Featured Post

Perfect Imperfection

Tonight we put up our Christmas tree, the first Ravella/Gilbert tree. Actually we have two trees. One is artificial. It is perfect. It has p...

Friday, December 21, 2007

A Beautiful Day

We laid Andrea to rest today. It was a beautiful day, sunny just as Andrea would have liked. The service was even more beautiful. Chaplin Giorgi gave an absolutely perfect sermon, he captured Andrea, her life, her faith and her hope in his words.
The graveside service was moving for me. When I was about to leave for the church I was looking around our room for things of Andrea's. I looked in the closet and found one of her journals. I took it and the Bible I gave Andrea for Christmas in 1988 along with some pictures of her. As I waited for the service to begin I began to read her entries. When we got to the grave site I asked Chaplin Giorgi if I could read one of the entries.

Her is Andrea's journal entry from Aug 13 2006:

I'm so tired today. God be merciful. Give me my voice. Heal my side. Heal my liver.
I love you.

I yield myself to you.
You are awesome in this place-In my body.
I open myself up to you-I yield myself to you Lord.
I give up all my desires.
I yield myself 100% to you. I must be willing even to die if you want.
Only then am I 100% yielded to your will and you need me 100% yielded.

When I opened her journal I saw another entry and I felt I should read it but having not read it before I decided not to. I went ahead and read the first entry, but when finished I felt again I needed to read this entry. Here it is.

For by grace are you saved through faith. Faith is supernatural. Confidence is not faith. Faith comes from above. we can not manufacture faith. God has to release it to us. Don't mix up confidence confidence with God's supernatural faith. Hebrews 11:1. Faith gives credence and substance to my hope, what i hope for. How do we know Christianity is true? Faith is the substance. Faith says God is real. Faith is unique to Christianity. Faith gives a confidence beyond all comprehension that what we believe is true. Faith says there really is an invisible world, there really is a God. If Satan could shake your belief in God, it would cause the foundation of your faith to crumble. Faith is an eye that helps us see there is another world, a spiritual world. Faith helps us see the invisible now in this life. Faith is a firm belief in something for which there is no physical proof. Faith is the ability to everything that does not exist in reality. Faith makes sense out of life. How the world began and how it will end and where did man come from. Faith opens the door to the only true way to salvation.

When I finished I knew it was God's plan for me to pick up that book and read theses entries.

Well my eyes are heavy and I want to give into sleep. I will write more later. I think I will start typing in more of Andrea's journal entries. It will help you understand this woman of faith.

The boys and I are fine. Nic and Anthony continue to impress me. Kate has become our strength. So we take it one step at a time. I think I have adjusted to Andrea being away, now I need to adjust to her being gone. I see hard days ahead. I'm afraid I will forget Andrea, the small things about her. I miss her tonight, as I will every night. But God will sustain me as He did Andrea. His mercies are new every morning.



  1. Thank you for sharing those journal entries. I can hear her voice in them...her calm, gentle, sweet voice. Do not worry, even as the pain subsides the intimate memories will remain. You will never forget anything about her.

  2. Dear Jim,
    I'm grateful for your post. Andrea's journal is a gift to me too; thank you for sharing it. I've been thinking and praying for you and the boys and everyone who would be at the services wishing I could be there too. She speaks in her "confident" faith filled way even now. I always loved that about her and will never forget her words of faith; neither will you.
    Today I am going to another graveside service; our friend here lost her baby in the seventh month of pregnancy. I will go with Andrea's words filling my mind with hope. Wendy

  3. Jim, Thank you for sharing part of your day and Andrea's journal with us. Andrea continues to be an inspiration in her absence. I feel myself talking to her every day. I'm thinking she must be very busy listening to everyone :). I can understand the fear of feeling you might forget. I feel that Andrea's memories will always be with you and will be triggered when you need them. We pray for your strength in your journey ahead. Love, Diane

  4. Col.Ravella
    May I say You have my deepest sympathy, in the recent loss of your wife and your son's mother.It would have been My Honor as well as my daughter's to attend this memorial of your wife, for your Family has had a great impact in my daughter's faith,in Healing.I believe this is Due to Andrea's Faith,knowing she(my daughter) has been in remisssion for 10 years questioned why she being Andrea a woman, how she described strong in Faith was not in remisssion and she has been her faith had been shaken many a time. She over the past week or so had a few up and downs dealing with her own Mortality in this very situation. Even though she always has a brave facade . I'm not even sure if she has shared this with you .I asked her to reconsider going even though,she felt she was to be supportive in your time of need. I asked her to consider to wait and when God calls her to be their in time of need when your Family is not here is when she could best utilized in your need of guidence,and healing for you and your family here. For this is a long road Son,the loss of your life partner, as well as their mother. You will have a long Journey, as your son's will have many of days they are lonely as well,try to keep these thoughts, keep them close in your heart in your Prayers , always hug your son's as she would have.I look forward to meeting you.For you have also taught me a lesson as well, my daughter asked me to read your Journal,I replied that is this young man's intermost personal thought between his wife and himself ; this before I had the privilage of reading your entries.I now wished I had been a strong ,brave man to reveal my soul to my children or the world as you have. Thank You for teaching me a lesson in my life. I see a courage in you so young that I did not have.
    Deepest Sympathy,
    Gen. B