Thursday, November 3, 2011

Two Funerals And The Big "C"

Frances' Neice, Ramona Evans fought a valiant battle with cancer for the last several months.  We visited her in the hospital twice recently where she and her husband were praying and believing for healing for her body.  I've never seen a more solid faith expressed by any couple than was displayed by Mike and Ramona.  When the doctor said, "She's dying.  You should sign the DNR papers and let her go quietly."  After conferring with his beloved wife, Mike said, "Doctor, we understand what you are saying.  We understand your point of view.  But - we are coming from a different perspective.  We believe that God will heal Ramona.  We want to fight this all the way."  Sadly for her family and us but gloriously for her she found the words of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 to be true.  "Death is swallowed up in victory."   The celebration of her life was last night at the Parkwest Church of God in Knoxville, Tennessee and she was buried today.

Meanwhile, Ramona's Dad (Curtis Fritts) whom I have written about in this blog before, entered into the presence of the Lord on Monday.  He had pulmonary fibrosis.  Curtis was the kind of man who never complained.  He was a leader in his church and in his home.  He and his wife have demonstrated to me what the "gift of hospitality" looks like and feels like in real life.  Curtis was an excellent cook (learned in the Army) whose specialty was Coconut Cream cake.  Oh My!  They were always perfectly moist and good, with only one flaw...they didn't last long.  Curtis was also an outdoorsman.  He and I spent many happy hours together in our younger years walking in the mountains looking for deer, examining bear tracks, exploring new areas of woods and fields and streams.  We also shared an interest in guns.  He and I went to the CCP (Concealed Carry Permit) class together about 10 years ago.  He was a chess player who always beat the socks off me.  In my earlier years he taught me how to be at ease with other people.  I was commending him for his ability to talk to anyone and everyone no matter whether they were what we called "high falutin" or just "ordinary folks".  I'll never forget the statement he made.  "Ask them to tell you about themselves and you won't have to talk much after that."  And there's one other thing that I must tell ... he made it possible for me to spend more time with Frances while we were courting.  He and Beth were already married and living across the alley from her parents.  They invited us to their home for dinner.  I learned later that after I had left, Curtis turned to Beth and said, "Of all the boys that have visited Frances - she will marry this one!"  His insight was accurate.  I'm not sure how he knew, but he "Just KNEW it" he would say in later years.  His funeral was Tuesday night at his home church in Farragut.  We buried this man of God on Wednesday morning.  I was honored to be asked by his family to say a few words at the graveside service.

And now the Big "C".  I went to the doctor a few days ago for a check-up.  He referred me to a Gastro-interologist.  Tuesday I was admitted for and upper G.I. endoscopy and colonoscopy.  It had been ten years since the last one - so it was recommended by my General Practitioner.  Today's news is that I have a cancerous tumor, located in the lower colon.  I feel great.  My vital signs on Tuesday were near perfect.  I came out of the anesthesia and had full intentions of attending the funeral of Frances' brother-in-law (Curtis) on Tuesday evening and burial next morning.  However, due to some discomfort I decided it would be best for me to stay in the motel.  I did attend the graveside services for both funerals and attended Ramona's funeral on Wednesday.  Yes, I'm tired, but not unusually so after all of those stressfull events.

I must give credit to our two oldest daughters who went with us and drove the car up to Lenoir City for us.  Frankie and Ruthie, you were great company to your Mom and me.  Thanks!

Fred's Monday Meal


Joyful said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joyful said...

Dear Fred, you have had a lot going on. First let me send my condolences on the loss of your good friends. It is always difficult to lose loved ones even when we know they are home and in a wonderful place with our Heavenly Father.

I'm so glad you had your daughters to help you to the hospital where you were able to get surgery. I pray that the doctors got all the tumour out. Please do keep us up to date on your progress.

I'll say a prayer of thanks and healing for you, and of comfort and strength for you and your dear wife. I know your faith will keep you through it all.

God bless you my friend.

Melanie said...

Oh my goodness, Fred, what a rough week you've had! I will be praying for you and your wife. I'm so thankful we have the Lord there with us through all the trials of life.

Fred Alton said...

Haven't had the surgery yet. Going to doc on Monday for further tests (CTScan?) and then probably surgery. The daughters drove us to the two funerals.

Jean said...

Hi Fred I send my condolences on the loss of your family members.
I will be praying for you and I hope when you have surgery every thing will go well. My husband had colon cancer surgery in Jan. 1999 it was in his lower colon he was about your age at the time. Hasn't had any problems with that since. What great daughters you have. Keep us updated on how things go. Take care, Jean.

jack69 said...

Hey Fred, First we will be praying for you! If I know anything, I know you trust HIM.

Sorry for the losses you guys have had. Relatives are always hard to lose, but there are relatives and RELATIVES. Curtis was a buddy and a RELATIVE.

I must admit, monday's meal I can skip, but you follow the Dr. Orders, I know this ain't like deciding which pills to take, you know that much more than I.

The girls are wonders, and sweet. Glad you guys have them.

Now, we just want you to know we love you & Frances. Rest with Him for a few days!!!!

Joyful said...

Sorry I misunderstood. I'm glad the girls were there with you nonetheless, and I'll be glad when your surgery is finished. Until then, my prayers are going up. Blessings.

Ginny said...

Fred, we know that God DOES heal, but not why he heals some and not others. I am so sorry about the deaths of these dear people. They are in perfect peace and happiness now, but it is the ones left behind who are so very sad. I am sorry to hear about your diagnosis, but it seems they caught it early. Please let me know what the plans are for your treatment, I know we all are so interested. I see from the comments that you may be having surgery, I guess you will just take it from there.

Jo said...

Omw, Fred, I am truly sorry to hear about the loss of your dear friends and relatives on Frances' side of the family. What a testimony Mike and Ramona have and what a wonderful friend Curtis was - he spoke life into Frances' future and you two were married. Amazing. I also pray for God's healing hand over you as you return to the hospital on Monday. Fred, I often see you commenting on my blog and thank you for that. It's so super to "relate" to someone who'se lived in Kenya and South Africa. I have a problem though, although I follow your blog, I never see any posts on my dashboard. Penny alerted me to posts else I'd not have known. I need to check and see why your posts don't appear. Have a restful weekend in the Lord and regards to your dear Frances. Blessings from Jo

Jo said...

Hi Fred, me again. I can't seem to find a follower's link. Do you have one on this blog? Regards Jo

Fred Alton said...

Yes, Jo. I found a "follower's link" on this blog by sigining in on another of my blogs. Sorry you're having that difficulty. I think blogworld has a mind of it's own. ☺

Crystal Mary said...

A sad time Fred for those who are left behind. Yet we who know and rejoice in the Lord look forward to uniting with all our loved ones in Heaven one day. What a wonderful promise we have in Him.
As an Australian R.N. I worked in TN and loved the sweet Christian people I met there. At first I thought I was in Heaven as everyone were so kind to this Ozzie girl with the strange accent.Part of me will always belong there.
Colon cancer is something that has much to do with diet. There is live foods such as fresh vegetables and fruit both eaten with the skins, raw or cooked (not fried) nuts, brown bread, brown rice and raw sugar (limited.
Limited meats, preferably eat fish and chicken. Dead foods are deep fried and over processed foods, tin food and take-aways.
The three best antidotes for good health are, breath fresh air, drink at least 6 glasses of water per day and take 2 magnesium tabs daily (this is espom salts). I have prayed for you.
Blessings to you and your lovely wife.

George said...

This post contained much sadness from a human point of view, but yet your faith and God's strength and love shone through. I'm sorry to hear of the loss of your friends and of your tumor. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Oh Fred, I am so very sorry to read your latest news.. I know that "C" disease is a scary and wicked one.. However, I'm praying that they have caught the tumor early enough and that it hasn't spread... My love and prayers are with you... Both George and I think you are pretty darn special...

Sorry about the other deaths in the family... It hasn't been a great week for you, has it...

May God Bless YOU and Frances and your family.

Favorite One said...

Loved this post Daddy! Didn't love the deaths, nor the "Big C" - but I loved the way you brought out great qualities about our dear Ramona and Curtis. Both of them were true examples of what Christ wants us to be.

The "Big C" might be a bump in the road - but Jean's post was very encouraging. :0) We'll just trust in Him!

Love you Daddy!

~mel said...

Romans 15:13 ~ May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Fred ... I just read in the Portal of Prayers where the one of the authors husband "caught" cancer. He used to say, he told everyone he was in a win-win situation: "If I am healed, I get to spend more time on earth with my loved ones. If not, I get to live eternally with Christ."

As she proceeded to say what a witness he gave!

Keep your chin up and hang in there buddy... there's a ton of people out here in cyberspace thinking of you and putting you on the big prayer list!! Me one of them!!

Love to you and Frances during this "bump in the road" as your daughter put it. Another chapter in the life of Fred:) {{SENDING HEALING VIBES YOUR WAY - HUGS & LOVE}} ~mel

Dar said...

Dear Sweet Fred and Frances,
First my prayers during your healing time at the loss of such great friends and family. You will hear it again and again about everyone's encouragement and prayers. It's what friends and family do for the ones we love and I love you guys too. Tho I have not yet met you face to face, I have felt your heartbeat of kindness and care over and over again. I remember you telling me once about Jack and Sherry being genuine. That's how I feel about you two. Isn't it a blessing, how God has made our paths cross in such a unique way.
My prayers for you and your health for strength as you go through yet another detour of your journey.
God be with you, my friend.
This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it...I find the greatest peace through His word.

BlueShell said...

I felt so sad now...My condolences to all, and to you too.
My husband had an intestine cancer. He had a Surgery last February...
He's at home...but we believe God'll do what is better to us. We accept His guidance, even if sometimes we do not understand the reasons…but we hold to our faith…

I wish I could hug those sad families…because I DO UNDESTANT what ii is like…

Thank you, FRED....
God bless you and your beloved ones.

About Me

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Cleveland, TN, United States
I am Fred Alton Brannen, the son of Louis A. Brannen (deceased) and Bonnie Jones Brannen, Louis was an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God. Bonnie is an Ordained Licensed Minister and at 89 years of age is still actively engaged in speaking and singing engagements. I am married to the former Frances Hildreth. We celebrated 53 years of marriage this past June and we are the parents of 3, grand-parents of 10, and great-grandparents of 10. I pastored in Tennessee for 24 years and served the Church in some capacity in missions for over 23 years. I retired from full-time ministry in August of 2008 but remain active, speaking and singing and teaching whenever opportunity affords itself. In January of 2010 I received a letter of commendation for having been credentialed as a minister in the Church of God for 50 years! My family is very important to me. Our get togethers are always noisy affairs and most times will include family sing-alongs. The children love their Mom's cooking so we have the privilege of seeing them regularly! WE LOVE having them over.

TheCabin on Day One

TheCabin on Day One
Fred Alton