Fran was the love of my life. When we stood at the altar to say our “I do’s” we never envisioned that one day we would have to say our “Good-byes.” That day came 54+ years later.

This is the first of what I hope will be many bogs that describe life and lessons that started the first time I saw Carol Fran Stephenson in 1964. Eventually it will Include two years as a part-time Music Director at small country churches while a student at La Tech University, four years as a missionary in Taiwan, twenty-five years as Minister of Education/Associate Pastor on various church staffs, and twenty-eight years sharing Jesus with those who had never heard His name or of His love.

The blog begins as a celebration of my 80 good years on earth…and continues as what may be a not so good year as I join Dr. Jan Burger (trained in Germany and America) and his staff at MD Anderson Cancer Center in a battle with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). I will describe more about the battle in future posts.

Listen to the first music. Hear the Chinese language I heard for four years. Read the English for meaning!

January 25, 2023, Fran left this earth to join the choir of heaven to sing to her God, her Father, the Rock of her salvation. The peaceful expression on her face was beyond description as was the expression of the broken heart that was on my face. After 54 years all I could say was “No Fran No” but there was no answer…just peace! My next words that I will never forget were, “Jesus, help me!” And He did and He still does! Fran always believed she would live to see her rapture…and she did!

The beautiful girl in the yellow skirt and white blouse, the one who caused me to lose a ping pong championship at the La Tech Baptist Student Union, the one who brought joy to my heart and my life, the one who gave birth to Alicia Joy, Carrie Allyson, and Angela Katherine was singing a new song. One day I know I will join her again to sing “I will Praise You. I Will Lift Up My Hands.”

Until then I know, as Fran knew, there are still millions who have not heard of the love of Jesus! The last words I remember her saying were “I want you to know how proud I am of you and all you have done.” Her heart broke…my heart breaks…God’s heart breaks!

One of Fran’s favorite songs: “I just want to speak the name of Jesus…”