For Desmond Tutu meeting Trevor Huddleston determined the path of his life. In my own life there are many defining moments that led me to who I am today. Teachers, coaches , community members and a School Counsellor had an impact.
In grade 12 (1976) my School Counsellor Mrs. Brown gave me $100.00 towards my post secondary education. My family could not afford to pay my way. I was the first in my family to go to University so it was certainly a big deal. I did not realize at the time just how much money that was or even how incredible it was that she did that. What a gift and an impact she had on the trajectory of my life. A lacrosse scholarship and a bursary ( both recommended by community members) paid for all four years of my Bachelor of Child Study degree. How fortunate was I ?
I never underestimate the power of a small (albeit grand) gesture in forming who we are and what we choose to do in our lives. I intentionally make sure each day I work with students I keep that in mind. I intentionally pay it forward on as many occasions as I can.
All it takes is a defining moment and you might be the one that makes that happen and if someone makes that happen for you tell them.
Today is my mom’s 81st birthday and I surprised her with a visit.Last year we got to celebrate her 80th with a big splash. It’s important to celebrate life everyday, but especially important to acknowledge all the special days. Today I got to spend time with my family. I live 4,836 km away and have for the past forty years. I come home every summer and already got to spend time with my mom , but I am still 397 km away. So today I drove to see my mom for her birthday.
Don’t forget the birthdays, the anniversaries the special occasions, but especially remember to surprise people every now and then with your presence , a gift ,a letter a note or something that will make someone’s day. It’s always been important, but especially now. Celebrate the moments , but more important celebrate the people.
We all need a reason to be. Maybe your reason is obvious and maybe not. It could be just around the corner and you can’t see it quite yet. Each of us will discover our own reason in our own way in our own time, So hold on tight. You have a purpose in being here.
Even though I sometimes say I don’t, I know I do take life for granted. Living through a pandemic makes you examine and reflect on your life. I know there are too many things that I have taken for granted. What about you?
Taking living life without a pandemic in it for granted. Now, listening to the sickness and deaths and tragedies of so many around the world and feeling powerless to stop it, but doing your part as best you can.
Not being able to see your best friend F2F.
The joys of inviting whoever you want for dinner.
Spending time with family and friends and not worrying how close you are to them or of they will get sick.
Walking around freely, not carrying the worries of the world on your shoulders.
Going to work, loving what you do without thinking that what you do could lead to someone being sick or worse.
Thinking your children have finally made it in the world, only now you worry about their security and what their future and the future of your potential grandchildren will look like.
Living life the best you know how, realizing you have reached retirement, but never imagining how the world would turn out in your lifetime.
The joys of having a girls weekend or a shopping trip or other small pleasure that you like doing..
The simple pleasures of going to a farmers market.
The small mundane things that are no longer mundane.
Life as you used to know it and so many other things that you still take for granted.
While these and many more things can be difficult , I choose to embrace every day and remember I can live life in the best way possible given some of the things I took or take for granted. I will seek out ways to enjoy what is, as it is for today.
In this world we encounter a few people who change how we feel about life. Around 30 years ago you entered my life. I was not looking for a new friend, but oh how the loss would have been mine if I did not open my heart to new friendships. A lesson that has sustained me to this day.
Today is your birthday and I want to celebrate you and all that you are.
Funand spontaneous Remember the time we were Thelma and Louise (without the driving off the cliff part) ? We bought new hats, scarves and dresses took off in your moms convertible and laughed and created memories to our hearts delight.
Intelligent Remember the times we have chatted about life’s problems and concerns and while often we agree, sometimes we don’t and those can be great conversations with you.
Generous I have watched you be generous to others in so many ways you never get acknowledged for. You have given me so many beautiful and thoughtful gifts over the years. Thanks from the bottom of my heart.
Accomplished I have loved celebrating and watching you do what you do best.
Courageous You have encountered many challenges in your life and have overcome them with grace and determination.
Champion You are a champion for so many and especially care about those with severe challenges.
Dependable I can count on you to be there anytime I need a friend.
Sensational The many times we spent together with our children laughing and doing silly things. Oh what fun. You are an outstanding auntie to my kids. They love you.
Effervescent I love spending time with you. It is never dull. Our trips together together to Vegas, Palm Springs and Mexico or wherever we are in the world are always full of joy. Even when we just vegetate together it is fun.
Beautiful heart and mind. You are beautiful inside and out.
You are optimistic, unwavering, determined, vibrant, accepting, kind and so much more. I cannot imagine my life without you in it. We have created so many memories that make me smile every time I think of them. We have laughed (too many times to count) and cried together. We have weathered many storms, trials and tribulations and come out on the other side knowing that we are and will always be here for each other.
I appreciate all that you are and all that you do. I value YOU. You enrich my life and make it better because you are in it. I love you my friend and look forward to all that life brings us as we journey through it.
31 years ago when I was 30, I gave birth to our first child. She was six weeks premature. I was so scared , but immediately and profoundly in love. There is no experience like it that’s for sure. No one prepares you for the overwhelming love you are about to feel. That love never goes away, but the intensity of it ebbs and flows.
Today I am so grateful for the woman she has become. The two weeks in intensive care are still vivid in my mind. The moments in between can be a blur sometimes. How does time go by so fast?
The teen years were quite the ride, but today as I look at her, I am filled with the intense love I felt for her that moment she was born. Today, she is an amazing, caring, loving, kind, intelligent young woman whom I love spending time with.
Treasure all those moments , even the teen years they go by so fast. In loving our daughter, I became a better human being one who loves her child more than mere words could ever describe. Thank you for being born and thanks to the nurses and doctors who helped her live, especially my dear friend Darlene, one of the neonatal intensive care nurses. I love you my precious daughter. With you in it I know there is hope for a better world.
Especially during this time everyone will have a story of how they got through Covid19 or what happened to them , a family member or friend.
Our role as helpers will be to listen and support, no matter the story. It won’t necessarily be easy as sometimes we may be triggered when listening to others. We are not perfect, I know I am not that’s for sure. I want to give myself an extra dose of compassion at this time as I too have had a range of emotions. Maybe you should too.
We are humans and our humanity makes us people who are often complex. Being the best person we can be is a lifetime venture, filled with many bumps along the way. Through this pandemic many will have gigantic bumps to deal with, my heart goes out to those that do.
As you and I both navigate this chapter in our lives may we do it with courage , grace , compassion and help others along the way that are struggling to the best of our ability, because everyone has a story that they may or may not be willing to share behind the smile..
Sometimes life changes from one moment to the next,that’s why it is so important to capture the moments and seize the day. I like getting up early and going to bed fairly early. That way I can catch the sunrise and the beautiful sunsets. Last night I captured this photo out on a kayak ride on the river, but it was just a moment in time until the sun went down.
This morning I caught the sunrise and took time to just breathe in the calm. Life especially during the pandemic is precarious , so when the moments come pay attention and enjoy them. I know I will.
I am so fortunate to be living near the water during this time. It almost feels like there is no Covid except for all the visitors we usually have and don’t this year. Water is healing. I have been swimming and spending a lot of time outdoors. All good for my well being. I feel blessed. Summertime and the living is easy for sure. After many years of rushing and doing, today I am just being.Well sort of , I painted a picnic table in between swims.