" H e y   A l l "
           Notes from the Vicar of Grace
              inclusion service discovery gratitude
The Rev. Bill Harper

Dear Friends--

I'm writing again with pastoral news, to let us know that Betty Vogdes died  late last night, peacefully, and with her husband Walt and daughter Jenny by her side.  I truly believe that Betty was "ready" for this next, new life.  She had courageously adapted to the tumor that was progressively limiting her ability to live her life-and with each new limitation she would bravely pronounce "a new normal" and move on.  But the last six weeks at the Kitsap County Hospice Center were harder, and there was a longing for both relief and release.  Last night, and early this morning, sitting with Walt and Jenny, it was clear that relief and release were found.

I'm also very aware, in writing this note, that our community of Grace is experiencing some genuine loss as we learn to release those we love but see no more.  Betty would so often as me about Hannah, as both of them came to terms with brain tumors and a kind of inevitable outcome.  And Betty, like Hannah, was frustrated that the tumor-and each "new normal"-would hinder her ability to share life and love with her family, especially her grandsons Nat and Calder.  I also know, deep within me, that life and love do not end when our physical bodies release us.  The depth of that truth touched me again as I prayed with Betty, Walt and Jenny-and I hope it touches all of us.

As soon as plans are made we'll be able to share more details about a Memorial Service for Betty.  In the meantime, know that Walt and Jenny are well loved, and have been so grateful for the prayers and support they have received.  Betty would often remark how amazing it was to be cared for by the community of Grace.  Indeed, that is so true-Grace does Happen.  These days we have vivid reminders of the difference Grace makes in so many lives.

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