A Manic March

It’s been a tough few weeks. Moving is never fun but I am so very grateful for the people who stepped up to help. Family and friends are definitely the super glue that holds me together. Through good times and bad times they’ve been there for me to lean on, or to help celebrate life’s joys. I feel like I have been walking along a razor’s edge between these seemingly opposite emotions – one minute happy the next grief-stricken once again. Because you see, it was my younger brother, Chris, who so often stepped up to help us, whether it was moving our belongings or something as simple as a ride to the airport, he was always there for us – it’s been four months now since his death, and not a day goes by that I don’t think of him. Even through the exhaustion of moving, or perhaps especially because of that fatigue, he sprang to mind frequently. I remember when he helped us move and also made sure there was a hot supper waiting when the last load had finally been dropped at our new place. I not only appreciated his strength, I was inspired once again by his thoughtfulness.  He was an amazing brother and friend. I miss him.

So, for what it’s worth – I am back! Thank you for reading my blog and I will spare you further exposure to my grief. For those of you who know my family you know Chris was killed when an impaired driver crashed into my brother’s vehicle. So, once again, I implore all of you – never get into a vehicle with an impaired driver; and be careful on the highways and byways, for I would not wish this pain on anyone. Stay safe my friends.

Oh the joys of moving

If you read what I write I thank you.  We are in the process of moving to a new place and life is extremely busy at the moment.  Life is an unending series of adventures in this woman’s life.  I am looking forward to new experiences, new learning, and new friends. Wherever you live, whatever occupies your time these days, I wish you peace and joy.  I’ll be back!

Hills, valleys, and plateaus

On top of the hill

Where life is fine

And blessings flow

Like a soft spring rain

Joy surges and surges again

But down in the valley

Where life seems hard

And tears flow

Like plummeting waterfalls

That seem to have no end

And have within them sharpest shards

That cut deeply into the soul

Rendering it helpless and forlorn

It is then we must remember

There will be a plateau

A resting place

Where neither great joy nor great sorrow


The plateau

Where most of life is lived

Where we get up each day to well-known routines

The sometimes ho-hum days of existence

Where joyful blessings are taken for granted

We do not remember the blessings

Nor the pain that once had us down on our knees,

That too is forgotten in the daily grind

Of earning our bread

But the lessons of the valley and the rewards of the hills

Should never be taken for granted

During our time on the plateau

the joys should be like leavening to bread

Helping us rise once again

To a brand new day

And the pain

Serve to remind us

Of blessings

That we will know one day again

For life is a series of ups and downs

But neither lasts forever

Millennials and Entitlement

I hear it a lot; millennials are spoiled and feel entitled. I am not so sure that this is true. I happen to know some pretty awesome “millennials” with a fantastic work ethic and they are also truly thoughtful, lovely people.

I have a real problem with stereotypes having lived with one myself. I am from Newfoundland and for many years had to live with the stereotype that Newfoundlanders are uneducated, stupid people. The general consensus seemed to be we were all backward and, although hardworking, we worked only to collect “stamps” ( employable weeks needed for employment insurance or E.I.) so we could spend a good part of the year lazing around collecting “pokey” (E.I.) on “the rock” (a pet name for the island of Newfoundland). And while that may have been true of a portion of the population it definitely was not true of all of us. I share this story to illustrate my personal experience with a stereotype, not to gain sympathy. It is what it is. But my personal experience and journey have given me insights into how it feels to be treated as though I was “less than” my mainland counterparts; which is why stereotypes of any kind make me cringe.

There are lots of clichés that spring to mind such as ‘people in glass houses should not throw stones’. If you are blessed to never have had the challenges of living with a stereotype please try to think twice before labeling another person. After all, who are we to judge others? We are none of us perfect and all of us fallible. Let’s give the millennials the benefit of the doubt. They have grown up in a vastly different world than previous generations and have had their own challenges to face. We have not walked in their shoes nor experienced life in the same way they have. Yes, some are spoiled, but every generation feels those coming behind them have it easier than they did. I guess in some ways we are all somewhat spoiled. I know my life has been much easier than that of my parents or grandparents. Perhaps they saw my generation as spoiled and entitled too.

Business and Bliss

Busy, busy, busy…it seems to me that life is just one big rush from one thing to another for most people. What is the big hurry? I could do with less of that. I would love to sit in silence and just be. I need solitude the way some people need activity. To each their own; live and let live and all that. I cannot speak to the needs of others. Bliss, for me, is to listen to the sounds of birds singing; to watch lazy clouds float across the sky; to breathe deeply the fresh air; to touch the velvet silkiness of my cat’s fur and to be completely and utterly present in the moment – preferably near the ocean or walking along a nature trail amidst the trees. Life is more than work and drudgery. There must be time for play; for time alone with one’s thoughts and feelings; to escape the constant chatter and noise; the never-ending doings; the mind numbing prattle and constant harassment of clocks and expectations. Quiet and solitude, to me that is bliss.

Why write?

“Why do you write?” he asked me.  It’s an excellent question and one that doesn’t have a simple or a single answer. Sometimes I write because I have something of importance to impart – in my humble opinion. Sometimes I write to lessen the weight of thoughts that are weighing me down. Sometimes it’s because I simply have to communicate and writing is the best way for me to do so.  Sometimes I am driven. Sometimes I want to share the joy of life. At other times grief has me by the throat and I cannot express the pain in any other way – writing allows me to breathe again.  I don’t know. Writing is simply an extension of my self.  It is a way of sharing my thoughts and ideas; of celebrating the human spirit, or mourning a lack of compassion.  Writing is as natural to me as breathing so I guess the answer for me is why not ….

Three months…. Time goes by so slowly

So tomorrow marks three months since your death; A death that need not have been if only that other driver had not been inebriated; if only you had stopped by our sister’s place as you had planned to do; if only you had been held up at work just a little longer; if only….

Anger, grief, sadness…sometimes I stick my head in the sand like the ostrich hoping when I pull it out I will discover it is all a bad dream. But it’s not. It’s a nightmare that threatens to engulf my very soul if I let it. I will not. I will look to see the good I may be able to do to honour you in some way. I will work toward making others aware of the suffering that comes as a result of impaired driving – and as my niece correctly pointed out: there were two families adversely affected that day. Our family lost a loved one and there is no end to the questions. And the pain seems like a shadow that follows us everywhere. The other family…well I can only surmise that their lives have also been adversely affected. They also have to deal with court cases and the criminal justice system.

One bad decision is all it took. One bad decision and we all have to live with the consequences of it ….if only…