There is always something peculiar about the end of May. Well not really peculiar, more like a month’s reminder of an anniversary fast approaching.

I am sitting here in my living room, watching an episode of the West Wing. The episode, The Long Goodbye, has brought to the surface memories of my Dad.

Now these posts, which there have been far to few, were to focus on kindness and I will eventually get to the point of this one. Please be patient.

I remember the difficulty I had writing the words I was going to have to share with family, friends and people I didn’t know. I couldn’t get through the drafts, the countless drafts without being overcome with great sadness and tears.

I was taught that when writing, choose a theme and build your story around that central theme. So, for my Dad’s eulogy, I focused on his kindness.

I shared the story of how he helped out an elderly couple, whose car had broken down on a remote northern highway during a winter storm and how he drove them several hundred kilometres to their home. I shared the story of how we would wake up some mornings and have complete strangers at the breakfast table. These strangers were people my Dad had offered rides to up high in his 18-Wheeler.

I shared stories of how these strangers would stay for a few days or in some cases a few months. I shared stories of how my Dad made sure, when at the parting of ways, that they were not hungry or had enough money. In the main, I shared stories of my Dad’s kindness.

Tomorrow I will run my first 1/2 Marathon and my Dad will be on my mind. His kindness and what he shared with me will hopefully propel me towards the finish line. These thoughts of kindness and the gift my Dad gave me will be fuelled even more by the thousands of supporters, family, friends and strangers, who will be cheering on mass of runners.

These supporters and their kindness are much appreciated.

See you at the finish line.


Getting reconnected…

April 5, 2010

I tried to use sleep as a sedative, as a means of forgetting, but it didn’t work. I couldn’t enter the world of R.E.M. I just couldn’t find that peaceful place.

I realized that I was faced with my loneliness – a loneliness so much colder and bitter then the weather outside. I realized I can no-longer retreat into that often visited place of denial – a place where I am afraid of facing that ‘difficult conversation’ and avoid facing the tiger.

I needed to be honest with my family. I needed to be honest with my friends. I needed to be honest with myself.

So what did I do today? I picked up my Dad’s guitar. I tuned it. I played it. I sang.

I played for over an hour today. I sang the same songs over and over again. The funny thing is, the songs didn’t get boring. I was living in the moment. I was enjoying being where I was. I was having fun. I was getting reconnected.