"I hold on to You for dear life, and you hold me steady as a post..." Psalm 63

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A life celebrated....







"Helen D. Cook Astfalk, 93, of Homestead Village, passed away peacefully into the arms of Jesus on Sunday, January 9, 2011.

Helen was preceded in death by her first husband, Robert Cook, who died in 1987. Her second husband, Walter Astfalk, preceded her in 2006. She and Walter were married for ten years.

Born in Great Bend, PA, Helen was the daughter of the late Willard and Mabel (Reinhart) Alexander. She and her husband Robert moved to Lancaster in 1976 to be near their son, Robert, married to Sharon (Edgett) Cook, two grandchildren, Tammi Hoke and Terri Hershey, both of Lancaster and nine great-grandchildren. Helen is also survived by three stepchildren, Deb Moshier of Lancaster, Craig Astfalk of Michigan and ReneƩ Vosburgh of Tamaqua. Helen was preceded in death by six brothers and sisters.

Helen was dreaming of Heaven more and more as her health was failing and she wanted nothing more than to see Jesus. She spent the majority of her life seeking the Lord and now she has found him. She spent hours upon hours sharing her heart with Him and now she’s talking to Him face to face, for her life has just begun."


Today we celebrated the life of my grandmother with those whom she loved and those who loved her back.  Of course, there were tears...she was a pretty cool lady, which was evident by the sweet comments that were spoken of her.  As I listened to many of her loved ones speak so highly of her life, I couldn't help but feel a sense of awe all over again about the kind of woman she was.  
I want my funeral to be just like hers....
and I have 54 years to learn how to be the same kind of woman that she was.
  Our children had the privilege of being the pall bearers 
{I hope these pictures don't offend you...bottom line is, they wouldn't offend my grandmother-
she'd get a big kick out of it, actually!}

We came home exhausted...and did absolutely nothing.

Until I decided that in honor of the fact that my grandmother LOVED her some desserts,
I'd cut up some of these...

...put it in one of these...
bake it...
 and partake in a 
GREAT
BIG
PIECE.
 Thanks, Grandma, for a day of celebrating YOU,
For leaving us with something to STRETCH towards
and reminding us that life is nothing without 
FAMILY
FRIENDS
and a deep love
 for JESUS.

"You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
      My cup overflows with blessings.
  Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
      all the days of my life,
   and I will live in the house of the Lord
      forever."
Psalm 23:5,6

8 comments:

The lady of the house... said...

Terri~I am sure she loved you so much!! How precious to have this much time with her on this side of heaven. May HER LEGACY live on through you.....

Love from up the street.

Mark A Holden said...

Terri,

It was a beautiful service. It was exciting to hear so much about the legacy that Grandma Cook has left for all of us... certainly a challenge to be better at how we love God and people. I'm jealous that she gets to see Jesus.

Mrs.Rabe said...

What a beautiful heritage you and your children have! You are so blessed.

I was thinking of you today and praying. We were at the church for co-op and as we were getting ready to start I heard the "Hallelujah Chorus" wafting down the stairs. Beautiful!

Thanks for sharing.

consume me... said...

The service certainly left all who attended something to think about. Deanna...my grandmother wanted to be wheeled IN to the Hallelujah Chorus! We decided on the end so that it could be explained that it was her idea!!!

amy said...

Sounds like such a beautiful life and death.

God bless you all.

Dennis Jordan said...

We are so sorry that we were not at the celebration honoring your grandmother. Helen is a very special person that impacted our life. Blessings!

Dennis & Beth Jordan

LemonyRenee' said...

What a lovely post. How blessed your grandmother was to have people who loved her so.

vivien said...

terri,

it was a lovely service and a priviledge to be there! i think she left all of us with the same thoughts.... do i love enough, reflect JESUS enough and bring joy to others enough!!??
i thought the great-grandchildren being the pallbearers was a great idea.... and the pictures are wonderfu!! i said the same to tammi as she was taking them.... your grandmother would love it!

i am feeling the loss over here also.... as my mom said, we will miss her prayers in regards to our family, too! i feel sad for my mom knowing she is missing her nightly phone calls with "mom helen"!
we love your family!!

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