Valerie

I never get tired of remembering the birth of my sister. As a little girl there are only certain details that are real, so a woman, once older, has to sift out the details that would belong to others.

My memory is of the air. It was an April evening. There were shear curtains hanging on my window. The bed lined up along that wall, I turned to face the window. There was still a soft light. I already had three brothers.

I said (spoken or in my head…I don’t remember) “Dear God, if you are giving me a sister, please move the curtain.” The window was closed. I remember being hot. The blankets were tucked around my neck. I fell asleep, looking at those curtains, waiting for them to move and believing that God could do it. Already, I believed in miracles.

I fell asleep.

In the morning, my next recollection was my father touching my shoulder. “Kathy. Kathy. You have a sister.”

The next recollection was of her home coming. I remember the front hallway and a beautiful bassinet where my mother placed her so tenderly. Most wonderful, I remember my mother looking so absolutely beautiful. I remember embracing her.

In 2013, these photographs finally surfaced in a packet of undeveloped negatives. These would be photographs of Valerie, taken in the hospital. In those days, a baby couldn’t go home with a mama until after the mother had demonstrated that she could bathe the baby. It’s amazing to think that these photographs were snapped by someone in the hospital, using colour film, 53 years ago.

Next, one of my favourite photo memories, this time, in black and white film.

Next, one of my favourite family reunion photographs…simply because Val and I are together with our Mom and Dad. Little do people know when snapping a photo or two, just what that image might mean, years down the road. I’m likely more attached to these memories than most….I’m pretty caught up in nostalgia. In these days of isolation and separation from family, these become more important.

And finally…just snapped yesterday…a photo from the very current on-line communication format…my sister, Val, with her beautiful daughter, Eliane. They are both angels.

I love you, Val and Happy Birthday! You’ve always been such an efficient and hard working woman. You have had remarkable strength. You have accomplished so much and raised two amazing children. We’ve spent more years apart then years together, but I want you to know that I could not have been more blessed than having you come into my life on that April night. Mom would be so proud. She, is loving you into your life, still.

One day, when all of this is over, I really really want to go on a road trip with you. I want to go to one amazing concert with you. I want to hang with you again. I love you. And for now, remember, Love Can Build a Bridge.

Spring!

Spring means…

organizing photographs
dropping items to the Women in Need shop
Mr. and Mrs. Sparrow nesting in the vent across from my kitchen window
sprouts in the garden beds
return of water birds and the songs of red winged blackbirds, crows, geese, frogs, robins
crisp morning air
picking litter at Frank’s Flats
painting with children
keeping a close eye on live cams…eagles…wolves
walking lots

IMG_20150418_103733

Insert George Bowering poem here…living, breathing, birthing, protecting, growing, dying.

??????????Spring…a time of tremendous courage as new life needs so much protecting.

Such a true blessing to watch children paint spring.  I marvel at it.  Concepts…overlapping…large-forward, small-back.

DSC_3582 DSC_3583 DSC_3584 DSC_3585 DSC_3586 DSC_3587 DSC_3588 DSC_3589 DSC_3590 DSC_3592 DSC_3593 DSC_3594 DSC_3595 DSC_3596 DSC_3597 DSC_3598 DSC_3599 DSC_3600 ?????????? DSC_3602 DSC_3604 DSC_3605 DSC_3606 DSC_3607 DSC_3608 DSC_3609 DSC_3610 DSC_3611 DSC_3612 DSC_3613 ?????????? DSC_3615 ?????????? ?????????? DSC_3618 ?????????? DSC_3621 DSC_3622 DSC_3623

Birthday Girl

When life is riddled with bad news and sad times, just look a little in a different direction and you will see the face of wonderment and loveliness.  Last evening I was able to share in a meal with my dear sister-cousin-friend…quiet conversation…laughter…stories.  I steered my boat against the current slightly and found her.

Cousin Margy and Handsome Grandson, Maverick

Cousin Margy and Handsome Grandson, Maverick

This morning, I am looking at the face of my daughter.  First born.  For almost nine months, I wrote letters to her in a journal.  I never wanted to forget the journey of her creation.  Today she is a woman.  She is creating a beautiful life of her own with her husband and yet for me, in this moment, it was just yesterday when I held her in the crook of my arm…grateful and full of peace.  Thank you, dear daughter, for showing me the face of life’s great pleasure.  You are one of my best friends.  You bless me with your thoughts, your feelings and your affection.  I am truly grateful for you!  Have a marvelous birthday.

Hours old.  Erin With Mama (apologies for scanned photo quality)

Hours old. Erin With Mama (apologies for scanned photo quality)

erin_4

Happy Birthday, Daughter!

Nineteen years ago, at 12:08 on Christmas Eve, my willowy dancer was tugged into life!  And right at the anniversary of her birth on the 24th this year, I was dancing in her arms…mother and daughter wrapped up in oneanother.  It is interesting that she chose my favourite honky-tonk spot to celebrate with her friends…it is cozy and family-like and everyone in the place shared lemon meringue pie with us….not often one has Tom Phillips singing your Happy Birthday to you as you stand proud on a dance floor!  A ‘magical’ event!
 
I Love You!