Yesterday, the boys and I drove to Regina. It turned out to be a lovely and full day. We met Mom and Dad for lunch. My two aunties from Weyburn and one of their friends also came, and we had a nice lunch and visit. We went to Chapters after that, and I bought the book Into the Wild, which I have been wanting to read ever since I saw the movie. Then, back to the Southland Mall where Mom and Dad kept an eye on the kids and I got my hair cut (yeah!!). The hair stylist did one of those flip things with it that makes me feel like a Barbie doll, but it was still nice to get it cut.

The boys and I piled into the back of Mom and Dad’s rental car, and we drove over to visit Bernard and Carole Straker. Carole is very ill with cancer, which is why Mom and Dad flew down from Calgary for a couple of days. Carole had been in the hospital for a few weeks, but yesterday was able to go home and so that is where we went to visit. It was a beautiful thing to visit in the gracious home of this godly couple.

The Straker family entered my life in 1976 when our family moved to Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. That was “into the wild” for me. I was thirteen years old –not an easy age to be starting over with friends and school. Bernard and Carole and the other families in the church helped make a difficult adjustment much easier. It was a fun church to be a part of… lots of potlucks, picnics, waterskiing, and just fun times in peoples’ homes. Carole treated me as kindly as she did my friend Lisa, who was her niece. She has been an example to me of how to treat children in the church. Of how to treat people, period. She and Bernard have lived the “church as a family” thing that we always talk about.

Yesterday, spending time in the Straker home, I was struck by the thought that Carole’s world, to an outsider, would appear to have become very small. I don’t think so. Yes, she spent the day in her bedroom, but she was surrounded by love. Family, friends, cards, well wishes… these are a constant part of her life now. Those she has blessed over the years are blessing her. It was precious to see her daughters on the bed with her — hugging her, touching her, loving her. These days are a treasure for all of them. Carole’s world is rich with the love of her family and friends, and with the enduring hope she has in her Lord.

Many prayers, Straker family.