Sunday, April 28, 2013

First Birthday

Dearest Granddaughter,
Later today we will be celebrating your first birthday, which falls tomorrow.  I have baked you a carrot cake; I cannot remember the last time I made one.  What I do know is that it was an obvious choice given that I had baked this same kind for your mother on her first birthday too.
What you have shown me about yourself thus far:
You give freely of your kisses - to stuffed animals, pictures in books, friends and family.
Your entertaining facial expressions are an ongoing source of joy and laughter.
You enjoy eating, moving your body to music, and reading "Pat the Bunny".
You are not keen on cats nor the feel of grass under your feet.
You are confident and curious, partnered with a healthy dose of cautiousness.
You have a wonderful sense of humour.
You are beautiful.
As you grow older, there may be times when you forget how fabulous you are.  I hope not.  However, if you do, you can read this birthday letter to help remind you of your inherent beauty and worth.  During this first year you have brought a great gift to our entire family, just by being you.
Thank you for being born.

Love and kisses,

Friday, April 19, 2013

A Wonderful World

I had not attended a yoga class for some time, opting to practice poses at home instead.  Finally, this afternoon, I got myself to a Yin class, and I am so glad I did.  Another cold and dreary week had taken its toll on me, both physically and emotionally, and I knew that getting out to a studio would help improve my energy level and disposition - it always does.  Midway through the class, while lying in a meditative state in the deep hip-opening Swan pose, I began sending pink energy out into the room.  Moments later, in my mind's eye, I saw yellow and orange energy waves join in.  The three colours formed a mini rainbow, which was pulsating this beautiful loving energy throughout the space.  The background music thus far had been made up of the soothing instrumentals and calm melodic chantings typically heard during such classes.  Suddenly, while still holding this difficult and uncomfortable pose, Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World" began playing over the speakers. It took but a second to put two and two together.  This song, referencing colours of the rainbow and the beauty in the world, was one of the three that played during Michael's memorial service.  Now, love and gratitude washed through me and infused my entire being.  I am fairly certain that during the thirty plus years of attending yoga classes in various studios, I have not once heard this song play.  When the song ended, the music reverted to instrumentals and chanting, but for the balance of the class, then into the evening, the deep feelings of love and gratitude remained.  What a wonderful world.

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Mysterious Realm of Communication

My most recent evening at the ISA included a relaxing guided meditation, as well as a heartfelt message from my paternal grandfather, in German, of course.  About family, about love.  He spoke directly to me, no medium required, about the parent-child relationship and the various ways it has played out within our family over these past four generations.  Even though this man had died long before I was born, I instantly recognized his spirit and felt a deep connection as he shared his observations.  The ISA evening ended about a half-hour later than usual, and when I got in my car, the clock read 9:55.  After these sessions, I am usually home around 10 o'clock, and since it's about a thirty minute drive, I contemplated calling my husband to tell him not to wait up.  Then I thought about how exhausted he was and the strong possibly of him being asleep, so I decided against it.  When I arrived home, he was surprisingly still awake, and before I had a chance to tell him about my evening he told me about a strange incident that had occurred.  He had been watching TV in the den when he heard a beeping sound coming from elsewhere in the house.  As he approached the living room, he realized that the alarm was ringing on the clock in there.  We don't use the alarm feature and it had never spontaneously gone off - it had not even been touched recently.  He went on to say that it had happened at 9:55.  Obviously that had no significance for him until I explained what I had been doing at exactly that time.  For me, this was yet another new experience in the mysterious realm of communication.  Fascinating, for sure.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Simply Perfect

My older daughter stopped by this morning and just before she left, we briefly discussed another overnight babysitting stint for later this month when she and her husband will be attending a wedding to be held in an outdoor venue just down the road from my home.  A few minutes after my daughter left, I was driving down the street and as I passed the venue, I happened to notice a woman standing beside a parked car. Imagine my surprise when I realized it was the bride-to-be, with her fiancĂ© emerging from the car as well.  Are you kidding?  I may see this young couple at a social gathering two or three times a year but not once have I seen them just in passing, or run into them in the community. Another "coincidence".  Nothing earth-shattering, simply perfect.  Love it.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A Small World Indeed

My best friend, a local high school teacher, just returned from chaperoning students to Italy.  When I called her to find out how the trip had gone, she told me about a remarkable experience.  

One evening during her stay, as dusk was falling, she and three other Vancouver school teachers were walking through the centre of Florence when they passed a Tiffany & Co. store.  One of the women commented that this company was like McDonald's, with locations everywhere.  My friend asked if she'd like to hear a story, then began by telling the group about the car accident of March 7th, 2011.  She was giving them the background for the incident that followed a few months later when that jewellery company and I connected in a most amazing way over the story of Michael and Kelly.

Just as the sun was setting, the four women reached the Ponte alla Carraia bridge, where they stood admiring the view of the nearby Ponte Vecchio, the city's most famous bridge.  My friend continued with her story, telling the group about a similar trip she had chaperoned exactly two years ago.  She had committed to undertaking that trip months before the accident, causing her to miss Michael's service.  During those difficult days abroad, she would make the daily trip across the exact bridge the women were now standing on, each time stopping for a few moments mid span to dig deep and in her words,  "man it up for Michael".  She had had a special relationship with him and knew that he would not want her to be under a grey cloud during the entire trip, but rather, he would want her to have some fun because what she knew for sure was that Michael was all about having fun.    
When my friend finally finished this lengthy narrative, one of the teachers turned to her to remark how incredible that story was and that she would never forget it as long as she lived.  The woman then paused and added, "I feel like I've heard parts of this story before."  She then asked, "Where did you say the accident happened?"  My friend told her - just outside of Princeton.  The woman instantly realized why that part of the story sounded familiar and told my friend that her son was the ambulance driver in that small town!

Wow.  Halfway around the world, this random connection is made, bringing the entire story full circle, all because of one chance remark about a store.  A small world, indeed.