Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Eternal Joy

Early on the morning of September 8th, Ken & I, as well as our three littles were in the middle of having our devotions at a hotel in Grand Forks, North Dakota. God had led us there to purchase a Suburban - a nine passenger vehicle that we will need once Baby arrives in January '09 ... but that's a story for another post ...

The phone call was from Corbyn, our oldest son, back home on the farm in MB. One does not really expect to hear from family at a hotel - this time however, he had received a call from Grandpa in Saskatoon and he needed to pass along the message:

My sister, Vonda Vernelle Wiebe, had passed away peacefully in her bed at her home in Saskatoon sometime during the earliest morning hours of September 8, 2008. Her passing came as a surprise to everyone as she had not been struggling with her health to any great extent. The coroner pronounced her death "due to pnuemonia" - a malady that had plagued her since her first month of life ... in fact, her first Christmas, at 1 month of age, she was hospitalized due to pnuemonia. A lifetime of pnuemonia bouts had deteriorated her lungs to such a degree that now they had just filled up leaving her no further breathing room. Yet she had not struggled, in fact the evening before our parents had spent a couple blessed hours with her and brother Vanden visiting and singing, she was even laughing and involved - just no indication of the eternal surprise that awaited us all.

It is in fact, surprising that she lived to be nearly 41 years old having nearly passed away traumatically numerous times during her short life. This picture was taken a year ago, right around her 40th Birthday (a big celebration):

Vonda's final journey into glory came so peacefully and without a need for anyone to try to intervene to sustain her life, that it offers us the assurance that this was indeed God's time to welcome her HOME. Her work on earth was done. She has gone to her ETERNAL JOY! We are so blessed to know where she is, that she is no longer suffering and that we have the assurance of meeting her again someday, when she will be there to welcome us to glory!

In reflection now, we are humbled to see how vast an influence Vonda's life had on those she knew - her family, her teachers, her Care-Givers, her peers, her Province!

She loved people & eminated an infectious joy to everyone around her - melding her heart with theirs. Each person was special to her - and she related to each according to their own special personality. Though she never spoke in English, she communicated marvelously in her God-given way!

We miss her dearly, though we grieve not as those without hope.

Her brother, Vanden, who is also a physically & mentally challenged young man who lived with her most of her life, misses her the most. His life has the greatest void - her joy, her presence, her laughter is silent now, leaving a huge emptiness in his home.

If/when you pray for us, please pray for Vanden most of all - how can he understand and grieve her loss? We do not know the extent of his comprehension though we sense now that it is way beyond what we ever knew.

To God be the Glory through Vonda's life!

1 comment:

Bonnie said...

I was surprised to hear of Vonda's passing, and sorry I couldn't attend the service. I think I will always remember her giggles the most, the sheer joy she found in simple things. I was glad to hear of how many lives she touched - God works in amazing ways, doesn't he?

I will try to remember Vanden in my prayers, too.