Friday, July 31, 2009

Saying Good Bye

Photo courtesy of Uncle A's Christmas Greeting 2008
Tomorrow we are heading over to the funeral of our uncle who passed away this week. It is resurrecting old memories and blurry flashbacks to the time when my mom passed. He is her little brother ... a young uncle to me -- just 11 years older. And we shared our birthday -- something that I always felt was our secret little bond.

I do not want to get to the end of my life
and find that I just lived the length of it.
I want to have lived the width of it as well.

- Diane Ackerman

He passed suddenly, without warning, leaving behind a family in shock, grief and disbelief. He was a musical man, and all of our family get-togethers ended in him playing his guitar and leading a sing song. He would laugh as he played when we missed - despite trying so hard (in vain) to hit - those high notes. He was like a medicine man with his bag of tricks -- he could pull the perfect tune out for for every occasion. "Here's a tune I think you'll like!"

His voice was soothing and gentle and he sang in a high register ... like his beloved hero Gordon Lightfoot. He provided the musical soundtrack for my childhood and I think my family would agree.

It has seemed like an eternity since getting the news from my aunt last Monday. Tomorrow we will gather to say our final goodbyes. On this past birthday during our annual ritual call, he told me that he thought that at most he had another good five years in him. None of his siblings who had passed before him had survived 65 and he was concerned that his genes would dictate an early exit. He was right. He said then that he hoped that when his card was pulled that he would go with a drink in one hand and his guitar in the other. And I think he pretty much did.

Tomorrow we will celebrate the fun and joy he brought to the lives of all who knew him. We will recount his devilish little stories and grieve for the laughter and songs we won't hear anymore.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


The world is a little smaller and news travels at the speed of Facebook, Twitter, email, texts and blogs ...

When I recently received the sad news of my uncle's passing, I headed over to my dad's place to tell him in person - and I did it quickly. In these times of lightening speed communications, news is shared instantly and spreads like a pandemic. I didn't want him learning about this from a Facebook status update or something. Remember when instant communications meant a phone call (an expensive one if it was long distance) and the long version was a handwritten letter send through the postal service? (Never mind waiting for the reply). Those days are but a distant memory.

The upside of these technological times is that we have the means to stay in touch at the click of a keyboard, a press of the send button or the upload of a picture. Technology makes it easy and instant. So I guess we have no excuses ... we can reach out to family and friends, share our lives with them whether they live down the street or across the country. And we can do it often.

Let's be real -- sometimes there is nothing like sitting down with a cup of tea for a good visit, or a phone chat to catch up. Email and electronic tools are not a substitute, but in lieu of those personal exchanges, they can keep you connected and involved. We message more frequently - sometimes several times a day -- nice, short messages about day to day stuff that keeps us close.

Sometimes I curse the barrage of electronic communication I receive or the lack of privacy that comes with having that GPS that we call a cell phone with me at all times. [Hi, where are you?] But to be perfectly honest, for me, the benefits far outweigh the downside. I love opening my IN BOX to see a list of unread messages. I get excited when I get an email that tells me that my daughter has posted a video. And I look forward to reading the blogs of my friends and yes -- family! MIH has also joined the blogosphere.

So I guess I am trying to say that technology makes it easy to nurture ... e-nurture! So get busy!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Holes and Spaces

Holes. Spaces. Little empty places.
When people we love and care about leave us, their passing leaves a permanent void.

I still feel the space that my mom used to fill -- and although it may sound odd, it is not painful. It gives me comfort and I never want it filled ... it is a placeholder for the love she gave and the place that only she occupied. Not a bad thing ... just a fact. We all leave little holes (if we are lucky) if we have meant something special to someone.

The threads of our relationships and family bonds weave a delicate fabric. Death can unravel, snag the thread. And our weathered tapestry is a testament to the depth and richness of our life.

Holes. Spaces. Little empty places.
Little gaps we can't replace. Nor would we want to.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


the last verse has been sung
gentle strumming and sweet refrain
the light is slowly dimming
the curtains drawing to a close
and although an encore is applauded
the set has ended
spirit - departed.
we won't hear his song

dedicated to my uncle R.A.S, 1949-2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

Family Diamond

Well I finally got to meet my long lost cousin - better known as West Coast Cousin (Cuz) - and her daughter, who has the same name as Kidlet. Cuz and I are the same age, were raised thousands of miles apart and had never met - before this weekend.

It's funny though ... the moment she walked through the door, I recognized her as family. I felt an instant ease and comfort with her, and after the inaugural hug and welcome she was initiated. Of course we had our customary famjam to give her the full effect and impact of the large family she is a part of. My dad shared stories of his visits with her parents (who have both passed), and acquainted her with some family history. The conversations were many, concurrent and impassioned (loud!). Our plates were full and the wine flowed as freely as the stories. The younger gen scooped up Kidlet2 in the craziness that is them at these gatherings and she took her place in their midst. She was officially part of the clan. I couldn't help thinking what an assault on the senses this must be for her. Kidet2 is an only child and for most of her life it has been her and her mom. I suspect bedlam and boisterous have not been the order of the day for her. She is a quiet but direct. She speaks her mind and gets her answers.

How is it that we can be raised worlds apart and still have that invisible thread that ties us together? Share a bond that is not rooted from years of acquaintance - but rather from the experiences of our parents and their relationships; the knowledge that we belong to something bigger than ourselves.

My heart is full and I feel like someone who kicked a stone only to find out it was a diamond -- for Cuz is surely that.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Morning Glory

I'm up with the morning glories ... open and ready to greet the day, and any treasures it may hold. Early morning is a special time. The house is still and the open windows allow the breezes in - the only sounds come from the ticking of my laptop and the songfest from the feathered friends outside the window.

But the world is slowly waking up -- coming to life. The banging of heavy equipment from the work being done down the street has started and the distant hum of the highway is background noise that gets stronger as it gets busier.

This is a precious slice of time to be fully aware, in the moment, enjoying the most simplest of pleasures -- peace and a freshly brewed cup of coffee. This is a time to collect, reflect and ponder the possibilities of the day.

There will be time enough for busy-ness, activities and chores .. but for now, at this exact moment in time there is but one task at hand -- revelling in the quiet - the morning - the best part of the day.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Positive Street

Ever have one of those days weeks? You know the kind ... things seem to pile up around you, you're in a funk and you find yourself on the other side of Positive Street. That was me ... and I felt as though the energy had drained out of me. Where is that Ever-ready Bunny when I need him. It doesn't happen often - in fact almost never - but the upside was that I went to bed really early. The downside was that I also woke up early -- 4:30 am to be exact! Now that wouldn't be so bad -- the birds are chirping happily at that hour and the rhythmic breathing duels between hubby and Fritz are kind've comforting -- but I couldn't fall back asleep. Couldn't quiet the mind no matter how hard I tried. It made for some l o n g days.

Anyway -- I found the secret cure for lethargy -- vacuuming! All that pushing and pulling and lugging gets the blood pumping and offers the perfect distraction and vacation from thinking. Just what I needed.

I have enough faith to know we can't have the mountains without the valleys, and with the law of nature it's inevitable that the tide will surely turn; the sun will once again shine. OK -- scrap that last part. We haven't had alot of sun this summer.

And guess what? Kidlet got her very first job! My west coast cousin and her daughter will be here this weekend and I will finally meet her face to face. Lots of good news today.

So I guess I just strolled across, back to the brighter side of Positive Street. And really -- it's a much nicer place!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


It couldn't have been easy ... being a woman without children of her own, raised as an only child, marrying a man with four children and eight grandchildren. Instant large family. Just add wine for a nice soft focus. Today is my step-mom's (T) 65th birthday. I don't think she would mind me saying that - considering the good face she puts on the age.

She is energetic and active - she has to be to keep up with my dad. I can remember the moment I knew T was a good match for my father -- they were landscaping the yard in their new home, removing all the grass and T was rolling back sod as quickly as Dad could break it up. She worked tirelessly - and cheerfully - by his side instead of running screaming with tools in hand. She was game for anything ... she learned to play golf, took an interest in growing vegetables and fruit - and preserving them, and learned to be a central part of a very large clan. She learned to listen patiently to the same stories, recounted over and over again.

After my mother passed, my father was lost - aimless and generally disinterested. He retreated to his Arctic job and I wondered if we would ever get him back. But good fortune smiled on him and he was granted a second chance for having someone to share his life with. When T came into his life, she resuscitated him ... resparked his interest in life again. She gave him a reason to come home.

T was a gift for my dad and our family. In the last ten years we have grown to love her and what she means to the clan. But most importantly, we love her for the partner she is to my dad, and how she loves him without condition.

So warm wishes T - today, on your milestone birthday. May you have many more celebrations and much wine with us in the decades to come ...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Through My Prism

I just watched a rerun of Love Story - a movie that came out when I was just ten years old. It wasn't quite as I remembered ... the passage of time has somehow made the camera work a little shakier, the sweeping musical theme I remembered sounded tinny - a little thin. The dialogue was corny and Ali McGraw was wooden in her role as Jenny. Heck - even the famous, climatic line "love means never having to say you're sorry" that had brought tears to my eyes as a girl (and my mother's) landed flat. The reality of the film didn't match the memory I had cherished.

It got me thinking about other instances where the memory of something differed or was grander than the reality...

The first house we lived in when we moved to my home town was a grand, three storey brick home with an imposing front porch. I played in a forest at the end of our street and a well worn pathway led to a rushing river. Smiling yet? The last time I revisted the old neighbourhood, the house - although a good size - seemed smaller than I remembered, and the rushing river was more like a gentle stream.

How is it that our memory preserves these perspectives so carefully ... and when left undisturbed, they become our truth. It is just another example that absolute truth is not so absolute, but rather, viewpoints and events filtered through the colours of our looking glass - our personal prism.

So after watching Love Story once again, I kind of wished I hadn't. This one would have been better left undisturbed. But then again, love is never having to say I'm sorry!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Weekend Whimsy

Why do weekends pass so quickly? I'm like a kid slurping on her straw, making loud obnoxious noises to suck up every last drop.

It's been a good weekend. Hubby and I squeezed in a few good walks together, the household chores got completed and I even played hooky from blogging yesterday - just didn't want to open my laptop and get distracted.

A big part of the reason that I started blogging was to develop a daily discipline for writing. An unexpected surprise was the keen awareness of the world around me - the hyper-observation skills that I developed. I started carrying my camera with me everywhere, capturing frozen moments in time, people, animals, and scenes from my life. I seek out and find the beauty that surrounds me, the colours of the world that is mine.

So these are the gifts from blogging and the time I dedicate to it - living fully in the moment and appreciating the beauty in simplicity. I have shared a few of the scenes from my weekend.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Nights

It's Friday night ... one of my favourite days of the week. Time to exhale ... decompress.

After days of busy-ness, it is a time for calm and recharging. The house is still and quiet. Kidlet is at her father's house for the weekend and even Fritz seems to welcome the peace.

The weekend stretches out before me like a welcome mat ... and I am happy. I will savour every surprise it will bring ... and enjoy every last moment of it.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wham! Bam! Another FamJam

It's unanimous ... we love our famjams. With a family our size, it's harder and harder to have an event where everyone makes it. Tonight we came close ... we managed a mid summer early birthday celebration for step-mama and only missed my pilot-in-training nephew, who is away at camp. And he was missed.

We sat elbow to elbow, sweating (the humidity picked today to show up), laughing, telling the same stories over and over (hubby will attest), clinking glasses and basking in the safe, quirky, collective cocoon that is our family.

It wouldn't be a party without the traditional events: who can touch their nose with their tongue? Who can pick up objects with their toes? Who is double jointed? Yup - we're a laugh a minute! But really -- can you pick up pencils with your toes??

And in another week - we're gonna do it all over again when my west coast cousin and her daughter roll into town.

I am going to defer my birthday blog for step mama until her actual birthday. : )

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Breakfast for Dinner

Tonight hubby made us pancakes and homefries for dinner - a delayed meatless Monday. It was a refreshing change -not to mention delicious. He has perfected the spicing on his rustic homefries (I am a major potato fan) and even Fritz enjoyed a taste.

It brought me back to the times in my childhood when we went home for lunch and my mother would surprise us with pancakes instead of the usual soup and sandwiches. There was a sense of joie de vivre that you get when you do the unexpected, or do things out of order.
So I guess the take away today is ... change it up!

Monday, July 13, 2009

More Ripples

My daughter Harmony called to tell me that her boss' daughter landed a job with, the organization that gives micro loans to people in impoverished communities. She graciously went on to say that because of the Kiva gift certificate I sent her (a year or two ago), and the subsequent one she gave her boss, that in some way I had something to do with this young woman fulfilling her dream. It was a stretch for sure, however it did make me smile ...

I think the point she was making is the ripple effect of a good deed. My gift to her was an invitation to participate in helping make the dream of some entrepreneur in a developing community come true. She then paid it forward to her boss. He enthusiastically embraced the concept and reality of micro loans and became an active giver and champion of the effort. He gave many gift certificates and even formed a lending group to rally loaners. As a result, his freshly university-graduated daughter applied and was accepted for a position with Kiva, working in Togo. She is elated and so is her father.

It seems that many dreams came true ... and it serves as a reminder of how a good deed can keep on giving -- its ripples being felt long after.

I am proud of Harmony for paying it forward ... and for having an interest in the human condition. She is indeed her name ... rippling Harmony.

I had another post about Kiva last January - Lending A Hand Up.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Organically Yours

I just finished unpacking the fruits and veggies we bought today at the Organic Garage. The name describes the store perfectly -- all things organic and it's like shopping in a garage!

Hubby and I continue to make small changes to reduce the harm we do to our earth -- and our bodies. We are making a conscious effort to buy meat, eggs, fruit and vegetables that are organic and where possible, locally grown and produced.

I was raised in a community hours away from any city and meat from local farms was not only easily accessible - it was the only meat I knew until I went to college. Once or twice a year our freezer would be bulging from the side of beef, free range chickens and pork we had delivered from local farms. It was wrapped in that waxy brown paper and tied with string and tape. It all looked the same -- no fancy packaging here-- with the "cut" scrawled on each package in black oil pencil. I can remember coaxing my mother to buy the nice red meat when we were food shopping. She would tell us that it's only red because of the preservatives and chemicals they added -- that the grey colour was natural. I think we still would have preferred the packaged bacon rather than the thick slices of side bacon in our freezer. What did we know?! We were actually eating organic before there was a name for it. Now when I taste beef or chicken that has been raised locally without antibiotics I can say without reserve that it definitely tastes better.

Side note: We have been dumping our potato peelings and vegetable scraps into our composter dailiy for 10 tens years now and we have barely recouped a cup of compost for the garden. I think we have a magic composter that swallows the organic material ... just a thought.

Anyway, to be truthful, it is definitely more costly and it will be wonderful when the demand for organic produce and products drives the prices down. But then again, sometimes you get what you pay for. In this case you pay for what you don't get ... additives and other chemicals.

Now off I go to empty my compost bowl into the magic machine ...

Organically yours ... Lyn

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Sidetracked by Flashbacks

Old report cards. Artwork signed by the hand of a child. Notes I wrote when conversations where impossible. These are just a sampling of the lost treasures I came across today as I cleared out the bedroom closets of my grown daughters.

I allowed myself a detour - a side trip - back to another time and space. I sat on the floor, immersed in sifting through the memorabilia - flipping through my daughters art portfolio with her trademark, cartoonish figures with clever captions. Another sketchbook contained poetry and clever musings from my other daughter - I read every word. Today was one of those rare treats ... a potpourri of cleaning and leisurely browsing, as I just mentioned.

Time has passed so very quickly. I know - cliche, right? When I am alone and the house is quiet, if I lay on one of my girls' beds, and close my eyes, I swear I can hear the faint giggles of little girls and the echoes of yesteryear. The walls have absorbed the sounds of living and if you listen very closely, you can hear them. I am acutely aware that soon Kidlet will go the way of my other two precious treasures, as she embarks on a life of her own.

For now, I don't have to depend on the walls to remind me -- I still have a backstage pass.

Friday, July 10, 2009

You Are So Beautiful

Tonight Adventure Girl treated me to a Joe Cocker concert. It was a regular date... leisurely dinner and drinks on the patio of a quaint little Italian restaurant and then the concert. We got lost in the laughing and life chats and by the time we got around to checking the time - we had barely 20 minutes before the concert started.

As we settled into our seats, happily chatting, and gushing about our perfect timing - the lights dimmed. When Joe Cocker strode on stage, the audience assumed its collective personality. The calling out to Joe, the spontaneous ejections from the seats accompanied by swaying hands in the air (all men btw), and the whistles and cheers made the verdict unanimous -- this crowd loved Joe Cocker.

Adventure Girl and I were not avid fans -- we were familiar with a few of his tunes, mostly from the 70's but basically AG had bought them for someone special and that person wasn't so special any more -- so I was the stand in date. I think it was for the best... AG was sitting beside double trouble -- 2 women who were totally smitten wit h Joe and kept telling him so ... from our seats in the balcony. Their passion was admirable. I was sitting beside Billy Bob Thornton (look alike) and his posse who "hated the slow crap", kept better time with their hands and feet than the percussionist and could hit the high notes better (and louder) than Joe. It was OK though cause every time Joe grappled with a note, they filled in for him and coaxed him along (again -- from the balcony) - and always during a ballad. Adventure Girl and I were in stitches the whole concert watching the mini dramas all around us as well as the show on the stage.

As we drove home we agreed that the night had been fun, another addition for the memory book. We just couldn't decide what was better - the show on stage - or the one in the stands.

Thank you Adventure Girl for a really fun night.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bump It Up!

My stomach is sore from laughing. I just hung up from talking to my far-away sister and I am still convulsing. I'll start from the beginning ...

A few nights ago my far-away aunt called to ask me if I had heard about bumpits. Ironically I had just seen the infomercial the night before - and it had triggered an uncontrolled giggling fit. It promised to take you from flat to fabulous. I watched as the woman placed the plastic contraption - a voluming insert - under her hair resulting in an instant beehive. Who knew beehives were making a comeback? I couldn't imagine who would actually wear one -- and certainly not something called a bumpit (I kept saying "bumpkin" and my aunt dutifully corrected me each and every time).

So when she called to tell me that she had ordered a set for herself and my far-away sister - I burst into hysterics. I couldn't control it. My mouthful of tea exploded as my aunt explained that she thought they would help boost my sister's hair ... My aunt and I are always honest with one another and this occasion was no different ...

"Oh auntie, I saw the commercial and the puffy hair looked like cr@p!"
"Oh Lyn ... do you think? I thought they would be better than a wig for your sister."

I couldn't argue with that- I had to agree. Then my aunt and I spent the next 10 minutes howling about the "bumpkins".

My aunt is so sweet ... always giving what little she has to give. Gotta love her. She felt that because she had given me the gratitude bracelet that she wanted to also share with my other sister. **smile**

Soooo, when sister called tonight to tell me that Auntie called her to tell her she was sending her some instant volume for her hair .... we laughed all over again. Those bumpits have already paid for themselves --- a source of great laughter -- the kind that comes from the deepest part of our gut and you just know it's gotta be good for you.

So Auntie, we love you and thank you for helping us Bump It Up!!
Photo credit:

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Thought Clumps

Ever have such a headful of swirling, twirling thoughts
that you don't know how or where to start
to articulate?

That's me tonight ...
Overstimulated (OK - I watched the MJ Tribute),
and a smidgen overwhelmed.

Each individual grain of thought
sitting in a sticky clump
I'm unable to pull a single one
without another.

For now, slumber calls and writing will wait
and tomorrow -
thoughts will organize and queue
and the words will flow

OR - this blog is going to get very boring.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Maybe it's an age thing ... or a sign I have too many balls in the air. Or maybe I am just forgetful. Cause lately, my memory seems to be on a leave of absence.

When my boss went on vacation she left me a sticky note with the password to her computer written on it - just in case. As it turned out, I had to log into her computer - so I pulled out the highly confidential note. Then I had a few more stops to make -- at the coffee machine, the photocopier and then of course, the bathroom. I still had the note in my trusty care - so I stuck it to the back of the bathroom stall while I used the facilities. And that is where the story gets a little foggy. All I know is that I couldn't find that note for trying ... and I must have left it - posted like a mini billboard - for someone else to find. Today, I sheepishly confessed this to my boss as she stared at me, her wide eyes unblinking in disbelief.

How was your day?

Embarrassment doesn't begin to describe how I felt -- but a few other words do ... but this is not that kind of blog.

I find myself laughing at the predicaments I get myself into ... but I admit I looked up the 10 signs of Alzheimer's. Thankfully I only have 3 of them.

Like I said, maybe it's an age thing ... or a sign I have too many balls in the air. Or maybe I am just forgetful. I would really like to forget today ... or maybe just parts of it.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Berry Good Weekend

It was a weekend of famjams - dinner with our parents. Friday night we ventured out to hubby's parents' house for a BBQ. I always look forward to our time with them - MIH (my pet name for my mom-in-law heart) is only a decade older than me so she is more like my soul-sister than anything. We share the same outlook on things and have lots to talk about. Hubby and I are always greeted by the most outgoing member of the family, Mr. Tibbs, a playful 65 pound Shar-Pei who is convinced he is a puppy. My father-in -law is a great cook - and he makes sure he has every one's favourite treats and eats. I diligently ate every morsel he served me - the BBQ's ribs, butternut squash and apples, and new baked potatoes - everything lavished with butter. Just when I had licked the plate clean - out came the cheesecake with fresh raspberries. Surprisingly I didn't explode, but the button on my waistband was undone. I always leave their home satisfied and contented.

Today my parents came over for Sunday dinner. Kidlet arrived home early afternoon and her sister was here to greet her. It made dinner all the more special. Hubby and I found a store in which we could buy local organic poultry and meat so today was the first time serving organic beef hamburgers. I was skeptical, but there was a distinct difference in taste. The atmosphere was relaxed ... we sat around the pool, Dad and I discussing his writing and vision for it, and his wife patiently listening to stories she no doubt has heard more than once. The sun was high in the clear blue sky and the only break in our conversation came when we spotted yet another plane flying overhead or guessed at the bird songs.

I actually made dessert today - mile high chocolate brownie pie. It felt good to take some care in making something special for my family. Hubby thankfully does most of the cooking so I don't often get the chance -- or make the effort.

All in all it was a very good weekend - rich in food, family, chocolate and other blessings. It was a berry good summer, sunny weekend - and for that, I am supremely grateful.

PS - My nephew is celebrating his 15th birthday today ... a wonderful young pilot in training. He is so young and yet he has a vision and dreams for his life. Hugz HBB!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Almost Home

Apparently we have alot of Americans in our neighbourhood 'cause as I write this, I can hear the sounds of fireworks going off. Happy 4th of July to our U.S. friends.

Kidlet has been away all week in Costa Rica with her dad and sister. I didn't hear a thing from her - no emails, call or Facebook posts - and it felt strange. I really missed her and so did Fritz ...

I thought of her as I washed and folded her laundry. I thought of her when I dragged her hockey bag into the basement and sprayed it lovingly with Fabreeze. The house echoed with her absence. Her shoes at the front door looked as lonely as I felt.

Her flight gets in late tonight so I probably won't see her until tomorrow, and my other daughter lives in the city so it will likely be a few weeks before I see her. Catching up on the phone will have to do.

They had a unique opportunity to share a Costa Rican jungle experience with their father and one another. I know I have come to appreciate every opportunity to be all together with my girls because as they grow into their own lives, it is harder to make that happen.

I can't wait for tomorrow when that lanky Amazon daughter of mine barges through the door with her gazillion backpacks and bags and declares, Pura Vida!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Adding to the MJ Saturation

A week later and TV is still saturated with Michael Jackson coverage. It is as if we are collectively examining his life, searching for answers, working through issues - trying to understand the man and his life. We are conflicted ... awestruck by his talent, shocked by his morphing appearance, confused by his lifestyle and saddened by what seemed to be a desperately lonely, damaged man struggling to handcraft his own personal family, his private source of unconditional love.

Some say he passed before his time. But there is nothing that says how long, long is. As a means of survival we cling to the notion that we each have a full measure -- 80 or 90 years to spend. But I think we live exactly as long as we are supposed to. We don't always understand "why him" or " why now" but it could be that once we have learned the lessons we need, evolved or served the purpose we were meant fulfill, life is fulfilled.

Our obsession with the superstar whose life and death was an enigma has more to do with our own disbelief that life can be snuffed out so suddenly, and to someone who seemed larger than life. And the sad casualty of all of this is his little handmade family - his children.

The takeaway from this sad tale ... prepare for our deaths; make arrangements for our children as well as our estate. And share this information with our families. Meet the inevitable head on and demystify it.

Let's hope his family finds peace.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Grow Old and Stay in Love ...

Tonight Hubby and I ate our dinner in the family room, perched in front of the ginormous TV. For temporary relief from the relentless Michael Jackson coverage I turned to the Biography channel. They were featuring Kirk and Michael Douglas. As the film was winding down it showed a clip from Kirk Douglas' 50th wedding anniversary party. He and his wife had renewed their vows in an outdoor ceremony. As he saw his wife, walking shakily by herself down a grassy aisle, Kirk threw away his cane and went running to meet her - arms outstretched. If that wasn't enough to bring a tear to a glass eye -- the icing on the cake was when Kirk reached out to her and in his thick, raspy voice - started singing a song he had especially written for the event, called Please Stay in Love with Me.

Pass the Kleenex please. Hubby chuckled away at me but I gotta tell you -- it was the most romantic moment I had ever witnessed. Isn't that a secret desire of all us who are in love -- that we will stay in crazy love forever? I hope in 30 or 40 years I have Hubby chasing me down to declare his undying love and maybe hum me a tune or two. That was the gem in today -- an inspirational goal to aspire to ...

A woman knows the man she wants to marry
and a man knows the woman he
doesn't want to be without.
- Kirk Douglas

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

O My Canada

O Canada
Your regal national anthem strikes a chord and
my heart stirs, tears well up to overflowing.

Your infinite, diverse landscape spanning from
sea to sea to sea
embraces lush farmland, rugged hills, rushing rivers,
sweeping grasslands, pristine lakes, tundra and majestic mountains.

You are so much to so many:
A noble nation of aboriginal peoples and newcomers
pursuing an ideal of embracing - not tolerating -
all that differentiates us
as well as that which unites us.

You are not a melting pot -- but a brilliant mosaic of
culture, religion, and ethnicity.
Your empathy for and care of the weakest, poorest and sickest
is your trademark.

You are the land of the free and a beacon of hope
And proof positive that a kinder, gentler nation can
preserve that which is
precious to life and liberty.

O my Canada
I am so grateful to call you home
and proud to uphold all that which we know
to be Canadian.

Happy Canada Day.

P.S. My blogger Dad and I often seem to post about similar themes ... today is no exception. Check out his moving post - also call O Canada -- from his blog, Peering Through a Porthole.