Endings and Beginnings


2016. The year that drug on and on and on. The year I felt confused, disconnected and bewildered. It was unnerving to be truthful. To feel so addled for most of the year. I almost felt….well, lost is the best way I can describe it.

It didn’t start out that way. I had planned to write, paint and quilt and build things….none of that happened. I just couldn’t get myself together. I couldn’t seem to finish anything I started. I was all over the place…lost.


While the year progressed I became more frustrated with the things happening in the world…I got caught in an eddy of negativity …a whirlpool of anger at what I saw as the stupidity of people accepting what was going on around them, and worse…participating in it…the indignation that I felt didn’t seem to be common place and it frightened me.

And then I stepped back, looking in the mirror. What was happening to me, I wondered…often aloud. When did I become so distracted that my own life was becoming a mess?

As the year wore on, and I became more aware of what had been happening, I knew the answer. I had lost my concentration, my centre of gravity so to speak. off-balanced-man

I am a believer in like attracts like, so of course the more disarmed I became, the more of that confusion and frustration I attracted. Even writing this….I find it difficult to get the words to come.

As I began to think about my plans for 2017, I knew I couldn’t start the year in the same frame of mind I had been in for most of 2016. I am generally a very organized, methodical person. I needed help.

I went back to something that my friend Dana had introduced me to a few years ago. Choosing one word to be sort of your north star during the coming year. The guiding light of your life as it were. I had done this for a few years before, but Dana introduced the concept of formalizing it…focusing on choosing that one word.

As I thought about it, it was evident that once again, the word chose me. FOCUS. That is my word for 2017. I had lost my focus in 2016. It shan’t happen again. This year I have help. You see we lost Dana on Christmas Eve, 2016. But we only lost her on this plain. I feel her presence as I end this blog post…and truly, as I type these last lines, I feel more focused than I did writing this whole thing. I know that going forward into this new year, I have regained my FOCUS…


Dream a Little Dream

15865504_mI’ve had a dream. I know I’ve had this dream more than once. It is familiar, like the sound of the clock ticking on my Grandmother’s mantel in the kitchen.

My Daddy and Uncle went away for a few days. Far away. I think they went to Ontario. I’m not certain of that but I think that’s where my Mama said they went. When they came back Daddy was driving this beautiful blue car. He said it was a Buick. 3733125

We’d never had a car before. There is a button that you push to start it after you push on the gas pedal….and you need to know which pedal is for gas because there are three: one for gas, one for the brake and one for the clutch. There is another button on the floor to dim or brighten the headlights. The dash is filled with gleaming chrome, and on the inside of the woodgrain steering wheel is another made of chrome. That is what you push to honk the horn.

It’s the fanciest car I’ve seen, with it’s velour like seats and in the back, hanging from the back of the front seat is a golden rope. It lets passengers in the back hang on if you go over bumps and such.

There are cranks for all the windows, except for the two small windows in the front that remind me of butterfly wings. They have little latches that you slide open and then you can push the window open.

Me and two of my younger sisters ready for Sunday school.

The car stays parked most days but on Sunday, after church and Sunday school, we all pile into that car and get to go for a drive. Daddy drives of course, because he’s the only one that knows how. Mama sits across from him in the front seat. My sisters and I crawl in the backseat, hoisting ourselves along with the golden rope.

That car makes it far easier to get to Nannie’s camp, or Sunday school picnics and such. As we drive around our small island, passings friends and neighbours Daddy would honk the horn and wave, causing giggles of delight from the three of us in back. We would often sing on those outings following Daddy’s lead while we watched the gentle swaying of the golden rope on the back of the front seat.

Then there is always the last part of our drive. It is always the same, every single Sunday, sort of like the part where you finally get to open your birthday gift. Our drive aways ends with a trip to Western Light where we turn around and head home. Not far from the ‘new’ cemetery is a bump in the road. It isn’t huge, but it must be just the way it sat on that old dirt road that made it special. We call it Thrill Hill, and just before we get to it, Daddy grins and shouts over his shoulder, “Okay girls, hang on!” and he depresses the gas pedal.

We grab that golden rope and hang on for dear life, butterflies flitting around our tummies as we, eyes growing ever wider, begin giggling and laughing, working our way to a full crescendo of shrieks and hiccups. Three little girls in the backseat of an old Buick, made giddy with glee by a small bump in an old gravel road and a Daddy that took great joy in our happiness.

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Me on the left, with my Dad and two of my younger sisters.

I awake. I can feel the smile on my face even before my eyelids flutter open. Another memory comes pushing to the front of my consciousness. I recall once pushing that starter button so many times I bounced my sister and I right into the middle of the roses bushes! There were many cars after that, and while I remember each one, none ever compared with that old blue Buick. Given the shape of it, I’m fairly certain it was a 1940’s model and probably that push button was a vacuum operated starter, but it doesn’t really matter. What matters are the memories, of happy times when little things delighted three small girls and times were simpler, and full of laughter and love. Lots of love.


GriefIt all started when I recently took my firearms training.

The oddness of it. After all these years.

On my mind everyday….several times a day. There when I open my eyes. Still there when I close them at night.

Keeping me awake. Worrying. Wondering. Did she know? Did she sense something? Was it painful? Was it over before she felt anything? Did she see him?

I have thought of her often over the years. Twenty three this coming autumn.

Never like this, never so many times each day, for days on end. I almost wrote…”what triggered it?”…then did…those words sending chills down my back.

imgHeroImageGriefAndLossMaybe I never grieved for her. My loss. Maybe it was getting my restricted license. Maybe it was just time. To grieve.

So long I have remembered her laugh. She had a ‘heart smile’…she smiled with her eyes. They actually twinkled. That one crooked tooth made her especially beautiful. I used to tease her about her love of pastels. “Pretty in pink” I’d tell her, and she’d laugh. Every time.

We shared a love of board games. And were competitive. Hated to lose. Laughed when we did. Laughed harder when we won.

God, I miss her and that laugh. And those twinkling eyes. And those pastels.

I don’t even remember when, or how, we met. I just remembered how much I liked her from the start. And then I loved her.

She was my maid of honour at our wedding…he, her love, our best man. Our sons best buds.

Then she was gone. We got the call. One shot. Point blank range. Back of her head. One she had given life to. Taken hers. Then his. While she cooked his supper.

That laugh silenced. Forever. Gone.

ee41ff9f8870733a2d67aec47698d88dThe. Pain. Hurts. My. Heart.

Stings my eyes.

Rips my throat.