Showing posts with label Anniversaries of the Heart. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Anniversaries of the Heart. Show all posts

Friday, June 17, 2022

Land, Sea and Sky: There is Love



June 17, 1972



This year on June 17, 2022 my husband, Larry Bilyeu and I celebrate our 50th or "Golden" Wedding Anniversary.

Larry growing up in the small town of Mehama, Oregon and myself in the small town of Douglas on Douglas Island, Alaska. Larry and I were married at the "Shrine of St. Therese"a tiny forested island, past Auke Bay, about 25 miles north of Juneau.


This beautiful little Shrine was originally built by visiting Jesuit priests who came to the Diocese of Juneau to serve in territorial Alaska.

They found such beauty and so great the need for their services that several stayed and with the help of volunteers they completely built the tiny shrine out of the local beach stones on this tiny bit of land now known as "Shrine Island".


The Shrine is lovely, inside and out.



When the tide is in, the entire island is surrounded by beautiful blue water, except for the narrow 'walking-only' causeway.

We walked out from our wedding ceremony to the sight of eagles soaring above, whales spouting, and sea lions barking their congratulations. It was incredibly beautiful.


Now, there is this labyrinth walk etched in the sand where we once walked to the log cabin rectory on the mainland to sign our marriage certificate. And yes, we've been back and it's still lovely and weddings are still held there.

During our ceremony "The Wedding Song" by Peter, Paul, and Mary was sung and played on a folk guitar by a high school friend and at our reception a lot of Simon and Garfield and similar songs from that era. Somehow those beautiful songs filled hearts and souls as they were after all, new to many back then!




And yes, I made my own wedding dress! And each of my bridesmaids made theirs from fabric I bought and sent each of them in three different states as I gathered best friends from High School and College and included my youngest cousin who was so happy to be a bridesmaid!

Our dresses were all in different colors and were beautiful laces over satin, I even made my veil, covered my Bible with the same fabrics and carried a hand carved rose wood rosary.

Ah, the memories of a time, a place, the sounds, and the people. So many have passed on now, most of our guests, many of my own family even several who are younger than I am now.

You never know what paths and causeways you may walk in your life time. Who you will love and who you will remember.


I have since lost both of my parents, a sister in law who was there, and my dearest uncle who died a few months after he attended our wedding. Uncle Bobby's two sons were teenagers and his 12 year old daughter was my Junior Bridesmaid.

Love and pride filled his face and his heart that day. His one and only chance to see her all grown up in a long bridesmaid dress. It was a glorious day and a memorable wedding. And that day, that date, has only grown with memories ever since that beautiful day 50 years ago.


I rejoice in the wonderful memories of so many from that day, just as I grieve the loss of those who have since passed on.
For sadly, two of our best friends, mine and my youngest daughter's, passed away on this day, 25 years later in 1997. Terri Oldham was only 46. 


We met in college in 1969 as next door dorm mates and later shared acreage to each build our homes on and raise our children together. Terri and Greg's daughter Kelsy was only 12 when their family  was in a car accident en route to the 1997 summer Jr. Olympics where Kelsy was a cross country runner expected to win top honors in her division. Terri and Kelsy didn't survive though Greg and their two teen sons did. It was an unbearable loss for all of us.

Kelsy and my daughter were born 6 months apart. I was with Terri the night before Kelsy's birth and we saw her almost every day of her life as our girls were almost inseparable. Our other two children were closely bonded as well. This devastating loss broke our hearts and changed our lives and those of Greg and their sons forever.

While it also changed the memories of June 17th from our 25th anniversary on, it didn't change the love we felt for all who have been parts of our lives for whatever time we had with them. We treasured this family and all of our many shared adventures and experiences.


And now, it's not even surprising to me, that on this day, June 17, 2022 our dear friend, Daryl Stroschine is having his final big send off into the land, sea and sky with a memorial service in the tiny community church of Mehama, Oregon.

Larry and Daryl were best friends from Elementary School in Mehama, on through High School in Stayton, then off to separate colleges. 


Larry at Oregon State where we met and Daryl to Warner Pacific on a full athletic "wild and wonderful ride' of an adventure. Larry and Daryl would get together over the summers and as Larry's letters to me in Alaska can attest, he and Daryl got right back into their hiking, fishing and other adventures.

We continued to keep in touch through life's many challenges and Larry and Daryl never forgot phone calls on their shared birthday in November and in these many final years one to as many as three times a day phone calls!

Larry and Daryl shared a deep love of nature, and the outdoors. They hiked, camped, hunted and fished together throughout their younger years with lots of swimming up the North Fork River, or visiting their favorite spot at Shelburg Falls.

We sheltered Daryl (and Doobie his tiny lap dog) during the Santiam Canyon Fires, along with our own Mehama Kids/grandkids/dog/cat and even chickens.

It was a challenging time. The fires came within a 1/4 of a mile or less of their homes. Larry and I did all we could think of to keep spirits lifted and bodies well fed but the fear of losing not only their own homes in Mehama along with almost everything they owned was intense.


Daryl and I had deep talks over coffee about life, loss, and death. We shared a similar innate sense of natural spirituality, a love of the natural world, a love of arts and creativity, family and most of all love and pride in our grandchildren.

Daryl and Larry remembered decades of stories from their shared childhoods. What one had forgotten, the other remembered.

But in the end all was well, just like this rewritten, reused, and now rewritten with inclusions of Daryl's passing and connection to this anniversary post for Larry and I.


For in the end, the lovely and positive sounds, sights, and memories remain above all else and I am filled with gratitude for the good times and the lessons and treasures from even the saddest times.

Somethings never die. Beauty, art, music and love can fill up our our lives and our hearts forever.


Click below to hear this lovely song that was titled 'The Wedding Song' as it was often performed by "Peter, Paul and Mary" and this version by its writer/also solo performer on the folk group's own 25th anniversary.


The same song that Larry and I had sung by a friend, Geoff Rogers, as he played on his quitar during our wedding 50 years ago during our Catholic Mass Wedding service. Our service was performed by a traveling Jesuit priest in this beautiful place, special time, and never ending symbol of the timelessness of memories.


The song is just as meaningful and beautiful as ever.
The songs of that era are all etched forever in my heart.

Our professional and recessional songs played on his guitar by Geoff Roger's of Juneau Alaska was:

The beautiful chords and melodies that make up the songs of our lifetimes.



50 years later!


Michele Bilyeu Creates With Heart and Hands as she shares her imaginative, magical, and healing journey from Alaska to Oregon. Creating, designing, sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting, from my heart and with my hands.


💜🕊💜

Tribute Obituary/Memorial
Daryl Gene Stroschine 
 1949 - 2022
Rest in Peace
We love you and will never forget you.

💜🕊💜

Paul Toews of KYAC, a public supported small community radio station) in Mill City Oregon
"Honors the Life of Daryl Stroschine:

(And yes, that's my husband Larry who ended up at last possible moment being a call in radio guest)

Replayed from original broadcasting using mixcloud.


"Paul Toews asks why do we sing and play music/Daryl Stroschine responds." 
(Paul Toews and Ken Cartwright of KYAC Public Radio, Mill City, Oregon) 

Replayed from the original broadcast using Mixcloud.



Tuesday, June 07, 2022

Land, Sea and Sky: There is Love



June 17, 1972



This year on June 17, 2022 my husband, Larry Bilyeu and I celebrate our 50th or "Golden" Wedding Anniversary.

Larry growing up in the small town of Mehama, Oregon and myself in the small town of Douglas on Douglas Island, Alaska. Larry and I were married at the "Shrine of St. Therese"a tiny forested island, past Auke Bay, about 25 miles north of Juneau.



This beautiful little Shrine was originally built by visiting Jesuit priests who came to the Diocese of Juneau to serve in territorial Alaska.

They found such beauty and so great the need for their services that several stayed and with the help of volunteers they completely built the tiny shrine out of the local beach stones on this tiny bit of land now known as "Shrine Island".


The Shrine is lovely, inside and out.



When the tide is in, the entire island is surrounded by beautiful blue water, except for the narrow 'walking-only' causeway. We walked out from our wedding ceremony to the sight of eagles soaring above, whales spouting, and sea lions barking their congratulations. It was incredibly beautiful.


Now, there is this labyrinth walk etched in the sand where we once walked to the log cabin rectory on the mainland to sign our marriage certificate. And yes, we've been back and it's still lovely and weddings are still held there.

During our ceremony "The Wedding Song" by Peter, Paul, and Mary was sung and played on a folk guitar by a high school friend and at our reception a lot of Simon and Garfield and similar songs from that era.
Somehow those beautiful songs filled hearts and souls as they were after all, new to most back then!


And yes, I made my own wedding dress! And each of my bridesmaids made theirs from fabric I bought and sent each of them in three different states as I gathered best friends from High School and College and included my youngest cousin who was so happy to be a bridesmaid!  Our dresses were all in different colors and were beautiful laces over satin, I even made my veil, covered my Bible with the same fabrics and carried a hand carved rose wood rosary.

Ah, the memories of a time, a place, the sounds, and the people. So many have passed on now, most of our guests, many of my own family even several who are younger than I am now. You never know what paths and causeways you may walk in your life time. Who you will love and who you will remember.


I have since lost both of my parents, a sister in law who was there, and my dearest uncle who died a few months after he attended our wedding. Uncle Bobby's two sons were teenagers and his 12 year old daughter was my Junior Bridesmaid.

Love and pride filled his face and his heart that day. His one and only chance to see her all grown up in a long bridesmaid dress. It was a glorious day and a memorable wedding. And that day, that date, has only grown with memories ever since that beautiful day 50 years ago.


I rejoice in the wonderful memories of so many from that day, just as I grieve the loss of those who have since passed on.


We met in college in 1969 as next door dorm mates and later shared acreage to each build our homes on and raise our children together. Terri and Greg's daughter Kelsy was only 12 when their family  was in a car accident en route to the 1997 summer Jr. Olympics where Kelsy was a cross country runner expected to win top honors in her division. Terri and Kelsy didn't survive though Greg and their two teen sons did. It was an unbearable loss for all of us.

Kelsy and my daughter were born 6 months apart. I was with Terri the night before Kelsy's birth and we saw her almost every day of her life as our girls were almost inseparable. Our other two children were closely bonded as well. This devastating loss broke our hearts and changed our lives and those of Greg and their sons forever.

While it also changed the memories of June 17th from our 25th anniversary on, it didn't change the love we felt for all who have been parts of our lives for whatever time we had with them. We treasured this family and all of our many shared adventures and experiences.


And now, it's not even surprising to me, that on this day, June 17, 2022 our dear friend, Daryl Stroschine is having his final big send off into the land, sea and sky with a memorial service in the tiny community church of Mehama, Oregon


Larry and Daryl were best friends from Elementary School in Mehama, on through High School in Stayton, then off to separate colleges. Larry at Oregon State where we met and Daryl to Warner Pacific on a full athletic "wild and wonderful ride' of an adventure. Larry and Daryl would get together over the summers and as Larry's letters to me in Alaska can attest, he and Daryl got right back into their hiking, fishing and other adventures.

We continued to keep in touch through life's many challenges and Larry and Daryl never forgot phone calls on their shared birthday in November and in these many final years a daily phone call. They had the same deep love of nature, and the outdoors. They hiked, camped, hunted and fished together throughout their younger years with lots of swimming up the North Fork River, or visiting their favorite spot at Shelburg Falls.

We sheltered Daryl (and Doobie his tiny lap dog) during the Santiam Canyon Fires, along with our own Mehama Kids/grandkids/dog/cat and even chickens. It was a challenging time. The fires came within a 1/4 of a mile or less of their homes. Larry and I did all we could think of to keep spirits lifted and bodies well fed but the fear of losing not only their own homes in Mehama along with almost everything they owned was intense.


Daryl and I had deep talks over coffee about life, loss, and death. We shared a similar innate sense of natural spirituality, a love of the natural world, a love of arts and creativity, family and most of all love and pride in our grandchildren.


Daryl and Larry remembered decades of stories from their shared childhoods. What one had forgotten, the other remembered!

But in the end all was well, just like this rewritten, reused, and now rewritten with inclusions of Daryl's passing and connection to this anniversary post for Larry and I.


For in the end, the lovely and positive sounds, sights, and memories remain above all else and I am filled with gratitude for the good times and the lessons and treasures from even the saddest times.

Somethings never die. Beauty, art, music and love can fill up our our lives and our hearts forever.


Click below to hear this lovely song that was titled 'The Wedding Song' as it was often performed by "Peter, Paul and Mary" and this version by its writer/also solo performer on the folk group's own 25th anniversary.


The same song that Larry and I had sung by a friend as he played on his quitar during our wedding 50 years ago during our Catholic Mass Wedding Service performed by a traveling Jesuit priest in this beautiful place, special time, and never ending symbol of the timelessness of memories.

The song is just as meaningful and beautiful as ever.
The songs of that era are all etched forever in my heart.

Our professional and recessional songs played on his guitar by Geoff Roger's of Juneau Alaska:



Oh the power of music to touch the soul.
The beautiful chords and melodies that make up the songs of our lifetimes.



Michele Bilyeu Creates With Heart and Hands as she shares her imaginative, magical, and healing journey from Alaska to Oregon. Creating, designing, sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting, from my heart and with my hands.


Rest in peace Daryl.
We love you and will never forget you.


Obituary/ Tribute for 
Daryl Stroschine 
1949 - 2022

Paul Toews of KYAC, a public supported small community radio station) in Mill City Oregon
"Honors the Life of Daryl Stroschine:

(And yes, that's my husband Larry who ended up at last possible moment being a call in radio guest)

Replayed from original broadcasting using mixcloud.

https://m.mixcloud.com/mandomedic/paul-toews-honors-the-life-of-daryle-stroschine/

Paul Toews asks why do we sing and play music/Daryl Stroschine responds. by Ken Cartwright

Replayed from the original broadcast using
 Mixcloud.
 

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Anniversaries of the Heart





On June 17, my husband and I will have been married for 48 years.




Larry and I were married at the "Shrine of St. Therese".  Located on a tiny forested little island, in Auke Bay, Alaska. It is 25 miles north of Juneau, and was originally build by several visiting Jesuit priests who came to the Diocese of Juneau to serve in territorial Alaska.

They found such beauty and so much need for their services in the area surrounding Juneau, that several stayed.  And with the help of volunteers from the primary church and diocese in Juneau, they all completely built the tiny shrine of local stones on a tiny bit of an island.

This once unknown and rarely visited tiny spot in the ocean is now known and loved as Shrine Island, and can now be accessed by an improved highway, exit, and the little "pedestrians only" causeway.



When the tide is in, the entire island is surrounded by beautiful blue water.












On the Island, the beautiful Shrine of Saint Therese, named after the Roman Catholic Saint  Therese known and loved as "the little flower".

Inside and all around the Shrine both natural and man made beauty of all kinds creates a feeling of not just beauty but mystical wonder that such a place was built by hand in the 1930s by 2 visiting priests and a handful of volunteers.

Anything man made was created in Europe and shipped to America such as the statue of Ste.Therese, the Stations of the Cross or the stained glass windows.









Today, the Shrine and its beautiful location continues to be a scenic and spiritual setting for wedding masses.

My own memories of this sacred setting are filled by the blend of the natural world and the creations of the hard work of men and women working side by side with Alaskans of the pioneer communities of Auke Bay, Juneau and Douglas Island communities of the early Juneau Catholic Diocese love of both the land and their faith.

As we we walked out from our own wedding ceremony in June of 1972, we were blessed with the sight and sounds  of eagles soaring above, whales spouting, and sea lions barking their congratulations. It was and still is, incredibly beautiful.




Now, there is this labyrinth walk etched in the sand where we once walked to the log cabin rectory on the mainland to sign our marriage certificate. And yes, we've been back and it's still lovely and weddings are still held there. 





The spiral is an ancient and sacred symbol, and as we trace its path with our senses it connects us with all there is, has been, and ever will be in a repeated patterning. This is why we are subconsciously drawn to many culture's ancient and enduring signs and symbols.





The labyrinth is walked by thousands of people a year who come out to view the beauty and feel the incredible energies of spirit that fill land, sea, and sky as animals gather without fail as blessings for all. Walking a labyrinth has been a deeply meaningful, often very spiritual experience..



During our own symbolic and magical wedding ceremony,  "The Wedding Song" by Peter, Paul, and Mary was sung and played on a folk guitar by a high school friend, (with The Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet for the Processional) .

During our reception 25 miles back to my town of Douglas on Douglas Island, a lot of Simon and Garfield and similar songs were performed for our guests  from that era. Somehow those beautiful songs filled hearts and souls as they were after all, new to most back then!  

And yes, I made my own wedding dress! And each of my bridesmaids made theirs from fabric I bought and sent each of them in three different states as I gathered best friends from High School and College and included my youngest cousin who was so happy to be a bridesmaid! 

Our dresses were all in different colors and were beautiful laces over satin, I even made my veil, covered my Bible with the same fabrics and carried a hand carved rose wood rosary. Handmade wedding in so many ways! 

Ah, the memories of a time, a place, the sounds, and the people. So many have passed on now, most of our guests, many of my own family even several who are younger than I am now. 








You never know what paths and cause ways you may walk in your life time. Who you will love and who you will remember. 





I have since lost both of my parents, a sister in law who was there, and uncle (who died by drowning on a moose hunting trip with my dad) a few months after he attended our wedding  (his young 11 year old daughter was my Junior Bridesmaid). Love and pride filled his face and his heart that day. His one and only chance to see her all grown up in a long bridesmaid dress. Now, that once 11 year old girl is in her 50s and not only lived and taught school in Kenya and Madagascar for many years but traveled back again in 2019 and hiked to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. 

Oh, the changes and memories of all of our lifetimes.





I rejoice in the wonderful memories of so many from that day, just as I grieve the loss of those who passed on.





For sadly, my best friend and her 12 year old daughter, our dearest and best friends in the world passed away , on this day....25 years later in 1997. Friends since 1969 that we met in college and sharing land and family neighbors for 20 here in Salem before their terrible car accident and the then surviving husband's incredible loss of his own life in a hiking  accident in 2014. Losses upon losses but also joys upon joys of gratitude for so many wonderful times that came before.


While it changed the memories of June 17th forever from our 25th anniversary on, it didn't change the love we felt for all who have been parts of our lives for whatever time we had with them.








The sunshine and the shadows of our lives. The loss of many we have so deeply grieved and will forever grieve the loss of from our lives.





But in the end, the lovely and positive sounds, sights, and memories remain above all else.

The beauty and the joys of love, hope, promise that the sun rises on each new day just as it transitions each day back into night.

 I am filled with deepest gratitude for the beauty and my heart's treasuring of all of the beauty, joy, and laughter filled days and the lessons and treasures from even the sadder ones.

My heart and my spirit connect to the labyrinth of my life's journey. For just as I have traveled to my heart's forever home in Alaska, so to it travels back again to my life in my also very beautiful state of Oregon.








Here, we built our home together. We raised our three beautiful children. Here, too they found their own life partners. We attended their weddings, watched them and their families have children or beloved fur-kids, find and buy houses, face lifes challenges and experience fun and joy as well!


                       






They blessed us with four grandchildren and furry grand dogs and cats to add to our own lives to love, as well.

Time brings changes to all of our lives and day by day we deal with them the best we can.  We love, we care, we help and we share each day, and each new experience that comes.




Our family has
shared many, many wonderful times and beautiful days and faced many often seeminly unbearable  challenges.  

We've had great adventures, visited lovely areas, camped, hiked, and canoed and kayaked our own Oregon, as well as  my Alaskan wonderlands.

The circles and the cycles and the spirals widen and deepen; but the greatest of all things remain.  





For always and always, among the good times and great fun, and deepestest and most meaningful experiences, there is love.. 

Listen to our song from 1972 in our tiny island wedding:

Peter, Paul and Mary - Wedding Song "There is Love" 




Please continue to pray and send healing energies for our oldest daughter who continue to battle and advanced and extraordinary form of cancer for the past year. 54 weeks of chemo, surgery, 6 weeks of daily radiation. And now more chemo..all without stop for more than a year. 

We love her with all our hearts and pray and visualize a miracle of miracles.

Thank you and many many blessings in return.




Michele Bilyeu Creates With Heart and Hands as she shares her imaginative, magical, and healing journey from Alaska to Oregon. Creating, designing, sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting... from my heart and with my hands.