Just got back from the annual Winnipeg MS Walk. Here I am with my cousin Dirk about to set out on the 5 km. course on an absolutely beautiful spring day. Our family was walking in memory of my cousin Connie who died from complications resulting from MS in 1997. Although our family team wasn’t quite as big as last year we had good representation all the way from my 87-year-old uncle to my cousin’s nine-year old daughter.
Last year after the walk I wrote about my talented and beautiful cousin and my relationship with her. You can read about it on my post Walking For Connie. Recently I found the text of the tribute I gave at Connie’s funeral and here is an excerpt.
One gift my cousin Connie gave me was a new image of God. When I would go and see her on one of her bad days and watch her struggle to breathe, or swallow her food, or lift her head, I would wonder what kind of God would allow such suffering. Connie forced me to create a new image of God, no longer as a judge or the director of our lives. My relationship with Connie helped me understand that God does not cause tragedy, nor does God prevent it. But God does send people who ease the pain in our lives and through the love of those people we are given the strength to carry on. When Connie first got sick I wanted answers. Why did this happen? I wanted justice for Connie. This wasn’t fair. What happened to Connie certainly wasn’t fair. I came to realize however that there were no answers. There was no justice. There was only love.
Our family’s walk today, organized by Connie’s niece Caryn was a concrete reminder of the love we shared with Connie.
We saw some sobering statistics along the walk route.
After the walk my cousin Connie’s sister Lynne and her husband Rod had us over for a fabulous lunch. It was a chance for all of us to visit and catch up with each other. Connie continues to draw our family together even though she is no longer with us.
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