Tag Archives: relationships

Mother’s Day 2020

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Mother’s Day 2020

For the first time in my life I am alone on Mother’s Day. I’ve always been with family and friends. But this year is different. COVID-19 has changed everything.

The last time I was with my own mother on Mother’s Day was in 1996. It’s been 24 years since she passed away but sometimes the waves of grief hit and it feels like yesterday.

I celebrated my first Mother’s Day in Mexico back in 2011. I was living in Culiacán. Juan, Lucila And Juan Carlos took me out for raspados and then to a park. Lucila made me a bracelet which I treasure.

2020 is only my second Mother’s Day in Mexico. I’m usually in Winnipeg or in Leavenworth. In searching my memories, the last time I was with both of my kids together on Mother’s Day was in 2008. It’s been a long time.

A year ago I was sitting out on the deck of the golf club in Leavenworth enjoying brunch with my friends after church. Today I sipped coffee as I did online church. No eggs Benny today. A quesadilla instead.

From my quarantine home to yours, Happy Mother’s Day to all the amazing women out there, especially to my daughter who now has a daughter of her own.

Farewell To Another Decade

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Farewell To Another Decade

It’s pouring rain here in Aguascalientes and unseasonably low temperatures have graced us. It’s a good day to sip herbal tea and to watch movies. And to write a blog post.

New Year’s Eve 2009 was when I rang in the second decade of the millenium. At the time I was with friends from church and living in Winnipeg.

In 2010 I was on a tour up in the Copper Canyon in northern Mexico. I rang in the new year in El Fuerte with friends. We had dinner at the hotel where Zorro was filmed. Zorro himself appeared at our table just before the fireworks began at midnight.

I have celebrated New Year’s Eve with numerous friends from all over the world every year since then. I’ve been in Culiacán, Guadalajara, México City, Mazatlan and San Ciro. This year I will be in Aguascalientes to welcome the year 2020.

The past decade has been one of the most exciting times in my life. “Growth” has been the key word in describing my experience. I embarked in a new career in a foreign country. I learned a new language and assimilated into a different culture. I’ve celebrated holidays with new friends from all over the world.

I’ve lived in and explored amazing areas in Mexico that I’d never even heard of before. I went on an amazing train trip in the Copper Canyon, I climbed pyramids in central Mexico and I walked barefoot in the sand on numerous beaches along the Pacific coast. I’ve visited several magic towns and have enjoyed the local cuisine in most places, menudo aside.

Mexicans marvel at the fact that I am a single female and travel solo at my age, especially when I settle down for a while in a new place. I thrive on exploring new places and meeting new people. I have friends of all ages and backgrounds. I have a family in Culiacán who have adopted me and I am the proud abuelita of four amazing grandsons.

And just when I thought that Mexico was absolutely “it”, I discovered Leavenworth. This quaint Bavarian village has captured my heart. I’ve made good friends and we’ve shared some great adventures together.

All of these experiences have contributed to my growth. At this point in time I am really living life to the fullest.

Farewell to the second decade of this millennium. Welcome to the third decade. Can’t wait to find out what comes next!!!!

Long Distance Grandma Part 2

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Long Distance Grandma Part 2

There is an age old controversy about defining family as blood relatives only. But it has been my experience that family are the people you feel closest to, the people who are there for us and who give special meaning to our lives, even though these people are not blood relatives.

When I first came to Culiacán almost nine years ago, I did not know a soul in Mexico. I met Juan and Lucila and they became much more than just friends. They became my family. At the time they had only one child. Juan Carlos was just over one year old.

The family has grown over the years and their four sons are my nietos, my grandsons. They call me abuelita, grandma. And I cannot imagine life without them. We haven’t lived in the same city for the past eight years, and Mexico is a large country geographically. But in the six months I spend in Mexico each year, I do try to see them as often as possible.

I’m delighted that my grandsons are learning English at school. I bring them back English books and activity books when I return from my time up north. But my Spanish definitely gets a workout when I am with them.

The photo in this post was taken when the baby was less than two months old when I was last in Culiacan in April. I wish I could visit more often. It’s tough being a long distance grandma.

Long Distance Grandma Part 1

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Long Distance Grandma Part 1

I’ve been through a lot in my lifetime but one of the most difficult things ever is being a long distance grandma.

My grandparents all lived close by when I was growing up. Although my dad had already passed away by the time my kids came along, my mom lived only minutes away when they were young.

I spent a few magical days with my granddaughter Madeline this summer. At 17 months, she had changed a lot since I had last seen her when she was only six weeks old.

Memorable times included a visit to a kangaroo farm, a splash pad, a children’s play center as well as her first haircut.

I miss building towers with her and playing in the “thunderdome” with her. I miss pushing her in her stroller or wheeling her around in a shopping cart.

What I miss the most was our cuddling time when I would read to her and give her a bottle before she went to sleep at night.

Although she came to the airport when I left, I don’t think she quite realized what was happening. I wonder if she looked for me that evening at bedtime, or looked for me the next morning when it was time for breakfast.

I know that I have this empty feeling and that part of my heart was left behind with Madeline in Kelowna.

It’s tough being a long distance grandma.

The Power of Prayer

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The Power of Prayer

Prayer has been on my mind a lot lately. Actually, it’s been much more intense in the last few weeks.

I participate online in a home group with Church of the Rock in Winnipeg, Canada. We watch a short video and then discuss it. One of the pastors serves as a host. The series we are currently studying deals with prayer. And it has me thinking about prayer a lot more than usual, especially the circumstances surrounding when, why and how I pray.

We tend to pray for ourselves when we are in need much more than when things in our lives are going smoothly. Somehow praise for God isn’t always included. But there is a reason why our church services begin with praise. This strengthens our communication and relationship with God.

I plead guilty to praying for others more often than praying for myself. But I am trying to change that. My prayers with God have become more like conversations with a friend. I take more time to pray each day, always including praise.

And now, what prompted me to write this post.

Last week, someone in my past contacted me, someone I haven’t heard from in years. We are blood relatives and although we lived in different cities in Canada,  we were quite close. But it’s interesting how my divorce and my becoming a Christian has completely changed our relationship. While I have reached out to him when he has experienced crises in his life during the last decade, I have undergone four major surgeries without hearing a word from him. My daughter got married. My first granddaughter was born. Still no acknowledgment on his part. And yes, he was well aware of all of these events. Last week I received a text on Facebook Messenger from him. Not a text to sincerely inquire as to my well-being. Nope. He had an agenda. He had a new venture on his mind and he would have benefited financially had I gone along with this.  Needless to say I have had no response to my text informing him that I was not interested in this venture. And I wonder if and when I will ever hear from him in the future.

When he needs me in his life and it’s convenient for him, then he reaches out. Otherwise I am ignored and forgotten, like a book that gets put up on a high shelf never to be dusted.

However God forgives my sins and I need to forgive others. There is no room in my heart for anger or bitterness. I want my heart to be filled with peace, love and tranquility.  So I have chosen to pray for this cousin instead.

Prayer is powerful.

The Power of Prayer

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The Power of Prayer

Prayer has been on my mind a lot lately. Actually, it’s been much more intense in the last few weeks.

I participate online in a home group with Church of the Rock in Winnipeg, Canada. We watch a short video and then discuss it. One of the pastors serves as a host. The series we are currently studying deals with prayer. And it has me thinking about prayer a lot more than usual, especially the circumstances surrounding when, why and how I pray.

We tend to pray for ourselves when we are in need much more than when things in our lives are going smoothly. Somehow praise for God isn’t always included. But there is a reason why our church services begin with praise. This strengthens our communication and relationship with God.

I plead guilty to praying for others more often than praying for myself. But I am trying to change that. My prayers with God have become more like conversations with a friend. I take more time to pray each day, always including praise.

And now, what prompted me to write this post.

Last week, someone in my past contacted me, someone I haven’t heard from in years. We are blood relatives and although we lived in different cities in Canada,  we were quite close. But it’s interesting how my divorce and my becoming a Christian has completely changed our relationship. While I have reached out to him when he has experienced crises in his life during the last decade, I have undergone four major surgeries without hearing a word from him. My daughter got married. My first granddaughter was born. Still no acknowledgment on his part. And yes, he was well aware of all of these events. Last week I received a text on Facebook Messenger from him. Not a text to sincerely inquire as to my well-being. Nope. He had an agenda. He had a new venture on his mind and he would have benefited financially had I gone along with this.  Needless to say I have had no response to my text informing him that I was not interested in this venture. And I wonder if and when I will ever hear from him in the future.

When he needs me in his life and it’s convenient for him, then he reaches out. Otherwise I am ignored and forgotten, like a book that gets put up on a high shelf never to be dusted.

However God forgives my sins and I need to forgive others. There is no room in my heart for anger or bitterness. I want my heart to be filled with peace, love and tranquility.  So I have chosen to pray for this cousin instead.

Prayer is powerful.

Mothers On My Mind

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Mothers On My Mind

April 5th was my mother’s birthday. She would have celebrated her 105th birthday that day. But sadly she passed away more than twenty years ago. And the last time we were together on Mother’s Day was in 1996. Cell phones with cameras weren’t around yet, and somehow we just didn’t drag out a real camera that day to take photos. At the time, my son was fifteen and my daughter was twelve. And the only pictures I have of that day are those etched in my mind and in my heart forever.

It was a glorious sunny day in Winnipeg, unseasonably warm and the snow had already disappeared. I had prepared brunch that day at home. I still recall the menu vividly………..salad, quiche, fresh fruit and a lemon trifle for dessert. We wanted to spend a quiet, leisurely time at home rather than fight the crowds in the restaurants. My mother was scheduled for surgery that week, a surgery that tragically took her life.

This year I will be back in Winnipeg for Mother’s Day. Instead of a virtual visit to the cemetery on my laptop, I will be able to visit in person, a routine I followed every year after her death until I moved away several years ago.

And I am a mother as well. I fondly recall the last time I spent Mother’s Day with both of my children back in 2009. My daughter made a lovely brunch and this time we did take pictures. 

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My daughter has since moved to Ontario, but I have been able to spend time with my son on Mother’s Day when I have come back to visit. Here is a shot of us back in 2013. 

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It’s been a while since I’ve been with both of my kids on Mother’s Day but last year they were both together in Toronto and sent me this lovely photo.

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Another memorable Mother’s Day was the first one I spent in Mexico. I was living in Culiacan. Juan and I taught together, and he and his wife Lucila had adopted me into their family. At the time they had a toddler named Juan Carlos. We went out for raspados and went to a park. Lucila had made a bracelet for me which I treasure and still wear.

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So I have had mothers on my mind this month, although Mother’s Day in Mexico is on May 10th and in Canada it’s on May 14th.

I am looking forward to spending Mother’s Day this year with my son. It will be the highlight of my visit to Winnipeg. Kyle be warned. There will be photos.