This is an awesome piece!
Wow- What a ride!
As I sit here thinking back over this past trip around the sun, one word sums it up- Wow! This was certainly an interesting year.
It started off with the finalization of my divorce in January, which anyone who has been there can understand was a very bittersweet milestone. If you haven’t been there- Thank God! I won’t delve into all that. One great side benefit of the divorce was being able to spend time hanging out with my kids and my family, knowing that my time with them is now a legal right. One negative of the divorce was a very tight year financially. I guess I better get used to that. In the words of an old country song- “She got the gold mine, I got the shaft”. Well, not that bad, but definitely a new financial reality.
As the world mourned the passing of one famous person after another this year, I have to ask myself if anyone of their lives mean any more than any other human life. I know they all had an influence on our world, not always for the good in my opinion. But to be utterly pragmatic about it, does the death of a musical legend (for example) whom we really haven’t heard anything new from in a long time, really affect us?
Having said that, Man I love old music! Largely from people who are no longer with us. This year I really reconnected with my love for old country music. Watched “The Highwaymen” live from Nassau Colliseum a couple times on PBS. Sat on my couch and listened to the classic country channel on my cable and memories flooded back of old stuff I used to hear as a kid. Ok, Ok, that cost me a lot of money on iTunes, but man, I love this old music.
Also had a chance to listen to some fantastic, young, country acts as well. The passing of the old guard doesn’t mean the end of music. Saw a guy named Shane Chisholm play a 15 minute tribute to the Man in Black- on a stand up Bass he had built himself. Out of gas tank from a minivan!!
Moving on from music, I watched my eldest daughter move more firmly into the teen years. Fourteen already! Man, I must be getting old. And the youngest turned eight. What an awesome blessing it is to have three beautiful daughters who are so sweet, and to get to enjoy time with them. I am blessed!
I am truly grateful to live in a country with such good health care. I watched my dad go through a health scare when we all thought he’d had a heart attack. Doesn’t appear that that’s what it was, we are still waiting for answers, but I’m hopeful it’s all OK. I watched a good friend, a shining light to all around her, go through surgeries, chemo, and more surgery. To watch her attitude through it all was awesome. Thank you Glenna!
On a less important note, it was another good year at work, though it ends with me pondering a potential career change at some point in the future and having been approached about a couple different opportunities. And I know I need a job, and enjoy mine, but this is really not the most important part of my life.
And now, as we all prepare to enter a new year- 2017! Already?!?! I’m Hopeful… I’m hopeful that all goes as well this year as it did last year- maybe even better!
I pray for each of you that you will be richly blessed with Health, Happiness, and all you need to live a life that blesses others.
I used to think it was all in being alive. Now I know it’s about living.
“what???” You might ask. Let me explain.
In July of 2013, I spent eight days in a beautiful retreat center called “Sanctum” near Caroline, Alberta. I was there with 26 other people who were all on a journey with me called the”Hoffman Process”. To sum that up in a few words, we learned to put all of our life in perspective, and to understand the forces that made us who we are. I won’t go into detail about the process right now, that’s not what this is about.
To get to the point, I was asked one time for a couple words about what the Hoffman Process meant to me after the fact. I said “it saved my life- I haven’t contemplated suicide since my graduation!” The day that dawned on me, it blew my mind to remember the thoughts that used to run through my mind, and how I hadn’t thought those thoughts in years.
But then, a month ago, I had a chance to speak a couple words about being a Hoffman grad, and I knew at that point that it was much more than just being on the green side of the grass. The longer I live in this post-Hoffman life, the more ALIVE I am. And FREE. Free of a lot of the bitterness towards others that used to occupy my mind continually. You see, I came to understand that just as life forces shaped me, and gave me some rather negative patterns- so also, the people that hurt me are acting out of patterns given to them by their past. Not only by my past, or anybody else’s personal past, but by the pasts of our ancestors as well.
It’s so incredibly freeing to look at somebody’s negative actions as bad actions, not necessarily proof that the person is bad. I have really gained an appreciation for the pain in others’ pasts, and understanding for the actions (done by others) that can really hurt me.
I’ve been through a lot of crap in my life, which reminds of this fantastic quote I’d like to close this article with:
“He said “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are REAL, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are REAL you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
from “The Velveteen Rabbit”, by Margery Williams
Its time for Bedford to sound off about the Bovine TB case that emerged in Alberta, a province already heavily beleaguered over the past year. That being said, I am of course by no means an expert on these matters. I’m just writing from my own perspective on how I see things and hope that it might present the situation in a clearer light for those people who may not see the severity of this situation in its entirety for the people involved.
Imagine your life being flipped upside down. Everything… gone, just like that. Your whole entire life and life’s work finished in an instant. No warning given and zero time to prepare. That’s something that isn’t exactly easy for people to fathom, myself included. That is however, exactly what could happen to Brad Osadczuk when the Canada Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) phoned him up, and told him that…
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Needing a Bridge
First a confession. I’ve been selfishly bitter lately. I hid it with intentions of public protection, but really I was wallowing in bitterness to my molester.
The story all started a few weeks ago when I was told that the guy who molested me- who is listed on the Canadian sex offender registry and living under release conditions that prohibit his contact with minors- is now a Counselor. Yes, you read that right. But the info wasn’t quite right- he wasn’t a counselor yet, he was doing a practicum as part of his Masters in Counseling studies. The clinic he was doing the practicum at did a heck of a sales job bragging up how great a guy the rapist is. They bragged about his successful career as a teacher (which he lost due to his crimes), his successful career as a teacher(which he started when he lost his teaching job, and lost when he was convicted and sentenced), and on and on.
For any who’ve read some of my previous posts (like this) this won’t come as a major surprise. I flipped!! I called my brother who’s been with me in this from the start, and over the next few days we called everyone we could think of:
– the police who after a lot of checking said “wish we could stop this cause it’s sick, but he’s not breaking any laws.”
– the counseling clinic who’s owner said “he’s a good guy who served his time, he deserves a second chance, and just wants to help people”
– the university he’s studying at, talked to the dean of the counseling program, who consulted with their lawyer, who then wrote a carefully worded letter saying that they only care about academic performance.
To us, he’s just carrying on his trend of looking for vocations which will put him in one-on-one situations with vulnerable people.
Now that I’ve got that off my chest, I NEED TO LET IT GO!! I can’t let the bitterness over what happened yesterday ruin my today. And so, as I turn these words over to cyberspace, I turn vengeance over to God. I can’t do anything (legally) about him. And I can’t dwell on it anymore. So now, as I BRIDGE to tomorrow, I need to set boundaries, so that when anyone wants to talk about “him who will no longer be talked about”, I can change the subject of conversation.
So help me God!
On this 2016 Canadian Thanksgiving day I am sitting here, watching the snow accumulate, pondering my life. So here goes-
I am grateful for a warm house to sit in and watch the snow pile up.
I am grateful that I don’t live in the Canada that comedians like to poke fun at. I don’t travel by dogsled. I don’t live in an igloo. Snow this time of year, while not uncommon, is the exception rather than the rule for most Canadians. including for my part of Canada. We should be melted off and 16 degrees Celsius later this week.
I am so incredibly grateful for my three beautiful daughters. They light up my life. A few minutes ago the oldest poked me on Facebook. so we chatted for a couple minutes.
I am grateful for my kids’ mom- my ex-wife. While I often like to complain about her, I am grateful for the good times we had, for the three daughters she gave me, and for how well she takes care of them now.
I am grateful for my immediate and extended family. My parents who are both in their sixties, and reasonably healthy. My brothers and sisters, who all get along with each other, and all the nieces and nephews. That extended family is so large that I don’t know most of their names if I meet them, but I guess that’s what happens when one’s grandparents have 16 kids, right?
I am grateful to be Canadian. Living in a land which gives me the freedom to express myself without fear of consequences for my opinions. Living in a land with good health care.
I am grateful for a good job that keeps me challenged and rewards me well for doing my job. In that vein, I am grateful for the customers who support me, and the relationships that I have been able to build up with customers across western Canada.
Above all, I am grateful to God, who makes all of this possible, and offers eternal life to all who will believe in him.
And with this partial list of the blessings in my life ready for me to hit the “publish” button, I wish you all a fantastic day! Now it’s time to go eat a Thanksgiving meal with my family.
Some things boggle my mind. I’m listening to sports talk radio this week- the Jim Rome show- when he reads throught the Penn State Nittany Lions’ list of promotions that are happening this season. And there, on September 17, it reads “commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of coach Joe Paterno”. SERIOUSLY???? Where do they have their heads stuck? Do they read the news? Do they pay any attention at all to what society thinks of Joe’s reputation?
If you don’t know what I’m writing about, google “Paterno” or “Sandusky”. In a nutshell, Joe’s employee, Sandusky, abused children in his role with the program for many years. There are allegations in court documents that suggest Joe Paterno knew of, and HID, these crimes starting way back in 1976. Ten years after he started at Penn State. So maybe there celebrating the Fortieth anniversary of him starting his cover up for a pedophile?
What does this tell the victims? Or other victime of similar crimes who haven’t dared to speak of their horrors yet? A couple years ago, they took down Paterno’s statue from in front of their stadium, now they’re going to commemorate him. What they should be doing is building a monument to all the victims of the crimes he covered up, or having a moment of silence before the game for victims of sexual crimes everywhere. But don’t expect that to happen. Paterno is their hero, and they will ignore his crimes and those who were hurt by his crimes.
“His crimes?” you ask? Yes, his crimes. If anyone knows about crimes against innocent children, and doesn’t stop those crimes, then covering up and allowing the abuse to continue is just as evil as actually doing the abuse.
I don’t seriously expect this little post to make any difference in the grand scheme of things, but I needed to vent, so thanks for the space to do that.
Just my opinion.
Looking through the glass(less) windows.
Near my home town, there’s a little ghost town called Dorothy, Alberta. It has two churches and a grain elevator. About fifteen years ago I found this town, and all of these pictures are from that trip. I’ve been back a few times- now the churches have been fixed up and the elevator has lost it’s roof to a wind storm. Back then, however, the church that I took these pictures from was very decrepit, and, might I add, photogenic. Someday, for a different post I’ll show the outside of what I’m talking about, but for “frame“, I had to share these.
Sweet Mistakes, Such Sweet Mistakes.
As a divorced dad, there’s people who ask what I’d do different if I could do it over. They suggest that having married my kids’ mom was a mistake. And maybe in a lot of ways it was. But, Oh, what a sweet mistake. Because of that “mistake” I have three beautiful, sweet daughters that I love deeply and I know they love me too. Besides that, there was a lot of good to that marriage, and never minding the things that ended it, I try to remember with pleasure the good that came from that “mistake”.
But, let’s set me aside for a couple minutes here. I’m sure all of my readers know somebody who was born as a “mistake”, right? I mean, some people say they were a “surprise”, or an “accident”, but we all know what that means- their mom made a mistake, and had a child. What a sweet punishment for having a mistake, right? I’m not seeking to minimize the hardships of unplanned pregnancy, or single motherhood, or any of those things. We all know that is an incredibly tough row to hoe. But who can hold a baby, then watch them grow, and call that precious life a “mistake”?
I’d love to hear it if you think I’m nuts…that would just be another mistake to lear from, eh?
Learning to Love (and Live) Again
We met cautiously, online
Then for a glass or two of wine
There was an unspoken, mutual hope
That we could more than cope
There’s been, for both, heartbreak and pain
Perhaps we can break that miserable chain
Maybe together we’ll learn
And find that for which all yearn
Two souls with mutual trust
Past loves have all gone bust
But all beings crave to be
One of two, loving tenderly
Oh, so slowly, softly, day by day
Learning, trusting, till some day
We may, side by side, partners be
One flesh, one mind, loving tenderly
Wishing love for you all,