Sunday, December 18, 2011

on the making of an unpleasant Christmas

I'm thinking of my friend Teri a lot these days. I even have feelings of guilt. How come my Christmas can be so bright? How come hers haven't been bright for years?

What would make Christmas bad for you?

How about this scenario: Your husband is a teacher, and wrongly accused by some little girls and wrongly convicted?

How about this one? The nation's leading lie detector examiner proclaims your husband's innocence, beyond doubt, but the courts refuse to listen.

Or this? Because your husband is convicted of a sex crime, and one daughter is still listed as a minor, she may not visit her own father.

Or this? While in prison he contracts cancer. And it's life threatening.

Or this? Even while getting chemo therapy, he must be shackled and under guard, because he is a threat to society.

Or this? Now it's a death sentence. Cancer will claim his life before his innocence is proved.

Had enough?

Well, if you can believe this, Teri is grateful this Christmas. Larry is in a hospice facility, and this year, for the first Christmas in six years, all four members of the family will be together.

Hope you're not complaining about this holiday season any more.

Pray for Teri, and Larry, and two beautiful daughters.

Send them a hug.

3 comments:

Missing our son said...

Their strength and faith is so extremely comforting to those of us blessed to witness it. Their story is truly a Christmas story, one of love, patience, kindness and even forgiveness. If each of us can learn anything from this family, it is that they know the never ending love of Jesus Christ!

Teri vanderberg said...

Thank you so much Doug for thinking of our family...praying for strength,courage and bravery as we walk through these uncertain times.God bless you...

Thad Jesperson Falsely Convicted Exoneree said...

Thank you Doug,

Thank you for sharing this heartbreaking situation with others. Gratitude is such an important eternal principal and it can lift our spirit every time. The Vanderbergs are special people like you who recognize that bad things can happen to good people. I enjoyed the countless hours I spent walking with Larry on D-Yard 4 plus years ago. He truly is filled with Love. I cannot believe that I have been out now longer than I was in. Eternal perspective is what allows people of faith like the Vanderbergs to cope and even prosper through such tragedy. We love them like family and we are so grateful for your example of those who make a positive difference in the lives of others...

Keep up the important and impressive work that you do. May God Bless You and Yours during these holidays. I know that they appreciate your love and support as I did when I needed it.

Thank you,

Sincerely,

Thad and Sydney Jesperson
Falsely Convicted Exoneree