The Circle of Life

Nazareth Convent (2012) Concordia, Kansas

Faith often teaches us that the Holy Spirit is so strong that it can even give us the grace to travel through enormous sorrow.

Sometimes our life journeys back to places of joy are filled with multiple, confusing twists and seemingly unending turns. Occasionally, however, we are fortunate enough to find that delight is no farther away from grief than fragrant aroma is from a freshly-bloomed grandiflora rose.

Our family experienced the latter phenomenon this January.

On January 10, 2012, we laid my mother in-law to rest in Clyde, Kansas. Gevine Hoesli was a spiritual leader and role model to seven children, 16 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren. Her obituary clearly details the difference that one person can make in the lives of others–whether they be from her family, her community, or they were simply another human being who needed help.

The pain of her passing, while not removed, was almost immediately marked by the sparkle of new life here on earth and the continuation of the lineage of the late LaRoy and Gevine Hoesli. Just two days after Gevine was laid to rest, new life sprang forth when Emmett William Gilstrap came quietly into the world. This beautiful newborn is the son of Andrew and Katie Gilstrap.

Emmett is our first grandchild for my wife Mary and I. We are unbelievably excited at the opportunity to be grandparents. And, who knows, perhaps someday we will be like LaRoy and Gevine. Great grandparents.

– Greg

Note: The trip to Kansas also offered significant photoremedy. In our next blog posting, we’ll feature the subtle, often dramatic, beauty of January in Cloud County, KS.

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