Remembering and being thankful

We celebrated thanksgiving with good friends of my parents today. These people reflect back to me (and the world) the same kind of love that my parents shone out.

This weekend has been full of contrasting emotions. Final internment for my parents, Banff and supper with my aunt, thanksgiving meal with family friends, and my kids and I have some trauma memories attached to thanksgiving from our old life. Highs and lows.

It’s a good reminder that life goes on and we keep making new memories every moment of our lives. We get to choose what kind of new memories we will make. I watched my kids be happier than I’ve seen them in ages spending time with him. I hadn’t realized how much they needed a man around to do things with, to laugh with, to experience things with. It brings a different kind of balance to our family and I’m grateful for that.

I am so full – in my belly and my soul. The feeling of contentment is a good one.


Moments in Banff

We took my aunt to Banff for the afternoon and a thanksgiving supper at Melissa’s. I love that town and it was awesome to share it with her.

After an emotional day it was so nice to spend some family time recharging and enjoying each other’s company. Sharing memories from my dad was also much needed.

My kids laughed and relaxed like I haven’t seen them do in ages


The internment

Today, on mom’s 78th birthday and the beginning of the thanksgiving weekend, we held an internment ceremony for mom and dad and placed their ashes in the ground at the Cochrane Cemetery.

All week long my heart and my tummy have been aching at the thought of putting the urn in the ground. Even though Dad has been gone for 3.5 years and mom for 8 months and we have already scattered ashes at the ranch, it still felt so final. However, it also felt so right. They are in the “old” part of the cemetery with family, friends, and neighbors – they are right beside my grandparents.

Standing there with our friends and family around us, it felt in the oddest of ways, like the perfect way to celebrate mom’s birthday today. She always loved a party and my uncle hosted a reception after the ceremony that was like a birthday party from heaven in her honour with dad by her side.

I am so grateful for this tribe. We need them, we need to remember we are part of something bigger both here on earth and spiritually.

After some much needed afternoon naps my sister and her crew and my aunt (thank goodness she’s here, it’s so good to have one of dad’s siblings here too) discovered it was the perfect snowman/fort day and pulled my kids into the fun. It was a great ending to an emotional day – to remind us that this place is still home and the place where we will continue to make memories and share love.

I actually feel less sad now than I did 24 hours ago.


Not the how’s or the why’s

I had the most amazing acupuncture session today. Transformational is an understatement.

We talked a bit about my losses and my inability to understand it. I came to see how it’s so much less figuring out the how’s and the whys (which my brain really wants) and more allowing myself to surrender.

I don’t know how to surrender gracefully, but it’s something I’m learning. I understand myself on such a deeper level after that process today.

Then we picked up my aunt from the airport as she’s here for the weekend. I don’t get to spend enough time with dad’s side of the family and I’m really excited to get this opportunity, even if there’s some sad emotions we all are facing.

Sadness and joy together – always.


Mom’s rock and the mountains

We scattered some of mom’s ashes in her favorite places (the same spots where we scattered dads ashes three years ago).

When mom was a little girl she had “her” rock, her favorite place to sit on the hill and look over the creek to see the mountains in the background. After she got polio she was never able to go back to that spot again. In an odd way it felt really good to leave a little bit of her there at that rock.

While we were walking and crying and scattering we noticed that for the first time in weeks we could see the mountains. Like heaven was celebrating a little bit with us.


Remember the lady who fed us?

I walked in on a conversation with the kids about a neighbor. They were trying to remember the man’s name – and my boy said you should remember them, it was his wife who kept us alive last year.

After I broke my shoulder this kind and thoughtful neighbor, who I didn’t know well, came once as week and dropped off a huge meal for us to eat. She did this every single week for two months until I was more mobile.

It’s important to look for the kindness and the good in the world. What this woman did was the epitome of this. Because of her we had at least one amazing meal (but always leftovers) every week.

I believe most people are good. We need to remember to celebrate the good.