Friday, December 23, 2011

White Christmas

"I'm dreaming of a white Christmas.. Just like the one I used to know.."

I'm in Thunder Bay, Ontario for my very first Christmas with the Junkala Clan. I feel warm and fuzzy with the holiday spirit and especially loved by all of my new family. It is also my first Christmas away from my own family as well. I have always had at least one of my family member's with me during the holidays. So I made sure, to bring along some of our family traditions.
One thing we always eat at Christmas time is Crab dip. So I made sure to buy enough cream cheese and crab to feed everyone all season long. I also bought a very expensive bottle of Bailey's for my coffee on Christmas morning. It's a must-have and I have had a Bailey's coffee on Christmas morning, for at least ten years. There's just something about the taste of crab dip and Bailey's coffee that reminds me of Christmas and Home.
It's interesting that a taste or a smell can bring me back to a time, when I had little worries. Christmas morning was magical and exciting and unforgettable. Every.Single.Year.
Of course the holidays are difficult when family members are no longer around. But, I try not to let that bring me down. It's not always easy to control my emotions. Sometimes, I just feel too much and the tears come and I can't stop. But, being a part of this family, the Junkala's is a true gift this Christmas. I never have had a problem fitting in because they are always here for me, with open arms.
This year at Christmas I want to focus on family. I want to focus on the unity of this family, with every outburst, "Where's my camera Daaaaaaaad!? to every silly comment, "Why'd he park like that?" to "Is that beer spilling out of the ceiling?" - each and every grumble, growl and giggle.
To my mama, Andrea- you give, give, give and work so hard to make us comfortable and happy all year round but especially at Christmas time. We are having such a magical Christmas, because of you and your efforts. The house looks festive and is full of yummy Holiday baking and food. Thank you.
To my dad, Rodney- you work so hard for us to be able to come for this holiday. It has been so nice, being able to come here this year, to celebrate Christmas with the families. It is truly wonderful being a part of your Thunder Bay Christmas. Thank you.
To my sister, Erin- you have a big heart and I am so happy to be your sister. I think of you as my friend, a person to giggle with and bitch to.. and someone to borrow clothes from and tell secrets to. You give me that sister feeling, I miss this time of year. I'm so happy to be here with you this Christmas and ESPECIALLY on Christmas morning. Thank you.
To my husband, Robert- you are a mixture of everyone. You are kind, giving, loving and all you want for Christmas is to see me happy here with you. I love you and I thank you so much for being my husband, so that we can share each and every year together.
So this Christmas, we have snow falling from the sky, just like when I lived back in Alberta. A White Christmas, just like the one I used to know.. with a family, as loving and caring as the one I have had many, many a Christmas' ago.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Smiles For Miles

April 07, 2011 ~ another angel leaves this earth.

The lyrics " I don't understand why you do the things you do....." enter my mind. I don't know who the artist is that sings them, or what the name of the song is.. But it's the first thing I think of when I am told, that Miles has passed in his sleep. He is 4 months old and his time in this world was too short.

It is too difficult to try and make sense of a situation such as this. When children or babies are taken - there's no justification. One thing I do know- is that the world works in mysterious ways.... Things happen, for a reason.. and usually it takes a lot of thought to figure out why. Robert and I discussed the situation at length over the passed few days. We came up with this.. Miles was an angel while he was here. His purpose wasn't to live a full life, to experience how to talk or walk.. but it was to make an impact in the short time he was here. And he did.. boy did he ever. We met him once- last Sunday. I truly believe that Miles' purpose in this world, was to bring his family together. The last few days, have been surreal and unbelievable for everyone. Family has traveled from all over to be there for Miles' mommy and daddy. One thing we realized was that.. no matter what- death truly brings people together. Time stands still.. the busy bustle of life and routine are put on hold. No matter what- families grieve together- no matter the location or the cost..

Miles' mom, Coral is an inspiration. No doubt is this the most difficult thing she will ever have to deal with.. Losing a child, is unimaginable to people that haven't experienced it.. But during all of this- she talks about Miles being too good for this world. He was too good to stay.. And she's 100% right. Miles was meant to be a gift- something to cherish, and remember.. and love for always. Coral is a young soul, at 24 years old. A mother of two. A positive, beautiful, free spirit.. that sees the good in everything. She is someone I will look up to for always because of this. She is beautiful, honest and true to herself. She is loved by so many and in so many thoughts and prayers. She is also blessed with an almost 2 year old daughter, Evelyn. Evelyn is the light in everyone's day. She is the anchor, as her Grandma Lou would say. She is the sunshine that enters the room, the chuckle that follows the tears. She is too young to know that her baby brother is no longer.. But, she is the perfect solution to all of the pain. Bless her little soul.. Already she conveys the traits of her Mama.. What a lucky little lady.

Miles~ baby boy, with a smile that brightens your entire face... I hope you enjoyed all the love you felt from your family. Because beautiful boy- you were loved every day that you lived.. and every day that you are away. We will always remember you.. and we will be sure to mention your name and smile. We will be sure to tell stories of your four months here. I will be sure to remember the one day that I was with you. You were perfect, a gift.. and now an angel.

Here's to you baby boy- with every memory that comes to mind- years and years of Smiles.. for Miles..

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Dream A Little Dream For Me

It was Thursday morning, around 5:30 am on March the 03rd.. I woke crying, from a very real dream...

My dad passed away in July of 2010. 16 days after my wedding, and 40 years too soon. Cancer struck again.
I am having an especially difficult time dealing with his death, for a number of personal reasons. But one main reason, was that I felt like our book ended, too abruptly. I knew he had cancer, but because we had a distant relationship, mainly an over the phone kind of relationship- I failed to see how serious things had gotten. He also wanted to protect each of his children from the realities of his disease. Now when I think about it, he wanted to save us from going through what we went through with our step dad, Rudi, five years prior. I respect his decisions now. 2010 was a busy year for my husband Rob and I. We were planning our summer wedding and had our minds very preoccupied. I didn't realize how sick he was until I saw him... a few days before the wedding. It's amazing now, for me to realize that he came to Qualicum Beach at all. He traveled as sick as he was, to .. walk me down the aisle. To be there for me.
Dad disappointed us a lot in our lives. But he made up for all of those times when he was there the day I was married. He was unable to come to the wedding because he was in the final stages of his cancer. He was there on that day though, just like he is here in my heart today.

In my dream, Dad takes me into a building and says, "I'd like to be here for awhile." I follow him in and the place has a "legion-like" quality to it. There are people inside, drinking and visiting. There are also cheap casino games set up through out the room. There is a man sitting in an Oiler's jersey and I ask Dad, "Where are we?" to which he simply replies, "Winnipeg."
Now some of the details in the dream may be irrelevant. But the fact that I remember all of them, seem important to me. One very important part of the dream is that Dad is healthy. He looks good, and he is my dad again. He also LOVED the Edmonton Oiler's and the legion is a place that I remember visiting with him in, as a young child on weekend visits.
He looks at me, and says, "I love rock and roll." I reply, "I know you do..." My dad has always been a very talented song writer, musician, and singer. He was blessed with this gift and has always used it through out his life. He was an artist... and never failed to use his incredible talents.
He takes me into a side room and tells me that he is sick, that his heart is failing him and that he wants me to leave him there to die. I hug him and he tells me he loves me.. But I refuse to leave. I sit there, and watch him fading away quietly in chair. After awhile, he falls.. gently .. out of his chair and I rush over to him..
He winces, in pain.. and then looks up at me and smiles.. I am holding him in my arms when he dies..
I wake from my dream, crying .. very hard. So hard that I wake Rob.. Once I am awake, I continue to cry.. But these tears are different from the ones I have cried in the past. I feel rejuvenated.. like I've been given a fresh outlook on things..
When Rudi passed, I had a very vivid, realistic and memorable dream.. that I wrote in this very blog.

( To read about my dream of Rudi-- it's titled, "In A White Haze" under June, 2005 in the blog archives.)

My dream was a gift.. a gift from my dad. He was letting me know that he is still around.. out there somewhere. His spirit is still with me, in my heart, in my head.. and in my soul. He also gave me our ending. Instead of him passing away in a hospital in Drayton Valley while Rob and I were traveling from the island - in my dream; he died, peacefully in my arms...
He once told me about the first time he ever held me.. He looked down at my sweet face, noticing my little nose, and my little lips.. He said I looked at him, and he fell in love. And then in my dream, I got to hold him in my arms, and see his sweet face .. for the very last time, in my ending, in our very own.. sweet ending.

So thank you Daddy- for sending me a message.. this gift.. I will cherish it for always.. and I feel a little healed from everything. And, I will keep dreaming.. and hopefully you can pop in for a little visit from time to time.. I will keep dreaming a little dream for you.