Although I have not done it every year, I have for most years, written a letter to my daughter at Christmas time. I like to share with her about the year, her achievements and milestones, and mostly how proud I am of her and to let her know much her Dad and I love her.
This morning I worked on this letter to Sivanna, who is now 15. It has been a tough year for us with the ongoing pandemic situation and my Stage IV cancer diagnosis back in March. So let’s just say writing the letter today was pretty intense for me.
I am so glad I have done this throughout the years. Sivanna will always have those letters to go back to and to reflect on and to also receive insight and wisdom from us that she can use later in life.
What About YOU?
What about you? Do you have any traditions that you like to do? Is there something special that stands out for you? We have many opportunities in life to participate in sacred moments and these moments help to enhance our earthly journeys. They help us to connect to the real, raw, sweetness in life.
Look What I Was Graced With! Many of you know that I love little tea sandwiches. These sandwiches come by many names. Funeral Sandwiches I am guessing is probably the second most popular to ‘Tea Sandwiches’. Call them what you will, just don’t call me late for the sandwiches! 🙂 I can skip the desserts… Continue reading It Is So Much More Than A Sandwich!
So I had an early morning ultrasound at the hospital today. It was -28 degrees on a Sunday morning and my appointment was at 7 am. I originally tried to get this appointment changed to a different time because I always say, not another ‘red eye’, but I sucked it up and took it. And… Continue reading My Early Morning Hospital Visit Today
Some of You Know…. And Some Don’t… Know that my Honey Don is a lovely writer of poems that are inspired by his deep connection to Source/God. This was his poem from 10 years ago. I thought it was so worth sharing again today in 2021. My Honey’s Christmas Message 2011 Peace on earth and… Continue reading The Peace Love Can Give
This past Sunday my family got together at my house to celebrate American Thanksgiving. Our parents were Americans who immigrated to Canada, so we like to do this and we always like an opportunity or an excuse to get together and to love each other up. 🙂
My nephew came all the way from North Bay and my sister came from Toronto just for the occasion. How special is that? 🙂
And I have to put in an extra plug for my nieces and nephews. I have the BEST nieces and nephews and I LOVE being Aunty Maggie!
What A Day It Was!
This really was one of the most special and best days of my life. I cannot express fully or put into words how deeply grateful I am for this family of mine!
They rallied together and brought food, cooked the food, served the food, cleaned up, did the dishes, and packed leftovers for everyone including a container for me and one for Sivanna for lunches during the week.
My niece Alisha showed up with decorations and placed them throughout the house. Sister Stephanie and my daughter Sivanna also decorated the house and Sivanna made her famous scalloped potatoes.
There was no stone unturned. As I sat on a comfy chair, with a warm blanky, being catered to and waited on, my nieces even asked me if I wanted the turkey carcasses for soup or did I want niece Aimee to make me soup. I chose to have the soup made for me of course ! 🙂
I felt like Royalty! Well, actually I felt supported and loved beyond measure.
I am truly in awe of my family. I think we could be positive role models for other families. We have had trials and tribulations and went through the loss of our parents, but we used these experiences to bring us closer and to appreciate each other more.
And now with my Stage 4 cancer diagnosis and me being the baby sister to all the siblings, this experience is connecting us even closer. We are all gaining insight into life and into the gifts that opportunities like this present. We have developed as a family over time and our relationship together as a family has an added depth and a greater sweetness than ever before.
How Do We Support Each Other in Life?
How do we support each other in life as human beings whether traveling as friends, family members or others on this journey called life?
We show up. We hold space. We love each other. We laugh together. We love without judgment and we break bread together.
I hope that you too find support and beauty in life and that you too break bread with those that you love.
Yesterday I watched this video of my Great Nephew Liam dancing to Jingle Bells and I swear it is one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen! I can’t tell you how many times I have watched it already and I smile every time, but more importantly, my heart smiles and dances every time I see it!
I have found that on my journey with cancer, in particular, the sounds and smiles of little children touch my soul more deeply than anything…. my soul just drinks in the sounds and the sites witnessing their little souls shining brightly.
I hope that you too enJOY this as much as I do!
Here we go: Just click on the link and EnJOY! It is safe to click and make sure your volume is up!
Ed and I. We believe on the steps of Cabin #3 at Kashabowie where we grew up.
My brother Eddie sent me this picture today and I have to say it is the cutest picture I’ve ever seen. Ed and I are the closest in age. I can only think that there is no way my Dad took this picture cause I don’t that he would let Eddie stick out his tongue, which of course is the best part about this picture… ha ha ha
And of course, I’m pretty cute too. I don’t have many pictures of me when I was small so this meant the world to me! And I can totally see my daughter Sivanna in this younger version of myself.
I feel fortunate to have the love of 5 siblings and all of their offspring ….. It is truly precious, especially at this time in my life.
I hope that you too are in gratitude for the people in your life who make a difference whether they are blood-related or related by heart.
“Brothers are like streetlights along the road; they don’t make distance any shorter but they light up the path and make the walk worthwhile”.
I am the baby of six children. Here is a picture of my siblings and I taken a few years back.
Although we can’t be together this holiday season, I am grateful that I still have all of my siblings in my life, even if we can’t physically be together this year…. but today is about brothers……
The Role of My Brothers In My Life
Today while reflecting on this brother’s quote, I was reminded of the role that all of my brothers played in my life as a child. Oh how I looked up to them! They loved me so much and I knew it. I was their baby sister with blond hair, blue eyes and rosy cheeks.
Here is a picture of me when I was little with my sister Stephanie. It is not very good as I had to try and blow it up. Unfortunately, I lost my lifetime of pictures due to water damage which is why I always tell everyone put your pictures in a digital format so you have them always and for the next generation and the ones after that.
Anyhow, here is the picture:
A lot of people say a girl’s first male relationship is being Daddy’s girl but I think because of the age gap between my parents and I (being a late life baby) and having these older siblings, my brothers were my first and they all were!
I loved and do love them all dearly!
A Trip Down Memory Lane
I remember one time my oldest brother Wally bringing me a brown pencil case with a brand new package of pencil crayons. I can see them as clear as day right now and it was a moment I will never forget. I think I still cherish those pencil crayons to this day and think of them whenever I see a pencil crayon.
Wally traveled the world for his work and he was so interesting to me because of it. He was also a part of why I was able to spend a month in Ireland when I was 13. This was such an amazing experience for this small town girl who graduated from a one room school.
Wally is a entrepreneur like me and I admire his wisdom and guidance.
My brother John and I were very close too. We shared a love of cheeseburgers for lunch on cold winter’s days and he would always give me all of his change. That was so exciting . He would save it up and then I would get it and count it out like it was gold. Of course there was a catch. I’d have to get him a cup of tea or coffee whenever he would rattle his cup on the table. lol But I didn’t mind I loved him and I love doing it!
In later years John and I became roommates as adults and that is a time I will always cherish. Wow. I just realized that last night I dreamt about that little basement apartment we shared! They had made all these great changes to the unit in my dream and I wanted to tell him about them. I often dream about that apartment.
If you know John, you know that he is the historian in the family. I don’t think any of us have met a person who can remember details and dates as well as he can. 🙂
Ed or Eddie Bear
Brother Ed and I are the closest in age in the all the siblings. He is next up to me. Because of that I remember being the one to rat him out on things to my parents.
Sorry Ed I regret that 🙂
Eddie or ‘Eddie Bear’ as we fondly called him is the one who reminds me most of my own childlike wonder for life. Eddie has this huge heart and is passionate about life and family. He is the one who feverishly worked at keeping the magic in my childhood for as long as possible, and for that I am forever grateful.
Ed is also the one who today, spends a lot of time with my own daughter and we fondly refer to him as “Silly Uncle Ed”. He is so much fun and has such a JOY for life and it shows.
I love all of my sisters and brothers dearly.
It was so nice today to do a tribute to my brothers. I love you all. I am grateful that it was all of you for your role as my big brothers and I truly wouldn’t change a thing.
Of course I am bawling my eyes out right now but this is good.
And thank you to all of my siblings for being in my life and just so you know my favorite story is always the one about when I was born and brought home. … about how Mom came on the bus to Kashabowie with me, and you walked me around the lake because it wasn’t thawed yet and we couldn’t walk on the lake or take a boat, and laid me on Mom’s bed when you brought me home. The little girl in me loves that story..
Some pictures to enJOY! Unfortunately I don’t have many of Uncle John.
Wally and Eddie this September while we enJOYed our annual trout fishing weekend. Now I could write a whole blog post about this tradition and what it means to us at a deep level, but that is for another time. 🙂
Well I will close this chapter in memory lane for now and I hope that each and every one of you reading this takes the time to appreciate those that you love.
Even in my own life and upbringing times were not easy, but I choose to remember the things that bring a smile to my heart and I hope that you too can find that place inside yourself to cherish the moments that matter to you and to love the people who were just doing their best with what they knew … cause that is all of us my friends… we are all just walking each other home….
I love Canada and feel fortunate to be a Canadian citizen. We live in such a beautiful country and I am grateful for this blessing.
My Mom and Dad came to Canada on their honeymoon in 1947. They were born in Wisconsin and journeyed by car, for their ♥ Honeymoon ♥ and then train to the small town of Kashabowie in Northwestern Ontario. How they found out about Kashabowie is a mystery to me. I will have to ask my older siblings and get the scoop 🙂
Anyhow, needless to say, they fell in love with the country and ended up immigrating to Canada after a few years of commuting back and forth. In the winter they worked at American Motors building airplanes and in the summer they began building their small tourist resort in Canada called “Idyllwild Resort”. Idyllwild meaning peaceful.
My Dad was good at being creative with coming up with names like this and writing good marketing copy like “nestled amongst the red pines”. I forever remember this line in his brochure as tears stream down my face.
My parents loved Canada and when my Mom died in June of 1993, we held her prayers on the eve of July 1. I am not sure why. It seems odd to be now that we would expect people to come out on that day but it had something to do people needing travel time to come from the USA and the availability of the funeral home.
Anyhow, I always remember leaving the funeral home and hearing fire works. To this day Canada Day has an extra depth for me for these reasons and especially for how much my parents loved Canada.
And so did my relatives. We have amazing memories and the BEST of the BEST of times happened when the American relatives came to visit. To this day pictures are shared, memories are held and stories are shared with delight and fondness.
I want to wish you all a very Happy Canada Day and I am sending love to my parents above and to all of YOU!
Yesterday, June 14th, was my late parents anniversary. ♥ Happy Anniversary ♥
My parents have been gone since 1993, and 1995, however, every June, I think of them and also about how much I have come to love the month of June. 🙂
💜June is such a beautiful month for many reasons. 💜
In my part of the world, it is when our summer starts and our days are long. We have daylight right up to around 11pm. And there are not too many bugs at this time of year.
And let me not forget to mention, the lilacs and butterflies are out and both of these things makes me extremely happy.
My mom died in the month of June and I remember the lilacs being abundant at that time. This makes me appreciate them even more so. Their scent now is truly ‘heaven scent/sent’ 🙂
That is all for today my friends. I hope you too find the beauty in life that is here for us to enJOY. Every day, every month and every year of our precious life offers us gifts. We just need to take the time to see them and to enJOY them.
˜”°•.˜”°• Blessings to all…. •°”˜.•°”˜
And sending ᏝᎧᏉᏋ up above and all around to you two:
This is a picture I made with my Christmas tree in the background. I love looking at the Christmas tree and thinking about all of the Love that has surrounded it over the years. Of course, each ornament has significance and makes the tree even more special because of them.
I sometimes just sit and think about many people’s Christmas trees and how they display a lifetime of stages and memories. As I gaze at my own tree, which is right beside me now, I see ornaments given to me by my mother who passed in 1993. I see a few “Baby’s First Christmas”. I see handmade ornaments by my daughter. I see ornaments made each year for Sivanna, my daughter, by her Grandmother by Heart, Joyce. I see many ornaments with special memories….. too many to list.
But what I see most of all, is LOVE. The warmth and glow of the tree and the fire reminds me of that inner and outer glow of Love. We gather in Love, we celebrate in Love and we Rejoice in Love.
Every year I host Christmas Eve at my house and this year was spectacular! Everyone had fun and there were smiles and Love all around. I know why though. I know the secret to why it was so wonderful and why it gets better every year…. it’s because we are appreciating it and each other more and more every year and it just makes it more enriched each and every year.
One of my most favorite things to see is the tradition being instilled in my daughter. As we prepare for the occasion she automatically knows to get out the serving platter for the turkey, our special cutting board given to us by Baba, aka Big Audrey (because there is a little Audrey), the fine china and to tidy the bathroom and whatever else we need to do. At these times I smile with my heart and it swells in the knowing that she will one day be fondly sharing memories of times past and of how much Love and JOY were in them. And the she too will be hosting the next generation with Love in her heart too!
Here I am in my kitchen with ‘the cutting’ board and my Santa apron given to me also by Baba one yearl
When I am long gone from this world, I would want anyone reading this who knows and loves me and has been a part of these glorious occasions to know how much I Love putting these on and preparing the food with Love for all of you to enJOY. My eyes are leaking as I type this and I am grateful that I can write things like this to express my feelings of JOY and APPRECIATION. I am also grateful for all of you in my life who Love me and show me all the time. I love you all!
Merry Christmas and may you always celebrate with JOY in your heart!
This morning I walked into the kitchen and saw my Turkey platter in the dish rack and the sun shining behind it. How beautiful. I reflected upon the lovely Thanksgiving dinner we had here yesterday. It is my favorite meal and occasion to prepare for.
Every holiday that we have turkey, I bring out this platter. I love using our special dishes and such to make the occasion even more festive and enJOYable. My sister-in-law loved this platter so much, I also found one for her 🙂 I love thrift shopping as many of you know. So much JOY!
We make so many happy memories at these get togethers and it is just so good to spend time together and to appreciate each other and to honor who we are and where we came from… that is family. Not everyone makes every holiday but that is okay, we celebrate and enJOY with whoever is able to attend. And sometimes most of us are there. I am so grateful to still have all my siblings here on earth.
As with most families we get some traditions happening. Big Audrey (because there is a little Audrey) or Baba as we call her, always carves the turkey. She is in her 80’s and still gets up there and does this. We all love it. Baba always brings me a useful gift even though I tell her she need not bring anything. One year it was an amazing turkey cutting board with spikes to hold the turkey and a little run way for the juices. Awesome. We now use it on every turkey occasion. Bubba and I both like to thrift shop hee hee. We have many happy discussions around this and often bump into each other our favorite stores. It makes me smile every time. 🙂 🙂 🙂
This year Baba brought an apron to wear and to leave for me when finished. Perfect! One can never have enough aprons, especially with many hands helping in the kitchen. 🙂
With the cooler temperature at this time of year, it makes it even cozier and warming. We even had snow on the ground yesterday. 🙂
Our meal was wonderful of course. We had many laughs, smiles and JOYS. We listened to Uncle John tell his many jokes and I could tell that each one of us appreciated them more than ever. We all know that life is a cycle and what we have now, we will not always, so everything is more enhanced and appreciated.
I am grateful that my family, like myself, gets more and more appreciative of moments like this. In fact, these moments are sacred to me (tears streaming down my face as I type this). I watch and observe that as we get older it means more and I watch and know that my daughter and the youth will one day cherish these times more than any other. These will be the memories that stand out for them.
At the end of the evening, Don, Bubba and myself chatted about how these ARE the most important things in life. There is nothing better than being together at times like this, sharing food, laughter, and memories, with people who are comfortable to share of themselves… to tease, to laugh and to most of all LOVE.
One of the reasons I blog is so that I can share my feelings but also to record these moments for future enJOYment for my offspring and for whoever happens upon them. I hope they will be inspired and will use my sharing and writing to inspire them to have more JOY in their life and to spread more JOY in the world. It always starts around your own kitchen table first. 🙂