Tag Archives: writing

Be Living 25 Days

Note: Click on the blue links to see the whole twenty-five day story…

Twenty-five days ago, I left my home.

My mom was in an ambulance with excruciating pain.

Twenty- five days ago my mom was in the ER, in pain. I never saw my mom read or watch TV again.

Excruciating pain.

In the next seven days, I watched mom be in FIVE different rooms of the hospital. Not one nurse offered to wash her or change her gown. Mom never did get that bath she was looking forward to for six weeks.

Still in pain.

I encountered a surgeon who told mom she would die, a doctor who empathized, an anaestesologist who overruled our oncologist who wanted mom to have more pain meds, nurses who laughed and were afraid, nurses who advocated and hid. A social worker who stood strong and stole chairs and a palliative care coordinator who finally helped mom be pain-free.

Mom was continually trying to ‘conquer’ her pain (mom’s words).

I watched mom lovingly hold dad’s hand, I watched her hug my boys. I heard her never complain nor whine about her situation.

Not once. Not ever.

Twenty days ago, Wendy and I had a sleepover with mom. Sleeping in chairs. Mom still in pain. Chasing nurses for meds. Laughing. Crying. Massaging. Comforting.

I watched mom try to put one foot in front of the other. I saw her desperately want a drink of water. I put lip chap on her lips, got her ice and massaged her sore hips.

One moment at a time.

Nineteen days ago, I went by ambulance with my mom to hospice. . Dad and my boys greeted us there. You should have seen mom’s face light up. Finally pain free with a grin on her face.

I savoured watching snowflakes flutter onto her face as she entered this holy place.

I watched my cousins, my uncles, my sister, her family and our wonderful friends arrive to comfort us. And we saw food, wine and more food come through those doors.

All with my dad steadfast at her side and my Sexy Neck a pillar of strength.

I saw my boys playing peek-a-boo outside mom’s window, I saw JC kiss her hand one last time, CC give her a big hug and OC a high five.

Sixteen days ago, I heard mom say hi to me for the last time as I walked into her room in the morning. Room number eight.

Always kind, always thoughtful, always just mom.

Fourteen days ago, I watched the family from my childhood (dad, sister, cousins) eat Christmas dinner together, listen to Christmas carols and drink wine. I heard stories and quite a ruckus being made in room number eight. I watched tears flow, mom’s hand being held and felt her body next to me as I lied with her.

I watched my family grieve, my cousins step up, my boys soak in the love of everyone and my dad continue to walk forward with his love.

I looked at mom’s beautiful skin, incredible blue eyes and felt her warmth and kindness flowing out of her, as it always has.

Thirteen Days ago, mom took her last breath. Dad sitting at her side.

I was awed by love, snow, hugs and fluttering butterflies.

Thirteen days ago we started planning, writing, savouring, cherishing.

Eleven Days ago, we celebrated mom’s life at her favourite beach, held the people who love her and cried tears of love over and over again.

Ten days ago we said goodbye to many departing for home and then it was just us and dad. Staying at mom and dad’s house. Puzzling, talking, organizing, crying, drinking wine, skiing, leaving roses, smelling the flowers, taking down Christmas decorations and talking about stuff.

Today, I return to our home in KCity .

Today, this is how my husband found me as I wrote this blog:

Disclaimer: For my Prayerwalking friends, my lying down is a regular occurrence. For my new grieving self, it is a daily occurrence. Just rowing my boat… in my quiet laundry room.

Don’t worry, I am not alone. God is with me, my friends close, boys sleeping and Sexy Neck woowing me with warm muffins.

Can you leave me a wee comment? It will give me something to read while I lie on the floor.

Be ‘Carol Shaben’ Writer Extraordinnaire

Tuesday night at book club, we Skyped with author, Carol Shaben, who wrote ‘Into The Abyss’ in 2012.

Tomorrow will be the twenty-ninth anniversary of the Northern Alberta plane crash that this book is based on. This is not only a book based on a true story, but a story of Carol’s determined heart and mind.


My understanding of the back story on this incredible book are from reading about Carol Shaben in preparation for book club and hearing her talk on Skype.

Wow! We were all blown away by the connection we felt while she was talking about her book. She is a real woman!

This story had been brewing in her mind and heart since she was twenty-two living in Jerusalem. On October 19th, she was reading the Jerusalem Post and she saw a small story that her father had been in a plane crash. Can you imagine?

She wrote the book in her loft office using a gigantic bulletin board and cue cards to keep all the individual stories and lives straight. There were ten passengers in the plane that horrific October day. Only four survived, her dad, a cop, his prisoner and the pilot. I won’t tell you anymore, but the story will eat you up.

The story is written like a delicious chocolate mousse. It is smooth, textured and rich in the development of the characters. A page turner that only took me two days to read. I do devour books, but i think this book devoured me. Sometimes it is hard to imagine the the story is true.

Our book club is extremely grateful that Carol Shaben took the time to talk with us. She is incredibly down to earth and her love for writing, this book and her father flew through the computer screen. Thank you for sharing your gift Carol.

Congratulations Carol on your Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction that you will receive on November 13th along with a $10,000 cheque.

Be Conscious of Your Children’s Brain

Whew, I got hit over the head this morning. WHACK! WHACK! WHACK!

We are pretty conscious of what we allow our children to see and read. We got rid of the television when our oldest son was six months old mostly due to advertising and my addiction to reality tv. We also limit our boys computer time and tend to stick to shows in the two to four year old category on Netflix. We also stopped watching Treehouse because of the advertisements that portrayed beautifully perfect unrealistic women.

Here is the story my oldest, JC “wrote” this morning:Image

Here is a book that we got from the library last week:


We cannot underestimate a child’s brain, the things they take in, the things they remember and what they will do with it.

From a library book, to remembering it one week later and now a story today, my son is a perfect exam.

Now how about those computer games, constant television watching or this book my boys were reading with daddy this morning: