Be The Best.

An intro to two.

I’m going to intro you to a couple of people that I don’t know.

But..with the world of social media, the web CAN be an amazing place to connect on the journey of the new normal.

The first is Steve Ewen.

I’ve never met him.

He’s a reporter with the Vancouver Province and he’s battling cancer.  It’s a tough battle.  He’s called his blog, ‘I’m sad and mad about getting cancer’.  Actually no…he hasn’t.  His blog is called, Crush the Tumour with Humour.

It’s some amazing stories of someone going through a very tough fight but remaining positive and using humour to negotiate the new normal he and his wife find themselves living.  If I can figure it out, I’ll add it to my ‘links’ section, but here’s a quick direct link if you want to check it out.  Here’s an excerpt from today:

The bad news is that the new stitches in my back has led to our surgeon, Dr. Robert Lee, limiting my arm movements for the next two weeks. The really bad news, at least for the people at G.F. Strong and the general public around King Ed and Laurel in Vancouver, is that they’ve given me a power wheelchair.
Oh. Mercy. Think of the havoc I can cause with a motor and wheels?

Keep rockin it Steve!

The second link is from Gillian Berg, the Mission mom who lost her husband and father of their four children at Christmas.  Her writing is deep, spiritual and an amazing work of strength and vulnerability rolled into one.  An excerpt from her latest:

Last night, as my daughter asked for help, begged for prayers that would take her fear away, the fear that something else might happen, the fear that she is still in danger, I realized again that like the work needed to heal the physical wounds, there was going to be gruelling work needed to heal the emotional ones.

We, each one of us, will have to choose to stand slowly, painfully upon the limbs of our broken dreams; to endure the attacks of relentless discouragement of working towards something new; to fight for something better, something healthier.

To Steve and Gillian I would say, we all haven’t chosen our situations.  It happened.  Life happens. There is no big answer to the ‘why’ question….at least not one that may be evident in this lifetime.  We”ll simply stand with you on your journey of the new normal as so many have and are standing with us.  This is a link to the first time the term ‘the new normal’ entered our lexicon.  It’s been a fixture ever since.

Be The Best.

Valentine’s Day

This is as simple as it gets!

Our love to all and a great big bear hug and kiss on the head to Chris!  We luv ya kid.

And yes, I know Chris is saying right now, Dad, REALLY??  A freakin valentine’s heart?  REALLY?

Yup.  Really.


Be The Best.

Good morning, mourning.

Morning and Mourning.

Although I did not consult with any etymologists directly, I have been completely informed by Wikipedia and therefore am completely confident (not) that these words did not originate from similar sources.

That being said, The Online Etymology Dictionary is a very interesting place to go if you need a break from Facebook or that online poker site…(you know who you are) 😉

Being soundly beaten by my Mom (and Dad and Max) in Scrabble over the holidays has provided me with some increased motivation to study a word or two.

These words however, morning and mourning, have been kicking around in my head for months.

I really didn’t understand what the word mourning meant until we lost Chris.

After that it didn’t take long to get the true meaning of that word…and it is something that will simply be a part of us forever.

You hear of a period of mourning.  I guess in one sense that is very true, but I can’t believe that the feeling of loss and mourning will ever really disappear.

What I found interesting though was that the word morning, at least in our English language, lives in the word mourning.

Why interesting?

When I think of mourning I think of the ache of loss.  When I think of morning I think of the energy and anticipation of a new day.

Hmmm…ache of loss while still anticipating the possibilities of a new day.

Yup, I would say there definitely can be morning in mourning.

I shot this pic a few weeks back.  The winter can be seen as desolate and cold with the trees losing all their leaves.  Although this is  a shot of the sun setting on that very cold scene, to me it’s actually a sign of hope.

You know why?

After the sunset comes the morning.  The same trees will still be bare.  It will still be cold.  The mourning will still be there.  But morning, with all it’s anticipation of the future, will be there too.

Be The Best.

Chips, Cancer and Christmas Trees

The Township of Langley was contracting to Field’s Tree Services to do some work near our house this week.

I talked to the crew and they mentioned they were having a Christmas Tree chipping event this weekend at Langley’s Willowbrook Mall. (Jan 8 and 9, 9am-3pm)

All the proceeds from this location are going to cancer research through the Canadian Cancer Society.

I don’t know the story, but these things are usually personal as so many of our families are hit by cancer.

So…instead of throwing your tree along the freeway this year…you’ve got a great alternative!!

That’s Be The Best…tree chipping style.

Click for all details from Township page.

Be The Best.

Oh Mo.

It’s time for that Movember update.

This ain’t pretty.

You may want to look away.

I think Ingrid is counting the days till this thing gets removed or morphs back into the goatee or something a little easier to handle!

The cause is simple.  A cure for prostate cancer.  With what my Dad has been through this fall, it’s amazing to see what the medical community can do if they are able to get on these  afflictions early enough.  In his case it was colon cancer, but early diagnosis and treatment were key.

Whether it’s the United Way, your Church, Movember, Chris’ fund, or $2 in a Salvation Army kettle, the spirit of giving and giving to and for others is definitely in the air.

I’m just happy most causes don’t make you grow a moustache every month…or am I?

Looking at these pics again, I think I may just keep this thing…

Almost end


Be The Best.

The Fall – guest blog by Rev. Jake…aka Dad

As many of you know and have read here, my Dad, Jake Friesen, went through two surgeries in Sept and is now recouping at home.  Not one to stay down, he and Mom continue to be wonderfully positive even during some very challenging days.

I bugged Dad last week that his state of medical recovery may have kept him away from some sermons and meetings that he leads.  I suggested that he could write something for this blog and I would share it.

I didn’t expect something this deep, powerful, emotional, wonderful and poignant.  I should have known better.

Here’s my Dad, Rev. Jake Friesen and ‘The Fall’.


The ‘FALL’ (September, 2010)

In the Spring came the Fall, ill-timed and out of season.

A young man, scarcely adult, is cut down in the flower of his dreams.

That is not the end of the story, thank God.

Jesus, the Font of Life, is cut down in Spring.

But death cannot contain Him: He is raised to new life, a life He passes on to all who belong to Him and love Him.

Fall is nature’s way of shutting down, admittedly with a burst of color.

We get older, we shrivel, our bodies stumble, we die.

Yet every fading energy drives us forward to the hope of a renewed body promised us by the One Who created these bodies in the first place.

(Years back, when Max & Chris were little, we were ‘farm-sitting’ in Matsqui and had the boys visit us overnight. We treated them to some male quartet music, including the song, “I’ll have a new body; I’ll have a new life”. Somehow the boys, and specially Chris, latched onto that song, and got very excited about it. Little did we dream he would be applying for that new body so soon…)

We give thanks to the One who allowed The Fall to challenge Him in the Spring-time, so that He might become the Rescuer of all who would be touched by the Fall, whenever in their lifetime…

Be The Best.

Trucker hats, running shoes and walking the new normal.

First, a thank-you to all of you for the thoughts and prayers and support for my Dad going into surgery today.

The Docs were pleased with how things went and Dad (Jake) will be spending the next 5 days or so in the hospital getting stronger.

He was already joking with the nurses with some bad puns tonight…hmmm…wonder where I get that from…

So what do you do before surgery?  Go for a walk of course and get some exercise even if you haven’t eaten in 2 days.  Of course you do….if your name is Jake Friesen.

We had a great walk today and I realized that Dad was wearing the trucker hat Ingrid and I had given him from Chris.  This was Chris’ favourite hat at the time of his passing and his Grandpa was the logical person to wear it.  If you haven’t yet, you can see Chris trying it on Grandpa last New Years and the related blog post.

I also was wearing my hand-me-up sneakers from Chris that I wrote about the other week.

So here we were having a little stroll and Chris was with us as Dad prepared for his fight with cancer and surgery later that day.

Couldn’t imagine a better Be The Best moment.

And as I put at the end of the little video, anytime is a good time.

In other words, anytime is a GOOD time…ie, even though our family is together here to support Dad through his battle (and Mom with hers), we can still have fun, laugh and get a little exercise.

The other meaning of course is that ANYTIME is a good time to go for a walk, have a chat, build a relationship, play tennis, go skiing, go hiking, play scrabble, have dinner with family, play ping-pong or anything else you can think of.

I loved that Chris joined us today too.  Love ya kid.