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the good life

Blessings, blessings. I’ll call my mother today to tell her that scores of people she doesn’t know will be rooting for her tomorrow. Brucie wrote from Ravenna: At times like this I sometimes wish I wasn’t an atheist so I could pray for your mom. But I will still be thinking of her.

Isabelle, from Montpellier: i’ll check your blog for word of your mom this week. bon courage!

And Pam, one of my most faithful blog followers though we’ve never met, wrote from rural Quebec: I wanted to send along my thoughts to you, and to say I will thinking of your Mum on tuesday, and I wish her all the best. She is surrounded by all the best of care, and you and Mike especially. You may not be in Paris anymore, but we grow where we are planted, and everything is working out as it should. I look forward to your posts to tell us of her recovery. Thinking of you today, your fan and blog family member, Pam.

So, in this strange new world of ours, with our busy, crowded lives and jazzy technology, people are more connected than ever in the most fundamental and important way.

Another blessing: spring. I’ve managed to follow dreadful weather for months now – it was freezing cold, grey and wet in England and France while it was a startling 25 degrees here, and then, the minute I came back, winter also returned. But though it’s still chilly, the sun is out, and the trees are that sweet, transcendent spring shade of green; tulips, forsythia, magnolia, redbud, lilac, pansies, cherry blossom – scent and colour everywhere. My own garden, bursting into life. Usually, when I return to Canada from Europe, it hurts for a bit that there is so old and beautiful, and here is so ugly and new. But not this year. Because my mother is alive, and it is spring.

Tomorrow she is having a procedure called a TAVI, which is non-invasive valve surgery specifically for the elderly; they operate through a catheter inserted in a vein in her groin, how’s that for miraculous? Her aortic valve was damaged by rheumatoid arthritis in childhood, and she’s had open-heart surgery twice to replace the valve; we are all great admirers of pigs, because it is a pig’s aortic valve that has kept her alive all these years. But now the valve is badly damaged and restricted, so Dr. Labinaz, the TAVI surgeon who’s been given five stars out of five in patient reports, will repair it. After a week or so in recovery, she will be moved to the Geriatric Assessment Unit, which sounds like paradise – teams of caregivers to help her regain strength and to figure out what’s next. Blessings blessings blessings.

And the last, for today – routine. Three hours of gardening with friend and gardening guru Scott on Saturday morning, and then to Ingrid, my hairdresser whom I’ve known for so long, she’s like family; on Sunday to the Y, where friends said, “Welcome back! How was your trip?” and I managed to gasp my way around the gym with the others. On Sunday afternoon, house-cleaning while listening to CBC, Eleanor Wachtel and then Cross Country Checkup, which was about eldercare, though I missed a lot as it was sunny and I had to go outside and get the decrepit wicker garden furniture from the shed. Today, the pleasure of same old, same old: yoga at the Y, taking my daughter for a pedicure, going to the library, getting newspaper delivery back, buying groceries at No Frills.

And getting ready for my first class of the spring term, tomorrow afternoon, which I’ll teach while thinking about my mother’s beautiful beating heart.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

Some Blogs I Follow

Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.

Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.

I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.

Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.

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