Sunday, 23 September 2012

Home Sweet Home

I would just like to start this post by saying, “I haven’t abandoned my blog…really.” I have just been extremely busy and today I can finally sit down and take a load off literally and tell my story. Yesterday, we cleared out the remainder of our things and handed over the keys of our dream house to complete strangers. The house Mike and I always said we would grow old in together now belongs to other people. But it’s okay because what I have learned is that home is where the love is, or like the Vancouver Province newspaper put it on their front page Friday; ‘Home is Where the Parents Are’.

When I picked up the paper and read the front page I told Mike it’s exactly what I was going to tell Madison. And it’s exactly how I felt for years after I moved out and got married and had children. When I went to my parent’s house, it always felt like home. It wasn’t necessarily the house they lived in; it was being wherever they were. A visit to the refrigerator and a little lie-down on their coach and some comforting and encouraging words from them and that was home.
Anyway, Mike and I moved out of our house and in with my sister and brother in law in the middle of July. They generously invited us to live in their ground level basement when Mike started struggling with the stairs in our house. We definitely procrastinated and should have left sooner, but didn’t want to leave the home we loved…we held on as long as we could (we also held on for dear life to the railing of the stairs going up and down every morning and night). We contemplated keeping our house and renting it out, but also put it on the marked to see what would happen. We put our house up for sale in June and it sold at the end of July…the day after we took it off the market. We knew it was for the best but when the subjects were removed at the end of August, it was very bitter sweet.

Madison was a little out of sorts a couple of weeks leading up to her move to university in Calgary, Alberta and it didn’t take us long to figure out why. I was sure it had something to do with moving away from home and not having her home to come home to at Christmas and for summer break. Not only that, she had to give her dog and cats away as well.
Our dog Molly, was commonly referred to as ‘Madison’s dog’ when she was being disobedient. “Madison, your dog is down the road.” “Madison, your dog is digging a hole in the front yard.” “Madison, your dog is eating the cat’s food.” When Molly was being good, she was ‘our’ dog. Well, I dropped our dog, Molly off at her new home last week. Our friends, Alison, Raj, Christian and Taylor welcomed Molly into their home with open arms (Nathan and Christain have been good friends since grade 8). The Hardies are not only friends, but relatives through marriage, so it was such a blessing and an answer to prayer that Molly stayed in the family.

A few things I’d like to say:
Even though we have had to give up our house, our dog and cats, lots of things and some hopes and dreams, I still feel like the luckiest girl in the world. We have great kids, a beautiful granddaughter, and amazing family and friends. ALS can’t take that away from us.

To my children – Home is where your parents are…wherever we are is home and you are always welcome home!
To my sister Elanna and brother-in-law, Peter and kids, Michaela and Luke – Thanks for welcoming us into your home and making your home our home…we love it here. Thanks also for renovating the bathroom to make it wheel chair accessible.

To the Hardies – Thanks for loving our dog Molly and giving her a great home. We miss her a lot already, but we are so happy for her!
One last thought: The most important things in life aren’t ‘things’ at all!

          Molly's new home sweet home...or as Raj called her Miss Molly Sands-Hardie with Alison, Christian and Raj (Taylor not pictured)
                                          Bye bye sweet was nice knowing you
     Mike taking a shower in our newly renovated bathroom at my sister's house...thanks Peter and Kevin, you did a great job on the bathroom!

Monday, 3 September 2012

My, How Time Flies

Why does time have to fly? Why can’t it crawl, or walk, or stroll…or even jog? Why does it have to fly? Time flies, so I guess it has wings and what I’ve noticed as it gains momentum, it just goes faster and faster.

I remember when my children were little, mothers with older children would tell me to enjoy it while it lasts, because time flies and before you know it, they’re all grown up. I would politely say something like, “Oh really?” But inside I was rolling my eyes and saying something like, “Whatever lady.” I take it back now and I wish I could turn the clock back a little too.
It feels just like yesterday I dropped my youngest child off at kindergarten. I cried then and I cried last week when we dropped her off at university. I will always be my children’s mother and I hope they will always need me to some degree, but a chapter in my life has just come to an end and I’m a little sad.

Some parents are happy when that last one leaves the nest, but I’m just not ready for it yet. It’s the end of child rearing I guess and that was my job, my joy, the biggest and best assignment of my life. In the 23 years that I have been a mom, I have made hundreds of peanut butter and jam sandwiches, I have driven to hundreds of practices and I’ve given hundreds of pep talks. I’ve done thousands of loads of laundry; I have given thousands of good night kisses and said thousands of late night prayers. I have baked dozens of cookies and cupcakes, I have made dozens of Halloween costumes, I have thrown dozens of birthday parties and I have bandaged dozens of scraped knees…dance recitals and public speaking contests, hockey games and field trips, Christmas concerts and school plays and on and on the list goes…most mothers know exactly what I’m talking about.
This weekend at Luke’s (my 11 year old nephew) soccer game, I got so excited when he scored a goal and received the MVP award at the end of the game. I thought to myself that perhaps my child rearing days are over, but my child cheering days aren’t. I was at the same soccer field my children played at most Labour Day weekends and here I was again with the same grand purpose in life; to cheer for a young person I love and his team mates and to celebrate with them their accomplishments and encourage them when they make mistakes (at soccer and in life). I just wanted to yell out to the parents all around me, “Enjoy it while it lasts, because time flies and before you know it, they’re all grown up!” (I'd overlook a little eye rolling)

Yesterday, my oldest daughter Erin, sent me a picture and a post on Facebook. It was the picture below and it said this: I was emptying out your dresser when I found these. I can't believe you kept them! I have so many memories of you driving me to ballet and always stopping for a cone. I guess some things never change eh? haha. I love you mom!

Take it from a guy like Mike who has been told his days are numbered (all our days are numbered). He would say, “Enjoy every minute of it!”
                               Mike on the ice with his kids - Nathan, Erin, Madison - March 2011
                                     Erin and Nathan in angel costumes (about 4 and 3 yrs old)
       Dropping Madison off last week for her first hockey practice at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta.
A special thanks to Mike's sister, Aileen, who helped us move Madison. Aileen did most of the driving and was a huge help! Here, Mike and Aileen are helping Madison get groceries.