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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Until we Meet Again

 This is my brother, Mauro Candido. 
 In June of 2021 he passed away after a 7 year battle with lymphoma. His courage in the face of his illness was extraordinary.
He was a warrior.

         He was 51 years old, far too young to die. 
He left behind family and friends who cherished him. There is no fairness in his passing. Death doesn't care how old you are, how wealthy or poor. It cares nothing for your worldly position. 

We are left shaking our heads wondering why? 

We try to find comfort in knowing that he no longer feels pain. But that doesn't fill the void or give us peace when we long to hear the sound of his voice, one of his silly jokes, his laughter.

We have no choice but to move forward. We pick up the broken pieces and puzzle them back together. Each loss of a loved one leaves those pieces slightly faded and not quite right at the seam but none the less reassembled. We can fortify them with glue, the glue we find in the love of family and friends who see behind the smiles we present to the world.

What was his legacy?  What will we remember of him, what unspoken message did he leave behind?

His legacy was love. 

My brother lived life large and on his own terms. Maybe his soul knew his time on earth would be shorter than most.  He taught himself to play the guitar like a rock star, he travelled, lived in the country, had big dogs, huge fish tanks, rode a motorcycle. 

I honour my brother every day when I remember him.  I speak his name, share his stories and carry a part of his soul with me. This is how I keep him alive.

It been a year and a half since his passing and I would be lying if I said it's gotten easier. 

I still expect to see him walk through the door of our father's house, still expect to hear him on the phone saying, "What's up Tizzy." 

My mother passed away a few years before my brother. I'm certain they are together.

Cherish every moment with the people you love. You never know when we will be called home.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Her Name is Mom

When we were young women, we were concerned with taking care of ourselves; getting an education, looking our best, having great friendships, finding the right guy, travelling, partying and overall looking out for "me".
We got married and most of us, at some point, decided to start a family.
When we found out we were preganant we committed to good nutrition, maybe a prenatal yoga class if we had the energy, a maternity wardrobe. We decorated the baby room like were
 Martha Stewart's apprentices and read all the latest books that spewed regergitated advice on how to be a great, super fantastic, state of the art mother.
The truth is no book, no advice from the super mom squad pepared us for what was to come.
The minute our baby was born, we were lost. 

Lost in a love that is more powerful than any force on earth or heaven.
The YOU, you were ceased to exist and you became "Mom".

That tiny baby holds your heart in the palm of their hand. They hurt, you hurt a million times more, they cry, you cry harder, they laugh, you laugh louder.
Every mistake they make you feel the pain.
Every accomplished they experience, you experience it more profoundly.
Sleep and peace of mind become elusive memories.
Your life is filled with homework, birthday parties and scrambling from one sporting event to the next.
You become a chauffeur, ATM machine, laundry service, and on demand personal assistant.

You do it all willingly.

The years buzz by faster than a supersonic jet streaking through the sky.

Eventually, and a lot faster than you think, that sweet chubby baby becomes a teenager, and worrying becomes your full time job! You worry incessantly about the poor choices they may make; drinking , drugs, sex, bad peer groups, driving.  And you wonder why your hair falls outs, you have bags under you eyes and you feel exhausted 99.99 percent of the time!
The most difficult thing to accept is that you have little control over them. You can only hope that their frontal lobe is working better than most.

The day will come when they leave and chaos no longer reigns the home and you find yourself wondering who you are.
The sense of loss is profound.
You remember every moment. The bedtime stories, the goodnight kisses, family vacations, birthday parties, hockey and soccer games, the tears, the joys and everything in between. You wouldn't trade a single moment.

For so many years you were MOM!
Of course you will always be MOM, you will always worry and fret, but now you must find that girl who gave herself over to being MOM.
She is in there somewhere, waiting.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Believe that you are Wrong About Everything

I recently read a book called The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F.uck
Between laughing and nodding my head in agreement about a thousand times, I've come to realise that I really don't know much about anything and that most of the time I'm wrong about how I perceive things to be, in judging what other's actions mean and about most things in general.
Yes, really. Everything that we experience is tainted by our perception and past experiences and how we remember them. Memories change as they fade. We forget details so we add our own :), we embellish to give an experiences colour and flavour. It's not that we lie, it's just how it is.
Naturally, the events that hurt us the most, or the memories of the people who slight us are the ones that get the best editing. 
Because it validates our indignation and hurt.

So here's the thing.
The book got me to wondering about many things.
Most importantly the amount of time I spend caring about things that don't really matter and worrying about things I have no control over.
Which is all so exhausting!
When children become adults and get married how much time do we spend worrying about if they eat fruits and vegetables, if they wear seat belts, go to their annual check ups, brush their teeth with an electric tooth brush, apply sunscreen. Honestly, the list never ends!
No matter how much preaching we do they don't listen and most likely make fun of our nagging when we're not there.
So don't give a f...
Worry about your own fruits and vegetables!
What goes around comes around and one day they will have children and look back and think, "shit now I know what my mother was talking about!" If you're lucky to still be alive, the last laugh will be yours.
Running down the long list of what you to give a f... about. 
Siblings that don't get along and fail to see that life is a short ride and they're too busy caught up in the said, she did, he didn't do. Get over it, no one is perfect. We all screw up. Some more than others. And what's the truth of it anyways?

Employees who can't get the job done.
Why spend time trying to change a tree trunk that won't bend?
Instead of spending exhaustive hours complaining about them,
show them the door and move on to the next tree.
Friends make you feel like shit?
Find new ones.

That's right liberate yourself and find things that you give a f... about that matter in your new found list of things you give a f... about.

Thanks Mark Manson!
Happy hunting my friends! 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Slow down Just A Little!

I sat to chat with the father of a 14 month old and listened to him tell me about the wonderful linguistics program he was enrolling his daughter in.
 “Can you believe she can learn up to 5 languages in no time if she goes to this program!” 
I saw how excited he was and I wondered if he would welcome my unsolicited advice. I offered it anyway.
She will only be little for a short while. Before you know it she will be off to elementary school where learning facts will be the rule of the day. 
The best gift you can give her is your time. Leave work sooner than later so you can enjoy family dinners. Read bed time stories, enjoy milk and cookies, visit an animal shelter, go to the park, run in the grass, dip your feet into a stream and look for frogs, plant trees and gardens and watch them  grow. All this will teacher her to respect the natural world. As she gets older show her how to care for others by taking up a cause and visit nursing homes.
Remember the world is her classroom.
You are raising a global citizen and this takes nurturing. The kind that no text book can give and no course can instill. It must come from an investment on your part to be PRESENT in her life.
Too many parents are rushing from one activity to another hoping to raise the next great one yet all the while forgetting the most important foundations must be nurtured by parents and teachers in the early years. 
All is lost if we do not raise our children to be good people!
Show her compassion and she will learn to empathy.
Demonstrate acts of kindness so she will pay it forward.
Teach her tolerance and acceptance so she will respect differences.
Value her so she will learn that she matters.

This can’t be done if you’re rushing from one structured activity to another.
This is not to say that organized sports, dance and art classes have nothing to offer. They do just at the right time and not all at the same time!

So slow down just a little. 

Friday, February 10, 2017


I woke up this morning a better version of myself and simply grateful to be alive; watching the snowflakes dance their way to the ground made me feel nostalgic.
How did I get here, to 56?
Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was a child, much like the ones who fill my schools; free, abundant, hopeful, and innocent?
She is still with me,watching and hoping.
Most everyone lives for tomorrow but the past year has taught me to live for now, this moment.
 It’s such a waste of precious time to keep aiming for the prize-what prize I wonder?
The next moment belongs to no man; people die, friends are lost, health fails and greed consumes.
I’ve learned that advice is best served lightly and only when requested.
I give no council unless I’m asked and even then what right do I have to influence another’s journey.
Perception is everything. No two people see circumstances in the same way.
 Acceptance of our short comings, living the truth, gratitude and love give us the best version of ourselves.
Ego is destructive on so many levels and shaded eyes and lies blind us to the true nature of the people we walk with.
Good people and bad people are placed in our path for a reason. Sometimes it’s not always obvious why.
Life has a way of revealing.
We have all lost and loved, laughed and cried, triumphed and failed.
This is our journey.
Blessed is to be surrounded by family and friends-past and present-many or few.
They are part of the story we’ve written and the one yet to come.

And if we are here to see the sun rise one more day then we are the richest of men.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Time to Say Goodbye

It isn't easy to let go of people, especially ones that have been part of your life story for more years than you care to remember.
I've found letting go of a woman I called my best friend challenging.
No matter how the journey ended, I'd be lying if I said that many of  my memories of her were not filled with laughter, adventure, tears and challenges. 
They were!
We survived so much together.
Our friendship was not perfect but then neither were we.
You think after 30 years we would have figured it out: how to be true to one another.
She taught me to laugh and for that I will always be grateful.
I'm not certain how we ended up here. Two women that began a friendship when they were barely into their twenties.
Maybe I do know, but those thoughts I will keep to myself.
I can only say that I am filled with regret and sadness-the loss has been profound.
Too many things were left unsaid.
I thought we would be Ethel and Lucy forever, full of our crazy antics,
 but God had a different plan for us.
We only have each other to blame for this tragic ending; God handed us a gift and we squandered it. 
Beyond the bitterness and anger of the she did this, she forgot this, this is mine... are the memories.
I will never forget her.
You go, I go!
I guess we forgot that promise.
I bless her journey and hope God fills her life with abundance.

Cherish your friendships.
This life is but a brief spec in time.
Do not waste it with pride and vanity.
They make a lonely brew.

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Fork in the Road

I'm certain most everyone wonders what life might have been had they chosen a different path.
One decision alters our course and the effect of that choice ripples, impacting not only the people we know, but the universe.
It's strange to think that one person in seven billion could have that kind of power.
 We are all interconnected, a singular voice of humanity.

Each act we commit, knowingly or not, echoes through time.

Let's imagine you give a homeless person a hundred dollars and he uses it to clean up and go to a job interview. Had you ignored him he may not have lived another day.
Your phone rings, it's an old friend who weighs heavily on you. In that moment you decide not to answer. What happens?
You let someone into the line of heavy traffic and you save them from an accident.
You drive by an elderly person struggling with grocery bags. Do you stop to help, or not.

You meet two new people, decide to date the first one instead of the second. You later discover the one you passed on went on to become a famous novelist. 

If we could map our lives, we would see the thousands of forked roads we've encountered, the number of times we chose one path instead of the other.

At the end of it all we can have no regrets. Each choice defined and refined us and we must believe that we are meant to be exactly where we are.

If our lives are enriched by the love of family and friends, if our careers are driven by passion then our roads have been well chosen.

“It's the ride of life the journey from here to there living and loving every moment like we have none to spare.” 
― Jess "Chief" BrynjulsonHighway Writings