Ecclesiastes 3:1 “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven.” The past is gone and we have before us a new year of opportunities. As I look back on the events of 2014 I am almost overwhelmed by all the changes I have gone through, which I could not have predicted. Not only location but also lifestyle. I could never have foreseen the challenges.

In January 2014, I moved 400 miles from Castlegar, in the interior, to Langley, on the west coast. The year before had been stressful for me with my daughter’s close brush with death and my brother, Orval’s sudden stroke, rendering him helpless. Shortly after his stroke, one Doctor in the hospital urged me to apply for Committeeship because he felt Orval would need someone to make decisions for him, for the rest of his life.

Orval said he wanted me to do that for him. Through the years he had distanced himself from most of the family but we had maintained a relationship through daily phone calls and occaisional visits. So, 2013 ended with me taking on the responsibility of my brother’s care as he made his way through the health care system, being moved five times in five months. I felt I needed to live near his care facility in order to give him emotional support.

Ecclesiastes 3:2 “A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.” On January 10, I flew from Vancouver to Castlegar to pack my belongings. Determined to move with the least stress possible, I hired a moving company. My children would have rented a truck and moved me but the mountain passes could be difficult and I was very concerned about accidents such as Larry and I had in 2011 which contributed to his death three weeks later.

My son, Dwayne met me at the Airport, we went for lunch and then drove home. A beautiful basement suite in Dwayne and Maureen’s home was where Larry and I had lived since 2007.  After Larry’s death in 2011, I continued to live there and was thankful to be so well cared for by my children. A part of me was sorry to leave the umbrella of protection and attention afforded me by living so near my children but another part of me felt called to give my brother the best care possible. I had mixed feelings about moving.

Although packing was work, the time I would spend in this place was many other things to me. It was also respite and remembrance. Strange as it may sound, it was respite. For the past eight months I had lived with other people, on the edge of their lives, not having any of my own things around me. I felt the need to have a place of my own. This time was remembrance too, because of all the memories that surfaced. Larry and I had moved into the suite after selling our Pass Creek property. Dwayne and Maureen told us it was part of the plan when they had built the suite.

Ecclesiastes 3:6 “A time to keep and a time to throw away.” As I made decisions about what to keep and what not to keep, the memories flooded my soul. I was saying a final goodbye to the life Larry and I had here together. From this point on, my life would never be the same. Daily, as I listened to CD’s of gospel music I was able to focus on the reality that my future was in God’s hands. Leaving was sad but I accepted it as part of life.

Finally everything was packed, the movers came and my worldly possessions were on their way to a new place. As I walked through the suite, I thought about my life. I had known both happiness and sadness here and my future was unknown. I’m not sure anyone understood my choices but they helped me as much as they could. I said goodbye to Dwayne, Maureen, Fran and Jake. I was grateful for their love and care. The next day I flew back to Vancouver.

My niece, Corrine met me at Vancouver airport and drove me to my sister’s. The next day when the movers arrived at the apartment, my children, Dustin, Laurie and Elizabeth were there to set up and bring order to the new place. I was fortunate to have children helping on both ends of the move! Before long many boxes were unpacked, there were dishes organized in cupboards and my bed was ready to climb into. I said a prayer of thanks for each of them! I could not have done it without them!

The next months were filled with selling Orval’s house, getting his affairs in order, having lunch with him every day and starting with his Dentist appointments etc. Along the way there was time with family and friends. Once in awhile I managed to spend an afternoon pursuing one of my interests, tracing my family history through the computers at the Cloverdale Library. Dwayne came for a visit in April and my daughter, Brenda and grandson, Josh, visited in May. In August I was able to attend Jeremy and Sarah’s lovely garden wedding in Anmore. (Love the GPS!)

Ecclesiastes 3:2 “A time to be born and a time to die.” On May 21 my great granddaughter, Ivy Vivienne, was born. This beautiful little girl was welcomed by my granddaughter, Ayron and her husband, Stefan and brother, Madden. On December 19 I had angioplasty in Royal Columbia hospital. Dustin took me there and stayed with me. I was thankful for his help. The surgery went well and I have two new stents. I will need repair on a previous stent later. Sadly, on the same day, Dwayne’s dad passed away in a different hospital. Life is a mixture of joy and sorrow!

What will the next year bring? Like the old, gospel song by Ira Stamphill says, “I don’t know about tomorrow” but I know the One Who does! God already sees my days before they show up, so I do not need to worry about them. The words of the chorus reflect my feelings, “Many things about tomorrow I don’t seem to understand! But I know Who holds tomorrow and I know Who holds my hand!” My future is as bright as the promises of God!

Philippians 3:13-14 “Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”