Leave a comment


Well, that was quite the tantrum and for that, I needed a timeout. Sometimes, it’s good to spend some alone time just to sort out your thoughts, and maybe to stop yourself from saying absolutely everything that comes to mind.

While everything I said in the last post is true, it’s not really the point. Life is about the journey. If you’re lucky, you find some seriously awesome people to come along for the ride. Fortunately, I’ve found some. If you can leave a positive imprint on the lives and hearts of others before your time is up, realize and achieve your dreams and hopes and love with all your heart, that is a life well spent.


Leave a comment

Monuments and Memories


Today is a bit of a monumental day – for me at least. It is a day that many people regard with dread and while I have too in the past, it seems that this year, my birthday isn’t causing me strife. In fact, isn’t the alternative rather bleak? It’s monumental in that it’s a milestone birthday. I’ll let you speculate as to which one, just in the spirit of fun. Yet, as content as I am with my age, I can’t help but to be sad today as well. It’s my first birthday without one of mom’s tasty, home-made cakes, her meticulously wrapped packages and the trill of her singing the age-old birthday song. In fact, I was very blue this morning when I got up.

As the morning progressed and I tried to work with absolutely, zero success.  I decided, instead, that I would find a bead for my charm bracelet that would represent my mom. I’ve wanted to since I was gifted it. This wasn’t easy, after all, there were several parameters that this charm would need to fill. After 9 stores, silently asking mom for help and finally returning to the very first one that fit the bill, the perfect bead was found. I can’t even take credit for finding it! So why was it so hard to find? Firstly, it’s purple. Purple was mom’s favorite colour. She loved it in all it’s variations. It is also the colour that represents women’s cancers, a cause I am taking up to raise more awareness. Secondly, it contains flowers. Mom was an avid gardener. When she was well, she could boast some of the most beautiful gardens in the neighborhood. The flowers are delicate, but the bead is substantial and “strong” looking, something that is true of her character. It suited her.

So on this day that’s supposed to be monumental in my life, I spent my time remembering the things she loved most in the efforts to find a way to carry her memory with me. A birthday gift to myself and maybe from mom too.

Leave a comment

Don’t look, can’t tell….


Health (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)

In all cases of cancer detection, the odds of successful treatment increase with early detection. In the case of women’s cancers this includes, in Ontario, yearly physical exams and testing, or at least it did. In November 2012, a 11.1 billion dollar deal with Ontario’s doctor’s to “modernize” physical exams, it was deemed that a full annual physical isn’t necessary in “healthy” adults. Well, you’re only healthy until you’re not, right? Apparently, tests and the frequency of these tests will now be based on your individual needs. This would be great if everyone was as proactive as they need to be when it comes to their own health care. I fear that it will now increase the incidence of advanced cancers perhaps undetectable to the patient themselves. Women’s issues have been so taboo for so many years, I worry women will put off mentioning them until their next scheduled full physical exam, which, remember, will only include the tests deemed necessary. What if it’s an issue that you mistake for something else? Which is something that I saw in my mom’s case. I think this new “modernized” approach to our health care leaves far too many things to chance. I think it leaves too many women vulnerable to unnecessary risk.

What do we do about it then? Well, now more than ever it’s important to talk about women’s cancers. Information is key. Women need to know the symptoms and feel empowered so that they are able to push forward in the best interests of their own health care. Talk to your parents, your kids, your siblings, your friends. Learn your family history and discover your risk factors. It’s not a time to rest on your laurels thinking that the doctor knows you best. They only know what you tell them, and now, are no longer required to do the tests that may discover the issues you may be having.

I should state that not all doctors think this is a good idea. An article on CBC news with Dr. Stephen Cudmore expresses his concern over the new guidelines. In it he comments that he’s found underlying health problems in otherwise healthy adults. I can only hope that more doctors feel this way.

So start talking and learning. Don’t let knowledge of women’s cancers remain left unsaid, and undetected.

Leave a comment

Well, thank you….

Nothing Beats a Fountain Pen

Nothing Beats a Fountain Pen (Photo credit: kartikay.sahay)


The last few days I’ve been a bit discouraged by the behaviour of people I meet. I try to remember that I don’t know what is going on in their lives to cause them to act the way they do, that being either rude, or abrupt, or entitled…but it’s bothered me quite a lot. It’s also made it difficult to bestow kindnesses on others. Having just witnessed a mass display of selfishness and entitlement has prompted me to ensure that I do something today to let a few people in my life know how even the littlest things that they do that may seem insignificant to others are really quite special. I had mentioned on the 12th after writing 12 things that I love about 12 people in my life that I wanted to let more people know how important they are to me. Tonight was that night. I’ve written to a number people I know I haven’t told how much I appreciate their input in my life and have done something for me that I truly do cherish. This act has served to not only, hopefully, make them smile, but has also helped me overcome some of that negativity I was feeling earlier. How can someone continue be negative when they see how many fabulous people are surrounding them!?


Leave a comment

A Gift Redirected


A&P, COFFEE, SANTA CLAUS (Photo credit: George Eastman House)

In the last several years, I found Christmas to feel so rushed. Regardless of how prepared, it arrives suddenly, seemingly unannounced, passes and leaves me saying, “where did it go?” This year was a little different. Of course, the obvious is true…mom isn’t here and she was so sadly missed. Last night was the hardest. I found myself moved to tears several times as I struggled with the reality that she’s not going to be here. Maybe the other part of it was that through losing her, I’m just so much more grateful for those that ARE here and those that choose to be in my life. This year, it seemed as if time slowed down, just a little bit. Every day leading to Christmas was still filled to the brim with things to do, but I savoured them and it seemed to make the season feel longer. Yet there was still something missing, there always will be.

Today, I thought it would be a good homage to my mom, in her absence, to donate what I would spent on a gift for her, to the Canadian Cancer Society. Merry Christmas mom.

Leave a comment

Another Door Opens…


christmas-gift (Photo credit: top10things)

Ok, well, I said that opening or holding doors open for people didn’t count, in my opinion, as an act of kindness, but the reaction I saw from those who watched made me think that maybe it does. I had stopped at a local, downtown merchant to pick up a gift I had ordered. I heard one of the ladies at the counter say “we need help at the door,” looking toward the youngster working there, who was tied up with another customer. All the patrons looked to the entrance to see an elderly man pulling his wife in a wheelchair, halfway through the first door of the two door shop. I sprung into action and ran to open the other door, which opened outward, making for an extremely awkward position. To keep the substantial door open while they manoeuvred through, I was leaning heavily against it, my balance precariously dependent on that door and the breadth of its opening. The kind gentleman said, “thank you, we can make it from here.” Unfortunately, I was already committed to keeping that door open and I was there until they were through. “If I let go, I’ll fall down!” I chuckled in reply. To me, this was not a big deal. It’s what I figure anyone would do…or should do (although having spent a couple of months in a wheel chair after an accident, I know first hand that this isn’t the case.) However, as I returned to the counter to pay for my purchase, the other patrons offered me accolades and the shop owners offered their thanks. THIS is what surprised me. An act so simple shouldn’t be such a big deal, but it is. I guess it is a big deal to those that appreciate it.

Leave a comment

The Shirt Off My Back


Clothing (Photo credit: Nikita Kashner)

After sorting through my clothing (honestly, how many black t-shirts does one really need) I bagged up the seemingly monstrous pile on the floor. I do this fairly regularly, at least yearly. My husband has a rule, “one in, one out.” Unless it’s MY clothing and it’s “one in, TWO out!” Don’t worry, I don’t listen. It’s all in good fun and as styles change and my clothing requirements for work shift, it’s liberating to get rid of some of the stuff I don’t really wear. It also makes room for more! I inherited quite a few things of my mom’s after she passed away this summer. Some of it, I just couldn’t part with at the time. It was too soon, so I hung on to it. Some of it was indeed a part of my wardrobe maybe a year or two ago. It was just time to let it go.

Choosing what organization would find these formerly styling threads a new home is always easy. There are many organizations that will gladly take your old duds off your hands. Today, I donated mine to the Canadian Diabetes Association. I have family and friends that are diabetic making the decision easy.

Now, where did I see that 60% off all sweaters sale again?