Happy Heavenly Twenty

Will B&W

Almost a teenager…

Sunday, October 14, 2018




Happy Birthday, my sweet boy,


This week began with a throwback to a sunny afternoon 20 years ago when I welcomed you into my arms and you officially became a member of our little family. It was and will always be one of the very best days of my life. It’s terribly sad for me to think that today you would be 20 years old and even more sad that I had only 12 birthdays to plan and celebrate with you here. You have to know, however, that we’ve never missed a year celebrating your birthday, Willy. Ribs, an angel food cake and cinnamon buns were your favourite and so we continue with the same birthday menu year after year after year.

I’ve been thinking all week about your birthday and how we were robbed of so much when you passed. A boy who never got to be 13. A boy who never got to be a teenager. A boy turned man who would now be 20. Eight birthdays where instead of lighting candles on your cake for you to make a wish and blow out we instead light a white pillar candle that sits in the middle of our dinner table. This candle lights our way so to speak and we don’t put it out until well after our dinner for you. Instead we make our own wish and I’m pretty sure that we all make the same one — a collective, “I wish you were here.”


Today I will put all my energy into celebrating one of my happiest of days. I will remember your welcome into the world and the 12 short, but full to the brim, years we shared.   I will remember your sticky fingers while eating your birthday ribs and I’ll smile at how you used to squish/press/roll your slice of angel food cake into a small ball of doughy goodness. I will remember how at age 10 you learned how to make the gooey-ist bread-maker cinnamon buns in our family. I will remember your smile and your laugh and how much you loved being with us. And I will remember how much we loved celebrating you and how much we miss you. We will never stop celebrating you, Will. You will always be a part of us and every October 14 will always be a special day.


Love you, sweet one. Bigger than a bus full of birthday ribs and angel food cake squished into a million tiny cake balls and more than a Willy batch of the best cinnamon buns in the land.






Will and his friend, Cole, who celebrated birthdays together because they were only 2 days apart.

Mother Nature and YOU!

Your Forever Friends

Your Forever Friends Riding For You

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Dear Will,

It’s been a bit since I’ve written but that is no reflection of how much I’ve been thinking about you. There is no part of any day that you are not on my mind. Your memory lives there and is part of my every breath. And I’ve certainly not stopped talking to you in my quiet moments, most times out loud.

Will in the middle of it all

Will in the middle of it all

Last weekend we held your annual Ride For Will and one thing I want to know is how much you had to do with that chaotic weather?? I know the large snowflakes that fell on Friday morning were you, always the teaser, the taunter, the boy who loved snow so much that given the choice of a warm sunny day, you’d take the snow every time. You got me as I looked out the window to see the white stuff falling and before I got my iPad and hit record video I swear I could hear your mischievous giggle… you know the one – the one right before the panic that got you running to my side for protection from your brothers when you’d pushed their buttons one time too many.

Saturday started out so promising, so nice with the sun waking us that morning. You, little Mr. Blue Sky shining down on us as we set up for registration and put the tents up in the sports field to house the bake sale and the medics, the face painting and the PA system. “Just in case” is always our reasoning and because we all know that June in Southern Alberta can deal all kinds of weather my fingers and toes were crossed that you’d be the boss of the weather. This time, maybe that weather task was too big for you and next year, maybe you could ask the big guy up there for some help? I wonder, does the big guy trump Mother Nature?

The good news is that nothing could dampen the spirit that surrounds your Ride. I am in awe at those that continue to support us through this event. The young and old, your school friends and ski buddies, family and friends, all those that gather in your memory and remember and those that didn’t know you, but feel like they do through your story and the good that we are doing in your name and your memory. It is a big bittersweet day for us; a day so full of love and missing you that no harsh weather could diminish. I couldn’t help but smile at all the muddy grins on faces dotted with mud and all the muddy stripes on the backs of the riders as they finished. For you, a bike and a mud puddle meant fun and it was evident that those that rode saw it that way too (or had no choice but to!).

I love you little Mr. Blue Sky. Even when Mother Nature overrules you. I guess when it comes to the weather she really is the boss. Stay on her good side, Will, as she can be quite unpredictable! And that’s one mother that you don’t want to make angry!

Love you like a bus rippin’ through the mud.


The Little Blue Ball and You

The little blue ball on the hard to reach ledge

The little blue ball on the hard to reach ledge

February 2, 2014

Good morning, my little star,

Each day as I make my way down the stairs to the main floor of our home (more times than not with dirty laundry in my arms) I am taken aback by the little blue ball that still sits way up high on the second story above the front door on the ledge under our front feature window.  How did it get there?  Well, I know that YOU know and I know that it wasn’t deliberately “placed” there as you can only reach that narrow ledge with an extendable ladder.  It “ended up” there as a result of a bad shot in the mini sticks hockey shoot-out that occurred regularly (sometimes, daily) on the landing at the top of the staircase to the second story of our house.  The place where the space opens up to a high ceiling, few walls, and a white wooden railing that was the only stopper to that little blue ball ending up downstairs on the floor… or, less likely, on the ledge above the door where it still sits.  I remember the countless times I asked that you boys take the game downstairs where it didn’t matter where or how the ball was hit; downstairs where I could close the door to the basement so I didn’t have to hear the play by play of each shot and the thunk, thunk, thunk, of feet running up and down the stairs to retrieve that little blue ball.

What I hear in my head now when I see that ball and what I remember more than anything else is the sound of boys giggling with delight at the simple fun of hitting a little blue ball (a ball soft enough that it couldn’t possibly damage anything) with little hockey sticks.  It’s quite remarkable how things that used to drive me crazy back then speak to me in such a different way now.  How I long for those days where listening to you and your friends, or you and your brothers, just simply laugh because you were having fun.  Its true that in between the laughter there were negotiations and arguments on fair play and sometimes stoppage of play because one of you would get hit with the stick and have to rub your hands together while jumping up and down to shake off the pain.  I also remember the same repeated question I’d get when I asked you to move the game downstairs… “awe, Mom.  Why?  We’re not wrecking anything and its “funner” here.  The shots are more fun when they can go further.”  When I’d respond with a more serious and stern voice that what I needed (wanted) was silence, then and only then, was there compliance.

the little blue ball

the little blue ball

Seeing that little blue ball now conjures up a different feeling.  And with it the yearning that if only I could have those days back, relive those precious moments where the sound of boys laughing and giggling was what really mattered, I’d take them back in a heartbeat.  I have no desire to retrieve that little ball from where it now sits because it is a reminder of you and that makes me smile.  It took a long time before my tears turned into smiles upon seeing that little ball but somehow even through the tears I knew that I didn’t want to take it down, that in time it would become another sacred memory of you.  And now that’s what it is.

From time to time  (ok, once) I had to maneuver the long, awkward (and scary) extendible ladder into the house and get my butt up there to dust that ledge.  That was a while ago and I’ll need to do it again soon, as the dust seemingly multiplies faster in the places where you can’t reach easily.  Once up there I put the little blue ball in the pocket of my sweatshirt while I “swiffered” the dust onto the floor below.  Before I carefully placed the ball in the exact same spot where it landed on that mini sticks game day, I cupped both my hands around it and brought it to my face.  I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and planted a kiss on it as if it were your cheek.  That place is now home to that little blue ball.  And I’m pretty sure it always will be.

Love you, little blue (hah!).  More than a bus on top of a tall, hard to reach ledge.