Monday, May 19, 2014


Came up to the lake on Friday night to check on the timer on our sewage treatment system. It's been causing issues; on Mother's Day we had waste water backing up through the basement shower drain.

Yes, it IS just as disgusting as you'd imagine it to be.

Things seemed to be working better, so on Saturday I drove back to Abby for church and listened to a sermon on marriage, based on 1Peter 3: 1 - 7...

Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs. There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated by your life of holy beauty. What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—but your inner disposition.
Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in. The holy women of old were beautiful before God that way, and were good, loyal wives to their husbands. Sarah, for instance, taking care of Abraham, would address him as “my dear husband.” You’ll be true daughters of Sarah if you do the same, unanxious and unintimidated.
The same goes for you husbands: Be good husbands to your wives. Honor them, delight in them. As women they lack some of your advantages. But in the new life of God’s grace, you’re equals. Treat your wives, then, as equals so your prayers don’t run aground.

Ezra summed things up by saying "both husband and wife are like vessels. He is the beer stein, she is a delicate crystal wine glass. Both have equal roles, but are treated differently."

Afterwards I met a friend at Mill Lake for a walk n talk, where one of the many topics we discussed was marriage. 

I don't know if I would be any better at it (marriage) if there were to be a next time. I've been doing a lot of walking lately, and most evenings I pass Asian couples out for their evening strolls. Every Single Time I see a couple, they are talking. To each other. Using lots of words. And they are holding hands. These are couples of all ages. They seem to be enjoying each other's company. And I am in awe. How do these women keep their husbands interested? What are they talking about that would keep their men engaged in conversation? I have no history of luck in this matter. (Haha. Last week I sent a text to one of my boys that contained 5 whole sentences. He texted back that it was too long. He didn't read it. Sigh.) Anyway, I admire people who remain friends and really like each other after years and years of marriage. People who stay married, not because they have to, but because, given the choice, they still want to spend the rest of their lives with the spouse they chose years ago. Because, in spite of challenges and changes, there is still love, respect, fun and friendship at the heart of their relationship. 


It was my dad's 78th birthday today.

He wanted a big party. He expected a big party.

Poor guy. 
All he got was a regular day. Jule went in the morning (as per usual), (although Daryl and Mandi joined her, so that was special for him.)
Then mom went for normal visit. 

And I popped in later in the afternoon and stayed to feed him supper.
"Have you done this before?" he asked.
"Done what?" I asked.
"This..." he pointed at the table.
"Fed you?"
He nodded.
"Yeah, I used to feed you supper every day, for months, when you first got here." I answered.
"I don't remember."
"You don't? I was here every afternoon and evening for about 6 months. And then I got a job, so I couldn't feed you any more."
"Am I not doing this well? Am I going too fast? Too slow?"
"Oh, no. You're doing very good."

Happy Flippin Birthday ol' man. I'm so sorry this is how your life is these days. Dementia.  Heart decease. Massive stroke. Parkinsons. Some days its just too sad. 

Posted today on Facebook:

My dad is 78 today. He plans to live to at least 100. 

Happy Birthday, ol' man. You were the first man to love me. I felt treasured and precious and smart and beautiful because of your unwavering belief in me. You made me believe I was worthy. And that I could do anything if I set my mind to it. You had my back. Always. 

You stepped up when my boys needed to learn how to shoot potato cannons, play with propane torches, jump over gasoline-fuelled fires, consume copious amounts of candy, build guns and guns and guns out of dowelling and leftover pine scraps ... You drove them to school. And you kept them for 'overnighters on the farm'. You have loved them, unconditionally and wholeheartedly. You have been the best Bups.

The selfless way you love will ripple through the generations. Thank you for showing us how. And making it seem effortless. Love you. xo

As per usual, I left him with a heavy heart. 
He probably will live to be 100. The doctors have said there's no reason why he can't live another 15 - 20 years. 

It's such a sad life. Him, wanting to be at home with mom. And not really understanding why he can't be. Him, hating that damn wheelchair, and just wanting to lay in bed, fully dressed. Him, pressing his call button constantly because he needs attention. Him, craving foods he can't eat, limited to thickened fluids only. Him, an extrovert, who loves people, unable to communicate clearly, spending hours and hours alone each day. 

My visits with him are mostly gentle. 
Usually by the time I get there, he's settled into bed, and he's given up on any unrealistic expectations he may have had for that day.

I know I don't get a choice, but I really hope my last years on earth aren't like his. 


From there, (a building filled with old men and women, getting ready to go to bed at 6 pm), I drove over to New West, to celebrate Three-Years-Clean-Cakes with three of Max's close friends. I pulled up in front of the church half an hour early and there was about 100 young adults all over the church's yard, visiting, laughing, hugging, high-fiving ...

They were alive. And happy. And it bubbled all over the place. 

The basement meeting room was packed. Every seat taken. I sat by myself in the back row, while Max and his friends sat on the other side of the room. I watched as about a hundred young-ish adults entered the room and found seats. They hugged constantly, patting each other on the backs, glad to see everyone. This was their meeting. They were celebrating. Everyone knew everyone and it was a joy to watch them meet n greet each other. It was the first time Max hadn't saved a seat for me and it felt a little weird. For about a minute, and then the meeting got underway and I got over myself. THREE cakes were taking place! Plus there was a new guy. Plus there was a relapsed guy coming back.This meeting? Was about them.

It was an incredible hour. SO FULL OF HOPE. So full of encouraging stories. So full of laughter. So full of love. These guys? Are there for each other. These guys? Have all hit bottom and don't want to ever go back there. These guys? Overflow with gratitude for the friendships they have. These guys? Care deeply for the new guy/ the struggling guy/ the hurting guy. 

Tonight's topics were freedom and buying into the program. 
Everyone who shared touched on those two topics. 

Max shared. (He was asked by his friend to present him with the 3 Year Medallion.) And he mentioned that 'buying into' the NA program for him meant giving back. Whole heartedly doing the 12 steps and getting a sponsor, but then getting involved doing service work. He's been helping with the New West Chapter of NA by serving on the Activities committee. He and his friends help organize city-wide events. His next one is a boat cruise. 

When we were at the lake last weekend he mentioned that he'd just volunteered to help man the NA phone lines. His first shift was Mother's Day morning, from 10 - 2. So while he was with us, NA hotline calls were being forwarded to his cell phone. 

Can I say how very proud of him and his friends I am?


Three things I'm thankful for:

1. Long weekends. THREE SLEEP IN DAYS. I am a sloth.

Max;s garden

2. No waste water seeping up again today. 

Ducks eating pond scum on Mill Lake

3. Crickets n Frogs.

Mill Lake, Abbotsford, BC


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