endless HOPE…

endless HOPE…

#21 – Learn to Live Again…Give Again


If this is your first time visiting EndlessHope, you may want to read Our Story and posts 1-20 to catch up on the journey – either way – Welcome, there’s endless hope…

Journal Entry November 14, 2014 – Where to start…or rather where to continue on.  It’s been 6 months since the last post.  Six more months of getting on with the living of life – mostly doing well & thriving – in the back of my mind wondering when, how, and maybe even why, I would should or could continue to write and process through my personal journey.  Tonight is the night.  After 90 minutes of fiddling around tying up loose ends around the house, and knowing I finally have a chunk of time and this on my mind…here I go, with now only an hour to spare.  I’m kind of weird this way (maybe some of you can relate) as it’s like if I don’t have 3-4 full hours and am not sure I can really do this start to finish, pour my heart out, edit and preview, and then publish…I don’t even want to start.  I keep leaving myself reminders to just work on it for “5 minutes”, to just start, knowing it really is about getting “a round tuit” more than anything for me.  Procrastination mixed with Perfectionism?  Hmm, not sure.  But did ask a friend to say a little prayer for me tonight to get motivated to at least try again….even if it turns out short and meaningless.  So apparently more proof that prayer does work…’cause I’m typing.   :)

I wander back into this account, find my way, trouble shoot some password issues, etc, etc.   Totally shocked when I get in, to see that in the past 5 calendar months that have had absolutely no new posts, there have still been over a hundred pages read each month.  And in the last 90 days readers from 37 different countries have read over 300 pages.  Again in total amazement that any of this is making its way through some intricate networking web of friends and contacts, and maybe bringing a bit of hope and encouragement to others.  Ok, that’s enough for me.  A little more writing.  So many topics that have built up in my mind and on lists…

90 day reach ending Nov 14 2014

(click image to enlarge)

Where to start…what to write about… there is still so much to work through in those next moments after post #20…good bad ugly and sparkling moments of hope, what about that first mothers day, this new FB app I can’t figure how to remove that haunts me with photos on my phone, deciding whether should put up Brandon’s picture with the other kids in our new little living room, missing my boys – one in Alberta & one in heaven, all the memorabilia I stumbled on while organizing & purging closets 10 days ago, funny family budgeting moment I remembered, amazing Remembrance Day lecture we heard this week, but maybe first…

Friday October 24/14 – Day of the most recent funeral I attended, for Cody Kehler, 17.  Two grade 12’s from the highschool just down our street were killed in a head-on collision while en route to Thanksgiving Dinner.  Girlfriend and boyfriend for a couple of years, soon to graduate.  We didn’t know them personally, but friends of friends – how devastating.  My daughter didn’t tell me about it for a day or so, as my husband and I were just heading out-of-town and wanted to not upset me…I found out too and did the same with her, not wanting to mention to her until I knew I could be around for sure to talk it through.  Several days later I searched for details of any service that might be published…feeling drawn to attend.  The girl Chantal’s was on a Wednesday, and the boy Cody’s on the Friday.  Both were in the afternoon and 50 km away from work, and was unable to make it on the Wednesday, but as Friday morning came I remembered again, wondering if I could make it work to be there and pay my respects.  Things were so busy and yet I felt this tug to go.  Was there going to be a big opportunity to connect with the family, or with some of our kids friends that would be there – how was it that I was going to be able to help spread hope?

By the time I left work, battled traffic, and rounded the parking lot looking for a spot, I worried that I had missed half of it and wondered if I was really supposed to be doing this, or what.  I slipped into the back door and took a seat in an empty section without disturbing anyone.  I listened to the brave people who gave tributes to this handsome young man.  I listened to the minister give a message of inspiration and comfort – Oh how the Mighty have fallen – calling out how Cody lived and loved so mightily. I had gently glanced around the crowd at certain moments wondering, “who am I here for…who needs me to encourage them or meet them with compassion in their grief?”  As I watched what turned out to be a full 15 minute presentation of photos to music…it started to become clearer.  He was such a precious boy, such a cute little baby and adorable toddler, with endless pictures of him and his brother, casual family moments and action shots, displays of his  athletic talents as a teenager, moments of tenderness with family at all ages of his life.  As I watched I got a feel for what he was like, though I didn’t know him, and also felt the gravity of this family’s loss…and then some of his pictures couldn’t help but remind me of my own brown-haired, brown-eyed son.

I found myself crying for Cody and his family, and then I found other tears added as my loss and grieving for our Brandon was being re-opened.  I hadn’t thought I had closed it up, but in fact there was a realization that I had shoved those feelings and facts down deeper than I knew, as it was too much, too much pain, too much to think about sometimes. When the service was over, I looked for maybe that opportunity that I was really there for, to hug the family, to give a kind word, or shed a tear for the young man with a friend who knew him…but that moment didn’t come.  It just didn’t feel right, so I soon weaved my way through the crowd of hundreds, and headed for the car.

During the ride home I asked, “God, what was that all about?  I’m glad I got to take the time to learn about this remarkable young man and pay respect, but no one even knows I was there, so who was I there for?  It would be a waste without me affecting someone right?”  Silently I felt the answer…it was about Cody, and what if it was also about Cody’s life having the chance to affect little ole me?  What if this was the means to open my heart, or just a part that had become guarded and maybe almost closed, but was not completely healed yet…to open my heart back up to process, to share, to find more purpose through this sharing, to offer inspiration to others and in turn be emblazoned with more of a passion for life.  What an amazing legacy of Cody’s Mighty Life – that it would go on to affect another, even after seemingly ending much too soon.  Thank you Cody and Chantal, your lives will continue to make a difference.  To their families, they will never be forgotten by you, nor their friends, but also by many of us that stand with you in loss, grief and yet celebration & amazement of two young lives lived so well.  I feel inspired to again find another level, in which to increasingly learn to really live again…and give again…

…that’s endless hope…it’s found its way back to me…and now I share it with you…pass it on…


Janine Kurtz

4 thoughts on “#21 – Learn to Live Again…Give Again

  1. Beautiful, Janine. Brought a tear to my eye. You are such a blessing and one of the bravest people I know. Hugs

  2. Your story definitely resonates to me in so many ways…. especially about how it reflects on the giving. YOU are giving hope to all that read this journey of yours. Keep writing Janine …. xoxo

  3. Was thinking about you yesterday and wondering if you would ever write again as it was likely too hard for you! Bless you for your courage to continue on and open up your heart. It is so appreciated as it helps us know how you are really doing with it all! We also still have our moments with this whole life changing event. I thought of Brandon this morning as I read the scripture “I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of through the whole world.” Brandon wanted us to always talk about him so your blog is a wonderful tool to do that. Love, Mom

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