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Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Time of Reflection

Hope you'll allow me to share whats going on in my life. This last year has been an emotional roller coaster. Often I've had one foot in joy and one foot in grief. I've been blessed with a healthy new grand child named Caleb, my son Daniel continues to be cancer free, my son Thomas had a successful salmon season on his own boat, I spent 25 days in Italy teaching and painting, I’ve enjoyed numerous artistic achievements and we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. I have so much to be thankful for...and I am!

In July this year I lost my Step-Dad Jere to cancer. I've spent more time with my Mom in these last few months. I enjoy our weekly get togethers. Were getting to know each other in a new way. It's a nice experience.

Doing what he loved most...hiking.
Now I fear the greatest sorrow will visit me soon. My dad, Wes has been fighting cancer for 14 years. The day before Thanksgiving he began Hospice Care of home. I spend time with him every day. Some days he is alert and we have fun conversations and some days he barely wakes at all. But sleeping is probably the best thing right now. Hospice is doing their best but the pain is difficult to keep under control.

My Dad has lived a good life and he’s lived it his way. He retired in his early 50’s. Had more adventures than most people dream of. He’s been generous with “his girls” and shared the adventure along the way. We’ve flown in his hot air balloons, sailed in his boats, backpacked and hiked the High Sierras, rode horses & motorcycles, snow skied & snowmobiled, mountain biked, travel to distant lands…and shared more cookies and ice cream than you’d ever imagine! He taught me to appreciate art and bought me my first easel.  I love my dad.
Sharing a sketchbook with Dad.

I have no false illusions that my Dad will get better…I know that. I would like to ask for your prayers. Please pray for my dad, his wife Sheryle and all his girls. Help us to be there for him and for each other as we learn to live without him.

Without question, I’ve entered the Advent season with a heavy heart.  I remain thankful for all the blessings in my life and I start each day with prayers of thanks. The tears fall...a lot. I am thankful for the memories that will last a lifetime, hope, faith, family, friends, and art! 

Blessings, Brenda

24 comments:

  1. What a beautiful post. Thinking of you and your father.

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  2. I can understand your situation at this time. My father passed away to be with the Lord summer of 2013. He had a massive stroke the day before his 89th birthday and survived another six weeks (two weeks prior to their 68th anniversary). I pray that the Lord's grace and comfort will abide in your home and your family's home(s).

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  3. Prayers for you and your family. It appears as we reach a certain age we begin to lose those we love more often. I lost my two of my brothers in the last few years, one quickly, a heart attack, and one to cancer, horrible except for an angelic nurse's mistake which allowed him to bypass weeks of pain, allowing him a graceful exit during hospice. Hospice is a godsend. You have an artistic community that cares for you. Best, Kate

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  4. Prayers for you and your family.Thank you for sharing and sending you a big hug.....

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  5. Sorry you (and all of us) have to go through this painful time. I'll pray.

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  6. I have been where you are. I understand and will pray for you and your family. We sorrow not as those who have no hope, but still it is so heartbreaking to say goodbye. When we've been blessed with such wonderful parents and the sharing has been so amazingly good, even the grief is bittersweet.

    Take care of yourself during this season and the one to follow. Our bodies are vulnerable when we're grieving. I learned to step back and allow myself not to feel I had to do it all in that time of loss and healing and hope that will be possible for you, too.

    Praying for you.

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  7. Brenda I lost both my parents at Christmas time. Two years apart but the loss was very hard. I love that you are spending the time with your dad. I did the same with both my mom and dad. Time I shall treasure forever as will you. Take care and my thoughts and prayers are with you.

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  8. Dear Brenda, I'm so very sorry to hear about your dad. From the little you've shared, what an adventurer he must have been and how lovely for him to have shared his zest for life with you as a girl. I remember when you wrote about your step dad earlier this year. And I was privileged to chat with you about your dear sons when we met at your Lake Arrowhead workshop. ;) I certainly understand the lows you have faced this year (and rejoice with you about the 'highs'!).

    My step-dad, too, has began home hospice just before Thanksgiving. Papa Harry has been married to my mom for 36 years, I am traveling back and forth from AZ to CA to help my mom care for him. So, I will remember to pray for your dear dad, when I am praying for the situation we are walking through. I have walked this road with my wonderful mother-in-law a few years back, and I know how stressful, yet precious those moments can be. May the Lord be near and comfort all of you and add daily to the memories you will always carry with you.

    Hugs from afar,
    Katie Kruger

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  9. Brenda, I'm so sorry to hear of your Dad's illness; my Dad was in hospice for 6 months before succumbing to esophageal cancer. I know how hard it is to watch a loved one suffer and you'll be in my prayers. God bless.

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  10. Dear Brenda,
    I'm terribly sorry for your upcoming loss and also the loss of your stepfather. It is so hard to say good bye to the ones we love. I'm so happy for you that you get to spend time daily with your dad before he goes. Please have a peaceful Christmas and know that all the students you taught in SBS will send up a prayer that your father has the best passing he can wish for and you all who have to stay here keep each other company in your common loss.
    All my best,
    Jenn McLean

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  11. I just lost my almost-94-year-old dad on Thanksgiving night this year. It is very hard losing someone you love during the holidays, but like you, I am comforted by some very happy memories. And I'm thankful to have had my father for so many years of my life; I'm in my mid-50s, and my mother lost her father when she was in her early 20s. So we have much to be thankful for in the midst of our grief. Just know that I'm thinking of you and lifting you up in prayer. My very best to you!

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  12. Thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts for your Dad. What a lucky guy having you for his daughter. Prayers and a peaceful heart for you through this emotional time.

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  13. I am very sorry and I send you and your family.my warmest thoughts .

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  14. I am so sorry. I will be keeping you and your family in my prayers. xoxo

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  16. It sounds like you have a wonderful relationship with your dad and he has given you many wonderful memories. I will keep all of you in my prayers.

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  17. I will be praying for you, your dad and family. So sorry your dad isnt doing well. Hugs....

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  18. Your dad sounds like an amazing man who led a wonderful life. God bless him! Losing someone so dear is difficult. The time you have spent with him is precious and will help you. I treasure the time I spent with my brother and mother but I will forever miss them. You and your family will be in my prayers.

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  19. Sending prayers to you, your dad and your whole family. We lost my father in law to cancer two years ago just as I was finishing treatment for cancer. Life is precious. Keep painting!

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  20. I have been following your blog for about a year, and enjoy it and your art so much. Thank you for sharing with us about your journeys. My father is also in hospice, so I can imagine the highs and lows you go through. Peace be with you.

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    1. It's not an easy journey and your in my thoughts. God grace and peace for you and your father.
      ~Hugs, Brenda

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