Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Weddings...and other Milestones

On the afternoon of October 9th, 2010, my husband and I, joined by very cherished family members and friends, gathered to watch our youngest son marry the woman of his dreams.

I look to the altar and watch this young groom, our son, as he patiently waits for his bride to arrive. Their eyes lock together as she walks down the aisle and anyone with a still-beating heart knew the look of love that passed between them.

The picture biography of my little boy’s life, etched solidly on my heart where it can never be lost, starts playing silently, keeping time with the bridal music. In that moment of moments when speaking their vows, I look up to see, not that little boy, but a young man pledging his love to his bride, his bride quietly speaking her  vows through her tears to the man she loves.

Lost ties, late rides, the endless errands and tasks involved with a wedding are all but forgotten, for in that moment I look to see my husband quietly wiping away tears of his own, and I know I am blessed to have been here before, as I will be again. In different surroundings watching a different couple, the tears he last shed for our oldest son’s wedding on August 22nd, 2009 are tears he will no doubt shed once again when our last – but not least – son marries the woman of his dreams.

For those tears that we share are ones of happiness for the men our sons have become, of sadness for a time long ago kept alive in our hearts, and tears of joy. Joy for the future we’ve been blessed to share as our sons set out on that journey called life. And joy for the honour of getting to know and share our lives with the women who love them. Joy that we were blessed to be there to have those picture biographies playing.

To Billy, Brian, Brad, Melissa, Grace and Torrie: We love and cherish these moments with each and every one of you and wish nothing but the best life has to offer.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Christmas Stranger - Part Three

“You fit the bill perfectly, Ethel. You’re a single mom, a widow. Who could be more deserving to win five thousand dollars? Just think of how much easier that could make life for you and Jonathon.”
            Lucy had a heart of gold but her chattering was falling on deaf ears today. There was no way Ethel was putting her life story – how she became a single parent - over the airwaves for today’s ‘Cash Giveaway of the Day’ contest. Not even to win cash of her own that she could use to buy her more time.
She would’ve loved to make the little town of Headingley, Manitoba her hometown; to stay where the townsfolk had welcomed her and her son with open arms. It saddened and frustrated her that she’d have to sneak off like a thief in the night once again.
For she recognized the face in her rear view mirror as the man who would, if given the chance, put an end to the safe world she was avidly trying to create for herself and Jonathon.
Lance Becker, her husband’s go-to man. Need someone found? Need someone to go missing? Need to find the wife of an abusive and controlling man? Call Lance Becker, he’ll get the job done.
Ethel knew he was nearby. She couldn’t shake that same old feeling off throughout the day...that feeling of being watched. Looking around, finding no one or nothing out of the usual order of the day didn’t make her feel any better. Since the day she’d found Jonathon’s security room with all screens showing various snapshots of every move she made throughout her days she had learned to trust those instincts.
“It’s five o’clock. Today’s contest is now closed. After this jingle from our sponsors, Reg will announce today’s contest winner.”
They were about to make some woman very happy and Ethel wished whoever she was all the peace and happiness the season could bring as she readied herself for her long drive home.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Christmas Stranger - Part Two

His boss was irate that she’d been gone a few months and Lance still hadn’t delivered the package to his doorstep. In Lance’s defence, she certainly hadn’t made the task an easy one, changing her name and appearance as she had. Linda James, wife of Jonathon James II, mother of Jonathon James III, from Vancouver, British Columbia was pretty good at hiding her true identity.
It had taken the better part of two months before she’d made the mistake that put him on the trail of ‘Meredith Halfpenny, divorced, childless woman from London, England’.  By purchasing the car she now drove with her husband’s credit card, Linda had left a paper trail that led Lance straight to Calgary, Alberta only to find that within days of buying the car she’d moved on.
Ethel Hathaway, widowed mother from Washington, DC, would’ve retained her anonymity had he not had every electronic path covered. One use of the boy’s health card was the blip on his radar screen he needed. This time he’d make absolutely certain that would be the blip that would cost Linda her freedom.
Lance had his qualms about what had caused the wife of a very wealthy man to go to such lengths to hide, taking their infant son - the only heir to the James’ family fortune - with her. Though he had to remind himself he was getting paid to find and return her – willingly or unwillingly, harmed or unharmed - not figure out why she ran from his boss in the first place.
            The only tell that young Jonathon was still with her was the car seat anchored in the old car she drove but he’d yet to see the boy. Lance hoped to spy him when he followed her home, for he knew he’d be putting his life on the line to return with the wife and not the son.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Christmas Stranger - Part One

“Only 29 shopping days left ‘til Christmas, folks.”
That’s not what Ethel wanted to hear blaring from her radio on her morning commute to work.
Heading to a job that the only satisfaction it gave was that she could pay the bills was made tougher by the new-fallen snow. She was glad she’d had the sense God gave a pea and had her snow tires installed last week. And having another year’s tread left on them had to be considered a blessing...didn’t it?
So folks, that’s today’s contest. We’ll start taking calls at eight o’clock.”
            Ethel’d been so focussed on the fool who’d been tailgating her for the last kilometre she missed what today's contest was all about. Oh well, she was sure even before she had her coat off and hung, Lucy will have filled her in on the latest Strictly Country FM radio contest, and the tailgater would be entirely forgotten throughout their days events.
            Their boss took his love of wildlife a little too far she thought each day as she hung her coat on the antler-shaped peg. “Good morning, Lucy,” she said.
            “Did you hear the latest? About the contest? Are you going to enter? You should. If anyone qualifies it’s you. Oh, and good morning. You’re later than usual.”
            She was always surprised Lucy could get a breath in easier than anyone could get a word in when she talked. “Oh, some idiot was following so close behind me I was worried if I didn’t slow down I’d hit a patch of ice and take us both out. He barely kept from clipping my bumper as I turned in to park.”
            While Lucy filled her in on the contest qualifications said idiot was parking further up the road, hidden from the view of the restaurant. In a grove of trees he prepared to wait her shift out. He had nothing but time...

Stay tuned....

Monday, November 8, 2010


There must be Peace in one's heart before it can take root and grow throughout the world.

May Stephens