2010 was a tumultuous year.  I was talking with my wife last night how we both wish it over.  It started off with the sudden passing of my mother-in-law.  Two days before the Olympics.  My wife and I live right downtown and it seemed like a million people were on our door step every day.  The events were on, the metals handed out and we could only watch Canada’s most successful winter Olympics ever through a dark veil of profound grief.  This coloured the year, especially for my wife.  Each sign post that is a holiday or birthday renewed the loss of her beloved mom.

For me, such a passing always raises in my broken soul the grief around the passing of my dad, mom and sister.  Enwrapped within those memories of loss I taste my mom’s bread, hear the rippling waves against my dad’s fishing boat, get a whiff of the chemical hair dye at my sister barber shop, feel my dad’s embrace, and clearly see the three of them around a Christmas tree many years ago.  All this and a profound ache of loss that may have dimmed somewhat over time, yet the barbs still tear at my flesh nonetheless.

More in 2010 is that in November I was laid off my job.  So more grieving and loss, though it had a silver lining in that it opened up time for me to work on a TV pilot idea.  One door closes…

Then a few days before Christmas day I found out that my brother was in what they thought at first was a diabetic coma, that turned out it was viral meningitis.  This hit me hard emotionally.  I know in our family we are not very close, we were eight (now seven) spread out emotionally and physically.  But my brother Rob was closest to me in age and everything else.  He has had a tough time of it with addictions and time in jail for making a wrong decision, to drink and drive.  I always believe that if I hadn’t moved away from that small town I would have been on the same path, or dead.  I have no doubt about that.

Which brings me to those moments that change the course of your life.  To this day I don’t know how that pamphlet for Capilano College (now university) got in my dresser drawer.  But there it was.  Early 1984 I saw it and something said “go.”  So I did and moved to Vancouver.  I have no doubt this saved my life as well as opened my eyes to the world and its beauty and diversity.

Then there is 2011… funny, for the past five days straight I’ve been noticing the time at 11:11.  I looked it up and found many ideas around the number 11 or specifically 11:11 has a lot of synchronicity about it.  In both new age and old religions too.  I remember my wife once telling me that it means the doors of heaven are open and it is the best time to make a wish.  So I do.  I am agnostic, but I also believe in humanity.  I mean that the act of asking for help will attract to you those who can help you through whatever chasm you need to transverse.  I put it out there and so many of my friends opened their hearts, arms and even offered to open their wallets to help.

Such is the beauty of humanity when one is suffering the trials of life…

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