Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Life of a Butterfly

A few years back I went to see the monarchs that migrated to Monterey, California. We can learn a lot from the beautiful butterfly. It has to struggle out of a cocoon. If it has any help, it will die. When it emerges from the dismal gray shell, it flies away in all its radiant color. Continuing its celebration of color, it lands on various flowers and shrubs for the nourishing nectar. Something hit me when I learned that butterflies only live for two weeks. Wow...all that struggle and ultimate beauty for only 2 weeks! Why bother?

Clearly it does not know how short its life span. The butterfly emerges, does its job, and is extinguished. We enjoy its unique beauty and appreciate its efforts at pollination. The butterfly blesses us for a short time and we are thankful.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Time Like the Present

There's plenty of time! I use to think so. You have seen all those books covering things to see or do before you die. I can guarantee that my sister had done none of those. Yet, she still managed to carve out a life for herself. As the years progressed, I think she had shifted her dreams and goals. I remember her feeling guilty that she waited so long to have a child, worried about finances and projects at work. The worry was for not, because she was going to encounter fertility problems. When she finally got pregnant, she would have a miscarriage. Her second pregnancy required hospitalized bedrest. She gave birth to a perfect, lovely baby girl, whom she would leave her job for, and become a stay at home mom.

She enjoyed being a mother, however she had some health problems. She called often and would talk about different pains that had to do with endometriosis and thoughts of maybe a bladder/kidney infection. After many doctor visits and ER visits, it was discovered that she had a cyst that would need to come out. Her baby was 16 months when the cancer was discovered. She lived until her little girl was 19 months. She was just getting started...even talked about homeschooling. Where did the time go?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Picking Up the Pieces

My sister is out of pain and she is in heaven. I thought I was spiritually mature enough, for that to be enough. At the moment it is not. So many questions with no answers. My mom brought up an obvious point. She was just getting her life could her job on earth be finished? So many people that were apart of my childhood surfaced for the funeral activities. The outpouring of love and emotion will always be treasured. I still get cards in the mail, which is so nice. I don't even know how people found out about it. In a million years I would never think that we would have all gathered from all over to share in the sorrow.

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Week Ago Today

Last friday we buried my sister. It seems like it may have been 2 days ago, but not an entire week. I know she is in heaven. I know she is out of pain. These are wonderful things. What I don't know is why God chooses to heal so many people, young and old, on this earth. What is the purpose of her dying? What am I to learn from this experience? I may never get these answers. In the mean time I am very aware of God's presence and that everything seems so quiet now.
A few days before the funeral I wanted to put together a flower arrangement with gerbera daisies. I went to about 6 stores shopping for the reception and never found them. You can find those everywhere! At the cemetery, I noticed there were gerberas in her casket spray and I promised myself I would toss one in her grave if we could. I grabbed a deep pink gerbera for me, and a light pink rose for my mum. I know its seems small, but it was poignant at that moment.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ordered Chaos

Death causes instant order. Whatever is going on in a person's life comes to a complete halt when someone you love dies. Out of nowhere comes a new schedule that will be followed. If you have gone through this experience before, you know how much work is involved to ready oneself for a week of funeral activity.
Tearful phone calls are placed and received. Food is planned for and purchased. Photographs are located and displayed. How does one sum up an entire life in one event? My brother-in-law did an outstanding job. He had the hardest job to do. While I was planning the food to feed the guests, he was picking out a grave site and organizing the visitation and funeral. In my sorrow, I kept asking God to get us through it, and kept asking for strength. I had visions of passing out and breaking down. I understand why people do that . Fortunately nothing of the sort happened and I was able to keep it together. I would have loved to have fallen apart but there were too many people to talk to and comfort.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Real Easter

My beloved sister, Guenevere, passed away on Easter Sunday, April 12, 2009 from Ovarian Cancer. She was 36 years old. This poem, sent by my cousin Kelly, is in honour of her:

Remembered Joy
Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free!
I follow the plan God laid for me.
I saw His face, I heard His call,
I took His hand and left it all...
I could not stay another day,
To love, to laugh, to work or play;
Tasks left undone must stay that way.
And if my parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss...
Ah yes, these things I, too, shall miss.
My life's been full, I've savoured much:
Good times, good friends, a loved-one's touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief—
Don't shorten yours with undue grief.
Be not burdened with tears of sorrow,
Enjoy the sunshine of the morrow.