Frankie and Nick. Kootenay Lake summer 1998.

Everything To Lose

Heather (Melissa’s Mom) and Charlotte (Nicky M.’s Mom) fly in to Calgary from Vancouver. Charlotte’s husband is a pilot for Air Canada. As a family member she is able to get tickets for the cost of the taxes. She and Heather had to fly on stand- by which means after the regular ticket holders have boarded and if there is still room they can fly too. Or, if people buy tickets but don’t show up after last call those on stand- by can then take their seat. We reunite like soldiers who have been together in the trenches. Nicholas came close to dying. We could have intervened but due to medical advice we did not. We stepped back and didn’t fight with fate. He’s a tired boy and we would have let … [Read More...]

Babtism & Frankies B day 19993

Birthday & Baptism

In the wee hours after Nicholas’ blood pressure dropped to his boots I took Frankie back to the Ronald McDonald House. Tomorrow, he turns 15. This morning, after less than 3 hours of sleep, he’s back in Alberta Children’s Hospital, thick, almost curly hair rumpled, his young face tired and not in the way a teenager is tired from late nights playing video games or hanging out watching movies with friends, but tired in the way of being heart - sick. FH has been snoozing beside Nick’s bed. He picks his head up off the arm of the chair and groans with a cramp in his neck. Sleepily he says Nick is out of danger. His blood pressure is improving. Legs turn to rubber and I sit down hard. Nicholas … [Read More...]

Eleanor. 1995 - 2015

Eleanor the Cat: Great Hunter & Friend

Eleanor died last night. Her owner buried the 20 year old cat in the garden this morning. We met both of them 2 years ago when we moved here. Living up to her calico female cat reputation she was a fine killer of things despite having one toe where she was unable to retract the claw. While crossing carpeting every few footsteps she hesitated to unsnag herself. Despite the snaggle – toe she’d lived through tussles with critters bigger than herself that had required a few visits to the vet to repair teeth punctures to her body. “There goes the great hunter to kill something.” My man would say to me from his perch on the deck overlooking the bottom field. I needed binoculars. But he has … [Read More...]

Courage Anne Morrow Lindbergh

The Long Climb Up

It's all gone. Nothing looks the same nor will it ever be the same. You did your best, tried your hardest, gave your heart but it didn't matter, all has been lost. The fall was excruciating but the climb back up is torture and terrifying and you doubt you can do it. You're exhausted and more afraid than you've ever been and the temptation to stay down, cover your eyes and coast is intense. Doing nothing is easiest. But Here is craziness. This landscape is ugly. You don't like who you must be, who you will become if you stay, if you give up and lie on the dark and grungy bottom. You know people who have quit trying. They are shells. Hard on the outside and bitter on the inside. They take … [Read More...]

Brothers Frankie and Nick with Miss Daisy

Courageous Brother

FH is spending the night at the hospital with Nicholas. After our supper in the kitchen of the Ronald McDonald House, Frankie and I have just come through the door into our little suite and the phone rings. “Please Mom! Don’t let them! Don’t let them take me!” Nicholas is sobbing. “Here Nickie.” FH’s gentle tone is in the background. “Here, let me talk to your mother.” His voice cracks. “Susan, you have to come now.” Frankie and I grab up our coats. My heart is hammering inside my chest. “Mom, what’s going on? Is Nickie..” He gulps. “Is Nick OK?” My oldest son, all this long year, has done his best to just fit into the back ground. His Dad and I both try to keep him informed and give a … [Read More...]