Be The Best.

The long and the short of it.

I wrote a few lines the other day and just couldn’t hit the ‘publish’ button.

The thoughts were plenty deep and plenty real, but like a good wine, they have now aged an appropriate time and I can provide some greater context.

This Christmas season is not the easiest as you can imagine.

Christmas is all about family, food, traditions.

Of course that invokes memories.  That’s not a bad thing…not at all.  It’s just that this being our first Christmas without Chris, really feels weird.  You shouldn’t take the Chris out of Christmas right?  (yes, this is a a very bad pun at an inappropriate time…but that’s how we roll in this family!)

I wrote these four lines the other day.  They just sort of blurted out of my head.

How broken is my heart?

How deep is my love.

How deep is my love?

How broken is my heart.

One of the things I’ve realized is that the pain we feel, and so many of you feel too, is simply symbolic of the love we had and have for Chris.  You CANNOT have a broken heart if you had no love.  Plain and simple.

For some of you, you never had a chance to meet this kid in person.

He was amazing.  He would light up a room when we walked/bounced/stormed in!

His spirit now lights up many hearts and rooms.

We get through these times by making decisions, giving, and even taking shots in the dark.

If you’ve read this blog before, all of the above will make sense.  If you haven’t…you’ve got some work to do!

That’s the long.  Here’s the short.

I had pieces of two batches of shortbread cookies last night.

Both were unbelievable.  Those of you who know me know I don’t eat wheat so these were rice flour shortbread cookies.  They are hard to find and hard to make.

Yet two different people went out of their way in a gesture of kindness to show us that they were thinking of us at Christmas.

I’m telling you, we are again humbled by these act of kindness.  They not only help us through this journey, but it burns in my mind the incredible positive impact that the action of giving can produce.

I put a few bucks into a Salvation Army kettle last night like so many us have done on this and every other holiday season.  This time though I had more of a sense than ever about how any act, even one so small,  can make an impact.

That’s the long and short of it.

Be The Best.

Tall Long Pour Americano with room.

Yep.  That’s my usual at ‘rhymes with Moonshucks’ coffee house.

If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend.  The long pour pulls more coffee out of the shot and provides that crema foam.  But enough about coffee…for now.

Last week, we took a nice long walk to one of the local coffee shops for this exact drink and my Better Half’s double tall latte.

In front of us in the line-up was a Dad pulling a big red plastic wagon with his two sons probably aged 4ish and 2ish waiting patiently.  Here’s how boys wait patiently.  A little pushing, a little poking, and a little talking (ok, grunting).

I watched them as Dad gathered the drinks and sat down, somehow managing to steer that wagon through the tables and chairs.  One of the boys slurped too quickly on his milk straw and sort jumped in surprise.  Dad laughed and soon they were all laughing and you could see this Dad drinking it all in…literally.  Coffee and time with his kids.

At first I felt a pang of sadness knowing that those times with Chris on this earth are complete.

But then an interesting thing happened.  I felt an amazing sense of happiness and privilege for each and every moment I had with my two sons as they grew up.  We had so many moments just like that Dad was having with his sons.  Goofy stuff.  Like the time I took an old half rotted wooden trampoline frame, cut out the bad parts and put the rest up in a tree as a tree fort.  Working around the yard together.  Trips, sports and just having a snack.

I am so very grateful.

That Dad didn’t know it…but he was having an experience that money can never buy.  His coffee may have had room too…room for a whole lot of memories that will last him a lifetime.

Be The Best.

Elephant Boy.

November 2006.

A family get together.

The cousins doing their cousin thing…having fun and goofing around.

Chris had this knack of peeling a mandarin orange in such a way that it became an elephant trunk.

Try it if you dare.

That kid could make anyone laugh…and feel comfortable and safe and secure and loved.

He had a skill for that too.

Bri, Chris, Jess, Jonathan, Pera and Max ready for some ice cream.

Be The Best.

The 7:45am ‘Brunch’.

Gluten free waffles (of course), Grandma's peaches and yogurt.

Brunch is served…at 7:45am.

Yes, I know to qualify as ‘brunch’ the meal must be served after 10am.  How do I know this?  Cause I lernt it on the interweb…!  Yes, according to the always accurate Wikipedia site, a meal consumed before 10am cannot be considered brunch.

Wow.  This throws my whole family history into a jeopardy.  It could be because of the Mennonite heritage of milking the cows (I’ve never milked a cow but I’ve gathered a lot of eggs and caught a lot of chickens in my day…) and doing chores before breakfast or simply that I tend to be a ‘morning person’, ‘brunch’ has been consumed many many times before 10am in this household.  As the Chief Brunch Maker in this family and for all those who believe brunch can be eaten before 10am, I may add an addendum to that Wikipedia site…

Yes, these are real pictures of today's 'brunch'.

In any event, Sunday breakfast/brunch was a big deal in our house.  We not only had a big breakfast that got bigger as Max and Chris got older, but it was a family moment as well.   We usually had our weekly ‘family meeting’ post brunch and then as they got older and schedules more difficult, the family meeting happened after Sunday dinner.  It was a few moments in the week to discuss schedules, coordinate plans and discuss things.

Ingrid, Max and I have been talking weekly and coordinating our lives in the past few months, but I haven’t made a real solid Sunday brunch since March 25.  But I did today.  The reason it was so early (aside from personality/culture ‘issues’ as indicated above) was that Max had to head to the pool for Life-guarding duty.  Ingrid, sensibly enough, is still sleeping.

I’ll cook her a more traditional brunch served between 10am and 1pm.


Technorati code: VMYVTKGYDZYV