As November Wanes

Our Will.  When our world was perfect.

Our Will.
When our world was perfect.

November 30, 2016

Dear Willy,

As November wanes I find myself between reflecting on the happy moments of this fall and then trying to wrap myself around how I will find the gumption to face another December and the painful feelings that come with the holiday season.

This October 22 was one of our happiest days as we witnessed your big brother marry the love of his life and the girl we, too, love to bits. I can’t help but wonder, Will, if maybe you had something to do with them marrying on a 2-2 day thinking that a sprinkle of happy was what we needed going forward and that perhaps having a happy measure of time would make it a little easier for us on the 22nd day of every month? It wouldn’t surprise me since all of your short life you were all about spreading smiles and cultivating happiness. I must also tell you, Will, that being the only female in a family of five, for me it was a wish come true that our family has grown to include a daughter-in-law. The only sad part for me was that in a perfect world you’d have been there too and that your Willy shenanigans would have been part of their day. I wish you and Amy would have had the chance to know each other. I do know you’d love her as we do.

Tomorrow will be the first day of December and the heaviness I feel not only typing the word “December”, but also hearing and saying that word conjures up an emptiness that just never goes away. We’ve done this December thing now for five years and one might expect that it should be easier for us but it just isn’t. I do try to find love and light in each of December’s days but there are times when I have to dig real deep and sometimes to no avail. Amongst them, however, we find a jewel here and there – like Justin’s birthday, for one. December 17th always makes us smile but there is no denying that when you were here to celebrate with us the day was just better.

As November wanes and I wake to the first sunrise of December I will take a big, deep breath and before I open my eyes tomorrow morning I will take a moment longer and feel you in the deepest parts of my heart. I couldn’t love you more or miss you more than I already do and you will always be the first person I see before I open my eyes. I will think about all the sparkles that you are waiting to sprinkle upon us and the love and light that you want us to feel so deeply. We will find some smiles in our December days but you must know, Willy, that our smiles were the biggest and the brightest when you were living December with us.

I love you, sweet Will. Bigger than a bus and, as November wanes, brighter than a super moon.


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.


Fifteen Candles and Four Balloons

Will's 12th Birthday

Will’s 12th Birthday

October 14, 2013

Dear Will,

Today is your birthday and another one we will celebrate without you.  You’d be 15 years old today and I can’t help but wonder what you would look like?  Handsome as ever I already know, but it’s not enough.  Yup, your eyes would still be blue as ever, but would your hair be short or long?  Long, I am guessing, like your brothers and whatever Ben had you’d want to have too.  How tall would you be?  Well, taller than me for sure for you were almost as tall as me 2 ½ years ago.  You were on your way to being tall like Justin.  Loud and proud?  Oh yeah.  Would you still be super athletic and active?  I think so.  Big feet?  Oh yes. Your feet were already big.  I wonder what your voice would sound like now?  I still remember clearly what it sounded like at 12 ½ but you missed the phase of squeaks and intermittent highs and lows that come with being a teenage boy and a man cub.  There are many things I don’t know now; things I can only imagine to be true about you.  I imagine that you’d still love bacon, and ribs, and candy.  But, would Skittles still be your favourite?  I’m not sure, but I doubt very much that you would ever say no to a handful of candy in any form!  I imagine winter would still be your favourite season and snow still your favourite “toy” because freestyle skiing was so much a part of you.

Will's 6th Birthday. With his big brothers, Justin and Ben

Will’s 6th Birthday.
With his big brothers, Justin and Ben

Today I will set the table and tie four helium balloons to your chair — two green (your favourite color) and two blue (the color of your eyes).  We will light a white candle and place it in the middle of the table and we will honor you with what we imagine you would still love.  As we have done and will continue to do for everyone in our family on their birthday, we will have your favourite meal.  I will make ribs and remember how I’d have to remind you that dinner was more than just a plate FULL of ribs.  I’ll smile remembering how you’d negotiate taking the smallest amount of vegetables and rice or potato to keep me quiet.  We will have an angel food cake with whipped topping and strawberries and remember and laugh at how you’d only want the cake part, no topping, and perhaps maybe a few strawberries.  I shake my head and smile now remembering how, away from the dinner table, you’d flatten and squish a piece of that cake into a bite-sized morsel and how you’d say you just loved it that way.  How coincidental it seems now that your favourite cake was angel food?  Hmmm.  We will light fifteen candles and blow them out making our own wish — our wish that you were here so that we could sing happy birthday to you and wish you many more.  All the stuff that we took for granted back then and no longer do.  We’d shower you with gifts and handmade cards and watch you open the others from your grandparents and extended family.  Now there are no gifts and cards. Instead, Dad and I and Ben and Justin will write you a personal message and each of us will tie it to one of the helium balloons on your chair. After your cake we will go outside and on our own time and in our own little space in the backyard we’ll let them go, sending our love and our wishes up to you. Watch for them Will and please make the stars appear a little brighter and give them a special sparkle tonight so we know that you got them.

Miss you little blue.  My heart aches more than usual today…if that is even possible.