Birthday Art

I started the tradition – a challenge really – to create a painting for each of my family members’ birthdays. The challenge continues, as the birthdays keep coming. What to paint for my daughter-in-law, who has already claimed many of my art pieces? I wanted something personal and meaningful, so I decided to tackle an […]

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To All Aspiring Dads

” I’m worried about my generation, Mom. There are so few male role models to set an example, how are we supposed to know how to live our lives?” My son was fifteen when he shared this concern with me. Having watched his own father turn his back during our divorce, and witnessing the same […]

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The Father I Miss

Father abhorred laziness. “The idle mind is the Devil’s playground!” he’d say. Or: “What are you trying to do; win the horizontal championship?” Well, I’m the horizontal champion now, thanks to illness. Wonder what he’d say about that? Still, I’m not lazy. To my face he was hardcore, unless he was soppy drunk, then the […]

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V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #40: Things My Father Said*

(* or any male of influence growing up.) I can’t count the number of times my father’s words hover over me, even though he’s been gone since 2005. He was the king of platitudes – constantly quoting (and making us recite) the works of Dale Carnegie, or Norman Vincent Peale. “Mind over matter,” he’d say […]

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Tell Us A Story, Grandma!

“Tell us a story, Grandma! Tell us about when you were a girl?” The question throws me. First, because childhood is so far away, but secondly, because my stories are tainted with pain and hurt. Looking into this pair of eager eyes though, I know they want a story filled with good will and hope. […]

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Her Colours

Red and white – coloursof a sister’s soul – I mournvibrancy’s passing. (Cee’s Flower of the Day.)

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The Book Club

“I’ve just been reading about you in the bathtub. That is you in the bathtub, right? At least that’s how I read it.” It’s Mom. Calling to check up on how I’m doing. She’s been worried about me since I travelled home to see her. She’s referring to a poem I wrote: A Body in the Bathtub. “Yes, it […]

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Nailed It Dad!

Did you try some of the soup, Mom? I glanced around at the many pans, ingredients, and baking paraphernalia lining the kitchen counters; not to mention my son-in-law and granddaughter who where firmly planted at the stove. No, I messaged back. It’s a little busy here. An unexpected trip back to Ontario landed me smack […]

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Bedside Conversations

“Mom, I want you to know that I don’t harbour any ill will toward our past. If I seek to know what happened, it is only to understand myself so that I might heal.” Mom nods, considers my words. “There is so much I could have done differently.” “No. You did what you could with […]

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Plans Change

‘Transition’ is the focus of my challenge this week. At the time of composing, I thought I would be reviewing last year’s lessons and gifts and preparing myself to greet the new. Life, of course, seldom fits into our neatly packaged plans. As I write this, I’m sitting in a hotel room, with my alarm […]

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