Brenda Pue: too well loved to ever be forgotten

August 16, 2015 12 comments

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PUE, Brenda Susan

Aug. 29, 1955 – Aug. 12, 2015.

A spunky, fun-loving leader of leaders, Brenda Susan Pue made a lasting impact through her work with Arrow Leadership, where she mentored and encouraged leaders from around the world to “Lead More Like Jesus.”

On August 12, Brenda passed over the threshold peacefully while at home. She was 59 years of age. Surrounded by her loving family, and after courageously living with cancer for 588 days, she quietly “slipped into heaven.”

Throughout her life, and especially as she faced cancer, Brenda was a woman of courage and faith. Writing authentically about her journey, she impacted many readers who followed her blog (www.caringbridge.org/visit/ brendapue). A charismatic woman, Brenda was known for her contagious laughter and winsome smile. Just being around this remarkable Vancouver resident made God seem closer at hand and easier to know and trust.

She will be lovingly remembered by Carson, her husband of 38 years; their three boys, Jason (Kristin Paterson), Jeremy (Shari Boileau), Jonathan (Kirstie White) as well as their five beloved grandchildren, Landon, Liam, Mac, Ellie and Georgia.
The immediate family is profoundly grateful for all the love and support they have enjoyed over the past 20 months from Brenda’s mom, siblings, friends, and medical professionals.

Come join an inspiring Celebration of Life and Hope that will be held on Saturday, August 22, 2015 at 1:30 p.m. at Christian Life Assembly, 21277 56 Ave, Langley. In lieu of flowers, donations will be gratefully received for two of the ministries about which Brenda was most passionate: Arrow Leadership and Barnabas Family Ministries.

Brenda Pue – too well loved to ever be forgotten.

Published in Vancouver Sun and/or The Province from Aug. 15 to Aug. 16, 2015

Categories: Family, Living with Cancer Tags:

The Long Goodbye – By Jon Pue

August 12, 2015 22 comments

10517458_10154301682260591_5107217845092285928_nTonight my mom died.

We were getting ready for the evening, about to take turns by Mom’s bedside throughout the night. Jer and I were going to have a glass of wine, but then opted for something a bit stronger. We poured our glasses as Kristin came downstairs and said that Kirstie was crying. There had been a lot of tears over these last couple days but somehow I knew that this was different. We all gathered quickly around Mom to be with her. Her breathing was different, struggling more so than before.

The doctor had joined us and assured us that she didn’t feel any pain as we watched her breathe. Each breath was full of anticipation and wonder, is this the last breath? Minutes turned into hours and the hours felt like moments suspended in time.

We cried. We laughed at memories. But mostly we waited and were not sure what to do. My family and I were just content to be present. Everything had been said, love from each of us was well known to her. We held her hand, her arm, stroked her head in comfort- for ourselves and for her. Her breaths were shallow, and short, and the space long in between. The small breaths lingered like watching a bubble slowly climb into the air until it eventually burst.

On what was her last breath, the doctor listened for a heartbeat, searching and waiting for any sign. But there was nothing to be heard, and he turned to us and said, “she’s passed”.

For all the days I had to get ready, nothing really prepares you for that moment. She was gone. And in an instant, in one moment, she moved from a living and breathing saint to someone who dwells not just in heaven but also in all of us. She remains now in our memories, in our minds and actions, and in pictures that hang suspended from the walls.

Grief and sorrow take over. A sudden realization that life is no longer the same. Everything is altered. I said goodbye with a kiss on the forehead, that was unexpectedly cold for someone whose love was so warm.

Already, as a family, we had leaned on each other greatly. Now more so than ever. What’s ahead? Conversations that come far too early with precious nieces and nephews, and for me the fear of now trying to live without an anchor that has grounded me for years. Seems overwhelming…and it is.

I take comfort in knowing that Mom died exactly how she would have wanted to- at home peacefully, with loved ones close at hand.

It still seems so surreal, like having a bad dream and waiting to be scared awake to reality.

Already, I long for Mom to know my sons and daughters. That they could know the woman she was. I wish she could love them and guide them through this life as she did with me. I rue the times when I go to call her while I drive simply to see how her day was. I must tell myself that I did the best I could with the time that was given to us. And to not fall into the guilt of how I used my time, did I work too much? Should I have called or visited one more time? Rather, I can trust that she knows the deep and unrelenting love I have for her. The moments we have had will never be replaced and never lost.

I thought I was ready. But I was not.

Today marks the beginning of learning how to live again.

Categories: Leadership Tags: ,

Day 588: Brenda’s Passing Through

August 12, 2015 20 comments

  Just after midnight this morning, surrounded by love from her entire family, Brenda answered the call and slipped into heaven. 

Our loving warrior teacher has gone ahead of us and we look forward to joining her in glory one day. 

  The celebration of her life will be held August 22nd, 1:30pm, at “CLA” Christian Life Assembly (21277 56 Ave. Langley. All are welcome (typical of Brenda). Come be inspired by the life of an amazing leader in life, family and faith. You will leave a better person as a result. 

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in her memory to Arrow Leadership Ministries or Barnabas Family Ministries. 

Categories: Leadership

Dweller on the Threshold

August 11, 2015 57 comments

When the doctor told me it would be good to gather the family my knees began to wobble. While I’ve have had more than a year and half to absorb my Brenda’s living with cancer this brought a solemn view of time for me.

thresholdMy father before his death used “dweller on the threshold” to describe his understanding of where he stood – between this world and heaven.  This aural poetry from Northern Ireland is a vivid image of end of life days. Brenda is there now, standing on that threshold with the door open awaiting her to step across at the appointed time. Knowing how much my dad loved her, he will likely be fighting to be right behind Jesus greeting her entry into heaven.

Our family are all together now in one big sleep over. The love, prayers and care is beyond description. It is Brenda’s desire that she be able to die at home and our doctor and incredible medical team are helping make that wish reality. Shifts between all our sons and daughters ensure that Mom is never alone. There is nothing left to be said – just love to be felt, actually felt. It is an amazing privilege.

There is only One who numbers our days and that is the Lord. Brenda knows this, and has taught us this, by exceeding all of the medical predictions and giving us so many new memories to cherish. Memories we will collect even today, and they will never diminish.

More reflections, and more of the story, will follow but presently we want to be left alone to savour the hours – remembering this actually is how we should live life everyday.

Categories: Leadership

Dealing with Small Things that Drain Your Energy: Ask Madeleine

Love this and not just because of the boating illustration – it is so true of leaders.

Blanchard LeaderChat

Propeller with barnaclesLast week, I responded to a question about putting up with way too much. I introduced the idea of tolerations, those small, seemingly inconsequential things that drain your energy. They have a way of accumulating like barnacles on a ship—a few aren’t a problem, but layers and layers over the years take a toll on a vessel’s speed and performance. Even well-adjusted, extremely successful people have tolerations, often quite a few. Why? We accrue tolerations for the following reasons:

We want to keep up a good attitude. We don’t recognize that we have them or how much they are bothering us. To admit we are tolerating a lot may feel like whining or complaining. Dwelling on tolerations and complaining about them without taking action would be negative. To tell the truth about what’s bugging you is not complaining, it is exposing your legitimate gripes to harsh light, and creating…

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Categories: Leadership

Eleven Days Too Long

Brenda has spent the past elIMG_9037even days in hospital. We are certainly glad to have her back home now. She went in to have a tube put into her body cavity so they could drain the build up of pleural fluid present there. This unfortunately was followed by a partial lung collapse, a change of hospital and then into lung surgery and recovery.

So in the midst of this stress filled whirlwind our dear friends J John and Killy sent us a song that Dan Pringle had written and wanted it passed along to Brenda. Dan is an accomplished songwriter and producer from Australia. He and his wife Leah Haywood run “Dreamlab” and hang around with award winning artists like Celine Dion, Miley Cirus, Lady Gaga and many more. Now he has really helped Brenda Pue by sending her a song that touched us deeply. <Big Smile>

Now in my years of ministry I usually cringe when someone said they have a song the Lord gave them for me – they often did not give me much hope for the heavenly choir if that is how they were going to sound. LOL However this song was different. It was a message from God for Brenda and right when needed.

Brenda received permission from Dan to post the song so here it is on her Caring Bridge blog tonight.

If you are sometimes feeling tired, exhausted, frustrated and wondering if you can go on – you need to listen to this.

Thanks J and thanks Dan

Carson

Categories: Leadership

The heart of Jesus’ leadership was putti

The heart of Jesus’ leadership was putting his spirit in his disciples, mentoring & teaching, and then setting them free. #mentoringleaders

Categories: Leadership