“I tell you, my friend, ‘Tempis Fugit’ : that’s the key to understanding and making the most of this life. Time is evanescent, deciduous, fugacious, fleeting, transient…and we who wish for bold adventures must seize the moment and pack it full ‘ere it escapes us forever.”
“So what do you plan to do about it?” his friend asked.
“Ah, therein lies the problem; we may dream but between our desires and our deeds a great GULCH is fixed.”
Seeing his friend looking puzzled, he elaborated: “Gulch…as in canyon, gorge, gulf, flume, ravine, abyss, chasm.”
“You know, pal, if you spent less time studying the dictionary, you’d have lots more minutes to try those bold adventures you’re talking about.”
Several weeks ago my husband’s cousin called to tell us that their twenty-year-old granddaughter Hannah had passed away rather suddenly of an infection of the blood. When Hannah was born, she was missing the main artery to her heart, so within months she had her first of many surgeries to deal with this serious issue, mainly ballooning the smaller arteries into her heart to allow the blood to flow as freely as possible. The doctors guessed she’d live maybe six years. Though she had a portable oxygen tank for most of her life, she was a lively girl with lots of dreams for the future and a ready smile. She’d had a heart valve replacement about six months prior and it took her a long time to recover from that — and she said, “No more.” Still, she seemed to be doing okay lately, but this infection came suddenly and took her within few days. She never had to go through another operation. Her funeral was May 21st in Saskatoon.
Last Nov 28th my sister Wilma left me a voice message: “Chris, we have to talk.” Our sister Donna, who’d just turned 66, had died of a drug overdose. She was living with some friends in Regina at the time. She moved often, often had no phone, and I hadn’t been able to get in touch with her for several years. Her middle son, James, had her cremated that week; since then it’s taken some time to set a date for burying the urn with her ashes. We did that last Saturday at noon in Moose Jaw with close family and a few friends present. Afterward we met at a pavilion in the park for a lovely simple picnic lunch. I was really glad we went; visiting with the family brought closure to her death.
My sister Rose died at the end of Dec 2019 and her husband wasn’t well. Both of them smokers since their teens, Rose had contracted lung cancer, was treated, but it spread and then she got an infection that took her. I can’t say we knew her husband very well. We lived in the East for twenty of their married years and haven’t meet him very often since we’re back. Plus, Butch was the type that never has so much to say. But we knew his health hasn’t been good for some years; he suffered from serious emphysema and also was treated for bladder cancer in 2019. Now both problems have risen up to overwhelm him; last Saturday we all knew it wouldn’t be long until there’d be another funeral. We received word Tuesday evening that Butch had passed. He’d have been 69 in September.
So this month seems to especially be our “season” for funerals and/or “Celebrations of life.”
rush hour traffic
streams of weary communters
Today We Bury My Sister
Donna died of a drug overdose on November 28, two days after her 66th birthday. Her middle son, James, had her cremated within days, but it’s taken while to arrange burial of her ashes in her daughter Barbie’s grave. Barb died back in 1989, from what likely would have started as cervical cancer. A sad time for us all; Barb was just sixteen and full of life.
Being a Saturday morning, the traffic on the highway between here and Moose Jaw will probably be light. We’re to meet at the cemetery at noon to bury the urn holding Donna’s ashes, then we’ll have a gathering in remembrance, which will take the form of a family picnic in the park. I don’t expect it to be a large gathering, as she lived in her own circle of friends so a lot of her nieces and nephews hardly knew her.
Donna and I were close when we were young — as close as siblings can be when they live in different homes over 100 miles apart — but as an adult she and her family lived here in SK while we moved East and lived in Ontario and Quebec. Coming back to SK, I was only able to locate her a few times. So, sadly I’ve only seen her four or five times in the past thirty years — mainly at family funerals.
I haven’t had anything to do with her Rob & Jason, her oldest & youngest sons, since I spent a few days with Donna when Barb died. Sad when families get so estranged, but my husband and I chose a different path — lifestyle if you will — and lost contact with them. Hopefully we can get a bit more acquainted today.
Recently I started reading a book titled EMBRACING OBSCURITY. The author, Anonymous, writes about how, in today's society, we're apt to feel we must be a SOMEBODY if we want to count at all. I haven't read far, but I gather he's saying we need to abandon dreams of being Big Names and settle for being ordinary people. As Edgar Guest aspires to in this verse...