Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Words He Lived By

**After this post, you will find all my future posts on my new website, www.alswithcourage.com Go to my website any time to follow me on Facebook and Twitter and to follow my blog...thanks!

Madison and I are almost done our four week practicum for the SETA (Special Education Teacher Assistant) program (also known as Education Assistant) and we are both thoroughly enjoying it. We didn’t choose what school we would be at, but we are both pleased with where we were placed. You could definitely tell on Friday afternoon which one of us is at a high school and which one is at an elementary school. I was wearing black capri pants, a white blouse, a jean jacket and a pair of Vans. Madison had stickers on her face, and was wearing a neon shirt, rainbow pants and running shoes - it was fun day at her school and the theme was rainbows. 

During Christmas break, when I suggested to Mike that I not return to the SETA program and perhaps finish at a later date, he replied with the words he lived by, “Don’t quit!” He spelled it out a few times over the course of a couple of weeks. It’s a statement he modelled everyday since he was diagnosed with ALS…ever since I knew him actually.

Mike always delighted in the things I did. He always encouraged me and believed in me. There was even a few times I was mad at him for not stopping me from pursuing something that didn’t lead to a successful outcome. But looking back now, it was all successful to him because even if I failed, I grew. Success to him was becoming the woman I am and the woman I’m yet to be. I guess he thought the accomplishments, the mistakes and everything in between was all pretty great because it’s what’s shaped me into me. And he just loved me so much.

Anyway, I’m so glad I didn’t quit. Not for the obvious reason that I am so close to being done, but because Mike would be so proud of me. He’d say, “See, I told you you could do it.”

It’s kind of weird how life goes on. Mike passed away Jan 5 and every day that comes and goes from then is another day further away from him. I feel like I just let go of him and now all this time and space separates us. He’s all orientated in his new place and my life here moves on. I wish time could stop for a little while to keep the distance from growing.

When Mike passed, I got this glimpse of heaven and for a couple of weeks after, everything here seemed so ridiculous. Everything paled in comparison to that little glimpse I got. I remember laying on Mike’s reclining chair listening to the TV, thinking, “Really?” This is so dumb! Everything seemed really dumb. When I had fully returned to earth, all of a sudden my life became smaller and my purpose became larger. It just seems more important than ever to make my life count and to make Mike proud of me. Almost everything I do, I think, would this make Mike happy?

I’m still up pretty late at night. Not 2:00am late, but still late. I take my laptop to bed and listen to music while I write or read or scroll Facebook, I like to drown out the silence - the absence of Mike breathing. Often lately my thoughts as I drift off are of Mike lying in that hospital bed. I think of our last moments together when the angels were gathering him up and I was saying good bye. I wish I could go back and kiss him one more time.

On Another Note:

I’d like to thank my friend Lori Graham of Six Degrees Marketing for creating my web site for me (on such short notice) and for all the help she has been to me!

I’m speaking at a woman’s event on Thursday, June 4th at 6:45 at Riverside Community Church - 1477 Lougheed Highway, Port Coquitlam BC. All women are welcome and there is food, prizes and lots of fun! I've been asked to bring books too.

ALS WALKS: All are welcome to participate on the “I Like Mike” team in Port Coquitlam BC on Sunday, June 7. Our t-shirts this year are bright green. Mike picked the colour with Erin shortly before he passed away - you can order a shirt here: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f084ba5a92ba5f85-team. I’ll also have my books available for purchase at the PoCo walk. Some of us will also be participating in the walk in Abbotsford BC, in support of Neil and Donna Hemming and everyone else there facing ALS.

                                       ALS Walk in Port Coquitlam BC June 2014


Book sales continue to go well. Local friends can find a few copies still at T’s Once Upon a Tea Leaf and Black Bond Books here in Maple Ridge and House of James Book Store in Abbotsford and of course at Amazon http://amzn.to/1FFBkSS

Just a reminder that from now on, my blog posts are found at www.alswithcourage.com