Monday, February 15, 2010

Olympic Fever

The city of Vancouver has been invaded!  People from all over Canada and the world have descended upon the city to see the Olympics and be a part of the excitement.  I haven't been all that tuned in to the excitement.  I'm not that much of a sports fan (other than occasional basketball games or figure skating) and I have an aversion to the NHL from a long ago over exposure from three older brothers and a hockey coach father. 

However, last Friday night I decided that we should at least watch the opening ceremonies for a while to see what they had put together.  My attention was captured right away.  I sat mesmerized by the spectacular special effects and sense of pride in who we are and what we are all about.  The inclusion of the First Nations as hosts and their dancing held me spellbound and as the athletes marched in I cheered along with the crowd as Team Canada appeared. 

For once, it wasn't about the politicians or the flashy celebrities and their glitz.  It was about us, everyday Canadians, that live and work and participate in our communities.  It wasn't about impressing anyone, it was about sharing our story with the world - and we did it with pride.

Not once did I hear any of the same old hooey about our identity crisis.  No, Canadians know exactly who we are and we are not ashamed to be ourselves - nice, polite, welcoming, diverse, complicated, multi focussed, bilingual... and proud to be Canadian.

Since Friday I've been tuning into the various sports events and right now, as I write this, I'm actually watching women's hockey.  You know, the women are great hockey players and I'm really enjoying the lack of brutality that often accompanies men's professional hockey.  For once its about the sport and skating and skill with the stick and puck.  I can get into that.

Me watching hockey?  Oh, that's too funny!

Tonight, more figure skating... tomorrow... skiing...

Wednesday we're planning a trip downtown into the chaos!  Robson square, skating, Vancouver Art Museum.  I'm looking forward to it.

Enjoy the Olympic Games everyone!

grace... kathie

Friday, February 05, 2010

We'll Meet Again....

This past week my Aunt Norah, 93yrs old,  went to be with her Lord ... and my mom.  She was the last surviving child of James and Norah Harman and came to Canada in 1926 with her father, step-mother and younger sister, Annie (my mom).  Just six weeks later her father died and they had several difficult years ahead.  Left behind in England was older sisters Lily, Carrie and Mary and older brother James.

Next to my mom, I loved my Auntie Norah best.  I think it's because we were kindred spirits.  I loved her spunky behaviour and when she laughed the room lit up. Her and my mom were a pair!  She became a Christian in the 1970's and from that time forward she was always on about God.  Being young, I thought she was going a bit off the deep end, but as my own relationship with God deepened, I realized that she really just had a great friend in Jesus and wanted that same joy for me.  As a result she had a great influence on my spiritual development. 

We always used to enjoy taking the children to visit Aunt Norah and Uncle Frank, and they always put on a nice little lunch for us and we always spent the time having great conversations, filling each other in on the latest news.  They were always such great times.  I remember when Ed and I were getting ready to become officers in TSA, she was so encouraging to us. Her and my Uncle Frank would pray for us and tell us how proud they were of us. I'll never forget them cheering us on as we marched down the aisle at Massey Hall in Toronto at our commissioning in 1992.  I know she was so proud of me.  It gave me such happiness to see her and my mother like that.

I'm so glad I took the opportunity to see her in October when I was back in Ontario for my mother's funeral.  We had a lovely visit at the nursing home and even though she was much more fragile than I'd ever seen her, she knew who we were and even knew who the youngest boys were.  I'm so glad I took Nathan & Evan to meet their great aunt and have a chance to talk to her and get a sense of who she was. 

When it was time to say goodbye, I knew I would likely never see her again.  We hugged, we kissed and was said "so long..."  and we sang, "We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when...."  But we both knew, we knew for sure.... we'll meet one day in Heaven and we'll all sit down together and have a great cuppa and a gab together and catch up on the latest news....

I miss her.  I miss them both.  My life was so much richer because I had them in my life.

I'll always love you Auntie Norah!