It’s been a while since I’ve been here, but today seemed like a good day to come back.
I can’t believe it’s November already. The year has been hard and sad and challenging and heart-breaking and oddly peaceful and even joyful at times.
In January I went to visit my dearest friends Dick and Barbara after not seeing them for two years. And with that visit came the realization that Dick was dying. Although I knew deep down that it was only a matter of time before his ailing heart would give out, I wasn’t prepared for the small, frail, and greatly changed man I found.
I tried to articulate what I felt on Facebook:
“We all fear looking death in the face. We put it off, we make excuses, we hide. Even when it involves people we care for.
Then, a decision is made. We go to be with the friends who need us the most – and it’s not as scary, because you’re there, you’re hugging, even laughing, and you’re back into your usual life with them.
But you’re not. You know it’s different. You know there’s a finish line, somewhere. There are eggshells to walk on, even if you’re trying to remain ‘normal’. There is no normal.“
And after I got back home to Vancouver, the reality hit me hard. That’s when I grieved for the man who introduced me to Judaism, who got me even more interested in politics, and who even taught me how to shoot a gun at an indoor range. It was a very sad spring for me.
And then in June, I was called back. An hour and a half after I arrived at the house, I watched Dick slip away, so quietly that for a moment I wasn’t sure he was gone. I told him that things would be OK, and that we’d all be there for Barbara. And I whispered the Shema in his ear – a prayer that is dear to the heart of every Jew. It was the last thing I could do for him.
He was buried on June 26th, his 75th birthday, with a flag-draped casket and military honours and many friends. He would have loved it!
I stayed on, helped out where I could, saw old friends and went to the synagogue where I always felt I belonged. It wasn’t always easy, but I’m happy and grateful I was there. As hard as it was, Barbara and I tackled a ton of challenges head on, got things done and laughed, a lot. I even got her on a Mac, for better or worse! I will treasure every minute I was there, and the deep and abiding friendship I have with a wonderful woman. I hated to leave.
And now I’m back home. It’s time to re-group. This post is the first step. In fact, I’m going to challenge myself to post every day this month as part of #NaBloPoMo – something I’ve never done before.
It’s a scary prospect, but it’s a start to let everyone know I’m back. I’ll be showcasing my photography, checking out events in and around Vancouver, sharing my world with you, and ultimately, hopefully, building up enough presence again to help get the paid work I need and deserve. This gal’s not done yet!
Baby steps can lead to walking, then running. I will run, soon.
Wish me luck.