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