Saturday, August 30

Saturday Thoughts

(this picture of these wild flowers was taken at the cemetary where my little grandson's body was laid to rest. )
It has been a sunny and windy day - Saturday. A quiet day. With my housecleaning done, thanks to my daughter Ashley, I have had alot of "space" to (as my counsellor put it) "just be"...

A walk first thing in the morning, with my dog Oreo. He just loves it when he realizes that one of us (or both) is hitting the road for a walk! So, today he walked with me alone. As I was walking, I realize that this road, Springfield Road, has been watered by many, many of my tears over the last few years. Tears when I was walking through my depression, through my moms death, a year later through my dad's death.... tears over my kids leaving home (although that was good, they had grown up and were doing what we prayed they would do, be able to fly on their own) ... there were still tears as I adjusted to the next stage in life that of "empty nest"... for a while I didn't drop any tears on the dusty road, until my grandson Jay died. Now I am walking and weeping often again.

Today I walked, but I didn't weep. However, I thought of it all... and realized that if we ever move, I will miss this dusty gravel road, that I have traveled over and over the past 25 years. Half of my life has been spent in this country home. WOW...

I went to the farmers market today, and then watched an outdoor wedding happen at Pineridge Hollow, where I had first just wandered around looking at the market. of course, I am also in the wedding mode, with our daughter getting married in a day less than four weeks. Again, the surreal and realness of grief meets the realness of wedding joy.... I keep wondering how we do this all at the same time, and thank God for the time-released grace that He gives for each new day!

And then, I travelled down the gravel road to the cemetary.... I had my journal, my lawnchair, and a little bouquet of flowers to put on my grandson's grave. I can't put my finger on it, but today, as I prayed with my husband before he left for the day, I wept... and then I felt compelled to go and just sit at Sunnyside Cemetary. It was so quiet there, although the wind had come up. The sound of the trees rustling was music to my ears. There were birds flying. A couple cars came through while I was there, and I couldn't help but think that perhaps they were a little mystified to see someone sitting in a lawnchair at the foot of a new grave.

Actually my grandson's grave doesn't look so "new" anymore, as my son Josh went during the week and took away the extra gravel mound, and put some black earth on it... and moved his little marker to the head of the spot. As I sat there, I journalled. Seems that it is a way that I can talk to God... although talking to him has always been easy. Try as I might, the "why God?" still comes out of my lips. I realize that even though I ask Him still, that I know in my heart that God doesn't owe me any explanation, and that He loves me more than I realize, and is okay with my big questions. I realize that I will likely never know the reason why, at least not this side of heaven, and I have a feeling that when I get to glory, the reason won't seem so important anymore.

I have thought alot about heaven lately. Infact, thinking of my parents, and my father in law already in heaven, have been great comfort when Jay passed away. When my husband dreamt about Jay, I could not help but ask God for a glimpse of heaven in my sleep too...

So far it hasn't happened, but I am still praying that one night God gives me a little glimpse of my grandson in heaven!

It seems that life has just really taken on a different perspective. It feels like we just can't even take our life for granted. Not that I thought we were , but looking back, I think we did.

The bible talks about our life being but a breath - and it truly is.

God knows the length of our days, as it said in Psalm 139 "before even one of them came to be."

Psalm 139 has been my favorite Psalm, and now it will forever be attached to my Grandson Jay.

Outside now, the night is upon us. The wind is blowing. There are storm watches. And I feel like in my heart, there is a wind blowing as well. I am still just doing life.... trying to enjoy each amazing moment - trying to experience the joy of my daughter's wedding - trying to remember all the joy of watching my grandson grow as Leah carried him - trying to process the deep grief - and all the time wondering if the pieces of our hearts will come together. That was what made the tears come this morning, as I prayed for my husband, and then before I said amen, I asked God to somehow, please bring the pieces of our heart together. This is my prayer, to God who knows all, and loves me so much. The one who has the answer to my whys. The God who delights in hearing me speak. The God to whom I am expecting much, and having faith that He is going to do a miracle!! Have faith - expect Miracles. O God, hear my prayer. Amen. Good night!

Saturday, August 23

A full schedule is merely a distraction...

Today I found myself feeling aimless in many ways. And sad. And while I feel like there are no tears left to cry, then the floodgates open, and the tears run. I have seen a counsellor, and I thank God that there are gifted, trained women (and men I am sure...) out there, who can help me through the tough stuff in life. "Even when my heart is torn.... even when I feel deserted....when I feel like hope is gone...yet I will praise you Lord." I have gone through the most intense weeks of my life, these past four weeks. And, there are times when I feel distracted with the fullness of a work schedule that just does not let up.... in fact, in the middle of this whole in my heart - (the whole that is left by the million shattered pieces of my heart...) In the middle of it all, "the show must go on" .... there is work to be done, there are ministries to be run... just because my life is feeling like it is suspended in time - I realize that everything around me, everyone around me... LIFE IN GENERAL... carries on. The schedule that I have tried to bring "balance" to (if there is such a thing) has only seemingly gotten more heavy with each passing week. And somehow, in the midst of it, regardless of our shattered hearts - deadlines must be met! And as I sit here today - I realize that this full schedule which has often had me quite down and discouraged, is really just a distraction. Because while I am at my workplace, it often seems like my life/emotions/thoughts/tears get pushed a little farther back, and I operate on rote.... but when God brings a friend into my work space, or an email from someone, or a phonecall - I am zipped back into the painful reality of having lost our little Jay -

I guess sometimes distraction is okay. But, it just means that when I am alone, it all comes tumbling onto me again...
My summer was marked by specific markers - first my 50th birthday - then Jay's birthday and then two months later, Ash and Mike's wedding. We are also planning the wedding, and yet, it still feels like we are waiting for Jay. How does that work?

Today as I sat and visited with the other grandma, I realized that this whole walk through the deep dark valley, is a walk that we will journey for a long time... it is just not something you "get better from " or "get over" contrary to what some people believe. I am not even sure if time heals wounds... I think it just looks different over time...
Today as I went about my day, I found that I was feeling more and more sad. I talked alot about my grandson Jay today. I even told strangers about him. And I realize that I am a very proud Granny.

God thank you for giving me those months of being able to feel Jay kick... and watching the movement, and those times of praying for him, hoping and dreaming about him, and making his rag quilt .... Those were not distractions, those were very real.
Of God, thank you , thank you, thank you!

Sunday, August 17

I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me....

I believe in the power of prayer. It is a language of my heart... and I believe that it is also part of the gifts that I have been given through the power of the Holy Spirit. Today my husband and I were talking about how we are praying.... and whether it is hard to pray in case we are hurt again. I have to be honest. I struggle with how God answered our prayers on behalf of our little grandson Jay. But, I know that God knows all that.

So today, I decided while sitting in church, that some scripture really jumped out at me, and I think this was a God-thing.... so that I knew how to pray! And, I have decided that I need to thank God for his answer, even though it maybe a long time away.

And then, I read the most amazing story out of a new devotional my good friend Tracy gave us. It began with the verse from Acts 27:25 that says, "I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me." The story that accompanied it was amazing.... about how George Mueller (passenger on board a ship) came to speak with the captain of the ship, telling him that he needed to get to a certain destination by a certain date, and he thought that they should go to the chartroom to pray! IT says in the devotional that the captain had never met someone like this... and he answered to George Mueller... that the fog was so dense, did he realize that, to which George replied, "no, his eyes is not on the fog but on the living God who controls every circumstand of his life." And then, he knelt down and prayed. Then, told the captain that he wouldn't have to pray, since he (the captain) didn't believe God would answer anyhow.
And that anyhow, the fog had cleared. Sure enough, it was gone!

I believe God answers my prayers.... and so today Lord, you know the cry of my heart... the cry for my children. Lord, hear our prayers! Show favor to us Lord we pray. And we thank you for what you are going to do. amen.

Sunday, August 10

As for me and my house... we will serve the Lord

I have realized that tragedy makes you take a good long look at life. It makes you ask tons of questions - and there are times when faith looks more academic .... more "head" knowlege verses "feeling it in your being." I am so glad that God, He knows all this about me, and I trust that He is okay with my ranting.

I have realized that it is during this time, that the faith and prayers of others, truly carry you. It is tangible! I have felt this before. It is this, the fact that I know God is faithful - I have seen that in my life, in my parents life, and in the life of my grandparents! I know that there has been a legacy of faith that has been passed down. Although each of us has to make our relationship with Jesus, our own. We don't get into heaven on the shirttale of a parent!!

I have realized, and have been also reminded by my daughter - in -law, that in this life, in regards to tragedy, we have two choices.... to go through it WITH GOD or to go through it WITHOUT GOD. And, I have chosen WITH GOD.
In fact, we have all chosen to do it WITH GOD.

I have realized that our grief is in many layers. We grieve as we have lost our long awaited grandbaby! We grieve as we see our kids in so much pain, even deeper than ours. No one should ever have to bury their children! We grieve as we see the pain in our daughter and future son in law who have lost their little anticipated Kanoke!! (That is what we were nicknaming our little Jay). Sometimes in the midst of our own pain, I forget that they were anticipating being an auntie and uncle to this little one! Their pain is deep too.

We grieve, although we have hope that we will see and hug our little Jay again...
We have comfort knowing that one day we will be reunited.

We could do it without God, but why would we even consider that? It would make more sense. As for me and my house.... we will serve the Lord. We will praise him... We will do it WITH GOD. We may still rant, we may still have more questions... but He is going to be our strength.
O God.... give us joy again.

Friday, August 8

If Only

My arms ache
My ears are attuned
My eyes fall on little children and I feel - in the very pit of my being
a sense of hurt, excitement, injustice, abandonment, anger, joy, love and hope
all rolled into my being
An ache that is constantly there
If only I had held him more, and talked less on the phone that day
If only I had opened up his little blanket and examined his little shoulders and belly and limbs
If only I had opened his little eyelids and gazed at the blueness of his eyes
If only I had sand "Bye Baby Bunting" to him
or whispered I LOVE YOU JAY one more time
If only....

If only - in those last 5 minutes, he had breathed, or his heart had continued to beat
If only instead of weeping in deep sorrow, we had wept tears of joy
If only - instead of a white rose taped to a closed hospital room door, it had been swung wide open unable to contain the people rejoicing
If only I had taken more time to smell him - that amazing new baby smell
If only I had kissed each of his little ears, and each little finger and toe
If only he would have breathed
O Lord - if only

If only the kids would have carried him out to their car, instead of a green box containing his memories and hearts that were shattered in a million pieces
If only their nursery would be dim because he was asleep in his crib,
intead of dark and dim because it hurt so much to see it prepared but empty

If only their album was full of pictures of Jay alive,
instead of him asleep in Jesus.
O God - if only
There are too many if only's
Too many.

If only this bad nightmare would go away and we could roll back the hands of time and do it over again - only that it would have a different ending.
O God, if only.

Lord, hear the cries of our heart
You know and feel our sadness and pain.
You collect our tears in a bottle.
O Lord, bring us through this intact, whole, complete and trusting.
Because although we don't understand, we are choosing to trust you on this.

Wednesday, August 6


When our Grandson Jay Benjamin Klassen was born and passed away on July 24th, 2008 at 12:02, our son's best friend came and took beautiful pictures of our grandson and his mommy and daddy. It is all we have, and they are a gift beyond words.

He put the songs into a dvd format, and put the song I WILL PRAISE YOU LORD to the photos.

Amazing song. How is it, that a song can capture all of the thoughts of my heart. Of OUR hearts.

I would like to find out the story behind it... but have written out the words, and they run through my mind and across my heart more times in a day than I can recall.


I will praise You Lord my God

Even in my brokenness I will praise You Lord

I will praise You Lord my God

Even in my desperation I will praise You Lord

And I can't understand All that You allow

I just can't see the reason

But my life is in Your hands

And though I cannot see You

I choose to trust You

Even when my heart is torn I will praise (trust) You Lord

Even when I feel deserted I will praise (trust) You Lord

Even in my darkest valley I will praise (trust) You Lord

And when my world is shattered and it seems all hope is gone

Yet I will praise You Lord

I will trust You Lord my God

Even in my loneliness I will trust You Lord

I will trust You Lord my God

Even when I cannot hear You I will trust You Lord

And I will not forget That You hung on a cross Lord You bled and died for me

And if I have to suffer I know that You've been there

And I know that You're here now


I have learned that right now, praising is hard. But when I do, I feel lifted

I have learned that right now trusting is hard.... because I feel like I had trusted/entrusted my grandson's life to God...

BUT, when I look back on God, his faithfulness....I know he is trustworthy, even if I don't feel it right now. God is okay with me asking/thinking/saying that. He still love me regardless of my doubts.

Today, God took me to Psalm 23.... especially the verse about the valley of the shadow of death. Oh, this is where I feel like we are still walking.

I love the verse about God restoring our souls.

This today, is my prayer...

Tuesday, August 5

From Heaven the Lord looks down....

This morning, as I sat at our local coffee shop, Mountain Bean.... I had a good large cup of coffee, my Bible and my journal. The sun was yet to peak through onto the chairs and table where I sat. It was actually cold out there. (but even colder inside with the air conditioning). I love sitting out there on their patio. If I shut my eyes, it feels and sounds like I am away someplace on vacation. It is a great place to spend the first part of my morning. With Alvin dropped off at the firehall shortly after 7 am.... and not having to go into my office at church till 9 am... it meant that God and I had some time together.

God laid Psalm 33 on my heart. I have to admit, that when it began with sing joyfully, I really wondered if this was actually the Psalm he wanted me to read today. But I read on...

"....He is faithful in all he does...." Okay God, you know, I am really struggling with this one. After all, in regards to the birth and death of our little grandson.... we prayed for him, right from the first day when we heard.... we prayed. God, where is your faithfulness in that? I just don't understand. (I have realized that it is okay for me to wrestle with God on these thoughts. He is far bigger than my questions of doubt and perhaps mistrust at times??)

But as I read on, I was reminded again.... "the earth is full of his unfailing love."

Lord, I know we are covered with your unfailing love. I know you are faithful even if right now, I am not feeling like you are....

Vs 13 to 15 says that "from heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind" and that "he watches all who live on earth -- he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do..."

I believe that as he looks down from heaven and sees me, and my kids.... our family.... that His heart breaks with us... that he grieves with us, as he carries us. And that "the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love..."

I know that I can not do it without God. I wouldn't want to even think about it. I also know that right now, it is really hard to do it with GOD!! It feels like each step is a chore, and sometimes it is one step forward and two steps back.

O Lord, you know me.... the one with all the questions. You have heard the ranting and raving from this granny's lips. You know that I love you, and that I do trust in you...

So, I will wait and hope for the LORD. You o Lord, are my help and my shield. And I know that my heart will once again rejoice...

O God, may your unfailing love rest upon me - my family - especially my kids who are grieving even deeper loss...

Lord, may your unfailing love rest upon us, as we put our hope in you.

O God, I don't know what else to say.

There are just no words to describe. But you know. O God, YOU KNOW.

Monday, August 4

Yet I will praise you Lord

I have just watched my Grandson Jay's dvd - and as always, I am affected by the song that accompanies it. It talks about praising God...

Praising Him in my brokenness, in my desparation, when I can't understand all that he has allowed. It is about praising Him when I can't see the reason for all of it. It is about trusting him, CHOOSING to trust him when when my heart is torn, when I feel deserted, when I am in the darkest valley. When my world is shattered, when it seems that all hope is gone.

About trusing HIM in my lonliness, and when I cannot hear God.

I realize that God must have gone through all of this pain too, when his son Jesus hung on the cross. And also that as Jesus intercedes on our behalf, he knows the pain too. This truly has felt like the darkest night of my soul. And yet, for my kids, who lost their son, it is all that more painful. I just can't imagine.

Here I sit at home. It is quiet as no one else is home. I seem to like this quietness. It gives me room to think, to pray, to journal. But then, I have always liked to have some of my own space from time to time, that's no secret.

But here I sit, and thoughts of my grandson flood my being. Again, it feels very real, but very surreal at the same time. Like it is just a bad dream. But it is not. I am a Granny, but my arms are empty. And while I grieve, I also grieve for my children.... and I just can't imagine the depth of their pain. I also grieve for my daughter and future son-in-law, as they were counting on being the greatest aunt and uncle around. I grieve for their loss too.

Sometimes life is just so hard. There are times when it seems like the valley is very deep. There are times when it seems God is both far away, and yet carrying us. Like right now.

This morning God laid Psalm 22 on my heart.... and I admit, sometimes it makes sense why, and other times, I think maybe I just thought God gave the psalm number to me. But today, as I went to get my Bible... and I read, it was the cry of my heart. "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? why are you so far away when I groan for help. Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer. Every night you hear my voice but I find no relief. Yet, you are holy....." and then when David describes how he feels..."my life if poured out like heart is like wax, melting within me..." (this is how Jesus felt on the cross. O Jesus thank you for going there for me!) and then "O Lord, do not stay far away! You are my strength; come quickly to my aid!" and then at the end of the Psalm, vs 29 and on.... "our children will also serve him. future generations will hear about the wonderf of the Lord. His reightous acts will be told to those not yet born. They will hear about everything he has done."

I have found comfort in this Psalm this morning... it said things that my heart is feeling... David is so like that! He went through so much...even losing a son himself. He is so transparent, putting his words on the page. The Psalms have been a comfort to our family especially over the last week and a half. I was thinking about the last verses though, and thinking ahead, as God gives more children to our family.... more grandchildren to my husband and I. I know that our firstborn grandson Jay's life will always be part of our lives, and will be shared ... and as we share about his life and his death, people will see how God carried us through it, how he gave us strength when it felt like there wasn't a shred of strength in our bodies to go on. We thank God that our children, all 4 are serving God, no matter what. We know that our story is one that is constantly being written... and I know that God knows all about it, and He is there for us.

So Lord today, on this beautiful day.... may I see your fingerprint all over it. Like you have often done, I ask again, that you would give me a "kiss" from you... so that I am reminded again, that even in this dark valley, you are there...

May your arms carry my kids through this time. May you give them strength in all areas of their being. O Lord, hear my prayer.

"even when my world is shattered and it seems all hope is gone...yet I will praise you Lord."

Sunday, August 3

Great Love ---- Great Pain

I have become a grandmother - and my arms held my little grandson, although for only a brief time. My Grandson, his much awaited arrival, turned into the hardest pain that I have ever endured. Without any warning, without any reason, our little grandson Jay, was born and passed away July 24th, at 12:02 pm. He was the most perfect beautiful little guy that I have ever seen. Perfect. Completely Perfect. So why God? Why?

I have asked this question many times, and I am so glad that God is bigger than all my questions - all my ranting and raving. The thing is, all of these questions - who am I to know the mind of Christ. I figure I will ask this question until the day I die... and I think perhaps that is what I will ask God when I see him, but then again, when that time comes, I will likely just be so glad to be reunited with my little grandson, that the question will not be asked.

Nine months of carrying this little guy.... I have watched my son and daughter in law, and I believe that there is not a couple that were more prepared and so excited about their first born son's arrival! I know that for my husband and I - we had so many dreams of what we would do with our little grandson...

But within minutes, it all changed. It was unbelievable, and at times it still doesn't seem real. However, we know it is.

As we held our little guy - the tears fell. It was as if life stopped. And really, it did. For some reason, his life stopped somewhere between the womb and his entrance into our world on the outside. That day I became a Granny - a very proud one! And my husband became a Poppa.

We knew we loved him, but as each month passed, we loved him even more. I had often commented on how amazing that was, that we could love so deeply, without seeing him yet.

And then, we got to hold him... and we realized that the great pain we experienced then, and still now, was because of our great love for him.

Our grandson Jay, will always be the love of our lives. He made us into grandparents! And even though his little life was so brief, the impact he had on our hearts was so great. We will always remember him.

We walk through these days, alongside of our son and daughter in law - and at times we feel numb still. However, we know that God is carrying us, and is able to give us strength. I also believe that He does grieve with us, even though our little Jay is with him! We also get such comfort knowing that some of his grandparents are in Heaven, and no doubt enjoying him!

We are thankful for the prayers of those who have heard about us, and know and love us. We realize that however, there are also people praying, who don't know us well, but have heard. We are so thankful that we are part of this amazing body of Christ - and that God is our rock! We don't understand, but we believe. We don't know how to keep walking, but He gives us strength. We feel like we have no tears left to cry, but know that he collects our tears in a bottle.

We don't feel like the sun will shine again, but we know it will. Joy will come in the morning....

To our little grandson, Jay Benjamin.... we love you forever, we love you for always. As long as I'm living, my grandbaby you'll be!! (book: Love you forever by Robert Munsch)