Tag Archives: thoughtfulness

Be Leaving a Legacy (5th Anniversary)

December 26th, 2013 7:00am

The lady that will leave the largest legacy in my life left the earth.

Five years ago.

She breathed her last breath.

My dad at her side.

My boys and I sleeping at her house.

December 26th, 2018 7:00am

I set an alarm.

I woke and took a deep breath.

I began to ponder this adventure we have created these last five years and I must admit that I am shocked it has been five years living on this earth without my mama.

Some days, my breath gets taken away with grief and it seems like just moments ago that I was told that my mom had died. Other days, it feels like she has been gone for a hundred years. It truly is like the disciple Peter says: “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. “

On days like today, I am able to look back and see five distinct legacies that my mom created for me and my boys:

  1. My Mama was thoughtful! She was incredibly present with her people and truly saw how she could add value to their everyday life. She used her “spidey sense” to buy the best gifts. She really saw people and what they needed. Most days, she was the gift people needed.
  2. My Mama was a “mover”! She was cycling in Mallorca, Spain eight months before she died, cycling up to 90km per day. If she said that she was going to do something, she did it. Plain and simple. Joanna, “I was to learn Spanish!” Boom, at 65 years old she signed herself up for a Spanish class. My Mama was an athlete her whole entire life from living on the farm, to playing basketball, to being one of the first moms to join a gym and finally her passion for cycling, hiking and cross country skiing. My mama was woman of her word and a mover to boot.
  3. My Mama was creative! Whether it was when she was quilting, creating in the kitchen or working in her garden, my mom always added her own flare to what she was doing. She was never afraid to try new recipes or create something with our boys, even if it involved sparkles. My Mama was a creator.
  4. My Mama was not perfect! She was the person who gave me permission to be perfectly imperfect. I saw her shed tears over the things that her relatives chose to do to her and I saw her unsure at how to respond. I saw her get angry and apologize. I heard her speak about other people and also then apologize. I watched her when I was younger as she moved jobs and share what it was really like to work as a teacher in an antiquated system. My Mama was a human “being”.
  5. My Mama was LOVE! At 7:00am in the morning when the boys wanted to watch cartoons, she would let them crawl into bed with her. Whenever we showed up at her front door, my Mama always gave the very best hugs and made space for us in her life. Every time, I needed to talk with her, she listened. She listened really, really well. Time. Hugs. Listening. And so much more than my simple words can convey. Who could ask for anything more? Pure love!

Today on December 26th, we put on our skinny skis and went down the nordic trails to remember my Mama and my boys’ super Nana. We talked about the legacy that she has left for each of us. We cried. We laughed. We sent a balloon up to heaven. In rememberance. As a symbol of our connectness and the legacy that will never leave each of us.

With gratitude for every moment that I could spend with my Mama here on earth.

For the legacy she left.

With gratitude for the Mama that I now get to be for my boys.

For the legacy I will leave.

Thoughtful.

Mover.

Creative.

Imperfect.

LOVE.

And the greatest of these is love.

Unconditional.

Unwavering.

Unforgettable.

LOVE.

Remembered on the trails today.

And every day as we live out our legacy now!

Leave a beautiful, imperfectly perfect legacy my friends.

Love, Joanna

Be Buying Your Teacher Shoes?

Sunday afternoon, JC and I went to do a few errands for Nana and Papa here in the big city.

I find these one-on-one times with the boys are incredibly insightful and lead me down paths that sometimes I don’t understand.

Here is our story from Sunday:

JC and I were walking through a store looking at the Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations. We were talking about thanksgiving, then being thankful, next was school then we moved on to his teacher. We finished the conversation by trying to think of some way we could show his teacher we are thankful.

JC emphatically answered, “Shoes! Mom, we need to get her some shoes!”

In my mind I started rolling through the options – does she talk a lot about shoes, does she wear different shoes everyday (my high school VP wore a different tie every day), does she wear ‘funny’ shoes or ? I was confused.

He insisted we buy his teacher shoes, but we started talking about how much we wanted to spend or was there something we could do instead. We settled on a sweet treat and a note where I told his teacher the story of the shoes.

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I just received an email from his teacher and here was her response:

I may know why Jackson wanted to buy me shoes!! I have several single shoes at school for an up-coming lesson on selecting ‘good fit’ books. The idea of the lesson is that choosing a book is like choosing shoes to buy: they need to be the right size AND they need to fit your purpose. For example, you wouldn’t wear heels to go hiking. This is just like not choosing a story book about frogs if you want to learn about frogs. All this to say that I have many single shoes at school, and I have not yet explained why. Might he have thought that my shoes don’t have mates? Or is he insinuating that my gym runners are out of style!?!

This is hilarious! My poor organized , empathetic first born noticed all these single shoes and wanted to correct the ‘problem’ for his teacher.

Hahahaha. This made my whole month. I love creative teachers.

Be Eating Together

My mom has always been incredible at celebrating little and big things as well she has established amazing family rituals.

My mom has:
-volunteered in my boys schools,
– done many pick-ups,
-watched most activities they do,
– buys back to school clothes,
– every holiday the boys receive something,
– birthdays are a big deal,
– mom even makes a quilt when the boys move into their big boy bed. She is working on OC’s right now with help from her friend Audrey.

How does she do it?

I have to admit I do have a favourite mom ritual: eating together at dinner. This usually involves a bouquet of flowers, homemade quilted placemats, nicely set plates and utensils and a yummy homemade meal including a dish of olives that my boys sneak and gobble up even before dinner begins.

On Sunday, we had our first meal in our new house with mom and dad. (We bought it on May 10th)

I just love these two people to the moon and back. It was amazing to have them for both lunch and dinner.

Between meals, mom rested on the couch or on the Nana Cabana outside.

I really feel that a family that eats together, stays together. I wonder what the stats on that are?

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I even phoned a friend and learned how to poach an egg for mom. My foodie friend wasn’t home, but her observant husband was able to give me the details after watching his chef wife all these years. Go Jimbo!

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Be Taking Dukey On A Hike

We are in the final days of “living” in the town where all three of my boys were born. I have been very intentional visiting with certain people and going to special places.

On Sunday, we went for a hike on the acreage behind the first house we lived in.   We went with an old neighbour and her son.  This is the home where JC was born beside the dishwasher.  Here’s the story.

JC insisted on taking his backpack with a snack and a few other things in it.  Does this ever happen to you with your own children?  I said yes and boy did we get a surprise.

We had hiked up to the top of the hill overlooking the lake.  The boys were sitting and chatting when suddenly out popped “Dukey”, JC’s teddy bear.  We don’t let our teddy bears go travelling with us, but I sure smiled when I saw Dukey.

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My mom had given us Dukey when were six months pregnant with JC.  She gave it to us in the house at the bottom of this hill the Christmas before JC was born.

When Dukey popped out of the backpack it was a very special moment thinking about all that has happened in the last seven years since our boys (and Dukey) came into our lives.

Thanks JC for being in tune with other people and God’s Spirit inside of you.  You are one of the most thoughtful and caring people that I know.  You made us all smile today.