Linda Carol Sens (nee Markwart). Born March 2, 1947 Broadview; Married June 17, 1967 Grenfell (Ralph Sens); Died May 24, 2021 Regina.
The capital “L” in her name stood for
Lioness. Strong, independent, tenacious, one of many ways to describe her. That fiery red hair reflected her personality. She dedicated her life to caring and looking after others. From her time
working at the Orange Home in Indian Head, to a SaskTel long distance operator, to farm wife and mother, to Special Care Aide at Grenfell Pioneer Home, and finally as grandmother.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me. She didn’t walk into that valley, she rode on the back of a lion and with sword drawn they charged at death. At first it looked like she had COVID pneumonia on the run. However, her COPD lungs couldn’t keep up and as the days went by, the rest of her body slowly started shutting down. Mother was unresponsive. The long term evaluation was that she would never get off the ventilator and be bedridden for the rest of her life.
After working as a Special Care Aide for thirty-some years, Mom told many family members to never put her in a position where she would be trapped in a body that did not work. We honored her wishes. On Saturday, May 22 at 11 a.m., Mom was removed from the ventilator. Her damaged lungs and lioness heart fought an incredible 50 hours and 12 minutes. Surrounded by her three children (Ricky, Bradley and Rhonda), Mom’s heart beat a final time. It’s OK Mom, let go of our hand. Stand for the first time in three weeks and take a deep breath with your new lungs. We order you to run, not walk, run to your husband and embrace him for the first time in 30 years. Then pick up your
infant daughter you lost 54 years ago. You can now ask your mother all those genealogy questions that frustrated you. When you see your father, ask him “Wie gehts?” Watch him smile and say “The gate is good but the fence is bad.”
April 28th, I, Ricky, dropped Mom off at Indian Head Hospital as a precaution, as she and the rest of the family tested positive for COVID. May 2 she was transferred to Regina General Hospital. On May 3 I got a phone call from Mom’s cell number, but a strange voice was saying they will be intubating Mom soon. Then Mom’s voice begins to speak. “I will be going away for two or three days….. or maybe forever.” She delivered those words like the defiant Lioness she always was. Her voice never cracked or wavered. I was trying to hold myself together and all I could say was “we all love you and keep fighting.” Then just like that she was whisked away. The MICU staff tell me that she was joking and smiling right up until the time she was intubated and silenced forever.
Our Mother had a series of health issues, but the most serious was COPD. All those years of working as a Special Care Aide inhaling harsh cleaning products took its toll. Heed this warning everyone : If you work in healthcare, hospitality, agriculture, oil/gas, or even just keeping your own house clean – PROTECT YOUR LUNGS! Noxious fumes, grain dust, chemicals, asbestos, H2S, SO2, even bleach can harm you. Every day, every time, it takes a little piece out of you. Before you know it every breath is a struggle.
The amount of times each family member leaned on Mom for support is incalculable. She was our rock, our solid foundation. The hands of time wait for no one. We accept our own mortality – you are born, you live, and you will die. There is no escaping it. Everyone has a personal game clock however, the amount of time remaining does not show. There is no referee whistle to warn of only two minutes left, so take your remaining time, swallow your pride and actually say “I love you” to those close to you. Hold their hand and embrace them, for you never know when the game clock is about to reach zero.
Just like the hands of time, the sands of time also don’t wait for anyone. Every passing day another grain of sand settles beside that rock. Before you know it that rock is covered with sand. This is the progression of life. We, the next in line, are rooted and standing on that solid foundation. Mom, thank you for the way you decided to raise us. Thank you for showing us how to be self sufficient; how to fill three big freezers and know where it all came from. Thank you for showing us how to be fearless, speak our mind, stand our ground and think for ourselves. We promise to keep the tradition of Sunday roast chicken with everyone at the table. I will quote my late Father “the bank account might be low, but damn we eat like kings!” We promise to feed your grandchildren right. You have no idea how much you will be missed. Birthdays and Christmases will be hollow without you. We are going to miss your text bombing, and especially the one in capital letters – “HELLO, AM I INVISIBLE!!”
Mom, you are so much adored and loved there are no words to express it. Remember, Mom, you are an angel now. Just like all those ornaments throughout your house. Spread your wings and, like your favorite song says, “Go rest high on that mountain.” The family would like to thank Kendra Morin, Adreen Nunnelly, Kim Berger, Pastor Wicks and the Apostolic Prayer Group for your tireless efforts. Thank you for all the wishes and prayers from California to British Columbia, Montana to Alberta, Ontario to the Maritimes, and everyone in Saskatchewan. If we missed anyone, we apologize, as we cannot crack Mom’s laptop password. I know we must have missed someone.
Heartfelt thank you to the nurse practitioners, Saleski Pharmacy, Ambulance personnel, Indian Head Hospital staff, and Regina General COVID ICU. The heart of the Lioness may have stopped beating, but Mom has not left us. She has arrived at eternal love. She is an angel, let her fly!
A graveside service in St. Joseph’s Riverside Cemetery, Grenfell District, Sask. will be held at a later date. When on the website, please click on receive notifications/updates to be alerted when the service date and time have been set.
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