Having driven early this morning from Harrison Hot Springs to Abbotsford to drop Lauren off for a sleep over I then spent my morning at the Farmer’s Market, the Abbotsford Pride festivities, shopping and then returned to my happy place, Harrison Hot Springs. Our house is half a block from the beach and this is a poor quality photo up the lake from the beach (iPhones take poor photos).
I enjoy walking the beach several times a day and at dusk when I look up the lake I see the most awesome sunset behind the layers of mountains that jut into the lake. The view always holds me and causes me to stop and contemplate. It is a “pit stop” on the racetrack of life. The view of the sunset over this piece of creation/nature always helps me put my own life, priorities and concerns in perspective. In short it reminds me of how insignificant they are. It is very focusing.
Now I know that the world is filled with awesome pieces of nature that cause introspection and contemplation. I know that there are many such views in BC and Canada.. I know that there are magnificent and contemplation causing views in Northern Ontario. And in Saskatchewan....... wait maybe not Saskatchewan. I got carried away in my hyperbole
My point is that such magnificent views allow us perspective and reflection.
Tonight my wife Pam is in Kelowna, being about three hours from here. This is her third trip there this week. Her 100 year old grandmother is failing quickly and Pam wants to be there. Some of her functions are down to ten percent. Pam says that during a lucid period earlier in the day her grandmother spoke of people whom she had loved or been loved by during her life. Although not lucid now when she rouses she sees Pam beside her and smiles. Pam can’t leave her on that basis. Perhaps at death we all need the presence of someone who loves us.
This is the third time Pam has sat with someone when they passed. She was with her mother and also my mother when she was dying. I am not good at something like that. I am always thinking about what I have to do next and would be rushing the poor departing soul. But Pam is good at this.
Perhaps being a loving presence when someone passes is one of the more important roles in our lives. Maybe being such a loving presence is an accomplishment that at the end of our own lives helps justify the oxygen that we consumed during our years of acquiring whatever it is we foolishly focus on acquiring.
This business of living and dying is quite complicated. Or maybe not. Maybe it just requires the reflection from looking up at my favourite sunset
Today is Lauren’s thirteenth birthday. This is a recent picture of her with her brother Adam. (Lauren is the one with the pink cap). I am proud of Lauren’s open heart and many god given gifts. Like her mother she can do anything. Like her father she thinks that she should care about everything and overcommit. Hopefully her performance will be much better than mine. Happy Birthday sweetheart.
I borrowed this photo from Pam’s post. I didn’t have any recent pictures of Lauren but had several of the cuter kids . My birthday wish for Lauren is that she had better parents😉
Photo by Pamela Palmer
GERALD EDWARD PALMER, LLB
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Abbotsford, BC V2S 2H1
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