Saturday, 2 November 2013

Off To The Coast

It's another one of those cold grey mornings in Calgary. The odd snowflake falls, soon to be augmented into a steady dusting, the sky is covered in a low sheet of dull cloud, neither aided nor eased by the cool morning sun set low on the prairie horizon. There may be blue in the sky today, but I will not see it. Soon I will be underway, off to the coast to see my Mom and Ray, along the way to visit other family and friends. Then I will turn about on Monday morning and head up to the mountains outside of Kelowna to spend a couple days moose hunting with my cousin Mike, his family, and most importantly, with my daughter Kate.

It sounds almost like normal, like there was nothing in my life to impede me. It sounds like the plans of a man without a care or concern, a man without a terminal illness. It is normal; it is the kind of thing so many other people will do this weekend. Yet I will do it differently; not so differently as to make it impossible, but differently enough to cause me to take two days to do the 12 hour drive, differently enough to add a couple of hours each day for necessary stops to ensure that blood is not pooling in my thighs as it does so often now. I will drive more cautiously with the hand controls, stop more often for rest. It is normal, yet it is different.

Last night a group of my friends got together at another friends home. We had our traditional get-together evening with more food than you can imagine, chocolate martinis for the women, lots of wine for everyone else and desserts beyond end. I love these social events, where we talk about almost anything you can imagine, from religion to politics to community to race relations. It is an amazingly diverse group of people yet everyone seems to not only get along, but thrive. There is a wonderful bond of trust and care within our group of friends; you can say something and people will always try to see it in not only the way you meant it, but in the best possible light too.

As I was leaving, Ryan and Dion helped me out of the house. Melissa loaded the gear in my car while Andrea made sure I was safe in getting into the truck. These are all acts of kindness that have an immense impact on me. As I was lifting myself into the truck with the chairlift, I said "It must be weird for you all to see me like this after seeing me the other way." Andrea said "No. We really don't see you any differently." Then Ryan added "Yeah. I'm just interested in the engineering on this lift. It's cool."

So perhaps I am more normal than I feel. Perhaps, just perhaps, my life is just like theirs, only just a bit different. This is my reminder for today, my reminder as I make the extra stops and take the extra time on the road. This is just as normal as can be, only just a bit different too.

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