Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Monday, May 14th Maw Maw, Vera Springer, passed away after such a short struggle with her pancreatic cancer. It was 2 1/2 weeks since her diagnosis and 2 weeks to the day that she was given 2-8 weeks. It's hard to believe and although it's so hard to say goodbye, we see so much blessing during those 2 1/2 weeks and God's hand in so many of the details. She was in her home which meant a lot to her, she was surrounded by family, so many traveled to see her for the last time, she didn't have to struggle for months and be in pain any longer and best of all the blessing of reaching her eternal home with her Heavenly Father! I just love this picture of her holding Claire for the first time on Mother's Day 2006.
Maw Maw was a wonderful, Christian woman who was often spoken of as a servant and also for her wonderful cooking - famous for her roast, homemade biscuits and Neil's favorite for Thanksgiving, her cherry pie. We never left her house without magazines she would pass along to Neil and she would tell us of interesting articles she had read. She would tell us story after story of her past which amazed us at how much detail she could remember after so many years. Our times spent there with the girls were so sweet. I admired her and especially with my grandma living so far away, I loved her as my very own.

I'm sad she will not be able to see us bring home our son and that Eden probably won't remember her except through stories and pictures. When we told Claire she was going to have to remember Maw Maw and tell Eden and brother all about her she said "I remember her mom - she was so sweet to me. I remember going to church with her. I always liked that." Claire drew a picture of Jesus on the back of one of Maw Maw's church cards from our last time there - we will definately be keeping that one.

This whole experience has been interesting for us as a family as we are teaching the girls about with life comes death. Death is not a foreign topic in our home as we talk about it probably unusually often. I think this has helped a lot but it is the first time the girls are asking questions and have lost someone they know and love. What a blessing they knew their Great Grandma!! Claire has been especially inquisitive and quite profound. Right after telling her, she asked to be excused from the table and immediately started acting out burying a ball saying it was Maw Maw along with a sweet picture she drew and words written about missing her already. Sometimes it's hard to believe she is only 6 yrs old like when we were on our way to the funeral and she said "Sometimes I wonder who am I? and what am I doing here?" Neil and I just looked at each other surprised and then we talked about it =) After the funeral, she also asked "The bible says if you believe in Jesus then you will have eternal life but Maw Maw didn't have eternal life. She died."  Even with us speaking daily of heaven and Jesus being the way to eternal life we needed to connect the dots and reassure her that she is living eternally now!!

Here is another one of my favorites down by the river after we ate out at Acapulco  
Here are Neil and Claire outside the funeral home after the service.
Eden stayed back home with Eric and my dad. It was actually a sweet time for the three of us to spend together. We drove up to Goldthwaite, TX for the burial and spent some time at a park with family before heading back. What a gorgeous day it was - breezy and sunny and not too hot. The three of us has such a memorable day together as we celebrated and remembered Maw Maw.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Maw Maw

Two weeks ago yesterday Neil's grandmother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Maw Maw is 93 and has been so healthy so this all came as a surprise after her not feeling well after about 6 weeks. We have seen her twice since then. The four of us went to Kerrville and spent some really great time with her at her home while she is on hospice. The visit was so sweet... pretty much her same old self telling us stories about when she played basketball in high school - she was one of the tallest and "quick as lightening". Claire served her lunch and the girls made her pictures. She looked good and again, was her same self except for not being able to get out of bed. On our way out she told me I was such a blessing to their family and I can't help but think of how much she has blessed MY life.

Eating popsicles in Maw Maw's backyard
Hair Hats at one of Neil's childhood favorite stores, Gibson's

Visiting the river
On our way home we stopped to pick blackberries. It was a hot afternoon but Eden is still talking about it! Such beautiful colors as the berries ripen. The blackberries were yummy and especially in the cobbler I made!
Today we made our second trip to Kerrville. It was much different and harder but still sweet in many ways. Maw Maw was visibly more sick, uncomfortable, no longer eating, hardly able to talk, got sick while we were there, bedroom door closed... it's so hard to see someone you love anticipate the end of life and be in pain - no matter how peaceful they are about their salvation. Now for the sweet parts - Neil was able to share with Maw Maw how much he always loves her cherry pie - she said "You and John". And how he remembers the smell of her breakfasts cooking when she would come to visit or he would stay with her.  Also, Neil's cousin from Kingwood and another from Colorado was in to see her so we were able to visit them and the girls spent time with their second cousins. Went to the creek bed, played outside, laughed up a storm while eating ice cream, ate clementines....making memories.  I also got to spend some special time with Elaine listening and doing my best to comfort her.
Annabelle, Eden, Claire, Ethan and Cameron

Saying goodbye was really hard. Elaine thinks she will pass away soon. Neil plans to go back Monday or Tuesday. Please keep Neil's family in your prayers!