Carolyn Wing Greenlee

Darda Farewell

Dear Ones,

In my last web post, I announced a new book, Miracles in the Making, which I helped my friend, Darda Burkhart, write. It has stories of God’s direct and astonishing interventions in dire and difficult circumstances. 

The last chapter was the hardest for Darda to write because it was her life in retrospect. She didn’t like to talk about herself, but I insisted that it was necessary to put all of those divine interventions, of which, in many cases, she was eyewitness, in the context of her nearly 93 years on Earth. Not only that, she had needed and received numerous divine interventions in her private life as she grew in her relationship with her Savior. She agreed, then, saying that people needed to know she was nothing special. She wanted to tell how God worked miraculously in the life of an ordinary woman. She wanted to let them know He would do the same for them and they could have a close and loving relationship with the Creator of the Universe.

 It took an entire year to write, and many emails and conversations on the phone, but at last it was done. Mid-February, Miracles in the Making was published.

After a couple of weeks of resting from that task (which she had tended with unflagging diligence), Darda began work on a book about her father, Man of God, a portrait of Percy Wills. She was going through her father’s papers, finding stories or musings that she thought would be needed in the telling of his life experiences. They were so vibrant, shining with the Spirit of God. I raved and told her to keep sending them. Every one of them was a jewel, a treasure. She did—sending several almost every day. 

The afternoon of March 26, Darda and I had another lively conversation about her new book. When she expressed concern about how to structure it, I promised I would put it together and she could tell me what needed to be adjusted or changed. She liked that arrangement and said she would keep sending me pieces from her dad’s papers. She told me she was glad because, after Miracles was published, she had wondered what she was going to do. She wanted to be busy about her Father’s business. She always wanted to be in the center of His will.

That evening, quite unexpectedly, Darda suddenly had to go to the hospital. Prayers went out in abundance, family came. On April 7, Good Friday, she stepped into Heaven, walker no longer needed. I suspect she was mobbed at the Gate, and then she saw the face she most wanted to see, her Savior Jesus Christ. 

About ten years ago, I had a remarkable dream. In it, my mother was standing in the kitchen stirring something on the stove, my dad was nearby tinkering with a new invention, and my husband was watching the activity. I remember thinking how alive, real, and whole they were—and walking. At the end of their lives, none of them could. Then I wrote this poem. It seems fitting to include here because Darda had grave concerns about her hip, wondering if it would hold up or, if it didn’t, whether she would have to move to a senior apartment and sell her house. She told me she pictured herself walking freely and we prayed together that God would grant that. On April 7, He did.

Darda Burkhart, 2023

Darda & Me, 2018

For Those Who Have Gone Before

I saw you last night,
all of you—all of you talking and
though you couldn’t
I’m certain
I thought you were dead.
Aren’t you dead?
How could you be
and me so near
as if years
have no holes
where you used to be

as they say
it’s not what I thought —
not a stop
but a pause
nothing more
nothing less
not a sob
but a breath
just a breath
just a
or a sweet


  1. Nancy Poe

    April 11, 2023 - 9:57 AM

    Thank you so much, Carolyn. Darda’s Farewell is lovely. It’s beautiful and inspiring to know Darda
    even in spite of the many difficulties she endured fulfilled her assignment here. I never thought
    or felt that she entertained self pity but rather she was purposeful and directed and ALWAYS
    encouraging to others. She was a great encourager. I love and miss her.

    • Carolyn

      April 12, 2023 - 6:32 PM

      Everything you said is true, Nancy. She never complained, and she was always concerned about everyone else’s wellbeing. And how she could pray! Darda considered prayer her main ministry, and her time meeting with the group at your house was a treasure and a cherished constant in her life. May we carry on that ministry of prayer with determination and focus, uncomplaining and always encouraging, no matter what the days may bring.

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