Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Heavy Times mixed with Wonderful Memories

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Today’s Blog Post

The Heavy Times mixed with Wonderful Memories
Christmas is about all the warm and fuzzy things that I remember. As I child I only knew the excitement of getting up early to open the gifts that we were getting on Christmas.

As an adult things changed and when our own kids came along, Christmas became all about them. Watching their excitement was the pure pleasure that we all looked forward to each Christmas morning.

Now as a grandparent I am thrilled to see our grandkids just as excited and just as “I can’t wait..” as their mommies used to be as little girls.

But as I grew older I also started to recognize that not everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Some share little of the deep things that they have had happen over the past few years.

As I type these first few words today I have been hoping to point to the special people that will not have quite the same reaction in their home this year.

I am pointing to my friend Evelyn Wilson. Evelyn is a fellow Minister. She and I have much in common in that our work has revolved around working with children.

On February 10, 2011 her daughter Katie passed away. Before that day Evelyn shared with many of her friends about the struggle the family faced with the battle of cancer. Evelyn graciously shared so many of the details of their journey and has continued to do so by way of Facebook. Each month Evelyn has dared to place her deepest feelings open for all to read. The intent is that we might pray for the family as they journey this long path of Katie being gone. And the intent is help us all remember Katie as well… along with the family.

Brent and Evelyn were blessed with three wonderful kids. Jacqui, Katie and John. John is just about to leave High School. Jacqui is in her second year college. And Katie is now with Jesus.

This morning early my friend Evelyn posted the following to her Facebook page “Katie’s Journey”. I can’t write it any better. I am asking you to read Evelyn’s words. If you pray… please pray for Evelyn and her family today… today is their first Christmas without their vibrant daughter.

Thank you Evelyn as you read this as well. Thank you for caring enough and being brave enough to let the rest of us see and know what you are going through. Each one of your posts has been a blessing to me.

Today I looked through Katie’s Facebook page again. The page is still there after these 10 months. I looked through all her photos and borrowed some.

Evelyn and Brent, God bless you this special but difficult day. We love you a whole lot!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Katie’s Journey – by Evelyn Wilson
(The Following words are from Evelyn Wilson, Katie, Jacqui and John Wilson’s mom. She posted these to her Facebook Page entitled “Katie’s Journey”)

Happy Birthday Jesus! It’s Christmas day and it is just not the same and it will never be. There was no one to wake up her brother and sister at 4am to get the stockings , it is almost 7 am and it is quiet in the house, that has not happened since before kids in this household. John has just gotten up.. well actually he tells me he never even went to bed so he is making us some tea.. There is no one to say ..can we get up and open the presents .. and our normal response was Not before 7 ( when the kids were younger) and the last number of years not before 8.. for those of you with young children.. the day will come where you will have to wake them up for Christmas when they are in highschool.
We had our family dinner ( just Brent and the kids) as we have done on Christmas eve since Christmas day has always been busy with extended family. We had our nice dinner and then our birthday cake for Jesus ( always a dairy queen cake) but the missing piece of the excitement of a birthday party was different. I didn’t get the balloons up or decorations up as I normally decorate for a bday party. It just didn’t happen.
We then went to church for Christmas eve service, we found a time of a 7pm service which worked better for us with supper.. and the second item on the night was someone reading the poem about spending your first Christmas in heaven.. wow that was tough to hear that but again Tears Mean Love but it was a lovely evening despite how numb I think we all felt. We saw lots of friends and cried with some.

It was very different with stockings.. I put out Katie’s just so it was there but when I handed them to Brent ( he always gives them to santa to fill) He said what is this one for .. and it was oh .. just habit grabbing 5.. and we broke into tears. The tree although filled with presents sure looks empty .. it just seems to have something missing .. there just doesn’t seem to be enough presents to go around.. something is just missing. Not sure what the rest of the day will hold, but I am sure there will be many tears today and many thoughts of Katie celebrating in Heaven.
I know that when we are at my parents house with all the cousins, anuts uncles, grandparents that it will be another time of lots of love. Tears mean love. We will enjoy a wonderful dinner with all the fixings and I think back to Katie last year who always loved grandma’s turkey dinner but espescially her mashed potoates.. she would eat a whole plate of them if we let her.. we will then have a few days before we head to Ottawa to celebrate with the Wilson side. As I think of a year ago.. knowing that we had a great Christmas together – we had just got back from the Disney cruise, Katie met Sidney Crosby on Boxing day.. we are remembering fondly our precious Katie and how she loved life and loved Christmas and was ripping and roaring to go so early. I think we will be lucky if I can get Jacqui and Brent moving before 10 am…lol but I don’t think I will let them sleep that long..since we need to eat breakfast before then or we wont have room for moms dinner… Brent has decided to make pancakes.. they were Katie’s favourite and I don’t think he has made them since she passed away ( from scratch not mix) .

As you all celebrate this year with your loved ones, enjoy the time and the excitement espescially from the kids and despite being woken early.. enjoy those moments. For others of you who have lost a loved one and this is your “first” ..know you are thought of today and your loved one is not forgotten as well. Have a great day and a very Merry Christmas and Happy birthday to Jesus. Thank you God for the gift of your son.. so we can have the gift of Life and the HOPE .. I cant wait one day to see Katie who I am sure will give everyone the biggest tour of Heaven. Thank you again for all the comments, notes, emails, Christmas cards and special thoughts for us during this time. We are blessed and we take one day at a time and appreciate the Love . Tears Mean Love

Evelyn, Brent, Jacqui and John and our forever angel “Katie”

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