This is a book by a dear brother Alan Lester, a brother in Christ. We thank him for the permission to place a link here. We pray this gives strength to brothers, sisters and loved ones, as we walk Alan’s journey with him in the sad and sudden loss of his lovely wife Charleen. As believers we do have a wonderful hope in our Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus, our only strength in times of hurt ~Elmarie
This is a love story – a story of as true a love as you will ever read! Alan writes about the loss of his true love, his dear wife Charleen. As you read the stories and memories of their marriage, I know you will join in me in saying with tears, “that is true love”. And when you start to feel the heartache and begin to wonder how you will ever one day endure such pain and loss Alan gives such hope as he shares another love story – the love story of his First Love – His Lord and Savior! Alan takes the reader on a journey of hope found in his First Love during such agonizing grief and pain and you are once again compelled to say “that is True Love”! It is only staying wrapped in the arms of his First Love, Jesus Christ and forcing himself to meditate on Biblical Truths that he is able to rejoice in suffering and awake each morning without his true love, dear Charleen! There is true hope in hurting – but Alan reveals the only way this is found! Alan has lived this out in real life as we have watched him cling to that hope in such unfathomable hurt! ~ MARDA MACK – (PERSONAL FRIEND, WIFE OF JOSH MACK)
Audio Sample : LISTEN
Lightning scribbled across a darkened, rugged terrain, momentarily sketching the frowning skyline of the Gouwsberg mountains rising beyond a four-strand barbed-wire fence and a stretch of thorny bushveld to my Left. Fifty-year-old Bluegum trees strained and flexed, against an aggressive blast that had charged in from the North, determined, it seemed, to uproot them. Before my numbed eyes, leaves and plant debris swept and churned, mingled with oversized raindrops that strove in vain through the gale to strike the earth. The gentle glow emitting from the screen of my well-used Blackberry Torch illuminated a small patch around me as I sat in vast blackness. I stared at the mobile phone in my Left hand, and at the familiar number I was preparing to dial. With my right hand on the steering wheel, I could hardly hear the hum of the engine as it twisted the wheels slowly forward over a rocky road. I tightened my lips, as if it would compose me; this was the hardest call I would ever make. How could I do it? Yet how could I not?
Chyreece, my sixteen-year-old daughter was still at home with Hope, her younger sister, not knowing at what hour of the night I would return from the hospital with their mom. She had known that her mom had not looked well as I had left the house earlier in a hurry, but certainly, the words I was about to utter, were the worst she could expect to hear.
Still playing before my mind’s eye was the scene that had unfolded not even ten minutes previously. As Charleen had sat down in the passenger seat of our red ’97 Toyota Camry, Chyreece had followed her closely and had bent down to hug her mom and kiss her goodbye. I had departed with such haste that I had not even seen my sister, Jean, running with all her might behind me in the darkness to open the gates at the farm entrance for me so that I wouldn’t have to slow down. She was left far behind in a cloud of dust. Such was the urgency and chaos of that night.
With my thumb, I eventually touched the screen to dial Chyreece’s number and was soon met with the purr-purr of a ring-tone. Moments crashed by as I waited for her voice to answer as I cleared my throat and tried to compose myself so that I could speak when she answered. Far too quickly, as if she had been anticipating the call, her melodic voice fell like music upon my cowering ear. So much like her sunny mom. I clenched my teeth in grief, swishing my head from side to side, as if I could shake this whole reality away.
“Hello Dad!” I heard her smile in her relentlessly cheerful and trusting way.
“Hello my sweet Reecie.” I said, not able to even finish saying her name before I was choked with emotion. She waited patiently as I breathed heavily through my tears, trying hard to form a sentence. “Reecie.” I finally sobbed, “I have some very sad news for you.”
“Yes Dad.” she replied meekly, seemingly summoning enough strength to hear the devastating news that hung poised to crash down upon her. In my mind’s eye I could see her dear form, dreading my words.
“Its very sad Reecie,” I said, trying as hard as I could to prepare her for the shock and cushion the blow.
“Yes?” she responded in a tiny, almost inaudible voice. She was trembling, I could tell.
“I’m so sorry Reecie, Mom has died. I’m so sorry!”
Never, with greater anguish, have I ever uttered a sentence in my life. Together we wept through a silence too deep for the jangling of noisy words. The crashing thunder, jagged lightning, and the mayhem of the breaking storm well pictured the havoc in my heart as I pressed the phone to my wretched ear, as if holding tightly to my dear daughter.
“Are you alright Reecie?” I eventually reached out from an aching heart, longing somehow take away the pain I had inflicted upon her through my words and this brutal reality that would undoubtedly alter the course of her life.
Her voice returned, controlled, yet under the strain of powerful emotions that assailed her heart, ““Yes Dad.” she responded breathlessly.
Oh how my heart broke for our daughters. Oh how it pained me to break that news to Chyreece in that way; over the phone, and under such chaotic circumstances. Yet it seemed I had no choice. The news had already reached others and it would only be a matter of minutes and she would find out anyway. I wanted to be the one who spoke to her first. I knew I should be the one to explain.
How impotent and vulnerable I suddenly felt, like a fragment of debris hurtling before the ravages of a violent storm. The vast angry sky above me, unfriendly, rocky mountains curbing me in from the South, a black surging river beyond my line of sight to the North. The road before me had erupted into a steaming muddy hash as raindrops pelted the gravel surface. From my car’s headlights poked a ridiculous attempt at illumination, the beams of light seemingly swallowed up in the deluge. Wave after wave of muddy water slopped down onto the bonnet and over the windscreen as I drove, too numbed to even swerve for obstacles through that dreadful night.
~ Alan Lester ~ E-MAIL