We will be publishing some interviews that were done by students at Covenant Christian High School. These are interviews that serve well as examples of those whom God has preserved through times of trial. The following is an interview by Missi Slager of her mother, Barb. Missi is a sophomore at Covenant Christian High School.
“Barb, Barb wake up we need to go to the hospital.” “But why, what’s wrong, is he okay?” “No Barb, dad didn’t make it…he died.” Can you imagine what it would be like to wake up and find out you didn’t have a dad to share your life with anymore? Well Barb Meulenburg (now Slager) knows what it is like to wake up and realize something this dramatic.
At age 15, Barb Meulenburg was an energetic blonde who was enjoying her first year of high school at Covenant Christian. When she was in 9th grade her Uncle Pete1 was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s cancer, he was told he would not live. But never did she expect her 45-year- old father to be diagnosed with the same cancer as her Uncle Pete. But that day came in her sophomore year at Covenant Christian High School, only her dad was told he would live.
“When he had to go to the hospital for radiation and chemotherapy, I had to drive him because my mom couldn’t drive. So here I was in downtown Grand Rapids in this big old car just months after I got my license.”
For quite awhile Barb’s dad would have to undergo radiation and chemotherapy. The radiation and chemotherapy would make him physically weak, cause him to lose weight and also cause him to get sick frequently.
“I remember most the headaches he’d get. They were so bad we would have to leave him alone all day.”
In Barb’s senior year the dreaded day came. She was awakened in the middle of the night and told her dad had died. “In his last two months, I will never forget the day Rev. VanOverloop picked up my mom, then my sister Bonnie, and finally me from Covenant. He drove us to the hospital and after he parked the car, he prayed with us right then and there in the car.”
Barb’s dad was not one to open up and express his feelings, so Barb found her comfort in the Lord and her best friend, Phyllis “Pickle”. “Not only did I grow closer to God and Pickle but also to mom.”
“The death of my dad was hard especially at age 16. I can’t imagine how my brother Jon got through it, he was only 11 when my dad died, he was just getting to know dad.” The death not only affected the 5 children of David Meulenburg, but also his loving wife, Helene, who was forced to learn how to drive, get a job, and become more independent.
“I will never forget the night I was told he died but I realize now how strong my faith became through his death. I now realize how everything works together for good to those who love the Lord.”
1Her Uncle Pete was able to be cured of this cancer. Meulenburgs still wonder how the doctors could say he would die and Barb’s dad would live and it ended up being the other way around. ❖