Joy, Love, Music, Videos

painted angels and amazing grace

It’s an early new year’s morning. I sit on the sofa, sip tea and remember the pleasure of last night’s fire. Christmas isn’t long gone, and I love that I leave my decorations up until my birthday at the end of January. I want to stretch the joy of them being without swaddles and boxes for as long as possible.

The sun rises in the east and shines through the large window behind me; its rays travel across the red brick of the fireplace to strike a painted wooden angel that fell from the tree a few days ago, and which I hung on the damper crank because I didn’t know where else to put her. It looks like she feels at home there. I think of Mom, and the amazing grace of this moment as well as that of December 2014 when she and Eric and I celebrated spirit, connection and love. I hear her clap and sing, and watch her smile as if she were here with me.



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Humour, Joy, Music, Videos

amazing amazing grace with guitar

Amazing Grace w guitar

One day in the summer of 2011, Mom, Caroline and I were having a particularly bad day. EVERYTHING seemed to be going wrong. All three of us were sad and down. The day before, my friend Jessica had shared a link to Amazing Grace. A different version.

I put my laptop on the island in the kitchen and cranked up the volume. It wasn’t long before Mom, Caroline and I were singing, clapping and dancing around the kitchen. Mom loved to move. Now she is free to fly. She wouldn’t have wanted us to get too stuck in grief for too long. She would have thrown herself party.

Here’s to my mom’s amazing grace, fierce spirit and sense of fun, with guitar, mandolin, accordion, harmonica, fiddle and horns. Oh yes. Life is meant to be sung and danced. She left this place on August 17, 2016. But even in death, her light shines.



Amazing grace how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now I’m found.
Was blind but now I see.
‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.
When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Then when we first begun.
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now I’m found.
Was blind, but now I see.

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Advocacy, Life & Living, Love, Music, Videos

not a willy or a sam but amazing grace

Don’t be fooled into thinking my mom’s expressionless face in this video is the result of dementia. It’s not.

It’s one of the side effects of the antipsychotics she was inappropriately prescribed. Despite being sedated into a zombie-like state for convenience and cost savings for four years, my mom demonstrated day after day that it would take more than drugs to kill her spirit.

She had amazing grace.

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