Here is an email from Heather earlier this week, sent shortly before she and the boys came back from a week in Hawaii with the Dupar family. Note especially the picture – astonishing?


What an amazing vacation we have had. This was the most healing place to be; so close to what I imagine Paradise to be. I walk the shore with the crashing waves each morning (granted there is a favorite latte stand as my goal) and talk to God and Don at the same time. Most of the time with thoughts of astonishing gratitude, and sometimes with the thought, “Are you kidding me? What the heck just happened? Hawaii is a good place to process grief. Don loved this place.

The picture I am sending you is thoroughly astonishing (Don’s favorite word in the last year of his life). Valencia’s Hawaii The picture is from January 1st, 2008. We just had had a sunset ceremony for Don with the Dupar family on the waters edge. After each reading aloud a stanza of the poem Linda Tarman wrote for Don titled Dancing on the Edge ( included earlier on Don’s blog), we dispersed a portion of Don’s ashes into the wind and waves from the black lava outcropping where we sat. Then Skip Dupar took this picture.  I am still holding the small silver box that contains Don’s ashes. In the picture you see a white circle above Johnny’s head. Coincidence? Maybe. Johnny says it’s a speck of dust. Maybe a speck of Don’s dust…he wanted to be in the picture with us.




Some more news on the family: Bo had a snowboarding accident yesterday, and got his knee wiped out. The orthopedist described it as someone taking a baseball bat and pounding on Bo’s knee. He was in ER for 6 hours yesterday, and came out with a leg brace he will be wearing for 4-6 weeks. He slept through the night last night, and Heather awakened him only to give him some more painkiller. Heather says she misses Don “like crazy” and kept wanting to call him yesterday to tell him about Bo’s accident.

We hope to have the video of Don’s memorial service posted soon. James has been working hard on getting it formatted properly from raw video.

Skip, for Heather, Johnny & Bo

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6 Comments so far

  1. Connie on January 5, 2008 6:31 pm

    Heather, Johnny & Bo,

    Amazing, yes. I think of you often and pray for you all the time.


  2. hdrake on January 5, 2008 9:50 pm

    Heather, Johnny & Bo,

    I, too, think of you and pray for you daily. My prayer is simply that the Lord would give you the grace you need to manage your lives during this time of transition. I also miss Don, but not nearly as much as you do, for sure. Please hold on to the Lord and each other as tightly as you can.

  3. TerriCrowell on January 6, 2008 11:02 am

    What a great picture. Yes, I believe that is definitely Don in the spotlight. He is watching over you all. Our prayers and best wishes go out to you and the boys all the time.

  4. Jake on January 11, 2008 12:58 pm

    Hi guys!

    Glad to hear the trip went well. Excited to see you all soon. Bo that is a studly picture man! Better keep that shirt on around the ladies. LOL
    Great picture but I agree with Johnny that it is a speck of dust in the picture. Lens flares, dust, etc has tricked many people into downright worship of photos. I only share this because my aunt was fooled by a photo after my cousin died and became obsessive over many photos and lost her faith in God and placed it in objects such as photos and ceramic angels.
    I know you all are much more wise and spiritually mature than she was/is but at the same time I have to share the warning.

    I love you guys.

  5. alissakg on February 2, 2008 2:31 pm

    My husband, 3 children and I had a sabbatical in Antigua, Guatemala at the same time the Valencias did. We cherish our memories there–many of which involved the Valencia family. With our boys the exact same age, our paths temporarily merged, and we are all the more blessed for it.

    We just found out from Peter Blomquist about Don’s passing and are in shock and grief. We had no idea he was battling cancer. Our hearts go out to Heather, Jonny, Bo and everyone involved.

    In addition to the circle about Jonny’s head, I see one on Heather’s left shoulder. Whether it’s dust or something else, I definitely think it contained Don’s spirit. Most of his spirit is in all of the hearts of those he touched throughout his remarkable life; but no doubt other manifestations of it will surface outside our hearts and in this world from time to time!

  6. scottbrown on February 24, 2008 9:16 pm

    I became a friend and mentee of Don when he was a guest of the Group in Colorado Springs in July 2005. I was very blessed by his thoughts and insights on following Christ.

    I remember well his talk on God’s ability to transform the heart – and the impact of some key tragedies and near tragedies in his life.

    I live in Houston, but was kept updated by Glenn Murray and others on the challenges you guys faced with Don’s cancer, and of course I was blessed to follow this chronicle of the final chapters of his beautiful Dance on the Edge of Heaven!

    God bless you in His Glory Don!
    God continue to bless you here on earth Heather, Johnny and Bo!

    My best,
    1Cor 13:13

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