For my nephew, with love

I remember when you were born

And I became an aunt for the first time

I was eleven years old and oh, so proud

The sister I cherished had become a mother

I remember playing with you

And holding your hand as I walked you to school

I remember you break dancing as a young teen

And the effort and joy you put into it

I remember you gazing into the mirror as you straightened your tie

For your first school dance

I remember how proudly you stood

As a junior usher in the receiving line at my wedding

I remember how kind and gentle you were

With my own children when they were small

You were their favourite babysitter

I remember how quick you were to lend a hand

When we needed you – you were always there

And I remember the shock and pain I felt

When I learned you were gone –

Forever gone from this place called earth

As your birthday approaches I remember you

And I give God thanks

For lending us you

If only for a little while

I remember you

Shout out to Front line workers

I work at the front desk at the public library in my town and I have to say I enjoy my work immensely. I love helping people and like to think my efforts make a real difference in the lives of our patrons. I worked in retail for a good part of my life and have always enjoyed meeting new people and learning a small bit about their lives. There is nothing I find more distasteful than overhearing anybody disrespect people working in the service industry – whether it is a counter person at a fast food joint, a fellow co-worker at the library,  or the secretary in the doctor’s office. I am grateful to say I have witnessed very few such situations.

I honestly have found that the overwhelming majority of people are absolutely awesome. I had cause to reflect on the goodness of people and the sheer joy of working with the public the other day at work when a regular patron I had not seen since before the holidays gave me a hug and wished me a happy new year.  She has such a big, warm, and beautiful smile – it is always a joy to see her and even though I do not know her well I am always appreciative of her open-hearted kindness and friendliness.  I was tired that day and not feeling good. I was just a little under the weather. This woman did more to lighten my spirit and sow a seed of generosity than she will ever know. I treasure all such moments like these. It is a testament to how we can each make another person’s day a little brighter.

Never underestimate the power of a smile or the little gestures that can turn a person’s day around. It is like a small pebble thrown into the water. It has ripple effects we may never know about. Respect and human decency – that’s what it’s all about. So this is a shout out to all people who work on the front lines wherever you may be employed. What you do matters and this is my salute to you. You are awesome!

Sharing memories of my brother, Chris – part 3


Adaptable, friendly, and congenial – that’s my brother. He was about 8 years old when our parents decided to move our family from Newfoundland to Ontario. Personally I struggled with our new home and suffered home sickness for what seemed like forever. But Chris was always easy-going and made friends easily. Yet, we continued to spend a good bit of time together, he and I and our sister, Lorna. We were the three youngest known as “the three little ones” to our parents and the rest of our family. We were a unit, which makes losing him feel like I have lost a part of myself. Like a three-legged stool with one leg suddenly snapped off, I am off balance.  But I digress.

The three of us competed constantly with one another and one of our favourite competitions was racing one another, whether down the road or over empty fields and Chris was quick, very quick. It was a real challenge to beat him in a race.  Chris pushed me to my limit, and in more ways than just running.  While I would crow over beating him, Chris was a much more gracious winner, allowing me to “save face” time after time. I wish I could have been so gracious – I wasn’t! In many ways Chris taught me patience and kindness. He was also the impetus that helped me to push my limits, to face life’s challenges…and he continues to do so today.

Peace, awesome peace



There are moments so precious, so cherished that help me face another day. Family: that group of people that bless my life and make it better; Friends: that group of people who help me grow and reflect back to me the essence of who I am and who I hope to be; Coworkers who make my job so much easier and my days so much brighter.  Blessings rain down on me; a shower of love and goodness that in the end help me to know true peace, awesome peace.  Life may be hard at times. But I am so very grateful for the people in my life.

Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing I pray you know these divine gifts, these divine blessings and may you know this awesome peace.