Friday, 28 February 2014

Remembering Dad..

It has been over a year since you left us, and still, I have days when for a moment my mind 'forgets' that you're gone...  and I'm left with this feeling of scolding myself because I let myself forget again..   

Of course I never really forgot.. but when someone is such a driving force in your life, the sudden removal of that person leaves an empty cavern and it's not a surprise that you've left tough shoes to fill. 

There are still so many days when something comes up, or something happens ~ a song on the radio or a conversation with a friend and I think of something you'd say, or something you would typically do.. and I'll laugh out loud..  sometimes cry..   

I have picked up the phone so many times to share this or that with you, sometimes even getting as far as dialing your number before it clicks.. and I'm left with that empty feeling again.  

From a young age, you always said that one day you would be gone and you wanted to make sure I was going to be "OK."  To be honest, I'd heard it so often I always thought you were full of crap.  Surely my Dad was going to live forever.  Yes, I knew one day you'd be taken ~ but that day was light years away.  How wrong I was..   

You were our Dad, and our Mom too.  When Mom left, you remained.  We were just 10 and 3.  What a stretch it must have been for you to be raising 2 young girls alone at a time when it wasn't so widely talked about.  You were always fond of saying that you stuck with the ship.  No matter what life threw at us, you were always there in our corner, sometimes cheering us on, sometimes giving us a much-needed kick in the butt (even if sometimes we didn't know we needed it.)  I could never imagine a life without you in it, yet here we are. 

It is days like today Dad, on what would have been your birthday, that I'm grateful that you gave me a sister.  We don't always see eye to eye, but she may be the one person on the planet who truly gets the warped sense of humour that you gave to us. 

I often wonder what you'd think of the way things have gone.  I'm sure that the air would be some technicolor shade of blue..   you'd have liked that at least..    

I love you Dad.  I miss you.  You are always in my heart, and on my mind. 

Happy Birthday.  XO

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

A little bit of kindness can go a long long way..

Over the last year or so, I have had the opportunity to have a number of conversations with friends, family and colleagues about the state of our world, and how even a little effort can solicit a wave of change. 

More recently I’d seen a few reports of the wave of #Neknominations that had gone horribly wrong, and then found myself inspired by a couple that put a positive twist on the whole movement. 

I first saw this one: 

Before a friend shared this Canadian version..  we don't know which one came first, but really it doesn't much matter..  

It got me thinking again about paying it forward, and how often something as simple as a smile to a stranger can set in motion a whole series of events.  We've all heard stories of people who reconsidered suicide after someone showed them some kindness -- a smile, or a few kind words.  
We all *need* that in our lives. 

My life (so far)  has had a variety of ups, downs and some serious medical issues.  Over the years I've had many lessons in what love and friendship look like, and what it means to care -- truly care -- about someone or something. 

Ultimately words are empty, it's the actions that carry us through.

So with that in mind, I have been approaching a variety of community initiatives and fundraisers and offering to pitch in.  I've held some fundraisers offering my discount, offered a variety of incentives for my classes and products involving the donation of a non-perishable food bank donation to name a few. 

Though I haven't really been publicizing it, I have tried to do at least one thing every month.  For quite a while things were very busy so my donations were more of a time and effort in volunteering variety,  but lately I've had the opportunity to be a little more involved. 

Nobody said that the efforts had to be huge..  Just that an effort had to be made.  Even $10 raised, is $10 more than they had before, right?

This month, I'm offering a draw for a free card class to anyone who brings in a non-perishable food donation to any one of my classes or events. 

I am also putting together a product basket for both Stampin' Up! And Epicure Selections to be donated to a couple of community projects.  Every little bit helps! 

Things have been pretty hectic and crazy in our world for the last while, between family illness and catching up on everything that we missed while we were away..  but still there is a strong desire to continually put some good karma out into thew world.  I like to think of it as my personal thank you for surviving everything life has thrown at me thus far - I cannot help but be grateful for all I have experienced and all that I have, despite sometimes overwhelming circumstances and odds.  I am one of the lucky ones that gets to call myself a survivor! 

Are you doing your part to help out in the community you live in? 

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Facebook Turns 10 Today!

If Facebook were your online friend, you would have received a notification to remind you that today your friend is celebrating their 10th birthday.