Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Smokies and the Bear and Big Shoes

I can't believe it's been so long since I've posted! Time truly flies when you're having fun. And we are. Not every day and not always uproariously but very consistently and many times enough to get a big, raucous laugh out of me.

Like last week when I went to put some smokies on the BBQ and we were out of propane so I cooked them in the microwave instead. I guess I cooked them a little too long. Watching my family try to bite through the leathery smokies skin was hilarious. Especially Will with his two front teeth missing! But Ken stole the show of course with his Epic Wrestle. It was something like "Ultimate Fighting" only more violent.

Or when Ken worked late one night at the school and forgot that he had to walk home. In the dark. In the Yukon. In the same town that a bear recently had been spotted. I think he probably broke a land speed record if anyone had been out there to time him. All the while trying to look at ease and comfortable to any folks that might see him and not like the scared Cheechako (newcomer) he was (it probably resembled Monty Python's "Ministry Of Silly Walks"). Needless to say, I laughed my butt off at him and he takes the car back to work in the evenings with him now.

In the midst of the giggles and snickers (mostly at Ken), we've also had a few challenges. Brenna has been struggling with stomach troubles which has resulted in us becoming aquainted with the nursing centre here. The doctor only comes in once a month so the nursing staff take care of things and advise people whether it's necessary to go the hour and a half into Whitehorse to see a doctor. The nurses we saw were wonderful and so far we're thinking it's a virus that should resolve soon.

The other challenge has been the passing of Richard Godson. Richard passed away during the first week of school and the ripple effect through the community was tsunami strength. He was an extremely well loved man in this community. He was the vice principal and taught at the school and was a driving force in the music scene here in the Junction. Richard was only 51 years old and had a wife and three children (teens and twenties). He had taken a leave of absence (that Ken was filling) to get treatment for cancer. Unfortunately it got the better of him. On Sept. 26 there was a Celebration of Life for him which was heart wrenching and heart warming. The Celebration had two parts - the memorial and then a gathering of musicians who played in honor of Richard. It was a powerful display of affection. Ken had the school band that Richard began working with last year play the song "Drift Away". They did a great job - very moving as Richard's daughter was on keyboard and did the vocals.

Thanks for the joy you've given me I want you to know I believe in your song and rhthym and rhyme and harmony. You helped me along, you're makin' me strong.

Wow. What a courageous girl.

Ken played drums for the first time in his life publically which was disconcerting for him as it was the first time he played in front of anyone here (not to mention a lot of amazing Yukon musicians!). He did well. All in all it was a very full and emotional weekend.

It was also the kind of weekend that encouraged me to look at my life and ask some hard questions. You know the kind. The "what will my legacy be?" or "how will I be remembered?" questions. The trick is to let those questions motivate and propel me into honestly being myself with all that I am, and not let them drive me into trying to be someone I'm not. I think when I am fully me I am most fully freed up to be a memorable person who is a blessing wherever I go.

It's interesting. I told Ken about a conversation I had the other day with someone here. When this person found out that my husband was the new music teacher she said, "Wow, he has big shoes to fill." Before really thinking about it I replied, "Actually he's not going to try. It would be impossible. We're going to bronze those shoes and show honor to the man who filled those shoes and Ken's just going to fill his own shoes." She and I agreed that that was probably best.

And so I too am going to work at filling my own shoes this year. All size 10 of them on a 5'3" body. They're big enough without me trying to fill anyone elses shoes! And hopefully my legacy will be more than, "Wow, did she ever have BIG feet!"


Thank you for what Richard meant to this community. Be with his family and friends. Please be their comfort. I love you.

'til next time,