Published: July 2nd 2010July 1st 2010
Bittersweet (adj. bit-er-sweet) pleasure mingled with pain or regret
WoW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! today is finally here. We are officially on our "one year off". We left Spruce Grove today at 2:00 pm and are here in McBride B.C. Today is bittersweet in that this day is finally here, but another important day for us and many others is also here or it is imminent.
Today marks an exciting day for both of us, but especially for Rene. After 14 years of managing Glory View Farms, 13 years of owning his own dairy farm and working on his uncle's dairy farm for several more years as a youth, he has now thrown away all his smelly, dirty barn clothes (for good he tells me....I guess we will wait and see). What ever the future holds for us, living and working on dairy farms has been a wonderful ride.
In this blog I just want to thanks all our family and friends. We know we could not have done any of this without your support.
Darrell and Karen, Graham and Larissa, at Glory View... working for you has been very rewarding and challenging. You have treated us so amazingly for the last 14 years. Your final gift was over the top THANK YOU SO MUCH. (Karen, I may have a few more hotel nights now)
My colleagues... WOW I appreciate you all. Angela, Janet, Bobi-Jo, Bev, Jennifer, Carla, Shawna, Carmen and Joan. You guys are so thoughtful and kind. I can't think of a better team to work with. Joan, thanks so much for advocating for me to take a leave. Without your support I know it would not be happening. All of your gifts were great, and useful I might add. Tim's cards, sporks,phone cards etc. etc. who could think of anything better?
Friends...... Mark and Tracy, Steve and Sue, Mark Webb, Peter, Mel, Lee, Chris and Janet, Darryl and Donna and on and on (so many of you who are there for us), thanks for all your patience in listening and watching this adventure unfold. You can't even begin to know how much we need you. Steve and Tracy--- no crying now (saw them Steve!!!!)
Family.... well what do we say about our families. So many words, so little space, but just to name a few. Mom, how was your appointment yesterday? Glen thanks so much for allowing us to store our stuff at your place. What a God send you have been. Clark, I love you man and you need to know that one of the reasons we are living this dream is because of Vicki and what her sudden passing meant to us. It meant that life is short and we are not guarnteed even tomorrow. If you have dreams, live them!!!! Thanks Auntie Vicki for that lesson. Auntie Sharon, thanks for hosting such a fun BBQ to send us ofF---as you know it has always been one of my wishes to spend time with our extended family. It was great fun and I might add that we have a darn good looking bunch don't we. Rene's family, well I just know that when we get to your neck of the woods you will be just as wonderful. Can't wait to see you all.
Our kids---- Scottie, hit a home run for us this weekend in Kelowna. Be good to your sister and brother in-law and niece this month. Love you.
Amanda and Kyle--- thanks for allowing us to use your Jeep this last couple of months. Thanks for helping me clean my house Manda. (don't tell anyone how filthy it really was) and thanks so much for allowing us to hang at your house the last couple of days and for feeding us while we prepare for this trip. You now have one of the most important jobs of all. Caring for our granddaughter Natalie withour us. Oh gramma's girl... I will surely miss you.
Cyndi and DALLAS---- thanks Dallas for putting humor and fun into our lives, and just to let you know the biking is going FANTASTIC so far. Cyndi, we are so incredibly proud of you. You have had a difficult walk this year with losing Auntie Vicki last August and now your dear friend. Stay strong sweetheart. We are praying for you and can't even begin to tell you how proud we are of you.
So there are the sweet (and thoughtfful) things about leaving. And now the bitter.
As I sit and write this blog, Cyndi's best friend, Danielle Sargent (Gendron) is leaving this life. She is a beautiful 25 year old woman dying of cancer. How do we say good-bye to this young lady? Danielle, we came to see you this morning and I had so many things I wanted to say to you. Things such as "thanks for 20 years of fun and funny memories. (remember walking on the thin ice at the farm, skating on the pond, feeding the calves?) Things like "It was always fun to hear your sweet voice on the phone or when we were together. Or most of all I wanted to say to you " Thanks for being the bestest of best friends for Cyndi. We could not have picked a better and more comitted friend. Well instead of saying any of those things today, we saw you in pain and struggling and our throats had no words, our hearts had only tears and sorrow. Without saying the words Danielle, I hope you know how really important you were in all the Hoekstra lives. So----- what do we say? We say --- God has a beautiful set of angel wings waiting for you in heaven. They are made especially for you and especially at this time. Go wear them, play hard there and be healthy with your new body. And hey, could you save a place for us in heaven? WE LOVE YOU and will MISS YOU!!!!
P.S - Could you give Auntie Vicki a hug for us in heaven and tell her happy birthday?
Mike and Barb, Tristan, Steven and Becky (and soon to be Britian), stay strong, keep the faith. We know God is watching over you all and will give you a peace that passes all understanding/
Well this truly has been a BITTERSWEET day for us, but -----------
We remain "In the Grip of Grace" Rene and Crystal