Monday, 30 June 2008

M Is For

Mom (the best ever)
Mickey (sister)
Micki (Heidi’s daughter angel)
Marcie (Darlene’s daughter; my friend)
Michel (nephew)

Mango (box a week)
Monkey (mind)
Marriage (an earlier heaven)
Magician (makes magic)
Mother Goose (children deserve to hear)

Market (Nadalene gagged from the smell)
Moon (same side always faces the earth)
Map (can’t read one)
Mars (closest planet to earth)
Mexico (border towns only)

March (birthday)
Mask (remove it you will breath better)
May (Nana’s birthday)
Morning (fresh start)
Mad Hatter (affinity)

Me (bring it back to)
Money (makes life easier)
Mad (people suffer)
Memory (don’t ever forget me)
Mind over matter (willpower to rise above adversity)

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Be Strong

Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee, whithersoever thou goest.

~~ The Bible (Joshua) ~~

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Die Suddenly Or By Inches

On Facebook I asked the question “Do you think it is better to die suddenly or by inches over a period of time?” At the time I was very ill from my treatments. At the time I believed wholeheartedly that it was better to die suddenly.

I think it was during this time that I fantasized that someone would come in the house, creep up the stairs to my room, slowly turn the door handle, check to make sure I was still sleeping, warm the barrel of the gun to make sure it was the temperature of my head, and ever so quietly step to my side of the bed and stick the gun to my temple and blow my brains out. All nice and tidy, lickety split, over and done with (of course except for the cleanup and the pain my family would suffer).

Some of the answers I received:

If you are suffering and you just can’t go on another minute then I would want to die immediately but if you can live another day I would take each day that I could on, with the hope that things can get better.

Suddenly, it’s done and over with and nobody has to suffer.

Oh, that is a hard one! If you die suddenly, you don’t suffer through too much pain, it is over with before you realize, but, if you know you are going to die, I would think one would appreciate each living day more and more and make the most of it.

Well no idea, but I want to die from old age.

If you know that you have a time line and can live somewhat comfortably, I would rather take all that I could get. Even that can be hard on a family when you know what the outcome is going to be. For myself, I think that I would rather go suddenly.

Life is precious, over time or suddenly, in the end it is always too sudden. I would want the fight to be fought until you can’t fight any longer. I believe in the life after, see you in the days beyond the days….so out of our control.

This is a tough one to answer. If I could handle the pain then I would want to die slowly, that way I could spend time with my friends and family, and all the people I love most. It would make the pain worth it.

Suddenly, I was with my Dad as he died by inches.

I would want to go suddenly. No pain and right after I borrowed a couple of thousand from Renee.

Myself I would like to die in my sleep so I guess I would rather go right away….but I’m not going until the good lord calls me.

Life is a precious gift and you only get to do it once. I would take all the inches I could get.

Inches over a period of time. Don’t the majority of us get that chance? I mean, unless there is a sudden death, we are all dying inches over a period of time from when we are born.

The answer that gives me pause and makes me think is the one from Angelique “Inches over a period of time. Don’t the majority of us get that chance? I mean, unless there is a sudden death, we are all dying inches over a period of time from when we are born.”

There is just no good answer to this question, because death is so final and so painful for the people left behind. Whether we die slowly and drag them with us or we die suddenly and leave them behind.

I absolutely get that people would want the time to get their house in order and to make peace with their God. I more than understand how important it would be for your loved ones and for yourself to be at peace with each other. But of course not having been there or experienced that but knowing that I am going to die sooner than later I want my family to know that even if I fought with you two minutes before I died, I absolutely love you and the bad feelings that went before would be wiped away.

I begin to suspect as I am writing this that I asked the wrong question. What I really meant was “Do you think it is better to die suddenly or in physical distress (nausea, not being able to go to the bathroom, having your family take care of you like an infant) and in excruciating pain by inches over a period of time?”

I feel that most people would agree that sudden death is far more welcome than a slow, incapacitating and painful death. I guess that is a no-brainer. I know that I don’t want my family and especially my husband and children to have to watch me linger near death in intractable pain. I would not wish that on anyone. Wondering everyday “Is she dead yet?” Feeling guilty for such a thought.

I can tell you that seeing someone you care about wasting away in pain and anguish, with nothing you can do about it, is heart wrenchingly awful. It is awful for the care giver and doubtless ten times worse for the sufferer. With cancer it is not just at the end that you suffer like this either, but it is all the way through. I am not even touching on the emotional suffering in this blog. That is another situation entirely.

The thing with cancer is the agony it forces the family to endure. It changes them forever. They are not the people they were before. Sudden death may be a selfish wish but the alternative is unthinkable.

Jacquie answered that “If you are suffering and you just can’t go on another minute then I would want to die immediately but if you can live another day I would take each day that I could on, with the hope that things can get better.” At the moment this is what applies to me the best.

If my fantasy about being shot which I had desired so intensely at times in the past had come true I would never have known the happiness of seeing Nathan graduate, Nadalene get married, and Angelique become a Mom to my sweet girl Josephine.

So although I believe that there are much better things about dying suddenly to lingering in agonizing pain I also realize that there are negatives to this way of dying too.

Either way the loss is the same to both families. The one they love is no longer there. The heartbreak they feel will never go away. The hole in their heart will never be filled.

Because I will most likely die of cancer, it is not an irrational assumption that when I die I will be escorted on both sides of the veil between Heaven and Earth by the people I love the most in this world.

In the end, however, when I die whether suddenly or in prolonged death, it will be me and me alone that will be making that step across the veil from life to death. And me and me alone that will be making that step across the veil from death to life.

Monday, 23 June 2008

L Is For

Liz (most aliases in my alphabet)
Lori (sister MIA by choice, dear nurse)
Lindsey (youngest friend)
Laura (book club)
Lynn (niece)

Lime (she put de lime in de coconut, drink ‘em bot’ togeder)
Lion (Nadalene thinks Charlton looks like one)
Lace (Angelique and Nadalene’s wedding dresses)
Letter (a gift via my mailbox)
Left-handed (Angelique)

Library (wordy heaven)
Lake of the Woods (Colette and I just came back)
Labyrinth (a path not a maze)
Look on the bright side (I try)
Lifespan (spending it with the people I love)

Lover (childhood nickname)
Later (there is only now)
Learn (be interested)
Love (does not die)
Look (doesn’t mean you see)

Losing my marbles (say this 20 times a day)
Love is blind (overlook faults)
Lupus (autoimmune disease)
Like it or lump it (situation is not going to change)
Light bulb moment (okay Oprah fuck-off)

Sunday, 22 June 2008


The birthdates for Cancer are between June 22nd and July 22nd. Charlton is June 26th.

Cancer’s stats are:

Colour = Silver and Sea Blue
Metal = Silver
Stone = Pearl and Moonstone
Tree = Oak
Plants = Larkspur and Lily

Cancer is the sign of the crab which represents a dual nature by being hard on the outside but soft on the inside. Cancer’s moods can shift quite rapidly and they hold deeply felt emotions. Though they may sometimes appear impervious on the outside, perhaps even irritable, inside they’re all heart, kind, and loving to the core.

Ruled by the Moon, the hallmark of a Cancer is that they are tried and true. Cancer’s symbol the crab is associated with the sea which is the cradle of life and all Cancers will find peace near any body of water. Cancers are most blessed when they can find a safe haven in which their sensitivity can bloom and flourish.

A Cancer will do their best to sustain others as they are often referred to in the zodiac as the symbol that most closely represents the ‘house of the family’ and ‘the home.’ Anyone lucky enough to be within a Cancer’s inner circle enjoys a secure sense of comfort and belonging.

Cancer’s are especially loved if they give their Sagittarius girlfriend a pearl engagement ring and she becomes his wife.

Cheers to you Charlton, you are the kind of Cancer I like.

Friday, 20 June 2008

The Young

The young fancy themselves immune to death. And why shouldn't they? At times life can seem endless, filled with belly laughs and butterflies, passion and joy, and good cold beer.

Of course with age comes the solemn understanding that forever is but a word. Seasons change, love withers, the good die young. These are hard truths, painful truths --- inescapable but, we are told, necessary. Winter begets spring, night ushers in the dawn, and loss sows the seeds of renewal. It is, of course, easy to say these things......

But easy or not, we rely on such sentiment. To do otherwise would be to jump without hope into a black and endless abyss, falling through an all-enveloping void for all eternity......

~~ Dave Eggers from his book A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius ~~

Wednesday, 18 June 2008


If you give a hoot, listen up.

Flashbacks From The Month Of June

June 4, 2001

*Because it would be painful to hold on to pain, I don't hold on to it at all. Basically I don't even touch it.

*I definitely need to control events when it is chaotic or unpredictable. I do it in a very detached (almost out of body experience) way, where I can put myself in a place where I can organize any required actions. I handle these situations myself and almost as if they were happening to someone else.

*I definitely have the gift of gab and I can use words really well. As a matter of fact, I love words that are strung together well. I use words to get what I want from people, by time they give me what I want, it is what they want as well.

*Being married and raising a family, I let myself slide so far back on the list of priorities that I honestly don't know myself to a great extent.

*A thought I carry that makes me insecure is that people judge overweight people. I am overweight, so are they judging me?

June 11, 2001

*My dream career would be to work in the field of education, to be a mentor or a teacher.

June 16, 2001

*Major beliefs that have shaped my life are to love one another; treat others as you want to be treated; do not judge; if you have something nice to say to someone then say it; no one is better than you and you are no better than them; and there but for the grace of God go I.

*I think my calling on earth is to try to reflect God in the things I do.

*The person (if I had to chose only one) I most trust is Wahid. He has earned my confidence by his steadiness, loyalty, and thoughtful presence.

June 24, 2001

*I am thankful for Wahid in my life because he is the kind of man I want my son to become.

June 16, 2002

*I think my passion is lightness of spirit. My passion is to be carefree. Deep down I must be the person who wants 'happy ever after.'

*If this were my daughters or my son I would tell them 'unload the things that are weighing you down.' Give them there five minutes and either fix them (if you can) or let them go. Try to have the lightness of heart that you want.

June 23, 2002

*I would probably not feel right telling anyone anything; not because of them, but because of me. This is one thing I would like to change. I have enough confidants and they are trustworthy. This is a weakness on my behalf. I have never regretted a confidence I have made. One thing I have discovered about sharing things with people is that the people really come through and make you feel better. When friends reveal things to me, I am very supportive about them. I am not uncomfortable when friends disclose intimate details. The strangest thing is that when people tell me anything, I never judge them, nor do I think less of them. So why do I feel that they would judge me or think less of me. Am I giving too much credit to myself and none to other people. Do I think I have to pretend I am infallible?

June 4, 2003

*One set pattern of action we have is supper. Supper at 5:00. Say Grace. Tea after meal.

June 3, 2004

*Even when my body was great, I thought it wasn't. I need to work on accepting myself the way I am. Lip service. I give myself nothing more than lip service.

June 28, 2004

*Actually started having fun. Colette put on a Jack & Jill shower for Don and Angelique, and we had an amazing time. Thank you so much, it meant the world to me. Life is a blessed thing.

June 1, 2005

*I am sitting at a desk in the Crowne Plaza in Ottawa. Nadalene is a Director on the National Board of Canada for Lupus. I am so proud of her for giving of her energy and time to such a worthwhile cause.

*I love being with Nadalene and I love being alone to see what I can do on my own. I need to learn to empower myself again.

June 2, 2005

*In Saint Patrick's Basilica they had a prayer card for aborted babies to the Saint of them and I thought that was really weird. For some reason to me it totally (card) did not seem Cahtolic. It looked born-again.

*When I opened the book from Angelique, there was an envelope with $40; $20 for me and $20 for Nadalene telling us to have a great time. Makes me close to crying because I wish she was with us.

June 15, 2005

*Nadalene is such an amazing person. How happy I am that I am lucky enough to be her mother.

June 1, 2006

*Maybe joy and pleasure are something you bring with you. You don't get them -- you have them. This rings true to me.

*If I stopped trying to avoid emotional pain I would face what I'm afraid of, I would overcome th situation or at minimum the 'fear of.' I would see that placing myself at risk of exposure is not so scary. Risk of what -- looking foolish; so what.

June 7, 2006

*I usually deal with disappointment by swallowing it, ignoring it, or putting an action to it. I usually bounce back with enthusiasm and never fall with a thud. I can definitely feel like a victim when I'm disappointed, it is a total waste of time. Right now I am licking my wounds of dealing with cancer. I know I am in the most important fight of my life, but I can move forward. I have put my hand in the hand of God.

June 11, 2006

*I want to be free of cancer. I need to remember that there are success stories, but right now I find it hard to believe for myself. I need you God.

Flash Forward

A little reminder to myself that life is good after all.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Tick Tick Tick

Tick in my pocket even when I don't have one. Tick in my ear even when I'm not listening. Tick under my pillow even when I throw it to the floor. Tick in the shower mixed in with my shampoo.


Yes, I hear you, now shut the fuck up. Our agreement was that even if I ignored you, I would hear you. The agreement was that only I would have to hear your tick. I thought I was the sacrificial lamb. My understanding was that my husband and children would never have to hear you all the day long. I hoped that if I could never get a break from you that they possibly could.

Tick in the diaper bag. Tick in the red purse. Tick in the schoolbag. Tick in the thermos.

I am the one with the bombs strapped to my body. I am the one whose shoulders are so tense that they now hang around with my ears. Why isn't that good enough?

Why are you such a masochist, why do you need to break my family while you are breaking me?

Tick Tick Tick Tick Tick Tick. Shut-up for Christ's sake. Just shut-up.

My family needs me and I need them. We smother each other with hugs and kisses and we still want to hang out and ask each other lots of interesting and important questions. I know that won’t last long, I told you I can accept that. I just don’t want my children to be constantly under the tick with me. This I find very hard to accept.

The time I have with my children is swishing past at an alarmingly fast rate and your constant ticking in our heads does not make us appreciate each other all the more. We are unlike the families that I hear about in stories of cancer where the people with cancer appreciate their families and now see that the sky is blue and that birds really can sing. You don’t realize that your ticking is nattering to a family who always appreciated each other. Where we come from the skies have always been blue and the birds have always sung.

I know the fuse has been set, I know the timer is ticking. I can accept that. But what I cannot accept is that you are trying to strap yourself to my children’s bodies too. They are off limits. DO YOU HEAR ME?

Tick Tick Tick

Monday, 16 June 2008

K Is For

Khan (family name)
Kathy (sister and godmother)
Kayla (great niece)
Kirsten (family friend, niece by marriage)
Kerri (MIA since cancer)

Kiwi (not a huge fan)
Kingfish (Trinidad tastes like fried chicken)
King (Martin Luther Jr.)
Kettle (tea)
Kin (family)

Koran (Moslem holy book)
Kitchen (warmth)
Kayak (Don is making)
Kidney (only need one)
Karma (cause and effect)

Karate (Nathan lessons at 5 he hated it)
Kindred (beyond blood)
Knowledge (openness)
Keep in touch (means nothing)
Keep your head (calm in difficult times)

Kookamunga (Suzie calls Nathan)
Kryptonite (cancer)
Kinky (boring)
Kick the bucket (die)
Kneel (can’t)

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Happy Father's Day

Cheers to all our fathers wherever they may be.

The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother. ~ Anonymous

My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it. ~ Clarence Budington Kelland

My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me. ~ Jim Valvano

My father died many years ago, and yet when something special happens to me, I talk to him secretly not really knowing whether he hears, but it makes me feel better to half believe it. ~ Natasha Josefowitz

And, I Am Not Reconciled

I am just so sorry. So, so sorry.

Who would have ever guessed that someone I have never met in person would affect me so much. I just heard that Andrea, a young 37 year old mother of six was told today that she has a matter of weeks left to live. She was diagnosed one year ago with IBC and has not responded to any chemo.

She and her husband were told that they will try her on one more chemo if she wants and maybe she would have the summer but she will be very ill from the chemo, let alone the horrendous pain she is in from the cancer.

I believe that she will try the chemo as she needs the time to spend with her kids. Andrea was diagnosed just after she gave birth to her son in May, 2007. Her children range in age (I believe) from 1 to 18.

Andrea shared a poem her 14 year old son Tucker wrote for her and I want to share it with you. I want you to realize how lucky you are to see your sons become men.

Pain and Love by Tucker J. Collins

Once upon a year ago,
Terrible news struck my ears.
Time began to pain and slow.
Stabbed by words like pointy spears.

A dreadful misfortune struck.
A growth too much to handle.
All depending on pure luck.
Life dwindling, like a candle.

Now a year has timely passed.
I’ve learned new lessons that show
Pain and love can be amassed
By the friends who come and go.

Dedicated to my mother who has helped me to grow and become the person who I am today.

Andrea is an original punk-rocker and proud of the fact that she was one of a group of 35 people to first see Nirvana play. She lives in South Philly.

Andrea has a very strong faith in God and she believes that she will be with Jesus and has to accept what is happening. This is a direct quote from Andrea where you will see the quality of the person shine through “God and I are breathing together. Even if there is nothing more than this, this is good enough. In that moment I knew that this life is enough.”

On one hand I know that cancer is random but I can’t help but remind myself that God eats little children for breakfast. And, I am not reconciled.

On the other hand I know that God is good company and I pray for him to keep Andrea company and comfort her. And, I am not reconciled.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

I Believe

I believe that in the beginning, before time and space, the I AM longed for relationship with the others and creation began.

~~ Janet Farrington Graham in Letters to Harry ~~

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Three's Company Four's A Crowd

Last week in group, we rehashed what I had said about giving my cancer to a sibling if I could take it away from myself.  It seems that this is a hard concept for these ladies to understand.  (And of course, I find that hard to understand.)

Irregardless, I respect it.  I do not have to understand their truth; I just need to accept it as their truth.

I said I would even give it to my husband rather than have it.  I think Bernice thought that maybe I wasn’t crazy about my husband because she asked me what he was like.

I felt tears rise in my eyes and my heart beat a little faster.  Amazing, I said.  He is amazing.  Very kind.  A really good person.

He is a handsome man, one I adore and take for granted every day.  As if there will always be another day, every day.

I know I am a person of many peculiar thoughts.  One thought I have is that my marriage consists of three entities.  Wahid, me, and the marriage.  Our three was very good company indeed.  Now, however, we have a fourth who has joined our merry little group.  That entity is cancer and it can make us (me in particular) feel very crowded.

The fourth steals from us, it sneaks up on us at any time of the day or night.  Boo it screams.  It calls us dreamers.  It adds nothing to the company.  Cancer is always contrary, when we are happy it wants to make us miserable.  It rarely showers.  It is stinky and full of ka ka.

I don’t consider myself or Wahid to be rude people but we do snub the fourth.  We are as happy as we can be at any given time, until we are not.

This is a conversation between Wahid and I that has occurred many times.  You will see how the fourth always tries to win and how the third does not allow it too.

“I fucking hate this cancer.”

‘Well dearest.’

“I don’t want to have this cancer.  I am going to die anyway, why the hell am I putting myself through this shit.”

‘Well dearest, we have to go through the process.’  (Jill in the group pointed out how relevant it is that my husband uses the term WE.)

As simple as this conversation is, it is the conversation we have.  Wahid knows me to a tee.  He knows I don’t want to hear crap.  He knows I just want him to be with me.  He knows that I know and that the third knows that he can’t fix it; he can only be there for me.  Being there for me is where the third has its greatest power.

Wahid is very wise.  He is probably the most modest man you would ever meet.  One of the things that is very different (we have many differences) about us is that he is not arrogant and does not believe that he has the answers to my problems.  He does not take on the fixer role.  He knows better.

I can count on Wahid and he can count on me.  I know that he will stand in the centre of the fire with me and I know that he will not shrink back.  While the fourth tries to destroy us, he and the third will hold me up.

So as you can see it is not that I don’t love my husband (or my siblings) it is that I love me.  I love them and I love me.  I would never want them to have cancer along with me;
after all two wrongs would not make it right.

Dearest Wahid:

You, me.
Then, now.
Us, always.

Love Renee

Monday, 9 June 2008

J Is For

Josephine (granddaughter)
Jacquie (sister)
Joey (brother and nephew)
Jamie (nephew)
Jennifer (niece)

Jackfruit (Trinidad - largest tree borne fruit)
Jackrabbit (not a rabbit it is a hare)
Jester (entertain royalty; Elizabeth)
Judo (Cooper boys are experts)
Jump Rope (Khan girls experts at Double Dutch)

Jupiter (largest planet in our solar system)
Jamaica (lady snuck on the plane)
Jar (Camille’s pickles and beets)
Just Desserts (closed)
Jo (only two letter word with a J in scrabble)

June (Josephine’s birthday)
January (Wahid came to Canada on January 3, 1972)
July (33rd wedding anniversary)
Jump through hoops (great efforts and sacrifices)
Jealousy (insecurity)

Jesus (goodness through godness)
Juggle (relationships)
Joy (see Josephine)
Justice (rarely happens)
Judge (not your job)

Friday, 6 June 2008

Strike A Match

Two weeks ago Angelique, Nadalene, Nathan and I went to Grand Forks.   Nathan and I were in the book section (surprise, surprise) of a store and I picked up a little gem.

The book prompts you with a sentence and you write a little fiction how you see fit.

I'm hoping that you will strike a match with me as I toss out the prompt.   The prompt will be in itallics.  

A life-long bigot changes his way of thinking after a single illuminating experience.

I had never been in this town before and no matter how good I usually am with maps, I knew I was lost.  I pulled over on 9th Street to get my bearings and to grab a sandwich at their local Timmies.

Seriously I am not in the restaurant for more than 40 minutes when I see protestors out the window.  Shit the road is blocked, I will not be able to move forward, nor will I be able to go backward.  I guess I will just have to stay cool and watch the protest from my seat, so I may as well get another double double coffee.

For Christ’s sake, wouldn’t you know it!  God damn Indians.  What do they want me to give them now?

I feel like getting in my car and running right through them, I’m sure I could end that protest chop chop.  It would be my own Custard’s last stand.  Ha ha.

Well, I hope they are happy, that little parade has set me back over three hours and I absolutely hate driving in the dark.

For shit sake, I just had those tires checked.  Nice, now I have to change it in the dark and I can barely see.  Bloody Indians.

Speaking of Indians, shit here come a couple now.


I nod.

‘Do you need any help?’

I am shocked, since when do they help Chinese people.

‘We can help you push the car closer to the house and you can come have dinner with us if you would like.  Oh by the way I am Pete and this is my son Derk.’

I’m Frank.  I am already late for an appointment, so I will just get this fixed and be on my way.

They will probably try to scalp me the minute I walk in the door.  No thanks.

Instead of going in to their dinner, they give me a hand and talk about the protest Derk had attended earlier that day.

I thank them and drive off.

I keep trying to see where they fit in my image of all things Indian.  Granted, I have never talked to an Indian, I think they prefer Aboriginal.  These Aboriginals seem so different from my entrenched picture.  For one they weren’t drunk.  In reality it was as if they were like everyone else I know.  I know that can’t be right.  It must be just because I am tired.

It has been over two months since I made that trip, but I can’t believe how it has changed me.  I was so afraid of someone I had never talked to before.  So afraid because I was taught to be afraid.  I am not afraid anymore.

Holy crap guys, this was harder than I thought.  I actually had to think.  I hope some of you will try it.


Thursday, 5 June 2008

Talking To Her

Talking to her he’d felt, since earliest boyhood, as though he were stepping directly into her heart.  (The Swede talking about his mother.)

~~  Philip Roth from his book American Pastoral  ~~

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Intelligent Evolution

Last year Nathan was doing an assignment on whether or not Intelligent Design should be taught in the schools alongside Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.  I thought it was quite interesting to hear peoples’ opinions on the matter so I asked the question on Facebook.  My question was phrased “Evolution: Intelligent Design or Darwin?”

Some of the answers were:

Evolution is intelligent design.  There would be no evolution without an intelligent design.

Darwin we all evolve from something.


A combination of both.  I think that God would be better than creating a finished product, such as man and woman.  He would be more interested in setting up a complicated set of dominos that results in what we see now, and will continue to topple to produce what will be in the future.

Neither it was all in God's plan I didn't come from a monkey.

I think it started out as Darwin but ended up being technological design.

My view reflects Robbie’s view which is the first answer above.

But to take the subject a step further and answer Nathan’s question, this is what I feel.

To place the Theory of Evolution alongside Intelligent Design in classrooms would be like teaching decision making and history alongside decision making and tarot card reading.  No doubt tarot card reading can be interesting but it is not really a useful way to interpret the world.

The idea of Creationism in a homogenized Christian form is also an extremely narrow version of the story.  There are a multitude of stories on Creationism beyond the Judea-Christian version.

Teaching Religious Studies/Theology in schools is a great idea especially considering the misunderstandings between cultures involving belief systems.  This would be a better fit to teach Creationism within.

To me it seems that most of the problems arise when people insist that their truth is the only truth.  Theology is not a replacement to Science and Science is certainly not a replacement for Theology.

Why can’t we believe in both theories, to take a quote from Robbie “Evolution is intelligent design.  There would be no evolution without an intelligent design.”

I believe in evolution with God behind the wheel.  Is the problem the story of Creation?  Can God still not have created earth but spread over thousands of years opposed to seven days?

Can we not believe both theories?

Like I always do, I get sidetracked.  After all, I once swung from trees until I learned to walk upright.

The classroom is a place of learning and I feel that the Theory of Evolution belongs in the schools.  For me it would be fine to teach Creationism within a Religious Studies course but not alongside Evolution as a science course.

Science is unable to quantify everything and therefore our need for spirituality.  There are beliefs and aspects of the world that science can answer, but there are many that science cannot.

For me though, science does answer the questions on creation.

However, the overwhelming joy I feel sometimes and my overpowering sadness I also feel are not answered by science but they are answered by God.

I am comforted medically that science is there.

I am comforted spiritually that God is here.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

I Is For

I (me)
Isaac (great nephew)
Ida (Nadalene’s mother-in-law)
Irene (group counselor)
Ilona (bought angel pins for us, died of cancer)

Ivy (love it on a house)
Iguana (eat the bugs off the walls in Trinidad)
Incense (scent of a generation)
Infant (god-dust)
Immigrants (mother, husband)

Island (Trinidad and Scotland)
Imagination (gift and curse)
Ivory Tower (detached from the world)
Internet (contact)
Inside (cancer)

Ice Age (four major times in earth’s past)
Impulsive (gut reaction)
Intravenous (chemo directly into a vein)
In a heart beat (my world changed)
Isolation (place you live because people don’t want to hear it)

Ill (to say the least)
In spades (love)
Immigration (Harper government dangerous)
In hot water (serious trouble)
Ideals (truth and right, goodness and beauty)

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Regarding Josephine

There were omens everywhere you looked that great things were afoot.

Her Mom was in labour on a blue moon in May.  A Christmas delivery happened on the 1st day of June.  And I believe that the earth took a deep breath in.

I didn’t know.  I couldn’t imagine.  I never would have believed.

I was extremely ill; I couldn’t have a second chance at life could I?

I love my children.  That is one thing I know for sure.  I was a mother, not a grandmother.  I didn’t have any understanding that being a grandmother could consist of the same love and devotion that being a mother had consisted of.  I really saw my children as the miracles they are.  I never suspected.

And then I knew.

My granddaughter was born.  Josephine Renee Khan St-Hilaire has changed my life.  She has changed the life of my family.  We are better for having this chance to know her.  My Josephine has allowed me to see the miracle of the child as well, but this time without taking any of it for granted.  

Josephine has taken me out of myself.  She has put a twinkle in my eyes, a bounce in my step and love in my heart.  She has reminded me of who I am, because I had forgotten.  Josephine has bonded to my soul.  She is a Christmas gift in June and a reminder that once in a blue moon miracles can happen.

My granddaughter has done this for me.  Having Josephine in my arms or by my side has made me not feel sick anymore.  Yes, I am in pain and I don’t feel well, but I also don’t feel sick.  I feel happy and energized and useful.  I feel more like me again.

Being a grandmother to a granddaughter with such zip and personality has made me excited about life and leads me to places in my soul that I never knew existed.

The miracle and magic of my little Josephine is that there is no duplicating her.  She is one of a kind.  There is no one else in the world like her and there never has been and there never will be.

I believe that may be the essence of the magic of children.  Everything they do is as old as the hills.  But everything Josephine does is as if it has never been done before, certainly not by a mere human.  And the strangest thing is that all her firsts are firsts for the rest of us who love her.

A few weeks back I was watching, really watching, Josephine take turns dancing with Auntie Nadalene and with Grandpa.  As soon as the song would end they would put her down and she would hold her hands up for more.  And sure enough, more she would get.  I watched this go on for 40 minutes and smiled the whole time as I could see Nathan sitting on the couch making faces at her while she was dancing and Angelique taking some pictures, and then me grabbing a little dance before she held her hands back out for grandpa because after all we know who the dancing machine in this family is.  Josephine knew too.

I march with Josephine around the house, we put magnets on the fridge, we pull pots out of the cupboards, we eat our lunch, we read ‘Where Is My Binket’ in the backseat of Mommy’s car.  We have started going for a walk to the park and she swings on the baby swing.  We talk and we talk and we talk some more.  Josephine talks away telling me all kinds of wonderful things that only she and I can understand.

She gives me her “ha ha” and I give her my ‘ha ha’ right back.  And I know that no sound on earth will ever be dearer than that little “ha ha”.

The family laughs, Josephine is our entertainment, our very best book that we look forward to reading.  We can’t pull our eyes away from the page.

Josephine you have filled our hearts and have made us happy.

I love you unconditionally and beyond eternity.

To steal a line from my mother to Josephine’s mother and to make it our own ‘Happy 1st Birthday grandma’s bestest girl.’