Mourning to Morning: A Book about Grief, Death, Heaven and Healing
The Atlantic Institute was pleased to welcome Mayor Linda Blechinger of Auburn, Georgia to the Midtown Luncheon Series. Mayor Blechinger spoke about her book Mourning to Morning which details her spiritual journey through grief and healing.
Born in Manhattan in a troubled home, Mrs. Blechinger and her sisters grew up in foster homes. At the age of sixteen, Mrs. Blechinger left New York and traveled throughout the United States. It wasn’t until she moved back to New York that she met her future husband Dan who openly shared his faith and brought Mrs. Blechinger to Christianity.
They eventually moved to Georgia where they raised their three sons: Derek, DJ, and David. Their second son, DJ, was born with serious heart complications and needed immediate surgery after birth. Lying alone in the hospital, Mrs. Blechinger called out to God for strength and opened a nearby Bible to a verse in the book of Psalms that says God will hide you under his wings. In total, DJ has seven heart defects that required extensive surgical procedures. DJ persevered through the surgeries and defied expectations by living for five years.
Despite his health defects, DJ grew up as a very happy child and developed a very close relationship with his two brothers. Mrs. Blechinger also referred to DJ as being “very spiritually in tune.” Through every procedure and doctors visit, DJ would maintain his high spirits. One day at home, DJ told Mrs. Blechinger “I’m going to miss you and daddy. Jesus told me I need to go be with him.”
As he grew, the moment came for DJ to need heart reconstruction surgery. As his body was unable to accept a heart transplant, the surgery was the only option available to help. Without the surgery, DJ would never get better, however with the surgery came the risk of it not being successful. They opted to go forward with the surgery knowing the risks but having absolute faith and comfort in God. The surgery was not successful. The family was able to bring DJ home for ten days before he passed away.
On the day before he passed, DJ, while lying on Mrs. Blechingers lap, said “Momma the angels and beautiful” and was in a place of absolute peace. The next day while taking a nap with him, Mrs. Blechinger noticed a change in DJs breath. She called Dan and their minister Rev. Carl Green who immediately came by the house. Although his time was short, DJ remained at peace and calmly asked both of his parents to lay with him. All three of them fell asleep despite the situation. Mrs. Blechinger placed a hand on DJ to feel him breathing and visualized him rising up out of his body towards heaven. When she awoke, he wasn’t breathing.
Throughout his life, DJ not only strengthened the faith of his family but also everyone who interacted with him. At the funeral, Mrs. Blechinger noted that there were many people she didn’t recognized but were nurses and doctors who were impacted by the life of DJ.
In closing, Mrs. Blechinger stated the importance of keeping a childlike faith and investing in other people. For those are the only things we can take with us to Heaven.
12:00 - 12:30 Lunch
12:30 - 1:10 Lecture and Q&A Session.
1:10 - 1:30 Book signing
Atlantic Institute is pleased to host Mayor Linda Blechinger in the Midtown Luncheon Series for a lecture and book signing.
Linda Blechinger is the Mayor of the City of Auburn, GA. Linda was born in Manhattan NY, she has lived in NY and California, and she has lived in Georgia with her husband and sons since 1989.
Linda worked in the defense manufacturing field as a manager before settling down to motherhood. While raising her boys she earned certificates in Christian counseling through Light University. Deciding it was time to get involved with her city by volunteering for Parks and Recreation, which she chaired, she then decided to run for city council. Serving for a year on Council, she ran for the Mayor's seat winning in 2007.
During this time period Mrs. Blechinger also wrote and published her first book, "From Mourning to Morning" which was rereleased in 2012.
The City of Auburn has seen quite a turnaround under Linda's administration and is undergoing major redevelopment. The City of Auburn is located in both Barrow and Gwinnett Counties. Linda serves both counties as well as the state wide Georgia Municipal Association.
· Barrow Chamber Board of Directors
· Board of Directors for Piedmont Rape Crisis Center
· Board of Directors for Literacy Coalition
· President Barrow Mayor's association
· Board of Directors for Economic Development Barrow County
· Istanbul Center Board of Directors
· Georgia Municipal Association: Executive Board, Community Development Chair, Legislative Policy Committee
· President Gwinnett Municipal Association
· Partnership Gwinnett: Global Business Council, Economic Development, Transportation Council and Quality of Life Committee
· Chairman's Club member Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce
· Arts Development Council of Georgia
· ArtWorks Gwinnett Board member-select
· 2010 Graduate Regional Leadership Institute
· Certificate of Excellence from University of Georgia and the Georgia Municipal Association
· Gwinnett Magazine "People to Know"
· 2011 Recipient of the Women in Municipal Government Leadership Award
· 2011 Recipient of the World Chamber of Commerce International Hero Award
· 2012 Recipient of the Community Service Award, Brotherhood Inc.
· 2013 Associates in Theology, LBI
· GMA Certificate of Distinction (completing over 204 hours of training)
RSVP is required to reserve your seat and tickets are $10 per person.
*Lunch will be served and books will be available to purchase for $10.*