In the beginning was the WORD,

and the WORD was with God,

and the WORD was God.

John 1:1

A devotional that I read this week was entitled “Give Me A Word.” It told of inspirational writer Marjorie Holmes’ daughter who was fascinated by words from a very young age. “The little girl would ask, ‘Give me a bright word, Mother.’ And Marjorie would answer with a string of nouns and adjectives that described the word bright, ‘sunshine, golden, luminous, shiny, sparkling.’” (Coffee Break With God, page 136)

Around the Coffman household for the past 2 weeks, the word has been “discombobulation.” A no frills summary: Terry, my chief cook, grocery-getter, master of the laundry room, my spill-cleaner-upper and newspaper & mail gatherer had surgery this past Monday to remove his gallbladder and its zillion stones. He is also being treated for severe pancreatitis. This time last week he was on trauma level 2, critically ill. Daughter Heather and son Shawn have really been awesome! Shawn went to Virginia from Charlotte NC to be with his Dad there and bring him back to Duke Medical Center last Friday. Terry had the surgery on Monday and was discharged Tuesday afternoon when he joined me at the Daniels Hospice and Rehab where I’ve been since November 26. Terry has an appointment on this coming Tuesday, December 12, at Duke. We’ll know then if we can be “discharged” to our own little Tylerstone Drive dwelling, when Terry can drive again, the status of the pancreatitis, etc. He’s gaining ground every day. Takes good naps, eating well and sorting his papers! The Kirk of Holly Springs family has been feeding us, bringing Christmas flowers and supporting Heather in her church responsibilities. Pastor Jonathan Sherrod has been with Terry and our “kids” at the hospital along with our longtime dearest friend and former pastor, Dan Grandstaff.

The children are such welcome distractions! I wish you could have seen Tucker and Claire do a liturgical dance for us to “Bless the Lord, O My Soul.” They know all the words to the song and moved to it beautifully! At Tucker’s 30 month physical this week the pediatrician asked Heather if he could hop on one foot! I wonder if jumping in the air using both feet and doing a 360 degree turn before landing would count! Listening to the tales of two teens has made me very glad to be the grandmother and not the mother of teens these days! Collin had his on-the-road driving instruction this past week and goes for his first driver’s test this week. Brenna and Collin are conversing in Spanish a lot these days. I’m very proud of them!

I continue to get a little weaker each day. The hospice nurse and doctor think that the enlarging swollen area on my left neck is a tumor similar to the one in the left calf of my leg that started this journey so many years ago. It isn’t painful. The worst pain is in my left shoulder where the tumor is pressing on a spinal nerve. Heat and pain meds help.

Our family has been surrounded with love like always, even more so by many friends, family and unknown “prayer warriors” in the past couple of weeks! I regret not being able to respond to all the calls, texts and emails that I have received. I have limited energy and that is being focused on Terry. For example, it has taken me five days to pull this post together! Not my preferred way of writing!



Every December I remember for remarkable women: Ita, Maura, Dorothy and Jean, three North American nuns and one lay missionary who were murdered on December 2, 1980 in El Salvador. This violence continues today in so many places around the world, in our own country and in our own neighborhoods. One of the women in El Salvador is credited with saying,

“I know that we hardly make a difference,

but if we can touch people with a little bit of love,

even if is just one or two people,

that is already something great.”

The words for this week are “touch people with a little bit of love…”


  1. Kitty
    Dec 11, 2017

    You and Terry have been through the wringer! As always, your buoyant spirit and great sense of humor delight me. It eas hard to read the words about your increasing weakness. The scenerio is all too familiar to me and I love you so. Please take good care of Terry and let him do the same for you.

    I wish you a happy Christmas! Love, Kitty

  2. Anne Terry
    Dec 11, 2017

    Both you and Terry are in my prayers as always. My prayer for you two together is for a Christmas of peace and togetherness like no other. Donna you have touched so many lives — you have been a true blessing to so many people. You have been and continue to be an Angel here on earth.
    I am glad Terry is recovering. You two have been special to Jim and me over the years.
    God bless you both in the coming days. May you have a blessed Christmas together with your wonderful family. Love to you.

  3. Judy Williams
    Dec 11, 2017

    Mercy Donna! Sounds like you have all been surrounded with it! McCabe’s “Advent Messiah Devotional” words for the 11th. day of Advent are: “He shall feed his flocks like a shepherd; and he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.” I can imagine these words bringing hope & peace to join your “discombobulation.” We’re very thankful to hear of Terry’s progression from “stoney” towards good health. Also of all the wonder, love & swirling children accompanying this part of your journey. Lean into it, dear friend! with our love and prayers, Gene & Judy Williams

  4. Pat Lowen Bowling
    Dec 11, 2017

    Donna, My prayers are with you and your family.

  5. Sarah Phelps
    Dec 11, 2017

    Love you so much. If you have any spare prayers, please say one for my sister, Clare. She had a stroke a month ago and they thought she was on the mend. It appears that there are more things wrong. I’m very scared for her. Much love to you, Terry and your wonderful family.

  6. Carol Wines
    Dec 11, 2017

    Bless you Donna. You and Terry continue to be in my prayers daily. Blessings, Carol Cheesman Wines

  7. Catherine Carrier
    Dec 11, 2017

    You have touched my life so deeply and richly for as long as I can remember. I can’t begin to express what an example you have been in my life. I am so saddened by the suffering you have had to endure, but I am inspired by the Grace by which you have endured it, the messages you have found the strength to share, and the Hope you have shared with all those who have read your words. You are so dear to my heart, your whole family is. I love you all so very much. Blessings to you during this Advent.

  8. Gerrit McDaniel
    Dec 11, 2017

    My friend, you’ve been touching people with lots of love the many years I’ve know you. Prayers for you and Terri

  9. Jane
    Dec 11, 2017

    I think very few hospice and rehab facilities can come close to the kind of entertainment for the patients as the Daniels Hospice and Rehab. So grateful that Terry will soon be back to his old self and that as you experience physical decline, you are able to enjoy the love of children and grandchildren.
    Love to you all!

  10. Randy & Karola
    Dec 12, 2017

    Our Prayers are with you as always. Hope you both can return home soon.

  11. Judy Lee
    Dec 12, 2017

    Donna, you continue to be an inspiration to so many you have touched. You are truly loved by so many. You have been such an inspiration in my faith journey. I treasure your friendship and love. May you Christmas holiday be as special as you are to so many. May you be able to be with your family loved ones. Praying that Terry continues to be stronger each day. Love you dear friend.

  12. Cindy
    Dec 12, 2017

    Blessings and grace to you and Terry. You are such a wonderful blessing in my life. Prayers always, Cindy

  13. Paula McNichols
    Dec 12, 2017

    Today you have touched me with love. I have been given the devotion for tonight’s GLOW meeting at Opequon. We are preparing cookies for several of our outreach projects. Truly a little bit of Love.
    Blessings for all of your family as you move forward.

    Paula McNichols

  14. Colleen Helms
    Dec 14, 2017

    Thanks for the update. Have been thinking of you and Terry and your family. So thankful you have your children and grandchildren so close by. You are an inspiration to others with all you have been through. Take care and praying for you all. Tell Terry hello. Love, Colleen Helms

  15. Melodie Davis
    Dec 15, 2017

    Carrying you as I can in my prayers. Hugs.

  16. Marlene Waymack
    Dec 19, 2017

    Dear One, you are such an inspiration to all of us. Your faith is such a joy!! My heart fills with love when I read your precious words. May your Christmas be filled with the Love our Lord gives to you with such abundance. Prayers for you and your wonderful family !

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