My days have been busy since we had our grand opening of our little coffee shop last weekend. This week has consisted of work, baking, kids, getting ready for our trip to BC and a quick trip to Fredericton. It is now almost 1AM as I sit to write this blog and I am up because I am still baking for the Farmer's Market tomorrow morning...
I have had a busy mind in the past week with so much going on, school ending for Jessica and our barn building happening in about 36 hours. The neighbours have been amazing, helpful and such great friends. I am truly grateful for the friendship that has been offered to us. People willing to give us their valuable time to spend a day working on our barn and property. A local youth who has offered us basically two days of his time, he will help Len lay the floor tomorrow and then help again with the barn raising on Saturday. Thank you Brendan, you are a good kid!
Meanwhile the girls are starting to tremble with anticipation at returning to their homeland - Vancouver Island, the place to be! The excitement is growing and apprehension - will it be the same? Will we sound different, look different? Who do we see first? Can we pick up again where we left off or have our friends moved on? The joy at reuniting with Grandma and Grandpa and everyone else... Yes, in a week, I will be sleeping in my parents home... I will wake up on Canada Day with my family and spend my birthday (45!) with them and my friends. I have much to be thankful for.
I have also spent the week reflecting on my children, their lives, their past, present and future. I wish so much for them and I want them to have everything they need - not necessarily everything they want. I want them to have enough. Enough love, enough joy, enough passion, enough learning, enough food, enough shelter, enough ...
Sadly, last Saturday night an old and dear friend called to tell me that her son had had enough. Enough pain, enough sorrow, enough life. I can only imagine the grief a mother feels at not being able to take away her child's fears, nightmares and anguish. The agony she must have gone through in those years that he suffered and she couldn't make it better. The guilt she was tormented with when she needed a break and had to say no. He was a beautiful boy, a bright young man and a tortured adult. It is heart breaking that the only thing he knew to do was to take his own life. At the same time there is relief to know that he is no longer hurting.
Mental illness is horrific and difficult to talk about. When discussing mental illness there is often fear in a person's eyes; How will I be accepted? Who will understand? Will they judge? Wonder what the family did to create it? Was the person abused as a child? Is it hereditary? Is it an excuse for bad behaviour? Having been close to someone who I believe was torn apart slowly and steadily without a diagnosis I understand the agony that the loved ones go through. I wish my dear friend peace, knowing it will take a long time to come.
I can't be with her on his last day and I know her faith will be tested. Her sorrow will be immense. Her surviving children will be by her side as they lay their beloved brother to rest. This is for her: My friend, your heart will mend although there will always be a whole for the boy you loved so dearly. Go on with your life, give your other offspring and grandchildren the remainder of your days and never for a moment believe that you failed him. You didn't, you helped him stay with you for so much longer than he could have on his own. His legacy is the love you hold for him.
A final note, of hope... While this young man's life ended, another man's life is hanging on. Recently my friend's father had a terrible, freak, bicycle accident. He is about 80 years old and was still active, golfing, riding his bike and enjoying his beloved wife and retirement. In late May, almost a month ago now, he veered into the road, no one knows why and was terribly injured. He has held on. He has defied the odds, is fighting to heal from his injuries and is a true miracle. Walter McQuade, you are an inspiration. I wish you many years, much strength to continue and believe that you are here for a reason.
One can never know why any of us are here or for how long. I believe we each have a purpose, our life has meaning and although it may not be clear at the time, each of us live, learn and pass on when it is our time. Life is so valuable, I want to cherish each day, enjoy the simple things and try not to rush so fast that I miss the meaning. I am now going to bed, as I fall asleep I will look out my window and watch the miracle of the fireflies as they flit about - quickly though - before the bats get them!