The short take...

We're enjoying a crazy summer (already), before Kate starts Kindergarten (ALREADY!!?) this fall. Our kids are so much fun, and we are SO blessed!

If you want to browse our pictures, you can do so at our new Google Picasa album).

May 19, 2008

Wow...more than a month since an update. Sorry about that. I've been trying to get a little distance from some of the events so I could look back and reflect on everything. I just didn't mean to wait THIS long.

So, what's been happening? Well, unfortunately for us, the biggest thing that's occurred was Honey's passing on April 24. She is, and will be, sorely missed, but the last few days of her life were really as great a testament to her life as any she might wish.

In the last few weeks of her life, Honey had begun seeing things that the rest of us could not see, and speaking to people that could not have been in the room in the flesh, so to speak. We really think that she was probably at the gates of Heaven several times, but decided to turn around each time- if you knew Honey and how she cared for her family, it's really not a surprise.

Daniel came out again to see Honey near the end of his Casual Duty stint in mid-April. Near the end of his visit (April 19 ([Saturday]) everyone in the family who was in town got together at my parent's house for a dinner together - they even managed to 'steal' Honey from the hospice house for the afternoon (with permission, of course). It was truly a wonderful afternoon, and everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. We got a great picture of the whole gang that we'll share next time we post updated pictures. That night, in the middle of the night, Honey fell out of bed and probably broke several ribs. She was in a lot of pain, needless to say, and there was great concern of the likelihood of her catching pneumonia now.

She was started on a much stronger regimen of medicine for the pain, but nothing was helping very much. Finally that next Tuesday, the decision was made to start her on yet stronger medicine- strong enough that she would never be able to be taken off it. At this point, it was quite likely that the end was near. We were going up and seeing her as much as possible, especially with Kate, but she'd been in so much pain that she wasn't aware of very much. She loved watching Kate, but wasn't able to interact with her or even keep her eyes open much.

Once she was begun on the quite strong medicine, she went to sleep, as was expected, and chances were slim that, even if she woke up, she'd be very aware of anything. As it turned out, she didn't wake up again. On Thursday, her breathing was quite shallow and the family was told she would probably pass away within the next two days. Papa and her three children passed that morning in long prayers and singing, as much encouraging Honey that it was OK to finally enter into her reward. Near the end of their prayers, Honey breathed her last, quite peacefully.

There were many tears, as you can imagine, but when I arrived 30 minutes later, I walked into a room that was filled with more joy than I'd ever had the pleasure of being in the presence of. What a difference real faith is! We have no doubt of where she is, and that she's so happy. So we were free to laugh together and thank God for the wonderful gift of her life that He had blessed us with. When someone lives their entire life as Honey did, in the service of the King, you can see it in her family, and it was a true testament- to everyone within and even outside the family. It was truly a wonderful experience- and one that, while I knew was the 'ideal' response in faith, I didn't know if I'd ever really see firsthand. Human emotions are such that they can override even things you know for a certainty. In this case, our family's faith is so real and governs our worldview so completely that there was almost no conflict of joy for her and selfish sorrow...our honest emotional response was one of joy, and that has continued through the present.

Her funeral was held that next Monday at church, and though she will be missed by everyone left, the joy for her eternal reward has not diminished. It's been amazing being a part of it. Since around Christmas when we learned that she might leave us soon, my biggest regret, nearly the only thing that would bring me to tears, was that she wouldn't get to watch Kate grow up, and that Kate would never remember this amazing woman. But when I walked into that room after Honey had gone, it was pressed on my heart that, "Now Honey has the best view of Kate- better even than us, her parents". I'm sure she's loving that opportunity, too!

To everyone waiting on DVDs of the service: I've got the video completed, but I'm having issues transferring it onto DVD- it seems all the DVD drives in our house decided together to stop working correctly around the time I finished the movie. So it's still forthcoming. In the meantime, let me know if you want the video as a download and I'll see what I can do.

Now, to news of those of us still stuck here :) :
How big is Kate? SOOOOOO BIG! Anything that rolls, she crawls over to, climbs up on, and pushes ahead of her so she can walk around our house! She can balance up on her feet for several seconds now, and there's just no doubt that as soon as she gets that whole balance thing down, she'll be walking just as fast as you please! She asks for "more" and "milk" in sign language, points to things she wants, calls for "ma-ma" and "da-da" and plays peek-a-boo with us whenever she gets the took us a while to figure out why she'd taken to crawling around with her head down, only to pop it up and beam at us though! When she's playing peek-a-boo by pulling something over her head though, she doesn't quite understand the point is to cover her eyes...she tends to lift the toy (or whatever) over her head and watch us from under it until she lowers it for the peek-a-boo!

Anyway, we're all doing awesome, and we've got some great pictures that we'll share as soon as we can, but life is incredibly busy right now, so we'll do what we can. 'Till next time then...TTFN!