When I Die

Death.  Life.  Love.  Memories. Moments. 


My life has been anything but easy.  My life has been incredible. I have lived my life believing that I have important contributions to make to the world. That someone somewhere will learn something valuable from the mistakes I have made.  I have repeatedly given freely my time, money and energy.  I could have been more selfish, but I felt compelled to help others instead. I have no regrets. 

I have memories that no one can take away from me. Moments in time that are priceless and precious. I know I have earned a place in the memories of many. For all of this I am eternally grateful. 


I believe things happen for a reason. Sometimes it takes years to figure out those reasons, and sometimes we will never understand.  But, we keep going. I keep going, hoping that I am making a difference. 

I was chatting with my sister a few weeks ago about our grandmother. Grandma was 65 when I was born and she lived to see my children.  I had not actually thought about how old she was before. She was so full of life, she is my inspiration.  She left me with memories that no one can take away, homemade oatmeal cookies in an apple shaped cookie jar, a noisy candy dish which made it hard to sneak a candy and so much more. It was the little things that made her amazing and that are in my memory bank. 

I am fifty. I remember years ago thinking that was ancient.  I know now that I have years left to live, tons of memories to create and I can only hope to leave my grandchildren, children and those individuals I meet along my way with little things to remember me by. 

My goal in life is simple….make a difference and I know I’m well on my way to say I successfully completed this goal.

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I believe in true love….

Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination. Drake

I’ve wandered down many roads in this life, even taken a few wrong turns.  I’ve learned so much about who I am, and who I want to be.

One night I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and met an amazing man. It’s hard to believe that was nearly four years ago. He stole my heart and infiltrated my soul the very first night.  Throwing caution to the wind I allowed myself to be carried away, forever changing my path. 


We loved deeply, struggled fiercely and lost our way for a time. Honestly I thought what we had was lost forever.  Thank goodness time has a way of healing the pain and lessening the harsh memories.  What can I say?  We’re back!  


I am thrilled, excited and thoroughly amazed that the deep connection that we had has grown even stronger and deeper while we were apart. I can’t wait to see what comes next in our life together. 

Tears

Life happens and sometimes, there are no words sufficient to convey what needs to be said.  
Too many times to count over the years I have been blessed to be there to listen and grieve with those who trusted me with their stories. I have been brought to tears just listening, sometimes there are no words to convey my sympathy, but I am there to do what I can to ease the burden.  

I believe that by coaching and sharing my own experiences, I am able to help ease the burden of those who entrust me with their stories. Those that know me, understand they are never alone in their fears, despair or daily trials. The words are difficult and sometimes impossible. 


Love comes and goes. Moments of joy can be quickly snuffed out. Dreams that were once possible, can become impossible in the blink of an eye. There are often no words, but just to listen is an incredible gift.   

I struggle each day with the loss of my daughter. I speak, write and talk to others about it. Most will never understand the profound grief that comes with losing a child and for that I am grateful. No loss is easy and each one comes with its own kind of pain and emotions. 

Be patient, be kind and above all else just listen. Comfort if you can, and offer words if you have them. Say and do the things you would want done for you. Pay forward the comfort you receive, and let the words said in pain fly free in the next strong wind. 

There are no words…

Life happens and sometimes, there are no words sufficient to convey what needs to be said.  


Too many times to count over the years I have been blessed to be there to listen and grieve with those who trusted me with their stories. I have been brought to tears just listening, sometimes there are no words to convey my sympathy, but I am there to do what I can to ease the burden.  

I believe that by coaching and sharing my own experiences, I am able to help ease the burden of those who entrust me with their stories. Those that know me, understand they are never alone in their fears, despair or daily trials. The words are difficult and sometimes impossible. 
Love comes and goes. Moments of joy can be quickly snuffed out. Dreams that were once possible, can become impossible in the blink of an eye. There are often no words, but just to listen is an incredible gift.   

I Struggle each day with the loss of my daughter. I speak, write and talk to others about it. Most will never understand the profound grief that comes with losing a child and for that I am grateful. No loss is easy and each one comes with its own kind of pain and emotions. 

Be patient, be kind and above all else just listen. Comfort if you can, and offer words if you have them. Say and do the things you would want done for you. Pay forward the comfort you receive, and let the words said in pain fly free in the next strong wind. 

How do you do it?

How do you do it? Ever wish you had died instead? Where does your strength come from? How do you keep smiling? Does it still hurt? And other ridiculous statements that people have the nerve to say out loud. 
Every single moment of every single day is a challenge. Life is funny that way. I don’t consider myself strong, instead I move through life one challenge at a time. That’s all I can expect of myself, and here is the clincher I don’t expect anything different from anyone else. 
Every little thing in life worth having is worth working hard for. I have no desire to be perfect, I do strive to be full of grace, compassion and hope. When I talk to parents who have just buried their child and I feel compassion, I don’t say cruel things I feel their pain. Not because I have been there done that, but because I feel there is too much negativity in our world today. 

When I see a complete stranger crying on a bench at the park I feel sad. I send a silent message of hope to them. Why on earth do some feel that a snide comment is called for? People please try to be kind to one another, there is way to much nastiness already. 
I love the feeling I get when I know that I have made a difference, sometimes by doing nothing but smile. You should try it!  

Time after Time 

Reblogged from my old blog A Healing Love


I can’t count how many times I have surrendered what I thought was my next big dream, falling back on what is familiar to rebuild and begin again. We’re these dreams wasted? Not at all. From each experience and dream, there were skills, knowledge and faith in myself added to the growing repertoire that is my life. 

I don’t believe I’m alone in this, I think it’s actually more common than most of us would like to believe. Some forty odd years ago I wanted desperately to be a teacher, that was my dream. When that became a reality, I loved it. But, it wasn’t fulfilling. It was a rough point in my marriage, and I needed more from my day job. More money to support myself, interaction with adults and most of all I needed to be challenged more. 

Over the coming years I tried a variety of things, always moving on searching for a career that would fulfill my desire to live life to its fullest. I wanted challenge, busy days and I wanted to learn new things. Accounting fell into my lap quite by accident on a routine visit to my accountants office. Interestingly enough, many years prior to this I had completed a career questionnaire in high school. The result was an even tie between teaching and accounting. But yet I had not even considered it.  

Sitting at a desk all day, conversing with other colleagues, attending classes and seminars made me smile. I loved how it all fit with raising my kids, lots of travel opportunities and constantly learning new accounting skills. I was no longer surrounded by adorable kids in my classroom and coincidentally found I had more patience with my own kids. I was evolving into a better parent, applying what I had learned for teaching school in my house rather than in a classroom. 

When my daughter died it was with bone crushing mental and physical pain that I realized, perhaps for the very first time that there are no guarantees in life. I had the need to create a life that made me proud, offered me opportunities to experience everything and anything I wanted, wished or dreamed of NOW! Take a moment to look at your own life, you are the conductor in charge of making your life the best it can be. Don’t put off change, embrace it.

Over the last couple of years, I have once again moved in a few different directions. As most of you are aware I wrote and published two novels, began this blog and took a position in retail sales. None of these had been even attempted prior to this, the time just felt right, so I did it. 


Time after time I find myself returning to what I know and still love. At this point I’m back at a new accounting/finance position that looks to be a busy job full of multi-tasking and learning. I find myself enjoying being back in familiar territory once again and I am very excited to see where it leads. 

As you can see, some parts of each position I have held over the last forty done odd years is being used. It has immeasurable value. It is part of exactly who I am, and adds to the person I have become. 
Following my instinct, looking forward rather than back, and making every moment count. In short, treasuring each and every day of this journey. 

The Cyndi Lauper tune, “Time After Time” came on the radio yesterday and the lyrics are so incredible I wanted to share. I heard it for the first time so many years ago, and I still love the lyrics. They were and still are very representative of my life.

Lying in my bed I hear the clock tick, And think of you

Caught up in circles confusion, Is nothing new

Flashback – warm nights, Almost left behind
Suitcases of memories, Time after –
Sometimes you picture me, I’m walking too far ahead
You’re calling to me, I can’t hear. What you’ve said 
Then you say – go slow -I fall behind –
The second hand unwinds

If you’re lost you can look – and you will find me

Time after time
If you fall I will catch you – I’ll be waiting 
Time after time
After my picture fades and darkness has Turned to gray
Watching through windows – you’re wondering If I’m OK

Secrets stolen from deep inside The drum beats out of time

If you’re lost…
…Time after time

Time after time
Time after time
Time after time

Less is better 

Reblogged from my old blog A Healing Love
I may not have much, but what I do have I wouldn’t trade for anything. We’ve all heard the old adage, less is better, but until recently I don’t think I truly understood what it meant. 

Over the last months, days, weeks and years I have culled and reduced my belongings to necessities only. I have plenty of memories, but no regrets. It hit me the other day, like the proverbial two-by-four that I really like my life.  

What does minimalism mean to you? It definitely carries a different meaning for each of us. I believe it also changes with the passage of time. Years ago I felt I needed a convertible, and a second nice car parked in my garage. I needed a new suit each month, complete with coordinating purse and of course jewellery. For a couple of decades I worked eighteen hour days to provide for this lifestyle and at the time I was ok with that. 
In a lot of cases the old “keeping up with the Jones” was totally me. Then one day, about five years ago, I realized I was tired of it all. That was the moment I walked away from everything, sold alot, gave away tons and went on an adventure creating a new life. For a time I found myself enjoying the pleasure of daily walks, a small living space and no car at all! Gasp!  
Unfortunately it didn’t take long to get back into the I want, I need lifestyle of overindulgence and stress. Thankfully it only took a couple years for the sense of exhaustion to break through and realize I wasn’t where I wanted to be anymore once again. A couple years had passed, a couple relationships had fizzled and died and I was another couple years older. 
Today I virtually have nothing. I gave everything I had to my kids and what was left went to those who needed it. It felt amazing and yet scary all at the same time. If I really wanted to, I could fit all of my possessions in the back of my little car, that is debt free, and drive away. 
Yet as I look across the room at these four little feet, I’m content. I’m blessed to have time to spend with my sons, grandchildren and at the same time reconnect with my sister and nieces. Best of all I’m truly happy. 

Moving on…


Today was my last day at a job I loved.  A job I thought I would have for years to come. But sometimes we just don’t have the control we would like to have over these things. 

Some will say “it was just a job” others will sympathize with me. What I’m doing, is a little different. I am choosing not to dwell on the loss, but instead looking forward to what comes next. 

I am very lucky to have secured a contract to work from home doing personal and corporate tax. I have missed doing tax and getting to know the people behind the returns. I love listening to their stories, taking joy in their successes, commiserating with the losses. 


Also, I will be working on my third novel, blogging and enjoying a slower pace. In short I will be fine.

The struggle is real…

We have all heard the sayings about “going with the flow” and “we only get challenges we can handle”. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve rolled my eyes and thought to myself “ya right”!  
I know things now that I wish I had known thirty five years ago, but I know I went through things for a reason. Now, I know that! Back in the day I struggled hard sometimes. 
If you get nothing else from my blog, or novels I hope you can see the light at the end of the tunnel quicker than I did. I blog to share, give hope and with a little luck peace to those who are still struggling through life one moment at a time. 
Don’t kid yourself I still struggle, the difference is I know now that each struggle brings me to a better place. From each change that is affected I learn and grow. Focus on the moment that is yet to come, know in your heart that the trials you are faced with will pass. Unfortunately there is usually another hurdle to jump around the next corner.  

My best piece of advice is to enjoy each moment, find a silver lining and meet each new challenge with a smile. That’s not to say there won’t be cloudy days, teary moments and the occasional angry “why me” shouted for all to hear. But I know we choose our future, our tomorrow’s are created by the attitude we carry with us today. 
Find moments that make you smile. Enjoy a child licking their ice cream, play with your pet or chase a butterfly. And remember, stay focussed on the positives and let the negatives in your life drift away. 

Deep waters 

Reblogged from my previous blog…. A Healing Love 

Today I found the strength. I spoke. 


Over the years, nearly fifty of them actually, I have attended many church services in many places. Always alone or with my kids in tow. For a time in Leslieville, Pine Lake, Morningside, Victoria, Caroline, Red deer, Frankfurt and many more were to me a place of refuge from whatever storm I was facing. Catholic, United, Nazarene, Baptist, Presbyterian, whichever was closest to me and most accessible. A safe place to go and give thanks for all I had, to be grateful.  
As a child I was one of those kids trying to belong in a world that I did not fit in. But in Sunday school, church camp, teen club, vacation bible school or church services themselves I always managed to leave more calm than I went in. For a few years I went every Sunday to services, finding that I was better able to cope with whatever the current struggle facing me was. 
I learned very quickly as a child that it was better to keep your faith, or interest in the church community to yourself. For a child like me, it was just another thing to be bullied about. I always went alone, never spoke of my experiences, just gathered the spiritual feeling and kept it close with my heart. 
When my kids were young I took them so they could socialize with other kids often teaching their classes. I sent them off to the same summer camp I had gone to, run by the United Church, Kasota East at Gull Lake. They went every summer, whitewater canoeing, fishing, onsite in cabins, dinosaur themes and much more. They came home smiling, new friends were made and best of all they were learning the calming effect church could have. 
When my daughter died, more than a dozen years ago now, it was several years before I could even think about attending a Sunday service again. It did not matter which church, or where it was, from my seat all I could see was her casket at the front, the pain was just too much. But, through it all I kept my faith, prayed privately, read scripture, attended when I felt strong enough to and meditated often.  
With my move back to Alberta last summer I tentatively set foot back into one of the churches I had attended many years ago. In fact the same church that we had held the funeral services at for my daughter. On more than one occasion I found myself sitting near the back, silently internalizing the sermon, songs and listening attentively to everything and everyone. Then leaving quietly before anyone approached me to chat. As I sat there I silently hoped and prayed I would not see, encounter or have to talk to anyone I knew. I simply was drawn there.
Upon waking this morning I knew I was going to attend the service at St Andrews. I went in quietly, sat near the back and opened my bible to read the scripture from the service bulletin. Reverend Ross Smilie began the service, my emotions began to swirl and I was feeling nauseaous and dizzy. He had spoken at my daughters funeral. As everything came rushing back, the memories, the pain and the feeling of tremendous loss. My eyes watered, tears were beginning. I closed my eyes, bowed my head and listened to the words of encouragement in the sermon. 
Two lovely ladies were welcomed to the front to sing for the second time in the service. I watched them, feeling a sense of overwhelming gratitude for sharing their talent. They introduced the song they would next sing, Amazing Grace. My heart was thumping so loud, my body was tense, it was one of the funeral songs and a favorite of mine since I was a child. As they sang I felt a sense of peace come over me. 
“Deep Waters” was today’s sermon. The minister was speaking about how each of us has a different challenge, something that may seem insurmountable and yet some conquer and win. He invited the congregation up to light a candle and mention their personal “deep water”. It was then, with my stomach in knots and my whole body tense, that I rose and walked to the front and lit a candle. I did not say much, “choosing to live when my daughter died”, but those words affected many. As I walked back to my seat at the back, I noticed many people with tissues dabbing tears away. 

It took a bit, but I finally calmed enough, wiped my tears and facing forward participated in the rest of the service. As the service came to a close I stood to leave and was greeted by friends I had not seen in more than a decade and hugged by strangers. But the words from the minister at the door, “that was very brave to speak”, and the hug he gave me meant the world to me.