Monday, August 29, 2011

O Siem . . . we are all family!

Rest in Peace Marilyn Rose (Noskye) Pue
April 24, 1958  to August 21, 2011

Click To Listen: Susan Aglukark ~ O Siem

Sadly, this morning I attended a funeral service for my sister, my friend.  We first met in 1976, I was 7 and Marilyn was 18.  Through marriage Marilyn and I became step-foster sisters.  She quickly became an influential person in my world.  She introduced me to life with an older sibling and blessed our home with sweet little nieces.  She taught me how to iron, bake, craft, and smile.  Now ironing was a talent I didn't long possess, I was thankful for her patience and willingness to teach and share.  Marilyn became known as NoNo around our house and always wore the biggest of smiles!

As I sat at the service this morning, I quickly realized how different our lives had become . . . differences based on generation, experience, culture, and beliefs; and yet how similar our lives remained . . . based on family values and love.  As I listened to the music and the words spoken, I was reminded of a beautiful free spirit who touched the hearts of many.  I left the service very humbled and honored to have had the opportunity to share in Marilyn's life.

Dearest NoNo, you will be sadly missed . . . you have left behind a legacy with a beautiful family and memories galore!  I'm thankful for our paths having crossed and trust that we shall meet again.

A little reminder . . . always be kind, you never (I mean NEVER) know the impact you may have on some one's life.  Never underestimate the significance of a smile, a glance, an open door, a touch, a moment! 

I Believe . . . we are all family!

Love and death are the two great hinges on which all human sympathies turn. ~ B.R. Hayden

Friday, August 19, 2011

Night Shift?

The time, approximately 1:22 a.m.

As I sat at Tim Horton's waiting to pick Mikayla up after the Taylor Swift concert, I notice a vehicle pull up, whip a u-turn and park along the side street. As I'd had the privilege of a random check stop with the RCMP earlier in the evening, my first thought was that this vehicle was possibly a RCMP member wondering what I was doing in an empty parking lot at this hour.

Out of the car exits a dude who quickly pulls a hood over his head and strikes out across the parking lot carrying a . . . What is that?? Ah, a plastic bag. I thought; oh maybe night shift?? Night shift it was. He opens the door to the garbage disposal and pulls out the insert containing the recyclables. First bin number one, then bin number two. He dumps the contents of the bins into his bag as Santa would fill his sack with toys. This dude appears to have experience and has apparently been here before. Around the back of the building he goes to retrieve the contents of bin number three.

“Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.”  -Seneca

Stage left . . . in drives Mikayla. She hops in the vehicle with me and has just awoke from a lengthy ride. Tired, yet brimming with excitement over having seen her favorite music artist in the whole wide world.  I did my best to tune in to Mik's world however, I was distracted by the events going on beyond my immediate surroundings. Mikayla got herself buckled in and we head for home. Leaving Tim's I drive along the side street and past the other vehicle. I notice the trunk jimmied shut with a bungee cord. Apparently this wasn't the first stop. There were many bags loaded in the trunk.

My heart sank! Seriously, SANK!

My thoughts raced as I tried to understand this persons world . . .

Here I am picking my daughter up from a 'magical' event and a day which she has dubbed 'the best day of her life' . . . while someone else . . . . is working the night shift.

WOW!! Talk about a reality check!! Although I am usually snuggled in bed sleeping at home at this hour, I am very thankful for this experience as it served as a reminder to . . . COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS, I mean truly count your blessings!!!

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.
— Mother Teresa

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I received an email from a special friend and wanted to share:

The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn't already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being...  She said, 'Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I'm eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?' I laughed and enthusiastically responded, 'Of course you may!' and she gave me a giant squeeze...

'Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?' I asked. She jokingly replied, 'I'm here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids...' 'No seriously,' I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age. 'I always dreamed of having a college education and now I'm getting one!' she told me.

After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake. We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this 'time machine' as she shared her wisdom and experience with me.

Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.

At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I'll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor.

Frustrated and a little embarrassed, she leaned into the microphone and simply said, 'I'm sorry I'm so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I'll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know.' As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, ' We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing.

There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day. You've got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many people walking around who are dead and don't even know it!

There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don't do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight. Anybody can grow older. That doesn't take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change. Have no regrets. The elderly usually don't have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets..'

She concluded her speech by courageously singing 'The Rose.' She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives. At the year's end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those months ago.

One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep. Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it's never too late to be all you can possibly be.

When you finish reading this, please send this peaceful word of advice to your friends and family, they'll really enjoy it! These words have been passed along in loving memory of ROSE.

We make a Living by what we get. We make a Life by what we give.
God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.
If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.
'Good friends are like stars.....You don't always see them, but you always know they're there.'

Love is like pi - natural, irrational, and VERY important.~ Lisa Hoffman

Receiving this email was a definite reminder that good friends are like stars . . . you don't always see them, but you always know they're there!  Thanks G!

Rose is correct about the words of this song.  Learn them and live them!  I recall years ago sitting in an meeting where they played the song and I wept, and wept.  I didn't understand it at the time but have come to understand the essence and importance of the lyrics.  I Believe . . . it's never too late to be all you can possibly be.

"The love we give away is the only love we keep." ~ELBERT HUBBARD