The time has arrived to close the story of a long journey. The story of a life and the recording of the events that led to the end of a life. This last entry has perhaps a greater level of emotion than any of the others. It was always difficult to write these. We did so to keep people informed, with the secondary purpose of transmitting some of the emotion that was difficult to tell over and over to people that showed interest in the whole situation. It was mentioned to us not to close until the birth of our 4th grandchild and that happened on April 26th.
This part of this post was fun to write. Ross and Rumy are now proud parents of a nice little baby that is named Oliver James. This young man weighed 6 lbs and 12 oz and 20 inches long. He came out after Rumy worked about 1 ½ days to deliver him and he did so without the need for a “section”. I am told by Ross he looked around for a few seconds with a look of “what just happened”, then opened his mouth wide and let out one of the stronger cries that even trumpet players can behold. In short order he was placed in his mothers arms and soon settled in to enjoy his first day of life. It appears to me that this young man might be quite well dressed. The people in the church Ross and Rumy serve have seen to that. It looks to me that he might also be quite well protected in the car, might sleep well in the crib and might be warm in the blankets mostly due to the christian love shown by the people in that church.
So today we come to the time to close, and a beginning of a new chapter. The past documented by over 4 years of blogging and kept open for this chapter. The future perhaps picked up on some future writing not determined yet. All three of our children now have children. There is no doubt that Deb would have been proud to see this last one but as one friend suggested perhaps that is not so far out of the question. I had a special feeling as I saw this young man for the first time and with it a sense of her presence. No proof just a sense. And that was enough for me.
I did have the chance to review some of the writings. My daughter suggested over 4 years ago that we do this thing called a blog and I kind of knew what that was. As I read back a little it has about every human emotion that can be experienced. The repeated adjectives of love, care, endurance, pain, perseverance, all flow out of the writings no matter who wrote them. The experience of new life and a death are reported. The feelings of smiles and tears are reported. About every element of human emotion are held someplace in the 300 or so blog posts.
The feelings of loss are slowly and carefully being replaced by feelings of thanks and respect for a life well done. The feelings of thanks are coming through like a sun rising. The feelings of pride are there as they relate to a life lived with vigor and love. The witness of courage as death was imminent was the exclamation mark of facing the day that not one of us wishes to face but all of us must at some point do so.
Allow me to mention a few things I am thankful for and proud of. We designated Beacon Ministries and Hospice as causes for memorial. In each of these cases I am told that the gifts were just stunning and I thank all who helped with this. Deb's brother Jim worked very hard to give his sister the service she deserved (his funeral home provided the service). Deb's sister helped me with the tough parts of dealing with clothing and personal things and did so in a way that my home today keeps some of the memory but passes on many things that others can use Deb's sister in law Nancy helped us with so many things and never gave up in that help over this entire journey. Deb's brother Ken and wife Shelly, just last weekend planted new trees on the north property which will be available to the family for Christmas Trees in about seven years or so in his sisters memory. Gift from her parents aided with some of the financial demands that come with a long term disease.
Perhaps for me the most stunning thing is how Deb's friends stayed with the situation and helped. If life needs to close I can think of no other way that people could show care at a deeper level. It is hard to mention each one and I am still in the process of writing thank you notes but I will get them all done.
Somehow each day gets a little better for me. Slowly but surely the feeling and good memories outweigh the tears that come with an event such as this death. I never really knew what to do and how to report some things. It seemed to me that the events of this illness were always very serious but somehow she put a good of face on it in public to the point that many would say “I can't see that much wrong". That was different at home many times. She was granted one year right in the middle of the whole thing of somewhat normal activities. She was able to cross off many things on a bucket list she made 4 years ago and able to purge through pain that at times went beyond words I can find.
This little Oliver guy has something I have not seen before. I almost seems to me he has kind of a sharp look in his eye. Sometimes babies have about a week before you know what they see. Perhaps what you are hearing here is just a proud grandpa that thinks Oliver sees something. But I want to use this thought to close the blog.
Deb always had a sharp look in her eye. A keen eye and heart for a friend, a keen ear for music, a keen sense for family, a keen sense of a bargain, a keen love for people that needed love. It never really came out that much at the end but along with the above came a pretty strong sense of humor. Rooted inside of all of this was a zest for life that had a contagious quality. And that is how the Diary of Deb must now come to a close. Thank you all for following along. We could always feel the love and the prayers. They were a gift from God.
Here are a few pictures of Oliver James.Oliver James Hoksbergen- April 26- 6 lbs 12 oz, 20 inches
|Ross and Oliver post birth-here we go!|
|Stan drove in all the way from Michigan!|
|Rumyana is MUCH happier now than a day ago, especially with Great Grandma nearby|
|Great Grandma Shirley and a biiig yawn! you worked hard little guy, put your feet up for a while!|
|Ok Dad, is this what you meant!?|
|I think I'll just take a nap right here, ok Mom?|