I met my old friend today and we went for a walk in the rain by the water. When I say old friend, I won’t just mean I’ve known her forever, I mean she’s older than I am. Much older. Two weeks older. Old. ( this upsets her so I’m putting it in a whole bunch).
I’m so grateful for that friendship
I am sitting on a plane flying back to the frozen tundra that is Calgary. I have no desire to be in the snow and -20C in April. But it’s home and it’s where I need to be.
At the airport our family triangle will he reunited as the boy arrives at the same time we do from his Iceland adventure. I can’t wait to lay eyes on him again, to hear his stories, to have us all together again.
I come back from this mini vacation feeling so relaxed and happy. I really needed this time to ground myself and to live in some happy memories of my parents and to make new ones with my girl. Life is good.
We made it to the Butchart Gardens today to take in some flowers and enjoy high tea. I used to love coming here with my parents when I was a kid and I love that I get to share it with my girl now.
this is what it’s like trying to take a selfie with a teen.
Then we went to supper with one of my oldest bestest friends. When we are together I still feel like a badass 15 year old even though we talk about how weird it is to be adulting now. Good friend are special and to be cherished. I’m so glad she’s in my life.
It was another rainy day here, but the flowers are blooming and the blossoms are on the tree and I love this place so it didn’t matter.
I dragged the girl to the museum – I haven’t been to the museum in Victoria since I was a kid but I remember being fascinated by totem poles.
The girl is at that teenage age where nothing I do is cool so I am not sure how much she enjoined the afternoon, but I remembered why it is I have a history degree. I love this stuff.
I went for a solo walk along the beach by the hotel this evening. I really needed that quiet space to be with myself and with God. I am so glad we are here, but even the good memories now have sadness attached to them. It made me realize how much more mourning I have to do.
But even in the mourning there are silver linings. I’m here with my girl – and much as my parents gave me experiences that I cherish and that shaped me- I’m doing that for my kids now.
I had a 5 minute visit with one of my old time forever friends this afternoon – a longer one to follow tomorrow. I so appreciate and love all of the people in my tribe.
I love this place. I am so thankful for these spaces that ground me.
My soul was called back out to Sidney and I had to follow. The girl and I are spending a few days on Vancouver Island to be near the ocean, renew our souls, visit old memories, and make new ones.
This place has always felt like my second home, we spent so much time here when I was a kid. My parents had a house we all loved here for a few years, but before and after that we would come and stay in the exact same hotel the girl and I are in now.
There are memory imprints of us walking on the logs along the water with grandma, of Easter egg hunts in the courtyard, of lunch at Lunns, and of trips into Victoria.
Victoria for me always centers around the triangle of Murchie’s, Munro’s, and Roger’s – and today we hit all three of them. Mom used to spend hours in the bookstore gathering a new stash of reading material, and dad and my sister and I would run between the other stores.
I needed to touch base with some different family memories. Mom and Dad were never sick here, this place doesn’t hold divorce pain or death pain. It holds memories of us riding bikes, gathering seashells, and running free.
As I watched the girl pick shells in the rain while grinning from ear to ear, I remembered we are not only visiting old memories but making new ones.
Life does always go on. I need to hold onto these happy memories, remember when mom and dad were alive, when they weren’t sick, when life was easier. But I need to hold onto this moment when I’m here with my girl and we are alive and healthy. And I need to embrace the changes the future will bring.
We finished off our Vancouver Island trip tonight with fish and chips by the water with my friend. They were perfect fish and chips, we watched an otter swimming around and shared stories while the kids played.
When we were done we walked to her car and did our hugs goodbye. As she drove away I said to the kids I’m so glad I have a friend like that. And it’s true. Good friends are a real treasure and that is happiness. I’m thankful for my tribe.
On our way to the airport we stopped and had one last goodbye moment at the ocean before heading back to what Alberta calls spring. It has been a happy trip.
We went to Easter service at the Anglican Cathedral in Victoia today. It was meaningful for a few reasons – obviously celebrating Christ was one, but also it’s the place my parents took us when we used to come to the Island for Easter and is filled with happy family memories. One reason I hadn’t thought about until we were sitting there was that Ansley who had been the priest at my parents’ church in Calgary and who walked with us in the last stages of dad’s life and after he passed away was preaching there. I knew she was there, but I wasn’t really ready for the emotional kick I got when I saw her. Interestingly although there was a sadness when I saw her, there was also a lot of peace, joy, and comfort – she was part of a very important event in our lives and one that brought about great change for me.
I cried through most of her homily. One thing that I have really realized on this little vacation is that somewhere along the way I had lost hope, and over the last couple of weeks I’ve been finding it again. I had been saying I was feeling overwhelmed, but I think what I was really feeling was hopelessness. That’s a bad feeling.
My meditations lately have been about finding hope during times of chaos, my readings have been about how chaos takes us away from our connection to God and He’s the one who gives us hope, my prayer time and chats with God have been about finding hope and believing that anything is possible. So, it makes sense that we were here for Easter to hear her story of being Easter people and of finding hope as well.
She told her own Easter story about her sister and as she was talking I kept thinking of the parallels in my own life – my story with dad and leaving Mr. X, and all that has come with it. She talked about how Easter is remembering and celebrating that even in dark times we know that God puts things back together in different, beautiful, and usually better ways – sometimes it’s just a matter of seeing that. How important it is that we always hold onto our hope that the sun will shine out of the storm.
I have always felt that the kids and I coming back home and getting out of that abusive and scary environment was dad’s last gift to me. It came with a lot of pain and a lot of change, but I am starting to see the hope shining out of the storm. Tears were streaming out of my eyes (I will be glad when I stop crying in public all the time, but I’m learning to embrace it more) as I sat and listened and really absorbed the miracles that have happened in my own life over the past two years. There have been a lot of storm clouds, but rainbows and sunshine along with them too.
Happiness is hope, happiness is celebrating Christ, happiness is time here at the ocean with the two people I love most in the world.
We went to Buchart Gardens this afternoon and enjoyed some amazing spring colors and smells. I have fond childhood memories of wandering the paths with my sister, my parents, and my grandma – now I share those with my kids.
Then we had supper and a visit with one of my dear girlfriends. She’s one of those special friends where time can go by, life can change, but when we get together it’s like no time at all has passed. I consider her to be a great blessing in my life. People like her not only bring me happiness, but are happiness.
It was a good day.
We left a snowstorm in Calgary this morning and landed in a somewhat rainy but very green Victoria. It’s been 13 years since I’ve been here and it’s one of my favourite places in the world.
So fun to share my memories with my kids and to make new ones. I’ve realized how badly we needed to just let go, be, and have fun. It’s happiness