Monday, 11 October 2021

My Brother, Neil

 My brother passed away on Saturday night. He was diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer almost five years ago. When he was diagnosed, we had no idea how long he would be able to live with the disease. We are grateful we got as many years together as we did. He did a lot of living in those years, traveling to many interesting places. 

This week, he started to feel worse than usual. No matter how much pain medication they gave him, it didn't seem to help. By Friday, he was unresponsive and he passed away Saturday at 7:30 pm. Our hearts are broken.

"End? No, the journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it."

—J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

Lessons my brother taught me:
It's never too late to find love.
Life is better with good friends.
Always be positive. Happiness is a choice.
Winning is fun.
You can't hit a homerun if you don't swing...and work on your form. Homeruns are more fun than singles. Besides, you don't have to run so hard.
Go for the double play.
When things are coming at you fast, choke up on the bat.
There's always the next game.
Be a team player.
There's something to appreciate about every part of the world.
If you get a chance, go!
There's no need to be too serious.
Just because someone says you are sick doesn't mean you have to quit.

My brother was a courageous fighter and an all round great guy. Everyone liked Neil. I can't even express how much he will be missed. On October 9, he hit is last figurative home run and rounded the bases jubilantly, all on his own. I only wish I could have seen the high fives on the other side.

This is how I will always remember him. In this picture, he is in the Czech Republic at the World Junior Hockey Tournament 2020. Canada beat Russia in the final game. He was thrilled to be able to be there. This is how I will always remember him:

Sunday, 10 October 2021

Wedding Days

 This weekend was Jillian and Chase's wedding and it was a wonderful celebration! They were married in Cardston. We have a temple in Calgary but it was closed for some minor renovations. Allen and I were married in the Cardston temple and it had been a lot of years since we had been there. The person who married them was Brother Ursenbach. When I met him, I said, "Oh! I have some favorite Ursenbachs: Andy, Dan, Matt, Chuck...." and he happily responded, "Those are my sons!" The lady who helped us in the bride's room was from Paris and so it was fun for her to be able to speak French with Jill and later with Chase. The ceremony was really lovely. He encouraged everyone there to apply the covenants they make in the temple to their marriage. I had never thought of temple covenants that ways before. 

After the ceremony we had some Subway trays and Allen's mom and Carmen brought some veggie trays. Then we were off to take pictures on the temple grounds.  I can't wait to see the pictures!

That afternoon we had a lunch in Lethbridge at Earl's restaurant with lots of family and friends. It was nice to be able to sit and relax and visit. I stole a cool picture from Zoe's instragram from the restaurant.

Saturday was the reception. Celebrating with lots of extended family and even more friends made our hearts swell! 

Now they're off to their honeymoon!

Sunday, 19 September 2021

Bridal Shower

 We are only a few weeks away from Jill and Chase's wedding. Last night some ladies in the ward planned a shower for them. Because of the new covid restrictions, we ended up doing it on Zoom. Peirce and Zoe and I went to their new place to be part of the shower. It was so fun! I'm so grateful for my dear friends who organized the shower! We felt the love! 

Karyn was up to her usual amazingness. 
She made no-bake cheesecakes and also had macarons. 
It was delicious!