Today is Wednesday and blog posting day.

Only one word has come to mind.


I am beginning to hate the word.

Where did people get the idea I automatically sit down and attempt to write profound musings?

Today the pressure was inhibiting.

The reality… I tell little stories; I don’t try to be profound at all.

Maybe it’s the act of not wanting to be ruled by a deadline.

This is its own pressure.

Wednesday is here so a story must appear.

I’m not even looking for something profound… I’m just looking.

And odd, I have the story for next week; it’s done and ready to post.

However it’s not the story for today.

And it’s certainly not profound.

My life has become sublime. So today, to stop and write a blog seems pointless and somehow not profound at all.



My contention is that what happens after you die is none of your business. Still I have prepared for my inevitable death and aftermath as much as I can. I’m a practical person and one of the first in my circle of friends to have a will drawn up.  It seemed like the proper thing to do.  In the letter that accompanies it I’ve said not to worry, scatter my ashes if you must, but do it for you, not me.  Remember, I’m dead.  I won’t know what’s happening.  I’ve moved on.

Then Gerry begged to differ.

This week he’ll become the executor of my will.  He’s the perfect candidate.  Caring and compassionate, utterly human.  He owns a businessman’s mind.  He appreciates the game of squash.

His comment, “I’m going to spread your ashes in Scotland”.

Not much stuns me but this hit the mark.  Why?  Well, why would he think to do this? The Scotland idea has never crossed my mind. I’ve said any kind of post dead ceremony wasn’t a requirement and certainly not a request. Now he insists it will happen.  The outcome is not up for debate.

Gerry explained this all in a stiff matter of fact statement.

Later that night I realized we should all talk about what will happen after our bodies are diminished to ash. Better still, we should talk to the “Gerrys” in our lives.  I honestly don’t think I will care if little traces of my body are spread across the land I love.  Gerry seems to know better.

Yet, clearly I care more than I am willing to admit. Well not about where my ashes end up, but that someone like Gerry would even give this a second thought. Having someone who would honour what goes on in my heart far surpasses any objection I grumble about.  It’s the soothing realization that another person cares and has listened to what I hold close. Someone really knows what I cherish and it matters to them.

Isn’t it always the little things?  Well a trip to Scotland with an urn of ashes is not little.  But you know what I mean.

I imagine laying someplace, all too aware that my last breaths are bottoming out, my heart slowing to a stop, the light inside my soul starting to flicker.  At that moment I know a small part of me will shout out a reminder that Scotland is near.  A small part of me will also thank Gerry.



She asked, “What stifles you”?

That’s a good question. Am I stifled?  My first reaction is nothing stifles me.  But I guess the real deal is that no outside source stifles me.  I’m pretty direct and don’t hold back much.  And who would actually try to stifle me? I don’t think many would try.

These days I’m tending to stifle myself.   I’m not being very successful but I’m trying.  I have paid a pretty hefty price for not curtailing thoughts and comments so now I’m trying to take that extra second before I speak, write or act.  Is it helping? In some areas, yes. I’m not use to holding back so I find myself with missteps, but yes, it’s a better way to be.

Then I sit down to write.

I am blessed the stifle switch seems to automatically turn off and all the words and thoughts appear.

There is a force field protecting my story telling from the restraints I now heap on my real life.

We are told the more exposed the writing the better. Well at least for the first draft.  Then the revisions and edits can fix and hide the episodes no one has the right to read about. There needs to be secrets.

If I can keep writing about everything and not hold back I should be fine.

Then maybe publish under a pen name.  We all know I would never do that.

But back to the real world… stifle what I say and do? Yes, it is probably the best option.  There have been so many times I have gotten myself in trouble.  Maybe it’s time I learned that my happiness might just depend on the reins I should gladly put on myself.

So there it is… being me stifles me.  It seems like a very sad state.

And a little ironic side note… this is not the post I wanted to use this week.  This was my second choice.  Yes, I stifled myself.



This week I will turn 55.  In my mind I officially become old. Don’t bother me with your proclamations that you are only as old as you feel.  Or only as young as you feel.  Rubbish. I’m old.

I’ve wished for my own death so many times, to find myself still alive is to say the least, perplexing.

But here I am.  And for better or worse I continue to be here.

You play the hand you are dealt. The world around me will still give moments of intense bliss and then in the next second a devastating blow… this is life.

It’s the same for everyone.

The longest game and no one can guess what each other’s ultimate goal really is.

I believe I know where I’m heading.

And the question I will put to others this week…

What is your long game?  Where are you heading?

And the haunting question I ask myself in the 3am hour when the world is still and my mind is racing…

Have I done enough to right the wrongs?

The C-Word

People casually use the F-word these days.  Fuck this, fuck that, fucking hell, he’s a fucker…. You fuck!

I find it hard to take when a person you assume never swears uses the word.  It’s a bit of a reality check.  When Mrs. B said it, I laughed.  I never thought of her as a person that would revert to using foul language.  She’s English, has a lovely soft accent, is 68 and regularly attends church.  Who knew she would let out an “Oh fuck!”

I told her it was OK to use that word but the C-word was definitely off limits.  She made a face when I even hinted about what seems to be one of our most naughty words.  I don’t even think she would say “the C-word” let alone the word itself.

Even I have a hard time typing the word.  Well OK, I don’t hesitate in my private correspondence, but here, on a blog, never!  (that’s not true… I will one day… maybe sooner than later.)

But let’s get back to the story.

Prim and proper Mrs. B went on to discuss the attributes of the F-word and the C-word. Fuck can be used in so many ways… nouns, verbs, adjectives… whereas with the C-word you are limited.  You can’t use it as a verb.  Interesting point Mrs. B.

Our language is evolving faster than we can absorb.  Our lives are evolving faster than we can absorb. Change is everywhere. This can be scary at times but in the right light it all seems so magical.

There might also be magic in finding a way to use the C-word as a verb. Think about it? This may open up a whole generation willing make it their own.


The Three Rules of Dating

“I’m going on a date next week, do you have any advice”



“You have to know three things.  If you know them you will get to have a boyfriend.”

“Three things, OK, tell me what they are”

“Number one, the girl never says I love you before the boy says I love you.  Number two, never kiss on the first date.”

“Wait a minute, I’ve known this guy, we’ve been friends, I can’t kiss him on the first date?”


“No, never kiss on the first date even if you have been friends.  It’s a rule.”

“That may be hard but OK, what’s the third thing?”

“Be yourself.”


“Really, be yourself, this is the most important thing because you have to do this to be happy.”

“OK, and even though you’re only nine years old you know these things.”

“Yes. These are the rules.”

“What if I’m just annoying and can’t get boys to date me.”

“You are not annoying, but follow the rules.”

They Are Watching

The government has been watching us for years. So am I stressed about the new allegations? No, not so much.

I had the power of the system work on my behalf eight years ago so I may be tainted.  It only took the government a mere 24 hours to track down and locate my birth mother.

The back story. I paid the local authorities $50 to have my adoption papers opened. (Let’s be honest, they did check me out before taking my money and approving the request) Then another $250 to have a special social worker do the search and initial contact.  In the end it took less than a day to track her down and give her a phone call.

Not a happy day for my dear old mom.

From her perspective having the government know so much about how, why and where was devastating.  No one is ever ready for a call proclaiming they know what you did 47 years ago and it’s coming back to bite you. It’s worse when you thought it was a secret deep in a confidential document.  Surprise!

So a sucky day for my birth mother.  She actually tried to deny the connection but was told, “We know, we’re the government”.


Being part of that process made me realize there are people all around that know too much.  About me, and probably about you.

My only defense is to tell the world my secrets first so maybe the sting of the reveal won’t cause so much chaos and pain.

Just my opinion… though I’m sure my birth mother begs to differ.

But I wouldn’t know, she refused to speak to me.



Long Lost Scot

It’s odd to keep a letter from someone you hardly know.  Even odder to come across it twenty three years later.  When do you think this type of happening is serendipity and not just coincidence? Add in the Scottish connection and I could fabricate a full blown conspiracy theory!  OK, I’m kidding, no conspiracy here…

This weekend I found a letter sent to me in 1990 from a young Scottish lad that had been visiting Vancouver.  As I read the long note I started to remember the time we spent together.  A passing friendship with someone on vacation.

This was a time long before emails ruled our world.  It was a chatty note reminiscing about his time in Vancouver.  He thanked me for hiring him to appear in a television commercial I was producing at the time.  Apparently the $100 I paid him was much needed.  He also goes on to tell me in great detail about a new business idea he is working on.  I remember thinking the plan was crazy but it might be something so outlandish it could work.  I’m sure I also thought his young man was a little crazy.

Back in 1990 I had not yet discovered my own Scottish roots.  This was years before I opened my adoption papers and embraced my heritage.  Rick being from Glasgow was not a point I noted any more than it giving him a fun accent.  Meeting someone from Scotland meant I could talk to them about Billy Connolly.  The fact made no huge or lasting impression.

Last night I opted to do a google search on this long lost Scot.  A total crap shoot but his being from Scotland was enough to perk my interest.  It didn’t take long for the name to appear all over the web.  I discovered Rick E. from Glasgow is an infamous businessman.  At times he’s been worth millions.  All the indications show this is the same young man that wrote the letter.

It’s not so much of a leap to assume the savvy person with the great business idea back in 1990 is the same person to make big ideas become reality.

I wonder how many times we cross paths with people and never know what they become. I sit here and question if this is the same Rick I met so many years ago.

Serendipity?  Who knows…

Raise Your Hand

The only good thing about a loss is what it might teach you.  I hate that we are meant to look for the lesson when things go bad.  Fuck that.  When things go bad there is nothing good to say.  Bad is bad.

Upon reflection on how crummy you feel it might dawn on you how much crap there is all around us.  There is pain behind so many smiles.  People go through shit all the time.  Sometimes it’s easier to deal with and sometimes the pain will cripple forever.

I watch myself cry each day.  And I’ve done that for the last 97 days. No one else knows.  The world only sees me carry on. I work, I play, I write, I even laugh.  Then when I least expect it there is a flash of what I’ve lost and the tears come.  My grief has become a silent pursuit.  It’s not that I believe no one cares but I believe no one needs to be a witness.  My story has become boring and not worth the counsel or examination people offered three months ago.

I blanch when asked how I am. There is no need to tell the truth.  Lying is the way to cover the grief.  On my worst days I feel anger at having to carry on and pretend all is fine.  Quit asking me questions and forcing me to lie to you.  Please stop. My wave of self-pity can easily turn to thoughts of hate and revenge.

When is the line, “I will never be happy again” not a cry for help but a simple statement?

So what am I learning?  I am not alone.  At least I’m not alone in what I’m going through. Now when I look at people I try to grasp what devastation is behind their smiling face.  I can’t stop taking the extra second to search for a glimmer of truth of what is really going on inside each person I meet.  What pain are you hiding?  Have you had to cry today?  Is your heart so broken you may never be whole?  Is your loss stealing every ounce of joy?  How are you surviving?  And what the hell do you answer when asked “How are you today?”

One day I’ll ask for a show of hands of who is hiding their pain.


A List

“Do you have a list?”  She looked at me like I was a little crazy.  So I explained.  “You know, a type of bucket list?  Not the kind you make when you find out you are going to die soon.  Even though being a Buddhist I’m supposed to always be thinking I’m going to die soon.  But a list of the things you would like to do. You can call them your dreams.”

“No I don’t have a list”, and as she said this she still looked at me like I was crazy.

“Well make one.  It’s fun.  Just think of all the things you would like to do and write them down.  Keep the list someplace where you’ll always be looking at it.  And then do the things.  Its way easier than you think.  And you have money.  This will be no problem for you.”

“I wouldn’t know what to put on the list”, and she still looked at me like I was crazy.

I shook my head.  Not having a list was crazy.

But I was crazy once with my list.

One item was to see YoYo Ma play live.  Not outlandish.  But not something you could do every day.

Then came the opportunity. I read the notice in the paper that he was coming to town.  Tickets would go on sale the following week.  I sat in the office and told my friend about my list and YoYo coming to town and me not being able to afford the ticket price.

He started yelling at me.  Not a gentle suggestion. Not a strong conversation. He just let loose and started to shout.

“YoYo is on your list! He’s on your list!! It’s your list!! Go and buy the damn ticket!!  It’s your list god dammit!!”

Point taken.  I bought the ticket and went and saw YoYo live.  One of the best concerts of my life. And an item ticked off my list.

As I looked at this woman I realized the sadness in that she didn’t have a list.  And worst, she didn’t sound like she would ever make one.  Then I realized you had to dream your dreams long before you ever get to watch one come true.