Sunday, January 12, 2020

My Friend Hanna

          We lost a dependable, stalwart friend and strong example.

    When I first moved to this island I missed my family so very much. Hans and Hanna Gielisch were very similar to my own mother and brothers. She and I could talk German together which was important to me as I was not using my mother tongue very much away from home. 
    Both of these lovely people loved music. They listened to a huge collection of records and CD's. They wanted to be moved physically by the music at church. The organ needed to send sound waves through them so that they could vibrate with sound. Since I was often the organist at church I received feedback on my playing almost every week. I remember feeling Hanna grab my arm and squeeze telling me softly that she loved my music that day. I will miss that.
    Hanna was an example to me of hard work. Even when she hurt terribly from arthritis she still went outside to work. Die Frische Luft was invigorating and the creating of outside beauty fed her soul.
  I teased her often that the gnomes she collected in her yard were going to be stolen someday and taken into the words to be set free. Early one morning my seminary class tiptoed into her yard and gnome napped her group of jolly little people. I got a call towards noon and she knew exactly who to blame. I told her they would likely come back. We added an attack duck to the set of gnomes as a little bonus when we returned them.
  I imagine that her reunion with Hans, her husband was humorous and loving. They bounced off of each other very well. I'm sad to see her go and will remember her always.
             Our Savior loves you Hanna, He always did.


Friday, January 10, 2020


“The only way you're going to reach places you've never gone is if you trust God's direction to do things you've never done.” 
― Germany Kent

I launched myself in a new direction in October. My daughter  asked me to join her in a challenge of giving up flour products and sugar. "For our health," she said, "and because I want you to live a long time."

The spirit whispered she was right. I turned a new direction.

Then October 16, 2020, I felt a hard lump in my breast and another new pathway opened up. After many tests the diagnoses was confirmed, I had Ductal Carcinoma the invasive type. 

   If this makes you turn away, I understand. I couldn't read too much about cancer without feeling vulnerable so I did look the other way. But here I am facing what seemed too hard to see. 
  Giving up flour and sugar was a revelation from God for me. The radiologist, reading my ultrasound, turned to me and said, "You should think about giving up sugar." Cancer loves sugar and I love sugar so both of us had to change direction. Ironically, the same radiologist later claimed she didn't remember giving me that advice. She did however tell me, disappointedly, that the evidence was strong that sugar does increase cancer risk. So I feel like God was giving me a change of direction in a kind way before I had my cancer diagnoses. I was through the craving stage before I had to face my next challenge.
   I am through two surgeries now and perhaps I could say that I'm cancer free. Radiation as secondary insurance is looming ahead but I can testify that God is with me. I also feel the presence of my Heavenly Mother. That might be a foreign concept to many. But I believe I have a Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother and she is as concerned for her spirit children as I am for my mortal children. 
  Changing direction has been difficult and scary but I am feeling hope and seeing myself out of the woods at a later date. I am speaking in the manner of hope and assurance.