Raising Hope for Emma Lee Stewart

The Reason For Hope Compilation CD's can be ordered via email to TheReasonForHopeCD@Gmail.com payment can be made via Interact Email Money Transfer. Mail orders with payment by cash or cheque can be made to :
The Reason For Hope
170 Temperance Street New Glasgow, NS B2H3B1 ($20.00 Includes shipping)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Interment, O'Leary

Good Morning,

Just wanted to let you know that the adventure continues.

Last Friday we gathered with friends and family at HeatherDale Cemetery for the interment service. Jim Webber Cook was there by our side as friends came together for a final goodbye. Shortly after we had a small gathering at the house for some good food, conversation, and a little bit of music.

Saturday, we set sail for O'Leary, PEI- on the busiest, rockiest boat! It was incredible. The wind had cancelled the 8am boat, so it was lucky we got on at all (3rd last car on the boat!). We made the drive to the west end of the island with a short stop in Clinton to pick up Tessa.

Upon arrival we were greeted by my Great Aunt Merna, who was married to my Great Uncle Claude. She welcomed us into my cousin Joanne's cottage at West Point. What a beautiful cottage!! It had a 180 view surrounding it. David and I got to watch the sun sink into the water. Tessa took some photo's of the scenery so we will post a picture of the sunset for my mother in the coming days. No one saw sunsets like she did. We sat around the campfire and played Great Uncle Claud's guitar with Merna and her son Josh before calling it a night.

Sunday we set sail on "The Knotty Lady" with : Great Aunt Merna, Great Aunt Shirley, Cousins: Click, Brenda, Joyce, Faye. Friends Paul Wood and Treena. Paul recently lost his wife to cancer so we were honoured he joined us on this voyage. We departed from West Point harbour and sailing out to the light house where we stopped the boat and told stories about my mother, we then symbolically scattered her ashes into the straight. We took a moment before everyone tossed pink carnations into the water. Paul and Merna then tossed 2 carnations in for Paul's late wife. On the way back to the docks, we formed a ribbon in the water in honour of Emma Lee and The Reason For Hope.

After the outing we gathered back at Great Aunt Merna's with family to enjoy some hot coffee, sandwiches and sweets on the Glenwood Pond.

A long drive back to New Glasgow with a short stop to drop Tessa off; she is moving to France tomorrow for a few months!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Paddles Up

Last evening my father, brother, and I were so fortunate to be able to go out with my mothers paddling friends. It was a very emotional time, from the moment they said "Paddles Up" - they were paddling for Emma Lee.

They suggested they do a race for her. Over the last week we have been hearing "Emma had a mean face when she paddled" she just went in the zone and she wanted to win.

After the first race we ended up on the north side of the bridge, her friends lined the walking pass holding pink carnations and all of the ladies in the boat held pink carnations, before they placed them into the water in memory of my mother we symbolically scattered her ashes in the East River.

We then went further down the river and took a moment outside of Glasgow Square Theatre where she spent so much of her time at.

I thought I would include a photo of the pink carnations in the water.



Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Service, The Visitation, The Outpouring

"I had never thought I would be in such need, but here I am" - Emma Lee, September 5th 2011.

I thought I would share the events with you from the last few days. You have requested in numbers for this blog to remain active, and for this blog to be immortalized in book form. I will try to make these wishes happen for you, and my mother.

My mother had a way of reaching people, that I can only hope to carry a fraction of.

So lets take you back over the last week. The main thing you will note is that we waited, we took our time. You may remember over the last few months my mothers vocabulary started to involve a certain word "Proper". We did it proper.

We were so lucky that my mother, being the realist was a planner until the end. Before her trip to Maui, she sat with Jim Webber Cook (Trinity United Church) and gave him a program, covered with her handwriting she wrote "Wow!" above the scripture she wanted, circled the information on the Taize, included 2 hymns with exclamation, and one hymn with (Maybe?) . So "maybe"- you were scrapped and we put in "From Now On" written by my mother, inspired by her walks with honey, and performed at Maritime Conference 2011.

We just had to fill in the blanks. Even until 11:59AM on Monday we were filling in the blanks. On sunday afternoon we arrived home to find a card from Linda Arsenault including a poem she had written in the summer for my mother titled "Emma's Courage". It had to be involved. So, I ran over to the church, card in hand and caught Jim Webber Cook as he was leaving for his lunch break and asked "Can this be on a screen?" Trinity made it happen.

The service started with "Somewhere Over The Rainbow/ Its a wonderful world" during my parents trip to Maui my dad and mother fell in love with "Iz" so I asked if we could include this special medley. It was an opportunity to reflect before the beginning of the service. Linda's words beamed clear while the song played.

Emma's Courage :

Emma's courage is big
It grows when it is stroked
Hot as a volcano's fire and energy
Ice cold and soothing as a mountain lake
It sleeps to nourish the soul
Awakens as calm courage
Emma's courage beckons brilliance
Lights laughter in those blue eyes
Her courage has no weight
It is like a feather
Soft and tender
Wanting to be touched
Emma's courage spreads love
It is a reason for hope.

Following this we moved into the Taize, mediation through music- and into the welcoming.

During my mothers battle, she found comfort in candles. So I asked if we could light some candles during the ceremony in honour of my mother. So we lit : The Christ Candle (Jim Webber Cook) The Candle of Community ( Janet Erving) , The Candle of Memory (John and Mary Boulter) , The Candle of Music (" Aunt Liz " - Elizabeth Van DenEden ), The Candle of Peace( Lorne Boulter) , The Candle of Love (Jim Stewart), The Candle of Thanksgiving (Lee Stewart) , and The Candle of Hope (Myself, Mary) .

The special music was "His Eye is On The Sparrow". What can I say about this, they sang like she was standing there beside them, it was the best I have heard their voices shine. Beautiful.

Floyd Kind joined us to do a special song for my mother- "In My Life" it was requested by my father in honour of his love for her.

We played "Send Someone For Me" rare you can perform at your own service. But, she deserved to.

David Wallace and Bruce MacIntosh gave remembrance to my dear mother. I hope they forward copies of their words so I can share them with you because I cannot give it justice.

Doris Mason sang "When Emma Sings" sitting in front of her I couldn't help but stare, I tried so hard not to look because I didn't want to throw her off. Even though Doris was an amazing friend to my mother, she was still there and able to sing the song she wrote for her on her 53rd birthday. Beautiful.

Jim WC, Jim S and Bonnie spoke beautifully throughout the service and their words were so appropriate.

It was a beautiful send off to my mother.

Following the reception, my family and David's mother and father joined at the house for a taste of The Lord Provost's Scotch. A toast before joining friends who gathered at my mom and dad's old stomping grounds "The Dock". My parents shared so many laughs with friends through the last 15 years that it only seemed appropriate.

Monday evening we sat and reflected about the day, feeling as though she would be proud and humbled by the outpouring.

So now what?

Big things ahead, going out into The Dragon Boat, Interment at Heatherdale, and off to O'Leary where my mothers family was born to fulfil her wishes.

Today we purchased http://thereasonforhope.org ! I have started a small website where I will continue to update about the fundraisers, and its a place to buy your CD! The charity will continue and the legacy will go on.

Continue sending your stories of my mother. They have been beautiful, and so comforting.


Mary Stewart

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Visitation and Funeral

Dear Friends,

Again- I extend a sincere Thank You to everyone who has been supporting my family through this. When I say family, I mean everyone who let Emma Lee's light into their life.

We all need to lean on each other for strength at this time.

Visitation will be held at P K MacDonald Funeral Home, 536 Merigomish Road
New Glasgow, NS B2H 5E3

Saturday, September 10th, 7-9PM
Sunday, September 11th 2-4PM & 7-9PM

Funeral :
Monday, September 12th 2PM Trinity United Church Temperance Street, New Glasgow

I have spent a part of the day appreciating my moms blog. I hope you do the same. Reading through her journey for the last few months, and breathing in her words.

Another thought from my mother : " Our light is our energy - it will increase love and peace in this world. Use it for good and get ready to let it go! " August 19th, 2011.

9/ 07 at 9:07PM

Dear Friends,

Sincerely you are all friends to my family at this time.

The blog brought my mother light for the last 14 months. The ability to share her words as they blossomed in her brain to family and strangers, whom all became dear friends; brought her such joy.

Initially we didn't know what she was going to write about on her home on the internet. So we said anything. Thats what she gave us. She shared her dreams, wishes, stories, and her love for everyone who has walked into her life.

I am truly thankful she was given 14 months to deliver her story to you. And there is still so much more to be shared to you from our family, and to my family. My brother, father and I are reliving memories with our mother today, but we aren't Em-experts. We welcome you to tell us something you shared with her.

Yesterday there were gleams of joy in my mothers eyes. For those of you who visited she was resting, peaceful. But a few highlights for me where when the Mac Mac and Mac Family came by for a visit. Harry held her hand and they told her stories about the performances they shared during Christmas Parties. My mother wrangled that crew into shape, in her nurturing- but very straight forward manner. While they were sharing stories- Liz (Honey's Foster Mother) started scheming to get honey into visit Emma Lee in the hospital. When Liz told her - her eyes widened and she said " Oh, great." Joy and sarcasm.- Emma.
While I was talking to her in the afternoon, I was on the way to mail a CD to Olga from CBC and I said "Don't worry- she knows, track 15 first" And she smiled, she laughed.

While Jim Webber Cook was sharing with her, he spoke of light, of hope. You could see her eyes get bigger and she exhaled, she relaxed.

The family did a bit of a rotation during the 18 hours we spent at the hospital. At 8:30, I urged my brother and father to go home and rest. My dad returned to the hospital at noon, after making calls to share the most recent development. My brother returned at 1PM care of Janet Irving, Janet- Thank you.

David and I went home to pack for the next (what we thought would be) days. During this time, my brother and father were comforted by friends who surrounded my mother. The nurse said " She is popular". My dad just laughed. The wonderful nurses had no idea. Thank you to them for letting us take over that place. In the short time the news spread, there were about 40 of you who made your way in, more who called. We are sorry we didn't have more time to let you spend with her.

At 8:55PM I felt it coming, I told my dad that it was time for us to have our one on one with her. He let me go first, I was so lucky to sit with her, reassure her that its not for nothing - she will help to change lives. She has already helped to change lives. That I will share her story, that I can't wait to tell her future grandchildren about her, that I am proud to be her daughter. Many thoughts I shared. Around 9, I noticed changes, I got the nurse. She gathered us around and said it would be anytime. Surrounded by love she went. She fought for so long, she is now in peace.

I called Mary Webber Cook, our minster's wife. To share the news, Jim (Our Minster, such a dear friend) was there within minutes. We had her in our circle while he sent her spirit off.

I will leave you with words from Emma Lee Stewart (Sister, Wife, Mother- Friend)

"The future is uncertain. But one thing is certain: the love of my family can never be taken away; the love of friends can never be taken away; hope can never be taken away; and positive thought and gratitude for all we have can never be taken away." - Emma Lee Stewart, July 14th, 2010 in her first blog post.

With love,

Mary; Your "darling daughter."

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

September 6th - 7th

Hello Friends,

Mary here- writing this from my broken phone so beware any grammatical errors.

A lot to say, unfortunately as I write this I am sitting at my mothers bedside at The Aberdeen Hospital.

Our hope was that she wouldn't have to come back here. Yesterday we were blessed to have wonderful RN's by the house to monitor mom- Emma - em- M- Emma lee - whichever you prefer , but we couldn't get her comfortable.

During my night shift with her we decided that the best decision was to move her ; upon doctors recommendation to ensure that she is comfortable.

Her big ones- comfort , quality of life, hope.

The outpouring we have received is humbling. I printed your words off on Monday PM and she loved it. The flowers brightened her room and she knows she is loved.

I will do my best to keep you informed on new developments.

Wishing you a beautiful day,


Monday, September 5, 2011

Jim's Birthday Cake

Hello All,

Mary here- My mother just asked me to take a photo of the cake I made for my dad's 56th Birthday and post it on the blog!

Yes, a day early- However Lee's girlfriend will be heading back to PEI tonight and we wanted to have cake with her- So tomorrow I shall make a second cake!

Today's cake : Velvet Chiffon Chocolate Mint, with Chocolate Ganache and Vanilla Buttercream Icing, NS Strawberries and drizzled with dark chocolate.

Today, My mother is trying to get caught up on sleep, she had a big day with the VON who was here for over an hour making sure she was well looked after. Tuesday she begins the continuing care program which means we will get a little bit more face time with the Nurses and help for a bit of the day.

She is very excited about the chocolate cake, I put it in the living room to hopefully strike a match to her appetite. The cake also matches the flowers from her brother Lorne just lovely.

Continue to send your positive words to my mother! I am printing them off as they come.



Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sunday, September 4th.

"Sunday - September 4th , 2011

I'm counting on you guys to tell me when I become trite. My footprint on the world is becoming smaller, and I respect you too much to take up your valuable time. When I look out the backyard all of the green tomato's we've harvested will soon be red I hope. Maybe Mary and Jim can make some tomato paste, I don't know if that is inspiring to you. But it is to me. That's a part of the light.

No Fears- Jim will have a birthday! Mary stayed with us last night and she is awesome. She can stay downstairs. Too much, I know but she is young and ready for it. Pulse alright. All this done for the day. Shawn dropped by. Not sleeping as well as I should be.

Here's what happened yesterday ( Details are sketchy..)
Murray came by with a pie.
Brother Lorne and his wife Mary came by,
Brother John and his wife Mary came by.
Mary and Tessa are back here.
David and Lee are both here.

VON dropped by, almost couldn't get my blood pressure.
Jim Webber Cooke dropped by.
Heather MacLean dropped by with bread.
Lloyd and Gwen dropped by with fresh vegetables.
Ross and Eileen dropped by with homemade chowder and soda bread.

What can I say about the outpouring? It is most overwhelming. My heart is full of love. I never believed I would be in such need. But here I am.

Love and peace to you all today.

Emma Lee

- PS: Mary is now responsible of the blog. Between dictation and my hand writing she is translating my words to the blog. "