"The Rose Beyond the Wall"

                       Near shady wall a rose once grew,
                       Budded and blossomed in God's free light,
                       Watered and fed by morning dew,
                       Shedding its sweetness day and night.

                       As it grew and blossomed fair and tall,
                       Slowly rising to loftier height,
                       It came to a crevice in the wall,
                       Through which there shone a beam of light.

                       Onward it crept with added strength,
                       With never a thought of fear or pride,
                       It followed the light through the crevice's length
                       And unfolded itself on the other side.

                       The light, the dew, the broadening view,
                       Were found the same as they were before,
                       And it lost itself in beauties new,
                       Breathing its fragrance more and more.

                       Shall claim of death cause us to grieve
                       And make our courage faint and fall?
                       Nay!  Let us faith and hope receive -
                       The rose still grows beyond the wall.

                       Scattering fragrance far and wide
                       Just as it did in days of yore,
                       Just as it did on the other side,
                       Just as it will forevermore.

                                         (from the writings of A. L. Frink)

             Ryan Hunter Wilkerson
                    Our Joy - Our Son - Our Brother

   No one can understand, unless they, too,
   have suffered such loss,
   the depth of the pain that envelopes
   the family who has been left behind.

   We wait and hope and pray
   that the next person coming in the door
   will be our son, our brother,
   and our heart breaks just a little more
   each time he doesn't appear.

   We miss his smile, his laugh,
   his enthusiasm, his achievements and mistakes,
   because he took each opportunity
   and learned from it and matured,
   and we so looked forward to the man
   he would have become.

   We longed for the day we would dandle
   a little miniature of him
   and watch Ryan glow with pride and love,
   just as we did with our Ryan, our son.
   Now, that day is not to be.

   Now, we can only long for the day we will
   see him again, and be with him,
   and hear his laugh and see him happy.
   Our dear, wonderful, freckle-faced boy,
   Ryan Hunter Wilkerson. 
   Our life will never be the same for having known him.

     "A loved one lives forever in the hearts of those who cared.
                 A loved one lives forever in the memories that were shared."

His Journey's Just Begun
                      by:  E. Brenneman

Don't think of him as gone away - - his journey's just begun.
Life holds so many facets - - this earth is only one...
Just think of him as resting from the sorrows and the tears
In a place of warmth and comfort where there are no days and years.
Think how he must be wishing that we could know today
How nothing but our sadness can really pass away.
And think of him as living in the hearts of those he touched...
For nothing loved is ever lost - - and he was loved so much.

There are many things in life we cannot understand,
But we must trust God's judgment and be guided by His hand...
And all who have God's blessing can rest safely in His care,
For He promises safe passage on the wings of faith and prayer.

                                           -  Helen Steiner Rice

                             "Memories live forever,
                              They grow richer through the years,
                             They are nurtured by our laughter,
                             They are watered by our tears.
                             Memories live forever,
                             Sent from heaven up above
                             To eternally connect us
                             To the people that we love."

      "Hold Us Up, Lord!"    
       by:  Linda Elrod

     Lord, we know You're always busy,
           For You've many things to do,
     But when sorrow overcomes us,
           Well, we need to talk to You.
     For we've lost someone precious,
           And they're with You there above,
     And it's someone that we needed,
           And it's someone that we loved.
     We are feeling lost and all alone,
           And though we do believe,
     We need You, Lord, to hold us up,
           To help us while we grieve.
     Please give us strength and courage, Lord,
           To bear what we must bear
     And nudge us when our faith is weak
           To remind us You are there.
     Give us hope for our tomorrows,
           Tell us life will still go on,
     Show us, Lord, that all this darkness
           Will be followed by the dawn.
     You have led us through so many things,
           You''ve pulled us through before,
     Hold us up, Lord, till we're through this
           And we are strong once more.

                                   Memories To Treasure

As clear as a loving word or the touch of a hand so warm and dear,
Are the memories of our loved ones that we treasure and hold near.

A favorite song or picture often causes us to recall,
The many special times that were the dearest ones of all.

And although time will heal the loss, you will never be far apart,
Because God's gift of memory will always be a treasure in your heart.

                                                     - Mary Alice Michaels

                                   "No Tears Past the Gate"

           Someone new has entered our eternal home above -
           The heavenly gate has opened wide to welcome one you love.
           We cannot help the tears that fall - our hearts need time to grieve
           When earthly life has ended and a loved one has to leave.

           Yet even in the saddest time, we know our Savior lives,
           And we can trust completely in the promise that He gives -
           That in a glad reunion with the Lord our loved one waits
           To welcome us in joy, with no more tears, Beyond the Gate!

                                               - Precious Moments
                                                      Sam Butcher