Moving 4000 Kilometres Away, at age 90

by Faye Reynolds

Marianne Martin’s mother, Eleanor Wolverton lived in Lantz, Nova Scotia since being widowed 30+ years. As a strong, independent and very busy volunteer, Eleanor resisted moving west to be closer to her Alberta daughter. Marianne’s husband, Bruce, is a pastor with the Canadian Baptists of Western Canada. And since Eleanor’s husband had also been a pastor, she was too aware of the frequent moves of pastoral families so was content to stay put near friends she has enjoyed for over 50 years.

Eleanor’s health took a sudden downward turn, and Marianne made her way to Halifax to sit with her mom in what nurses believed would be her final days. Eleanor was unresponsive for 10 days after her heart attack. Marianne stayed by her side when miraculously, Eleanor began to slowly recover. Marianne was able to stay for the month of Eleanor’s recovery, but Eleanor realized that it would not be easy for her daughter to drop everything and come again, should another health incident occur.

Transitions are not easy, but Eleanor knew that it was time to move to Lethbridge, though it meant leaving behind lifetime friendships…

Transitions are not easy, but Eleanor knew that it was time to move to Lethbridge, though it meant leaving behind lifetime friendships, her independent lifestyle, her car and furnishings that included antiques from her own mother. Through it all, Eleanor felt God’s hand leading the whole way – from giving her car to a young ministerial student to finding a place in a senior’s care facility close to Marianne’s home. Eleanor had visited Lethbridge for many Christmases past and participated in a Women’s Bible study through which she made friendships, which helped her ease into her new community. However, the primary concern was whether she would be well enough to make the flight, but she did well, and her health continued to improve.

Marianne has also adjusted to having her mother in town, but the extra time spent with her mom is so much richer than time spent worrying about her well-being on the other side of the country. There was some concern that they had waited too long for her to make such a major move but there were really no other barriers or concerns with the transition. Eleanor has a positive spirit and has embraced her new life in Lethbridge, although the COVID restrictions have been hard on everyone. In fact, the restricted visitation rules and lack of social activity for Eleanor has been much harder than her 4000 km move. Marianne knows how much harder this season would have been if Eleanor was still miles away. God’s hand and timing has proven true once again.