Babuschka VJ

One twin is precocious and full of life. He jumped from the car the moment they arrived and hugged me. “Babuschka VJ!” he exclaimed. The other was asleep upon arrival and slept most of the next. He ran away when he saw me at first, and startled at any unexpected noise. “He has regressed,” his […]

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Arrival!

“Coming to Canada is like landing on an alien planet,” my friend Svetlana tells me. She arrived a month or so ago, and even with her perfect command of the English language, she struggles to make sense of our way of life. “The bus system, is going to drive me crazy,” she adds. Svetlana and […]

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Moments

The trips along the river have decreased, replaced by ongoing texts and emails. A family of cardinals, newly hatched, line our windowsills, their curiosity endearing, yet; my camera remains on the desk. My health has taken a plunge – not unexpected, but despairing. I’ve been locked away inside fighting the sludge. August the 23rd, our […]

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Are hopes and dreams stored together?

Funny thing about this house we purchased on a whim two years ago was that the basement haunted me even before we moved in. The entrance is a wide-open descent from the main foyer – in reverse of the upward rising staircases of dream homes. I would wake at night, in a sweat, fearing that […]

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A Home of Their Own

Five weeks ago, a family of five arrived on our doorstep, distraught and teary-eyed after having fled the war in Ukraine. The dad started working the next day, and the rest of us sorted out beds, groceries and necessary paperwork. Within a week, the kids started school and Mom applied for jobs. It didn’t take […]

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Alina’s Dream

“Will you please write my story, V.J.?” fourteen-year-old Alina asked me recently. She and her family have now been living with Ric and I a month. Alina is a striking young woman, calm and poised, and over the past month, I have come to appreciate the strength of her determination. We talked about interests the […]

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Life Story

I can’t focus on what I’ll be remembered for; I am too busy living my best self today.

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War Stories

The stories dwell inside me now, a gift I suppose, for a writer. The young woman, having escaped Russian occupation, who wails for her mother and eleven-year-old sister, left behind. The mother of three, who confesses that the darkness of war has all but consumed her. “My brother’s home was bombed this morning,” she writes. […]

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Something to Love

I met a woman once, so debilitated by disease that my impulse was to recoil. Then I remembered the words of one of my teachers: “There is something to love about everyone”, and I checked myself, and realized that this woman must have an incredibly strong will to live. I told her so, and noted […]

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