Be Saying ‘Thank You’ to my Mom’s CFUW friends

I have talked before about my salty people. As my mom and dad journeyed through cancer, I got to see first hand the saltiness of their friends.

Yesterday, I was fortunate to help my dad host a group of my mom’s favourite people at their house overlooking the lake.

20140709-202042-73242308.jpgAll of these women belong to the CFUW. (Canadian Federation of University Women)



Mom moved full time to Vtown when JC, our oldest, was three months old in July of 2007. Over the years as mom and I talked about all the amazing people she was meeting hiking, biking, quilting, volunteering or even her next door neighbour, mom always expressed “oh she’s in CFUW too!” They are everywhere.

20140709-202224-73344037.jpg“Where are Nana’s friends?”

I have taken up riding my bike very early in the morning. For those who know me well, you are probably lying on the floor laughing or passed out, as you know I not a morning person nor much of a long distance bike rider. I feel close to my mom in the quiet mornings as the pedals crank and hear the birds. I also love seeing who is out and about as well as exploring this new city. Earlier this week, I chose a random street along the lake and you will never guess what I saw. A sign stating:

20140710-080735-29255301.jpgThe CFUW are everywhere, even taking care of a street along the lake.

During my mom’s cancer journey, her CFUW friends were everywhere. They provided food delivered to hospice for our family, picked up boxes of books to be donated, just because I asked. They provided close conversation and space for mom to be herself. They brought pictures to uplift and stories to comfort. This group of women did everything they could for my family and especially my dear mom.

At the Vancouver Peace Summit in 2009, the Dalai Lama foretold that Western women will save the world. After watching my mom’s CFUW friends, I believe him.

With gratitude,

For all the gifts,

Giving freely and lovingly,

Over the course of this last year!

To a group of women,

Who gave these gifts,

Of themselves, through themselves,

Independently and collectively,

Thank you from the bottom of my family’s hearts and stomachs!


Be at the Beginning (my 501st post!)

Folks… How did I write 500 posts? Here is my 150th post! I wrote it almost a year ago. So, if I do the math correctly, in the last 365 days (which equals one year), I have written just shy of one post per day. Sexy Neck, am I right? Is this possible?


As I sit and write this five hundred and first post, where am I?

I am at the beginning.

The start.




Each day I fully embrace. I feel more alive with deep emotion than I have ever felt.

Life is not about living in Disneyland, but enjoying those Disneyland moment. The exciting rides, the yummy sweet food, the cleanliness and friendly people.

Life is not about running from sadness, grief and hard times, but sitting in it. Living through it. Feeling deeply. The tears, the anguish, the copious amounts of laundry and people who will never make sense.

Life is about a beautiful woven quilt like my mom used to make. The light and dark fabrics making a beautiful pattern.

Life is about forgiving and starting fresh each day. The sun and the moon providing guideposts to help us do this.

Life is about surrounding myself with healthy people who may not understand me but honour me for who I am. People make a difference in my life, both positively and detrimentally. I am a relationship person. They are important to me.

Life is about being positive and focusing on my strengths. I could ‘work on’ all my negative attributes for the rest of my life and not move one mile, but I can continue to concentrate on my gifts and talents and hit the stars. Don’t we all find it easy to do what we love? Imagine if we chose to live this way each day?

Life is about beginnings. Learning to paddle board at sixty-seven years old. Going on a Tour de France Training Camp in Mallorca at age seventy. Being the very best Nana, mom, wife, aunt, sister and friend each day.

Thank you mom for teaching me about beginnings… And for being my guide through the ultimate of beginnings here on earth as a human being, death.

And now I ponder my own beginnings: starting a business, going back to school, new stages with my boys, fitness, health, volunteering, new activities, new friends and new starts with old ones.