Colleen is rejoicing in heaven


Colleen Margaret Shiras, my Mother-in-Law, went to be with the Lord around 10 am on Monday, November 26, 2012. She was 61 years old. Lymphoma ended her life much sooner than any of us could have expected and it all started a few months back when she fell and couldn’t walk on her leg. Tests discovered she had two holes in her knee caused by Lymphoma. During her stay at the hospital she lost the mobility of her legs and back, her medications were constantly being altered, her voice was becoming weaker and would talk in a whisper and the cancer was spreading to her brain. There were so many questions and no easy explanation for anything. Should Colleen have surgery on her leg &/or back? Will she walk again? Should she do chemotherapy? What about radiation? Everything overlapped one another making decisions even more difficult. No matter which way you looked at it, doing anything would greatly threaten her health. So, after more tests and discussions with the doctors they decided that surgery was out of the question and chemotherapy was not an option either due to her current state and it was just too dangerous. She was put on hospice and sent home to be cared for by her loving husband and the nurses from hospice. At this point we all hoped once at home in familiar surroundings her health would improve, but soon found out that God had other plans. Before long the good days were replaced by sleep filled days, an epileptic episode due to a medication imbalance, inability to eat solid foods or swallow, losing completely mobility, loss of her voice, a stroke, etc. Her health was declining and fast. Through it all, Paul was her rock and showered her with love and kindness. I have no doubt she felt loved by her Savior, husband, family and friends.

Unknown to us, Thanksgiving weekend would be the last time we would see her face to face. We had so hoped to be able to speak to her and have her interact with the boys, but she was asleep the entire time except for two moments where her eyes opened and then closed again. We also didn’t foresee having a miscarriage the first day we arrived either. Our baby was 9 weeks and 5 days old. I cannot even explain the pain that filled our hearts, but I am now comforted in knowing Colleen is with the Lord, her body has been renewed and she is with our baby in Heaven. I can’t be certain why things happen, but I am learning to trust God in midst of the whys.

Philippians 3:20-21 “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”


Trusting God in the Midst of our Whys

Last night was probably one of the worst nights I could ever imagine and at the same time filled with thankfulness for what I do have. At 9 weeks and 5 days, our baby bean went to be with the Lord, Corbin is getting sick and the boys had the worst sleep ever and I think I got a total of 3 hours sleep. I should also mention that this all happened on the first day of our visit with my in-laws. I told Corbin the whole week prior that no one could get sick because Grandma has stage 4 cancer and we can’t be sick around her. We sanitized and washed hands all the time, but he still got sick. Argh! And the last thing I ever wanted was to have a miscarriage at my in-laws especially with Colleen in her fragile state. Thankfully she was on morphine and slept the whole time. We all think it’s best to keep it quiet for now.

Through the pain and sadness, I know I am so blessed to have loving and caring friends and family to help get us through this. It will take time for the wounds to heal, but they will. Even the boys have been so sweet and compassionate. Corbin keeps asking if we are sad about the baby. Oh, how I love my boys.

A sweet friend shared these loving words with me today. “God awoke me early this morning and put a fresh word on my heart for you. He knows that the trials you are facing right now seem overwhelming and even unfair at times. Some mornings you may wake up and wonder if this is all a nightmare that you can’t seem to awaken from. But take heart, my sister, for this is indeed the path chosen for you. The trials are yours to grow from. The Lord is preparing you for an enormous work that lies ahead. You do not know the work now, but you will know in time. What a loving and merciful God to allow you to go through these trials and sufferings surrounded by family who loves you and is growing alongside you. Indeed, what a blessing to not have to face them alone. I praise God for your trials, dear sister, for it is out of love that He allows them for a time such as this. Great responsibility lies ahead for you for His kingdom work and that before these trials you were naive and ill prepared to handle the glorious purpose you will fulfill on the other side. Be encouraged, sweet sister, for thee faster we are moving towards a goal, the more resistance we experience. Indeed, take heart, for the enemy only fires at you because you are a valuable target. Your life will serve as an example to others who will face the arrows behind you. “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him.” Psalm 37:5. Remember that the solution to our disappointments is never found in answering the question why – it is found in trusting God in the midst of our whys.”

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

A day out with my boys

The boys and I went for a walk to River Bend Park. It was a beautiful day and the weather was finally just right. I was able to get some cute shots of the boys and thought I’d share. Corbin will be 5 on December 2nd and Benjamin is 2 years 7 months. These boys constantly amaze me and I couldn’t imagine life without them. Corbin’s imagination continues to develop as he creates with his Lego, makes up his own stories and plays with his pirates. Corbin is my creative guy and loves to learn. He also loves to draw and 99% of the time he is drawing a pirate ship, but on occasion he changes things up and draws a train, ocean theme picture or holiday related picture. Benjamin is my my snuggle guy and I am cherishing every moment. He loves to play cars, trains, pirates and copying everything his brother does (except eating his veggies). While Corbin is the builder, Benjamin continues to be my little destroyer. Whenever he is in the sand box he will be sure to cover his body with sand as it is flung up in the air with his shovel. He also loves to pick apart Corbin’s Lego creations and any other creation he finds. There is no toy in this house that stays together for long. Corbin is coping:)




Family Photos – Szabo Family

Getting the chance to meet up with friends and enjoying the great outdoors is the perfect way to start the day. I was blessed to take the Szabo’s photos and get to know their parents more too. I also love that everyone can just enjoy themselves, have some laughs, walk around, enjoy the natural scenery and we aren’t crunched on time.