This is my family! My mom is in the chair and then from the left is my sister Sandy, my brothers Greg, Jim, Randy and then me. As to the correct birth order, Randy is the oldest and then Sandy, Greg, Jim and me - the "perfect" baby!
We are a "unique" family and I think I am figuring out that we are not the only ones that can claim that! Let me try to tell you about the 5 of us! Randy is married to Chris and they have 3 kids and 2 grandkids. Sandy is married to Paul and their child is their dog! Greg is married to Diane and they have 4 kids and two grandkids. Jim was married to Sherry and they have two girls that are just about the same age as mine. Then of course there is me but if you have been reading this blog for very long, you know all about me!
I am thankful for my family more today than I have ever been. It is completely horrible that it takes death to make us realize what is really important. I remember when my Dad died and I thought that I would never survive that loss. I wondered how my family would ever make it. You see, we all loved dad equally but we all loved him in our own special way. He was something special to each one of us and I cannot tell you how desperately we each needed him in our lives. But God choose to take him to heaven and I still have no idea why!
Sherry was at UBC when my husband came home from the mission field when he was in third grade. They even "liked" each other as kids which we all still laugh about today! Sherry graduated from high school the year before I did and went to college there. She was a fantastic piano player and could sing just as well. Jim came to UBC for a year of college and met Sherry and they married the next summer. I had Carrie in July of 89 and she had Bethany 17 days later. Then I had Ashley in July of 91 and she had Katie the following December. The past several years, Sherry has had more than one physical problem and has struggled in ways that most of us would never understand. This past summer she had a stroke and was in the hospital for several days. She mainly struggled with putting her thoughts into words but was really starting to make some progress. This past Tuesday, Jim came home from work and knew that Sherry had not been feeling too great in the last day or so. She went to lay down while he went to run an errand and when he came back home, she was not responding to him. He called 911 and they worked on her at the house and then at the hospital but she was pronounced dead at 5:35. I had talked to my mom several times during this and Dave was trying to get home so we could get over there. We made the two hour drive to just be there for Jim. We came on back home and then headed back over there on Thursday evening for the calling hours and then spent the night for the funeral on Friday. Jim asked Dave to preach the funeral which he did a FANTASTIC job on!
Sherry is buried pretty close to where my Dad is and so when the committal service was over, we all seemed to migrate to Dads grave! I just had to stand there and wonder what is the meaning of all this pain right now. I am not meaning to question God but in my humanity, it was a real struggle. I tried to make sure that I hugged each one of my siblings and told them I loved them! I think in recent years we are all learning about what really matters in life!
Today my heart is sad that Jim and his girls are in this spot in their lives. Humanly, I just hate it and cannot comprehend it at all. But - I am resting in the knowledge that "Jesus doeth all things well". I love my family and am thankful that God is teaching us to rely on Him and Him alone!