My husband, Garnet and I drove to Calgary on Friday September 22, 2017 to prepare for the memorial service for my father, Clare martin. We were invited to supper at Jessie and Richard Mercer’s house. They, being the oldest friends of my dad, were happy to remember him and his importance in their life.After a few hours with them, we drove to Heather and Dale Rasmussen’s house and let ourselves in since they were at a theatre production in downtown Calgary until late. We had breakfast with them the next day. Our morning was spent there, not far from Woodgreen Presbyterian Church. Garnet drove us by the Millrise Point of View condominium before we went to the grocery store and picked up the catered food we had ordered for the reception. Our thoughts were sad. We met Don and Judy and their three children and friends. Later, my cousins, Ken and his sister Leslie Banister arrived after a game of golf. It was good to get some of the family there. There were over a hundred people at the church service. One man came from the condominium and one other couple. A man named Leroy Reid arrived from Crestwood Presbyterian Church in Edmonton where Dad had been pastor. Another couple represented New City PCA Church in Calgary (the VanHills). Brad Jones was the one who presided but Garnet preached the sermon which was simple and focused on the passage in I John 3.1-3. See how very much our heavenly Father loves us, for he allows us to be called his children, and we really are! But the people who belong to this world don’t know God, so they don’t understand that we are his children, and we can’t even imagine what we will be like when Christ returns. But we do know that when he comes we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. And all who believe this will keep themselves pure, just as Christ is pure.
We had just enough food with a few fresh vegetables left over. Garnet got nothing to eat. I am usually careful to get him a few things but he needed to go to a store and get a bagel and a drink after. We covered ground by meeting different people. Judy also met a few and we exchanged stories after. Some cards were gathered and people signed a guest book. Garnet and I were near to last to leave the church. A birthday party near Judy and Don’s house was being held for Amy, our niece (Sept. 20th) and for Don, our brother-in-law (Sept. 25th). It was a rough night for Garnet, who had a glass of ale with his cheesy pizza and woke up sick during the night. He had a sermon to preach that morning from Mathew 4.18-25. It turned out well for him. After the service, we got in the car and made our way to Kimberley, where we were greeted by a very enjoyable couple who manage the Chateau Kimberley Hotel. We had gone for a swim at the thermal hot springs at Fairmont before arriving. In Kimberley, my home town, we had supper in the Peddle and Tap, a hipster-run resaurant. The next day, we went early to the cemetery where Jill and Carl Martin, Judy and Don Simmons, Aunt Dale Zinovich and Jordan and Adele Jinovich had come to join us. Garnet did some introductions. We heard Carl play a guitar piece he had written two years ago. He also played a Bob Dylan piece. Then I blurted out my lament poems which set me to weeping. Garnet read John 11. 25-27. Jesus told [the woman who had gone through so much in her life] I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die like everyone else, will live again. They are given eternal life for [cherishing me] and will never perish. Do you believe this, Martha ? Yes, Martha said.
It was a fitting ending word. Yes. We can cherish the one who has the victory over death and we ourselves can be dead but not die. Yes !
All of us went to brunch at a restaurant in downtown Kimberley near Mark Creek. It was a good time of sharing memories and being together especially with Dale, who is the last of her siblings. She was so clam and seemed very comfortable although she is on a liquid diet and had come out of the hospital only the day before. Jordan and Adele were going to stay with her to oversee her until the new diet program, offered by BC Interior Health was in place. Garnet and I visited the Kimberley Heritage Museum where we photographed photos of my parents. Their high school graduation photos were on the wall. 1953. It was very helpful to go over my roots and remember Kimberley, it’s Sullivan Mine where my grandmother Eileen Patience met my grandpa Fred Botterill, or was it at Mark’s general store ? There seems to be a lot of memeorabilia surrounding the hockey team The Dynamiters. My mother’s uncle Bill Jones was remembered in a booklet I bought. The mine tour was closed for the season. We drove up to the ski hill (Silver Star) and went up to my grandparent’s house on Trail St. (#622). My elementary school, Lindsay Park, was in session, it being a school day. St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church lost its grounds keeper last year Earl Betker, my parent’s dear friend and mentor. My mother’s aunt Elsie Jones (Bill’s wife) who was also a mentor to my mother and me passed away in May. My parents were buried on either end of their deaths yet we saw all of them together before all four had passed. Sweet Goodbyes. Sweet reunion on the other side of the veil that separates us from God.
Everything is over for my parent’s earthly life. We are so grateful that the best life is in the flower and not in the seed. Mom (July 18th, 2015) and now Dad (September 25th, 2017) were just seeds, we planted in Kimberley Cemetery on those two days. Their flower appears now before the father of lights. God has been good to me in giving me this page to turn in such a thoughful way. God knows my sentiments. He really does. He sees us and weeps beside me. He takes my hand. He leads me.
Garnet and I stayed in the Chateau Kimberley so he could teach his class for Farel online. Then we went to eat again at the Peddle and Tap. They have a delicious banana layer cake with peanut butter chocolate cream filling and a thin chocolate frosting. After the breakfast surrounded by Mary Ann Bidder’s realistic watercoulour paintings among those of other artists who have their work exhibited throughout the hotel, we got in the car for the long drive back to Kelowna. (Salmo-Creston and Kettle Valley route). We arrived Tuesday evening Sept. 26th. to resume care of Dorothy Zoellner, Garnet’s mother.