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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Last Saturday afternoon...

In late March this year, I wrote a post about Olga, a former student of mine.

Olga, Year 7

Olga had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer in early 2012 and despite a number of courses of chemo, the disease was particularly aggressive and not really responsive to treatments. Olga and Terry came back to Queensland to attend a clinic here which offered a different chemo treatment. But it was all too much for her body and the chemo treatment was discontinued. Instead, Olga visited friends, family and places around the Sunshine Coast and consulted with palliative care staff.

My lovely Olga organised a celebration now that she was back in Queensland... A Renewal of Wedding Vows, a Welcome Back to Queensland for the couple...and very sadly...A Wake. The date was set, June 8 and I had warned DH that nothing would stand in the way of us going. At the beginning of that week, Olga suffered a setback and was hospitalised... for a number of days things didn't look too promising that there would be a celebration on the Saturday. Then on Friday, Olga's husband announced that Olga had rallied and that the ceremony would definitely be on!  On Saturday morning, this precious lady had to be hooked up to  a morphine pump, as she was in such pain, but she would be allowed to leave the hospital to attend the ceremony. Hallelujah!

So it was that at 3.30 pm, friends and relatives gathered... the bride was due at 4pm. While we waited, I chatted with 2 former students who used to be shorter than me when I was their Grade 5 teacher, and in the case of Louise, Grade 7 teacher as well!!
Louise and Leanne who have grown  quite a bit taller since I taught them

DH and I sat at a table of young people...except for the lady at the head of the table, these were all school friends of Olga :-)

Olga arrives in a wheelchair and with sheer determination stands up and walks towards Terry on her brother's arm...her other brother is videoing the ceremony.

No need for a caption on the next photo, as Terry greets his bride...

The Celebrant conducts the very moving ceremony...there were many of us reaching for our hankies/tissues...


After the ceremony we all lined up, ready to take our turn in congratulating this special couple...


Olga and Terry with her schoolmates...

Olga came round to all the tables; here she is at 'our' table..
It was a lovely afternoon to be part of. Olga is at present in palliative care and her friends and family continue to send her heaps of love, positive thoughts and prayers. She is so dignified and beautiful and I'm so glad that she 'found' me again via Facebook.
I must also mention that the Management and staff of Kawana Bowls Club were so understanding and accommodating and generally brilliant! 

10 comments:

shez said...

i wish Olga all the best Maria ,this story was very moving.xx

Susan said...

So sad but so brave.

Marilyn said...

What an amazing woman. How lovely that you all could spend such a special time with her.

Janice said...

It is wonderful that you, and so many of her friends were able to be there. Olga sounds like a fabulous woman. Jx

Noela said...

A beautiful post although it had me reaching for a tissue as well. It's lovely that Olga was able to share this special day with all the people that she loves and who love her. Hugs.....

debbie said...

What a gorgeous, memorable day. So glad the celebration was able to go on. xx debbie

Naturally Carol said...

How marvellous that despite all that had taken place that week that Olga had 'her day'! A wonderful celebration to be a part of.

Ryll Paul said...

Beautiful story for a beautiful lady Maria :)

Susan, a Sometimes Blogger said...

Hello Maria, I'm finally catching up with you again after a break.
Your post about Olga and Terry was so heartwarming and I'm so in awe of Olga's fortitude. She's a beautiful lady in every way. It was lovely that she and Terry could have their special day with everyone.

Maa said...

Maria, thank you for sharing this with us. Beautiful. I wish Olga all the best and this will leave you with some wonderful memories. My heart goes out to her hubby. Hugs Sue