September 24, 2015

Happiness is.....(photos from the week)...

 Time shared with my loves. Friends who feel like family, well, it doesn't get any better than that. At one point we were all singing together in the kitchen, karaoke style, as we cooked together. Those are life's best moments.
   Time to savour the great outdoors. Nothing is better for the soul, in my humble opinion. Walking alongside the river, breathing in all of that fresh air, reminding ourselves that we are merely passing through what will be here long after we're gone. Nature demands our respect, reminds us of our connectedness and facilitates our curiosity. Get outside.
 A new book and a cup of joe - one of my all time favourite combinations. Bliss.
 Dinner time is our time together at the table. No tv. No phones. Just us, being our goofy selves.
 Watching her ride with such confidence, while doubling her bff: I just run alongside grinning, cheering her on.
Getting back to dance classes. (hip hop). It doesn't even feel like exercise because it is so much damn fun.

September 23, 2015

Happy First day of Autumn!!!

Changing leaves. Pumpkin Patches. Pumpkin pie. Pumpkin lattes. Pumpkin ale. Pumpkin anything. Knit sweaters. Scarves. Toques. Boots. Crisp sunshine. Birthdays of 90% of the people I know. Academy Award worthy movies. Rosy cheeks. It's all a little sublime isn't it?

September 13, 2015

a few words about grief....(okay, maybe more than a few....)

Hi friends! I know this blog has touched on grief a lot this year, but you'll have to forgive me, when something happens that alters you so profoundly, I'm the kind of person who has to express it to make sense of it all.
A few weeks ago at work, I was cleaning off old messages from my phone, and found one from my mom, saying "I need to talk to you." I looked at the date, and it was the day before I found out she had cancer. At that moment, I ran from my desk, through our busy open concept office, tears streaming down my cheeks, trying to find somewhere private to let my grief out. I was having a panic attack. 
The profound sense of missing her comes on, just like that. It comes on like a sudden onslaught to my heart. 
There are days when I want to run into a field and scream for her. I still can't believe that it all really happened. I want to desperately spend one day with her again. I want to hear her voice, to hold her hand, to hear her beautiful laugh.

I remember the day when she said to me, "Dear, I'm sick." And I knew, by her tone, that it wasn't something that was going to pass. I remember feeling my heart break in that moment. But then, as she underwent chemo, I went into the role of support, of hope, of just being there every step for her and feeling that her unbelievable strength would defeat the odds. My life had tremendous purpose, to see her through this to victory. But when she became so weak, so sick, where we had to carry her back and forth from life spent on the sofa or in her bed, too weak to stand up, where we could see every bone in her body, I wanted her hell done. She deserved peace. And when she passed away, and that rainbow shot out over the sky immediately after, I felt like she was letting us know that she was happy again, that she letting the whole world know, "I'm okay!". And my grief felt like relief. Relief that she was done with the suffering. 

But when a few months pass, grief turns from relief to a tremendous sense of loss. I read a wonderful article on grief that talks about how the grief we feel is a testament to the relationship we shared. So I am, without a doubt, tremendously lucky to have had such a wonderful relationship with my mom. She always had my back, and I always had hers. She was the easiest person to love.
I'm not surprised that in turn, I will probably never be the same without her and that the sense of loss I feel is so extensive. My life is incredibly different with her gone. My brother, dad and I just don't operate the same without her. 
I try to pour all of the love she gave me back into my family. 
When I'm baking with my daughter, or combing her hair, packing her lunch, or cheering her on at school, I feel so connected to my mom, so entrenched in the nostalgia of what we shared. When I see a perfect rose, a bird sitting on a branch next to me, a butterfly in our garden, I think of her because she too, was all that was good in this world. When I see women my age out with their moms, shopping, having brunch, walking hand in hand, the missing is palpable and I feel like shouting to them, savour what you have!!!! But I know that I will create those moments with my own daughter, and through them, I will always feel my mom's presence. And maybe that what's this life is about, the imprints people make on our heart. 

It's been a really tough year for loss, with losing mom, Craig's friend passing away suddenly from a brain aneurysm, putting down our cat, and likely losing our dog soon. It has all sent a ripple of fear in me like no other: Life is a blink of an eye. And time is our most precious commodity. Try to be present with those around you - to savour the space and time you get to share. Make the most of it all. I feel so lucky to work part time, to have so much time with my daughter. I know it won't get us ahead as quickly financially speaking, but it's time shared with her that I'll never regret. Try and pack your days as best as you can with whatever makes you the happiest. xoxo

September 6, 2015

what a day for a daydream.....

Hello friends! How is your long weekend going? So far, we've had a lovely mix of family time and time spent with friends. I'm thoroughly loving the new crispness in the air, aren't you? I think what makes us unique, what makes us individuals, is the blend of our passions. Every one carries around a different mix of what interests them, what lights them up from the inside out. And as individuals, I think it is so important to make sure we keep tapping into those things that keep our light ablaze. I personally think the world is a better place when people are taking responsibility and dedicating time to what makes them truly happiest. Walking around in the beautiful sun today with my two big loves, feeling birds eat right off our hands, being surrounded by endless expansive natural beauty and having time to snap photos felt like the perfect day. I'm really paying attention to these moments, to these times that feel sublime, and trying to douse my days more frequently with them. Don't you love it when you are experiencing those things that make you so happy deep down to your toes, that you can't help but grin from ear to ear all day? Next week I start up dance classes, and personally, I cannot wait. It's definitely one of those things that makes me feel like I'm deeply connected to what brings me the greatest joy. What are some of your biggest passions? (Aside from the love you carry for your family/friends). I'd say mine are travelling, hiking, photography, writing, dance classes, interior design and making people laugh. Don't you love it when you meet people who dedicate time to their passions? I find it truly inspiring - like when my friend Janet talks to me about how to set up a garden, or when my friend Tammy uses her baking skills to help local charities, when I see my friend Caroline teach children, or when I eat anything my friend Alicia has cooked. This world is a better place because they are dedicating time to their incredible passions. So, take a moment for yourself this weekend, to dedicate time to something that cranks up the switch on your light. xoxo