which we are friendly allowed by the authors to present on our webpage. Because we had many positive reactions to the vitamins we also want to present them on our webpage and hope that they will also bring many others a big pleasure.

Vitamins for the Heart

In Honor of my Parents

By W. Schmidt:

Where would we be without our parents? Well, obviously we wouldn’t be here. Often we appreciate someone more when we don’t have them anymore. I felt that way recently after my mother passed away just 3 weeks after my father. This way their last wish in life was fulfilled, that when one leaves, the other one can follow soon.

It was quite moving to say good bye to them at their grave side. Even if many of those present and I believe that they are alive in the spirit world, it was a big change, a cut, a loss to not have them around in their physical presence. At the same time it was a learning and growing experience in many ways.

For one, a lot of good memories were shared. Our parents were wonderful people and had a beautiful long life, 101 + 99 years, married for 75 years. Even if someone doesn’t believe in an afterlife, he can see how they live on in their 7 children, 19 grandchildren and so far 19 great grandchildren.

The way my wife Lenka found faith in God was when her grandmother died. It was in the communist days and under that regime neither she nor her family believed in God or in anything spiritual. Since Lenka loved her grandmother a lot, she was very sad when she had passed away. But when she asked, where her grandmother is now, the answer was: ”She is not here anymore, she is gone.” But she couldn’t believe that such a nice woman could just disappear into nothing. So she wanted to find out where she is now and slowly found that there is more to life than what we see with our physical eyes. It opened her eyes to the spiritual world and after some time she discovered and believed in God.

My parents believed in God all their lives. You could see it in their positive way of looking at life, in the way they cared for others and loved children, and not just their own. Their doors were always open to visitors. They loved people and were loved by them. It was quite a crowd which came to the funeral.

My father, as a medical doctor, saved many lives in the 2. World War from the hands of the Nazis. He delivered thousands of babies as a gynecologist and loved kids very much. A close friend of our family, whose children were all delivered by him, told me what a great experience each birth was with his help. She also told me what a nurse at the hospital told her. If a woman did not want her baby, my father would take the baby after the birth in his arms and walked around with it and talked to it and did his best to give that child a warm welcome in his new life.

My mother was humble, modest, with an enormous amount of patience, tolerance and acceptance of others. She would listen to anybody about anything on their hearts. Even to the very end she would endure pain without complains. When her back, legs and feet had open soars from lying in bed and was asked how she was doing, she said as usual: “I’m fine”. She never complained! I believe those strengths came from their close connection, love and dedication to God.

When I saw them in the last days of their earthly life, it made me look at my own life and see what it is all about. It made me think about what am I doing with my life? What is my goal in life? Am I accomplishing my goals? A time like this makes us realize how short our lives are. When Billy Graham was asked a few years ago in his high age, what is the greatest surprise he has found about life, he answered: ”The brevity of it!” When I talked with one of my friends about how the life of our parents was coming to its end, he said: “We are the next ones!”

It went so fast, especially towards the end. A neighbor of my parents told me how she saw my dad still in spring with big garden scissors cutting off strong branches from the ivy on their garden fence. I didn’t think it would go so fast seeing them just a few months ago still living in their own house. It makes me want to show people more love and appreciation while I have the opportunity as I don’t know when I see them again.

Seeing my parents getting more and more helpless reminded me of how babies grow, just in reverse. When babies come to earth, they are totally helpless and need to learn to eat, talk, walk etc. When people come to the end of their lives, they slowly stop doing those very same things. They get ready to leave their bodies, moving on to the spirit world where their soul lives on, like a butterfly has to leave his cocoon to become a beautiful new creature. Or as a seed that has to fall into the ground and die before it can grow into a new plant, our physical bodies have to die so we can begin a new life in the next world.

Both of my parents believed in eternal life with the God who created them. When the priest held the last service in their honor, he kept it very upbeat. He called it the resurrection service and emphasized how they were present with us. It reminds me of what the great evangelist Moody said in his buoyant way: “Someday you will read in the papers that D.L. Moody, of East Northfield, is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it! At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now. I shall have gone up higher, that is all; out of this old clay tenement into a house that is immortal, a body that death cannot touch.”

After the ceremonies, family members who had come from 7 different countries and close friends from the area joined at a Restaurant for some fellowship. It was a nice time meeting each other, sharing hearts, drawing closer to one another. The tears we shed at the grave were replaced by comfort, loving communication and renewed friendship. On our way home you could feel the blessing of the whole experience, looking forward in our lives with new courage, hope and strength. Sadness was turned into joy. I believe our parents will help us from the other side even more than when they were on earth. I feel like Paul wrote in 1.Cor 15:55 “O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?”

Copyright © 2015 by W. Schmidt

 Our project is an enormous encouragement to the people of Mushapo and the surrounding villages, because a good education means a better future for their children.

314 students, four villages, 10 classrooms, 10 teachers


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