Sunday, July 7, 2019

She's in Heaven

That's my mom's cousin, Rose, (in purple), with my sister.
She and I are birthday twins; we're both born on June 1.
Every year on that date, I think of her. Sometimes I send a card.

In addition to our birthday connection, we also have something else in common (besides being in the same family, that is)... about a million years ago, she broke out with a severe case of psoriasis. Her doctor was unable to help her, so she was sent to a dermatologist. Who, too, was stumped. She was referred to the doctor who was the head of dermatology at UBC; doing work with a new-to-Canada, experimental drug.

Coincidentally, I was dealing with my own skin issues. Acne was out of control, and both my doc and the specialist were unable to clear it up. So I was referred to a doc who was the head of dermatology at UBC; doing work with a new-to-Canada wonder drug.

(It was so long ago, my memory is a little hazy, but I'm pretty sure we were on the same drug.)
First generation Acutane.

It. Was. Brutal.
Before it cleared things up, it MESSED THINGS UP.
Rose's reaction was far worse than mine, but boy howdy. It's amazing either of us had any skin left on our bodies by the time we finished treatment.

I think Acutane has come a long way since then. But those early days were so very difficult and dangerous.

All that to say, Rose and I had a bit of a connection. Born on the same day. Had our skin ripped off by the same doc. And we're both descendants of the Wiebe sisters. (She's from Susie. I'm from Tina). (And Val, in case you're wondering, is from the youngest sister, Agatha.)

On June 1 this year, I was in Palm Springs with Julie, who is very close to Rose. When we chatted about her (on that Friday), Julie mentioned that Rose hadn't been feeling well. And when Val (who also is close with Rose) picked me up from the airport, she too told me that Rose's health was not good.

Turns out Rose, who thought she might have gall bladder or intestinal issues, had cancer. And after a number of tests and scans, was given two weeks ...

Sonja, Rose's daughter sent a 3 word message this morning:

"She's in heaven."

My heart is aching for those who loved her most.
Her daughter. Her brothers. Her friends. Her cousins.

I didn't know her well, but I know this to be true about her: she was kind, fun, non-judgmental, loyal, helpful, generous with her time and love. She loved deeply and she loved well. And she was an enthusiastic (Habs) hockey fan.

Julie wrote this about her:
Today my dearest friend and helper in raising my children, Rose, went to heaven. I love this woman with all my heart. I am so thankful she was a part of my life and for the lessons in loving others she has taught me. I will miss you Rose and will endeavour to keep your legacy of loving others well alive!

Val added:
She was the kindest person! I loved her with all my heart as well and I will always miss her

Rest in peace, Rose.

These peeps are kids/grandkids of Susie, Tina and Agatha Wiebe.

Back row: L to R
Don (oldest child of Tina) Jake (oldest son of Susie) Addie (son of Susie) Val (oldest child of Agatha) Janice (Addie's wife) Johnny (Susie's son) Hilda (Tina's daughter) Daryl (Julie's husband) Rose (Susie's daughter)

Front row: L to R
Julie (Tina's granddaughter) Wendy (Don's wife) Judy (Jake's wife) Jim (Tina's grandson)

(I'm holding the camera. I'm Tina's granddaughter.)

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