Monday, December 8, 2014

Celebrating Aunt Millie

Back in October, we visited family in Oklahoma and were able to see Aunt Millie and Uncle Gord (my great aunt and uncle). It was the first time ever for Philip and the first time in a long time for me.

Even though Aunt Millie was in the hospital (for low sodium), she looked Great and was thrilled to see us!   

We had a wonderful visit with her and Philip was So glad to have been able to meet both Aunt Millie and Uncle Gord.   Just a few weeks after our visit, we got word that Aunt Millie's cancer (that she had beat 15 months ago) was back and had spread to her liver.   Her remaining few weeks were spent in her own home with hospice care and were mostly pain free for her and she was still able to enjoy her family (and lots of Butter Pecan ice cream!) =)

Awesome picture of Uncle Gord and Aunt Millie just five days before she went home to heaven!

On December 3, 2014, she got her wish and was taken home to be with her Savior.    She was then reunited with her parents, four sisters, son in law, Bob and son, Jim.   

It was really important to me to go to the memorial service, especially since I was the only one of my family close enough to attend.   Philip was doing his reserve weekend on base and wasn't able to go.   Moriah chose to accompany me (on the 2.5 hour, one way drive to Oklahoma) rather than stay with Keenan and Caleb at a friend's house.   I was happy to have her along!

Ready to go

The service was very nice.   About 50 people were in attendance and Many shared about their favorite memories of Aunt Millie.   The overwhelming theme was that Millie loved the Lord and she loved her husband Gordon! =)   Carol, (her daughter) shared about what a blessing it was to have both of them for parents and what a happy home they grew up in.   She quoted Proverbs 31:28, "Her children arise and call her blessed.   Her husband also and he praises her..."  They were married for 71 years!!

Her grandson, Brent shared that Aunt Millie met Uncle Gord at a church picnic when she was 7 and he was 8.  He threw a piece of gum in her hair, and later when her mom had to cut a ringlet out, she said, "That Gordon Dodds!"  Haha!

The pastor talked about how she, more than anyone he had ever known, was excited, looked forward to, and talked about going to Heaven.   She couldn't wait!

In her last days, even in her discomfort, one of the songs that was at the forefront of her mind was "God is So Good."

Her grandson, Blake, sang several songs and ended with "Find Us Faithful"... talking about the rich example and legacy that both Aunt Millie and Uncle Gord have lived out.

I love the chorus of the song:

"Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
May the fire of our devotion light their way
May the footprints that we leave
Lead them to believe
And the lives we live inspire them to obey"

What a woman.   What an honor it was to know her and to be part of the celebration of her life.

I also got to meet some of the Canadian cousins from Aunt Millie's side, who had flown in from Waterloo, ON for the service!   How awesome!

Three Canadians
Marilyn and Sharon (daughters of Aunt Millie's older sister, Helen)

Uncle Gord with his great grand-daughter, Millie =)

Big family picture

Uncle Gord with his daughters Carol and Barb, Barb's husband, Buddy, their two sons, Blake (with Jenna) and Brent (with Millie).  Brent's wife, Lori and their other kids weren't there because the kids were sick

The big tree was gorgeous and Moriah loved the huge peppermint decorations!

There were quite a few flower arrangements and not enough space in Uncle Gord's little apartment, so Carol asked if I'd like to take one home.   She chose this one for me, which is extra special because it was sent from my family in Ontario!   How awesome!

Carol took this picture on her phone - she just loved how the flowers matched Moriah and I =)

It. Is. Gorgeous!

I am sooo happy to have it in my home, I can hardly stop staring at it! =)

(I also love that it doesn't look "funeral-y at all) =)

After the service, Barb and Buddy, Carol, Uncle Gord, Sharon and Marilyn, Moriah and I, and two other couples all went to Braum's for dinner.   Yum!!

Thanks to Peter and Erica who had Keenan and Caleb for eight hours!   What a blessing you are!


The Woodfords said...

How special that you and Moriah were able to go! What a beautiful tribute to such a godly woman - thanks for sharing, Joia!
Love, Steph

Mark and Rebekah said...

What a beautiful post Joia! I didn't know Aunt Millie very well, but she sounds like a beautiful woman who has left her family with a godly heritage. It's so special that you were able to be there, and that you'd reconnected with her such a short time ago. Thanks for representing the family and for updating us on how it went.
Love you!

Barb said...

It was such a special blessing to have you and Moriah there!

Wendi Kitsteiner said...

She sounds a lot like my Grandmother. I can only hope people say that I brought them to Jesus the way my grama did.

Mom W. said...

OH, thanks for letting us see what the flowers looked like!! Good colors!!! Great pictures of family, SO glad you were there Joia!!