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  • Lea Hartline

Love Continues...

Blessed to John and Lynn during my trip to Garden City

Starting "Life on Faith and Fumes" was a journey that took a twist right from its inception. Originally, I toyed with the name "Love Continues," a name that John Millen had come up with as I kept sharing stories of Robert in my grief. The sentiment didn't become the title—instead, it blossomed into our guiding principle, thanks to John.

Saying he's a high school friend doesn't quite hit the mark, as honestly, John and I didn't really hang out in high school. Dive a bit deeper into this read, and you'll catch the why. Our paths really intertwined at the Yum Yum Shoppe in Garden City, where scooping ice cream under the summer sun sparked a friendship that would later become my beacon through the fog of grief.

During the hospital days with Robert, I turned to Facebook to share our journey. Those posts weren't just updates; they were snippets of our lives together—our love, marriage, the kids, and those quirky adventures that defined us. I shared about the symbolism of my wedding ring, the times I kissed Robert under a rainfall, and the quiet moments by his hospital bed, watching him sleep. Throughout this period, John was one of my rocks, offering daily encouragement. His unwavering support was the push I needed to start "Life on Faith and Fumes."

Losing Robert was devastating, but in that storm, John stood out as a pillar of Christian brotherhood. Words fall short of expressing my gratitude for his incredible support.

In one of his messages, sent during a time when the pain was raw.

"I know its hard, but do you feel it now? He's all around you, in every aspect of your life. His love for you, and your love for Robert, continues in every single aspect of life. He's NOT gone, he's just ahead of you. Waiting patiently for you to catch up, as he often did.

Take your time. Your story, your resilience, your struggle—it's touching hearts, perhaps even before they realize it. Thank you!!"

-John Millen So often John would share stories about his wife Lynn and his love for her. He would talk about his whole family in loving stories, but because we were talking marriages Lynn was most often the person he would talk about. He often would share that he hoped her and I would one day meet. I am so thankful that I took a trip home to Garden City and Murrells Inlet. The one must do was to meet Lynn.

Despite John's health battles, his spirit remained unbreakable—a testament to the strength he's always embodied. Meeting Lynn was amazing, she is like John promised amazing. Watching her walk a path so similar to my own hurts my heart, but I know that no matter what Love Continues with John and Lynn.

Why I didn't hang out with John in high school much was because I often skipped classes. A fact that John revealed to my mom at dinner. I always wondered if they built that fence around Socastee to try and keep me in school. That fence wasn't as effective a deterrent as intended. That night was perfect and I am so thankful that I not only count John as a friend, but his wife Lynn as well.

Why am I sharing this?

Sadly, John's health journey has grown tougher. He has been diagnosed with Metastatic Chondrosarcoma and recurring Chondrosarcoma. He can no longer work and he needs Lynn by his side every stay up the day. But in true John and Lynn fashion, they face each day with courage.

To those who wish to support John and Lynn during this challenging time, here are two links to lend a hand, whether through donations, meals, prayers, or words of encouragement. Every gesture, no matter the size, makes a difference.

John's unwavering friendship and support have been a guiding light through some of my darkest days. Without him, "Life on Faith and Fumes" might never have come to be, and I might have forgotten that indeed, Love Continues.

Thank you, John, from the bottom of my heart.

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Life on Faith and Fumes

Christian blog with stories, devotional and bible studies.

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