Monday, July 21, 2008

It's been awhile...

I know it's been awhile. We've been busy with Vacation Bible Camp at our old church; Summer Jam at our new church; Horse and Day camp; Volleyball camp and soccer tournaments. However, we have the next 4 weeks off of any camps, just have swimming lessons 2x a week and one more CYT camp in August. It's a relief and definately gives food for thought for how to structure our coming school year.
Today, we're dealing with sad news. We found out yesterday that a dear friend of ours died. Her name was Arlene and she was our neighbor at the house we just moved from. I'd known her my entire life. Of my 33 years, one year I lived about 5 miles away from her. Eight years I lived 3 blocks from her. Ten years I lived 3 houses down from her. Two years I lived 2 houses down from her. Ten years I lived next door to her. Two-three years in there, I lived within 10 miles of her, but my grandma lived 3 houses down from her, so I still knew her. It was just this past 10 years, being her neighbor, that the kids and I really developed a relationship with her, though. My kids loved her. They would disappear and I'd call and call for them, only to find that they'd rode their bikes the 30 feet from our driveway to hers. Their bikes would be down on her driveway and they'd be at her door, with a picture or a flower. They loved her deeply.
Every Christmas and Halloween, the kids would get a treat from Arlene. At Halloween, it was a baggy of treats and candy. Christmas would bring tasty cookies. We were so busy this year with the house that I didn't get to see her much between Halloween and Christmas. I sent the kids over with cookies 2 weeks before Christmas, but didn't hear anything back from her. On Christmas Eve, her husband came over to let us know she was in the hospital and they thought she had lung cancer. Turns out they were right.
We didn't see much of her the next 2 months, as she was recovering and going through treatment. Then we sold our house and moved 3 blocks over with my mom. We saw her husband, but not much of her. May 1st, the kids took her some paper flowers and Sophia made her a book (with empty pages). Well, Arlene wasn't there, but Sophia left her book anyway. Arlene knew it was from Sophia and sent her a thank you card. Also in May, when we were getting ready to move here, Teddy took the kids over and visited with her a bit. Since moving here, I've been promising to go see her. But we didn't. I haven't seen her since Halloween, or thereabout. I regret that deeply. I regret making a promise and not following through. I regret not going over to pray with her. Not even a note or a card to let her know I was thinking of her. I feel terrible, seriously terrible.
My poor kids were crying so hard tonight. Ben can't process how much he loved her and misses her. Madeleine is just so sad. Sophie doesn't really understand. But I do and it hurts so bad. It reeks of missed opportunity; lost innocence; a grieving husband, sons, mother and brother. It plain sucks. She passed away on Tuesday and her service is tomorrow. Was she a Christian? Not that I know of. But she was a great lady who had a huge impact on my children and I will forever be thankful to her for that.

May 27, 1942 ~ July 15, 2008- Arlene Jordan, 66, of
Vancouver, WA, passed away on July 15, 2008. She was born on May 27, 1942 in
Olympia, WA to Paul and Ethyl Auvinen. Arlene enjoyed gardening, hiking, and
camping. She was a NASCAR fan, and all around loving wife and mother. Arlene is
survived by her husband, Wayne Jordan of 44 years; sons, Rick and Garry Jordan;
her mother, Ethyl Auvinen; and brother, Jerry Auvinen. She was preceded in death
by her father, Paul Auvinen. A graveside service will be held on Mon., July 21,
2008, 2:00 p.m. at Evergreen Memorial Gardens, Vancouver, WA.Published in the
Columbian on 07/18/2008

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