Archive for December, 2009


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A beautiful ending

I’m sure many of you have seen this article from the Wichita Eagle, already but it bears reproducing.  I did their funeral yesterday (sunday) afternoon.  It was difficult but beautiful.  The church was packed. I also had the opportunity to be there when they passed away.  It was a truly beautiful and holy moment.

This love story had a perfect ending


The Wichita Eagle

As they died side by side Tuesday evening at St. Francis hospital, Loren and Florence Gerber’s hearts beat as one.

When his blood pressure went up, hers did, too.

When his went down, so did hers.

The Gerbers had been married 62 years and had known each other since grade school. Florence Gerber liked to tell people that her husband’s name fit inside her own.

The Harper couple were critically injured in a car accident last week on their way home from Wichita. On Tuesday, their family made the decision to take them off life support.

The staff in the trauma/surgical ICU at Via Christi Regional Medical Center-St. Francis Campus had an idea:

Why not move them into the same room so they could be together in their final moments?

“That was the only thing to do,” registered nurse Stefanie Shuler said. “There was really no question about it. If at all possible, we were going to make that happen.”

Respiratory therapists helped to make it happen, Shuler said.

The Gerbers were taken off life support at the same time. The family placed their hands together — Loren’s left hand grasping Florence’s right hand.

“Their heart rates seemed to coincide with each other,” Shuler said. “It was very precious.”

The gesture to put them in the same room touched son Allen Gerber, a surgeon who used to practice in Wichita but now lives in Hot Springs, Ark.

He said with everything going on, he hadn’t thought of it himself.

He and his sister, Marilyn Gerber, who lives in Wichita, said their parents would have wanted to die together.

Loren and Florence Gerber are also survived by another son, Larry, of Olathe.

Marilyn Gerber said her parents were so in love that her mother didn’t go to lunch with her friends after quilt group on Wednesdays “because she didn’t want to be away from him.”

Mary Enstrom knew Allen Gerber from when he lived in Wichita and was an elder at Central Christian Church. She was in Sunday school earlier this week when Allen Gerber’s wife, Jan, called her daughter and requested prayers.

The church activated its prayer chain — by e-mail and phone. One message Tuesday said:

The family believes they will both go to be with the Lord this evening. The SICU unit at St. Francis is moving both of them into one unit, so they can be together. It is a beautiful love story. Allen shared with us that his parents have loved each other since second grade and have been married 62 years.

Enstrom visited the family that night but left when the Gerbers were taken off life support.

“I just think that was so thoughtful, and it was so beautiful,” she said of putting them in the same room. “The family just started crying because it was so touching to them.

“Jan said it was so amazing because it was like they were one.”

Loren Gerber used to farm in Argonia before moving to Harper. He took correspondence courses and became an appliance repairman. He was still taking calls at age 86, Allen Gerber said.

He and his wife, who was 88, liked to garden together and travel in the trailer they pulled behind a pickup. They had been to all 50 states together.

Loren Gerber was a “fanatical videographer,” Allen Gerber said.

“When video cameras first came out, I bought one, and he saw it one Christmas and said, ‘I have to have one.’ ”

He videotaped church events, family gatherings, birthdays, always behind the camera. He recently learned how to convert videotapes to DVDs.

Florence Gerber enjoyed quilting and sewing.

Their funeral will be 2 p.m. Sunday at Pleasant Valley Mennonite Church in Harper. Visitation will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Prairie Rose Funeral Home in Harper.

The doctor listed their times of death as the same.

“It was just the perfect ending to a perfect love story,” Allen Gerber said.

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And here’s the third video.

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Sorry I’m a couple weeks late on this one.  Here’s the second video in the Spiritual Gifts Ad series.

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This has been bugging me for a while.

When Obama gave his acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize (most everyone has already noted the irony of this prize in the same month he escalated a war) he said the following.

“As someone who stands here as a consequence of Dr. King’s life work, I am living testimony to the moral force of non-violence.  I know there’s nothing weak, nothing passive, nothing naïve in the creed and lives of Gandhi and King.  But as a head of state, sworn to protect and defend my nation I cannot be guided by their examples alone.  I face the world as it is.  I cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people.  For make no mistake, evil does exist in the world.  A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitlers armys.  Negotiations cannot convince Al Quieda’s leaders to lay down their arms.”  (Video below)

1)  Gandhi was actually asked about whether or not he thought Hitler could be dealt with using non-violent means.  He said he thought Hitler could have been dealt with non-violently, although it would have taken a lot of lives and manpower.

2) Obama basically said, “yeah, I really look up to these guys but I live in the real world, I have to deal with the problems of evil.”  Really?!  You’re going to sit there and tell me that Gandhi didn’t understand the evils of imperialist oppression?  You’re going to tell me that Martin Luther King didn’t have a realistic understanding of the evils of Racism? Seriously?!

No, Mr. Obama, it is you who does not understand the problem of evil.  Evil is not dealt with by using more evil.  You are never going to win peace at the end of a gun, especially in Afghanistan.  If there is anywhere in the world that history has shown us that every new war simply causes evil to take a new shape, it’s Afghanistan.

By in large I like the president, but on this one, he’s just plain wrong.

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By virtue of the fact that I am (at least for now) under 30 or so and that I spend more time on a computer than I should, occasionally people ask me to help them fix some sort of computer problem.  This may be tipping my hand but the cartoon below fairly accurately describes the process for just about every bit of computer advice that I’ve ever given………..ever.

For the actual cartoon site click here.

And for a bonus window into the mysterious world of troubleshooting computers, the following clip contains the first and most successful fix to most mysterious and troublesome computer problems.  Don’t call me until you’ve tried this.

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PVMC will be doing a study on the book “Rediscovering our Spiritual Gifts” by Charles Bryant beginning in January.  I put together a series of ads for church that parody the Mac vs. PC ads.  Here’s the first one.

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