Tag Archives: #loss

Now He Sings with the Angels

Forty years ago today. That seems like forever ago! And, yet, some days it seems like just yesterday.  

It has been 40 years since my brother, Randy, died as the result of a car accident on November 7, 1980. I was 21 and he was 23. He was two weeks away from his 24th birthday. The picture above was the last picture taken of him.

I received the call from my dad at about 3 o’clock in the morning. I remember the L O N G drive back home to my parent’s house, which was five hours away. The whole way home I convinced myself it was a horrible mistake!  It was someone else who had been driving his car! My brother was going to be just fine.

I’m so thankful for many memories of Randy. These memories of my brother bring such joy to my heart! I’d like to share just a few… 

I remember when we were young in 1966 and walking home from the Orpheum Theater downtown Pipestone. As we walked by the old courthouse on Hiawatha Avenue in the early darkness of evening, a man popped out of the bushes, and this stranger started to chase us. Randy grabbed my hand and took off running like a deer that had been spooked. I felt like I was flying behind him.  He never let go of my hand. 

My brother protected me.

In October 1979, Randy was driving me back to Marshall, MN because it was an ice storm and he wanted to keep me safe.  When we got to the Holland hill, there was a car on the other side of the road having troubles getting up the hill because of the ice. Randy pulled his car over to the side and got out to go help ‘push’ the car up the hill.  He didn’t hesitate once to get behind that struggling vehicle. I thought if he could do it so could I, so on went my mittens, and I hopped out to go help him. Eventually, all of us pushing that car up that icy hill experienced victory.

My brother was always willing to serve others.    

Another memory I have is of Randy driving us to Minneapolis to visit my dad’s side of the family in 1974. It was just him and me in his gold Chevy, windows down, hair blowing, music blasting, and my 14-year old self was feeling pretty groovy at the time. The song Taking Care of Business by Bachman Turner Overdrive (BTO) was blaring from his cassette tape.  When this verse

Take good care

Of my business

When I’m away

Every day

boomed through the speakers, I glanced over at him and caught him looking at me while singing at the top of his lungs and grinning from ear to ear because he changed the lyrics to

Take good care

Of my sister

When I’m away

Every day

…almost as if he knew I’d need taking care of later in life.  

My brother loved me. 

Randy was an excellent singer and guitar player. That is the one thing I miss the most about him…his musical talent. I honestly believe if he were still alive today he would be a well-known country singer; even though he loved rock and roll (shh…don’t tell him I said that). 😉

Or, maybe, just maybe he would be a Christian singer. Do you know who Zach Williams is? The guy who sings Chain Breaker and There Was Jesus? Click on the links to give him a listen.

That is who my brother sounded like when he sang (kinda looked like him too). My brother would have made a fabulous Christian singer. 

Now…he sings with the angels in heaven. 

Losing a loved one is painful. A bible verse that brought some comfort to me after losing my brother was Isaiah 57:1. I know in my heart the Lord rescued Randy from something evil in this world, and for that I am thankful!

If you are struggling with grief right now, I pray you find a bible verse(s), possibly a book or two, and someone (God would be the perfect some One) who is a good listener to help you find healing. A book that may bring you comfort is No More Faking Fine: Ending the Pretending by Esther Fleece (2017). Esther wrote this book to “give you permission to grieve, to ask questions, to hurt—and to do so without apology” (p. 18). “All of us need lament. All of us long to be rescued from pain” (p. 19). My friend and colleague, Kandy Noles-Stevens, wrote a book called The Redbird Sings the Song of Hope which is a beautiful tender expression of what grieving people wish others knew. I highly recommend both books.

May I ask you a huge favor? Please love your siblings! If you are estranged with any, please find reconciliation and forgiveness in your hearts! Please love your family. Our days are numbered and we never know how long we will have our family around. No one is guaranteed tomorrow.

In joyful memory of my only sibling, Randy Lane Wussow, the lucky guy who got to give Jesus a real hug 40 years ago today. I can only imagine what that was like.

Love you, Bro!!! Keep strumming. Keep singing. I know I will see you again someday! Until then, I am thankful for my fond memories of you.

Stay Calm & Love Your Siblings!
Profs Dr. Wendy & Dr. V. 

Fleece, E. (2017). No more faking fine: Ending the pretending. Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI.

Noles-Stevens, K. (2016). Redbird sings the song of hope. Westbow Press.

Happy Birthday Dear Lucy

Miss Lucy

This week Lucy turns 3. Not a big deal to you, maybe, but a HUGE deal to this grandma. Lucy was born with some extremely serious health concerns, and these life threatening issues needed immediate attention.

I sat in the waiting room at Avera Hospital in Sioux Falls listening to my son tell me, through tears, of the complicated surgery Lucy was needing. Sadly, Sioux Falls was unable to perform it because of how delicate it was going to be. My son began the search for a skilled surgeon!

It hurts the heart to watch your adult son cry. I went out to my car and sobbed while pounding the steering wheel and screaming at God. (He’s a loving God, He can take the yelling).

Fast forward to today and Miss Lucy is a spunky, spirited little girl who will turn 3 on Thursday. She melts this grandma’s heart into a humongous puddle of mush whenever she says so sweetly, “Grandma, I love you.”  

This same week three years ago, a friend lost her husband to complications of a kidney transplant. She mourns while I celebrate. Why God, are some saved and not others? I don’t know!

A week ago, my blogging partner wrote about her 14-year old nephew who lost his life to cancer five years ago. Why God?

A few weeks ago, a young man lost his life in a boating accident. He was only 22. Why God?

The day before the boating accident another friend of mine said goodbye to her special friend who lost his battle against lung cancer. Why God?

Just this morning I received a private message from a childhood friend who laid her middle daughter to rest from a short war against cervical cancer. The daughter found out on Mother’s Day and was gone by June 28. This young woman was only 43. Why God?

When my only sibling was killed in a car accident 40 years ago, I found peace in Isaiah 57:1. Paraphrasing this verse, it says righteous people are taken home to Heaven early because they are being spared from something extremely evil. I hang on to that. It brings me some peace knowing my brother was saved from something wicked.

Why does God choose to save some and not others? I don’t know! We will never know that answer this side of Heaven. It’s certainly okay to ask, though. It’s okay to pound your fists and scream and yell at God. He is a good God and hears our cries!

The song below is called Why God? by Austin French. Give it a listen.

While pondering what to write next…I visit Facebook. Not a good choice. So.Much.Junk. People bashing others because of personal offenses or political views or __________.

Why God, can’t people take care of personal offenses or political believes privately without having to pollute Facebook? I don’t know.

Life is short! This world needs peacemakers!! So, during this week of celebration (and sorrow), I choose to be a woman of peace.

I have a happy birthday party to attend this weekend. I look forward to celebrating Lucy and my son (his birthday is July 12). Others are grieving the loss of their loved ones. I offer them hugs and prayers.

Happy birthday, dear Lucy. May you grow up to be a woman of peace, filled with love and compassion, always knowing that YOU, sweet girl, are a child of God.

Stay Calm & Celebrate Today!
Profs Dr. Wendy & Dr. V.