Dear Life

hot crisp microwave snax!

hot crisp microwave snax! (Photo credit: tbone_sandwich)

“Dear Life:

What the hell? Seriously? Really? You are a piece of work. Either I’m worrying about you in the future or bitching about you from the past. You think you’re all that and a bag of microwave Bacon-Flavored Pork Rinds. Well, you can’t break me, you sneaky sonofabitch. Screw you.” -by Darla from She’s a Maineiac.

Today Darla wrote a bunch of letters to a bunch of people but this is the one I liked best—cause I am feeling a bit like she does about the whole life situation. And I am as defiant as she is—and determined not to let it break me either.

Thanks Darla, who by the way has the best sense of humour around. If you do not already follow her I would if I were you.

Will you join me in my defiance of the downs in life, and celebration of the ups?

Published in: on November 8, 2013 at 2:47 pm  Comments (47)  
Tags: , , , , ,

Fall Party


(Photo credit: tombabich24)

Leaves gently falling

Red, gold, orange confetti

Celebrates autumn

Published in: on October 15, 2013 at 2:09 pm  Comments (10)  
Tags: , , ,

Good-bye Johnny V

Playing guitar

Playing guitar (Photo credit: hugochisholm)

“Writing is a way to fathom what we have lost, to make sense out of what makes no sense….I don’t believe everything happens for a reason, but I have faith in our ability to retrieve from loss something valuable to keep, or to give away.” ~ Abigail Thomas, Thinking About Memoir

A friend once said to me that life is one loss after another. She had just lost someone close to her, and was in a melancholy mood. But she was right. We lose our parents. We lose our friends. We lose our relatives. And sometimes in that loss, we temporarily lose ourselves.

A family friend just passed away suddenly. A friend who is my age. It was a shock. And though I knew him as a polite and talented man, he was a mentor to my eldest son, and someone whom my husband admired greatly. He came into their lives by chance, but he made both of their lives better for having known him.

I watch the way they both cope, and they cope in different ways. My husband copes by “doing something”—by taking food over to the brand new widow, who is still in shock and deep grief. He handles things “head on” when it comes to loss. My son though, is having trouble dealing with the loss—he cannot face seeing the widow, as his grief is too fresh, too on the surface and he feels he would be no comfort to her until he comes to some understanding of his loss.

My son is a musician. His mentor was a musician, renown across Canada. He gave my son lessons, not only in guitar, but life. He was also my husband’s friend, a man with strong opinions and beliefs—both things my husband admires. He was a renaissance man of sorts, music was his main game, but he liked to cook and bake, and spread his good cheer to his friends.

As I mentioned, I did not know him well, but I knew him enough to grieve his passing, to feel the loss that my husband and son feel. And to grasp life as I did not before. This message is sent again and again—life can be taken away from us in less time than it takes to blink. Need I say we should not take it for granted? (And how do we remember that in times when we are not feeling loss?)

On the weekend, we will celebrate this man’s life and music. Celebrate not mourn. That is all part of the journey. I have my own rather simplistic view that death is not the end, that it is a new beginning—but I recognize that it is a loss nonetheless

And what do we keep? We keep him in our hearts and our minds. We remember. There is no bliss in loss until we can come to grips with  it. Then the bliss is realizing that we had the gift of knowing the person, and appreciating what we received uniquely from them.


~ A Celebration of Sorts ~

English: Tree, Upper Farringdon This oak tree ...

English: Tree (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This morning at 10 a.m. I went to the town park to plant a tree with some good friends. The tree was chosen for the way its leaves turn a vibrant red in the fall to match the vibrancy of the  friend that we were planting it for.

We lost our friend last spring. “We” is my Writers’ Group (we obviously put our creativity into our work and not our name). Our friend was a member of our group and she was bipolar. She did not hide it; in fact she almost celebrated it–not in a “party hardy” fashion but as an advocate for those who suffered this puzzling disease with her. She fought it with everything she had, and her family and friends helped her with the fight.

When she was taking the right “cocktail” of drugs, she was balanced, nay normal. Normal—what a word, but I mean normal in that she could handle everyday life. She could get up and function, and most importantly be creative and make other people happy. And she revelled in making other people happy. That is what made her happy.

She called us dudes and dudettes. She told us when we read something at Writers’ Group not to apologize for what we were about to read aloud in the group, and if we did apologize (as writers are wont to do), she commanded us

English: an exercise of chest

push-ups (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

to get down and do push-ups for not minding her wise advice.

The tree was planted on a slope of land at the park, facing the lake. It was carefully chosen to be protected and out of harm’s way.  Professional landscapers did the actual planting, and a friend who works at the park brought over the first pails of water to nourish it.

We planted a tree today in honour of our friend, and this is the poem I wrote for her:

You Are In Our Hearts

We planted a tree today:

In honour of, or in memory of,

Or more appropriately

In celebration of a friend.

Our friend was vibrant

When she was not sad

She was jubilant

Except when she wasn’t.

She lived life to its fullest

When she could

She was braver than brave

Except when she was scared.

We planted a tree today:

In celebration of a life

Lived fully, abundantly, and effusively

Except when she couldn’t.

Goodbye friend

But, it is not farewell

You really do live in our hearts

And speak to our creative souls.

Her accidental death was a shock to our small town. She seemed to have a million friends. I am lucky to have been counted among them. We love you Colene.

Published in: on October 23, 2012 at 8:51 pm  Comments (58)  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,