Saying Good-bye

The house is sold. The new owners take possession next Friday. It’s time to say goodbye.




This is the ramp that led into the house from the garage. When we first bought the house, the ramp was only 2/3 as wide, and folded up against the wall. After Bill became less mobile and needed the ramp all the time, some of the guys that he worked with at Mitchell’s came out and widened the ramp and added the railing. It’s a testament to the great relationship he had with his Intercon “brothers.”









The living room – Bill’s chair was always at the left edge of the short wall, next to the magazine rack/table with the phone and (of course) the remotes. The couch was originally along the longer wall, but later was replaced by a loveseat in the corner and Bill’s computer desk along the wall.







The view of the living room from Bill’s spot. The TV was in the corner to the left of the windows. The dogs’ beds were next to the TV under the window, which explains why one shade was always part-way open – Shadow would rest his head on the window sill and watch the goings-on outside.







The kitchen was largely Bill’s domain, for most of our marriage. He made the majority of the meals. He wasn’t a fancy cook, but he was a good cook. And he made the best ribs – bar none!









This was Bill’s room, where his hospital bed was. We had a lift put in as well, after his second lengthy stay in hospital. But once he got some of his strength back he preferred to lower the bed to the same height as his chair and slide over on to it. He was a proud and independent man, and it was hard seeing him lose that independence as he become sicker and sicker. The stand held (of course) a TV and his own satellite control box so he could watch whatever he wanted while he was in bed.








Bill loved BBQing out on the deck in the summer. Hamburgers, steaks, pork chops, chicken, sausages – and of course, finishing off his awesome ribs. He’d have the stereo on, blasting songs from the ’60’s. “Who’s this?” was his favourite question. I sometimes knew – he ALWAYS knew.







This is the fencing around the garden that Bill and I strengthened the summer before he got sick. We made a great team. He was the brains and I was the brawn. I always appreciated that he showed me how to do things and encouraged me to learn how to use basic tools.





I loved this house, but without Bill there, it was no longer a home. I like my new condo and I’m glad the house sold quickly. Glad and sad. This was the last place Bill lived, the fifth and last place we lived in together. It’s right, but hard, to say good-bye.


For days I’ve tried unsuccessfully to come up with a title for this post. But tomorrow’s the big day, and I want to get this written before then, so “Untitled” it is.

Have you ever had a safety symbol? Something that you touch or look at or think about when you need to remind yourself who you are? Here’s mine:

Yep. It’s a mole. A large mole right on my collar bone. It’s been there as long as I can remember. A lot of people have remarked “you should get that taken off” but I never did. I’ve had it checked – I’m not crazy – and it’s not cancerous. But I never had it removed. I needed it. It represented me – the real me.

When I left home, I stepped into the unfamiliar world of university. I didn’t last long. 🙂 But while I was there, when I felt like I was losing myself, I could surreptitiously run my finger over my mole and know that I was still me. I’d be okay.

A few years later, I met Bill and fell in love. I was happy to marry him, but a little bit scared, too. Would I lose me? Relationships require compromise. There was a new exciting “we” but would there still be a “me”? If ever I was in doubt, touching my mole would ground me and remind me that “I” was indeed still there.

Then came the boys. Children consume your life, and rightly so. Again, I sometimes worried that I would get lost in being a mom and a wife. But as long as I had my mole, I knew I was still around.


Anyway – I’m now a 56 year old widow. No more compromises with Bill (but what I wouldn’t give to have him back to compromise with). My boys are adults who, although they still need me, I don’t feel I need to alter my life for them. They have their life paths and I have mine. Sometimes our paths cross, sometimes they run parallel, sometimes they aren’t even on the same planet.

So I’ve realized that really, there is just me now. All me. I no longer need to hang onto a bit of me to feel secure. My life is mine and I can do with it as I choose. Sometimes that frightens me, but I can talk myself down. Life is what you make it, and I’m going to make it mine.

Tomorrow morning, I’m having the mole removed. It’s a small change, but it’s also a very big change. And I’ll be fine.



Farewell to 2014

Despite what Facebook thinks – it was not a great year. So I’ll start my yearly review with the worst stuff:

  • My husband, Bill, died on October 5th. I miss him everyday. I’m having mixed feelings about the new year – I’m glad 2014 is over, and yet I’m sad to be leaving Bill behind in it.
  • Towards the end of November I had to have our dog, Shadow, put down. He had a fast growing cancer and as much as I hated to see him go, it was time. It would have been worse to see him suffer any longer.

But there were good things in the year:

  • In March, my picture book, Dear Flyary, won the Saskatchewan Book Award for Children’s Literature.
  • In February, I turned 55.
  • I got to go along on two Great Horned Owl banding excursions. Something new to me and very cool!
  • I participated in two Christmas Bird Counts this year. Great learning experiences.
  • I added some new birds to my list – or I should say, I have some new birds to add to my list. Soon. So much to do and so much time – a bad combination for me. 🙂
  • As of the start of this school year, I’m working in Pre-kindergarten all day now. I love working with the little ones. They aren’t embarrassed to be excited, and everything new is exciting. You can’t help but become more enthusiastic about life when you’re around them. I’ve been off since the end of September, but am looking forward to returning on Jan. 6th.
  • At the end of November, I hired a personal trainer to set up an exercise program for me. I’m mostly enjoying it (hate the elliptical, but it’s only once a week, thank goodness) and my winter coat is fitting a little less snuggly. The new Martensville Athletic Pavilion is a great facility, similar to Saskatoon’s Field House.

Thank you to all my friends who have shown me so much love and support this year. Here’s to more good things in 2015 for everyone and a Happier New Year!