Leave a comment

Seconds, Minutes, Hours

The Passage of Time

The Passage of Time (Photo credit: ToniVC)

Listening to the rain fall on the window while the wind blows through the trees, my mind is whirring with thoughts as I try to will myself to sleep. It’s not working. On my way home tonight, as I was slowing to turn down my road, a large deer stepped out in front of me. The large majestic animal surveyed my approach he decided he should continue on his way and loped into the darkness. As quickly as he appeared, he was gone. A fleeting moment in time.

It’s all so fleeting really. Life, that is. We’ve divided up our lives into units of time.  Seconds, minutes, hours, days, years…..all to categorize and organize our existence. Yet it still passes all the same. Every unique experience gone in a single breath never to return. In a sense – dead, living on only in our memories.  Just like those we’ve loved and lost. As is, I learned today, the father of a family of good friends. His passing reminds me my losses as well and my heart goes out to them. Having just heard stories of this man’s life and now in his passing, I find myself thinking that he would have been an interesting man to have known better.

We never have enough time.


Leave a comment

Time waits for no one….

Flowers 3

Flowers 3 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The last 12 months have been dotted with a few monumental events. My milestone birthday, acceptance into a prestigious art show in the U. S., another seminar with my mentor and favourite artist, starting a campaign to raise awareness for women’s cancers (the inside story)….I’ve enjoyed a few benchmarks.

On this anniversary of mom’s passing I can’t help but imagine how she’d have reacted throughout it all had she been here to witness it. I know she’d be proud…she was always quick to brag, much to my chagrin. There’s been much that she’s missed this past dozen months, but not more than I’ve missed her.

While today is tough, it’s been made brighter by some very special people. One who has been patient with me as I move through a few different (and not overly pleasant) moods. Dear friends have sent me notes to let me know they’re thinking of me. Another sent a song they thought could offer comfort and one friend called just to talk. Without them today would have been much harder.


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

And the countdown begins

Happy new year

Happy new year (Photo credit: Amodiovalerio Verde)

Tonight is New Year’s Eve and the last day of my mission to perform acts of kindness throughout the month of December. The idea was that these acts would help make this month and my first Holiday Season without mom a little easier. Well, although I don’t think it this season any easier, it did serve as a good distraction. It gave me something else to focus on rather than how different this Christmas would be. While this is the last day I’ll be planning an act of kindness, it will not stop tonight. There are so many things that can be done, I’ve barely scratched the surface. I will continue to do random acts throughout the next year. I plan to dedicate more time to raising awareness about women’s cancers. One day, hopefully, removing the mystery and ignorance surrounding them and even contributing to their cures. Wildlife and nature conservation and rehabilitation are also very close to my heart…as a wildlife and nature artist, I believe our wild and natural world deserves our respect and protection. There are many, many ways that I would like to be more involved in here as well. So for today, I created a care package to send to an organization whose sole occupation is to perform daily acts of kindness to our wounded wildlife. Salthaven is a volunteer wildlife rehabilitation and educational facility. Rehabilitating injured and orphaned animals is their primary function. They also serve to educate the public about our wild world. I have collected some of the items on their wish list and included some of my art cards for their use as well.

I wish you all a very happy, healthy, kind and prosperous New Year.

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

Art for Healing

One hopes that they will never need to spend time in the hospital, but inevitably, that time does come. I’ve been there, after a car accident 8 years ago I spent 4 days under the care of the doctors and nurses at the local hospital. I was released on Christmas Eve. I was bound and bent on going home that day, even if it meant that I had to crawl home on my hands and knees! Since then there’s been a massive fundraising campaign to build a new, state of the art facility which opened just last year. The fundraising continues.

I’ve spent a significant amount of time in hospitals throughout my life. In high school, being active in a LOT of sports found me as a regular at the emergency department. More recently, I spent a lot of time in hospitals with my mom as she underwent her cancer treatment and in her final days. I’ve learned the importance of funding for our health care centres. Imagine the consequences without them!

Today I delivered some of my art work to support an art sale at the local hospital. A portion of the sales will be donated to the hospital foundation. As an artist, it’s a great feeling to be able to use something you love to do as a means to raise funds for a good cause. Here’s hoping my work will draw some sales!

Acrylic © 2012

Acrylic © 2012


Leave a comment

Laughter is the best medicine

This idea is completely stolen. I take zero credit for it at all. I saw it on the 366 Days of Random Acts of Kindness site and thought it was a great idea. So here it is.

Miles has been battling brain cancer for 4 years. The site was originally created by his father to lift Miles spirits as he was battling cancer. People from all over the world are submitting jokes via video to make Miles laugh. As they say, laughter is the best medicine. As the site gains popularity Miles grows closer to the goal of collecting 5000 jokes. If you have a good one, I hope you’ll consider sending it in. The site also has resources for parents and caregivers, submitted jokes and a wealth of other information.