Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Best Thanksgiving

Natasha, Reese, Lane and Case

Case William, a precious gift

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for 
1) God's unconditional love
2) my children 
3) my husband
4) memories of my mom
5) memories of Case
7) laughter! 
8) encouragement 
9) my sentimental spirit
10) family both near and far
11) being able to express myself through this blog

Five years ago at Thanksgiving, we had tiny baby Hazel - 5 weeks old - and we had the pleasure of meeting this chunky, happy guy! Case, almost 4 months old.
Natasha and Reese were living in Coronado at the time. Natasha called me shortly after Hazel was born and said that Reese wanted to go to Washington for Thanksgiving AND Christmas! I was so excited!! Two times in the 16 years of our marriage have we visited Lynden for Thanksgiving. That Thanksgiving five years ago was one of them.
Natasha asked me to bring my camera so I could snap some pictures of their family of four. I snapped tons of pictures that weekend! 

I remembered thinking FINALLY we have healing since our mom passed away. The holiday felt more normal than previous holidays spent together. There was healing and there was joy!  
The day after Thanksgiving, my sisters and I went to lunch at the Dutch Mothers and we Christmas shopped. I ran back to Stan and Adie's to nurse Hazel, Case took a bottle from Reese's mom, Laura. It was a really fun sisters day! We ended our time at Wood's coffee. The whole weekend is etched in my memory. God knew that just less than two months later, Case would enter the gates of heaven. 
There was no sense of urgency that weekend. I felt no fear. It was like I just soaked up every moment.  Natasha said to me on Thanksgiving day, at our dads, "let's hold each other's babies." We did a lot of baby sharing that weekend. God knew.
We called Grandma Alma, Jeremy and Monica, Grandma Dorothy, some of my Zylstra aunts and cousins and many came to my dad's!

We saw everyone again at Christmas! Lots of memories were made! It was so great! And the babies were so good! 

1 Chronicles 16:34
Give thanks to The Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. 

Case went to heaven on January 12th. No warning, SIDS, he was gone. He was given the best family during his short time on earth.

Natasha's blog is linked to mine. I would love for you to take the time to read it and to pray for her. She has had a life of struggles, obstacles, grief and blessings... She chooses joy and she lives by faith and I am so, so grateful for this. We are praying for her heart right now, she is 
on several meds and is experiencing tough stuff with her heart. She will go in early December to see the specialists in Anchorage again.  I am so encouraged by her faith in God! 

Life is short. We never know how long we have with our loved ones. I have several friends who are so kind to ask about my sisters, about our matters of the heart, they encourage me and I hope I encourage them!

Pictured below, our cousin Jill's little guy, Case and Hazel Jane. All of these cousins met each other for the first time that Thanksgiving day!! 

Jackson (Jill's son), Case and Hazel

Joan and Case

Grandma Alma and Case



The cousins! 
Me, Natasha, Grandma Alma and Lesha

Willem and Hazel


Natasha said...

So sweet! That was such a great Thanksgiving! We are in "Case season" once again. The 5 1/2 months that he was here, I replay that time in my head every year. Thanks for the great photo memories!

kelly said...

I love the words you used Natasha. The Season of Case! I have so many wonderful memories of this time. The two cousins were new, Hazel & Case. What a special moment when you got to hold each other's babies and you got to share the holidays with so many loved ones. How meaningful to be the time of Thanks too. I am so grateful for you all. Your words are so true Michele, and your lives really speak to being in the moment and cherishing the blessings given by God. I really see that as a gift to so many who witness it, including me. Thank you for sharing that with all of us.