By Ken DeLaat
“Deep grief sometimes is almost like a specific location, a coordinate on a map of time. When you are standing in that forest of sorrow, you cannot imagine that you could ever find your way to a better place. But if someone can assure you that they themselves have stood in that same place, and now have moved on, sometimes this will bring hope”-Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
Few things are as painful to the human experience as grief over the loss of a loved one. It engulfs our lives and colors our world. In a previous occupational incarnation I was privileged to accompany people on this journey as their therapist. They shared varying depths of emotional pain and I vividly recall hearing statements such as “I never imagined I could hurt this badly and not die.”
In 2011 a group from First CRC of Fremont started a GriefShare ministry for the community, a 13 week course involving a video series titled ““Your Journey from Mourning to Joy”, providing a Christ-centered perspective on grieving.
Since then the twice yearly series of meetings have provided much needed support to community members who are navigating the stormy waters of the grief process.
On March 7th a new series begins. For more information on GriefShare please follow this link
“Never Let The Hard Days Win”
Introducing McKenze TerVeer, Fremont native and new fitness specialist at Tamarac Center for Health and Wellness
FREMONT, Mich., Feb. 15, 2023 – McKenze TerVeer, B.S., ACSM-EP, is the newest fitness specialist at Tamarac Center for Health and Wellness, the nearly 44,000 square ft. comprehensive fitness facility located near downtown Fremont and operated by Corewell Health Gerber Hospital. TerVeer, who received her undergraduate degree in exercise science from Grand Valley State University, recently joined the Tamarac staff and is excited to offer residents of Fremont and surrounding communities a tailored approach to fitness.
For TerVeer, health and wellness were a big part of her success as a competitive athlete in high school and college. As she progressed in her athletic career in college, she was growing stronger, both mentally and physically. She now is passionate about helping others experience that same success through working as a fitness specialist at Tamarac.
“I wholeheartedly believe that had I not fallen in love with the fitness aspect of my training during college, I would not have been as successful in my athletic career,” said TerVeer. “This turned into a passion of mine, and I knew I wanted to help others build a love for health and wellness like I did. It is very empowering, once you start seeing the results of your hard work and achieving the goals you have set for yourself. I want others to feel the same and to help grow their confidence.”
TerVeer didn’t always have her sights set on being a fitness specialist. She recalled when she was younger, she aspired to become a marine biologist.
“I always loved the water and learning about marine life. Sea turtles were my favorite, and I wanted to be involved with marine life conservancy, to help save sea turtles.”
Even though she still loves marine life, she discovered that her true calling is helping people of all ages achieve their health and wellness goals.
“From supporting student-athletes and individuals looking to begin a training regimen to working alongside physical therapists and assisting patients who are in rehab, it is so rewarding to see everyone’s progress. It’s truly transformational,” she said.
TerVeer said she enjoys working with everyone who comes in seeking help with their health and fitness goals. She also works with members who are healing from sports or work-related injuries.
“I love being a part of their journey and seeing the growth of their physical and mental strength,” she said. “Injuries can lead to all sorts of psychological fears, but with the proper strength training and the right encouragement, you can overcome those mental obstacles and become stronger than you were before.”
When asked what she enjoys most about being a fitness specialist at Tamarac, TerVeer said she enjoys making a difference in people’s lives.
“The health and well-being journey is hard to endure, especially alone,” she said. “If I can help individuals grow and feel better about themselves, both mentally and physically, that is all that matters to me.”
And her philosophy is simple.
“Never let the hard days win. Too often we let the hardships of life bring us down. We let those hard days keep us from bettering our health and well-being,” she shared. “It is easy to become overwhelmed with those days and say, ‘I’ll start tomorrow.’ But if you can take the time to come into the gym, even if it’s for 20 minutes to walk, you have won the battle.”
Tamarac, which recently celebrated its 15th anniversary in December, is located at 1401 W. Main St. It is one of three certified medical fitness facilities in the state where members can work out using a large variety of equipment such as treadmills, weight machines, free weights and bands, swim in the heated pool or relax in the hot tub, attend fitness classes, and meet new people while enjoying a meal or snack in the café. There is also a full-service spa at Tamarac where community members can get a massage, a facial, skin treatments and more.
If you would like to connect with TerVeer at Tamarac Center for Health and Wellness, or discover the many fitness classes and amenities available, visit tamaracwellness.org or call 231.924.1600.
Early intervention is the key to progress
From our friends at the Newaygo County Autism Community:
The CDC reports that 1 in 44 children were diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in 2022. A new case is diagnosed every 20 minutes! That’s a 178% increase since 2000. ASD is the fastest growing developmental disability in the world. It’s known as a spectrum disorder because there’s a wide variation in the type and severity of symptoms people experience.
According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the sooner a child gets help, the greater their chance for learning and progress. At the ages of 2 and 3 a young child’s brain is still forming, meaning it’s more “plastic” or changeable than at older ages. Therefore, treatment has a better chance of being effective. Early intervention gives the best start possible and maximizes the chances a child will achieve his/her full potential.
The American Academy of Pediatric guidelines suggest screening all children for developmental disabilities at ages 9, 18 and 30 months. All children should be screened specifically for ASD at 18 and 24 months.
According to the CDC, autism is detectable as early as 18 months or younger. By age 2, a diagnosis by an experienced professional is considered very reliable.
Signs of ASD
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth Edition states that a child have persistent deficits in each of the following areas:
What do signs of ASD look like?
Social communication and interactions skills
There are no medical tests such as blood work or brain scans for diagnosing ASD, nor is there a single behavioral or communication test. There are, however, several free online tools to keep track of developmental milestones and help gauge if a child is displaying enough symptoms to pursue further evaluation. Neither is a substitute for diagnosis by a professional. Rather, they may serve as a starting point to discuss your concerns with your child’s health care provider and/or other professionals.
Modified Checklist of Autism in Toddlers-Revised (M-CHAT-R)
This list of questions can be found on the Autism Speaks website. https://www.autismspeaks.org It is a series of 20 questions about a child’s behavior and is intended for toddlers aged 16-24 months. The results will indicate if further evaluation may be needed and may serve as a way to discuss concerns with the child’s health care provider.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has a Milestone Tracker app at their website https://www.cdc.gov or it may be found at the App Store or Google Play. It helps track a child’s development from 2 months to 5 years and includes easy to use checklists, tips for encouraging development and what to do about developmental concerns. It also allows users to keep track of doctor appointments and will summarize milestones to share with health care providers or other professionals. *Note: The CDC does not use or share any personal information that can be used to identify you or your child.
Autism Society of America https://autismsociety.org
Autism Speaks https://www.autismspeaks.org
Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Newaygo County Community Mental Health
https://www.newaygocmh.org PH: 689-7330
Early On https:www.ncresa.org PH: 924-8817
Newaygo County Autism Community
Man, what an oft discussed chunk of our lives the ‘crazy little thing called love’ is. Songs about it pepper the airwaves, the visual media is filled with various takes on the subject and Hallmark devotes an entire network or 3 to the quest for and ultimate capture of this occasionally elusive emotional treasure. Blogs are rife with the stuff and there exists perhaps an equal amount of material exposing the darker side of adoration as well, with songs extolling the exquisite agony of unrequited love.
Yeah. Our lives are inundated with A Whole Lotta Love as the Led Zep song goes.
And yet it often remains a bit of a puzzle as to who we fall in love with and why. Attraction, Friendship, Intimacy, Trust, Respect, etc. all play a part in this and yet it can be perplexing to figure out why That person? What is it about Them?
The cool thing is how it creates a mystery to be explored and enjoyed as the relationship grows over time. An ongoing evolution into what is hoped to be a deeper sense of awareness when it comes to that enigmatic thing we call Love.
Here are those who recently signed on to spend their first Valentine’ Day as a committed couple.
Welcome to the ride.
Terry Reedy Jr., Newaygo & Jasmine Miller, Newaygo
Vincent Little, Fremont, & Chrysta Hale, Fremont
Amanda Jean Krim, Kent City & Trevor Russell Houck, Sparta
Elayne Montambo, Grant & Joseph Millett, Grant
April Sue Crosby, Grant & Edward Allen Hathaway, Grant
“To keep your marriage brimming,
with love in the wedding cup,
whenever you're wrong, admit it;
whenever you're right, shut up.” -Ogden Nash
Volunteer Opportunities Available at Corewell Health Gerber Hospital
FREMONT, Mich., Feb. 1, 2023 – Are you looking for a meaningful way to spend time each week helping others? Corewell Health™ Gerber Hospital, the new name for Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial, may have just the opportunity for you.
Gerber Hospital’s volunteer services is currently recruiting for the following volunteer positions:
-Gift shop: greeting and welcoming customers, using a Point-of-Sale system for sales, dusting shelves and sweeping floors, delivering flowers, newspapers, mail and/or gifts to patients, assembling packets of educational materials
-Surgery waiting room: assist with maintaining an orderly and clean waiting area, sorting and distributing magazines and literature, providing coffee/snacks, relaying questions to staff, answering phone, assembling packets of educational materials
-Valet: greeting and welcoming patients and/or assisting with carrying personal items to a designated location/parking, providing directional guidance, assisting patients/visitors needing wheelchair assistance, parking vehicles for patients and family members
-Wayfinders: escorting patients/visitors to their destination; delivering flowers, newspapers, mail and/or gifts to patients
-Ambassadors: rounding to units or waiting areas with cart offerings of activities, magazines, puzzle books and comfort items, providing companionship, comfort and emotional support to patients and families through conversation, activities and comfort items
According to Susan Seaben, Gerber Hospital’s volunteer services coordinator, there is an opportunity to expand the volunteer services program at the hospital.
“We can always use more volunteers,” said Seaben. “We have some who have been with us for quite a while, and others who are fairly new, but most of our volunteers have things that come up from time to time, vacations planned or other situations that arise where they need to take a break from volunteering,” she said. “I will always welcome more volunteers to serve in these roles.”
Becoming a volunteer at the hospital is a simple process.
“For those interested in becoming a volunteer at the hospital, we ask for a completed application. Next, we conduct an initial interview to determine the best fit,” said Seaben. “We really want this to be a rewarding experience, so we do our best to match a person’s talents and skills to our areas of need.”
Orientation and training are also provided for every volunteer.
While Seaben has seen many volunteers come and go over the years, she says they all have one thing in common.
“Our volunteers are really special people, and we are so grateful for the care and compassion they bring. They truly make a difference.”
For more information on volunteering at Gerber Hospital contact Seaben at 231.924.1350, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: