Always Thankful

I hope you have all had a wonderful (Canadian) Thanksgiving weekend with your friends and family. Yesterday we hosted the meal with our family. I don’t have the huge extended family that many have, but none the less, it was still a feast to prepare for!

I am so thankful for many things this year, and wanted to share with you all what some of them are.

Firstly, I am thankful for this man, who is the love of my life. I have known since I was 14 years old that I would spend forever with him. He is patient, generous, loves me unconditionally, my best friend, and a wonderful Papa and Dad to my loves.

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I am forever grateful and thankful that I get to be Mom and Grandma to the most amazing humans that I know. I can’t imagine living in a world without them and am so proud of who they are and cannot wait to see what is in their future.

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I am guilty about letting time pass and not connecting with friends. I am purposely trying to not let this happen now. My friends are so important to me, and I hope they know how I love them too. I received a message from a friend which was so impactful, letting me know that I was a good friend. He said “It’s always better said than regretted”, gosh so true.

I am thankful for my step mom, Marianne. She was my Dad’s love. She was his life, his love, she brought a smile to his face, and loved him, and my family. I am forever thankful for what she did for him. I am thankful for the time I got to spend with him, and grateful that he was my Dad. I am thankful for the values that he invested in me which in turn I have passed on to my family.

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The list could go on and on, yes I am thankful! Thankful for my life and the people in it. What are you thankful for?

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I loved him most…

I have been absent from blogging…I just haven’t felt inspired to write. On July 9th the early morning call came to me, “Darlene, I just received a call from the home, your Dad isn’t doing well”, it was my step mom. I had received this call a couple of times before but something told me this one was different. As I got off the phone, all I could think was ‘Dad please just wait for me’. Within the hour I was walking in to his room. I immediately knew, he was going to be going ‘home’ very soon. I sat beside him and took his hand, and all I could do is weep. Oh Dad, I don’t want you to suffer, but Dad I am not ready to lose you yet. Although alzheimers took him from me a couple years prior, I still yearn for his touch, to watch him breathe, to stroke his hair, to watch his mannerisms. I made the call to my husband that it did not look well, as well to my two kids. I asked them if they wanted to see Grampa, knowing that it would be hard for them to see him and say good-bye. My son could not do it, which I understand why, he has loved his Grampa for 27 years and wants to remember Grampa the way he was. My daughter came and sat with us that day, along with my aunt and step mom. I told Dad, your girls are here, it’s ok to go home. There were sweet words shared that morning, ones that I will never forget. As I kissed him and told him that I loved him, Dad went home to heaven.

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It doesn’t feel right that life keeps going on. I miss him so much, although I have missed him for a long time. Dad was my greatest teacher in life, my biggest cheer leader,  has loved me the longest, loved me absolutely unconditionally and honestly the best person I have ever known. I cry when no one is around, I want to feel him, I want to look at his hands, just touch him. I just wanted to curl up in the bed with him that day, as I still do now.

My Dad set amazing examples to his children and grand children. He was the most Christian person one would ever meet, he walked the walk. I mentioned in my tribute, I have learned many life lessons from him, the greatest one he taught me was the power of forgiveness. I honestly wouldn’t have some people in my life if I had not forgiven them, always reflecting on a talk he gave me about it. At 16 years old I had to forgive people who had affected mine and my son’s life as a young teen mom. I still and will never forget, it still hurts me badly their choices, and affects the relationship today, but I had to forgive so I would not be consumed with that negativity in my life.

I should have told him more how much I loved him. I should have paid more attention to his stories. I should have visited him more. I should have….Please, tell the ones you love how much you love them. Embrace the ones who love you. I loved him the most and with my whole heart. I will miss you forever Dad, I will keep your memory alive. I don’t think these tears will dry, but I know that you are with me. I will keep talking to you like you are here, and loving my family like you loved me.

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Leaving the Nest

Today was the day….yes today was the day we officially became empty nesters. This is something parents look forward to as their children grow. Naturally, they dream of the day when it’s the 2 of them again, the home to themselves, the quietness, the time to grow together in this new chapter in their lives.

To be honest, I am already missing my lil bird. Our daughter and son in law moved in with us when they returned to Canada. Our son in law is from Mexico, has been a permanent resident for going on 2 1/2 years. When they came ‘home’, they moved in with us so they could get established and save for a down payment on a new place. Shortly after settling, we were told there would be another roomy coming to this world, our sweet grandson.

There have been 4 adults and 1 infant living in this average size home for a while now, as baby is now 14 months old. To be honest, we have been bursting, as we were running out of space. After all, he does need the toys that Gramma brings home, or that mom would find for him!

Like I said, today was the day. They purchased their first home, and we are so proud of them, and happy for them. Moving day came, and I was purely happy. Happy that they were happy, happy that they were getting a great place, happy that they were staying in Canada! Happy that we would get some space back, happy that we won’t be bursting at the seams, happy I get to redecorate!

I can do this, I can get through this day I kept telling myself. I was fine all day long…until….I had to kiss the lil grandson goodbye. It came to me that my lil shadow won’t be at my home anymore, for daily snuggles, to hear his giggles, to visit with him in the mornings when I get ready for work, to eat dinner with….Our daughter is the last to leave the nest. Although it wasn’t as hard on me as when I left my son in Texas for college, it’s still tough. I am still weepy, but I know in my heart it was time, time for all of us.

So my beautiful girly bird and my precious lil bird are just up the road starting their new chapter, as we are here in our nest.

There is always room in our nest for our birds to come home to visit and have sleepovers, which makes my heart smile.

Love all my little birds and are so very proud of you!

xox

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The More things Change, the More they stay the Same….

The more things change, the more they stay the same is what came to me today. It is a beautiful Sunday with no plans, so hubby and I decided to hop in the car and go for a drive. With not knowing where to go, we tossed around some ideas and decided to visit the close by Fort Langley. We took a side route down some roads that triggered childhood memories for me. My husband pointed out an old fish farm as we passed it. Immediately I remembered that it was the fish farm my grandfather took me too, 35+ years ago where I caught my first fish. If I had not seen this abandoned fish farm, I would not have recalled that childhood experience….gosh it took me right back to the day I was fishing with Gongo (my grandfather). Gongo you ask, what kind of a name is that! Gongo was Grampa and Gogi was Gramma, quite original,  thanks to my one cousin who could not pronounce Grandma and Grandpa.

Fort Langley has always had a special place in my heart. It is a very small village, which is now quite the favourite destination for locals to visit and live. It is kind of like stepping back in time. There are coffee shops, antique shops, a cemetery in the middle of town, and some gift types of stores. Growing up, this town was where my father worked for 30+ years, in what was the Cedar Mill. My father LOVED his job! He worked the green chain, as well as the chop saw line. Dad was dedicated, passionate, loyal and hard working. It was not an easy job, but it was a job that took care of our family. He would bring me to tour the mill throughout my childhood, bring home the cedar chips for my hamster cages, build wishing wells, planters and bird houses with the scraps of wood he would bring home. To this day, when I smell cedar, it takes me to Dad coming home from work, it is one of my favourite smells. The more things change, the more they stay the same….

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When the mill closed down in 2003, it was heartbreaking to watch sad mourn the loss of the mill. He went on to work odd jobs until retirement, and than once the dementia was putting up to many barriers, work was not in the cards anymore. Walking and talking today on the grounds where my father gave all his years of work, we think it had a small part in the early onset of dementia for him. He had stresses in his life, like we all do, but this was truly heartbreaking for him.

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Now where the mill once was, is a large housing development, with condos and houses. Although physically it is very different, and has changed in so many ways, I still felt the same feeling there. My dad is here still in body, but I could feel him there, it took me back to our times there, and his love. The more things change, the more they stay the same….

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Right here is where Dad parked his car, on the other side of the tracks….

To this day I still have Dad’s thermos he took with him to work full of coffee, and if you look at this old thermos that has travelled many many miles….the more things change, the more they stay the same….

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Going to Fort Langley was what I was needing today. Although many of the places in this small town are still there, and there has been some development, it made me realize that the more things change, the more they stay the same….

Dad is with us physically, but the love for him and the love in his heart he has for us, has never changed, it’s remained the same.

The New Adventure of Crabbing!

For quite a few years, I had been bringing up the topic of crabbing to my husband. I would occasionally say, I really really want to try crabbing! Heck how hard can it be!

After listening to me long enough, and actually getting assurance from the guys at work, he decided heck, lets try it! Since we are headed to Oregon this summer, Pacific City actually, where crabbing is popular, we better figure this out now. When we get there, it would be embarrassing to look like rookies.  The thrifty person I try to be, I posted on a local Facebook sway that I was ISO (in search of) a crab trap. Alas, someone responded with a  great trap for sale, that came with the buoy. After watching many Youtube videos and purchasing our online license, we felt we were ready.

We headed out to Belcarra Regional Park, which is about 1.5 hours from our place bright and early one Sunday morning, and dropped our line off the pier. The excitement that came when we pulled up our trap to find crabs!!

crabsAfter a full day of crabbing, we did go home empty handed with no crabs for dinner, those darn size rules they have, but we fully understand why they are in effect.

These rookies did learn a couple of things though for the next crabbing adventure. We learned that if you ferment your chicken, the more fragrant, the more the crabs love it. As well, the deeper you can get out in the water, the better. Well thank goodness for blow up boats, because this is what we were going to be bringing with us the next time!

One week later, the whole family joined us for a day in the rain of crabbing, thank goodness for the underground picnic area and two inflatable boats!

crab boatWith our two boats, a day of laughs, one crab to bring home, adventures as a friends crab trap was lost with their underwater camera attached, it wasn’t just about the lil crab, it was the time spent with the kids and their spouses!

crabStay tuned for the next adventure!