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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Another Long Goodbye

Kathleen Tretheway (nee Crawford)
1930 - 2008
At the end of the final voyage of Anastasis, Tim received word that his mother was ill and was having surgery. By that time, Tim was in India and so he hurried to London, where he met Sharon and young Nathanael and they flew directly on to Nevada in the USA to see his mother, Kathleen. Everyone called her Kasey. Unfortunately, the two surgeries did not produce a satisfactory outcome and follow-up appointments brought more bad news. So our plans for a visit in 2007 changed radically as we relieved Tim’s siblings in looking after Kasey on a longer term basis. Although the news and prognosis were bleak, Kasey was characteristically courageous and steadily recovered from the surgeries. She was able to enjoy many hours of fun and enjoyment watching her new grandson, Nathanael, grow and play daily at her feet. She was a part of many of Nathanael’s firsts: first crawling, first signs (we are doing baby signing), first tooth, first solid food, etc. She was able to roll a ball back and forth with him. She felt relatively well at Christmas and we had a memorable and happy, if bittersweet, holiday season with her.
Her great joy at this time was to be able to see her second grandson grow and flourish and we discovered later that she had written a number of letters to him and to her other grandson, Ty, so that one day they would know how deeply she loved them both. To deal with a number of issues, not the least being lack of a longer term visa for Sharon and Nathanael, and many other official requirements, we handed over Kasey’s care to other family for a few weeks while she seemed to be doing alright. But it was not long before the call to return came and this time Tim went on his own, joining his sister and brother and other relatives in caring for Kasey. Kasey had a very personal and quiet faith in Jesus. As with all of us, we prayed that the difficult time ahead would not rob her of her dignity and personality. We are grateful that these prayers were fulfilled and even just two days before her departure she was able to share briefly a few stories from her youth. She knew she was surrounded by loving family and lifelong friends. She left us quietly one night as we all said goodnight.
Kasey was a wonderful and wise homemaker, mother and grandmother and friend. She was a lifelong artist, enjoying sketching, painting and teaching. She maintained an active and affectionate interest in all her extended family. Her wisdom, thoughtfulness, courage and humor were always an encouragement to everyone.
We miss her. Nathanael waves a greeting to her picture when he passes it in the kitchen. We all wish she could have seen more of all of us, even though called to spend so much time apart in distant lands. But we are grateful for her example, her love and for the many secret notes and surprises she prepared for us before she left. It was a good parting, if that can be said of any loss, and we are grateful for the presence of God who heard our requests and surrounded us with His care and love.