Be The Best.

Yearnin for Vernon

My Dad used that phrase a lot to help my Mom support the vision of a Vernon retirement about 13 years ago.

I’m Yearnin for Vernon he would say.

After another weekend visit, I’ll say I love Vernon, but I’m yearnin not to go up there every other weekend…!

We took the beautiful drive from Sun Peaks through Kamloops to Vernon Jubilee Hospital where we saw not one, but two parents on different floors.

Then something cool happened.

Dad was well enough to go for an adventure, and after Grace paved the way with the Nurses looking after Mom, Max and Ingrid negotiated a wheel chair and we took Dad to see his bride.  He told us he may be emotional and he was a bit.  These two still are deeply in love after 55 years plus…really great to see.

We also showed Mom and Dad the video from yesterday’s blog and Dad’s skis at the chapel in the sky at the top of Sun Peaks.  That was sort of cool.

Mom’s immunity continues low because of chemo treatment but her spirit was a strong as ever.  Currently a severe ear infection has her hospitalized.  As hard as it was to see her in a hospital bed, she’s getting good care.

Dad is unattached from all hoses and tubes which is a great thing!  He is moving on to short-term care in another facility before heading home once Mom is more fully recovered.

Someone asked me what more our family could take given the past year with losing Chris and current circumstances with my folks and my sister’s heart attack.

That answer is relatively simple.

Some things we can control and some are not within our control.

But…the one thing we ALWAYS control is our ability to make the next decision.  Simple things like making the decision to head to Vernon today.  I was very happy to have the chance for Max to see and talk with his Grandma and Grandpa with Ingrid as well.

You can’t buy those moments.  Every one is exceedingly special.

In a light-hearted exchange I told Dad that Max would be voting for the first time this election and that he was voting for the Green party (not that there is anything wrong with that!).  My Dad is a staunch Reformer/Conservative complete with official calendars of Stephen Harper wearing what appears to be a different sweater each month.  The look that Dad shot at Max was priceless and then Max admitted he was actually probably leaning towards Mark Warawa (Conservative), but he might need a calendar.  No problem Dad said, he had an extra.

Dad floats between that kind of sharpness and some less sharp times but his colour is good and the prognosis is pretty decent at this stage.

For every conversation and every ability to share a laugh…we are exceptionally thankful.  We controlled the ability to have that moment and took it.

Rock your week.

Be The Best.

Look close, ‘giving’ is a part of ‘grieving’.

Chris' Grandma and Grandpa above Okanagan Lake

Vernon is a picturesque 70 minute drive from Kamloops.  Ingrid and I blitzed up there on Saturday to have lunch with my sister, AC (Cathy AJ Hardy) who had some weekend concerts in the Okanagan and also my parents who live in Vernon.  In honour of Mother’s Day (yes, I know it’s next week!), we took Mom out to the restaurant at Gray Monk Winery just south of Vernon.  Editorial: Great food, service and wine. Go.

Do these people look like they’re in their upper 70’s or late 50’s? It’s hard to tell!

Chris and Max loved going to Grandma and Grandpa’s house.  When they moved to Vernon, the adventures would usually be week long summer jaunts that included hiking, biking, swimming and the now famous, ‘midnight snack’!  Another highlight was word games which Mom and Dad still play daily.  Scrabble and Boggle were constants or should I say consonants.

I’m not sure why, but I was thinking about the noun GRIEF and the VERB GRIEVE this week.  Grieve is an ‘action word’ if we remember our high school English teachers.  Then I saw something very interesting.  The word GIVE lives inside the word GRIEVE.  We have been blown away by people giving to us during this time.  I write this post from the Boomer family home in Kamloops where they’ve been so incredibly wonderful to us.  (when Langley plays Kamloops today at 1130 in the semi’s we are really going to be in a pickle!!)  From the lacrosse families to my brother-in-law in Vernon (Steve Wulff) who made me speechless yesterday when re presented Ingrid and I with a pencil drawing of Chris…the GIVING has been incredible.

Let me also tell you that our ability to GIVE has been helping us.  A simple act like taking family for lunch or providing support to others has been incredibly helpful for us as well as we continue to find the ‘new normal’.

Is GIVING part of GRIEVING?  Yes…it’s there in black and white.

Be The Best.

Kamloops and the ‘new normal’.

We went to a lacrosse tournament without Chris this weekend.  We couldn’t stay away.  The Alan Price Memorial Tournament is held each year in early May and Chris and the Langley Thunder have been a part of the event for at least 4 years as memory serves. The people in Kamloops are just fantastic.  (thank you Boomers for opening your home to us!!)

Chris takes on Larson Hill en route to Loops 2009.

This tournament was always a favourite. In fact last year at this same tournie, it was a father/son trip with Chris at the wheel just weeks after getting his ‘L’. What was I thinking? I figured out what those handles are for that passengers can hold onto.  I snapped a quick pic with my blackberry for this white knuckle, hands position 10 and 2, full concentration shot you see here. All in all he did a great job and it was a great experience.  You can see some 2009 action below (Chris is #2) including Riley, the Langley goalie swallowing a tough Kamloops player after a mega hit.  To make things more interesting I met the brother and mom of that Kamloops player (Justice) last night.  I think his younger brother was quite impressed that he had a brother starring on Youtube!

Rhys and James again make me look small!

Check it out.  More on the Loops and the amazing people up here in Sunday’s post.

It is good to be here.  It is good to be with amazing people who have stood with us. It is good to see those Langley players wearing that patch (amazing). It is great to talk to so many and continue to feel the support.

As hard as this is, it’s good too.  Very good.  This is all part of the ‘new normal’.