Never have I so looked forward to saying good-bye …

I have had it with 2016. good-bye

Cannot wait for it to come to an end.

It’s been an endless procession of pain and misery and tears. Of death and destruction. Of negativity. Pessimism. Shattered hopes and dreams.

The world over. Not much in the way of good news anywhere.

People have been felled by bullets, by bombs, by acts of terror, by earthquakes, by floods and fires, by hurricanes and tornados. They’ve been taken because of alcohol and drug Continue reading

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Waiting

It was Christmas time. My mother was in Toronto, visiting me. She was onlytime here a day or two when the call came. My grandmother had pneumonia, bacterial, and the prognosis wasn’t good.

My mother and I left for Montreal immediately, going directly to the nursing home when we arrived.

And there we stayed, all of us, me, my mother and both my aunts sitting there, in her room. Listening. A ragged breath, a beep from the monitor, a ragged breath, a beep Continue reading

Thanks for the memories …

This is a photo of my mother and her identical twin sister.  My mother’s the one on the left.  There’s no date on the back so I MomAnnettehave no idea how old they were.  I’m going to say 20 or 21.  They’d be 93 if they were still alive.

Ironically they both died in the month of February, although my aunt preceded my mother by several years. She died February 3, 2000.  And this coming Thursday, February 26, my mother will have been gone eight years.

Can’t believe how quickly the time’s passed.

But this isn’t a post about sadness and loss.  That’s not the right way to remember my mother; or my aunt, for that matter.  They were way too full of life to dwell on anything but what characters they were.  And what joy they brought.

They were so much alike — and not just in looks — it was freaky.  Especially for me, an only Continue reading

The end of an era …

About three weeks ago, I wrote about my aunt, Leatrice, the last of my mother’s sisters. In my heart I knew, that day, she was not doing very well. I spoke with her every week and when I got off the phone after we talked for what turned out to be the last time, I was really concerned about her. What I didn’t know, BloomSisterswas just how rapidly she would decline. Unfortunately she passed away eight days ago.

She’s the one in the middle in the photograph. My mother is on the left and her twin sister, on the right. The twins were seven years older than my aunt. She looks about six or seven, I’m guessing — the smocked dress is a give-away, don’t you think? So they would have been thirteen or fourteen. Teenagers, although to me, they look older — more sophisticated. It’s probably the lipstick that was added to the photograph later. And the rouge, as it was called in those days.

I love this photo. The first time I saw it was at my cousin’s house, after my aunt’s funeral. Obviously in those days there were no colour photographs, so this was tinted. The three of them look like they’re in a

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After I’m gone …

I recently completed a project for an estate and trust lawyer.  And another client of mine is an investment advisor.  Both of them are in the ‘money’ Figure in the fogbusiness.  One helps clients accumulate it; and the other helps them dispose of it.  But I’ve always believed that money is the least of what we leave behind — our legacy, in other words.

Which is the reason why I decided to take a stab at a recent WordPress Daily Prompt for this post:  “Imagine yourself at the end of your life.  What sort of legacy will you leave?  Describe the lasting effect you want to have on the world, after you’re gone.”

A good place to start is probably the non-monetary legacy my parents left me.  They were kind, loving, generous people.  Everyone was welcome in their home, in their lives and in their hearts.   It didn’t matter who you were, or where you came from.

They were honest to a fault.  Their ‘word’ was like a blood oath.  And there isn’t a human being who ever knew them, who would ever have questioned their integrity, or their intentions.

Family and friends meant everything to them; and whenever anyone needed help my parents could Continue reading

Day 331. Hmmmm … Hmmmm …

What to do? What to do? Which do I choose? Door Number One? Two? Three? Decisions, decisions. Left? Or right? This? That? Or the other? Yes? Or no? choices Here? There?

Sorry. Certainly not everywhere.

Think again. So many choices. It’s both a blessing and a curse. Too much of a good thing, you know? What to do, what to do? It happens to the best of us. What’s the right decision? What are the consequences, should the wrong decision be made?

Another thought-provoking idea from the WordPress Daily Prompt team: “Pinpoint a moment in your past where you had to make a big decision. Write about that other alternate life that could have unfolded.”

None of us can ever escape unscathed. None of us can get through life without having to make tough

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Day 328. New Rules?

Live forever? What an intriguing idea. I wouldn’t mind, would you? There are so many things I’d like to do, so many trips I’d like to take, so many opportunities yet to be seized, I always say there’s magicnot nearly enough time for me to get it all done. It frustrates me, to be honest. Guess that’s why I was so drawn to yesterday’s WordPress Daily Prompt:

“You’ve imbibed a special potion that makes you immortal. Now that you’ve got forever, what changes will you make in your life? How will you live life differently, knowing you’ll always be around to be accountable for your actions?”

Like I said, “interesting”. At first my mind just boggled with all the possibilities.

In my head, I’ve got some thoughts about two books. In addition to the one I’m writing. I’d have plenty of time to write them all; and then some. I’d get to Australia and New Zealand and Tahiti and Fiji and Bali and

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Day 304. Truly Inspiring

I’m always providing links to blogs I’ve read and really enjoyed. Or where I’ve found the inspiration for a post of my own. But I’ve never actually written out the soulcontent of another blog.

So today is a first for me. I was so moved, so touched and so inspired by what I read the other day, I knew a link just wouldn’t do it justice. The words themselves, the spirit behind them and the lesson to be learned, is just too powerful.

Particularly when you consider the poem I’m going to share with you was written by a young girl. Only fourteen or fifteen years old, in fact. But first, some background.

Elizabeth Blue, who wrote the poem, passed away on September 23, 2012, from lymphoma. Wise and talented far beyond her years, she was a gifted and prolific writer. She and her mother started a blog, Luminous Blue, when she first became ill. It’s purpose — to tell she story of their journey “with transformation, cancer, death and LOVE”. I’ve been following it for about a year.

Even though Elizabeth is gone, the blog goes on. What you’re about to read is the poem Elizabeth wrote when she was in her freshman year of high school 2004 – 2005. Long before she got sick. Long before there was even a hint her life would be cut short. Long before she’d experienced enough of life to be this wise. This ‘connected’ to her soul. I read it

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Day 287. Sound Advice

Kate, who writes Views and Mews by Coffee Kat, had a wonderful post yesterday, about her mother.  More specifically, it was a story about one time she hotdogs(Kate) had to take her mother to the hospital; and how, when they were on their way, her mom made her stop at a restaurant for lunch.

It immediately made me think of my own mother.  And a trip (one of several) we made to the hospital.

When my mother was in her sixties she was diagnosed with diabetes.  She was put on medication and was watched, like a hawk, by an endocrinologist.  Despite her fondness for chocolate her numbers were always excellent, until the day she died.  They always hovered just slightly above normal.

What will always mystify me, though, is why her body was literally ravaged by the disease, even though her diabetes was so well controlled.  She had every known complication you could think of.  Diabetic retinopathy, Continue reading

Day 198. Missing Them

February is a difficult month for me.  Oh, I know, lots of folks suffer through February.  It can be a dreary month; and by the time we’ve gotten through November andsad2 December and January we’re worn down by winter.  And can’t wait for Spring.

But that’s not my problem.

Three beloved family members have been taken from me, in February.  Stolen, I sometimes think.  My cousin, who was more like my sister.  My mother’s twin sister, who was my other mother, my confidante and friend.  And my mother.

Cheryl (my cousin) passed a long time ago. In 1976, when she was only twenty-four years old, of what was diagnosed as fulminating hepatitis.  Which it couldn’t have been, because her dad died of the exact same thing when she was thirteen months old.  Clearly she’d inherited something.  So much for the accuracy of autopsies.

Anyway, she died on February 15.  Her mother, on February 3, 2000; and my mother on February 26, 2007.

Bizarre, isn’t it?  That the three of them would all die in the same month.  Like some strange, twisted, cruel co-incidence.  Or, maybe not.  I’ll never know.  Or will I?

What’s really a bit spooky is something my mother told me, not all that long before she died.  She said she’d been having Continue reading