Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's day can be hard for people and for so many reasons.  Today was one of those hard ones for me, because I couldn't get my sister, Alisa, off my mind.

I know I haven't been updating much here on my blog lately.  I've been distracted and besides, she updates hers fairly regularly.  If you have followed her story, you know that since January, things have not been easy for her.  Her cancer is back in force.  Right now she's struggling with the decision to go on hospice.

It's been a rough time for me.  She is such a huge part of my life--as she was born 17 months after me, I have no memory of life without her.  And most childhood memories include her.  And we've talked on the phone almost every day since we started having kids.  She coached me through Steven's cancer.  I owe so much of who I am to her and her influence.

I have been so touched by all the people who have reached out to help her and to help me.  Yesterday I sent an email to our family and some friends about a group gift for her and within the hour we had more than enough to cover the gift and within the day, it exceeded any expectation.  Thanks to all who helped--it will be a blessing to them.

Alisa is one of my favorite examples of motherhood and I think of her often on those days when I want to throw in the towel.  She shows me how to live amidst hard times and how to savor the moments. She teaches me to expect a lot from my kids and to make sure they feel unconditionally loved.  She has been an amazing example of faith and hope.  I love her dearly and from the times we were playing with dolls as kids to now as we raise teenagers, I cherish her role in my growth as a mom.

I hope that you will hug your kids a little tighter tonight and say a prayer for my sister.  She's in a rough place and she will be holding onto life as tight as she can because more than anything, she wants to be here for her kids.

A picture of me, my sisters and my mom.  This was taken just over a week ago on the eve of my youngest sister's wedding.  


  1. That pic of you girls is priceless-beautiful. I love you and Alisa so very much.

  2. It's a heartbreak for sure and it will never make sense in this life to me why Alisa has to suffer so much. I love that picture-it is beautiful.

  3. Beautiful post Sonja. I think of you and your sisters often when I think of Alisa. I think you're all wonderful and beautiful and I'm so glad to call you family. Thanks for the example you've been for me...all of you!

  4. I hope you don't mind me blog stalking your page. I have known Josh since we were wee little, he lived across the street from me and my brother Jeremy Veenendaal graduated with both him and Alisa. I cannot express enough how amazing she and Josh are. I am sad and heartbroken and I just don't understand. I have learned so much from her example the past 8 yrs. I looked forward to her blog writing and her many miracles, she is truly a gift and so amazing. My prayers are with you and your family. I lost my brother 5 years ago and losing a sibling hurts. This picture at the wedding is darling. My prayers to Alisa's sweet boys, may the lord comfort all of you.

    1. I don't mind at all! I see your comments on Alisa's blog and know you are one of her biggest fans. I'm so sorry about your brother. This is so very hard. Thanks for your sweet comments--here and to Alisa.

  5. Sonja - I've been thinking of all of you so much. This photo of all of you girls is beautiful, and the one of you, Jon and Alisa a little further down on your blog is really moving - the connection between siblings is such a strong force. So much love to you.

  6. Sonja- I have followed your sister's page ever since you told me about her 4 years ago now. I am so heartbroken for you and your family.... Your family has truly shown the meaning of faith and resilience in the face of seemingly unbearable trials. I have been inspired to be a better mother by both of you. Love you Sonja--families are forever!!!