Many, many thanks!
Grief is a difficult thing. When someone is diagnosed with an illness that you know is terminal and it is said they have a certain amount of time to live, perspective changes. Thanksgiving week of 2018 my Grandma, Carolyn Walker, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She was told she had about 6 months of life left. It was quite a shock to hear this, and to realize what this meant. Many of you had met my Grandma during my time here at St. Paul’s. She enjoyed coming to the dinners, she usually attended worship on Christmas morning, as well as at other times during the year. She attended my Installation and Gabriel’s baptism. She grew to love this congregation, and quite often brought a few friends with her to the dinners! All of this is to say, she was quite an active woman! Her diagnosis meant things were going to change.
In May, with some changes that were taking place for her, it was estimated that she had two to three weeks left. For all of 2019 I knew her death was coming, but to think there is less than a month left with someone who has had such an impact on your life is still a shock. From that point on, as often as I could, I spent my day off with her. I knew her funeral would be this summer, but I never thought it would have been in August. Once the middle of June arrived, and she was still here with us, I started calling all of the time we had, “bonus time.” And I made the most of it!
When the phone call came that she had entered into the Peace of Christ, it wasn’t a shock. There was a sense of relief, that the suffering she had endured was over. Even though I have been living with the anticipatory grief for this entire year, that doesn’t fully prepare you for when the realization comes. It took a few days for it to hit me that my Grandma is now gone. When it hit, it hit hard, and it continues to happen. Grandma was the last of my biological Grandparents, which is another layer I am adjusting to following this loss.
I share this with you so you know a bit about what has been going on. I also want to take this time to thank you, the congregation of St. Paul’s. Some of the members of this congregation came to the funeral home and to the funeral service, and that really meant a lot to me. Flowers were sent on behalf of the congregation and flowers were sent by a member to us personally. Many cards have been sent! All of this is much appreciated by our family! We are not only thankful for the condolences shared with us, and for the thoughts and prayers, but we are also thankful for your understanding as we changed things on the church calendar for the funeral and to have time with family during that difficult week.
As time continues to pass, there will be difficult moments for me, and for our family, so we appreciate your continued prayers. At the same time, the initial fog of grief is lifting, and there are many exciting things going on here at St. Paul’s this fall so I for one am getting excited for what is to come!
Thank you all again!