Missing Jorge…final thoughts..

My friend Jorge is gone.  I found out today when I saw a woman doing yard work at his house. The yard that Jorge spent so many hours working on. He liked to keep busy he would say.  I had this sinking feeling inside that something was amiss and I asked the lady about him.  “He’s dead” She told me in English.  Two weeks ago, when I was in Canada. His heart.

It was not that long ago I told Dale one evening that I didn`t think Jorge would be around much longer. I had gone for my walk and Jorge was leaning against the old broken down car outside his home like he so often did. He asked me not to leave and to stay with him for a bit because he didn`t feel so good.  He was seeing double.  He told me his Dr had went and changed his medication and he was not responding well to it. He asked me to go into his house and get his daughter Gisselle, whom I had never met . I opened his gate which was unlocked thankfully . When I knocked on the front door of his house his daughter came running out..”Pappy!!” . She knew something was wrong. I guess why else would someone be knocking on her door…?

She is a tiny young lady…probably in her twenties. I know from all my chats with him that she is either a Dr. or she is studying to be one.  She had asked me to go into the house and get him a glass of orange juice or coke.Then somehow  between the two of us, we managed to carry him into the house and get him sitting in a chair.  Not before he said some crazy things to me. Slurring his words.  I still remember the silly look on his face when he pointed right at me and said..” I know you!  You’re my friend!” He said other bizarre things to me like..”Who are you?” and then the funniest thing, “I don’t feel like talking anymore. Ok? Goodbye!” Then he waved.  He asked me about his daughter, wondering who I thought she looked like…I had no clue because I had never met her mom.

I remember seeing him the next day , puttering away in his garden like he so often liked to do. He thanked me so much for helping him. He told me that God put me there at the right time and he didn’t know what would have happened if I hadn’t walked by when I did..And I should note on that particular day, Abby did not want to go for a walk, so I had gone without her. If I had Abby no way could I have helped carry a heavy man into the house. So I have to agree that it was a God thing. He told me that he was fine now and it was his new medication that caused the confusion and his blood sugar to drop.

Sometimes a few days would pass and I would not see him. I am guessing that we just must have missed each other. He would say things like “I haven’t seen you in a while. I was worried that maybe you were sick or something. Are you ok?”

One night after dinner, Dale and I went our nightly walk and Jorge and his neighbour across the street were standing outside his gate, both of them all dressed up and headed to church.

Recently he told me how one time in his younger years he lived in Holton Maine and how he and his friends would cross the border into Woodstock NB and how much he loved the covered bridges there.  And what a small world that is, as my inlaws lived in that very town for many years. Even Dale lived there for a short while.

I remember when his little dog died. Initially he told me that the dog had gone to live with another family. But then later he admitted to me that he had lied about that and that his dog had got into something one night, some kind of poison and died. There was nothing he could do. He told me how in the middle of the night when no one would see him he carried his small dog to an area of dirt in the colonia and buried his dog. He told me of how he wanted another dog one day..the same breed.. A dashhound. He never got another dog.

Seeing Jorge and talking with him became a normal part of my life. I have so enjoyed getting to know him over the last couple years or so and hearing about all his adventures of his life well lived.. My heart is heavy.  I will miss him. Never again will I have another conversation with Jorge. My 90 year old friend.

Below is the link to my post on Jorge back in April..

https://cjruttan.wordpress.com/2016/04/16/conversing-with-jorge/

Losing Sharon Part 2

Dale’s mom’s funeral is tomorrow…or celebration of life.  Even as I am writing that, it somehow does not seem real. You see, as horrible as it sounds, there really has not been a lot of time to grieve. We were super busy before and in the days following Dale’s mom’s death and even since our feet hit Canadian soil.  But it’s in the moments, when the rest of the world is sleeping that my heart remembers she is gone. Those early moments at 2:30 when all is dark and quiet and I should be sleeping but can’t…that the tears flow and the heart aches a bit more.

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Oh, I know that there is that knowledge that she is with the Lord, and in his presence…  and I know we have that eternal hope in Jesus that we will see her again. And, like a friend of hers commented…she is where she has wanted to be for a long time. There is comfort in all of that for sure. But all of us who remain on this earth still have to find a way to do life without her and nothing will ever be the same. There are questions too….like why five days before we arrived in Canada, did she have to pass? Couldn’t God have kept her alive a little bit longer, so we could see her and talk to her one more time? One final goodbye. One last hug. But, I guess his ways are not our ways and there is a reason things happen the way they do even if we don’t understand.

Sharon was such a warm and caring person. I think everyone who knew her loved her. I said this in my last blog about her, but she was the best mother in law ever. Not everyone can say that. Not everyone has a nice mother in law…but mine was pretty amazing. She was compassionate, wise and understanding. She was fun to be around.  She was an encourager. Once in a while she would send me recipes that she thought I would enjoy…like chicken parmesan.

Jake:

I love how she would always put lots of stickers and xoxoxo’s on all her cards and I loved how when I talked to her when I was younger even though it was probably about something dumb, she always acted like she was interested. And I just loved being around her.

Ben:

I remember when Grammy and I were making chocolate chip pancakes together. Grampy walked in and told us not to use many chocolate chips. She smirked at me and put two hand fulls in the batter. They were some really good pancakes.

We watched baseball together when the jays were playing. Also crime shows like CSI.

She always signed her cards with xoxo. It made the card instantly better.

Elisa:

When me and Grammy made pancakes on the mornings I stayed with them. When she would let me sit next to her and she would tickle me. When she made me laugh or gave me candy. And was always kind to everyone. We watched movies together.

Dale:

My mom was my rock. She was my wind beneath my sails. We were very close. She leaves a very large hole in my heart, but I know that one day…one day there will be a celebration. What a day that will be.

Tomorrow we celebrate the life of Sharon. Hers was a life well lived.  She was a wife, a mom, sister, aunt, mother in law,Grandma.. She was a friend to many. A gift to us all.She lived her life for the Lord….and oh what  a legacy she leaves..

The wedding ….

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Fourteen years ago, God brought three young children into our lives when we began fostering and eventually adopted them. ( This photo is actually one from six years ago). Most people reading this blog are familiar with our story. Throughout the years we had the honour of getting to know two of their older sisters.  Before our three children were placed with us, it was basically Maria who raised her siblings, nuturing and caring for them and watching out for them.   A huge responsibility on someone so young. I think she was 1o when we first met her. Anna was 9 I think. We would have taken all five of those kids in if we had been given the chance, if that were an option..so that Anna and Maria could also grow up in a family enviroment with a mom and dad instead of the rather toxic foster home they were in for some time. But the situation being what it was…it was not allowed, but you know what? If it had worked out that way, Maria would never have met Scott..

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From the moment we met Scott, we knew that the two of them had something special. You could see it in his eyes how much Scott was smitten with Maria. He adored her. You could see their love shine through in the way that they loved and cared for each other. They way they treated each other, the way they got along.  The love they had, was and is the real deal.

For somene who has gone through the system she has done amazingly well.  Most would not fare so well, I don’t think, coming from so much brokeness and hurt. Most people would be angry and bitter. But Maria has not let the hard things in life define who she is. She has risen above it. For someone who did not grow up in in a caring home with loving parents…she has become an amazing young woman. Out of the ashes came something beautiful. I really cannot put into words how proud we are of her and how happy that she is our kids older sister and that she has remained a part of their lives.   She is warm, caring, smart and level headed. Beautiful inside and out.  She married in to a wonderful family who love her and support her and have always been there for her. They showed her what it means to be a part of a family, having taken her into their home a few years back bringing stability to her life. Her inlaws Alice and Brad have been married for 31 years and are amazing role models for Maria and Scott.

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Finally after dating for seven years..the wedding day was here. It was a day long anitcipated.  We all knew, almost from the beginning that Scott was the one…her soul mate.  It was a wedding  looked forward to for a long time . A day and a moment in time we would not have  missed .  Not for anything.

It was a fairy tale wedding..outdoors in a gazebo with the fall coloured trees as the backdrop.  Hay bales and golden pumpkins and not to mention a couple goats. ( Kids). The weather was perfect too.  Twenty one degrees and slightly overcast. Perfect for capturing photos.

Elisa was one of the bridesmaids. She was so happy and proud to stand up with her sister on her day. And of course to have her hair and make up done too.  Ben and Jake were given the honour of walking Maria, their sister, down the aisle and giving her away. It was such a special moment. Not having a dad in ther life.. to have her younger brothers do that for her, was a moment that made me tear up.. Well, it was between that and when Maria began to make her way down the aisle. To see her groom, the love of her life begin to cry made a few people cry too I think.

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Below are the messages from our family to the newly wed couple.

Elisa:

Maria; you are my role model.  You are loving, beautiful, responsible, a great cook and much more. I desire to be like you, except I can’t cook.

Scott; you are a great example of kindness. You treat me and my brothers like family. You make me feel very special.

Ben:

Maria; you are personable. you are very kind with your words.  You always smile. You never push anyone away, but you draw them in and love them. You focus on the positives of life and the negatives that have happened over the years have not broken you.

Scott; You are honorable. You hold your own and you don’t back down from a challenge that is put in front of you. You show how to care for your family with diligence and respect. You are a hardworker in all you do.

Jacob:

Maria; You are supportive. When I landed into Canada without my parents and getting ready to start a new season in life, you were there to encourgage. You helped me to get my bearings for my future. You have always been supportive.

Scott:

You are a great example of stability. You have been a rock for Maria and you have been dedicated to seeing this family succeed.

Dale and Carolyn:

Maria; We think you are compassonate. You have been a great big sister to our kids. You have always been involved in their lives and you have shown your love for them.

Scott; We love your ability to laugh and you bring life to those around you. You are easy going . Gentle. You have many great attributes.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

It´s better to have a partner than go it alone. Share the work, share the wealth. And if one falls down, the other helps. But if there is no one to help, tough! Two in a bed warm each other. Alone, you shiver all night. By yourself you’re unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three stranded rope isn’t easilly snapped…

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We love Maria and Scott and wish them a life time of happiness.

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