What is Family?

It’s the way everyone remembers that incident a little bit differently.

It’s the commonality of the stubborn, thick and curly hair and the emphatic hand gestures we all practice.

It’s the genuine embrace with which we greet one another. The shared happiness for each other’s good fortune and the empathy for one another’s “sticky bits”.

It’s the warmth within the eyes, the strength of that embrace and the force of the pats on the back.

It’s the intent look on the faces of the listeners, in the animated story tellers of the moment and in the raucous laughter that ensues.

It’s the music carefully selected for the occasion, the combined culinary feast and the empty wine bottles.

It’s the assembling, the arguing and the fussing that goes into producing that day’s family photographs and in the comparing of heights of the children and the maturing of the adults in photos from previous gatherings.

It’s the welcoming of new members as they either join themselves to one of ours or bring a new baby into the clan. It’s the delight for these new members who do not yet know what a merry band they have joined.

It’s the way we pick up where we left off sometimes more than a year ago. It’s the unspoken words and the way time stands still when we are together.

It’s the colors, the sounds, the smells, the tastes and the love.

That is a family. It’s MY family.

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The Room

Her nest is empty once again,
So everything is different and yet …..the same.
Only sweet memories remain ,
Felt especially today with all this rain.

Gone are the children, the dogs and the rabbits,
And all those accompanying habits.

She applies fresh paint to the newly vacated room,
Ignoring the aching feeling in her womb.

She remembers 20 years ago when she first saw this room,
And dreamed of all the functions she knew it would assume.

As she paints she recalls;

So much love in these four walls….

At one time,a small child’s bedroom inhabited by teddy bears and dolls,
Later on replaced with computer games and posters on the walls.

This space has held countless bowls of popcorn on many movie nights,
And held many hands during illness frights.
It has witnessed studying with all one’s might,
along with practicing until things were right.

Dreaming of careers and futures bright,
Finding Mr. Right to everyone’s delight !

Children taking flight.
A litany of beautiful sites and great heights.

But it’s not yet finished,
Not quite!
It’s time to hold on tight!
Paint this room in a new light!

As the laughing children still play in the corner of her mind,
She turns towards the future, Also laughing, also kind.

The site of two old lovers sitting side-by-side,
Very much enjoying the rest of this ride.
Sharing a smart and beautiful daughter in which they take pride.

Perhaps still to come, a grandbaby or two,
So many things to look forward to,
In this room ….with its ever-beautiful view.

I Thought of You

I thought of you the whole time I was driving to St. A because the last time I did that drive we had a phone date for when I arrived

but when I did arrive and I phoned you, you were already on your way to the hospital and you were already changing my life forever.

I thought  of you during my training session because you would have been looking forward to hearing about it and I would have been anxious to share it with you.

I thought of you because you were a reference for this new employment and you would have been proud.

I thought of you when I returned from St. A.  as the last time I returned from St. A. you were preparing for your final voyage.

I thought of you because it was my Birthday and you would have sent the perfect Birthday card and gift.

I thought of you because while in St. A. I wore the turquoise, silver chandelier earrings you gave me which did not go with my outfit but I wore them anyway.

I thought of you because I purchased seven books at the used – book sale and when I got home I piled them all around me, lovingly bending their spines, smelling their pages and reading the inside and outside jackets , slowly getting acquainted with my new literary characters and you would have understood that about me .

I thought of you because my love and I were celebrating our Anniversary and you would have known how much that meant to me.

I thought of you because I went out to dinner with my daughter and you were always such a great supporter of her .

I thought of you because it is Sunday and you would have wished me a pleasant and peaceful  week ahead .

I thought of you “because”

 

 

 

 

Vintage Value: Ode to the Seasoned Career Person in the New Age of Business

thebookofjude

I may be slower to learn now but my vast experience is quick to help.

I may struggle sometimes with today’s business technology but I am an expert in reading people.

You may not see me on Twitter, Snapchat and the like but I have seen the world and it’s beautiful places as well as many cultures.

I may not know my way around social media but I have been around Rock Stars, princes and hobos alike.

I may not know how to run a software application but I have run successful businesses.

I may not intuitively find errors in spreadsheets but I find my way to peoples hearts and I know where mine is at all times.

I am not wasting paper. I am printing a document so I may hold it in my hands, make annotations in the margins and underline certain passages. This will help my learning…

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Finding Suanne

Isak Dineson wrote

All sorrows can be borne if you put them in a story or tell a story about them.”

So here is my attempt;

I found Suanne exactly 23 years ago. We met where I was working. I was 6 months pregnant for my daughter and truth be told, we were not immediately enamoured with one another.

Three years later I moved to a different role at work and we got to work together on a project and thus began an incredible friendship . We also quickly learned that our different approach to things was to create an unstoppable working partnership.

Over the years she became not only my mentor but one of the genuinely best friends a person could ever hope to have in their life. I learned a lot from Suanne who I started to call “tsunami” -“A force of nature. ” A force by the way which she took to her work, to her family, her friends and anyone/anything she came up against.

I adored her and she quickly became the Ethel to my Lucy*, the Bonny to my Clyde, the lime to my Corona and the salt rim to my Marguerita.

Not always one to take the easy route, the politically correct route or even the expected route this Sunami had a way of making believers out of non believers and turning opponents in to fans for life. She had a thirst for living  and was whole heartedly dedicated to being a good person.

She collected people like others collect seashells, coins or shot glasses. She was friends with the CEO of a large international company as well as a few homeless gentleman whom she always checked in with on her way to her office. She loved people, believed in people, wished to understand people and learned from people.

She was as funny as heck too! Over the years we travelled to many destinations together. We shared very long – haul flights to Dubai, shared taxis in Cairo, danced till the wee hours in Bermuda and talked in to the night in each other’s tiny guest bedrooms.

In 2011, the unimanagable happened ; she was diagnosed with a five centimetre brain tumour and a prognosis of 18 to 24 months to live.

https://hamiltonhealth.ca/journey-with-brain-cancer/

During the following six years my Sunami NEVER let her recurring tumours and many setbacks stop her for one fraction of a second, or prevented her from being a fearce encourager and supporter of friends and family, or stopped her from working harder than some do in a lifetime to beat her illness. Her quick sense of humour never dimmed nor her astounding positivity.

Because 1,634 kilometres separated us we were only physically in the same room together about 4 times over the course of her “dis-ease ” however as her world got smaller we remained in contact on a daily basis thanks to modern technology

Sadly, her bright light extinguished last month. Though I was not physically by her side I felt her last breath as distinctly as if I had been in the room.

As I started to write down these thoughts to ease my pain as well as cherish her being I thought my title might be ” Losing Suanne” but of course she is not now nor will she ever be lost to those who knew her and loved her so I started reflecting on how blessed we all were who had ” found ” her at all. Pity those who did not get to have a moment with her.

“-I hope you’re traveling well now,
and there’s stars over your head.
And I hope the river carries you,
everywhere you said.

You could pull me through.
You could always pull me through.
Even when I’m lying here drowning in my blues.
You could take the sting out of the rain,
and bring the sun back up again,
and you could always pull me through.” –
Jim Cuddy

*I am referring here to the popular 1950s American Television show “I Love Lucy”

Contrasts

thebookofjude

The snow is so beautiful!
War is ugly.
A peaceful soul bound by duty.

Intelligent ideas used for ignorant things,
Children forced to fly without wings.

Brilliant minds with dull souls,
The sky is the limit yet full of holes.

People in love are mean to others,
Humanitarians who hate their mothers.

Strong healthy men with crippling fears,
For each cup of happiness a quart of tears.

Senility crowding institutions while the young succumb to cancer,
Every one is searching for an answer.

Women who have nothing,
Women who lack nothing.

Children who leave their homes,
Children to whom a home is unknown.

A child is born and in her mouth; a silver spoon,
Another is raised in doom and gloom.

These are the thoughts that rattle around in my head,
While others have gone to bed.

As I watch the snow fly,
I keep wondering why?

Why?

Why?

I…

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What If?

Recently I was in a café and overheard a young couple obviously discussing whether or not they should have children.

It brought me back to more than 20 years ago when I myself was partaking in that very same discussion with a dear friend of mine.

“It seems cruel and selfish” my friend had said. “to bring a child into a world that has so much poverty and sickness and violence and and and…..”

The list went on and on naming all that was wrong in the world. And I thought… as had always been my position on this subject,

But what if your child was the one? The one who cured cancer? Or who worked to alleviate poverty? Or brought people together in peace because of his or her incredible leadership and vision? Or found a way to have accessible clean water all over the planet?

There are many genuine, sound and valid reasons why couples choose not to bring children into the world but never make that choice based on fear of “what if”.

Because what if has so many beautiful possibilities.

What if?