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Three Years

blog-clipThey had three years of days, these two sweet little cousins.  Three years more of growing, of prayers for Baby Cousin’s hole in her heart.  Of singing songs, and making silly faces, and hospital visits, and lots of NO visits and staying home and keeping our little kid sick germs to ourselves.  Three more years of celebrating birthdays and miracles, and buying presents at Christmas, and drawing pictures for each other.  Of taking Janessa’s picture to school for show ‘n’ tell and telling her friends about her miracle cousin.  Of dancing so Janessa could watch, and ringing her chimes, and hunting through every store in VV and half the ones in GP, looking for the exactly right kind of rattle that Janessa could hold and play with.

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Three years is done now.

We are left with Janessa’s toy car, forgotten at our house.  With Ballet Bear, passed on down to Elianna.  With empty hollow hearts and oh, so very many tears.  Janessa was just here.  Elianna was just dancing for her, just days ago, in our living room.  And then — gone.

She’s lighting up Heaven now with that bright smile.  No more oxygen.  No more sickness, no more pain.  Little legs that are strong and now SHE can do the running and jumping and twirling and dancing.  Instead of praying at bedtime and asking God to make Janessa strong and healthy, Elianna thanks Him that He is taking care of her now and that she is safe with Jesus.

And she is.

Janessa Zofeya — “God sees, and is merciful”   In her life, this was true.  And in her death, it is still true.

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Talking to the wind? Maybe not…

Sunday’s special moment was when Elianna wanted to go up and sit with the kids on the stage steps at church during childrens’ corner.  Last time she went up she was rather a bad influence on the kids around her!  So today I told her she could go up and sit by her friend, but she had to be QUIET, and keep her hands folded The. Whole. Time.

And she did!  The folded hands stayed out of trouble the entire time!  Whooohooo, she’s actually learning something!

Some days it seems like I may as well be talking to the wind.  Other days I repeat things so many times I wish I could just record myself and hit “play” every time the same instruction was needed.

But then there’s days when I’m not feeling well and I’m lying on the couch and she brings me a blanket and “tucks” me in, and pats my head and kisses my cheek and sits beside me to sing me a “lub-a-by” and asks, “Mommy, you okay??”  And I think that maybe, just maybe, I AM doing something right after all and she IS learning in spite of the days when it all seems impossibly hopeless!

I’m thankful for my little two year old!

Here's the folded hands working during the wedding, along with a candy in her mouth!

Here’s the folded hands working during the wedding, along with a candy in her mouth!

Cousins

Cousin Love   Cousins.  Words can’t quite express the meaning this picture has for our family.

Two little girls.

Cousins.

So much love.

So much heartache.

So much hope.

So much miracle.

Janessa Zofeya — “God sees, and is merciful”

I am thankful God allowed these two little ones to meet.

We pray for many more days of love and laughter ahead for them.

We pray for God’s strength to face whatever comes in the journey ahead.

Reflections…and the perfect end to 2011!

The house is quiet…Elianna is napping, and so is hubby.  I’m feeling quiet and contemplative.  Thoughts of “at this time last year” come frequently.  It’s been a crazy full year!

Elianna started off our year by being late.  VERY late!  Last Christmas I was super-pregnant, puking, close to the end of my rope, and NOT enjoying it!  I remember sitting on the couch with Jerry in the light of our tree one evening after Christmas, crying because it felt so much like someone was missing.  “Two” no longer felt complete.  It was time to be Three and I was soooo ready!  This year, I sat on the couch with Jerry in the light of our Christmas tree and cried again.  This time because I was so happy to be holding our beloved baby girl on my lap.  I felt complete, and so content and at peace.  Our little family of three had a WONDERFUL Christmas together!  Christmas is suddenly extra special when you see it through the wonder of a child’s eyes again.  The lights, the tree, the wrapped presents…  I love to watch Elianna and see her taking it all in and thinking and trying to figure it all out.  Everything is still so new.

We started out this year in a new house, trying to unpack and settle in and get things organized and fixed up.  Now, I have a light over my kitchen table that makes the room feel warm and cozy.  I have light covers in the bathroom which make my choice of a bright teal/green/blue color a little less shocking.  (slightly.  But not a whole lot.  But I still like it a lot!)  Elianna has covers on the electrical outlets in her room (that’s a GOOD thing!)  Jerry brought me home a pantry the other day, so the stacks of pails and tubs down the hallway are tucked away on shelves, and I even had extra space to unpack some of my china so we could set the table beautifully for our Christmas meal!  Jerry put up a laundry shelf for me so I would actually be able to see the top of my washer and dryer again if I would just take 5 solid minutes to clean them off!)  We still have an addition that looks like a tornado went through it, and paper trim on some walls in the kitchen, but you can’t do everything in one year, can you!?

We started last year with Jerry limping around gingerly, trying not to further injure his knee.  He had a CT scan in June, surgery in August, and after 6 weeks time off was back to work again in September, doing harvest for my uncle.  He tramped all over in the bush during hunting season, and is threatening to play hockey again in the New Year!  We are grateful that he didn’t have to wait till next year for surgery, and that his knee is fine and he can live an active normal life again.

We started off the year with a wrinkled up baby whose hands and feet looked like she was 80 instead of 8 minutes old and 2 weeks late.  Now she’s crawling, getting into everything, laughing, eating solid foods, and starting to walk and talk.  She said “grandma” during our Christmas in SK, and completely melted Grandma’s heart, I think!  She says mama and dada regularly and sometimes even graces the dog with a word.  We’re thankful she said mama and dada before she said “Measha”!  She is such a joy.  Her smiles and laughs brighten our days and lift our spirits and melt our hearts and we are unbelievably thankful for her.  God knew exactly what we needed — a little girl to be our ray of sunshine!

Jerry is ending this year with a new job — still an electrical apprentice, but getting much more hands on experience.  I was very concerned about him switching jobs, because he had a FANTASTIC boss.  But, God has once again provided another absolutely FANTASTIC boss!  Jerry’s surgery, time off, and harvest work was an excellent transition to this new job, and we are thankful for God’s hand in events.

We started off this year dogless and catless.  Then we were just dogless.  So we got a free dog from ½ hr away…and totaled our car when going to pick it up!  God provided another vehicle for us at the price we needed, and insurance came through enough to cover our costs and we were thankful.  And now had a cat AND a dog.  Then we were catless for a while, because the dog terrified the cat, so we gave the cat away.  Then we got two more cats who knew what a dog was, so now we have 2 cats, and sometimes 2 or 3 dogs, depending on whether the stray dogs are hanging around!

We ended 2010 by coming home early after the New Years’ Eve service because I was sick of the “WHAT?!  You’re STILL pregnant!?” and “Hey, have the baby on MY birthday, Jan ___!” and “Have you tried _____ to get the baby to come?!” comments.  We tried going out for supper for my birthday, but it was a royal failure because every place in our quiet little town was closed – other than A&W, and that’s not a very romantic spot for a New Years’/Birthday supper!  This year my husband took me out for lunch (much better plan!), we went to the Pastor’s house this evening for an impressive show of fireworks, visited for a while after, and then I came home to put Elianna to bed.  She ended my year perfectly by falling asleep in my arms in the light of the Christmas tree.  My unrockable-to-sleep baby.  The one who hasn’t been rocked to sleep since May.  The one who HAS to go scream in her crib before giving in to sleep.  My non-cuddly baby.

The baby I longed for as 2010 ended was the baby sleeping in my arms as 2011 ended.  Perfect!

Summer Update, Part II

A highlight of the trip was introducing Elianna to 2 sets of great-grandparents.  This child has THREE sets of great-grandparents.  Isn’t that crazy?  I was certainly never that lucky!  We took 4-generation shots, and marveled at how she can look so much like her great-grandpa.

Finally, it was time for the event that we flew east for — Kimberly got married!!!

The happy couple

The happy couple

Kimberly (formerly known as Sanderly, on my blog) married her airplane pilot in September, and they had a beautiful wedding, with just enough excitement thrown in to make it perfect!.  The best man came about 2 hairs away from fainting (thanks to the heat of the day), and kept us all on the edge of our seats for the remainder of the wedding!  Elianna did amazingly well, considering she made it through the day with one proper nap and 1 cat-nap in the car!  The newlyweds sneaked away during the closing prayer, much to everyone’s surprise!  (I overheard one elderly lady exclaiming, “When I was young, *I* was taught to keep my eye closed during prayer!”  I take it she wasn’t in favor of sneaking away from your wedding with your eyes open….)  We spent the evening folding tulle and tulle and more tulle and then some more tulle.

Our flight home was a few days later, and was MUCH better than our flight TO the east.  We were blessed with 3 seats to ourselves on both flights, which helped a certain grouchy little girl be slightly happier.  She’s a bit like her mommy…she needs her space!  I had been worrying about our Toronto layover because it was so short and I was afraid that because of the time, baby, and Jerry’s injured knee, we might miss our next flight.  Well, even though our plane arrived at the time our next plane was supposed to depart, they held it for us, AND our luggage, AND it was just the next gate over.  Thank-You, God! I could’ve kissed the ground when we landed in Edmonton.  It’s good to go away and visit family and friends, but still, “Home” has never been a sweeter word!

The week of coming home was filled with doctor appointments for Jerry and his knee, shots for Elianna, and then I came down with the worst flu of my LIFE.  No, I’m not pregnant.  (We talked about that in the Swagbucks/blogging failure post, remember?)

The Dr. sentenced Jerry to 2 weeks of light work before he could go back to his normal job, so he hopped on a tractor for my uncle.  That turned into 7 weeks or harvest work, and he never did go back to his normal job, actually.  Yesterday he started a new job, with a new electrician.  His old boss was heading into oilfield/mechanical work, not electrical, so it was time to move on.

So….thus ends our summer!

5 things that make me smile…

1.  The way Elianna shrieks and laughs when I get down on the floor and loudly thump the floor as I crawl toward her.  She laughs so hard she almost falls over!

2.  Time spent with my man — even if it’s on the truck while he’s trucking grain or canola back and forth and talking more on the radio than to me!  It’s still good just to BE with him.

3.  Elianna’s joy at seeing her daddy.

4.  A beautiful sunrise after seemingly endless days of rain.

5.  Having one of Elianna’s Aunties unexpectedly show up for a visit — all the way from New Brunswick!