Inside Out Wishes

Wish copy

November 1, 2015

Dear Will,

There is a sense of calm this morning as I visualize flipping the calendar to November. Since 2011, October has become a long and sad month and each year it continues to beat me up emotionally. We honored your birthday on the 14th in our own beautiful way and found ourselves busy both physically and mentally while we hoped and prayed for a positive outcome for Pa after he suffered a heart attack. He was airlifted to the Foothills Hospital in Calgary where he spent most of the last three weeks of October. It was a stressful time for all of us and I prayed extra hard that my Dad would make it through the open-heart surgery that was the only option to repair his heart. The unspoken and underlying possibility that Pa might join you in heaven weighed heavily on me, Will, and though there were moments where I wished I could trade places with him I was grateful and relieved when he was able to return home and begin his road to recovery and his second chance at life. October became a double whammy month of emotions and today I finally feel like I can breathe again.

After spending weeks “hoping” I’m now back to spending my days “wishing”. Wishing that the outcome of the 22nd day of May 2011 were different. I wish that you were here sitting on the couch beside me right now with a pillowcase full of Halloween candy and a mouth full of chocolate. I wish your shoes were at the front door with mismatched socks “sort of in the vicinity” and that your jacket was draped/thrown over the stair banister with the arms pulled inside out. Yes. Inside out. The inside out thing was definitely a Will thing.

When I’d do laundry I’d cuss and swear while sorting the clothes, annoyed that all of your t-shirts were inside out. And so I’d either turn them right side in before I’d toss them into the washing machine or before I folded them when they came out of the dryer… the extra time it took kind of drove me crazy. I remember the day I decided to leave them inside out and folded them that way thinking I was so clever and that giving you a taste of your own medicine would surely teach you a lesson, that it’d drive you crazy — but not only did you appear to not care even one bit I think you were completely oblivious to the whole inside out thing. That day, Will, changed the way I did laundry and to this day if there are t-shirts (or socks) that are inside out I leave them like that. Ha! I think. Ha! And like you, no one really seems to care that they are inside out. Oh my, the stuff that drives a mother crazy…

I wish you were here with us every single day. Before your passing I used to consciously think about what I’d wish for if I was given a wish and now all I wish for is you. You with your tousled hair and your big feet. Maybe with socks, maybe without. You singing out LOUD to the music on your iPod with your ear buds in and me reminding you to remove them from your ears. You, Willy, loving Halloween because of all the candy and the chance to dress up and be silly with your friends. I would be the happiest human being on earth if the one wish I wished more than anything could come true. And even though I know it’s not possible I continue to wish that it were different.

Love you, Willy. Like an inside out bus and a big wish.


Biking for Freedom… and Candy and Ice Cream

BicyclesTuesday, April 24, 2012 (11 months and 2 days)

Hey WillBilly,

I got a new bike today.   And I parked it right beside yours.   Side by side they stand next to each other like a mom and a son… mine taller than yours, but not by much, just like the height of you and me.  I am reminded of how important it was that you and your brothers had your bikes; a boy and his bike went hand and hand, like peanut butter and jam.  It always made me so happy that we chose Redwood to call our home; a rare place in a world that is so busy; and a place where boys and bikes could be best friends.  I think back to the freedom that came with being able to ride your bike to the park with your friends without a parent.  What a right of passage, a momentous adventure it was for each of you.  And then to be able to ride to Bragg Creek for ice cream or candy (or both!?)… well, that was the ultimate in freedom at twelve years of age and, in fact, was what you did on that Saturday afternoon of your last weekend with us.  You and Matt rode into Bragg Creek returning with a bag full of “sugar” from the candy store; the little white bag still sits on your desk with the candy you were saving to enjoy later.  You were funny that way; always spacing out the candy consumption – saving bits and pieces for another time, another day.  There were times, Will, (cover your ears!) when I had to throw out some of that candy for fear of it going bad.  For a long time the chocolate Easter bunny that you received last Easter sat on the floor beside your desk, package open and one ear missing because you liked to eat it that way, and I had to throw it out.  You never noticed… or you never said anything and well, I have a hard time believing that you’d have let me throw it out without making a kafuffle.  I can hear it now, “Throw away candy!  Why, Mom, would anyone ever do that!?  That should be against the law!”  Hmmm.  I did win that time… because, like I said, I don’t think you knew.

So, now I have a bike too.  Wheels to freedom for me?  Well certainly not in the same way as it was for you, but it will be nice to ride to Bragg Creek along the path to freedom that you enjoyed and then beyond to the beauty of our bigger backyard west of Bragg Creek.  I will always take you with me on my bike, Will, and when I stop for ice cream it will be for you.  I’ll order mango; your favorite.

Love you like a bus and all those bike rides to the candy store and for ice cream.


Our First Halloween Without You

Rasta Will and "a scary I dont' remember who?"

Rasta Will and “a scary I dont’ remember who?”

Monday, October 31, 2011 (162 days)

Hey Willy,

It’s Halloween today and one of your favourite days of the year.  What could be more perfect than a sack full of candy and a bona fide chance to be silly ALL day?!  A definite shoe-in for an almost perfect WillBilly day… the only thing missing would be snow.  And Continue reading