Christmas News 2011

Christmas 2011

Dear Friends and Family,

Timothy and I want to send you our most sincere wishes for a Christmas season filled with the love and peace of Christ.  He is enough—for the good days and for the challenging ones.  If you do not know Him,  we pray that you soon will invite Him into your heart, life, and mind.

2011 has been a year of significant transition for us.  In May Timothy completed his work at Tyndale University College & Seminary in Toronto.  The many goodbyes were bitter sweet: such sincere expressions of love, coupled with the reality of our leaving many dear friends.  Then, a few hours  transported us from one world—tiny apartment, mega-city, multi-ethnic, North, snow that stays!—to another very  different one—our “old home” in Kentucky, again—yard work, small town, comparatively insular, vibrant church family, South, snow that goes!

Just a few days after, Memorial Day plans took us to New York to be with family.  The shocking moment at the picnic when I realized Mom could not feed herself gave notice of difficult days ahead.  In July I returned to my parents, initially by myself, to help my siblings address the crisis resulting from both my parents being hospitalized at the same time.  Dad got considerably better but Mom’s Alzheimer’s continued to ravage her being until by September she could no longer walk, stand, or care for herself.  I stayed for a month in the summer and returned for two months in the fall.  Timothy split his time between New York and Kentucky.

In the midst of this, we contemplated what it means to be retired really and, for me, the brutal recognition that I was turning 65 (but didn’t feel that old!).  What will the future hold?  Where do we go from here?  Will we have enough money to last ‘til we are ninety?  And on and on.

Well, I did finally really get to come home—just in time for Thanksgiving!  (We now have paid help coming in daily for my parents and the situation is much more stable, although it seems Mom continues to decline.) Timothy was really happy to see me!  And I, him.

I usually do quite a bit of sewing for Christmas, but with all the family stress, I made only minimal progress at my parents’, so when I got home I really had to get busy!  Saturday Sarah and Clint and Madi arrived from Portland (Oregon) and will be with us for two weeks.  So wonderful!  And Jeremy and Laura and Ben and Adah (Indianapolis) will arrive on the weekend, as well as Evan (Phoenix).  So we will all be together for Christmas.  We are thrilled!

As the year comes to a close, we want to give thanks to God for his continued blessing and care.  Our prayer is that in 2012 we might be as faithful to Him as he has been to us.

With grateful hearts,

Joyce and Timothy

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2 Responses to Christmas News 2011

  1. Dave Heughins says:

    Merry Christmas to you, too!

    So glad to hear from you, Joyce – even tho we read your joint blog each week. Our family is still with us. William bought his first home: a rather elaborate camper. Unfortunately, the camp ground closes October to May (oops!), leaving a gaping hole in his housing arrangements. So he is temporarily in our (unfinished) basement. Mary Beth is going through a divorce after two years of separation. Truly sad. The grandchildren are all doing well in school. Christina (17) has a steady boyfriend who will be with us for Christmas. Austin (12) continues to be our son-of-sunshine – a male version of his mother. Nikolas (7) is our “type A” hard-driving little warrior. When he’s good he’s very very good, but when he’s bad he’s horrid. Never a dull moment!

    Marie continues in contented oblivion (12yrs of Alzheimer’s). She’s just as happy as if she were well-cared for. Sleeps a lot. Wanders around chanting “baby baby.” We’ve conceded to feeding her and just-in-case “serenity” underwear. She goes with me just about everywhere. We try to walk an hour a day, but miss sometimes. The Lord is trying to teach me patience – that’s the biggest challenge.

    I taught three sections last Spring (Post University on-line and Reynolds Institute in Worcester, MA), but my summer and fall courses did not go. So I’m reading recent American history to broaden my repertoire. The garden was a little disappointing this year. The pests have got my number, killing off the cucumbers and squash while the tomatoes rotted on the vines half ripened. Just took in the half-formed Brussels sprouts, faithfully cultivated since March! Good thing our survival didn’t depend on our crops!

    But God is good! We love our pastor and our Bible class teacher. I am celebrating recovery from hurts, habits, and hang-ups in Celebrate Recovery! We are expecting a whole new era of spiritual usefulness as God continues to transform us by His amazing grace!

  2. I think Jesus has a special reward in store for Marie. I remember with appreciation her great faithfulness and commitment to her Lord. Thank you, David, for your compassionate and respectful care of your precious lady.

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