Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from October, 2012

Your Vote Needed!

By Belinda

One of Paul's deep callings is to come alongside the First Nations of northern Ontario personally and by encouraging others to supporttheir efforts to build strong communities where young people grow up with a sense of their value and worth.

The North South Partnership needs our votes as they compete for funding for a beautiful synthetic ice rink for Nibinamik First Nation!. Check out their creative video and follow this link to vote.  Click on this link https://www.avivacommunityfund.org/ideas/acf13476 and vote! As the grandmother of 3 hockey players I support this great project for children!

The Story Continues...

By Belinda

We waited in the emergency department at Langley Memorial Hospital until it was Mum's turn to be treated.

The nurse attending her exclaimed at the dressing on her arm. "Who did this?" she wanted to know, "This isn't just any dressing."

"It was a vet!" we took delight in telling her.

"Well," she said, laughing, "You should be careful, they shoot horses you know."

As usual wherever I went with Mum, a party was happening, even in the middle of a stressful situation. 

I hurt with her as I saw the nasty gash in her arm, thinking that the fragile skin would be hard to stitch together. I wished that it was my arm into which the doctor put the long needle loaded with anesthetic. Thirteen stitches later it was over, and we were on our way to enjoy the wonderful wedding with dear friends that was the real reason for our trip to British Columbia.

We had certainly not been quiet, unobtrusive guests so far, to Cors and Ank, Ingrid's…

Holocaust Education Week Coming Up!

By Belinda
Note: I almost forgot to add that this post was submitted as Whatever He Says's entry in Dave Hingsburger's 6th Annual Disability Blog Carnival!

My continuing story about Mum is not forgotten, but the 32nd annual Holocaust Education starts next week (it runs from November 1-8,) and this year I intend to participate in it by attending as many local events as I can manage. I reviewed the brochure, Culture of Memory,  published by the Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre in Toronto and chose carefully from an overwhelming number of options.

Yesterday I had the honour of attending the grand opening ceremony of The Maxwell and Ruth Leroy Holocaust Remembrance Garden, at the Reena Community Residence in the City of Vaughan.

Paul had the greater honour of having participated for two years on the committee designing the garden and of being the keynote speaker. Sometime in the next week I will share a story, or maybe more than one, from yesterday, but for today I…

Canadian Blog Awards Reminder

By Belinda

Dave beat me to this gentle reminder not to miss voting in the Canadian Blog Awards! The site is a great place to visit to discover new and interesting blogs that you might otherwise not know of.

Dave's blog Rolling Around in My Head is nominated in two categories: Best Personal Blog and Best Health Blog. Whatever He Says is nominated in Best Religion or Philosophy Blog.

You can vote by clicking here. :) Voting in round 1 ends November 1!

Signs of Grace

By Belinda

After our misadventures of the night before, Mum and I woke up on the day of the wedding that we had traveled so far to attend, in the well appointed comfort of the de Lint's guest cabin.  

I peeked through the slat of a blind and saw that we were in beautiful natural surroundings, with mountains beyond the trees that encircled the cabin.

We had not been up long when Cors de Lint came over from the house to check on his "patient." 

As he carefully unwrapped the dressing that he had applied in the early hours of the morning, we both saw that the jagged gash was serious and in need of medical attention. 

This only confirmed my assessment of the night before but we were grateful to at least have been refreshed by a few hours of sleep before going to Langley Memorial Hospital. 

With Cors' directions we dressed for the wedding but set off for the hospital instead of the luncheon at Ingrid and Arthur's home We had no choice but to go with a different flow than we …

Let Go and Let God

My cousin Deborah, sent me a link to this song by  Olivia Newton-John .  Maybe someone else will be as blessed as I was by the simple message of surrender. Belinda

Emergency!

By Belinda

At dinner on the eve of the wedding, my friend Ingrid leaned over and pointed out an animated, slim, woman with short blond hair who was laughing as she talked to someone. "That's Ank, whose guest house you'll be staying in," she said. 
As the celebratory meal wound down, she introduced us to Ank, and Cors her husband; tall, trim and grey haired, a retired veterinary surgeon. After brief "hello's!" we prepared to follow them to their home, a little out of town.
It was already late evening and dark when we got there, and Ank showed us to the guest house on their property, a short distance from their bungalow. 
On the door of the guest house, or "cabin," as they called it, hung a sign that said, "Mi Casa Es Tu Casa," "my home is your home," in Spanish. That turned out to be an indication of the warm hospitality that awaited us.

Ank quickly showed us around the two bedroomed guest house that contained everything we could…

BC Landing

By Belinda (emerging from a busy week and back to continue the story!)

The plane circled over the Pacific on its approach to Vancouver airport. The islands off the coast of British Columbia, the blues and greens of the ocean, took my breath away with their beauty.

Mum and I had passed the time on the plane journey, in the past, tracing the forming of friendships almost 60 years ago, one of which had brought us to this place, here and now. I wrote down every detail. The friend who wrote letters to her fiance in Holland, while hidden behind the curtains of the stage of the lecture hall in the hospital they worked in, would be known to me as Tante Mies, tall, elegant and beautiful. Her fiancee would one day be our beloved "Ome Bart," with brown eyes always twinkling with mischief, a playful smile ever ready at the corner of his lips. They were as loved by us as our blood relatives.

We were about to enter a sub-culture of British Columbia; the flourishing Dutch community of the Van…
By Belinda

Two days after Mum arrived in Ontario in September of 2003, we were in the air together, on our way to British Columbia.We were going for a wedding and would be there for five precious days!

The bride, was the daughter of my friend of 50 plus years, Ingrid. Ingrid is the niece of Mum's friend of almost 60 years, my Tante Mies. So many connections of the heart.

In my hand luggage as always, I had packed a small journal, this one with two pairs of hands on its cover; a younger pair holding a pair that were slightly wrinkled, below which were two words: "Life's Journey."

Alone together, with the luxury of several hours ahead on the plane journey, I pulled out the journal and began to pepper Mum with questions.

I learned the details of Mum's travels back and forth between Holland and England, starting in January 1947, and her friendships, up to 1949 when Tante Mies came to England to spend a few months working in the same hospital as Mum, before her wedding to …

Looking Back

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;Christina G. Rossetti

The words of Christina G. Rossetti's Christmas carol perfectly describe the bitter cold of the January day in England on which Dad was buried, less than eight months before, Mum had arrived to spend a month with us in Canada in the fall of that year. Thursday, January 30, 2003 was sunny, but gnawing cold, foreshadowing the snow that came with evening. 

Rob wore a  rented gray suit, shirt and tie, and looked dignified in the overcoat I had helped him choose. 

We had been dreading the day, and prepared in our own ways, to endure it.

Mum, who never in her life had an extensive wardrobe, wore a simple black suit and ivory blouse that we had bought together at British Home Stores a few days earlier. 

Both Rob and I inherited our height from Dad who was still a fine figure of a man, when he died at 81; 6 feet tall. Mum, on the other hand, always joked that when she had applied f…

Annus Horribilis

By Belinda

The Queen had one in 1992, and I had mine in 2003. My own, personal Annus Horribilis.

On the eve of the new year 2003, Dad was taken to hospital and died before the end of January. Between Christmas and the end of January I flew to England and back twice; once to be with him and the second time to help plan his funeral with Mum and Rob and say goodbye to him one bitterly cold January day.

In May, a dear friend of our family, Stanley Houseman, a man with intellectual disabilities known as Poppa Stan to our grandchildren, died. He had been part of our lives for almost 40 years and we loved him dearly. 

And then in July, another old friend with disabilities died, who I knew because she had been supported by our agency before moving to a nursing home: Evelyn, who can still bring a room alive with just the shadow of her memory when we talk about her. She nearly drove us all insane, but oh, I loved her, and I think she might have loved me, if she could have got beyond the next plan t…

Quick Note!

By Belinda

It has been a while since I've written memoir posts, but whenever I have, readers have seemed to enjoy going back in time with me.

Over Thanksgiving weekend I pulled my box of journals out of storage to try to find the description of a particular Autumn day I was sure I had captured in writing. I couldn't find it, but I read instead about the time of Mum's stroke in 2003, and the months following. I have written about some of it before in smidges, but I'm going to try to pull a little more detail out of the journal  in a series of upcoming posts.

Just wanted to let you know where I'm headed. Coming along? :)

The Canadian Blog Awards

By Belinda

Whatever He Says has been nominated in the Canadian Blog Awards in the Best Religious Philosophy Blog category. I am honoured--and would greatly appreciate your vote--you can vote even if you are not Canadian! 

My friend Dave, whose blog Rolling Around in My Head is on my daily "must read" list, is also nominated. If you would like to vote for him, he is nominated in the category of Best Personal Blog  (where you would vote for Dave Hingsburger) and for Best Health Blog, where you would vote for Rolling Around in my Head.

Let the fun--and voting, begin! :)

She Had a Plan

By Belinda

I'd been working hard all week trying do better at slowing down and focusing. Although it sounds like an oxymoron, I realize that my Blackberry conditioned hair trigger response to incoming stimuli is counterproductive in terms of efficiency. I have to learn to calm my brain and focus on the task at hand in order to get beyond the immediate influx. 


So at lunchtime on Friday when I had a couple of errands to run--a trip to the post office, and to the florist to order some flowers for a sick colleague, I thought it efficient to type out the name, address and phone number, as well as the encouraging message to accompany the flowers, with the names of our each of our team. It was printed out in large font to make it easy for the person placing the order.

It was invigorating to step out into the fresh fall air and bright sunshine. The small town of Bradford was bustling with traffic and busy shoppers getting ready for the Thanksgiving weekend. 

I briefly paused at the florist&#…

Sunday Summation

By Belinda

In honour of the late Rich Mullins, whose music and heart I love, I share this recording of his song, "Creed," by Third Day and Brandon Heath.

Fish, Birds and Furry Things

Introduction by Belinda:

An anonymous friend left this story in a comment on my post, Just Saying...It's Been a Good Week, and it was too funny to leave hidden in the comments. So with her permission--enjoy!
********************************************************
Well - thank you for help with my diet. Won't be eating pasta for a while :-)!! Makes you wonder. 

The motion sensored fishy made me smile too. I had bought a motion sensored bird that actually calls out it's matching call. (Don't ask me what kind of bird - it's yellow - that is the extent of my ornitholology.) I bought it to "annoy" one of my very uptight co-workers. The kind that turn their noses up at any stuffies or chitz-pa on or around ones workspace. I knew this would drive him crazy whenever he walked by...just to tease for a few days. It had it's desired effect. 

So home it went (not worth getting fired for...ha ha). Kind of forgot about it after placing it that evening in an alcove in t…

Just Saying--It's Been a Good Week...

By Belinda

It's almost Thursday, which feels like almost the weekend, and in Canada it is Thanksgiving weekend.

So I thought I'd share some moments from the past week that made me smile and for which I'm grateful.

These moments have been with the people I work to support. Since my office is in a group home, I have the joy of daily reminders of why I do what I do.

Because we are a not for profit organization we are grateful recipients weekly of a drop off by another charitable organization: Lifecorps. They do a lot of amazing work internationally, but we get the delicious surplus bread and sometimes pastries from a local bakery.

One of the people we support calls all of our agency's other nearby group homes, to tell the staff that the bread has arrived, and remind them to come and get some for the homes they work in if they can use it. 

Last week I noticed that this time there some large bags of pasta. 

"Take some," she said, urging me to share the largesse. I thanke…

Summer Past, Part 4

By Belinda

When we got to the hotel where we all went for refreshments after the church service, Dave wanted to know what I thought of the church. 

I had so much to process that I stalled for time! Two months later I'm not sure I'm any more coherent than I was then, but I want to pour out some of my impressions and thoughts here. It just seems important to do so at last.

First of all, I was struck by the intense sense of community that I felt immediately. I guess that shouldn't be a surprise, since I would think that community is most precious of all to those who have experienced such rejection outside of it. 

But for all that, it wasn't an accidental community. I read the bulletin and I had already checked out the website. MCC is a huge organization. I just rechecked the website and they have an impressive new one. The website says that there are over 800 congregants. I can't even imagine the work that it takes to care for the spiritual and practical needs of a church…