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A Family's Journey

Category: Hand Family | Posted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 9:48 pm

Most of you know that my Mom started a lavender farm about 3 years ago. I thought I'd share some of the rest of the story. Yes, we faced all types of trials and adversity as we started this farm. We lost 75 percent of our crop the first year. The above photo tells some of the rest of the story. Four years ago my youngest sister was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. There are four of us kids and none of us had had any physical problems but now it was different. As we all watched my sister Brenda grow in her faith but wither down to almost a skeleton as her chemo treatments took all she had. My Mom and Dad would keep her during the week and take her to her treatments. Being a very logical thinker I would sometimes visualize life without her in an effort to prepare myself for the worst. Obviously not in hopes of that, but in my own way dealing with the loss of not only my sister but one of my best friends. I had never seen someone as strong as she was. God took on new meaning for my family. We were at the bottom just looking up wondering what next Christmas or Thanksgiving would be like. Would there be one extra plate or gifts under the tree that bore a name but had no recipient. In an effort to support her, all of us that could, shaved our heads to honor her as she lost her hair. I remember the first time I went home and saw everyone sitting there with their new hair styles. We all laughed and joked about the funny shaped heads we all had. Through all of this we learned to not make the outward things important, but see what was in the heart. I saw a family that I could take pride in being one of them. The above picture is all of us honoring my sister Brenda in our own way. During this time my Mom put her dream of the lavender farm on hold in order to take care of Brenda. There is a happy ending to this story. A couple of weeks ago Brenda got a positive bill of health from her doctor. Her cancer has now been in remission for 3 years. Below is a picture of her and my Mom a few weeks ago. Alive and well selling lavender at the Tomball German Festival.

I know she will read my blog some day. So here is my plug. It's good to have you with us Bren. I love you. So, until next time. Lavender Up!

Purple Ranch Hand

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cajunbelle wrote on Fri Apr 18, 2008 12:09 am:

I am so thankful that Brenda is in remission. God has truly blessed your family.


eileen wrote on Fri Apr 18, 2008 12:11 am:

I'm so pleased to hear that Brenda is now fighting fit. You must be so proud of your lovely family - especially your mum. Thank you for sharing your story and photographs with us.


petunia wrote on Fri Apr 18, 2008 3:42 am:

great to hear good news. Thanks for sharing the photo. Hope your lavendar farm does well for your family this year.


Droopy wrote on Fri Apr 18, 2008 6:35 am:

When illness strikes, a loving family is the best support. I'm so glad your sister made it through.

PurpleranchhandBren wrote on Fri Apr 18, 2008 3:19 pm:

Purple Ranch Hand,
I just wanted you to know how much this posting means to me. I cried the first time I read it and each time thereafter. Your support and caring during my cancer journey meant the world to me. We were best friends as children and continue to be friends as we grow older. I am so blessed to have you as my brother. You are an inspiration to all who know you and I love you always.

Purple Ranch Hand Bren


glendann wrote on Fri Apr 18, 2008 3:24 pm:

I am so glad God blessed you and allowed Brenda to remain with her wonderful family.Illness such as cancer takes a tole on anyone that has it and also the family that has to see and be with them going through it.My family has battled this dreaded disease.
I have been there way to many times and my story never ever ended happy like yours PHR.God bless your sis and your family.I lost my dear husband to this terrible monster.


Frank wrote on Fri Apr 18, 2008 4:28 pm:

A touching story with a very happy ending. The head shaving was quite a commitment, great idea.

Thank you for sharing your story, I hope it inspires others.

travelingbooklover wrote on Fri Apr 18, 2008 5:02 pm:

Thank you for sharing your story. I am glad that your sister is doing well. When I was battling cervical cancer, my youngest daughter (she was 15 at the time) cut off her very long hair and donated it to Locks of Love for other cancer patients. I was at my lowest point emotionally and her act really boosted me. I am cancer free today and I owe that to my family, friends and doctors. I wish you and your family all the best.


SongofJoy57 wrote on Sat Apr 19, 2008 1:58 pm:

I loved your blog entry, PRH . . . we too have had this illness to come upon our family. I am so glad that your sister is cancer free. I learned that God does not put an illness on us . . . only good comes from Him. He used Brenda's healing to glorify Him . . . (John 9:3) that is our purpose here anyway . . . I am so overjoyed for your family, and am happy about your family lavendar ranch . . . Blessings. SoJ


CritterPainter wrote on Sat Apr 19, 2008 10:00 pm:

What an encouraging story! I've known a few folks who were lost to ovarian cancer, I thought it was one of those "death sentence" ones. So very good to see not just a survivor, but such a supportive family! And happy to hear about an entrepreneurial dream coming true too!

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