Take a chance on me

“Are you the couple getting married here later this afternoon.” The woman had wandered over to us sitting in the fifth row, left side, hand in hand, quietly watching the preparations. A number of people were scurrying about St. Peter’s Cathedral Basilica in London, ensuring the flowers were arranged just right, the candles were displayingContinue reading “Take a chance on me”

The Last Breath

I remember Mom’s last breath. It was more of a heave, a bursting of air, a quick exhalation preceded by days of shallow, open mouthed panting. We had sent Dad to our house, imploring him to get some decent rest. He had held vigil for the last five days, never leaving the hospital since heContinue reading “The Last Breath”

They look like big, good, strong hands

A focused memoir in 200 words. I wipe the dribble of gravy running down his chin through the three-day stubble, his head leaning to the left. Dad’s eyes pop a little wider to acknowledge the attention, probably feeling embarrassed. He does not want to blemish the new orange soccer sweatshirt emblazoned with the Dutch flag.Continue reading “They look like big, good, strong hands”

Pick me! Pick me!

I have never voted for any Prime Minister of Canada or Premier of Ontario in any national or provincial election; yet I have never missed an election since I turned eighteen and became eligible to vote. In the last election, in fact, only 24,727 people voted for Justin Trudeau, representing 51.2% of the votes inContinue reading “Pick me! Pick me!”

How I spent my summer vacation

Summer brings up memories of driving and holiday excursions. Growing up, vacations normally meant visiting locations in Ontario, always involving a vehicle, and most of the time including relatives from the Netherlands. My parents owned a car for their entire life in Canada. A vehicle was a necessity living outside the city limits with veryContinue reading “How I spent my summer vacation”

“Now we must tend to our garden.”

The measure of a life is a measure of love and respect So hard to earn, so easily burned In the fullness of time A garden to nurture and protect I love gardens in the spring for the promise they evoke, the perennial peek into the future, the hope for a beautiful and healthy bloom.Continue reading ““Now we must tend to our garden.””

Hope they have a better understanding

Million young poets Screamin’ out their words To a world full of people Just livin’ to be heard My parents paid $9,500 in 1963 for their one and only house just outside the London city limits. They needed two mortgages in order to finance the home on Kostis Avenue and I seem to recall theContinue reading “Hope they have a better understanding”

Alone. Away. Anon.

The photographs were hidden in clear sight. You never talked about them and I never asked. You pose in a floral printed dress of red and green, lipstick and earrings to match. The picture was taken from inside the room looking out, photographer bending slightly to capture an upward look through the patio door ofContinue reading “Alone. Away. Anon.”

Smoke ’em if you got ’em

Warning: the content of this post might trigger urges to return to old habits or make you attempt to indulge for the first time. After scanning my parent’s photographs, I have been reviewing them regularly to evoke another memory and another story. On one of those time travels I could not help but notice theContinue reading “Smoke ’em if you got ’em”

If music be the food of love…

“Apollo, the god of music, had not very lavishly sprinkled musical talents within our family. Mother’s piano lessons were generally not a great success.” So said my Uncle Nico in his family history book, “Pa vertel eens” ( Dad tell me – in English) which I just recently translated. It chronicles life for the vanContinue reading “If music be the food of love…”