They arrived! S, A and C came up on the greyhound today. Planes, bus and automobile all the way from Perth, Australia.
I have been fortunate to have a few years of consistent time hanging out with God in His words on the bible. Thanks to all my leaders who have led me through His word.
Now, I am grateful to those people sending me words God is giving them for us.
What a journey you and your family are on! Have been praying for a verse/verses for u…Matthew kept coming to mind…opened up my bible to Matthew and landed on 10:29. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the Father. (Our times really are in God’s hands…he has you in this time, your mom, your dad, your children, your husband, your family. God is the fabric holding it all together). Also Matt six kept coming to mind…6:25-34…basically the same theme as Matt 10. The sum up is….do not worry!! He has got this, nothing gets past him. The Father knows what you need, ask him, seek him, trust him!
going to some solstice music event
opened my bible to this today “my flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever”
Psalm 73 vs 26
Today, I also got this song from the hills of Armstrong from a redeemed, restored, holy woman.
And I received another song from a beautiful wise woman, Karen, from our old church in Vtown.
And one more song from Ang:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xzaivDbu9c&sns=em
Mom is having a deep rest this morning after her sleepover with M. She had her morning wash, tooth brush and massage. She loves having her back rubbed. She was even able to swing her legs over the edge of the bed and even had a sip of boost. Her first bit of nourishment in a week.
She was so happy to see her nephew Jamie and niece Marnie. She was waiting for them. She had the biggest smile when she saw Jamie and Marnie. She said, “Ahhhhh, Jamie!”
We are just awaiting M’s girls and C to arrive.
Today, Wendy heads back up to PG to be our angel up there and spend time with her family. She was able to get to us first and help us in the hospital. She was a huge support and I couldn’t have made it through the last night in the hospital without her.
Auntie Gail heads back to the Lower Mainland to be our angel down there. Her son, Dave, drove through the snow to get her here! Gail is the most incredibly caring sister i have seen. The respect and love she has for my mom is priceless. We are so grateful for them both.
Uncle Bill also heads back to the Island. He is a pillar of strength for our family. My dad’s old business partner, confidante and just incredible man.
Gail and Bill saying goodbye:
We couldn’t do this alone.
The strength you see in us is a reflection of God’s love, my mom’s and all of you back in the world who are holding us up in prayer and thought. My sister is a prayer warrior and she has literally held us up in prayer these last months. Her and C have done amazing feats to physically be here as well. What a pair!
This is a rich, beautiful, peaceful time. Mom is in no pain. We are enjoying sharing time as a family.
There is no fear in death. This is an incredible family time filled with tears, laughter, peace and sadness.
WE ARE PROUD TO BE MOM’S MIDWIVES THROUGH THIS PROCESS.
We are extremely touched by how many people are reaching out to us and are sharing this journey with mom and our family.
This morning I received an email from Diana’s parents. Diana shared her journey with us this morning.
Here is what Theresa and John had to say:
Mike. Joanna, Steve, Jackson, Colby and Owen and family
We have been following Gwen’s and your path all along the way; we are sure that Gwen appreciates all your loving support from the get go through to this difficult part of her journey – she may be too ill now to articulate it but never forget that she gives you her loving support right back. We like to think she will be doing that from on high when she gets there, and sometimes you will need to feel her doing that.
We are full of admiration for Gwen, you, your family, and especially Joanna (and Sexy Neck – I can never think of Steve again without thinking of this reference – and the little ones) and how you are all coping and providing support and love for each other. I am sure there have been some bumps along the way where not every moment went totally smoothly, but even the bumps have been full of love.
Yesterday I went searching in our photos and finally found the one that epitomizes Gwen to me – Jackson’s 3rd birthday party whose theme was cycling – it was a neat party and you and Gwen were both very involved – attached are a few photos that show Gwen in her cycling jacket, etc. manning (or womanning) the water station and you, Mike, manning another type of water station – good thing it was a hot day!! The kids sure loved it all and it was one of our favourite birthday parties – though they are are all fun!!
Being her very dynamic cheerful self while Being interested in what family and friends are up to, Being active cycling or hiking (and encouraging others to do the same), Being proud of each of you for your special gifts, Being joyfully and enthusiastically involved with family and friends, that is what Gwen means to me.
John and I are thinking about Gwen and all of you
Love and Hugs
Theresa and John
I have known Joanna for 7 years. My 3 children were each born, into the loving hands of the same midwife, 1-2 months after each of Joanna’s children. We are incredibly blessed to have Joanna and Steve as our oldest daughter’s godparents. Joanna is my bosom buddy. Until 8 months ago, our family of 5 lived in Vernon. Our blood relations lived 500+kms away. To our family, Gwen and Mike are Nana Gwen & Papa Mike or simply Nana and Papa.
When Joanna asked me to say a few things about her mom, and being enough, I said “of course”. Only being concise is not my forte. So, I have since written several pages in my mind’s eye, each a smattering of all the places and times we have experienced together. I would guess Nana has seen more day to day life of our young family in the last 5 years than our children’s 4 grandparents. It has meant the world to us.
• Early in knowing Nana, I remember her being so excited to cuddle my children on her lap, often reading, or even taking in a live sports game.
• Since then I have tasted a great many delicious gluten-free cakes Nana brought for JC, CC and OC’s birthdays.
• Nana handmade and gifted our family a beautiful beach bag
• Nana invited my parents over for Thanksgiving dinner, when they were camping in the area
• Nana has hung out with my children when I went back to work between mat leaves
• Nana has skied with my children on weekends
• Nana has surprised me with her skill and enthusiasm for paddle boarding, biking, hiking…
Though this may sound like a list of activities or “doing” on a blog all about “being”, in my memory Nana is adept at making these one in the same. I have observed, over and over, how much she just knows exactly how to “be enough” in every moment… seeming to love whatever she is doing, whoever she is with, wherever she is: Disneyland, Hawaii, snowshoeing, snuggling up to read a simple book to her grandkids, or even fighting off wicked flu bugs she caught while taking care of them! When living in Vernon, Kurt and I both felt we could talk to Nana about anything. No matter what troubles arose in life, she always seemed to have this way of shrugging her shoulders, nodding, and without any hesitation saying (or often asking) something simple to knock stress and apprehension down a few notches.
When I asked Daria to draw a picture today for Nana, she drew this beautiful representation of the essence of Nana:
The Heart. Through laughter, shrugging off her own talents, listening to others, asking thoughtful questions, giving to others, and more, I remember Nana through our time in Vernon overall as being genuinely heart-felt in each moment… as if she would be perfectly happy to endlessly continue doing just what she was doing. And in that way of being, Nana has a special easy way of letting her children and grandchildren bring their own uniqueness to the world.
I can hardly believe hospice is Nana’s new home. Like Ang, I do question: why the short time? Yet, I can say honestly from seeing Nana the past 5 years – Nana has already been enough!
She has shared so openly and freely of herself with her children, grandchildren, and everyone (like me) she has met along the way… from the bottom of her heart. What a precious and unique gift. I am quite sure she will continue to bring forth the unique spirits of each one in her family. I know I will always see Nana in their faces.
Nana just has that incredible talent of being there. Listening. REALLY listening. And being enough.