Why Cancer? Why Whales? Why rain?
What do Whales, cancer, and family have in common?
The names in the following article have
been changed to protect the innocent.
On a wet and rainy day, the clouds broke just as the casket was rolled to the waiting hurst. It was a sad day, losing a close family member always is. You know, the rain held off for the rest of the day too. Even a cardinal flew by the procession on his way to the cemetery. The hardest part of any family death is saying good-bye. However, on this day, there was a special meaning to the rain.
A last wish to see the whales. You see, only two weeks earlier, Ileen, her husband Charlie, daughter Rene and three boys, Dalton,Dean, and Shawn began a 'last wish' adventure.
Ileen had been diagnosed with cancer and in the past month, found that it was just too far along for the kemo and treatments to reverse. Not that they didn't give it their best try. Everyone, including myself prayed for Ileen daily.
Ileen has, as long as I've known her, (over 25 years) been a dedicated wife and mother. Even more so, a highly dedicated Christian and was never afraid to admit it. She started groups and helped in all aspects at the church. From cook, to youth, and many other important groups. Ileen basically moved through the church as a servant in every area as her children grew. I knew her from about age 12 or so. She would cart us all over the place. Events that were based from the church. Her service to God and all of those that attended our church were blessed by her gift of servanthood. In the final months of her life, it was about time someone served her!
The adventure I was speaking of was a family adventure. You see, she wanted her family, no spouses, no grandchildren, just her family to go. Ileen wanted to see the whales as her last request. A fantastic idea, but how can this happen for this family. I mean, Ileen needs a nurse first of all. Oh ya, Rene is a nurse, hey, that will work. Transportation, Ileen can't go in a car or a van. What about an RV? That sounds good. Who will drive? The boys will take turns. ( I'm sure they were all intrested in driving that outfit ) Everything just seemed to come together in such a short time.
Ileen was feeling pretty good about her adventure with her kids and husband. In fact, for the majority of the trip she was doing very well. Considering her body had been through all that kemo and other treatments. Losing alot of weight too. Tired, but excited, her family made it happen for her. It's called LOVE.
The Trip begins
Wow, they had alot of laughs on the way out to the Bay of Fundy. Of course, with this family, they are always laughing. From the photos and a few small conversations I had with them, the drive out had some real rainy moments. The van that followed the RV was rarely driving without the wipers on.
The fist day out, it was pretty choppy and a little later in the day so the family decided to wait until the next day.
It was too choppy to go out that first day so the prayer chain went out. Family sent back the word for prayer and that we did. Everyone that heard, ask for the great I AM to give break in the weather.
You see, the tour company says that it is very unlikely to see many (if any) whales during choppy/stormy weather. But we prayed anyway.
The weather breaks > Whales
The next day, the weather broke enough to go out. Although the whale watching company said it is much less likely to see many whales during choppy weather. It was ok, they have to try. That's why they were there.
Those prayers were not only answered, they were answered in herds. Whale herds that is.They were hardly out of the port when they saw their first whale.
The captain of the vessel knew Ileens circumstance, there were men there waiting to help her onboard. Wheelchair and all. He would even turn the ship so that the herds they seen would be on her side of the ship. It wasn't long before he didn't need to turn the ship at all.
Thar she blows...whales, whales, whales. Later, the captain told Ileen that he doesn't remember seeing so many whales during any tour he has given over all the years he has been at sea. She was just thrilled by that news.
So the rain has a special meaning for the family. While their tears and emotions held them in a state of loss. I AM was reminding them of a great family adventure only two weeks ago. You see, every time it rains, it will feed her flowerbeds. Allowing the cardinal that calls her flowerbeds home, to enjoy it all the more. Every time it rains every member of the family will remember a wonderful faithful wife and mother. Every it rains they will remember their adventure to see the whales and everytime there is a break in the rain, the family will remember WHO made it all happen for them.
The funeral was fantastic. We sang a few of the hymns that Ileen loved. A young couple that had a special attachment to Ileen got up and sang a beautiful song that they wrote. Her brother spoke of wonderful memories, her son Dean gave a strong statement of his mother and a poem he wrote. Her youngest son put together a great slideshow of her life. Finally, her husband of fourty (40) years Charlie, who I am not sure I ever heard speak more than two sentances in any conversation I ever had with him. Spoke eloquently of his wife of fourty years. He told us of how they met, why he fell in love with her, of her strengths, her faith, her kindness. Charlie finally read from the Bible of what a wife should be, before reading mentioning how well she filled the verses he was to read. As he read, all of us could see it in her. Now, I am not here to convert you in any way. However, I should be. The funeral ended at the grave site with beautiful words and alot of tears.
You will be missed, but only as long as it takes for us to come home too.