Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Goodbye Anne

A few weeks ago, Jacob and I took a trip back to Ontario. *Details of our escapades will follow shortly in another post.* While I was there, the mother of our dear friend, Ian, passed away in her 64th year. Less than three weeks before, they had discovered an inoperable tumour. Anne Kruis' four children and their families made camp in the hospice where she would spend the last of her days. She was embraced and supported by the love of her children and grandchildren as they gracefully held her hand through the last of her journeys.

Beautiful words were spoken at her funeral in remembrance of a woman who filled her life with volunteering at local charities and community events, spending every free moment cheering on her family members in their sports and activities, knitting beautiful baby blankets for countless new moms (a group to which I am honoured to be a member of). Anne was a passionate woman who voiced her opinion but you could be assured that her heart and the best of intentions were always behind her words. She was a loyal friend and was loved by many, as exemplified when her dearest friend of many years travelled from Holland to join Anne's family in saying goodbye in those final days. She was a doting grandmother who left behind many wonderful memories and lessons to her grandchildren. Finally, Anne will forever be remembered as a fiercely loving mom and an incredible parent. Ian is not only our friend, but he is truly one of the kindest, most compassionate, generous people I know. People throw attributes like that around all the time, but if you know Ian, you know I speak the truth. I tell you this because Anne obviously did something right.

I will always remember Anne for her generosity and compassion towards our family from the day my first child was born. Baby blankets and good ole' fashioned advice on how to tend to a newborn were much appreciated. When the twins arrived (amid our trepidation and fear of how difficult it would be to parent three children under the age of two), Anne was cool in her reassurance that it would all be fine. Her very demeanour suggested that millions of women had done it before me and millions would follow and there was nothing to worry about. When our twins were diagnosed, Anne was there again to assuage our panic with anecdotes of people she knew who were struggling in the same way, but who were doing okay. Whenever we would see her at the Farm, she would rush to ask how things were going. Anne and her entire family played a HUGE role in the planning and in the success of our fundraiser which was organized by Jenny, Ian and other friends and family at the Farm in September of 2005. I will never forget her generosity and her support.

Ian's eulogy for his Mom had my sister and I sniffling uncontrollably through its entirety. Anne's life example made her children proud and they want all of us to know it. Anne courageously went back to high school to get her diploma in the late 80's. I will never forget the sound of Ian's voice as he proudly shared this information with us. Nor will I ever forget the message he ended the eulogy with (but forgive me if I don't have the right words). Goodnight, God bless. Words that his mother spoke at the end of every conversation with those that she loved. Because you never know when it might be the last time you speak with them. Please let her life be a reminder to share your feelings with your loved ones. Tomorrow is not a guarantee.

Thank you and Goodbye, Anne. You will be missed.

Obituary for Annechien “Anne“ Kruis

KRUIS, Annechien “Anne“ - Peacefully at the Stedman Community Hospice with her family at her side, on Tuesday, February 13, 2007, in her 64th year. Beloved mother of Gerard and Brenda Kruis, James and Heather Kruis, Teresa and Patrick Scarlett and Ian and Jennifer Kruis. Cherished grandmother of Erica, Travis, Emily, Benjamin, Leah, Riley, Jared, Bryce and Isabella. Anne was born in Dunoon, Scotland on May 26, 1943. Predeceased by her parents Jan Feiken (Dec. 1992) and Teresa (Curran) Feikien (March 1995). Anne was a longtime member of many church groups, fair committees, the International Villages and the Dutch Club.

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