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"A Love That Can Never Be Broken"

A few weeks ago I took my mother to visit her family upstate, NY. Our trip allowed us plenty of time to talk about the past year, how much we still missed my father, and the plans we had for the ensuing months. It was a wonderful time to together. I learned even more about my dad and how much he loved my mother.

Early in the week, my mom asked that I take her to a fitness center so she could continue her physical therapy exercises. When we got to the center, we found out it was permanently closed but that didn't cause us to give up. We found a YMCA about 3 miles from the gym which was closed. As we began our workout, mom remembered that a few years back, my father took her to that specific YMCA. Even though she couldn't continue her physical therapy while on vacation, she knew she needed to continue her exercises. If it was important enough for her, it was important to my father. Faithfully, he worked-out right beside her.

As I did my workout routine, I couldn't help but think of my father's constant love for mom. Here we were at this YMCA only because the other fitness center was closed. But I believe this wasn't by accident. This was divinely orchestrated because it reminded my mom of dad's generosity and faithfulness to her and, for me, it made me aware that I had an amazing role model to follow and look-up to. These memories are significant markers for my life and my future, especially when I settle down and begin my own family. As I worked out that day, I could only thank God for my father and the legacy he impressed upon our lives.

If you didn't receive the recent broadcast e-mail I sent out, I want to welcome you back or, if this is your first time, I want to personally extend my welcome to you. Little did I know that this site would grow as it has, nor did I know how many people would access it and use it for a variety reasons. I've added many new sections to the site and updated almost every page to the site. I have other ideas that I want to add, but these will take time. Probably the most recent additions are the testimonials, the special items, and the resource sections. Being the encourager my dad was to so many, may these new sections have a similar effect to you, giving you a thought for your head and a special touch to your heart.

It's still quite difficult for us even after one year. We've already experienced what holidays, anniversaries, and other special occasions are like without my dad and each occasion is very painful. I still think of him every day but, I will say, that it is a little easier to manage the overall grief process than when this all unfolded in July 2003. There are times when something triggers our pain, but we do get through it. I ask, if we do come to mind, that you remember us in your prayers. Only God knows fully what we need and, therefore, your prayers are the greatest request we could ask for. Thank you so much.

Although I would love to update you more on what our family is up to these days, I feel there is something more pressing that needs immediate attention and prayer. On Saturday early morning, I received a phone call from a friend of mine, letting me know of the unexpected passing of Mr. Frank Ciofrone. Their situation is similar to ours in that they have three young men. I had the privilege of talking with the eldest son this morning. I know they're hurting right now and their loss is very real.

I personally recall Mr. Ciofrone coming-up to me after my dad's funeral service and sharing how he was touched by my father's life. Just his words alone meant so much to me. Now I feel the pain that these young men and their mother must face at this very hour. On Sunday morning, in the early service at our church, I could see the brokenness written on many of the faces who knew this wonderful man. Will you please join me in praying for the Ciofrone family? If you've experienced a similar loss, you know quite well the many feelings and thoughts they're experiencing right now. And if you've never experienced this in your lifetime yet, please pray. It means a lot to those who are grieving.

May God extend his gentle love and compassion to this family now and may his comfort reach beyond what any one of us could offer. Lord hear our prayers!

We love you Amy, Paul, Frankie, & Peter.