I met Rob Rande in 1995. In 1996, Rob would become my husband and father to my daughters, after my failed marriage. Rob’s first mission was to get us into Lake O’Hara when Rob took us to meet his Mom, in Golden, BC. Hiking boots were purchased, and seats on the bus were booked, and we were off to hike in Yoho National Park, BC. This was Rob’s home country where he had been many times, having grown up in Field, till he was five, and then stayed every summer with his Nana and Poppa, after. He was eager to show us the beauty of this wonderful place.
We have walked into Lake O’Hara, when there was no seat on the bus. In 2003, we camped there as a family, to remember Rob’s Mom; Vesta Rande. Vesta worked for Parks Canada in Yoho National Park till her retirement. She shared Rob’s love of hiking and beauty.
Rob and I were given a space of time for another trip, after Rob’s year of chemotherapy, while the the Dr’s decided what to do next. We drove to Field and stayed in an Air BnB. We were graciously given seats on the bus, into Lake O’Hara, in August of 2015, when the photo over the fireplace was taken. Rob died of terminal cancer the following January. It was a profound gift to be there together, one more time.
My first time to the East Coast of Canada, was in December of 1980, where I was visiting friends in Nova Scotia. I loved being there. The East Coast is laid back, relaxing, and welcoming. Such Lovely People! We drove all over Nova Scotia. I loved Peggy’s Cove and the tall ships in Lunenburg. It was a wonderful trip, even in the winter!
I had always wanted to go back to the East Coast and see Prince Edward Island. I had the joy of participating in a surprise gift, when Earl Anderson, asked me to create some art with their images from a trip to Prince Edward Island, for his wife; Heather. One of their images was from Singing Sands Beach in PEI. It was so beautiful, that it deepened my desire to get to PEI one day.
In 2014, my husband; Rob and I were able to go to Rwanda for a month. Ten of those days were with Wellspring Foundation for Education with a fabulous Vision Team of over twenty people, including our amazing tour guide; Jeff Komont! Those were fabulous days, discovering many places and seeing the profound impact Wellspring has made in Rwanda. The images from that trip will have to be in another story!
During our stay we ate in different restaurants, with a wide variety of cuisine. Often we shared those meals gathered around one table. During one of the meals I sat beside Kara Cousins, who was in Rwanda to serve with Wellspring in Kigali, Rwanda, as a journalist. I discovered she was from Prince Edward Island! As she shared about her family and the ministry they were involved in, a dream begin to grow, to one day join her in Prince Edward Island. While we were there in Rwanda for the month, I met with Kara a number of times and discovered we enjoyed similar things and had many passions in common.
My Rob was gathered to glory, after a 20 month fight with terminal cancer, in January of 2016. I was chatting with Kara that winter. She was in PEI, but planning to head back to Rwanda soon. We decided that if I wanted to see Prince Edward Island while she was still there, it needed to be soon! So, with points from Air-miles, in May, of 2016, with excitement and joy, I flew to Prince Edward Island, for two weeks.
Kara was working for a company called “Prince Edward Island Preserves” at the time. https://preservecompany.com/ Bruce McNaughton; the Owner, and his wife Shirley, also have a respite home in their “Gardens of Hope” made from an old church that they had brought to the property. Their dream was to give those who are dealing with terminal illness, a place of beauty to stay and be restored. The home in the beautiful garden, invites one into peace, quiet and restoration. https://preservecompany.com/blogs/gardens-of-hope
Kara had asked if I could stay there and Bruce McNaughton said; “YES”! I told Kara, I would love to stay there, if she would stay with me! Kara had work to do, but she could still work from the respite home. So, God in His profound sovereignty, gave me a holiday in a beautiful place with a beautiful soul, as I began to mourn the loss of my wonderful Rob. What a profound gift!
I spent Mother’s Day with Kara and her family. Kara’s Mom; Cindy, said; “Many people come to PEI thinking they can see all of the island while they are here, but they never do, except for Lorna”! It was a stunning trip! Kara helped me see so much of the beauty of her homeland. The “Gardens of Hope” with “Prince Edward Island Preserves”, are in New Glasgow, the center of PEI, so it worked really well to go different directions when we travelled. It was on Mother’s Day, with Kara and Cindy, that I was able to see Singing Sands Beach myself. Thank you; Heather and Earl for introducing it to me!
Thank you, Kara, for your incredible hospitality and generosity of heart. Thank you for loving beauty and words! Thank you for having the patience to not only drive me everywhere in your little red car, but to wait while I took so many photos!!! It was a phenomenal trip!
The image of Singing Sands Beach, over the fireplace above, is 38.45″ wide by 23.75″ High, and sells for $432.00. If you scroll down to the bottom of my calendar images, you will see the calendar of Prince Edward Island, with more images from that wonderful trip. https://lornarande.com/gallery/inspirational-calendars/
It was 1977 when I first went to the west coast of Vancouver Island and camped on Long Beach, outside of Tofino, BC. Having grown up in Vancouver, BC, where we have many beaches, but usually without the fierce weather, (being protected by Vancouver Island), it was exhilarating to experience the wild wind. The full force of the Pacific Ocean can be felt especially in the winter storms that toss logs onto the beach creating new patterns of beauty on the shore. It is a haven for surfers! I went to Long Beach again to camp in 1978. I did not know then, that it would be thirty seven years before I would return.
I was a teenager when I was there in 1977 and 1978. In 2015 I was returning with my Husband, three adult Daughters, two Sons-in-Love, and our first Grandchild, yet to be born. Long Beach is now part of Pacific Rim National Park and camping on the beach is no longer an option! We rented a Chalet in Jensen Bay, just outside of Tofino, lovingly designed and built by the owner; Don Lewin. Chesterman Beach is a ten minute walk from the Chalet that we stayed in.
At that time, my Husband had been fighting terminal cancer for a number of months. Our Oncologist had encouraged us to get away as a family in the remaining time that we had together. It was a profound surprise to discover that a precious friend had put together a crowd funding project to send our family away for that recommended holiday. Enough money was raised to send us to Tofino, for a week.
One morning, during that week, I was up before anyone else and walked to Chesterman Beach. My heart and soul found peace in the beauty of the sun rising through the misty trees over the beach.
What a joy it was to return to this wondrous place as a family. The beauty, adventure, laughter, camaraderie and delight would equip us to walk out those remaining months that we had together. My Husband was gathered to glory, in January of 2016. So many people blessed us with that wonderful holiday. It is a delight to have an image that captures the beauty of their generosity.
The image in this photo is a Di-Sublimation Print (Printed Twice) on Aluminum. It measures 25.5″ Wide by 45.25″ High. The Price is $552.00
There was a beautiful house tucked away in a garden estate on 82 avenue in Surrey. Most of it was hidden from the road, but there was a white gate amidst the trees and garden bushes, facing the road, with a lovely arch over top. I would often drive down that road just to behold it.
Last night, I was nearby by and wondered about that gate. It had been awhile since I was there. When I drove by, I discovered the house was gone, a big pile of dirt blocked the driveway and big signs foretold of development. The gate was still there, though the arch was missing. With a bit of heartache, I whispered a prayer over the owners; “Lord, You know the story. I pray Your blessing over the owners of this property who blessed our community in taking such good care of their estate, and the little white gate. It was a beacon of beauty.” It is the End of an Era, with this open gate the only reminder of the legacy. It made me think about my own choices and how those choices impact our community. I think that when we do well, the promptings of our heart, it touches lives with a ripple far wider than we may ever know.
To attend Hutchmoot is to be immersed in kindness.
The Brothers who founded the Rabbit Room; a gathering of Christian Creatives in the manner of ‘The Inklings Society’, are Andrew Peterson and A. S. (Pete) Peterson. Though they are both creative and leaning toward brilliant, they have created a community impacted by the truth they represent, rather than by showcasing themselves. At the end of the weekend, when Andrew invited us to share what had touched us, he stepped off to the side and sat on the steps to the stage, hidden. There was no way to give statements of impact to Andrew, he was not there! So we spoke to one another. Reflecting afterwards, I realized how often both brothers removed themselves from the spotlight and allowed others to shine! This photo, though not clear, is of both Brothers, sitting off in the shadows on those steps at the side of the stage!
This was my first Hutchmoot. While there, the 10th anniversary of Hutchmoot was celebrated. 10 years of gathering together have created a community placing value on each person present, no matter what their gifting! Dignity is the word that comes to mind, and that dignity is tangible.
As the weekend began, we were reminded that this place is not our home. Hutchmoot is akin to Rivendell; with comfort, encouragement and blessing poured out over us with phenomenal expressions of creativity. But, we were reminded, this is not where we live. We were encouraged to recognize that we are each woven with the mark, or reflection of the One who created us. “Therefore, return to your own communities and reflect the gift given to you.” Whatever that gift is, it has value. It is a note that no other person can sing.
We were inspired by excellent teaching, had opportunity to purchase the written, illustrative and musical arts of many. We were surrounded by people with rich talent, but the greatest gift was the fellowship, camaraderie, encouragement and blessing that were extended and reciprocated. The sense of each person having equal value was knit throughout the fiber of the entire weekend. When I thanked Andrew for his work that had touched my life profoundly these last 18 months, his response was “you are so kind”.
Interesting, we are back to the beginning; ‘to attend Hutchmoot, is to be immersed in kindness.’ I highly recommend attending, if you can manage to get a spot on registration day!
On June 30th, 2019, we gathered as a family to disperse Rob’s ashes in Cataract Creek, flowing out of Lake O’Hara, in Yoho National Park, BC. We spent four nights in Field where Rob lived the first 5 years of his life and where he spent every summer afterwards, with his Nana who lived in the same house in Field, for 60 years. We stayed at the fabulous “Truffle Pigs Lodge” in Field. On the morning of June 30th, we shared the many facets of who Rob was to us, complete with tears and laughter, before we left for the river. It was good, sweet, and painful. It was a 1.5 KM walk up the Lake O’Hara private road, to get to the little path alongside Cataract Creek where we dispersed Rob’s ashes. Derek brought his guitar into Cataract Creek, so we could sing; “To the River” together. So Good! After we were done, my Son of Heart said to me; “Well Done, Lorna. You fulfilled Rob’s wishes and got all of us here” It was not a feat that could happen easily, given the 9 hour drive with a 3.5 year old and three babies under one, but it is now complete. The weekend was a tapestry of great beauty. I am grateful that I do not walk this journey alone. It was so good to share this moment together. I am grateful for the years Rob and I had together and for the profound impact he has made on our lives. We bring a part of the legacy Rob lived, onward to the next generation. I see so many wonderful qualities of Rob reflected in the lives of my Daughters. It is good.
What a BLESSING!! I had the honor of photographing Ezra Kwizera and his fabulous Band as they were being recorded for a JOYTV broadcast, on May 29th. The camaraderie in the band, along with their excellent musicianship brought such joy! Ezra’s songs are filled with hope and encouragement. Having been displaced with his family, to a refuge camp after the tragedy in Rwanda in 1994, Ezra knows the depths of difficulty. Yet, Ezra speaks through his music, to the hope seasoned with simple joys, that can nourish the heart in tough times. “Joy Comes In The Morning” testifies to his hope. I have added Ezra’s words to this image; “Shades of Blue” taken before dawn with the light of a full moon, in Kihei, Mau. These words continue to resonate in my heart.
I have linked a rich recording and video of Ezra’s song “Just Hold On” for you. It continues to bless my heart!! Never Give Up ~ Indeed!
Kind Words. Words of Life. Hope taken hold of. Gifts, each one, in finding a new path in this journey of grief. Keeping busy does not allow the pain to ebb and flow out. Rather it internalizes the pain which at some point leads to ones body screaming, to alert the brain that there is a problem! Mayhem! So, I am wading through the pain of losing my Rob and finding much to be grateful for in the process! Like Kind Words!
This moment of beauty caught at my heart as I witnessed the new life of spring pushing up through the decaying leaves of winter. In the warmth of the spring sunshine, new life pushes up and through the obstacles. What a gift! We too, have the option of pressing onward and upward, facing the obstacles and pushing through to bloom where we are planted. I have been reading the book “But If Not – 588 days of Living with cancer”. It is the blog of Brenda Pue, written during her last days with terminal cancer, and lovingly put into a book by her family. What has impressed me, is that no matter what our circumstances, we can bloom, with whatever days we have, to touch our village with hope, and faith. May you be encouraged as spring unfolds around you!
Generations with crazy physical prowess and agility matched with integrity and profound love.
I attended the funeral of a grand man a week ago. A man whose father was a gymnast. This man was marked with Tough Grit, Steel Determination and ‘No Fear’ combined with compassion for the hearts of those he taught. “Be humble when you win, and proud when you loose. Know, that this may be the game, where the opponents are older, tougher and stronger, but you give everything you have anyways! This may be the game when you begin as a boy, and finish as a man”.
Hundreds attended the funeral. Lives touched profoundly by the character and determination of this man, who worked hard for the team to win – accompanied by the medals to match the passion – as baseball coach, soccer coach, dragon boat captain, Son, Brother, Husband, Father and Grandfather. His legacy lives on. Sons marked with the agility and ability to invest in the lives of others, to love deeply and risk much, impacting the generations to come. ‘No Fear’ is being passed down to Grandchildren, who are already taking up the mantle of determination.
Thank you, to those captained and coached by Danny Strain for sharing his impact on your lives. Thank you to the Strain Clan, for sharing the stories and the life, of your Brother, Husband and Father, who lived life large, who fought the fight, bravely, facing each day with courage. The legacy of Daniel Robert Strain lives on.
Each of us have been woven together with gifts. Even if we have not known those who have gone on before us, we each have the option to choose to walk in our skills and abilities. But no matter what inborn talents we have, matching those gifts with fierce love, integrity, tenacity and compassion, impacts our world and creates legacy. May we be torch bearers. May we pass the baton effectively to the next generation.