Birthday Gift

What birthday gift do you give a good friend who is the self-proclaimed King of Carbohydrates? A crown (presented on a velvet pillow) of course. 



Jeff’s birthday was last week. It started out with the birthday tradition in our household (one started by Jeff) – pie of your choice for breakfast. Jeff’s choice this year was apple.

The day ended with our care group enjoying chocolate brownies in the shape of one of Jeff’s robots. They were delicious and Jeff reports that it was a very good day, indeed.

Jeff’s Birthday

Happy Birthday to the patient, supportive and incredibly loving guy who has completely driven the ship (and  done everything to keep it going) while I’ve been locked in my office for the past 6 weeks…. well, make that the past two years. I’m so looking forward to having a “normal” life with you again, soon.

Captain Jeff on the Mediterranean 

Day at the Beach

There is a hearty group of Jeff’s family members here on Vancouver Island who are always up for a party… or an excuse to have a party.  Between major holidays and family birthdays, we usually find ourselves enjoying each other’s great company (and filling our faces) every month or so. We have so much fun and it’s so good to have each other.

Since my birthday in early July was lost in the rush for me to get to Saskatchewan, my return home has been quickly followed with plans for a party. We spent a glorious Saturday afternoon at Rathtrevor Beach in Parksville barbequeing salmon and walking on the beach. At low tide, the ocean recedes almost a kilometre at Rathtrevor Beach and it’s the perfect place to take a walk or build a sand castle. It’s the BEST place to spend a summer afternoon.
birthday cupcakes
homage to my home province

evidence of a romantic walk on the beach
the best ever beach Sherpa

Opposite of celebration

My last post, written on June 30, was written in celebration. It’s amazing how quickly life can take us from celebration to its exact opposite.

June 30 was my parent’s 44th wedding anniversary.  After a long day at work, my parents went out for dinner to celebrate their anniversary then returned home to tackle some work around the yard.  My Dad rototilled his beloved garden, walked to the front drive and collapsed with a massive heart attack. Thankfully, a B&B guest was right there to administer CPR, and more help arrived quickly. The right chain of events in the right time frame got my Dad from the small, rural town where my parents live to University Hospital in Saskatoon, alive. 
I realize now that June 30 was the night that he was very nearly, no longer with us. Being far away, such harsh realities are easy to downplay but this does not make them any less true. All I can say is that we are very, very thankful. A little shaken and in shock, but very, very thankful.

The next step will be triple bypass surgery (if the surgeons find what they think they will find) on Wednesday, July 6. I am flying to Saskatoon on Monday to be my parents for the next few weeks.   If you could hold my immediate family- my Dad and Mom, Lyndon and Jennifer, and Jeff and I-  very tight in your thoughts and prayers, we would appreciate it very much. I will return here to post updates as they are available.

I am amazed that during times of crisis and loss, we humans immediately throw away all of the “stuff” we work so hard to accumulate and cling to what matters- the people we love. I say ‘amazed’ because one really would think by now, we would have learned this lesson and not need tragedies to shock us back into seeing what is most important. Today as I celebrate my 37th birthday, gifts really do seem so very unimportant. All I really want is for my Dad to be all right. 
My first beauty parlour customer ~age 2, 1976