There is a song, “The Family of God” that we often sang when we were all together as a young family when we moved to Germany in 1977.
Edna and I married in May 30th, 1970. Our family grew to five in 1976. We moved to Germany in 1977 when our youngest was still in diapers. Our children all grew up in Germany. At age 18, after grade 12, they all basically had to leave Germany.
Patrick went to Steinbach Bible College in Steinbach to continue his education. He married Judy, and they now have 6 children. He is now the Chief Financial Officer of the SBC.
Kyle flew to B.C. where he was introduced into construction. After several years of this he came to Manitoba to take up studies at the University of Manitoba, where he graduated with his Masters of Architecture in November of 2008. Kyle is married to Leona and they live in Winnipeg.
Shauna left Germany to come to Manitoba to work in the money transport security work. She is married to Sam and live in Chilliwack, B.C. Sam is working in the road construction (trucking) industry. Shauna is a great mother to two lively children – Calleigh (4) and Collin (1) - (2013)
We are proud of our family, all of them loving the Lord Jesus as well.
(7th son to my 102 yr. old mother)
One doesn’t exactly want to rush to the bedside of a dying person, to watch the process of life come to an end. It is really the beginning of a new life, but we don’t seem to think of that just at this time. Actually therein lays the secret to some sweet moments of life, even though this is a tough time - with tears.
I was privileged to hold my mother’s hands as her life here on earth came to an end. Over the 2-3 weeks of sitting with her, no one in our family knew when that last moment would arrive. Family members took turns to sit with her around the clock; Edna and I had the privilege to sit with her a few night shifts. Holding her hands as we saw death come closer each day was something I had never experienced before.
Those hands – wow, what beautiful hands! Those hands have a history. Touching her skin, a beautiful soft skin, was a time of recalling her wonderful deeds of love over the span of 102 years and 6 months. What did those hands all do for us, for others, for me? They taught me to pray at an early age, every night when we were put to bed. Yes they kneaded dough, made pancakes, changed thousands of diapers, fed the babies (11 of them), hoed the garden, picked the berries and plums for the jam, milked the cows, washed the clothes over and over again. They cared for me, they tied my shoes, and they wiped away my tears, laid a cold towel on a feverish aching head. Those hands cleaned the floors, the stove, dusted the furniture, carried water, carried me, packed a lunch for me, waved goodbye, and gave me a hug, Oh yes, even a spanking in the days of spanking. Someone in the family said, “Yes I too got a spanking, and some of you who didn’t should have”. She made the jam; she did so many loving things for the whole family. She quilted quilts to give away at a mission’s auction sale. She puzzled, played games, showed us how to write and comb our hair. There are a thousand other things those hands did for me.
As I held and studied her hands, thoughts came; many thoughts and questions went through my head.
Besides the question already mentioned, “What have these hands all done unselfishly”, came other questions like – thinking about God, “Why does mom have to suffer so much now, seemingly not for her sake”, thinking, “It’s not her fault” I thought as I was grappling with inner pain. I was trying to feel with her. Why did her fingers turn purple? Why did she have to have so much morphine? Oh yes I knew why, to make her comfortable, but then the why came again. Why did she have to cry out to Jesus so often, every 30 seconds? What was going on in her mind? Why did she stare quietly, half closed eyes into empty space of her room? Why did she not complain - and damn the whole world and her situation? But NO! She clenched onto her loving Savior and Friend Jesus in her life right to her dying end. Naturally I was struggling seeing a dear sweet person suffer, because a person who had done so much for me, who has been such a great example of unselfish steadfast love. Her care and prayer life meant much to me. So the WHYS are for me to ponder and to learn. Lessons of life for me to think about and learn are:
1. To pray often and in the quiet moments bring all to Jesus
2. Care for other, be interested in others.
3. To be content in what you have, what Jesus gives you.
4. To be good example to others
5. Be realistic and maintain good common sense in life.
6. Maintain a clean good sense of humour.
7. Not to complain.
8. To persevere and endure, do not give up too soon.
9. To work hard and long hours
10. To be friendly and hospitable
11. To view life as a wonderful gift of God - be positive
12. Be thankful
13. Be strong
14. Be creative-try something new.
15. Appreciate and love nature (flowers, birds, animals, weather, etc.) and respect it
16. Plant, seed, hoe, and harvest plentifully
17. Cook, bake and serve and enjoy and eat
18. Clean, fix and mend and appreciate order and tidiness
19. Enjoy your Creator,
20. Read God’s word daily
21. Pray much and often
22. Dress well and modestly - be presentable and look your best
23. And many more.
My prayer was, “Jesus, help her endure and stay strong to the end”.
My prayer – is for me to learn the lessons taught by her over her long life,
and to learn the lessons as seen in the last moments of her life in room 118.