Monday, July 30, 2012

Home from Sunnybrae!

We are back from holidays by the beautiful Shuswap lake. It was marvellous and we had an unexpected person join us too, so that was even better!

We went to Sunnybrae bible camp for 1 glorious week of no cooking and other activities. It was so much fun we definitely want to go back again next year if we can swing it. The kids had a blast making crafts and discovering through science experiments. 

We are so thankful we were able to have this little getaway from real life, although so much real life still travels in our hearts. There was a talent show on Thursday night. I wanted to include Eva in our vacation so I read the poem I read at her funeral. It went well and I felt like I honoured our little Eva girl who we miss so much.

A Child Of Mine
 by Edgar Albert Guest, 1930
(some modifications are mine, I hope you don't mind Mr. Guest)

I will lend you, for a little time,
A child of mine, He said.
For you to love the while she lives,
And mourn for when she's dead.
It may be ten or 'leven months
Or twenty-two or three.
But will you, till I call her back,
Take care of her for Me?
She'll bring her charms to gladden you,
And should her stay be brief.
You'll have her lovely memories,
As solace for your grief.
I cannot promise she will stay,
Since all from earth return.
But there are lessons taught down there,
I want this child to learn.
I've looked the wide world over,
In search for teachers true.
And from the throngs that crowd life's lanes,
I have selected you.
Now will you give her all your love,
Nor think the labour vain.
Nor hate me when I come
To take her home again?
I fancied that I heard them say,
'Dear Lord, Thy will be done!'
For all the joys Thy child shall bring,
The risk of grief we'll run.
We'll shelter her with tenderness,
We'll love her while we may,
And for the happiness we've known,
Forever grateful stay.
But should the angels call for her,
Much sooner than we've planned.
We'll brave the bitter grief that comes,
And try to understand.

While we were there I also met a mom whose daughter, Hilda, died at 23 days old. 50 years ago. Rena only got to hold her little girl once. She has no pictures of her except the ones she holds in her mind and in her heart. My heart aches to give Rena a photograph of little Hilda, but that is never to be. And she will not lay eyes on Hilda's face again, until they meet in Heaven.

Things were so different back then, yet also similar. Hilda was a twin and I was honoured to meet Hilda's twin sister, Irene, at camp. People told Rena that she was lucky she still had one child left. And she was lucky, but also so incredibly unlucky. It echoes some of the stupid things people have said to us, over 50 years later "well, at least you have the boys". Yes, we are lucky, darn lucky to have the boys, but there isn't a day that goes by when I wonder if the boys are going to be taken from us too. We are lucky, but also so incredibly unlucky.

She encouraged me to keep Eva alive in our hearts and in our minds by having a birthday party for her every year, which we had planned to do already but it was encouraging to hear this from someone whose daughter died 50 years ago.


  1. What a blessing to be able to take a vacation and to be able to read that poem and to meet someone who lost their child 50 years ago. I often think of women in poor countries who lose their children and don't have any tangible things, like photographs, to look and and/or hold after their babies/children have died. We are very blessed in some ways, even though we have had to endure tragedies.

    ((hugs)) and Hope,

    1. You're right Cheryl. There are so many blessings embedded in the tragedy of loss.

  2. Several of your recent blog posts have gotten me thinking about a certain something, but I wasn’t sure how to say it or whether it would be taken the wrong way. You’ve talked about how you think about how old Eva would be now, or what she would look like, Eva getting married etc. And now about how you wish you could give that mom a picture of her baby Hilda who died so long ago, and Cheryl’s comment about having photos or other tangible things to look at or hold…. I wonder if you or some of your readers would be interested in an age progression service. I have no first hand experience with this, but basically you provide the artist with a few photos of a person, along with a few of the parents and siblings, and the artist produces something that looks like a photograph of the person at whatever age is requested. … For example maybe you’d like to see what Eva would look like at two years old, for her upcoming birthday? I don’t know, some people might think this is inappropriate and I’m sure it’s not for everyone. You might prefer to just keep your mental picture of what she would look like. But perhaps it could be one of those special tangible things for some people. I did find one online service that does this, and it’s not cheap, about $200: I have no experience with this company so I can’t personally recommend them. I’m sure there are others out there.

  3. TS,
    I actually have already checked out phojoe through The Compassionate Friends. It looks like something I would really like to do and have seriously considered it already. Because of the high cost involved I thought I might 'treat' myself to something like that at her 5 year birthday or so. I really appreciate that you looked into this though, it's very thoughtful. Thank you.