Sunday, June 17, 2007

A WEDDING

Dan would like to announce that:

Jenifer Ann Knudsen & Jeffrey Lee Kraker
were united in Holy matrimony on
Saturday, June 16, 2007 - 3:30 p.m.
at the Baker Memorial Church in St Charles, IL

We had an incredible weekend with the family -- quite the range of emotions! Dan got permission to leave his temporary home at the RIC, and attend his sister's rehearsal and wedding this past weekend. Friday was to practice a long distance trip via a coach bus, scope out the logistics of the church, [every building can be a challenge for handicap accessiblilty] and to practice escorting his grandparents up the aisle on his own. He lit up with great joy when he saw sister-in-law Emily, who was able to be back in the USA for the weekend, thanks to many of you and your airline mileage points.

Things went well until after the rehearsal dinner when we all got ready to go home. Dan was having a difficult time, said he didn't want to "be like this anymore", and soon had all of us Knudsen's on the bus and crying at his side. We enjoyed a private moment together, had prayer, and said our goodbye's for a few hours. We have not added this for sympathy or such, but to let all of you know that "overwhelming moments" like these, which we can't always post about, are a part of our weekly life. Please know that your prayers help us in more ways than we can always say.

The trip to and from the RIC proved to be bumpy and difficult on the construction-filled roadways, and even included the shaking off of the air tube to his ventilator. [His Ambu bag is always close at hand] When this sort of thing happens, and it has before, we continue to acknowledge that Dan's life has been spared for a Divine purpose. This did not deter Dan's wedding plans.

We are grateful to Spare Wheels who graciously provided this free
transportation, but we realize that Dan's body is not yet conditioned to handle that much movement from a larger vehicle. There are some power chair adjustments that are needed for such movement. God provided and some friends loaned us their customized handicap mini van for Saturday. Dan said it was 100% smoother. [Thanks Al, Rose & Val]. We continue to learn about this new life of ours.

The wedding on Saturday was a full day with a flurry of activity. Dan, in full tux, and his nurse Dominica were picked up by drivers, escorts and family friends aka Randy & Flo. The bride was beautiful, church was full, music filled the air* and Dan was able to escort his grandparents up the aisle perfectly, without missing a beat. He was determined to make this a special day for his big sister, and he did. He was embarrassed a bit when he also got a round of applause on the way out of the church, but our family and friends were SO proud of him. You made him feel loved. No headaches, temps or other physical problems occurred and his attitude was great, even the waiting through the usual family photo shoots etc.

He rested in between the wedding and the reception, then joined the other guests for dinner. Dan enjoyed a full 3 course meal, smiling, talking and joking with college buddies who were at his table. At one point during the meal Deb whispered in Bill's ear. "That is OUR son over there in the wheel chair!" We were both silent for a time, thanking God for sparing his life, but uncertain of the future.

The music and dancing were lively and Dan surprised his mom with a special dance to a favorite tune of hers "What a Wonderful World" - by Louis Armstrong [dad helped him "dance" by moving his chair around.] Then newly wed sister Jen got her turn to dance with him. Dad assisted but cried through much of it, thinking of so many memories from earlier years. Silly dad.

Dan watched as his sister Jen and new brother-in-law Jeff escaped into the night, through 2 rows of white sparklers. All were exhausted by evenings end; he gladly went "home" and slept soundly till 10:30 AM on Sunday :)



* P.S. Many people asked about the ceremony music. It will be a few weeks before we get the video recordings, but you can find a popular version of "The Prayer" here. "The Prayer" singers were Chicago artist and family friend Michelle Areyzaga and Dan Huff, a family friend. Aunt Mary Kay also sang. Instrumentation was provided by Paul & Kristine Semanic of the Brass String Chamber Ensemble

16 comments:

Dan said...

Congratulations Jen & Jeff. I love you. Dan

Jane-Jane said...

Dan, I'm so thankful that you experienced this wonderful day with Jen and Jeff. Praise God for tending to all the details for you to have a safe and "somewhat normal" time with your family and friends.

So what's next? What is your next goal that we need to be praying for? This was just the beginning of many functions/events/times out and about.

I will be praying for you as you prepare and recover from the sore to be closed. God has been faithful to answer our prayers to date, He will not let us down this time either!

Have a GREAT week!

Jane

E and K said...

Dan,
I was so touched to see you at Jen's wedding, and the way you added to the celebration. It was obvious how much you care about Jen and did everything you could to make her day perfect. From what I observed, you did nothing out of selfishness, but out of selflessness. I was so proud and impacted by your courage and willingness to get on the dance floor to dance with Mrs. K and Jen.
Praise the Lord you got to be there!
Kati Carter

elj377 said...

PRAISE GOD FOR ALL HIS FAITHFULNESS!! Congrats to Jen and Jeff and I hope that the next weeks are as productive for you Dan as you continue to progress! Lots of Love,
Dan and Erin Jonathan

Anonymous said...

Dan, It was great to see you at the wedding! I loved the tux and the shades! Praise God for making it special for Jen and Jeff and that it went so well for you. You are such an inspiration of faith and perseverence. We love you, the Morzaks

Amanda Martin said...

I haven't checked in on Dan as frequently as I would have liked the last few days and i see MUCH has happened. Congrats to the whole Knudsen family on Jen's marriage. And congrats to Dan for all the progress! Praise the Lord that your headaches are subsiding a bit (I hope they never return!) and that you were able to attend (and participate in) Jen's wedding. Praise Him for the progress that He is allowing you to have. Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

All for Jesus,
Amanda Christine

Stan & Sue said...

I have to say that Eric & Kati said exactly what we were thinking... You added so much to the celebration. It was definitely Jeff & Jen's night, but as it should be, it was also a celebration for the whole Knudsen family - Jeff joining your family and Jen joining his!

I must say that I also cried thru both dances, but can't think of any better gift you could have given either your mother or your sister!

We love you all so much, pray for you all frequently (but probably not as much as we should) and are so blessed to be a little part of all of your lives!

Love and thanks for letting us be part of the wonderful wedding celebration!

Stan & Sue

Suzanne Evans said...

Another echo here. Far from being a distraction, Dan, your presence added to the beautiful celebration of Jen & Jeff's wedding. It was so wonderful to see you. That your family was all together for the day added to the joy for all of us. I marveled at the continual demonstration of how the Knudsen siblings simply and naturally serve one another with love. This is not something you have learned just in the last three months. It is clearly something that has been modeled by your parents and has characterized your relationships over the years. What a cool family! Praise God that you are there for each other, and that includes you, Dan, in such strong and significant ways.
Wonder of wonders, Dan. Even though your physical body has been compromised, your part in the body of Christ is not one whit compromised! What a mighty God we serve!
I love you all, and am extremely proud to know you.
S. Evans

Anonymous said...

What an amaqing day! I can't stop thinking about it! Dan, what an amazing blessing that you were feeling well! It was so wonderful to see your whole family together at the wedding. It was a true joy for Dustin and I to be able to be a part of it! We love you Knudsen family!
Love, Dustin and Rachel

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm gonna give this a try. Not to successful in the past. Knudsens- what a beautiful ceremony and gorgeous day to go with it!! Dan, I know you don't like the attention, but it was very touching to those of us attending to see you there joining in this great family celebration. ... and Bill, your prayer thanking God that ALL the family could be together for this special family event was particularly moving, especially in light of our very recent and similar celebration. Emily, how wonderful to see you and have you be able to be a part of these precious family memories. (not to mention having you reunited "at home" with your husband) :) God's speed on getting you AND the girls home SOON! Thanks for including our family in your special day and thank God for the opportunities He gives us to reflect on just how blessed and fortunate we all are because of His great act of obedience. Love to you all, The Brases

Anonymous said...

Awesome to hear that the day went well. You guys are perservering and walking in obedience. Few have the blessing of such a close walk with God.Pain is part of the walk but the blessings are so rich.

Love you guys,
Beth Malarkey

Anonymous said...

It all sounds lovely and I am so happy you ALL got to enjoy it. I was praying for you all and especially for strength for Dan. You continue to be in my prayers.

In His Grace - Bev - Keizer OR

Amber said...

SO thankful you got to go to Jen's wedding, Dan! :) Still praying for and keeping track of you..thank you for being such a strong witness to the love of Christ and the power of His witness.

Amber Metz

E and K said...

Congrats uncle Dan and the rest of the Knudsen fam!!! Everyone gets to meet Matt and Em's girls very soon! What a joyous couple days to celebrate!

Kimberly said...

I have been praying for you since I heard of your accident from the Loker's prayer letter. I have been blessed by your website and for the past few weeks been praying for you to be able to attend the wedding with your entire family. I sing praises to our loving God who made it possible! Thank you for living our Romans 8:28 so vividly for me.
A sister in Christ...

Gramma said...

Dan, having you walk me down the aisle at Jen and Jeff's wedding will always be the biggest event of my life. Your courage and unselfish love speaks volumns. "Be not weary in well doing, for in due season you shall reap if you faint not." Gal 6:9 Only eternity will reveal the the impact your testimony has been. God bless you Dan. And, we are praying for your test and surgery. Love Gramma