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Newsletter of the Katy, TX, Chapter

January 2014

Chapter Leaders Melinda and Glen Ginter (281) 492-1262

Newsletter Editor Annette Mennen Baldwin (281) 578-9118
Treasurer Lisa Leanard

When a child dies, at any age, the family suffers intense pain and may feel hopeless and isolated. The Compassionate
Friends provides highly personal comfort, hope, and support to every family experiencing the death of a son or a daugh-
ter, a brother or a sister, or a grandchild, and helps others better assist the grieving family.

***January Meeting***

When: Tuesday, January 14, 2014 6:30 PM – Doors Open

If this Is your first meeting, please arrive by 6:30
7:00 PM—Meeting Begins
Where: Kingsland Baptist Church 20555 Kingsland Blvd,
Katy, TX 77450
John Burns Building, East side of church

Program: A New Year of Changes

From East of Fry Road (coming from Houston): Go west on I-10 to Fry Road. Turn left (south) on Fry Road. Turn right (west) on Kings-
land Blvd and travel 0.5 miles to Kingsland Baptist Church.
From West of Mason Road (coming from San Antonio): Go east on I-10 to Westgreen Blvd. Turn right (south) on Westgreen Blvd and
travel 0.6 miles to Kingsland Blvd. Turn left (east) on Kingsland Blvd and travel 0.5 miles to Kingsland Baptist Church.
(Across from Nottingham Country Elementary School)

We thank each of you who attended our Candle Lighting Ceremony for taking the time
from your busy and often overwhelming schedule to honor your child with us. We had an
exceptionally large number of newly bereaved parents and families attending Candle
Lighting this year, and each story touched our hearts. We are grateful that we could pro-
vide a gentle setting and ceremony that encouraged you to honor your child with us. We
encourage each of you to attend our January meeting. Thank you for participating.

We need not walk alone.

We are The Compassionate Friends. We reach out to each other with love, with understanding, and with hope. The
children we mourn have died at all ages and from many different causes, but our love for them unites us. Your pain be-
comes my pain, just as your hope becomes my hope. We come together from all walks of life, from many different circum-
stances. We are a unique family because we represent many races, creeds, and relationships. We are young, and we are
old. Some of us are far along in our grief, but others still feel a grief so fresh and so intensely painful that they feel help-
less and see no hope. Some of us have found our faith to be a source of strength, while some of us are struggling to find
answers. Some of us are angry, filled with guilt or in deep depression, while others radiate an inner peace. But whatever
pain we bring to this gathering of The Compassionate Friends, it is pain we will share, just as we share with each other our
love for the children who have died. We are all seeking and struggling to build a future for ourselves, but we are commit-
ted to building a future together. We reach out to each other in love to share the pain as well as the joy, share the anger
as well as the peace, share the faith as well as the doubts, and help each other to grieve as well as to grow. We Need
Not Walk Alone. We Are The Compassionate Friends. ~TCF Credo

The death of your child is probably the most traumatic, life-changing event that you will ever experience. The Compas-
sionate Friends is an organization of parents who have also lost a child to death. Each of us has experienced the deep, searing
pain that you are feeling now. Each of us has turned to other parents who were farther into their grief journey for guidance,
support and understanding. This is done through our monthly meetings, our newsletter, our website, our phone-a-friend pro-
gram, our library, our e-mail program and our referral program. Each month parents find our meeting to be a safe place
where they can talk about their pain and problems with others who are uniquely qualified to understand; bereaved parents
offer gentle suggestions or often simply listen. We invite you to bring a friend to your first few meetings until you feel a level
of comfort with the group. Do not be surprised if we talk about the happy times with our children, the wonderful memories
and the various methods we have created to keep our children close to us. It is here that many bereaved parents find hope as
those who are more seasoned in their grief shine the light of experience to help illuminate each grief path. We have no dues.
We are self-sustaining through donations and the generosity of so many in our community. You Need Not Walk Alone.
Page 2 January 2014

Our Children Remembered

January 1 Sean Kevin Mendoza, son of Mary Mendoza
January 5 Tyler Herbst, son of Steve & Kathy Herbst
January 9 Jared Matthew Sanchez, son of Joseph & Melinda Sanchez
January 9 Kyle James Snyder, son of Lori Snyder
January 12 Karen Reding, daughter of Laura & Henry Reding
January 13 Mark Moellendorf, son of Don Cagle
January 14 Ronald Howard McCall, son of Jeri Esmi
January 14 Tyler Ray Richard, son of Veronica Malhiot
January 16 Kerri Krieg, daughter of Sandra & Tom Krieg
January 18 Judah Lyon Sanjur, son of Tiffany & Emiliano Sanjur
January 19 Justin Richard Clinton, son of Robin Clinton
January 24 Brittany LeeAnn Lewis, daughter of Lisa & Mike Atkinson
January 25 Anthony Joseph Leanard, son of Larry & Lisa Leanard
January 28 Brandi Leigh Rushing, daughter of Tracy & Kim McCarty
January 30 Johnny “Bryan” Hoover, Jr., son of Bonnie Guillot
January 31 Jason Kyle Reph, son of Kristin Kennedy

January 2013 1 Year Jerad Matthew Whitten, son of Ethel McTigue
January 2013 1 Year Tristen Luis Bartlett, son of Karen Lopez-Bartlett
January 2010 4 Years Christopher Wayne Smith, son of Pamela Smith
January 2010 4 Years Luis E. Molina, son of Dahlia Salinas Molina
January 2008 6 Years Shannon Faye Hooker, daughter of Janis Hooker
January 2007 7 Years Sarah Eileen Magri, daughter of Neal & Virginia Magri
January 2009 5 Years Dustin Christopher Krause, son of Susan & Tony Krause
January 2008 6 Years Eric J. Chavarria, son of Eric & Julia Chavarria

During your child’s birth month, you are invited to bring a special
photograph or Keepsake of your Loved one to share with the group.
If you are unable to attend the meeting during your loved one’s birth month,
please feel free to choose another month to share with us. If your child’s
birthday month was December, please bring a special Keepsake or photograph

We invite our chapter members of long-standing to attend a few meetings each year and reach out to our many newly be-
reaved parents. We all remember our first meeting, our first year, our second year of grief. The biggest hope we found was in
the apparent normalcy and transition from the deepest sadness that we saw in bereaved parents who were several years ahead
on their grief journey. Your gentle presence will ease the hearts of our many newly bereaved parents. Please join us soon.

Join Our Chapter

E-Mail List
Katy TCF Volunteers Join our chapter e-mail list to re-
ceive timely notices, writings, articles,
Welcome Cards to new members—Brenda Schmitt
special information and more. This is
Cards for remembrances—Robin Larsen an important communication tool
Newsletter—Annette Mennen Baldwin throughout the month for our mem-
E-mail to group-Annette Mennen Baldwin— bers.
Publicity & E-Mail correspondence—Annette Mennen Baldwin To join, send an email to: tcfkaty.
Picture Buttons—Annette Mennen Baldwin
Welcome Packages —Sherrie Schurman
Library— Jan Bigbee-Weesner
Web Site— Lee Schurman National TCF Contact
Treasurer 2014—Lisa Leanard— Information
Snacks—Susan Archer – TCF National Office
Group Facilitators - Sherrie Schurman , Albert Tapia, Robin Conner, Lisa P.O. Box 3696
Leanard, Annette Mennen Baldwin, Jan Bigbee-Weesner, Oak Brook, IL 60522

Melinda Ginter Toll Free: (877) 969-0010

Chapter Leaders—Melinda & Glen Ginter Annette Mennen Baldwin

Regional Coordinator
Southern Texas
January 2014 Page 3

New Year Brings Changes Birthday Table

Our January 14th meeting will address the many If your child’s birthday is in De-
changes we know are coming in our lives as bereaved cember or January, please bring a pic-
parents. We will change as our perception of our ture or memento to our January
grief gradually eases from the raw, piercing pain of meeting to share
our initial loss to a modest ache which we carry deep with the group.
inside. At each stage of these changes in our perspec- In May and De-
tive we make choices to actively engage our grief. A cember we ask
healthy grief journey is one of acknowledgement of the changes we are that you bring
experiencing as the anger, frustration, anxiety, pain, depression and pure your child’s pic-
angst gradually subside and are replaced by other, more easily defined ture for the
and directed emotions. birthday table in
We hope our newly bereaved parents will be able to join us for this the month before or after the actual
meeting that explores the rapid pace of our change in our perception in event. We hold our balloon release
the first and second years of our grief. We invite some of our more sea- in May and our Annual Candle
soned bereaved parents to attend this meeting to offer insight into the Lighting Ceremony in December.
nuances of their grief journey.
If you are attending your first meeting in January, please try to ar-
rive by 6:30 pm so that you can meet a member of our support commit- Special Small Group Meetings
tee and become oriented to the nature of our meetings and our chapter.
For Parents Whose Child
Was Lost to Suicide
The Katy Chapter of TCF has a
unique program for parents whose
children died from suicide. All par-
ents attend the opening of our meet-
ing each month and then adjourn to
their own private meeting for the re-
mainder of the
meeting. Death
from suicide usu-
ally requires addi-
tional and unique
group dynamics.
This program
is offered only to parents who have
lost children to suicide.

Compassionate Friends
As bereaved parents, we know
Submitted by Rosalind Turner, TCF, Katy that there are times
In memory of my son, Nicholas Roland Kaschik when there are no words
to describe the depths of
our pain and devasta-
Make The Call
tion. Especially during
the holiday season, on
If you feeling yourself getting unduly depressed, overwhelmed or a
birthdays and anniversa- ries and
bit snappy with others during the holiday season, pick up your phone
other special occasions, we seek an-
and call one of the people on our Phone-A-Friend list. It matters not if
swers, solace and peace.
the individual lost their child in the same that you lost yours. We’re all
Check the Compassionate Friends
bereaved parents. We know the heartbreak of this season, and you will
website for on-going and new mate-
feel better after you’ve talked to someone.
rial at www.compassionatefriends.
org, click on news and events, then
Loving Listeners…..Phone-A-Friend search for Webinars. Upcoming we-
binar events will be listed; some dates
TCF Katy has established a phone-a-friend list for parents who want to will be listed. When you see a webi-
talk with someone who shares a similar loss. If you would like to volun- nar in which you would like to ac-
teer to be a phone-a-friend, please contact Annette Baldwin. tively participate, just click and regis-
ter. There is also an archive of webi-
Loss of an Adult Child…..Annette (281) 578-9118
nars for listening anytime.
Only Child…...Annette (281) 578-9118
Murdered Child….. Robin (281) 851-5425
Neonatal Loss…….HAND (832) 752-1919
Death of Teenage Child……Joyce (281) 858-4551 or
Brenda (281)804-7087 Printed in Loving
Accidental Death……..Annette (281) 578-9118 Memory Of
Death from long term illness…...Karen (832) 746-0279 T
Todd M. Mennen !
Support for Fathers……..Albert (832) 885-4741
Special Needs Child……. Volunteer needed 1967-2002
Suicide ...………..Sherrie (281) 579-7741 !
Page 4 January 2014
We Didn’t Say Good Bye
Remembering Nic
It is difficult to believe that our son, Nicolas Wade Dlouhy (23 You never said I'm leaving,
years old) went to Heaven four years ago as of 1-7-10. He is buried
You never kissed me bye,
at Katy Magnolia Cemetery. I wrote a poem on the top of Nic’s
visitors’ bench, and I am sharing it with you. You were gone before I knew it
The Angels And only God knew why.

The stars in the heavens that twinkle at night, A million times I needed you,
Are all of God's Angels showing us their light. A million times I cried,
The Angels watch over us from their place up above, If love alone could have saved you,
Proving God's grace, peace, and mercy but most of You never would have died.

I hope this message brings all of your families a little In life I loved you dearly,
bit of comfort and peace. In death I love you more,
Blessings to all of you from our family. In my heart you hold a place
Carol Fox (formerly, Carol Dlouhy) That no one can ever fill.
In memory of Nic Dlouhy
It broke my heart to lose you,
Lessons About Hope But you didn't go alone,
Some of you may recall Cindy and Lloyd Dunlap who were with A part of me went with you
our Compassionate Friends chapter. They moved to Oklahoma The day God called you home.
about a year ago. They lost their son Christopher in 2010. Lloyd
wrote a book about Chris’ forty-two personal Life Lessons or pre- Christian Memorial Poem
cepts they discovered on his computer after he died. The book is Submitted by Ethel McTeague
available to the Chapter. Here is one of his Life Lessons about hope In memory of my son, Jerad Matthew
for the future: Whitten
TCF, Katy TX
Chris: Seeking something that seems impossible must take
persistence and the desire to not give up even if it seems in-
credibly foolish and is. Remember Our Loving Listeners List
Chris never did anything half-heartedly. If the holidays overwhelm you, and you
He believed you could have anything in life as feel you need to talk with someone, please
long as you were patient and gave all your check our Phone-A-Friend list on page two
effort to succeed. Chris’s dream was to be a of this newsletter.
doctor in a third world country to help the You will find a member of our support
people who could not care for themselves. To team who will talk with you and help you
Chris, and many others, it seemed impossible discover things you can do to help you and
in many ways. It seemed impossible to be your family.
able to get the funds to go to school, to get a high enough score on
his medical school entrance exams (MCAT) and get accepted into
medical school. But Chris was a fighter. He dreamed his dream Check Out Our Library
and he worked tirelessly for it. Our TCF library has
With this Life Lesson, maybe even Chris thought his dream was many books, tapes, CDs and
foolish. He added the last phrase: “incredibility foolish and is”. But DVDs for our members.
becoming a doctor was his dream. No matter what “cards he was Each one has been carefully
dealt”, he demonstrated he was not going to give up. He was go- selected by a member of our
ing to succeed. And enough people surrounded him to keep him TCF Chapter. The library
moving towards his dream. is available for browsing be-
Most of us have never experienced the same types of hardships fore, during and after our monthly meeting.
and sufferings Chris did. Hopefully, we never will. But one thing Check-out is a snap. We encourage our
we have learned: persevering through these types of hardships and members to use this wonderful resource.
difficulties produces a stronger character in us. No one likes the There is much from which to choose; check
pain and suffering that goes along with hardships and difficulties. it out at the next meeting.
But what we have learned is with all the pain we have gone through
since Chris died, it has made us stronger. We now have a desire to “I guess by now I should know enough
help others who are hurting. We now desire to come alongside about loss to realize that you never stop
someone who has lost a loved one or help the poor and destitute in missing someone-you just learn to live
a third world country to find a clean source of water to drink. around the huge gaping hole of their ab-
Character is the way we show to others what we are made of and sence.”
how we cope with the difficult times. ~Alyson Nole, Evermore
Since Chris died, one of our favorite poems is one written by
Dora Greenwell. She wrote this poem in the 1800’s. Aaron Shust
used this poem for much of his lyrics to a modern-day song called
“My Savior My God”. The words that comfort us the most are the
first four lines of the poem:
I am not skilled to understand
What God has willed, what God has planned
I only know at His right hand
Stands one who is my Savior

Lloyd and Cindy Dunlap

In memory of Chris Dunlap
January 2014 Page 5
Upcoming Retreats Offer Opportunity
For Healing and Perspective
There will be several different types of Retreats for parents in
the next few months. We highly recommend that you avail your-
self of at least one of these opportunities.
Project Joy and Hope of Texas will be hosting Tapestry: A
Mother’s Retreat on February 7-9, 2014. The event will be held at
the South Shore Harbor and Conference Center in League city, Bo’s Place Now Open In Katy
Texas. All meals, lodging, programming and materials are in- The Katy Bo’s Place program currently
cluded. This is an excellent Retreat; many of the bereaved moth- meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each
ers in our chapter of Compassionate Friends have attended and the month near Highland Knolls and S. Fry.
feedback has been very positive. I attended this retreat in 2008, The group consists of families with children
and it definitely marked a turning point in my grief journey. The between the ages of 5 and 18 who have ex-
cost for the retreat is $195. This is all inclusive. Scholarships are perienced the death of a child or parent.
available for those who cannot justify the expense at this time. However, the Katy program is currently full.
For more information, contact Project Joy and Hope, 713 944 We have space available at the Houston lo-
6569 or 1 866 JOYHOPE, or email The cation for immediate needs. We are building
program is limited to 24 mothers. Brochures and enrollment a waiting list of families interested in the
forms will be available at our January, 2014, meeting. We urge Katy group and are looking into finding a
each of our mothers who are at least six months into their grief to larger space so that we can accommodate
seriously consider attending this wonderful retreat. more families.
A Christian retreat for bereaved parents is being offered by Ha- If you know of a family who is interested
ven of Hope on March 21-23, 2014, in Round Top, Texas. More in joining the group, here is more informa-
information will become available on this retreat later in January. tion about the process. The first step for
For our bereaved Christian parents, this Retreat could provide families to join is to call our main number
much comfort. (713-942-8339) and talk to a member of our
Hospice of Galveston is offering a retreat within the next six program staff for a phone interview. This
months for bereaved mothers. These are usually one day retreats phone interview usually takes 20 to 30 min-
held somewhere in the Galveston area. The stated purpose of the utes. After the phone interview families are
Hospice outreach is “to provide an environment that supports the sent an application and schedule an appoint-
healing process of each mother’s bereavement journey. Respect ment to attend a New Family Orientation.
for the process, and the individual, is our foundational principle. After attending a New Family Orientation
Guided by love, with gentleness as our watchword, our focus is to and turning in an application they are placed
provide a flexible structure that nurtures us as we move forward. in a group.
While we recognize healing is an inward journey, collectively we
support one another as we walk the path together.”
No matter which retreat you select, we encourage and support Grief Share Available In
you as you search for new grief tools to help you on your lifelong Katy/Houston Area
grief journey. The Haven of Hope Retreat and the Hospice Re- The Grief Share Program, a 13 week Bible
treat are especially good for the newly bereaved who feel lost, iso- based grief presentation, is offered in many
lated and broken following the death of their children. We have churches throughout the Houston and Katy
all felt these same emotions, experienced the life changing dynamic area.
and sought the help of those who offer us the hope of serenity and There are thousands of GriefShare grief
peace. You need not walk alone. recovery support groups meeting throughout
Annette Mennen Baldwin the US, Canada and in over 10 other coun-
TCF, Katy, TX tries.
To find a Grief Share program near you,
simply go to and type your zip
In Memory of our Beloved Children code into the space provided on the home
Memorials Given by: In Loving Memory of: page.
Robin Conner Christopher & Dawn Wilson Grief Share programs are starting in
Lee & Sherrie Schurman Sandra Schurman January 2014. Register now!
Marietta Maxfield John Robert Ginter, II
Lisa & Larry Leanard Anthony Joseph Leanard Grief to Greatness Website
Annemarie Hanley Jo Anna Hanley Several of our members read this website
Patti Hilton Erik Emmanuel Castillo daily. The message is transition to hope af-
Anna Apanel Teresa Johnson ter the death of a loved one:
Mary Mendoza Sean Kevin Mendoza
Albert & Valerie Tapia Nicholas Tapia
Sal & Delia Granado Gabriel Granado Resources Available to Our Members
The Bell Family Melvin “Papa” Bell, Jr.
Tedri Pyle “Bo” Mark Bean, Jr. Resources of all types are available to our
Sherry & James Cattan Ty Wilson members. We include these in the monthly
Les & Andrea Heard Chris Heard newsletter and strongly recommend that, in
addition to Compassionate Friends,
Thank you for your donation to The Compassionate Friends, Katy, TX Chapter
newly bereaved parents avail them-
Our chapter is operated entirely by volunteers dedicated to furthering the work of selves of one or more of the many re-
TCF. Your voluntary, tax deductible donations honor your loved one in a treats, programs, etc., that are avail-
meaningful way by enabling us to print and mail this Newsletter and meet other able in the Houston area.
expenses involved in reaching out to other grieving families. Donations along with
the name of the person being honored may be sent to:
If you know of a special resource, please
let Annette Baldwin know about it so that it
Lisa Leanard can be included in our monthly newsletter.
13814 Wheatbridge Drive This information could be very valuable to one
Houston, TX 77041 or more of our members.!
Page 6 January 2014
Happy Birthday Karen – 1/12/2014 Hope In the New Year
We thought of you today,
The New Year’s Resolution has faded
but that is nothing new.
in popularity, but it once meant an opportu-
We thought of you yesterday
nity for a “clean slate” where we each could
and will tomorrow too.
redefine ourselves: throwing out the bad,
We think of you in silence bringing in the good. We would strive to
and make no awkward show, learn more, do more, reach out, reach in,
For what it meant to lose you, shed bad habits, add
only those who love you know. good habits. Many
Remembering you is easy, people still practice
we do it everyday. this…..witness the
It’s the heartache of losing you upswing in health
that will never go away. club memberships after the holiday season.
Another birthday has passed The new year is the blank slate: tabula rasa.
without having you here, As bereaved parents, we know there is no
On that special day in 1975 “blank slate.” We know, also, that we travel
when you arrived Number #1 of 2 slowly, hesitantly and with much care on
I never imagined my life years later our grief journey. The new year presents an
would be so dark and blue opportunity to continue our search for that
I miss your laughter, your voice, most ethereal longing: the need for hope.
your brilliant smile or just being near Hope for bereaved parents can be something
Your boys, Jordan and Dylan, as simple as a “normal” day. Hope could be
have grown with each passing year an afternoon filled with productivity, grace
Reminding us of you and gratitude. Hope might be a feeling of a
each in their own special way. fog lifting, a soft light shining. Hope is a
I know your dreams never materialized positive emotion that can give parents a re-
in the way you had hoped freshed perspective, a sense of optimism for
But my sweet daughter, the impact this day and the next.
you had on others is how I cope Grief work, though hard work, is some-
Reminiscing, I remember you always standing out thing we must do. We must structure our
in dance or piano – never knowing why lives, our thoughts and our dreams as we
Always meeting people with a smile - each move along this uncharted pathway
not a day you were ever shy that is now our lives. Yes, we ache for our
But your new home, Heaven, knows what an angel children. But our subconscious mind even-
it has with your sweetness and charm. tually accepts that we will take our children
When I look to the heavens on this day, into the future in our minds, our hearts and
I will give thanks for having you in my life souls. We define our new reality loosely be-
And although your life was not easy, cause it changes with each sunrise. Like the
your life to me was a blessing. caterpillar who labors to develop its wings
How grateful I am of the love and become a butterfly, we are constantly
you bestowed on me. laboring to accept our new reality and make
So, My precious daughter, Karen, changes in our perspective while simultane-
On this day, January 12th, ously coping with the tremendous pain of
I am sure you will be unchangeable loss. As we engage and em-
Dancing with the Angels on brace this process of acceptance and change,
Heaven’s gold-lined streets. and do the hard work of reaching out for
Your memory I will always treasure. help, refining our lifestyles, speaking clearly
You are loved beyond words and honestly of our feelings and what we can
And missed beyond measure. and cannot tolerate at each stage in our
grief, we begin to develop strength. Like the
Happy Birthday Baby Girl “A”. butterfly whose wings develop after much
Mom and Dad labor, our new reality gradually becomes
In memory of Karen Reding more natural to us. And just as the butter-
Laura & Henry Reding fly’s fragile wings gently lift it from flower
TCF, Katy, TX to flower, the seed of hope blossoms and
grows in our hearts.
Annette Mennen Baldwin
“Death ends a life, not a relationship.” In memory of my son, Todd Mennen
~Mitch Albom, Tuesdays With Morrie TCF, Katy, TX

If this is your first meeting, please arrive by 6:30 PM

Topic: A New Year of Changes
Meeting: Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Return Service Requested

Barker TX 77413
P.O. Box 45
Katy Chapter
The Compassionate Friends