It’s the long weekend in August. The year is flying past with dizzying speed. A lot of things have been going on in my life, big things. The kind of things that make you sit back and think about your life: what you ‘ve done so far and what you still need to do…
My somewhat maudlin frame of mind is largely because my Dad passed away last month after a fairly rapid and dramatic decline. The nurse part of me was so caught up in managing his illness that the daughter in me didn’t really accept or feel the pain of what was going on over the past six months and it has caught up with me now. Regardless his passing is one of those great life resets. The world looks the same yet it is entirely different.
I am working on clearing up Dad’s apartment. As we pack up his life every crazy little souvenir, every ball cap brings a memory of a life well lived. The real joy though is found in the things he kept that mattered to him. He had an old radio in a leather case that he got from his staff in Cold Lake, the big TD picture in silver dollars made for his 25th year in banking, and beer steins shaped like boots from Munich. As I packed up his bathroom I found a small box of things he had kept after mom died. In a little fabric bag she had sewn he had her brush rollers. And in another her makeup and lipstick. Dad knew no one would use the rollers nor would anyone have need of the makeup. But nothing was as representative of my mom, and those of you who knew her will understand this, as those rollers and that lipstick- and he needed to keep that.
That’s when the realization flooded over me that its not your investments, your professional accomplishments, your bank account or what kind of furnishings or property you leave behind that someone will treasure. It’s much simpler . So I thought about what I could keep to most remember my dad. I haven’t come to a conclusion yet, mostly because its too raw right now. Everything I touch I can see him in but it will settle and I know there will be something a simple as brush rollers that will forever be linked to him.
2017 has been a challenging year. Tegan is still far away. And she’s preparing for her wedding over there while I prepare over here. Its a surreal kind of joyous anticipation, empty yet abundant- I want her here so we can do this together. Actually maybe its not the “doing” its the “feeling” it together. The anticipation, the excitement , the promise. Facetime, Messenger and Skype help but it just isn’t enough somehow. BUT YET I tell myself I have much to be grateful for. I have her. She’s happy, she’s successful and she has Todd.
But 2017 has been good too. Andy has a new hip! And if all goes well, very soon a second new hip. He is at least 3 inches taller and stronger and its like starting life again this time for real!
So here I sit in a gazebo in Northern Saskatchewan reflecting on the emotional and developmental place I find myself in right now. One set of responsibilities ended, a new phase of my life before me, Baba Canuckski redux. Brought back, restored….
What would Baba do? So here’s the thing, Baba lost a lot of people over the course of her life. But as all Ukrainians ( at least those I know) she was a pragmatist. She mourned deeply but she lived life even more deeply. Life would , as it should, move on. Things would change, you would manage and you would continue on and people will still get hungry. Feed them.
Summer Creamed Potatoes with Dill 2 lbs scrubbed new garden potatoes 2 heaping tablespoons butter 3 green onions whites and greens trimmed and diced handful garden fresh dill diced 2 cups cream Boiled scrubbed potatoes with skin on in heavily salted water until fork tender.
Melt butter in saucepan and gently saute onion whites and greens then dill Lower heat stir in cream and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour over hot drained potatoes and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes or longer. Is lovely with fried chicken or pork chops. * if you like a heavier sauce you can make a roux prior to adding the cream but it isn’t necessary as the potatoes have enough starch to add body to the dish.
Dad’s favorite. Enjoy!