Colon Cancer Sucks Ass

Sunday, November 22, 2009

In Memory

Several weeks ago we attended a VNA (Visiting Nurse Association) Memorial Service for all their patients who had passed away during the previous six months. It was a beautiful service. The music was awesome. The women who sang had the most wonderful voice, almost angelic. The grief counselor that I have been seeing was one of the speakers. It was her first time speaking at one of these services (they hold two a year). Her mom had passed away some months earlier and she talked about her experience. It was easy to see why she is able to relate to families who have gone through this. They read all of the names of their patients who had passed, somewhere around one hundred. Then at the end of the service, they asked us to remain seated. Two women came down the aisle with a bowl of small rocks. Every person attending the service could take a rock to keep with them in memory of their loved one. I picked out one that was turquoise. After the service they had refreshments and at that time we were able to visit with Dr. S. He is the Medical Director for the Omaha VNA. I can't even begin to tell you what an amazing doctor he is. We were so fortunate to have him help us through Christine's final days. I truly believe that this is his calling.
I was amazed at how many VNA employees there were and really surprised at the number of volunteers. They have volunteers who will make a bear out of clothing that belonged to your loved one. I knew right away that Christine has a sweater set that she wore all the time. Two days ago, I finally found it when I was going through some of her things. The grief counselor tells me that these bears are really nice. What a wonderful thing it is that these volunteers do.
Our church also had a Memorial Service a few days later. We walked into church with candles as they were reading off the names of anyone who requested that their loved one be included and had passed away during the past year. This also was a very nice service. It's a wonderful thing for the families to be acknowledged in this way, even though it was difficult.
By the way, I lost my rock only a few days later the Memorial Service. I can imagine what Christine would have said about that!! I put my car keys in my pocket where the rock was and it must have fallen out when I took my keys out. However, the next day I was going through some of Christine's things and quess what! I found some rocks! So I figure these are even more personal. When Christine was 18 months old, we moved from Anchorage to Oklahoma City. We flew to Seattle and picked up our vehicle and then drove to Oklahoma. That is a long drive especially for a child. Everytime we stopped Christine picked up rocks. We finally had to limit the number of rocks she could pick up at each stop because these weren't always tiny rocks. By the time we got to Oklahoma City the entire floor in the back seat was covered with rocks.
So Thanksgiving is just a few days away. I am thankful that we had 32 wonderful years with Christine and that she is no longer suffering. Christine hadn't been home for Thanksgiving since she moved to California. Nevertheless, it will be hard. One day at at time.

Christine's mom


  • At 7:50 AM, Blogger Kristen said…

    Hi Jan,

    I love the story about Christine and the rocks! This holiday season is definitely going to be hard - it's still so strange to me that I can't just pick up the phone and call her. I'm so glad you got to go the memorial and that Dr. S was there. He was the best doctor anyone could have asked for, and I think Christine had a big impact on him (as she did on everyone).

    I'll call this week to catch up - hope you are well.


  • At 3:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I was laughing out loud imagining Christy stock-piling the rocks behind the back seat, and arranging them in all sorts of ways 9by color, shape, size, texture, etc...)! Thanks for sharing that :-)


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