Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Glorious Contradictions.

2013 was an odd year to say the least. Except it wasn't. Life is all about endings and beginnings. I think the oddness was because the beginnings and endings were... life changing....extreme. Except they weren't. 

2013 saw the loss of my mother.  But in that loss began a totally new relationship with my dad. 

2013 saw the last of the remenants of my battle with colon cancer turn to battle scars. Alas, it was only a battle and not the war: the cancer has spread and chemo is now a fact of life for me. 

My children are growing up and becoming functioning, contributing adults. That is totally wonderful and I'm so proud. And I can't, for the life of me, figure out how in the heck I managed to influence that. 

Our extended Family is growing with another niece/nephew on the way.  

2013 wasn't a bad year, it wasn't a good year. It was life!  Glorious, frustrating, happy, sad, life. A roller coaster, a fire, a nap.  I don't think I'd know what to do if it was any other way. 

Celebrate life my friends, in all it's glorious contradictions. It's what it's all about. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Beyond the Surface

I've been brewing and stewing and thinking and contemplating. I read a blog post that a Facebook friend had shared awhile back. Some of you may have seen it already but here's the link for it. 

At first I was all good for you, but the more I read the more unsettled I became and I just couldn't put my finger on it. I also read the comments and that's when I realized what was bothering me. The idea that boys/men are not responsible for how they view girls/women. It's all on the  ladies. I am having difficulty expressing my thoughts lately, and I want to respond but I don't think I can do it in a thoughtful way because I truly believe this woman means well for her children.  So I found a response that hits the nail on the head so to speak and says what I'd like to.  Here's the article. 

I guess what I'm struggling with a bit is the whole idea of critical thinking and how our words define who we are. We are our words. It's how we communicate (I know we our actions too but usually those actions line up with what we say.)  In social interactions we rely on visual cues and tone of voice to help us interpret the words we hear. It's a package deal. But in the online world we no longer have those visual or auditory cues (unless its a video). We rely strictly on the written word. I was taught in school to think critically. To evaluate an idea or a concept or opinion based on reason.  To look beyond the surface. Part of that evaluation is using my own experience and moral compass-my filter if you will - but to always acknowledge  that filter. In reading the comments I realized there is not a lot of that critical thinking going on any more. Or realizing that it is a human being behind those words. I freely admit I don't always look beyond the surface.  

You will note in Mrs Hall's post she's edited it based on some of the comments. The surface comments. She totally missed the deeper message. I am unsure if some of those more critically thoughtful comments are still there as they don't jive with her view. 

There is so much more I could talk about with regards to the posts and critical thinking but my thoughts are scattered this morning and I can't pull them together enough. So I  encourage you to read both posts and the comments and to look beyond the surface. 

Please feel free to comment however you so choose. Maybe your viewpoint will be the focus I need gather my thoughts and continue exploring this idea. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Facts

I've never had to struggle to find words before. These past 16 months have been some of the hardest of my life. And would have been harder if not for the support and love of a few special people, including my mom.

My mom passed away Monday, April 15th. She was 64 years old and her heart just stopped working. She died as she lived: on her own terms and with my dad by her side. These are the facts.

It still doesn't seem real. I mean my brain knows she is gone. But every time I have a question or need to vent or just want to hear her voice, I can't just pick up the phone and call. And neither can the kids. These are the facts.

She died knowing everything was ok with her kids. All of us. Lives on track and headed in a positive way. She died having spent time with all her grandchildren. She died having had a full life. She died having known the love of her life for 50 years (3 days shy of the anniversary of that first date). She died having taught her children to live the lives they want and to accept nothing less. She died. These are the facts.

The truth is that all these facts don't go far enough to soothe the ache or fill the empty place. But it's a start and I know that the pain will pass. These are the facts.

I will always miss her, and that is not just a fact, but a truth.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Battle Scars are Cool

February, a new month and one month closer to spring. Although I have to say winter isn't that bad. Sure it's cold and windy at times and there is lots of snow (at least in Manitoba), but there is an upside. No mosquitoes! But that's true of anything I suppose, there is always a silver lining, an upside, one positive amongst the negative. Admittedly it's hard to see sometimes but it is there.

I just finished watching week six video of Book of Days, and Effy, our hostess is not feeling the winter weather at all. And yet without that feeling of blah she wouldn't have created a beautiful colourful playful tree.

I'm not exactly sure where I'm going with this. Maybe it's in the search for the elusive positive that we can find that which makes us content. That was a bit on the philosophical side wasn't it? I think I need more coffee.

On the more practical side, my current (and only fingers crossed) bout with cancer is almost at an end. The chemo is done and all that's left is the surgery to re-hook up my plumbing. March 14th and all visible signs of my battle will be gone. Well almost all. I will have the scars, but hey battle scars are cool!

There is something cathartic in being able to point to a scar and say "I got this one fighting the evil cancer dragon. He may have got me good but I'm here and he isn't!"