Since arriving home from Mexico in early April, introspection has become the new norm these past several weeks. There is nothing quite like the passing of those we love that focuses our attention on the present … that gift of the ‘now’! Losing my close friend Gordon, who was like the brother I never had, so very suddenly has left a tender spot in my heart.
Around the same time in Calgary, my niece Susan’s Father-in-law, Jim Hawkes passed away. A deep loss of a much loved patriarch of the Hawkes family.
A few weeks later, my Brother-in-law Brad White passed away in the early morning of May 20. He was diagnosed with pharyngeal cancer almost fifteen years ago. The residual damage to his heart and body from the many months of chemotherapy had finally taken their toll. A sad day for the White family and indeed all our extended family. He was a good friend, uncle, great-uncle, brother-in-law to my immediate family. We have so many happy memories of visits to Kelowna, munching on “Brad burgers”, while sitting on the White patio overlooking Sunset Ranch Golf Course. There were many golf holidays around British Columbia, in La Quinta, California, or beach fun in Mexico! For a brief time when Margaret and Brad lived in Calgary, we also shared many wonderful Sunday dinners together at both our home in Stonepine and their condo in Kensington. Warm poignant memories. Brad, we all miss you 😪
So yes, introspection … 🤔 … I have often said that death is the flip side of birth … both celebrations in their own way. What we do in the intervening days of our lives between those dates is what I have been pondering these past weeks and continue to do. How we all chose to live our lives. As the decades pass, I become ever more convinced that kindness, compassion, empathy and love are wise guides to walk hand in hand with in any and every situation, especially the difficult ones. Our modern day lives are so full of outer distractions … we swirl around in a constant state of ‘doing’ … of consuming, of acquiring, of pursuing …. somewhat relentlessly …. experiences, accomplishments, be they of artistic, literary, athletic, intellectual or work and business nature … rarely taking time to swim in the silent stillness of our own inner rivers … to just ‘be’ for a spell. Dare I bring in the modern day distraction of this little 6″ x 3″ gadget … the iPhone!!! 😗 …. it is an endemic addictive tool, one I strongly feel adds a rather superficial distraction for too many of us! And I remain well aware it is a global phenomenon, having travelled around the world observing it first hand …. of course, ironically, this is all the while in pursuit of my own personal distraction preference … travelling 😗!! I know these distractions are what give our lives texture, substance, meaning …. but still? … here I am in this month of loss of loved ones, pondering it all 😗 … Did Gordon, Jim, Brad lead meaningful, happy, fulfilled lives … did they feel valued, loved, heard?? …. what words of wisdom would they share from the ‘other side’???
I observe a more mindful approach to life IS slowly emerging globally, albeit at a snail’s pace, the pace of evolution 😙. On the personal front, a mental shift has been slowly evolving as I too work on adding a more mindful approach to everything I do. Hmmmm … the reflective musings continue …. 😂.