Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Til we meet again . . .

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 Back in October of 1981, I moved to London, Ontario with my ex husband and our three oldest children.  I was heavily pregnant with my fourth son at the time, and he was born at the end of November.   Being a Military wife, I was quite used to moving about.   We moved every couple of years, carrying our lives with us as we went back and forth across the country like a turtle carries it's shell upon it's back.   You learn to be very adaptable.  I never minded the moves and I loved the opportunities I had to see new places and make new friends. There are many people during those 22 years I spent traveling here and there that I could not even tell you their names now, but there are a very special handful that remain dear and close to my heart to this very day.

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Two of those very dear friends would be Kathy and Randy.   They moved into the house next door to us about a year and a half after we moved into our house in London.   The first memory I have of them is of a pair of combat boots flying out the front door of their house and a shouting woman.  I can remember thinking, oh boy!  That is one fiery temper.  (To match the red hair I supposed!)  It wasn't long though, before Kathy and I became close and fast friends.   In fact I would say that she is one of the dearest of all my friends that I have made in my lifetime.  One of the golden ones.

We shared many, many good times together as mothers, as wives of soldiers, as friends of the heart.   We laughed together.  We cried together.  We were pretty inseparable.   We just got on like a house on fire.  When my ex and I moved away from London, the  most heart wrenching part was leaving my good friend behind.  They came to visit us when we lived in Bordon, Ontario and  a number of years later  they were posted to Gagetown, New Brunswick at the same time as we were.   It was great.  The measure of a true friendship is that you are always able to pick up exactly where you left off, no matter how much time and distance has kept you apart . . .

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Somehow over the last 15 years or so we had lost touch however.   I often thought of Kathy and wondered how she and her family were doing.   I never stopped looking for her, and about a year and a half ago I finally found her again through the magic of Facebook.   I was so excited to finally be back in touch.  Like always, it was as if we had never lost touch with each other.   She and Randy were living in Alberta now, he having retired from the forces, and of course . . .  like my own children, their two boys had grown up, and the youngest one was now married.   We vowed never to lose touch again.  I can remember crying with joy when that re-contact was made, I was just so happy to have found my dear friend again, and we have spoken on the telephone many times over the last year and a half.  It's been just wonderful.   There is no better feeling on earth than that of finding a lost friend again.   It is amazing.

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Just recently, two months ago to be exact, Kathy and Randy experienced the joy of the birth of their first grandchild, little Quinten.  I was so happy for them.   This is a picture of them with their two boys, Kathy's mum (holding Quinten) and of course Kathy and Randy.  Their joy has been immeasurable at the birth of this little boy.  The circle of life.  There is no joy like that of having your children grow up and become parents themselves.   It is very fulfilling.  Grandchildren are jewels in a (grand) mother's crown to be sure.


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Yesterday we were having the Sister Missionaries over for supper.   About half an hour before they were due to arrive, our telephone rang.   It was Kathy and she was crying.  I could not believe what I was hearing.   Randy was gone.  He had died very suddenly and unexpectedly on Monday evening of what they think was a heart attack.  I am just devastated for my dear friend and their family.He was a good man, husband and father.   They loved each other deeply and I always admired  the strength of that love to have stood the course of thirty three years of marriage, and all that that entails.  Never was a couple more well matched or as devoted to each other.  My heart aches for my friend's loss.  Gone far too soon.  Please keep them all in your prayers.  Randy, you will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved you, but most especially by your dear sweet wife and children. 

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Rest in peace, Randy . . .  my dear friend.  Beloved son, husband, father and grandfather. Until we meet again.

"We treasure life, we love life, we cling to life, and we should. Life is a gift of God . . . and it matters not whether we die young or old, for we shall go on living. Death will not be the end. We will step across the threshold into a new phase of life. But as this has been a phase, so that also will be a phase."  ~Gordon B Hinckley  

We will miss you, but rejoice in the fact that one day we will meet again.  I know this to be true.  Heaven is for real.

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Cooking in The English Kitchen today  . . . Sticky Gammon Steaks

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14 comments:

Sybil said...

Oh Marie, how sad for your dear friend. I certainly will think of her and the family in my prayers...and not forgettinng you as well. It is so sad when we lose friends for whatever reason..I am so glad though that you re kindled the friendship after so many years. I am sure she will need to hear your loving voice and the wisdom of your words even more now and in the future...God Bless...
Been meaning to ask...Have you heard any more about the prize and trip to Florence ??
Hope that today is a nice one for you. The sun is shining down here not a cloud to be seen. Mary and I off to Chippenham for a wee wander around...and to thh ebank. Peter brought over his cheque for teh holidays so have to put it in bank so I can then pay for us both together for China...getting nearer and nearer now...excitment rising !!

Suze said...

Dearest Marie,

How sad for you friend to lose her beloved partner so quickly and unexpectedly. I am sure your heart breaks for her too.

Lots of love dear friend. I am sitting in MacDonalds while Pip has rehearsals and we are an hour's drive from home. I forgot my jumper and it is a little cool. Off to study now.

Linda Metcalf said...

Very sad news Marie...and just starting o enjoy their grandchild. My heat goes out to her.

kate hazlehurst said...

Deepest sympathies to Kathy, her family and of course you Marie. It's hard coping with a loved ones death but a sudden and unexpected one is devastating for those left behind. Thinking of you all. Much love xxx

Marie Rayner said...

Sybil, I have not heard any more about my trip to Florence. I will have to e-mail them to see what is up with that! I would like to make some plans so that I know how long I have to save up for! lol

I hope you enjoy your visit around Chippenham and that you have good weather for it. It's very overcast here and looks as if it may rain soon!

THank you all for your prayers and thoughts for Kathy. I am sure she is still very much in shock. Thankfully she has two very good and loyal sons there and her mother (who had just left go to home to Ontario) was due to arrive back where Kathy lives late last night, so she will have people with her that love her and loved Randy too. I am sure they are all just reeling from it all.

Just goes to show that we never know which day will be our last. We must make the most of the time we are given. xxoo

La Table De Nana said...

Poor her:(
I can't even imagine..
:(

Glad you two are such dear friends and can share the grief..
She needs you..and I know you are there for her.

Marie Rayner said...

Although I know it is something we will all experience at some point in life, losing our most beloved and dearest, it is not something I am imagine either Monique. I am too far away to be of any real help, but I will try to be as much of a help to her as I can be from so far away. xxoo

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Will be praying for your friend. It will be a very had adjustment for her to make. Losing her husband like that is life changing for sure.

Valerie H. said...

So sad. This is why we MUST make each day count and not take it for granted. We never know if we will be here tomorrow but must have faith that Heavenly Father will take care of us regardless. My heart goes out to his family. Keeping them in my prayers. xo

Carol Z said...

My prayers for Kathy, family and friends. Gone way too soon.

Belinda Ch said...

So sorry for your loss. Will keep both her and her family in my prayers...So glad you found each other so you could be there for her during this time of loss!!(((HUGS)))

Val said...

I'm so sorry, Marie.

LeAnn said...

Oh dear Marie; this was such a sweet and sad story. I will keep your friend Kathy and her family in my prayers.
I am happy that you re-connected with such choice friends. I believe these to be eternal friendships.
We are so blessed to know that we will see them again.
I am sure you will be a great comfort to her.
Blessings, prayers and hugs for you all!

Marie Rayner said...

Thank you so much everyone for your prayers and thoughts. I know Kathy will surely appreciate them and needs them. WE know that they are in a better place, these loved ones who leave us far too soon . . . but the heart grieves what the heart grieves. Death is hardest on the living. Love you all. xxoo