Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Official Cause

So the 'Official' cause of death for Darren is blunt force trauma. So basically the impact killed him. There is no need to share more details then that of the accident. However, the investigation does not show any fault on Darren. The cause and fault lay the driver of the car. It was their error, not Darren's.
Our family are strong believer's in God and we have all certainly been brought closer to each other and to God because of this trauma in our lives. We believe God is amazing and can do amazing things. It's easy to be angry at God for taking Darren. But we know there is a reason. We are just not privy to it at this point. The testimony of Darren's life is pretty amazing to see where he came from, things he did, to who he is today.
Darren always told my sister that he felt he was with God when he was riding his Harley. He would worship and sing to God while he drove and took in the beauty of nature. I asked my sister if I could share part of a vision that was shared with her. She said I could. God provides different gifts to everyone. We all excel at different things in our lives. A friend of my sister's often has visions from God, some people have trouble with this, but I can speak for all of my family when I say we know God can do things we just don't understand and we all feel this is one of them. Even before we read the letter to my sister.
My sister called her close friends to let them know of Darren's death and asked for prayer the day Darren died. At this point we really had no information regarding the accident other than the basics. Darren hit a car that pulled a u-turn and died. The next day my sister's friend was given a vision and I will share just part of this with you. It is really amazing. In the vision Darren is on his Harley driving and Jesus is with him, by the handle bars on the left side, just in front of Darren, basically where he would be holding with his left hand.
The second before impact Jesus grabbed Darren's left hand and pulled his spirit to Him and ascended into heaven (the short version). There is much more to this vision but that is for my sister. I wanted to share this you so you can see how God works.
We had no idea of the details of how Darren hit or what exactly happened. We did find out he broke bones and such, which we basically expected.
Here is how amazing God is. Darren broke his arm and leg on this right side, along with other bones. But Darren's left arm and hand were unbroken. This is the hand and arm that in the vision Jesus used to pull Darren's spirit free. The person who had the vision had no way of knowing any of this information and we didn't know it either until the viewing on Friday.
This speaks to me of how amazing God is and that He was there with Darren. In all this God is with us. The details of the vision are a true testament of God caring for my sister and her family.
You might be saying, ya good for you if you want to believe that, but I don't. Well, I have to say I'm so sorry for you. God is good and He is there for anyone who asks.
Darren used to struggl with believing in God. Darren was at a men's conference and prayed, God if you are real, prove it to me. Make that pastor stop speaking and come and say Hi to me. Right then and there, that pastor stopped and went up to Darren and shook his hand. This is in a large group of people with Darren being in the very back.
God is real and He loves you. It doesn't matter what you have done or if you think you are not good enough. You are amazing and God loves you unconditionally.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Saying Goodbye


As a family and close friends the kids asked us to wear Harley shirts and jeans. I bit unorthodox, yes, but Darren would have loved it. I think we made a good statement walking into the church with our Harley shirts. Showing we are strong together, make the statement that we are a family.
The burial difficult. Watching my sister holding Darren's urn tight, crying not wanting to let go, but knowing she has to. Heart wrenching. We then one by one we added our dahlia's to the grave.

At the church we waiting in the 'family' room. We heard that people were lined up to the road. The church holds 800-850 people. It was full, there were a few empty spots, but not many. How encouraging for a man who said he didn't think even 80 people would come. We remembered, we worshiped God and we prayed.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Today my family, all 16 of us will go to my sister's church. We don't know if my sister will be up for coming. But we will be there to support her family. After church we will be back at her house. We expect a few extended family to visit that have come from out of town for the funeral tomorrow.
On Friday we had the viewing. I was not looking forward to it. Really, not much right now is worth looking forward to in the next few days.
At first my sister had wanted it family only and a few close friends. At the last minute she opened it up to everyone. It was amazing to see the support. The love that everyone has for her and the kids. The viewing was 3 hours. I thought it would be a very very long 3 hours. It actually went by quickly, for the most part.
My sister had Darren in a side room so it could be more private. She was the first one of course to go in. My dad helped her. It was heartbreaking. I sat with the kids and discussed what to expect and explain it a bit more to them. One by one, they joined their mom. Then my husband and I joined them. It was very odd to see Darren. He didn't look like himself. It was him, but not. His hands were exactly him. He seemed to big for the coffin. I think we all sorta expected him to sit up and say it was all a joke. My sister held his hand the entire time. I really don't think she saw anyone else who came in the room. It was a very difficult time for everyone.
When it was coming time to leave, she asked everyone to gather around and pray over them. We layed hands on them and prayed. Then everyone left them and we closed the door so they could have a private time. My husband and I joined them. My sister, I can't believe how strong she is. She took time to talk to her kids and encourage them, to make sure they each said a goodbye. Then she shared her heart. It was heart wrenching. We all wept. Then left and wept more with those waiting outside.
I received a text as we left and some friends stopped by our house while we at the viewing to see our cavernous fridge. We really had nothing, when we've been home, we have eaten toast. They called to tell us they were getting us a few groceries and what did we need. I wept again. To be loved like that is an amazing feeling. But my mind couldn't even think of what we needed. I listed some basics and then asked them to join us for something to eat at the restaurant. I had not really eaten that day and my husband was starving. It was such a huge blessing to sit with them for a few hours. No sense of death hanging over us. It was so therapeutic and much needed. And the groceries were a huge blessing to us. Thank you my friends for your practical display of love.
Saturday was the day to go to the cemetery and pick out the grave. I didn't make it. I had to pick up a few things my sister needed. But I met them at a local place that grows Dalihas. My sister decided that she wanted Dalihas to be Darren's 'flower'. One that they can take when they visit his grave. We all spend time walking around picking out the one we wanted to be able to lay on his grave. What beautiful flowers.
Monday, we will bury the urn. It will be a very small ceremony, just family and few close friends. It's not open for everyone. But then, we will celebrate Darren's life with all who choose to come to the funeral, or as my son mistakenly called it, the festival. It will be an amazing time. There are some amazing songs picked, my niece has put together a slide show of her dad and some sharing. I will be bringing a box of tissue. At this point, I think we should really all just carry a box with us everywhere.
We appreciate your prayers and continue to need them.

Friday, August 26, 2011


Right now, our life is not our own. And we are okay with that. Actually on Wednesday we stayed home. My kids needed some 'normal' as bad as it feels to do anything normal right now. My sister and parents worked on paper work and getting Darren's business in order, along with the mass amounts of phone calls to figure out numerous other things that come with a sudden death. Darren's cousin, Albert, wife, Carmen and kids came down from Saskatchewan and spent some time with my sister and her family, so we decided that they didn't us there to add to the noise. Theresa and Darren have always been close with Albert and Carmen. So they all needed some time to mourn together. It also gave my folks a break, which they needed as well.
Thursday we went to check out the church and discuss the reception arrangements. Once we got to the church we realized that is was much to small. We are blown away with the amount of people who are calling and contacting other people close to us to find out about the funeral. So we decided to move the service to the church right beside, which happens to be my parents and my home church. We are grateful they are able to accommodate us on such short notice. Then we will walk over to the other church for the reception.
After figuring all that out, we headed home. But my sister, her kids and my folks all headed out to the funeral home. They needed to provide clothes for Darren. A very difficult thing to consider. Once there, they were able to discuss how the viewing would run and such. And we headed over for dinner with them.
Today, is Friday. Today as a family we will have Darren's viewing. Theresa has decided to keep this a family only viewing. She has said that Darren did not want a viewing but that she had told him that she would have one for him as she needs it. And I completely understand. Darren's death was so unexpected and fast.
It's crazy that I'm sure we have all discussed these things in jest with our spouse before. But the reality is, it's important to know our spouses wishes....if ever. And this is the...if ever...time.
I have felt cried out the last two days. My heart is broken for my sister, nieces and nephew. Our lives will not be the same without Darren. We all depended on him in different ways. I could call Darren anytime if I needed something. He would always help me right away. When I was younger he always made it clear that if someone hurt me, he would take of it for me. He always had my back, even when I didn't know it. He was like that with everyone. He was the person who would hear someone needed some help, he would show up, fix it and leave. Expecting nothing. And the more people we have talked to this week, the more we have heard these stories.
I am scared for tonight. I can't imagine what my sister and her kids are feeling. Please hold us in your prayers tonight.
My sister is hardly holding it together at this point. Again, I'm so grateful for my folks and those who are supporting us. The people who just check in to see if there is anything we need. My sister's friend Paula, who just comes and does the household things. She is amazing and a huge blessing. There are so many people who are helping, I don't even know all their names, yet I talk with them each day.
The kids are each different with how they deal with things. But we are holding each one in prayer. It's going to be a very long time before this seems real. We all say many times a day that we just can't believe it. We all expect Darren to come walking into the room.
We will feel the hole he's left in our lives for a very very long time.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

It's Wednesday. I checked.

We really lose track of the days right now. It feels like so much time has passed, yet we know the coming days and years will be long and sad.
Today is Wednesday, almost 5 full days that we lost Darren. The hole is large, unimaginably large.
On Monday, my dad went to the Mission RCMP to pick up Darren's personal effects. His wallet, watch, phone, Ipod and incredibly his sunglasses that were not damaged. His Ipod froze on the last song he was listening to with 18 seconds of the song left: So long Self, by Mercy Me. One of his favorite bands. Darren would only listen to Christian Music on his Harley. He always drove at the back of the pack, claiming it was the safest, but his alternate motive was so he could worship God and sing loud. He told his wife that when he rode his Harley he could feel God with him, that he was the closest to God at those times, worshiping and riding thru God's glorious nature.
On Tuesday Darren's best friend Dave, who was riding with him the day he died. Took 2 of the kids and they went to pick up more of Darren's things where his bike was being held. Dave also took the kids to the crash site to explain what happened. Both of them said it was abundantly clear that the people who caused the accident really just couldn't see Darren because of how the road slops and rises. The kids knew without a shadow of a doubt that it was an accident that the driver of the car had no intention killing their Dad.
They were able to pick up Darren's vest, head bandana, jacket, gloves, helmet, saddle bags and shoes. It was another very sad moment when those items were brought into the house. They also removed a few items from the bike for memory purposes. And then they showed us the pictures of the bike and car at the towing yard and the damage. We also went over the order of service for the funeral. Not to mention the amount of phone calls and items my dad is trying to get to figure out insurance and other items involved when someone dies.
The flow of people is slowing down. Other people have lives to get to. They are not mourning like we are. Today we are at home for the morning and will go back to be with family this afternoon. We have to do a few 'normal' things like laundry and mowing the lawn. But to be honest, it feels wrong. It feels wrong to be normal.
Personally I am completely emotionally drained. I feel like I have no tears left. I know I do and I know they will come. They will pour down at the service, I already know this. I feel them threatening with I'm discussing 'normal' things people who have no clue what we are going thru right now. I just want to grab them and yell "Don't you know! My brother died! My sister is a widow! My nieces and nephew have no father! How can you act so normal!" But I just try to hold back the tears, nod a thanks and hurry away.
We are all exhausted. We have many things left to do before the service on Monday. And then we discover a new normal. Without a flow of people, trying to get the kids ready for school, trying to live without the love of my sister's life.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I never Imagined

Darren holding my girly when she was born

We left our camping trip early after we received news you never want to hear.
I'll post about our camping trip another time. Frankly, I have no clue where my camera is much less have we even started to unpack our trailer.
My brother in law, Darren was killed on Saturday. He was driving his Harley and a car coming in the opposite direction pulled a U-turn directly in front of his path. He swerved to miss them, but didn't. He died, we believe, basically instantly. The 4 passengers in the car are unhurt, but the driver now has to live with his mistake and the fact that he took a life.
He leaves my sister a widow and his four children fatherless.
My family is close. We are spending most of our time at my sisters. Supporting. Crying. Cleaning. Retelling. Loving.
We are all crushed. My dad and mom have stopped their lives, really in fact, we have all stopped our own lives. But my dad, I just can't believe how much he has done. He is strong, but he cries with everyone to. He makes sure we love each other. My mom is loving on everyone to. My brother in law ran his own business. My dad and my other brother in law have taken over to make decisions. It's a hard thing as Darren kept a lot of info in his head.
My sister and I, we just do. We see and we do. We answer the door, we handle the food coming in. We sit and cry with the kids. We make sure each person is eating and taking care of themselves.
I never in my entire life expected to write an obituary for one of my family members. I never in life thought I would be sitting down with my family and discuss the funeral arrangements for one of ours. I won't even bother to tell you all the sad and terrible details that come with that.
My kids have been amazing. I have had many offers of people willing to take care of my kids. But because we just don't have a timetable of how long we will be, it's hard. The last few nights we are not home until 10 pm and my kids have been so great. To be honest, my husband has been taking care of them most of the day, I really have no clue what they do during the day. My husband has also been in charge of dealing with putting the food in the freezer. Emptying the garbage, getting it ready for garbage day and he just generally is stepping up where he sees a need. He also is crying with each child, saying we don't have answers.
We know Darren is in heaven. We all have our faith in God. And it is so evident that God is with us. Why did God take Darren when their life was so amazing and good right now. I just don't know and really it's not for us to know right now. God will reveal it, if He wants to. But being a Christian is a lot about faith. And let me tell you, having faith is very much tested right now.
We have a very difficult road a head of us. I have no idea what it will look like. I know that my life apart from my sister, it will be put on hold for now. Except for the things that we have to do. I have cleared my calendar. My job right now is care for my family, not just my kids, but all 16 in my family.
I am so very thankful that my family is pulling together. It's amazing to see how we just gel and fit together with our strengths and weaknesses. How we each step up and how we just cry together and work together.
The funeral is this coming Monday. Then we will have to discover our new normal.
God will carry us. I am so very grateful for my family. And I'm so very grateful for our God.

Friday, August 12, 2011


I can still remember
roller skating around the block
down Eagle then right on Lynn
and around back to Westberry
I loved it
My mom is a saver
and my kids found my skates

my little man calls them Rollerblades
I'm trying to explain the difference
but really,
it doesn't matter

their daddy helped them
the skates are way to big

but still, they had fun

and my little man
even needed to show his Grandpa
that he knew how to 'Rollerblade'

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Glamping Trip #2

Glamping = Glamorized Camping
we have an RV
we plug it in
we have a microwave
we have a bathroom
we have comfy beds
I think you get the point
we Glamp

We went a short way south

with some friends
we had a great time

the weather was cool
but enjoyable
I didn't take enough pictures

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Honey Muffins

My kids love it
when I bake something
for their breakfast
so a fast and easy
recipe to whip up
like these Honey Muffins
were a must do for me

  • 2 cups All-purpose Flour
  • ½ cups Granulated Sugar
  • 3 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 cup Milk
  • ¼ cups Butter, Melted
  • ¼ cups Honey
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, butter, and honey. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until combined. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake at 400ºF for 15-18 minutes.

My kids loved these
and loved the ease of
throwing them together

Give them a try
I plan to add Carob
when I make them next

Monday, August 8, 2011

Menu Plan Monday.....NIGHT

We made it back
this afternoon from
a short camping trip

I hope to do some
cooking that will
benefit our camping trip
for next week
yes, that's right
we are off again next week
for 5 nights

No point in starting
with Monday so
I'll get right on with Tuesday

Chicken Soup
cut veggies
my boy has been
asking for this
for a week

I'll make extra sauce
and freeze some
for a camping meal

Chicken Fajitas
cut veggies
I'll cook extra chicken
so we can have this
meal for camping also

I'll be making extra
for camping

Spaghetti Bake
(from the leftovers)

Breakfast for Dinner

I hope to get these
extra dinners prepared
to make camp cooking a breeze

For more menu ideas
be sure to check out
The Organizing Junkie

Friday, August 5, 2011

Turning 4 on the 4th

My little man
is a fireworks baby
he was born on the 4th of July
we do live in Canada
but with a sister in the USA
they were very excited about the date

Like most years
we were camping
for his birthday
I don't do parties yet
we keep it low key

He had a great time
each time we go camping
he asks if we can bring our animals
and stay there to live

We gave him a tool box
he has really enjoyed it
and enjoys fixing anything
that he deems needs fixing

Happy 4th Birthday
to my little man

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Summa Time

It's a busy Summer
we have been camping
and hanging out at home

Our first camping trip
was 10 days
with my folks
and some of my family
we stayed fairly local

I was super excited
to see these amazing
metal sculptures

designed and made
by a local artist
Kevin Stone
Metal Animation

he has a few on his yard
people are welcome
to come and see them

Kevin was home
the day we visited
such a nice guy
and wonderful to talk with
he also restores
vintage vehicles

it was a great place
and amazing work
if you are local
check it out

I'll post more
on our camping trip
or trips I should say
we leave tomorrow for another
short trip

Monday, August 1, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

We are having a busy summer
my blogging
is on the back burner
We've just gotten back
from a 4 night camping trip
and I'm cleaning the clothes
to put right back in the trailer
as we head out again for this weekend

But without a menu plan
I feel lost all week
so here goes for this week

beef burritos
with salad

Lentils with Rice and fried onions

Sausage Potato Soup

in a homemade white sauce
cut veggies

we leave today for camping
Simple Sandwiches
cut veggies

Simple BBQ Chicken


BBQ Hamburgers

We head home on Monday
only to clean and pack
and get ready for our next trip

For more menu planning ideas
check out Organizing Junkie