Where have I been?

April 19, 2014
I've been absent but want to come back! Fortunately my blog is kind and has not deserted me....There has been way too much to even go over of what has happened in the last two years so I will begin with what has happened in just the last four months of this year. In January, actually on my birthday January 5th, Gentz's dear mother Mary who was 92 passed peacefully into the next life. There was a terrific snowstorm that day,church was canceled and Gentz and I spent the day over at her house watching over her as she was on hospice and the time left was short. I read Winnie the Pooh to her, we played some music, we had a quiet sacred day. About 7:30 pm we decided to change her sheets and her as she had sweated out her t-shirt...after doing so and Gentz lovingly applying ointment to her back and talking gently to her she stopped breathing. Just like that. Her spirit left her body. We were very grateful to be there with her. What an extraordinary woman! How everyone loved her. We miss her. But she had a long life and was ready to go.

                                                                     Mary M. Franz

                                    "If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together..
                                         ..there is something you must always remember. 
                                     You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, 
                                              and smarter than you think. 
                                       But the most important thing is, even if we're apart.
                                       .I'll always be with you." From Winnie the Pooh 

                                              Our last sisters' retreat..Dec. 2013. Minnesota
Our last Scentsy Incentive trip together. Whistler, B.C. Canada June 2013

Then just six weeks later on Feb. 19, I received a phone call from my younger sister Becki from Minnesota who had just received a cancer diagnosis...with disbelief in her voice she said: "I have cancer!" "Where?" I said.(Isn't that what we all say??)  "In the breast and it has metastasized to the liver and the bone." We knew at that point that it was very bad of course. Gentz and I made plans to get there as quickly as we could...we arrived on Friday, Feb. 21. Her son Peter was there..she didn't look well, but she could still communicate. Brekke and little Luci would be coming in from California on Sunday.

For the next week we watched her deteriorate like 5 years each day. Then on Saturday, March 1, just ten days after her diagnosis she slipped away...again, on hospice, in her home...all of us were there. Peter and I had been in the room with her...he left, I held her hand and encouraged her to go.
...just five minutes after her dear son left the room, she sweetly and softly stopped breathing. She entered that next room, that realm of spirits where Mother and Daddy were waiting to welcome their little girl home.

Gentz and I couldn't bring ourselves to leave the room until they had come to carry her gently out of the house. It felt so sacred...we felt truly altered from being there. How fragile our lives are! How grateful I am to know that she lives on and is not that far away and is so very happy and at peace!!

But I miss her...we live together in families in love and we weep when they die. I am still reeling from this as all who love her are. We can't believe it! How could this happen? She owned a Health Food Store,Grammas Pantry in Aitkin, MN, she ate organic all her life...she was young..only 59..she still had dream! How could this be??? But as we all know, cancer is random and none of us know when our time on earth will be up. I love her...I miss her and wasn't ready to let her go, but she lived her life fully the last year of her life. She only had to suffer with cancer for one week. She did it her way. Just like she would want. 
I will include in the next post two talks from her funeral because they describe perfectly Becki..one is from my son Gentzy, her nephew who aptly called her "A folk Hero" and the other one is from me.
 She loved her little Luci so much and she and Brekke were as close as a mother and daughter can be.
 She loved traveling with Pete as he worked on his different movie sets throughout the world I think this is Spain, but I'm not sure. Her plan was to walk that 60 mile walk in Spain when she turned 65..from the movie The Way..Via Del Santiago....Pete plans on doing that for her.
 This is in St. George from one of our sisters' retreats. We started getting together in 2011 after Mother died...how grateful I am that we did that..we had such fun together!
This was her last day in the hospital..Thursday...she came home on Hospice the next day. It was a peaceful day..she was able to talk a little bit, smile at her friends, sign some papers and here interacting a bit with Luci.

She lived her life with courage and passion.She never complained.She rose above difficulties, she worked hard, she loved hard and she died hard. She is such an example to me. I want to live my life more courageously!

Rebecca Lynn Jones
Oct. 12, 1954-March 1, 2014
"Alice laughed, "There's no use trying," she said, "One can't 
believe impossible things."  "I daresay you haven't had
much practice," said the Queen.

"When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why,
sometimes I believed as many as six impossible
things before breakfast." - Through the Looking Glass

And so, the beginning of 2014 I have said farewell to two women who have helped shape my life. Two women who I loved with all my heart. Two women who loved me and two women because of whom I will never be the same again, but better, kinder, braver and more adventurous!! Thank you dear Mary and darling Becki. You will continue to influence my life and the lives of so many others.