Morning Coffee


It’s only been a short time since Dad passed away. The hardest is when I forget and then remember again that he is gone. This morning though, a small blessing, a moment of grace to start my day.

A comforting dream, just before I awoke.

I was walking from the back bedroom of their house toward the kitchen. And there was Dad, just as he’d always been when I’d been there on previous visits, except he was standing – with no pain on his face, wearing that white shirt with navy and red stripes and making me an instant morning coffee.

Mom joined him from the dining room and both of them lifted their eyes up from the coffee to greet me.

Then I woke up.

Thanks for my morning coffee and checking in on me Dad. You must have known how much I am missing you.


Life Has A Way Of Showing Us


He who kneels before God can stand before anyone.

Why do we struggle so to get up from our knees? Why do we resist vulnerability and humility so vehemently? What drives us to prove we are not ‘weak’. What are we so afraid of?

Why do we tell ourselves that we can plan it all out so that we’ll never have to face our fears?

That from this high and lofty place we’ve constructed, we can stand up to anything or anyone?

Life has a way of showing us that we are fooling no one but ourselves.

Life has a way of driving us down to our knees.

As counterintuitive as it seems and has hard as we may resist – it is on our knees when we are:





Weak in our own eyes.

Facing and embracing the truth about ourselves.

That we are made strong,

that we learn to live, laugh and love 

and are able to stand up before anyone or anything.


Upon the recent death of our Dad, my brother Michael said, “Dad taught so much and he is still quietly teaching us.”

Related post: The Glory of Life

The Glory of Life

The Glory of Life is not that it endures forever, but that, for a time, it includes so much that is beautiful.
It is a tree to those that grasp it, and happy are all who retain it.
Its ways are ways of pleasantness, and all its paths are peaceful.
We do not demand that the flower shall never die, nor that the song shall never end.
Nor would we be angry with life because one day its beauty will be dust, its music silent, and all its laughter and tears forgotten.
Life, the reality, is ours; we would shape it as nobly as we can.
We will not linger, like timid sailors in port, but will live dangerously, devoting ourselves with vigour to what seems to us good, beautiful and true.
The glory of Life is Love. Unending.

– Author Unknown


Dad in Mike and Heather’s backyard

THE FATHER/DAUGHTER relationship is an important one. Dad was the first man to love me. He taught me, through his actions, how I should expect to be treated and respected by men.

As the story goes, Dad wanted his first child to be a girl. Maybe because he had a brother growing up, maybe he just thought it would be neat. I don’t know. But he got his wish when I was born.

As a little girl, I cherished our relationship. I grew to fully trust dad, whether he was bandaging me up, letting me dance on his feet, assuring me when I was afraid, or coming to my rescue when I was in trouble.

He was a simple man. Not that he wasn’t smart because he was. He had a street-smart wisdom and intuition, a horse-sense so to speak, and at least with me, he managed to do or say the exact right thing when I most needed it.

Dad was simple in the sense that he was practical, in the sense that he took care of the family’s needs. A roof over our heads. Food in our stomachs. Mixing in a little joy and belly laughter along the way.

A man of few words, Dad didn’t often say I love you or I’m sorry. Instead his actions spoke for him. A pat on the hand. A hand on a shoulder. A ‘there, there don’t cry.’ If he felt bad about an incident, he’d gesture with a tilt of his head toward the car, and off we went to Duncan Donuts.

Dad and Mom had an interesting love. A love that might cause some to wonder. But none the less, they loved each other. Like any couple, there were difficult times and often humour carried them through.

Like when Dad asked if she still loved him and she would reply that she never did. Or when she said, “Heinz, you’re an idiot,” and he responded with “Shut up Margot, I kill you!”

Dad was never big on saying goodbye either. He didn’t linger at the airport when dropping people off or flying out. He’d say see ya soon and before you could turn around he was gone.

The last two years were hard on Dad. Chronic back pain and other ailments had pretty much reduced him to life on the couch. Mom painstakingly cared for him, her own heart breaking as she witnessed his pain – a pain that took one thing after another away from him.

I visited Dad with my family on November 6th in the hospital. He’d been hospitalized on October 28. He had pneumonia and had suffered a stroke. According to Mom and Mike, his health had deteriorated and it wasn’t looking good. On that Friday, he seemed to have turned a corner for the better. We left in the afternoon with hope and concrete plans for speech and physical therapy. He fell asleep, so we left a note that said “It was so good to see you today Dad, see you tomorrow.”

That night we received a call to come to the hospital. Dad quietly and peacefully passed away minutes before we got there.

It’s ok, I get it. You were never really big on goodbyes. Rest in peace Dad. No more pain.


Spring Forward Fall Back


Time is making fools of us again. ~J.K. Rowling

You got a minute? Don’t even say you don’t.

I know you do because you just gained an hour.

How do you feel about that?

Over the years I’ve heard these reasons to justify Daylight Saving.

  • It saved people one hour of candle burning each day during the winter.
  • More afternoon light increased daily productivity during the harvest.

Maybe back in the day when people woke at sunrise and went to bed shortly after sunset, it made sense. But now-a-days?

If I get up at 6AM in order to get to work on time and go to sleep at 10PM in order to get 8 hours of sleep, how does Daylight Saving save the energy I use. Either I have my lights on longer in the morning or I have them on longer in the evening, either way, my lights are on the same length of time.

I don’t get it.

I’m good with gaining this hour, but why must I lose an hour in the spring?

From this day forward, let’s just leave the clock alone.  Who’s with me?


Daylight Saving

It’s tearing us all apart

Friday Pick 175

If you want to view stunning photos of Canada’s north, Inger of Adventure 69 degrees North is the blog for you! I’m so glad Inger dropped by to visit me at TALKTODIANA because I wouldn’t have had the privilege of seeing and following her blog. I just know you’ll enjoy it too!

In Inger’s own words:

My name is Inger – I am travelling the world as an expat with my stay-at-home husband. People automatically think he is working and I am the ‘stay-at-home’ spouse. When they learn it is the opposite they always get surprised – guess we’re not your stereotype couple! We love to travel and have a passion for the north. Our honeymoon went to Alaska where we spent 6 days in Prince William Sound. Another favourite destination of ours is Svalbard, a Norwegian group of islands in the Arctic Ocean.

This week, I’ve chosen the post below as my Friday Pick.

In this post Inger shares photos of the colourful boats of Ninilchik….

Go ahead and visit the link below

and tell Inger Diana sent you…

Colourful boats of Ninilchik by Adventure 69 North


*I’ve closed my comments in hopes that you will leave a comment on the writer’s page*

The Patio Door

Mike and me standing in front of our house in Chateauguay, Quebec

Mike and me standing in front of our house in Chateauguay, Quebec

WAY BACK WHEN our family lived at 111 Edgewood Drive in Chateauguay Quebec – before it became Chateauguay Centre, before Canada issued  postal codes and switched to the metric system, Dad used to say this thing that kinda drove Mom a bit crazy.

When Mike and I were knee-high to a grasshopper – ok, that’s a bit of an exaggeration – but we were little (see photo above), our family moved into the home we would grow up in.

It was a duplex. Dad sold part of his stamp collection for the down payment. The room that we spent most of our time all-together in was the kitchen.

Upon entering the kitchen from the hallway, one would notice the fridge to the right. It was a BIG one and the refrigerator (top) and freezer (bottom) were equal in size.

The kitchen table was on the left with bench seating that also doubled as storage areas by lifting the seats, ran along two walls and two chairs were placed across from the benches .

I sat on the bench on the short wall immediately to the left. Mike sat around the corner along the long wall. Dad sat across from me in a chair with his back to the patio door. And Mom sat across from Mike with her back to the stove.

On the long wall, where Mike sat, was the telephone. Remember when phones were on the wall and they had actual dialing? The phone was black and had a super long cord so you could walk to the sink or around the corner into the dining room for privacy – as if one actually had privacy whilst on the phone.

On the other side of the fridge, on the floor, is where Mom kept the penny jar, an old milk bottle, the kind that was delivered to one’s house and yes, we had milk delivered back then! Mom and Dad threw all their pennies into that bottle and by the end of each year, they’d saved $300 or more that was used toward Christmas shopping.

Along the adjoining wall is where our stove sat, cupboards  were above and on either side of the stove.

The next wall was home to the kitchen sink below a window that was covered with white lacy sheer curtains that were gathered and secured to each edge of the window frame with pretty ribbons. Beside the sink, one more cupboard and then the garbage can – you know the kind that you step on the foot petal thingy and the lid comes up?

Anyway beside that was the patio door and if you walked further, past the phone on the wall, you’d be in the dining room.

It was at that patio door, when it was raining,  that Dad would stand up, look outside and say that thing that drove Mom nuts.

“You know…if it was colder out, it would be snowing…”

I think he did it on purpose, because when Mom became frustrated by his comment because she’d heard it hundreds of times before, I saw the corners of his mouth curl into a smile in the reflection of the patio door.


You Gotta Give It Away If You Want It!

A Muslim pilgrim prays at the top of Mount Noor in Mecca, during the annual pilgrimage (Haj) December 4, 2008. The pilgrims will visit the Hera cave in Mount Noor, where Muslims believe Prophet Mohammad received the first words of the Koran through Gabriel. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah (SAUDI ARABIA)

By becoming the answer to someone’s prayer, we often find the answers to our own. ~ unattributed

MOST OF US KNOW that if you want to achieve a certain outcome, you must develop strategies to get you there.

For example, if you want people to attend an event, you might send out invitations. To increase your success in getting actual bodies to your event, you may further decide to invite those who are most likely to attend your event.

The above quote seems counterintuitive in comparison. But is it any less effective?

Whether you believe that you reap what you sow, or to keep a gift you have to give it away, or that Karma lurks around the corner; you may have experienced this concept to be true.

25 years ago, I was at a crossroad in my life. I felt alone and broken. Looking back, the best decision I made, was to volunteer with an organization that looked after some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

By walking with people through their brokenness and loneliness and believing in them until they believed in themselves, I unwittingly brought peace and purpose into my own life.