19. Infinite Possibilities

Journal # 95 September 2007 – January 2008

A journal of infinite possibilities. Gift of presence. Did I read somewhere or did I write the following: “Beauty flows from a heart at rest. That is Core to who I am. I am an irreplaceable part of a shared adventure on this earth plane with transcendent purpose. I am relational to the core of my being” Don’t think I wrote that but wrote this: “ Connected to all that is. Wisdom welling up from within. A new day, a new chance to love. Birthing into beyond.”

And this: “In my home: Light, nature, openness, feelings, fitness, adventure, freedom, fun, ideas, tears, joy, comfort, honoring myself. I am as lovely as a river, love flowing through a natural creative fun loving woman; at one with the universe. I’ve moved forward into a brighter future, a life of comfort, acceptance and self love. I see the beauty in my life unfolding. I have grace and dignity. I am free and confident in my future; trusting the process of life. Happy with the kindness the world is showing me. Enjoying a forgiving world. Healing energies flow through me. I am strong as I let go of the past. I am backed up by the universe and a lot of generous friends. Being in touch with the One Who Knows. Inside So wanting Out. Songs Say it All. Be Who I Am. I am Unfolding. I am remembering Who I Am. Came from Wood, came from Air, Water and Fire; An Ethereal Body; Luxuriating in Loving Life. Know how I feel loved and cherished so can meet my own needs, wants and desires. Living with and being comfortable with the unknowable; in the void; underneath it all is Love; any emotion connected to Source. Elemental. Living Life Free, each of us beings is a piece of art; liquid fire, molten love. Opening, Free, Filled. Birthing into Beyond. Easy to give up all that has served me well. Abundance for all.”

DAD IN ICU. Sept 18, 2007-Non stop family staying at my house. My friend helping me unplug the sink. Went out in the car and screamed. Still trying to work. Wes tells me he is sorting clothes and getting rid of some things. Yesterday constable from Saskatoon City Police phoned and interviewed me about the murder next door. Told him don’t know anything. Crying that we have a world like this. So tired and can’t even email my friends. Meetings with doctors. Treatment or Palliative Care for Dad? Palliative? Dad writes a note as now on hundred per cent oxygen. “We are making a new man,” he writes. I cry. Left the hospital and made the decision will go to Columbia and Machu Pichu this upcoming February with girlfriends. Seems a little bizarre.

Sept. 25, 2007. 2:35 am. Dad dies. I and two sisters were sitting on his bed singing the Catholic hymn: “Come Back to Me with All your Heart”. We could tell he was gone and we kept singing and the next hymn that came was “Come to me.” It was really, really peaceful. He had reached for mom’s picture, made the sign of the cross and when my sister asked, “Are you saying you’re ready to go?” he nodded yes and she phoned us. We were there singing as he went.

The following eulogy I wrote was read at the wake and the lunch following the funeral: I read somewhere, “The life given us by nature is short but the memory of a well spent life is eternal.” Roady Harvest was a son, a brother, a friend, a husband, a father, grandfather, and a great grandfather. Roady became a son on August 27, 1921 and a little brother. They were a pioneer family that homesteaded about twelve miles from Smalltown, Saskatchewan. He was to become a big brother to three sisters and two brothers.

He first picked up the fiddle when he was nine. He could walk cross country to school; did lots of horseback riding, playing ball and skating the sloughs. He finished grade ten, worked on the family farm for awhile; freighted fish up in Flin Flon, did a short stint in Ontario, traveling in a box car with horses from here to there.

He married Rita in 1949, a love relationship that lasted fifty years. He was in road construction and bought his own farm nine miles west of Smalltown. They bought a six hundred square foot house; and had three boys, Stretch, Calvin and Dennis. They then built on to make it eight hundred and eighty square feet; three more girls, Sharon, Ann and Louise.

By then he was a grader operator and the only thing that matched the miles and miles of roads he graded were the miles he walked patting children to sleep. And they kept coming – Marie, Margaret, Mary and Linda. He was twenty- nine when he started having children and forty six when Linda was born.

On the farm, Dad was milking cows, carrying pails of water; no running water; to make a skating rink. The boys were amazed an old man could skate. By then we had a piano and he was playing at dances on weekends in between filling the cistern and he loved going to trap shoots and up north for hunting trips.

We were in this eight hundred and eighty square foot house; boys in the boys room; three bunk beds for the six girls in the girl’s room with Linda in a crib in Mom and Dad’s room. Christmas’ were unreal; all the presents under the tree; the scraggliest tree you ever did see; but we had MUSIC.

A station wagon got the twelve of us to church each Sunday as well as to every baptism, communion, first confession, confirmation, sports days, Sunday picnic, 4-H. He was so proud of us seven girls singing at the Legion or the four little girls at the Villa.

My sister and her husband married on Mom and Dad’s thirtieth anniversary and that day Mom and Dad renewed their vows of love and commitment. Mom always said Dad’s two best decisions were marrying her and selling the farm when he did. Lots of special sons and daughters in law became part of Dad’s life.

He retired to Humboldt after grading roads for thirty five years for the RM’s around Smalltown. It was just before Linda turned eighteen and he ended up receiving a family allowance cheque and a pension cheque.

Family was important to him in that I don’t know anyone retiring these days who would buy a home with six bedrooms in it. When he moved, we found out Dad had saved every piece of paper. If you want to know the price of gas in 1962; just ask us. They loved their house in Humboldt and their motor home; taking lots of trips in the latter.

He took in his grandchildren when his daughter Louise died. He learned to golf. He started bowling. He never quit playing the fiddle. He was in many bands through the years; the Westernairs; the Merry Makers; joined choirs and the latest band was Roady and the RoadyCats.

We had lots of family gatherings as thirty grandchildren came on the scene.

Dad knew how to balance his life; time with others and time alone. We’d say, ‘Where is Dad?’ and he’d be in his bedroom with the door closed; playing the fiddle or there would be grandchildren curled up beside him; he’d be watching the ball game or they’d be telling him something or just laying beside him.

He knew how to listen. As a family, we had our struggles; no matter what we did; or trouble we had been in; he was there for us. Steadiness. Quiet strength. No Judgment. Dedicated Son; getting Granny to her appointments; at her bedside when she was dying.

His care of Mom throughout her life – his being there for her daily when she was sick the last five years; rubbing her legs, checking her insulin; going every day to the care home to see her. It was hard on him after Mom died; he stayed in touch with us though; all the telephone calls; what the weather was like; what the the roads were like; bowling score frame by frame.

Grandchildren knew the concern he felt for their well-being; his love of their sports;he’d travel to towns around for volleyball; ball in the bigger cities; clarinet concerts, kindergarten, graduation, church Christmas programs and always the music.

He had such joy in his youngest grandchildren and all the eighteen great grandchildren. The caring of all his friends; his move to the assisted living community, playing pool; shuffleboard and for sure; playing the fiddle. His Saturday night routine; five o’clock church, my aunt and he sharing the Chinese Combination number one; then their game of Crib; they could win or lose ten cents. We didn’t worry about him having nothing to do. We knew he was driving people to appointments, to church and picking up groceries for many, many. Last winter; that icy cold; blizzard day; lots of people did not go to work; and where was Dad? Driving highway number twenty to that small village south of here; at least fifty miles away to play for all the old folks.

Any given day he could be going to play at any of the six towns within thirty miles of here. He would tell us about someone in a wheelchair; who could hardly move or was sitting in a wheelchair but their toes or fingers would be tapping to the music. We have to thank my brother Calvin for having the foresight of making a CD of Dad fiddling the old fiddle tunes and Mom accompanying him on the piano.

Or Dad would be at the Golf Course; even May and June of this year; eighty five years old; nearly every week day he did nine or eighteen holes, and two days he did twenty-seven. His hole in one in 1996 was big but he was not one to want a fuss made about him although he enjoyed it when we did.

Steadiness, Steadfastness, Quiet Strength. That was the character he showed throughout his life and again in these last two weeks in the hospital. A son in law said in this fast paced world where everything is instant; he took the time to think; to decide and then when it was time; it was time.

He was born when there were no phones, no electricity and at the end he had this little cell phone at the hospital; he’d pull out of his pocket; and have connection with family and friends.

At the end, he held onto a picture of Mom, nodded his head, told my sister he was ready, made the sign of the Cross and we sat on his bed and sang him home.

We will keep the toe tapping Spirit of Dad, Grampa Roady alive. Thank you for sharing his and our lives.”

Oct. 1, 2007 Back to work. All feels changed. Went away with Wes for the weekend. He shared lots; lots about relationships; not sure I wanted to hear all I heard. That he loved; actually am glad he has. I have as well. His saying he doesn’t feel held in or controlled by me; that he’s let his guard down. I have such grief going on; such vulnerability; not fully sunk in all that has happened. What will I do different? All seems to have slowed down. Time goes slowly. Bought the ticket for Columbia and Peru; but really not into it. Wes and my trip to the Maritimes is coming up. Cleaned out Dad’s one bedroom suite with the others. Feel really tired.

Wes and I took all the kids to the golf course for Thanksgiving supper.

OUR HOLIDAY in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island October 18-28,2007

Plane coming into Halifax; everything was beautiful; looking down; spectacular fall colors; reds and oranges; deep green evergreens; to our first bed and breakfast experience; even more special than I imagined. The couple gave us directions to Peggy’s Cove and we were there for dinner. The Lighthouse walk over the rocks. Halibut supper and home to the jacuzzi. Slept sound through the winds and rain. Lashing rain on Kearney Lake Road through Bedford Basin to Pier 21 and a new Tilley Hat for Wes.

Alexander Keiths; the Farmer’s Market; the Red Stag Tavern to share a sandwich and beer at noon. Will I fall asleep? Doubtful as I had twelve hours. Hard time getting to 9:30 breakfast. Wonderful waffle with fruit. To the Atlantic Maritime Museum. Nighttime we’re at the Waverly Inn on Barrington Street and a walk to Kelvies for a Seafood Platter. Dancing the night away at Bearly Blues and Ribs with Matchstick Mike and the Smoking Alter Boys. Skylight above showed us Blue Skies for Sunday morning walk through the public gardens, around the Citidal and to Port Hood for a sunset over the ocean.

Seafood chowder at Buddies and a fishcake breakfast. A walk along the ocean seeing Summer Island houses across the bay. Al McGuiness’ home. Took a dirt road along the ocean. Trees on fire with copper, crimsons, cinnamon, shimmering golds; brilliant reds, and tangerine colors galore.

Halloween Costuming with pumpkin heads in every yard. Racoons and a grouse. Eagle outside of Inverness on the Cabot Trail.

Cliff hangar Red Rock Mountain around the coastline. French Acadian communities by the sea. Shimmering fresh water lakes on top of a mountain. Colors on both sides and in front as we drive the Highway. I’d say, “Look at that,” and he’d say, “That’s incredible!”

Stop at the co-op for a beer on the way to Meat Cove for whale watching and lunch. Breathtaking hair pin turns with switchbacks over and over. Scenery on the east coast; more reds, lime greens, three moose; car brakes smoking.

Lobster dinner at St Anne’s Motel overlooking the cove. In bed watching people fish. Yellow roses at the bedside still look fresh in the morning.

See life in a Shambala Buddhist Community. Foraging through the quinoa, vegetarian chile and chocolate cake topped off with a beer. Ten miles out of town; walk under the full moon and next morning through the forest. At Tatamagouche. Seagull pewter at Pugwash.

In New Brunswick; a beer by the sea.

The eleven kilometre Confederation bridge. McCains Potato Factory by the Red Potato Fields. The smell of potatoes. Cavendish Farms have the monopoly or is it Irving? Gently rolling hills. Sea view. Public Golf Course on the honor system. A fifth wheel for the Clubhouse.

To a different bed and breakfast; The Beach House Inn on the northern shores of PEI. Huge gulls on our seaside walk. Red cliffs. Cora’s Oyster Bar and Wes tries a QueHawg for the first time. Oysters preferred; raw and down they go.

New London pioneer cemetery dates like 1763.

Thursday – Eagle Glen Golf Club with white sand dunes. Claddah; an Irishman’s Oyster Bar; shared a pint and a tub of mussels. Charlottetown; we check out Founder’s Hall; Providence House where in 1846, what are called the Fathers of Confederation met for a week long meeting . Today listened to the Premier answer the opposition leader’s questions.

A drive down the Nineteenth Coastal Highway behind a school bus and see eighteen kids get off at one spot. House after house along the lanes. See the plover bird I’ve never seen before. Day after day the sun has been shining; there are pumpkins non-stop; fields of them; colors galore; forests of color; farms with the sea in the background. Back trails preferred.

Highways in such good shape. Ocean view potato farms; Holsteins cows and then forest; cemeteries and towns. All is green except for fall colors and red dirt roads.

Stop and talk to a farmer. One of three independent farmers. He’s going organic. Otherwise he says McCains takes it all.

People of PEI could have been our growing up next door neighbors. Down home farm people. Sunset over the Confederation Bridge as we head back to Nova Scotia.

Amherst: A full moon and sunrise at same time. Drug store of Sir Charles Tupper – states prescription service since 1843. A Tim Horton’s Breakfast.

Springhill; home of Anne Murray; and a Miner’s Monument where it states four hundred and forty lives lost for sixty five tonnes of reserve coal. Same last names seen over and over on the list of explosions.

Flying drive through incredible colorful country of logging; farming and maple production. Red fields but no idea what the red foliage actually is. Never did find out but whole hillsides of red.

Bay of Fundy and tidal bore at Truro. Red waters rising. Things I forgot that we saw: deer in the forest; green fields; lawns everywhere; little pastures; deep green evergreen. Some areas look very low income; some beautiful big homes; some really close to the road; many with clothes hanging on the line. Seafood every night. Lobster great!!

Schulenachi – world’s highest recorded tides. Different architecture along the east shore with silos; four to five in each yard; commercial cattle operations; feedlots with smell and all. Forests and farms; wild and rugged. Some could be Christmas tree farms.

Quaint little drives; close to the ocean and more orange; rusts and golds.

Gypson mines; fields of pumpkins and see apple trees in the forest.

Annapolis Valley; stop for a courtland apple. Detour with a horse and buggy beside us; good roads; lane ways paved. Annapolis Royal; stay in the Queen Anne Inn; a breakfast to die for; honey braised bagel with brie and pineapple; mushrooms and scrambled egg; could only eat half the pineapple coconut muffin; along with the orange juice; coffee and martini flute with yogurt, fresh raspberries; granola with three leaves of green mint. That topped off the evening meal of Atlantic salmon, mussels; lobster bisque; cream sauce with noodles; Thai vegetables with lots of peppers , beans, snow peas and cauliflower ending with coconut home made ice cream for dessert.

The hospitality in that three story Queen Ann period style inn was incredible. The dining rooms, sitting room, even stylish outside decks, barbecue ovens were amazing and we saw all four king size poster bed rooms. They were closing for the season so showered us with incredible menus and service.

Historical gardens to meander the next day; then rusty reds as we drove through the middle of Nova Scotia. Lakes, rocks and bush.

New sights: South Shore Coffin Island on the Atlantic Ocean; Mariner’s Landing in Bridgewater; a destroyer on our way to enjoying a lobster salad sandwich at Lunenburg’s German Black Forest Restaurant.

Take up the Docks day along the way; meaning Storage of Boats. See colorful lobster traps. Gravesite cemeteries along the road; flowers on the headstones. Close to the ocean but when we ‘re on the forest road,you’d never know the ocean is right there.

Last night at Bedford Basin; to the Cellar for haddock and scallops. One last night at the Blue Forest Lane b and b and we are home ending our first ten day vacation.

I rarely thought about Dad having just died. Wes said it was one of the best ten days he’s ever had and is looking forward to the future. We had said we wanted to do this traveling together before making a commitment. Now that I’m back home; as if Dad’s dying is back front and center. But really not; as we have decided to live together.

I walk around during the day feeling such incredible love; wondering if my kids have ever felt such incredible love.

On our trip, the day after we had been at the meditation retreat centre; I had a green light experience; a feeling like I’m on the right track. I’d say it’s the heart chakra open. Now at home, as if seeing that same love energy around things in my house. Having thoughts like, ‘Our deep selves are timeless; so are all those who went before, including family, Jesus, Buddha.’ As if all that is going on now is happening at the right time; when and how we told the kids that we are going to live together. Learning lots; figuring out what a cohabitation; prenuptial agreement might look like. Reading a book on it.

My friend who lives with me is the one that is concerning me as when I told her in earlier October that by December we were going to live together; she said she is in a financial crisis; no money; borrowing money; rent will be late; needs her stuff out of storage as can’t pay it anymore. The next weeks as I am planning my move; am also listening as she applies for social welfare and brings her things from storage into the house.

I went away with Wes for the weekend and when I came home late Sunday night; concerned as blinds were open and she was in her bedroom with door closed. I thought doubtful she was sleeping as the ocean sound box she had on when sleeping wasn’t going; and something in the house felt strange. Wrote in my journal that I am unsure what is going on; woke up dreaming of my concern about her. Glad she coughed as the fear of suicide was driving me.

I went to work Monday morning; came home at noon and she was still not out of her room. I heard her moving around. I phoned the phone company about moving implications; phoned my lawyer who was reviewing pre-nuptial agreement; glad he had all good to say about it and commented that I was protecting myself. There was a suggestion there be a clause that I have two years to move out of house in event of Wes’s death be clear. I went back to work for one pm; not able to get my friend and roommate out of my mind.
I couldn’t stay at work for my break; so went back to the house at three pm. She had attempted suicide by pills on Sunday at 1:30 pm; took all the pills; didn’t die. She was aware when I got there. She said social assistance had come through; had a job interview and got it; but said can’t live the bleakness; the darkness. She agreed to go to a doctor immediately; went on anti-depressants and made an appointment to see a counselor.

Over next while was non stop supporting her, sorting my stuff; then out to Prairietown. We had a family give away of what was left of Dad’s stuff. Then I’d be back to sorting my stuff; Wes and I talking daily about what he was saving; moving around; giving away; what I was and what I’d be bringing; and how it would all fit.

Having trouble remembering what I had and hadn’t done. Did I deposit the rent cheques, did I even get them? At the give away took some things I thought the kids might like. They didn’t. A Jesus and Mary statue hit the garbage. All a part of what we are ending. Moving on to new belief systems. Interesting nearly first things of mine that went to Wes’s were my journals and collages. Now being stored there. Wes and I talking non-stop. We do get along so well. The coffee I’m making at his place tastes the shits.

Daily, things are changing. My piano has been moved to Wes’s; next day my buffet, table & chairs went; think will fit with his Mom’s china cabinet. Weird. Wonder how it’ll all work out as he is used to living alone; I am just getting used to letting emotion out.

Sunday, Saskatchewan won the Grey Cup. Me, who never used to have a TV, now watching football and hockey?

November 30, 2007 AT HOME WITH WES. Phone hooked up. Message says Home of Sharon and Wes. He cooks spaghetti and meat sauce for my daughter’s birthday. One day I forgot to go to yoga. My friend, who is now taking some type of medication, and who I helped figure out social assistance so she could pay December rent told me she won $50,000. in the lottery. She put a collage on the fridge with $ signs all over it right after the month before life and death crisis and within a month had the win.

I had a cyst by my ear for years which the Louise Hay book spoke of cysts being a way of “nursing old wounds” A week after I moved in to my new life; the cyst broke and was on it’s way to being gone.

Christmas coming and same old dilemma as near every year; what to get anyone and all not feeling good enough. Love that Wes plans each day what we might make for a meal; gets the groceries; starts all the meals. He drives me to work every day. Picks me up too. Sometimes I walk. Takes one hour and about five minutes from home to work or work to home; bit more if it has snowed.

Love so much about this new life. Wrote out a long list;f or an ‘I love you’ card; the consideration he shows; listening to me cry; the non judgmentalness; the intelligent discussions; that he did my laundry when I was away for work; the affection; when we walk; he holds my hand; bringing me coffee and juice in the mornings and I could write for hours. We talk about having a celebration of us in spring.

I have days of song titles in my head: “Only You; I Love You Truly, Lay Down Beside Me; If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me, I’m In Love With You; Islands In The Stream; Forever and Ever, I’m On Top of The World, I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You; I Just Called to Say I Love You; You Ask Me If There’ll Come A Time When I Grow Tired of You, Never My Love, I Have This Never Ending Love For You, Sometimes When We Touch; Ode To Joy.”

Had a few days of a Christmas break from work; tried to go through some boxes; find my bills; to know where I’m at money wise; and to find summer clothes as need to be packing for Columbia. Some days I’m still finding really stressful; every time there’s an ending; whether it be a file or a program I’m participating; I’m into crying; grief over Dad; grief about life’s changes; letting go and moving on.

On my birthday; realize Dad will never again phone me my birthday greeting. Every year for fifty years he told the story of the day of my birth; he waking up dreaming that I had been born and that I had a head full of black hair. He’d go on to say when Mom phoned from the hospital and he went in to see me; I looked exactly as in his dream. Each year he told me again and I always heard the awe in his voice that a dream could be so real.

I met a woman I hadn’t seen for years. She said I looked loved. I feel loved. My aunt now moves to a private care home. She said the phone list I made her of all her nieces,nephews and friends gave her a reason for living. I had a wonderful birthday.

And January 19, 2008 this poem comes:

Listening as love speaks

Exorcizing fear

Trembling inside

What if’s

Nothing bad will happen

Why am I scared

Repeats over and over in my head

Wanting more

Peace eludes

Heart aches

Head full of tears.

As if hating work; had to go through being questioned at an appeal hearing. Turned out well for me in that the hearing found I had made the correct decision but don’t like going through the process. Nights of not sleeping; preparing in my head. Reminds me of court again. Think I’m fifty three and have to do this for twelve more years? Feel ready for retirement now!

This was a week of being Gramma days and nights with three nights of soccer and basketball practices with each morning Wes and I doing drop offs at school. The best was the playing cards, crokinole and the between times. Wes turned sixty years and his buddies gave him a “Seniors Living Safely Booklet’ and card. He has a real community; curling; hockey; golf buddies and more. We went out to a new Mexican restaurant. I notice we are talking future retirement and ways to have a happy one; envisioning what we want in our lives. He said most important is harmony and for that I’m grateful.


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