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I am scared.  

I’m forty one years old now and yes, I still get scared.  Last winter I was diagnosed with sarcoidosis.  At the time, it was mostly in my feet and ankles although we later discovered through testing that it was also inflaming my lymph nodes and presenting in my lungs, brain and had affected my eyes to necessitate glasses for the first time in my life.  

I saw a doctor who steam rolled me through the hospital getting tests and results for me at top speed.  I went on medication to stop the swelling.  It seemed that all was well. So well, in fact, that he declared that my diagnosis was most likely acute, and not likely to ever come back.  

But he was wrong.  I still have it. It’s in my lungs.  Enough that I need to see another specialist. A respirologist.  And I’m not going to lie, I’m kind of scared.  I let it really get into my head today.  Something I try to avoid like the plague, getting stuck into negative thoughts, but it happened anyway and turned my day into a bit of a mental black hole.  

So I texted my husband the evil words that were swirling in my mind and playing mean tricks of worst case scenarios.  I texted him “I’m scared”.  And he didn’t tell me not to be.  He didn’t come at me with “logic and solutions” or distractions or jokes.  He said “I know you are, love. I’m here”.  And then he just let me be scared.  Albeit, wrapped in a bear hug once we were home, but he just let it be.  

I realized that it’s okay for me to be forty one and scared.  To go ahead and feel the hard feeling and not try to stuff it down or hide it.  To embrace my fear.  To own it. And in doing so, a little bit, to conquer it.  

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’ll be feeling nauseous tomorrow sitting in that waiting room, listening for my name. But it’s okay.  Because no matter what the outcome, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health I have the best people and the best person in my corner. Standing there, loving me, supporting me and letting me be scared when I need to and cheering me on like mad when I’ brave.  

The Season


Today was the day. 

We had a few errands to run, as we do most weekends, and while we were out we asked our youngest, Shawn Michael, to “bring up Christmas” from the basement. 

Six bins. Four trees. Several small boxes. It filled more than half our living room.  Then we put on a Christmas music playlist and started working. 

I don’t know whether it was the fluffing of the trees, or the placement of the ornaments that got me first.  Maybe it was Shawn Michael asking me what my favourite Christmas song is (Have yourself a Merry little Christmas, the Judy Garland version) but I was not surprisingly hit with emotion and nostalgia.  

The kids tree, as we’ve affectionally called it for years, is the one that has all the ornaments the kids have ever made from pre-k on.  And I realized that one day not too far away, it would also be the grand kids tree.  That it would be Shawn and I decorating alone as we waited for our kids to come home with their families.  Suddenly I was missing my daughter Keisha so keenly that my breath caught.  And then I thought, what if Shawn hadn’t survived those heart attacks? Would we still be here, in this house? Would I even want to celebrate this holiday which to me,  is all about my family, every year?  

I was fully crying. Standing in my living room, Judy’s rich voice filling the air and grateful for those I have in my life.  

My husband came in and hugged me without another word. He knows me well enough to know that some days I will just be filled with emotions that I can’t contain and I just have to feel them. Christmas being high season for this for me.  

I have no regrets now about my life.  The good and the bad. It’s all brought me here.  Regrets were all well and good in my earlier years but I’ve finally learned at 41 to live in the present.  To live my truth every day and to truly appreciate the ones I love. If that love leaks out my eyes more than usual, so be it. 

I wish you all the same love which today fills my heart. This season, and all the year through.  


In Japan, objects that become cracked (plates,bowls, frames,etc) are often filled with gold because the crack adds to the objects history and thus makes it more precious.  As humans, we are not nearly so mindful of imperfections. I find it a sad representation of the modern world that we will often take better care of our things than ourselves.  

We see set backs and failures as flaws. We see extreme emotions as weakness. We see mental illness as something to be buried and hidden and filled with shame.  We treat people, especially women, as objects and then further shun them when they act in the manner society pushes them to act. 

How sad. How heart breaking. 

The Japanese have it right.  Fill those gaps with the shining precious metal that showcases the struggles they have been through. Celebrate the things that have broken us, for in coming back from those breaks we find true strength and resilience.  Celebrate the tribulations so that we can better appreciate the triumphs.  In healing the tears of the past, find the preciousness of the possibilities that lie in their wake. 

Fill the cracks with gold, my friends. Don’t hide them or push them away. 

Shine. 

Books!!


It’s here! Coles at the McAllister Place mall is carrying my books. They’ve taken 6 of each title and I’ll be doing a book signing event in store in Oct 22nd.  

Spread the word, tell your friends. Help support local artists.  

I’m so thrilled to be actively promoting the books again. And I’m so blessed to have had the support I’ve had. 

Thank you all! 

Sunday afternoons. 


We go out in the morning. Not early, because we always like our Sunday mornings in bed laughing together, playing, tickling, connecting.  But out we will go, picking up coffee on the way and to the various stops where we will walk the aisles holding hands and discussing our meal plans for the week.  Inevitably, we are the families that are younger than ours and we get nostalgic for the days when the kids were little. And then we start looking ahead. The days yet to come when we will be grandparents and that usually brings  warm feelings and sometimes even a tear at the thought of little ones again in the house.   

We get home with our bounty and there is the business of putting away and organizing but then comes my favourite part. You pour us each a glass of wine and we cook together.  Sunday dinner.  And sometimes prep food and meals for the week.  You and I. Listening to music. This is where time for me drifts away.  There is no stress, no worries, just us. Cooking and dancing and singing together in the kitchen.  

I love Sunday afternoons. 

Stone Dust


My daughter Kathryn wrote a poem. Won a contest and had it performed by Symphony New Brunswick’s string quartet.  

They performed it again today at the grand finale of the sculpture symposium at the harbour.  

I’m the proudest mother in the world.  

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UWwxcY_HIds&feature=youtu.be​​


 Open letter of thanks to the Saint John Regional Hospital Emergency Staff:

 

Monday September the 19th marks the two year anniversary since my husband came to the hospital, died, and was brought back to us. 

 

In thanks and immense gratitude to everything you and the emergency room staff did for us, and the fifth floor cardiac care staff, I wanted to let you know what he has been able to see and do, thanks to your saving his life:

 

Our oldest son bought his first car.

Our oldest daughter got her first apartment.

Our middle daughter graduated high school and started University

Our youngest daughter had a poem set to music by Symphony New Brunswick

Our youngest son hit 6 feet tall at 14 years old.

 

We had a wedding and had our children re-marry us for our 20th wedding anniversary.

 

And most important of all:

We’ve had two more years as a family. Together. 

 

Those are just highlights, milestones, and major events, but the true measure of our lives these days are made up of the millions and millions of little things that happen every day. The hugs, the kisses, the laughter, even the fights. I never thought I’d be grateful to fight with someone, but damned if I am.

 

We started out our lives against the odds. Married at 19 and 20. And here we are, 21, almost 22 years later and still going strong.

 

I will never, ever forget that day. I will never forget what the staff did and watching more than a dozen people spring into action. I will never forget Joe, the paramedic who literally held me upright and told me what was happening as it happened and the fact that no one tried to get me out of that room.

I will never forget the staff on the CCU who let me come and go at any hour because they could see that this man’s life is my whole life. Everything I am is wrapped up in him and what we are together. What we’ve come through, what we’ve hung on to. What we’ve created.

 

And so, as this two year mark rapidly approaches, I just had to take the time to say thank you. 

 

From all of us. 

 

Especially me.

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