Monday, September 17, 2007

Celebrating a Life

We have lived in our house for almost 4 years. It is a wonderful little neighbourhood, we really like living here. There are two main types of households - there are the home owners who were the original owners from 38 years ago, and then the new, young family households.

Right from the beginning our next door neighbours made us feel welcomed. Donnie and Lois-Anne are elderly sisters. Since before we moved in Donnie's health had been failing.

She died yesterday.

She had been house-ridden. Lois-Anne took care of her sister in the big house they shared.

We did not really know Donnie very well. We introduced ourselves when we moved in. After the birth of each child we would make a short visit. Our Trick or Treat Route always started at Donnie and Lois-Anne's house. Every Christmas we would exchange small gifts - the boys would make cookies or crafts and in return would receive a new stuffed animal.

The boys love visiting with the sisters. Whenever they see Lois-Anne in her drive they have to go chat with her and always ask how Donnie is doing. They have also become friends with Donnie's daily care giver. Waving at her when she arrives each day and chatting her ear off if they ever cornered her in the driveway.

I am saddened by Donnie's passing. My sympathies and love go to Lois-Anne who cared so wonderfully for her frail sister. I am sure that Donnie is at peace and now in a better place.

I am not struggling to accept Donnie's passing - I am struggling with new realization that I cannot shield my children from heartache. I am struggling with the fact that as life goes on there will challenges, and painful times for my sweethearts. Right now life is all play and fun.

As a mother, I pray and hope that I can always find the words and the ways to comfort them and help them make sense of life situations, like death. I know that I cannot protect them from all the emotional & physical bumps and bruises they may encounter on their journey of life.

This afternoon DJ and Ander were playing in the yard when family started to arrive to pay their respects. They kept waving, introducing themselves and asking if Lois-Anne is coming out to play. I smiled apologetically and ushered them to the side yard away from the commotion.

DJ asked if Lois-Anne and Donnie were having a party. I replied that they were having a family gathering for Donnie. To that, he said, "We should make them cookies and give them a plate of yummy cookies to help celebrate Donnie". I smiled , hugged him and totally agreed.

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