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Silence Broken

There have been months of silence, of not writing here, but perhaps the time for silence is over.  My son's death seemed to suck all the energy out of me, both physically and mentally, and for the past many months, about all I've been able to do is sit at my computer and zone out.

 We've recently had another major change in our lives.  We are now empty nesters.  Konrad is in Vancouver as he has been for several years, Mons is currently in Vietnam but plans to spend the coming ten months or so working in China and Erik has moved to the Toronto area to be with his girlfriend.

To move Erik, we removed the benches from our mini-van and loaded it with pretty much all his possessions, including Mikael's iguana and cage.  With only two seats left in the van, one of us had to fly.  Tom volunteered and left a couple days before Erik and I set out on the road.  It was amazing how we fitted everything into the back of the van.  I was sure we wouldn't get it all in or, if we did, there'd be no room for my big suitcase but when there was just one more box to put in, the space available was exactly the same size as the box.  How's that for fitting?  And there was room on top of the boxes for my suitcase.  Thank you, God!

Tom and I were gone for over three weeks and it was a glorious time.  For the first several days Tom stayed at his brother's south-west of Toronto and I stayed at my sister's east of Toronto.  When we came together we had a series of wonderful visits with friends and family.  First was at my sister's cottage past Peterborough for the weekend.  I used the time to relax and do nothing.  Next was a friend we watched grow up over the past thirty years.  Her home is fronted with enormous Greek pillars and inside are floors of marble and an indoor swimming pool.  I could get used to the pool quite easily.  Following that was my cousin in Niagara Falls.  I thought we'd stay for a couple of hours but he wanted us to stay for a couple of weeks!  We settled on a couple of days and enjoyed the private tour and history lessons he gave of the area.  He was disappointed, when we left, that he hadn't had time to show Tom how to make bio-diesel or moonshine.

From there we were off to my other sister's in Michigan.  She and her husband have a large home situated on five acres tucked into the woods where no one can see them and they can see no one.  A very large pond stocked with fish and turtles sits in the middle of a well-manicured lawn.  You couldn't really call it a backyard.  It's more like a park complete with places to sit and relax and large play structure for my nephew.

Our next stop was in Indiana.  Half and hour before our destination we had a collision on the crowded interstate, people pouring back into Chicago at the end of the weekend.  What a blessing that no one was hurt!  And a great blessing it happened so close to our friends, who were able to pick us up and let us stay with them until the van was fit for the road again.  They were delighted our intended one night turned to three.

A night in a motel and a couple hours of shopping at an outlet centre preceded our last visit in North Dakota with internet friends.  What hospitality and grace was shown to us on each step of the journey!  What laughter and joy!

I felt revitalised and refreshed and when we got home, instead of collapsing and sleeping for a week to recover, I found myself eager to get things done and the energy to match!  What a difference!  It's as if the trip made me a new person.  And the energy and motivation have continued all week.  I'm making meals, sorting through papers, cleaning bathrooms and doing laundry.  Oh!  And riding my stationary bike--an hour each of the last two days.

But what about my writing?  That was yet to fall into place.  I believe God had it planned long before I knew it would be needed.  I'm at a writers' retreat--planned last fall before Mikael's death.  I have been unable to attend the monthly writers' group meetings this last year but I hung on to my determination to attend the retreat.  Is this not the perfect time to return to what I so love doing?

And so I write and will continue to write.  There are so many things to share and say.  It may be slow to begin with and perhaps I'll have more times when the energy is sucked right out of me but now I can see that there's hope.  In God's time, he makes all things beautiful in his time.


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About the Author


I'm married (35 years in December 2008) with four grown sons. I love my city (Winnipeg) and my country (Canada) and promote them both to whoever will listen. God (through Jesus Christ) is the biggest part of my life. I am learning to let him take control of all areas--though I do better at this some times more than others.

I have written a book that's recently been published about part of my journey with God. In it I tell how God confronted me with the same-sex attraction issues I've struggled with all my adult life and how he led me through them to a deeper and more meaningful relationship with him. God is amazing—his forgiveness, his love, his movement in our lives when we allow him and so much more. I suspect God will never run out of things to teach me or ways to make me grow and that’s a good thing (though often very painful).

I suppose I can say that what gives me the greatest pleasure in life is telling others about…

Memories of Mikael Vincent Tien Doe Chan

Reviews of Searching for Love

If you have read the book, I would love to hear your thoughts on it. You may e-mail me at or post them in the comments section below.

A Real Testimony
I finished your book. A real testimony to what God does for us.
Leona March 3, 2009
I Had Tears Coming

I sat down to read it about a week later and ended up finishing it the same night. At first I admit I was a little bored and thought that the whole book was about a battle all in your mind, but as I continued reading this creeping thought came over me of a different...struggle in my own life, that I would never in my right mind have shared with anyone accept maybe God. I've mentioned your book to a few people because it stirs up age-old controversies that I have myself argued and wondered about, namely about whether or not homosexuality can be cured or just managed like alcoholism--you just have to stay away from temptation. I noticed at the end of your book that your struggle story …