When Hearts Are Broken

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When hearts are broken, others lift us up. They lift us to God by speaking encouraging words and expressing their genuine concern. It is a comfort to know that it matters deeply to others. Betty and I wish we could look directly into the eyes of every person who expressed their love and concern to our family and say, “Thank you.” God’s love through caring friends lifted us all. After the news of my daughter’s passing was posted on my Facebook page, over 84,000 read about it and many wrote heartfelt condolences. We know many of you prayed for us and for our family. We are very grateful. More than ever, Betty and I want to inspire love and compassion for all who are brokenhearted, whether it’s because of hunger, thirst, pressing needs, or personal loss.

We know Robin is happy – happier than we can fully comprehend. Betty is reading Randy Alcorn’s book Heaven and finding closeness, peace, and a sense of relationship continuing because someone precious to us is in such a wonderful place and we know we will join her again. And yes, without doubt, we will know one another better than ever!

Robin brought heaven down to us long before she went there. She seemed to understand what Jesus meant by, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Her goal in life was to love God with all of her heart, to love and help lead her family with the words and ways of God. She wanted everyone to experience a personal relationship with God and live with a sense of His purpose. She truly lived in His presence and certainly is now a part of that great cloud of witnesses.

Betty found a note Robin left us when she returned from her honeymoon with her wonderful husband Ken Turner. Pastor Willie George read this note in his opening remarks at Robin’s funeral. It is easy to sense her joy, peace and focus on her career which was to be a godly wife and mother, while expressing a consistent Christian witness.

Dear Mom and Dad,

Aloha! We left you some good macadamia nuts, plain and chocolate covered. And one of the pineapples is for ya’ll and the other for Terry and Rhonda.

Hawaii was the greatest. It is definitely paradise over there. Kauai is the most beautiful place we’ve ever seen. I cannot wait to develop our film. I will be sure and bring ‘em down next time I come, which may not be too long. I miss you guys.

But married life is great! Kenny is so wonderful, and I am so happy!!! I’m looking forward to starting my “career” now, which ya’ll played a great big part in preparing me for. Thank you!

I sure love you guys and I wanna say thank you for making my wedding day so special. Everything went perfect and Dad, you did a great job on the ceremony.

Well, I don’t wanna get too mushy right now, we watched “Father of the Bride” again and I got pretty emotional. I love you, Dad! I love you, Mom! Thank you for everything over the last 19 years. And don’t worry, Kenny takes great care of me.


That brief note says a lot about our daughter. She was certainly right about her husband Kenny. He took care of her in every possible way, and in her battle, he was the shoulder to lean on and the strong arms holding her close. I have never seen anyone so devoted to meeting his wife’s obvious needs during the challenges they faced together.

The night before the memorial service honoring our precious daughter, her nephew Alek (Randy’s oldest son) shared this poem with the family:

In Memory of Robin Turner

Our Gardener planted us all.
He selected our seeds and planted us where He wanted us to grow.
We grew up together, into flowers.
We all grew up healthy under our Gardener’s supervision,
But sometimes the inevitable happens.

We’re in His garden, but we’re also in the presence of the world,
And the world isn’t always as healthy as His garden.
A sunflower dwelt in the soil near us all.
That sunflower was beautiful; she loved the Gardener too.

That sunflower was an inspiration; she showed us the best direction to grow and to grow under any conditions.
She was beautiful. The flowers all loved her and looked up to her.
Her love for us was great too. Almost as great as her love for the Gardener.

But we lived in the presence of the world,
And the world is not always as healthy as His Garden.
And the inevitable did happen.

One day the sunflower began to wither.
She still stood, though.
She fought it.

Some days she was twinkling under the sun,
Some days she was withering.
We all loved her, through it all.
We admired her.
She fought it.

She fought it for the other’s sakes.
The Gardener left her in His garden for the other flowers to keep on admiring;
To love for as long as they could.
But the inevitable happened.

The withering became too much.
She suffered for us, still.
But the inevitable happened.

The Gardener uprooted her.
He moved her to His special greenhouse, to preserve her, in a place separate from this earth.
There, she will twinkle with Him and grow closer to Him.
There, she will watch us grow, just as she taught us. And she will smile.
And one day, when the inevitable happens to all the other flowers in His garden on earth,
He will uproot us too.

He will bring us to His greenhouse and preserve us too.
We will reunite with her, and we will grow close to our Gardener,
Who blessed us with her presence in His earth garden.
For now, though, we must grow. For her.

No one knew Alek could express himself with such spiritual depth and insight through poetry. God used it to comfort and inspire our family to live as “fruitful gardens” of God. Many months before Robin’s battle with cancer intensified, God placed a heavy burden on my heart to spend the rest of my life, or until Jesus comes, expressing even more acts of compassion. I am praying to be able to inspire believers everywhere to join hearts and hands sharing God’s love more freely than ever!

Again let me express appreciation for your prayers and support as we walk through “the valley of the shadow.” The Lord our Shepherd is truly with us and we have witnessed Him in the lives of comforters like you. Our granddaughter Abbie, Randy’s oldest daughter and a freshman in college, painted a picture of Robin as she sees her rejoicing in the Lord. Together, and for her, we rejoice even in our tears.



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This article was written by James Robison