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Archive for December, 2012

This year was a tumultuous one that was full of contrasts.

2012 was a time to re-evaluate friendships and remove negative influences from my life. We had friends whose focus became solidly rooted in materialism and competitiveness at every turn, to the point where what is really important was left to the wayside. Bryan and I felt it best for our family to distance ourselves entirely. We found that stepping back also opened up space for new and wonderful connections to be forged with other people who are on the same page we are—people who embrace that the most important things in life can’t be purchased. Time and love are at the top of that list.

On the subject of time and love… there has been sadness this year. There is never enough time to spend with the ones we love. My brother passed away in February. He wasn’t exactly a big part of my life, but I still miss and love him. Around the same time I had a serious heath scare and that brought up a lot of memories of my Dad’s battle with heart disease. Then the worst of 2012, for me, was a mere week ago… on Christmas Eve. My Mom was admitted to hospital and we were called to say goodbye. She is still hanging on and while the outlook is not very favorable, I still hold onto hope. Mom is, by leaps and bounds, the strongest and most determined person I know.

Being Scottish, Hogmanay (New Years) has always been a big deal for Mom. She always told us stories of first footing, breaking shortbread, and other celebratory tales from her homeland. On this New Years Eve I am thinking of her while reflecting on the good that came this past year. It’s a year that I am thankful is coming to a close, yet it also had some really terrific moments. Mom always reminds me to focus on what is positive in life so here we go…

Tobias turned 11. He has come into a sarcastic sense of wit that is typical of his age group and very much like his Dad. He is very charitable and asked me for extra snacks in his school lunch because there are a few in his class that don’t get enough to eat. Some days you could find him running to catch the neighbor’s little dog that escapes under their fence and onto the road. Speaking of running, he ran his first races this year. He ran his first 5K and helped me raise money for the JDRF. The next day he ran another 5K race with his schoolmates. Despite not having a lot of training he did extremely well on a trail relay in May. He placed first in his age group at a 10K event in October. Even if he hadn’t won a medal, I am so very proud of him.

Kaia turned 2. Ah, the trials and tribulations of being the Mommy of a toddler. Yet, I find her inquisitive thirst for learning contagious. She keeps big brother on his toes and drives him a little bit batty. She is smart and precocious and simply adorable. She has Daddy and the Grandparents wrapped around her little finger. We bought her a first trike and she adored going for bike rides on it. Kaia also spent a lot of time in a bike trailer going on rides around the local trails. She loved camping this summer and wanted to help with everything.

I finally bought a new bike and learned how to use the gears on it. I rode up hills that normally would have me hopping off halfway up. We went cycling several times a week as a family and it was wonderful.

I ran my first 5K race in April and received and award for collecting over $1500 in donations for the JDRF. My friends came and ran with me. It wasn’t a finish line but a starting line and I went on to complete an arduous trail relay a month later. I even ran a few times when we were on a family vacation in Algonquin Provincial Park. This fall I ran my first 10K race—a nighttime trail event in mid-October. I was last but I did it and was very proud of that. I even booked my first half-marathon which I will run in 2013. It has been amazing—who knew I’d adore running.

We went camping, as we do most summers. As usual, Bryan brought the rain. It actually came down so hard on the way into the Barron Canyon area that we turned around and drove back to the permit office to book a car-camping site. Although the wilderness portion of our trip was changed, we had a blast hanging out at camp together in the rain. The weather even let up long enough that we sat on our private little beach to watch the Perseids.

I decided to pursue writing a third cookbook. After being rejected and having a good cry, I picked myself up and got on with things. I approached another publisher and a deal was struck. I’m still working on the manuscript and it will go to the publisher on April 1, 2013.

At midnight we welcome in 2013. I will leave the negative side of 2012 behind and I won’t be making any resolutions again this year. For me the New Year is a book consisting entirely of blank pages that I will fill as the year progresses. Resolutions, I feel, set one up for failure. Sometimes this is because the goal seems too big or the timeframe isn’t realistic.

So instead, here is my outlook for 2013.

My darling children will have many wonderful moments—I will embrace that as they are the light that gets me through the rough stuff. Bryan and I will continue on our journey of wellness which includes being active and taking on new adventures. Part of this will be a 460 km journey on a cycling path in Quebec called Le P’tit Train du Nord. I will move closer toward my goal weight and likely achieve that in mid-2013. I will be training with a great coach and then completing my first half marathon in May. Some friends and my darling, supportive husband are running in that event as well. I am very excited. The week after the half marathon I’m running the TREAD trail relay with some of the same friends that where there with us last year. Good thing we are doing it for the simple fun of it. There will be Trek or Treat again in October and perhaps some other races as time permits. Of course, I’ll be camping and such too. Who knows what else I will get up to. I’ll have to get back to you on that. 🙂

With this I leave you until next year, my dear readers…

May you look back on all the positive things that 2012 has brought you and may 2013 bring you peace, happiness, and health.

Happy New Year!

(B)e Positive!

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losing my best friend

my mom

my mom

I am losing my very best friend in the world and I feel helpless. I don’t think I can bear the thought of not having her in my life. She has always been there for me whether it was a scraped knee, passing down the art of needlework, sharing a family recipe, or giving me the sage wisdom that comes with life experience.

Mom was admitted to Collingwood’s little hospital on Christmas Eve.

She has advanced COPD which has been exasperated by pneumonia and flu. Mom is also eighty-six years old and she has been unwell for a very long time. The reality is that recovery will take nothing short of a miracle. I can’t won’t give up on her. Mom is, by leaps and bounds, the strongest and most determined person I know.

When we got the call the afternoon of Christmas Eve there was no question. My Mom needed me and I was going to be there. As soon as my parents-in-law arrived to watch the children, we were out the door. The route to the hospital was the longest three hour drive I’ve ever been on. Each minute felt like an eternity.

It was remarkable how frail she looked. I held back the tears and my reaction. We chatted, as much as she could muster. I tried to do most of the talking because I knew how difficult it was for her. Most of the time was spent updating her on how our children are doing. She wanted me to pick up their Christmas gifts from the house. I couldn’t bring myself to do that. I told her we would come and see her when she gets out of the hospital and she could give them the presents herself. Then, my husband Bryan, showed her videos of our darlings who were all excited for Christmas. Kaia was singing into the handle of her skipping rope as if it were a microphone. Mom managed to smile when she saw her grandchildren on the screen of Bryan’s cell phone. Seeing her face light up like that was wonderful.

My sister told us earlier that the doctor told Mom that it was pretty grim. Mom didn’t say a word about it. Always the nurturing and caring Mom, she was trying to protect me still. It was heart-wrenching to see her so dehydrated and emaciated. I wanted to hug her but I couldn’t because of the severity of her condition. The most I could do was hold her hand and give her a kiss on the forehead. Then we had to say goodbye because the nurses wanted to move her from the ER gurney to a proper hospital bed. I kissed her on the forehead and we told each other “I love you”. Then I walked out the hospital door knowing full well that could be the last time I would ever spend with her.

The three hour drive home was excruciating. I couldn’t stop crying. Other than intermittent sobbing and the almost constant sound of tissues being plucked from their cardboard box, I was utterly quiet. For those who know me well… quiet is not my norm. I was thinking about how much I hate this. I just wanted to get home to be with my children. I needed them so much that night—they make everything brighter. Mom always told me that it was her children that kept her going even though sometimes we were little brats. I remember full well how her and I helped each other cope when Dad passed away 25 years ago. I was still a teenager but I won’t forget how we leaned on each other. It was more than just a mother-daughter connection—we became best friends.

Bryan and I are taking things moment by moment. While the outlook is not favorable, I still hold onto hope. Perhaps I even cling to it. She’s my Mom… my best friend. No matter what happens, that will never change nor will my love for her.

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