Monday, September 28, 2009


Arriving home last night we listened to a voice message from a friend Wilma telling us that her husband Al had passed away and his memorial service is scheduled for this afternoon. Al was 77 years of age, ten years older than I am.

If my first retirement year has not underscored for me already the transitory nature of life, these moments definitely do. There are more and more of these. So many of our friends, ageing as we are, become ill and some die. I have never been so conscious of the nearness of death. That’s noteworthy because the pastoral work in which I spent forty years of my life required me to visit seniors in nursing homes and hospital rooms and even be near for their dying moments. Yet I remained objective and detached. Now it’s personal.

Al had some health issues in recent years. Nevertheless, since I am 67 years old, age 77 does not seem so far off. I know how quickly time moves. It almost evaporates.

Christine and I, me with my sprained ankle, attended an afternoon 50th anniversary celebration of Arvid and Ruth Olson yesterday. It was very well attended by friends. Given the event, we saw a sea of white hair. As I hobbled along, I fit right in.

Al was a gentle and kind man. I liked him very much. Friends, children, spouse will speak well of him of him today because it will be true.

What will be said of me when I go? That is likely the most profitable aspect of reflections of this sort. I have time and I can make course corrections in some relationships where I need to do that. I can allow some of the graces of God to infect me more profoundly than they have so that I am more like my Master than myself. That would be an improvement. And I can use the time I have profitably. What I am glad about is that friendships have come to mean more to me in this phase of my life than they ever have. That makes life rich and enjoyable.

2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not despair, but even if our physical body is wearing away, our inner person is being renewed day by day. 17 For our momentary, light suffering is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison 18 because we are not looking at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen. For what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 5:6 Therefore we are always full of courage, and we know that as long as we are alive here on earth we are absent from the Lord – 7 for we live by faith, not by sight. 8 Thus we are full of courage and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So then whether we are alive or away, we make it our ambition to please him

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Today is My Birthday

Today is My Birthday

Once I was a little boy
Now I am a man
Enjoyed those boyhood years,
Cannot return again.
With passage of years I married well
Fathered a daughter and son
Nurtured them and watched them grow
Each stage was so much fun.
Now I have come this far in life
I am the white haired one
My eyes can see and my hands touch
One, Two, Three grandsons.
Granddaughters? I have two
A young lady and a tot
Each of them loves me
And I love them a lot.
Through the years of my life,
I didn’t think much about heaven
I am considering it now
That I have turned sixty-seven.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

September 7th - A Day for Birthdays

Birthdays on the Same Day

My brother Murray is an artist. He has been many other things in this unfolding life. All of them good. He has been a good brother and an even better son. He lived for these past many years in the same city as our ageing parents and he was their primary caregiver. He has been a preacher, a businessman, an employee. He is a husband, a father and a grandfather, and he excels in these latter categories. If he is your friend, you are blessed. Most recently he has taken on an unusual and forward initiative to establish an art gallery for a new church in downtown St. Catharines. It's an honourable effort to relate to the arts community with some even better news than a prospective buyer. He is not a pastor any longer, but a helper, a supporter, an honest man of whom I am proud.

Today Murray is having a birthday on Monday September 7th. Why not make it a group celebration? Murray is five years younger than me, will celebrate his mmmthikteefhtoommth birthday. But why celebrate it alone. Sooo, his second child Matthew married Cristina several years ago and Cristina was born on the same date of the month of September. So for a little while the two of them enjoyed that day. Now, for the past couple of years another smaller girl has been sharing this same birthday. Murray’s daughter Beth has two daughters and the second sweetheart named Karis was born not on the 6th or the 8th but the 7th. That makes three family members with the same date. This is a 2006 photo of Karis.

Happy Birthday you three.

Take a look at Murray's website Vintage Impressions

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Happy 9th Birthday Kailyn

Kailyn is my numero uno grandchild. When our daughter Cari was born my father and mother came to Mississauga Hospital to see their first grandchild. With great pleasure my dad, father of three boys, peered through the window into the nursery at my pinkly bundled girl with the frizzy whitish blonde hair and blue eyes. Years later my daughter gave birth to a girl of her own, a similarly striking little blue eyed blonde that claimed all of our hearts immediately. We have watched with delight as she has grown up in the company of two younger brothers.

Today is her birthday, and she is celebrating nine years.

We are amazed by the passing of time. Every generation is I suppose. I speculate what she may be like in ten or twelve more years, and I wonder whether Christine and I will still be here to watch her marry.

Right now, I love it when Kailyn leans against my shoulder and allows me to casually play my fingers in her hair when we are both relaxed. She and I tease one another and I know she enjoys that familiarity. I wonder what these next few years will bring to her.

I thank you Lord for my granddaughter Kailyn.

* 2008 Kailyn looking her best - WOW!
* 2008 Kailyn and her youngest cousin Kadence, another girl in the family
* 2005 Kailyn, Jayden, Ryan lying on the floor
* 2005 Kailyn, Flower Girl