Saturday, 21 December 2013


Coming to the coast is a mixed blessing for me. Seeing my Mom and Ray, my kids, my friends; these are all good things. While I am here, I am reminded of the things past, the things which were once a part of my life but are no more, the things I once did but can no longer. I can feel the combination of these two parts, the negative and positive. These feelings invade my sleep, populate my dreams, cloud my thoughts.

As I drive past Abbotsford, I think about the life I once had, a life with children and a home, a life with the sounds of laughter and energy of young people. I think about those days gone by, those times in the past that I will not see again. I think about what might have been and wonder why my life turned out this way.

As I near the coast, I think about summer days on my boat, the wind blowing across the foredeck, the sails bulging, swelling, rounded and curved, bellied out, pushing. I think about the strain of the sheet in my hand, holding and hauling the jib inward, driving the boat onward, the surging sea rushing by, hissing against the hull, my hand on the tiller feeling the vortices of water running through, cutting across the open water to a distant shore. I will not experience this again.

I think about the storms of winter, the wind blowing from the south, the tide pushing down from the north, shaping the triangle waves that slap the hull, smacking my way up the coast, seeking shelter from the coming rain and snow. I think about the warmth of the cabin as the boat lays alongside, safely tied to the dock, the sound of the wind in the wires, whistling and howling as the weather comes and goes, the heater and the coffee both warm. I will not experience this again.

I think about these rich and dark coastal forests, places where I have walked beneath the damp and dripping cedars, where I have camped, hunted, fished and explored just to see what there was to see. I think about the salmon in the rivers that once were mine, the trout in the lakes slashing silver in the waters, the warm days of summer, playing with my kids on the beach, teaching them to fish, sharing with them the joy and freedom of the woods and lakes. I will not experience this again.

I think about my family, my children, hoping they will come to visit, unable to visit them as they stay with their mother in the house that once was my home. I think about my grandchildren and wonder what stories they will hear about a grandfather they will never really know. I think about my Mom and Ray, how this dreaded disease impacts their lives, how they will remember the end of my life, hoping that perhaps, just perhaps, I will live longer than them, saving them from this unnatural state where a child dies before the parent. We spend time together, talk, share our thoughts and feelings. This will happen again; not everything is ended, not everything has been taken from me.


  1. Richard, your writings, your way with words,touches me to the core. I see, I smell the sea, hear the waves,taste the salt on my lips,and feel the boat bouncing under me.I know you are losing so much, every day a little more, and I ache for you.I ache for your mother also as I read her comments. Life is just not fair. Why did we ever think it was?
    I too have lost so much,little by little as there was less and less that Al could do. My whole "bucket list" was based around him, and his abilities and limitations..Now at 61 it is a scary thought to start over. It is very hard for me not to get bitter and angry about what was taken from me(us). Always had that Carol Burnett/Harvey Corman scene in my head, the matching rocking chairs, him reaching over to grab my knee, picture in my mind. Aint gonna lie, in the summer when all the nice motorhomes were driving through Merritt pulling a car, I would think"they are living my dream", but now I try very hard to think, I hope they will enjoy that lifestyle as we did for 5 years..As for my home, I never wanted to be here,and I always said if anything should happen to Al I wouldnt be here for 1 day. Well, it is 11 monthsand its time for me to start making my new life.
    I read your blog every day and must say it has given me a different outlook on life. One thing about living alone, or with a mentally challenged adult , I miss conversation, debate, anothers point of view , and your blog gives me that. Hugs to Nan, and hope some day I get to meet her. Loves to you too.

  2. Hugs back to you Freida. that was kind.We could meet some day.