Just wondering

The other day at the soup kitchen I sat and chatted with three women who are regulars.  One was quite sad looking, her skin had a greyish hue and it looked like life had been hard on her. 

life has been hard on her lately – breast cancer and the chemo has taken its toll and she is not finished yet.  Hair loss happened early so she was sporting an obvious wig.

She made a comment about the fellow who had joined us that day to work off some community service time for a traffic violation – he pastors a downtown street church.  She had visited there one day and some of the street kids who dropped in had begun to make fun of her.  That hurt her.  Someone else made the comment that kids have no respect anymore.

I wonder what it is that causes this lack of respect.  Is it loss of a sense of community?  Would they have made fun of someone they knew as an older auntie?  Are they simply so ignorant that they would make fun of someone whose body is being attacked by cancer?  They probably had no clue but would some knowledge have changed their behaviour?

Many things to wonder about.  Her friends cared enough to commiserate with her.  I doubt the church man even knew.  I wonder if I will see her again and if my knowing will make a difference.

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Playing with the pipers

That was fun.  When one is playing a single instrument with a whole orchestra and about twelve pipers and drummers, being a little bit off or missing a note is not a big deal.  It was fun to just sort of let go and play and not worry too much about the fine tuning!

The PA Strings did play three pieces on our own.  The 1st Symphony by Boyce, especially the first movement is my biggest challenge.  It is  fast and hard to make all the note changes.  But I love the second movement – all pizzicato and slow.  And Folk Tune Air and Schindler’s list also slow and with feeling. 

So it went well. 

That is the last time we play together this season.  Next season will be interesting from my perspective.  Two of our other bassists will be gone.  Jenelle goes off to teach in Belgium and Kate leaves for post secondary education, wanting to become a pilot.  I’m glad it will be my third year with this instrument.  It does get easier every year.

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So, we’re a little bit late

It was declared to be Tartan Day to honor our Scottish heritage on April 6.  Well, some of us (not me) have some Scottish heritage.  PA is just a bit late since Apr. 6th did not work out for the local Scots.  Tonight, 7:30 at Rivier Academy there will be much playing of the pipes and drums as well as some other orchestrations. 

So, off I go lugging my bass.  Playing a few tunes to lighten our northern isolation.


It was a good day today.  Talking with my spiritual director was good.  Came away feeling a whole lot less frustrated with my life – with life in general.  Seems I am not the only one to have become frustrated with living in between stages of life.

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hello out there…

I now have Skype. 

Before he left, Asen installed it for me so that when the time comes I can talk to my daughter and grandson and see them.  Glad he was here to help get it all set up.

Tomorrow early Asen leaves for the long drive east to Toronto to find an articling position as he begins his career in law.  Hope he finds something good.  He is a smart guy.

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Biked to work for the first time this year.  My legs need to gain some muscle I think.  Couldn’t get above third gear.  The head wind this morning was cold but biking home tonight should be easier and warmer.

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Full house

Over the weekend, I had all my littlest grandchildren around.  I love them but it made for a busy weekend.  I do believe I was so tired that I felt sort of sick. 

Last night Kieran – one of the not so little ones – was having trouble sleeping.  He has bad dreams that keep him from wanting to go to sleep.  So he came down and we were talking about it.  It reminded me of the nights my dad would come in to my bedside and pray for me when I was frightened.  So that’s what Kieran and I did.  He does not have a very clear concept of God.  He wasn’t so sure about having this God person around that he could not see.  But It seemed to make some sense that God cared for us and that he could depend on God to protect him.  So he let Grandma pray for him.

I think he slept.  He was up for breakfast when I was leaving for work.  

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And finally

I finished the book.

You know, I think this whole task of caring for children never ends. I can see that when I began having children, my intentions were the best. I would raise them to know God. They were a gift and I would entrust them to God.

So much living gets in the way of our true intentions sometimes. We did not become the idyllic Christian family that I envisioned – all my children growing up deeply devoted to God, serving him, all eventually married to good Christians and in their turn raising up more Christian children.

Instead, I have raised a hodgepodge of humans. Weak, sinning humans. Some know and follow God and some really do not care. Yet.

The author of In The Midst of Chaos talks about the “religious familism” that idealizes the mother who stays at home devoted to her children at the expense of her own life. A lot of guilt weighs down on those of us who have chosen another path. The author deals with this too. She speaks of a new type of family where mutuality in parenting is practiced. Imagine – giving the role of parent enough credibility that it is work worthy of sharing as equally as possible, juggling work roles outside the home along with caring for our children. Hard but worth it.

The author covers topics in the last few chapters on family life, choices families make about where they will live, their lifestyle that makes the home a mission field and a place for reaching out to others. She talks about the value of play, of playing together as a family and the importance of instilling in children a love of reading. Finally she discusses the need to let children go and the small griefs one lives through along the whole parenting journey.

I think that a similar book could be written for grandparents. I guess that I can learn from this book and extrapolate meaning from it that I can apply to this final stage of parenting. Choices also have to be made about how one will grandparent as well. And that is the place I am in now. Making choices, trying to find more time to do this grandparenting thing well; passing on some of the things I value to the little ones that are mine.

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Filed under Books and Articles, Dealing with stuff, Reading