The Legacy Left after a Final Goodbye

Today I attended the funeral of Trudy’s Opa.  Trudy, my closest and dearest friend.

He lived a great life.  93 incredible years.  A kind and sweet man.

His eulogy was beautiful.  Given by his grandson.  The kind of eulogy anyone would be honoured to have spoken about them.  It was emotional, funny, raw and reflective.

It spoke of the legacy he left behind.  Ten key parts.

I can only recall six of them, but I suppose they were the items that resonated most deeply with me.  I’m sure my recollection doesn’t convey the exact messages of Opa’s Legacy, but this is what those words meant to me.

  1.  Create – Use your hands.  Carve.  Paint.  Write a story.  Leave something behind that future generations will have.  Something that will tell of your time here.  Something that you will be remembered for.
  2. Dance – It doesn’t matter if you don’t have rhythm – not many people really do.  Feel the music and move however you see fit.  Just have fun.
  3. Dress Well – Always make sure you look put together.  You never know what the day may hold.
  4. Cry – Don’t be afraid to cry.  If you need to, just do it.  Sometimes you just need that release.
  5. Laugh at Yourself – Laugh at your mistakes.  Laugh at your misfortune.  Laugh at the drama that surrounds you.  Laugh, just because it feels good to laugh.
  6. Keep Moving – No matter what obstacles you face, keep moving.  Keep progressing forward.  Don’t stop.  Don’t give up.  Just keep moving.

I still can’t recall the other four items.  I wish I had busted out my phone to record them, so I could hold these nuggets of wisdom forever.

You lived a great life Opa, and you have an amazing family who will make sure your legacy lives on.  May you rest in peace.

(I have included a picture I took this past summer.  One that makes me wonder why I don’t pick up my camera more often.  Photography is my own personal outlet.  My own way to create.  It allows me to express feeling and emotions I might otherwise hold inside.)

Rememberance

Here I Come 2016

New Years Day.  Again.  Time to say goodbye to the year that was.  Time to make resolutions for the coming year.

I may or may not have made a few resolutions/goals for myself for 2016.  Until this year has drawn to a close, I think I am going to keep them to myself.  I will feel like much less of a failure if I am the only one who knows I did not succeed.

That said, I will race again this year.  I will grapple with an added-sugar free diet.  I will walk, run, and bike this year.  I will even be optimistic, and say that I WILL face my fears and anxiety, and I will swim again too.

I suppose I am apprehensive about deciding what my end goals will be.  I am afraid to make any concrete choices or decisions about my future.  2015, while a good year, was also a very disappointing year too.

There were things I chose to give up on on.  Not because I wanted to, but because I was left with no other option.  Trust me, I fought the long and hard battle.  The truth is I am a warrior, and I don’t give up.  I am fierce and determined.  Tenacious to a fault.  I don’t know when to throw in the towel and quit.  I hold on to hope, because without it, there is nothing.

All that said, sometimes you have to face the music and walk away.  Sometimes that nagging voice – the one that you refuse to listen to because it would concede weakness – is right, no matter how much you wish it wasn’t so.

Dreams.  Goals.  Career.  Love.  Family.  Friendship.

There isn’t always a happy ending.  Sometimes accepting the cards you were dealt, and being happy with what you were able to acheive is all you can do.  Sometimes it REALLY hurts too, because you have to give up on your dreams and walk away.

2015 wasn’t all bad though.  It was a crazy mix of everything.  Highs and lows.  Peaks and valleys.  Ups and downs.  It was a lot like most other years.

Here are my best moments of 2015:

2015 My Best Nine

10 Years

It has been 10 years since you left us.Dad

A bloody decade.

Honestly, I still can’t wrap my head around it.  I don’t understand how you could just drop off the face of the earth with no warning.

Today, I am angry.  Really, really angry at you.

I’m angry at you for leaving me, Kari and Christopher when we were just got the opportunity to get to know you.

I’m pissed off at you for leaving Omi.  She needed you.  More than any of us did.  No matter how tough she is, she still needs you now.

You have missed the important events that have happened in our lives.

Weddings.  New careers.  Big moves.  Grandchildren.

Damn it.  You missed seeing our kids growing up.  You’ve even missed meeting some of your grandchildren.

You’ve missed some of the most significant growing up we all did in the past 10 years.  You have missed out on watching us maturing into the adults we are today.

I am so angry because you aren’t there for advice when we need it.  Legal matters, illness and which path to take in life.  You weren’t there for any of it.

You are missing the best parts of our lives.

 

I Don’t Regret A Single Step

Life has been a lot of things for me lately.

It has tested me more than I ever thought possible. It has kicked my down. It has beaten me up. It has made me feel worthless. It has rewarded me. It has shown me what matters. It has made happier than I thought was possible. It has created more sadness than I have ever known.

Life has put things I really want so far out of my reach, they may never be within my grasp again.

All of this, because of choices I knowingly made for myself.  Chances I took, that I never would have taken in the past.  Some good, and some not so good.

But, if the truth has to be known, I don’t regret a single step.

Every moment and every choice was part of my journey. They haven’t always made me happy, and they haven’t always made everyone else happy either, but they have all been a part of getting to where I am heading.

I still don’t know that precise destination, but it is taking shape and finally has some direction.

No Regrets

 

Flying For The First Time

June 9th was a HUGE day for me.

At thirty-seven years old, I boarded a plane for the first time ever and flew to Calgary with my boss on a business trip.

It shouldn’t have been a big deal, but it was.  I was nervous and full of fear – mostly of the unknown.

We flew out of the Waterloo Airport. It was small and calm.  It made everything seem a little less big.

As we were walking outside to board, I took a couple pictures for my kids, who have also never been on a plane.  I was nervous and my hands were shaking while I took them.  I didn’t even notice how cool the plane was.  As it turns out, we were on the WestJet Disney plane, and my kids thought that was awesome.

WestJet Disney Plane

We boarded, and sat down.  We were some of last stragglers to get on the plane, so the wait for take off was minimal.  I was nervous, but okay until we started to move.

Then my stomach started doing gymnastics.  There was no going back now.  I was not talking much, and just watched out the window while the plane taxied to the runway.  It felt like this part of the the flight took forever.

The plane turned on to the runway and started accelerating.  I immediately froze and went as stiff as a board.  I couldn’t hear anything except the sounds of the plane and I watched out the window as the ground got further and further away.

I don’t know how long it took, but I’m sure a good five minutes passed before I realized the ladies in front of me were still carrying on conversation like they were sitting in a restaurant.  Just a normal day for them.  I looked over and saw my boss watching me, and I started laughing at myself.  It was at this point I realized was okay.

I started to enjoy the view and took pictures of the wing (I know so cliche) and the clouds to show my kids.  I watched as we flew over Lake Huron and was amazed at the number of wind generators are along the shoreline now.  I read a book, played on my iPad and took more pictures.

Flying

It was an incredibly smooth flight, until we got into Calgary and started to descend.

The cloud cover was thick, and the turbulence it caused was so unsettling.  It was really cool to watch though, because we were flying through layers and layers of clouds.  Sitting right beside the engine, I could see the clouds we were hitting and feel the resulting shake of the plane.

Clouds

The landing went well after we passed through the cloud, and that was it.

I made it.  Unscathed.  I never once left my seat during the 4 hour flight, but I made it.

When we flew home, the takeoff barely bothered me, and even the turbulence we could feel much of the flight wasn’t a big deal.  It’s funny how irrational fears are eradicated with a little bit of experience.

Cities

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WOW! It’s amazing to do something for the first time. I started flying when I was small, having divorced parents living 4 provinces apart. I love flying. The turbulence is the best part-that’s how you know you’re flying! I enjoyed the flight to TO in mid-January-my first time to visit that city and I got to see the Great Lakes from the sky. Really cool. Looking forward to returning in January again. :)