Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


Let's all pretend that I actually posted this on Thanksgiving, as intended.

I am THANKFUL for a family who loves me:  family who loves me enough to bless me with random calls, texts, emails, cards, pictures, and remembrances.  This family has known grief well, so responds in ways that I'm sure must have helped them in the past too.  

I am THANKFUL for friends who love me like family: friends who check on me, include me in their daily lives, and keep asking me to join them even when I say "no thank you, I can't just yet."

I am THANKFUL for those who understand that I don't know how to reach out for help and comfort yet, so THEY reach out.  It's very hard for me to initiate contact.  I don't know why.  It just is and I am thankful, very thankful for those who understand that and keep me going.

I am THANKFUL for a God who loves me and comforts me through His Word and through His presence as I walk this path.   He gave me a beautiful sunrise this morning, just to remind me that "weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning" (Psalm 30:5)  He knows me.  He knows that I am a "morning person" and that I would need to see this today.

This morning's sunrise as I walked & talked with Jesus.

I am THANKFUL for nearly 42 years with my wonderful husband and best friend.  I am THANKFUL that he no longer struggles to breathe, or labors just to get up in the morning. I miss Lee sorely, but I know that I will see him again and that he is whole now.  

"Enter His gates with Thanksgiving; go into His courts with praise.  Give thanks to Him and praise His name."  Psalm 100:4

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Lee's Washington Memorial Service Info

Lee's memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 12th at 11am at LifeWay Church - 5015 SW Dash Point Road, Federal Way, WA.  The service will be officiated by Pastor Don Turner and our brother-in-law, Pastor Lonnie Arnold.

We would be honored to have you join us in remembering Lee's life.

From his cousin, Shannon:

The adorable man with the mischievous, smiling Irish eyes is my cousin Lee Hendricks. We lost him on Saturday afternoon after a long battle with heart related conditions; he had been at the Mayo Clinic waiting for a heart. The tenacity and faith was humbling, but he was so much more.

He was a man of epic dreams who made you imagine the impossible. The testament to his role as a father is seen in his fabulous kids Seth, Sarah and Katie, and his role as a husband to his wonderful wife, Peg Hendricks. 

I feel privileged and thankful for the time that he was in my circle. Time to spill some fine Irish whiskey for my sweet cousin.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Lee is with Jesus

2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

After fighting the good fight, Lee went to be with Jesus on June 28th at 2:45pm.  Tonight we experience utter heartbreak and simultaneous joy for we know that while we grieve his death he is already with Jesus and could say "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." and heard in return "Well done, good and faithful servant...Enter into the joy of your master" Amen and amen. 

His passing was peaceful, and we know that he finally received his much-anticipated new heart!  And we have great joy in knowing that this heart will never wear out.  He's rejoicing with Jesus, hugging on Lonnie Jr. and Gabbie and those that got there before him.  

There will be a memorial service in Buckeye, AZ this Wednesday, July 2nd at 2:00pm.  It will be held at Grace Fellowship Church, 1300 N Miller Rd, Buckeye. 

A memorial service in the Pacific Northwest is in the works, and will likely be scheduled for mid-July.  Details to follow.  

photo credit: Mark Hendricks
The doctor told his nurse (who told Seth) that they were to pull out every possible treatment because this man is special.  It is healing to our family to know that they exhausted all options in treating Lee.  The nurses were so attentive, constantly adjusting his medications and equipment, never leaving his side (literally -- they left the room to use the restroom -- and were never gone more than 5 minutes), and called his doctor if there was more than a minor fluctuation.  His doctors did everything they could to restore his health to the point that he could return to The List.  Ultimately, God saw fit, in His goodness, to take him home, and we know that Lee was ready.  

We credit this attention above and beyond attention to Lee's unwavering faith.  He shared his "win-win" philosophy with anyone who would listen.  As he would say...if I get a new heart, I win.  If I'm with Jesus, I win.  He truly lived out his faith and we know that he planted and watered many seeds for the Gospel.
Doing what he loved

He was always upbeat.  He rarely let his condition keep him down, despite being unable to do so much that he loved.  I don't believe many fully realized how sick he was, and how he longed for heaven and complete healing.  Still, like Paul, he fought on for us.  

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell.  I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.  But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.  Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus...(Philippians 1:21-26)

His doctors, until the end, commented on how well he looked and they would have to read his chart and vitals to recognize how sick he was.  Unless you were with him daily, and knew the man he used to be, the active, helpful, craftsman, sports-loving guy he wanted to be, you wouldn't have seen how sick he really was.  

We love him and will miss him dearly.

Thank you to all of you who have prayed with us -- we've truly experienced the comfort and peace that comes only from God and is communicated through His body.
This comes from his brother-in-law, Lonnie Arnold on Lee's passing: 

Lee lived a life of a humble Christian man. He was a devoted follower of Christ, a loving husband and father. He was affectionately known as Papa Lee by all the Arnold children, and he was a second father to them all. My life has been incredibly blessed by the Lord to have Lee alongside me in my Christian journey. He provided endless encouragement as a Brother in the Lord, and a true fellow father in parenting our children. His godly wisdom was always was filled with spiritual insight and genuine love for me and my family. He walked and talked with me through both difficult and delightful days. I will miss my dear brother, brother-in-law, and irreplaceable friend. I rejoice that Lee is with Jesus. He has arrived at the goal of the Christian life. His hope has been fulfilled, and the joy of being in the presence of the Lord infinitely exceeds any joy of this fallen world. Oh yes, we miss you Lee. The temporary separation produces deep grief because of the depth of love we experienced with you for years. Yet at the same time, I bless the Lord for the gift of your life in Jesus, which based on the unbreakable promise of God, we will share many more conversations in eternity, filled with praise and glory. I will miss you my brother. You have been one of the richest gifts of God in my life!!!

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. Philippians 3:20-21

Friday, June 27, 2014

Lee in the ICU -- an update

We feel SO very blessed having our names lifted up in prayer by so many loving, caring people. Our church family, friends and neighbors here in Buckeye are supporting us, loving on us and are at the ready to do whatever is needed to help. Family and friends across the nation are letting me know they are sending love, prayers and offers to help in any way. I am grateful and humbled beyond expression. I am thankful to a loving God who is with us every step of the way.

LEE ... Yesterday afternoon doctors did CT scans from head to toe, trying to locate the source of the infection that has caused his sepsis. They have also performed other tests & procedures throughout the day, including intubation (putting him on a ventilator). They found pneumonia in the lower left lobe of his lungs, a pulmonary embolism in his right lung, and the echocardiogram showed an extreme deterioration of his left ventricle. His fever & chills continue. His white blood count continues to climb, regardless of "all the antibiotics known to man" (per Dr Steidley). The team at The Mayo Clinic is amazing and are 100% dedicated to caring for Lee and are doing everything possible to get him well enough to get back on the transplant list.

As of 4am, Lee is sedated, on the ventilator, and resting calmly. His vitals are steady and he remains in critical condition. As we prepare for the worst (for US, not for him  ) we continue to hope for the best (infection conquered and returned to The List) and pray to be granted a miracle. Our faith is strong, our God is mighty!

We humbly ask you to continue to pray for us.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Lee is listed as 1-A on the heart transplant list ...

Things are pretty crazy for us right now, so the most recent information is on our daughter, Katie's blog.  I'll update here soon,  but in the meantime, please go to: 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Mayo Clinic May 21 and more ...

The Mayo Clinic appointment this day was pretty unremarkable.  Lee is stable (a very good thing) and infection free.  His labs are good in that they are unchanged (they won't get any better, but it's good that they are not worse.)  Fatigue is the number 1 issue as far as symptoms go & we look forward to a new heart for Lee and the day when Lee can be worn out from activity such as playing with grandkids, golfing, hiking, or something strenuous. Fatigue from severe heart failure comes from getting out of bed or walking to the mailbox or from nothing discernible.  The Mayo has done 9 heart transplants so far this year. Our prayers are for both the recipients and the donor families.

SO ... while we wait:  

Lest you think we are just sitting around, looking at the clock and/or calendar, we decided to post some pictures of some of the things we've been doing.  Most of the projects have been done between the late Fall to the present and were finished over long periods of time as health and stamina permit. We try to keep busy!

This old oak chest has been around the family for many, many years.  My sister, Lorna, took pity on my lack of furniture and gave it to me.  It was in pretty bad shape, but it was old (which I loved) and oak (which is very forgiving.)  There's not a before picture, but here is the finished product.

A while back, we bought an old (100 yrs+) oak table and chair set from The ReStore (Habitat for Humanity's thrift store.)  The chairs were in pretty bad shape, as all the glue had dried up and every joint was loose.  Lee painstakingly took apart each chair, cleaned up the wood with a hand-scraper, then re-glued every joint.  It took him 8 - 10 hours per chair.  They came out beautifully though & now I just need to oil and polish them.


Another great thrift store find (Stardust Industries, a non-profit that encourages reuse) was an old kitchen cabinet.  I was excited to find one that was solid wood and set about sanding and repairing it.  Lee made a sturdy frame to sit the cabinet on and installed casters to wheel my "outdoor kitchen" around. We salvaged and painted the handles, painted the cabinets and drawers inside and out with outdoor house paint.  With a little help from our friends, we finished the countertop with the left over tile from the floor in the house.  I LOVE having an outdoor kitchen counter.

In March, we had a wonderful visit from our daughter, Katie and her husband, Isaac AND baby Lucy. It was hard to let them go back home without us!

Nana Heaven!
Papa love his Lucy!

Date night for the McPhees, sans baby.  We HAD to babysit!

Hiking with Lucy.

Uncle Seth got in on the action too.

We've had other visitors too although we didn't get pictures of all of them.  
Brother Mark with Seth.

Cousin Carole with Peg

Brother Paul & sis-in-law Lu with Lee (and Guido)
Lee built this awesome lattice for our yard.  We planted a sweet smelling jasmine vine to grow up on it. It smells heavenly.

We enjoy filling our tiny backyard with colorful plants
and watching a caterpillar
Caterpillar turning into cocoon.
(put into a mason jar & stored behind the coffee maker) turn into a butterfly.
I heard a fluttering noise one morning ...

Sewing has been blessed release for me.  We have many nieces and nephews and now grand nieces and nephews (thanks mostly to my sister, Lorna!) I sewed up an apron/bib for each of the grand nieces & nephews to have at Grammie's house.

For Noah & Ava's (our grands) birthdays in May, they requested costumes.  Noah chose Robin Hood & Ava chose Elsa from the movie, Frozen.  SUCH fun to sew them up for them and I think they liked them!  

Everyday, I am thankful for modern technology that allows us to keep in touch with family and friends so far away.  Baby Lucy is growing SO fast, but her mama is so good to keep us feeling close with nearly daily pictures and videos.  Ava and Noah are getting so grown up but FaceTiming with them is an AWESOME way for us to keep in touch with them.  It helps keep us sane.  We love them so.  This last picture is just a glimpse of part of our big family.  This was a gathering back home for some May birthdays and one of the grand nieces requested the family do the Hokey Pokey.  I LOVE MY FAMILY ... each and every one of them.

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever.  Psalm 107:1

Friday, May 9, 2014

PLEASE take a few minutes to go to the link below and read the article.  I could never express the process, feelings, stress, gratitude as well as is done in this read.  There is much good information here and I encourage you to pass along the information to others.  It is another good reminder also to please consider being an organ donor and encourage others to do the same.  A heart donor must be 45 years of age or LESS.

A good heart: An organ transplant and a hidden message