The Winter Woods

  Above is a painting done by my son Johnny that he calls, “The Winter Woods.”  He has painted the stark, barren trees reflecting in the water of the frozen pond.  It is a reminder of the days we leave behind as Spring arrives.  He painted this the day we learned of the tragic loss of…

Celebrating Completing 100 Days of School

“When I Am A Hundred Years Old” I head into the school for another “Parent Teacher’s Night” to discuss Johnny and Princess’s recent report cards and their progress.  I am a few minutes early for the first teacher, so I stand outside the classroom and see if I can find any of Johnny’s Grade 2 work displayed…

Poppies

  As far back as I can remember Johnny has been fascinated by the tradition of wearing “poppies” once a year on our coats to honour Remembrance Day.  Is it the colour?  Is it because its a predictable tradition that comes again each year like clock work?  He started learning about it when he was…

I Buried Grandpa

“I buried Grandpa Mommy.” Johnny came over to me wanting help with his drawing app that he likes to use and I saw that he was using a paint tool in the app to cover a photo of him with my Dad in black paint.   I confess its a bit jarring to suddenly out…

I Remember…But Does She?

This is a blog entry that I have put off writing.  Two days ago was the anniversary of my Dad’s death.  Its funny how the months, then years creep by and suddenly the day sneaks up on you.  I know the day is coming but I actually have to be reminded about the actual date….

The Berry Juice

Johnny was requesting orange juice this morning when he opened the fridge to get it for us.  He saw the berry juice and decided he wanted it and was going to lift the heavy container out of the fridge and suddenly stopped and put it back in. “I spilled berry juice all over the kitchen…

You Are Missed Daddy

*tissue warning* This is my second Father’s Day without my dear Dad.   He lived with us right up until he passed away and not a day goes by that  when I go upstairs I immediately see his old room and expect to see him there.  I try and focus on the happy memories of…

We Are Going To Talk About Feelings….

Yesterday afternoon…. “We are now going to talk about our feellngs Johnny.  Remember last week we talked about how our engine can run fast, or slow or be just right?” Johnny is in his third session of a 8 week block of a combined OT / SLP therapy at the hospital’s child development centre.  They…

Opening The Book

The paliative care doctor that helped my Dad told me that children deal with grief like how you look at a book.  They sit down and open the book up and take a look for a little while and then close it and are done with that book for a while.  Last night Johnny opened…

“I want to buy flowers for Grandpa”

“I want to buy flowers for Grandpa” Two years ago we were hoping and praying along with my Father who lived with us that Johnny would be able to say some words. We could only live in hope that one day we would hear his voice letting us know what was on his mind.  On…

The picture of my Mother…..

This is what Johnny started doing with this picture of my Mother. It began last Monday when he wanted to look at her picture and requested that I take it down off the mantle. He’d sit and hold it and then say “Mommy’s Mommy.”. Afterwards he would walk around the living room testing out new…

Reflections On My Mother

  Eighteen Years ago I got a call at work that I needed to go downtown to the hospital that something had happened to my mother. My father was already there and needed me. She had been preparing lunch for a big meeting in the conference room when she felt ill to her stomach. She…

Days of Our Lives ~ Missing Grandpa

Last Monday afternoon I had an unexpected emotional experience regarding grief and children.  Johnny is in camp half days on Mondays so after lunch we had playtime inside for awhile letting him have a chance to relax and play with his trains.  I was tired from the heat outside and saw the time and thought…

My First Father’s Day Without Dad

Happy Father’s Day to all the incredible Dad’s out there.  Happy Father’s Day to the Daddy of my children.  You are my best friend, my rock, my sounding board, my inspiration, my love.  You show your children everyday how to be kind, patient, devoted, sympathetic, strong, persistent, steadfast, loving, gentle and understanding.  I am very…

Sad Bunny To Deal With Feelings of Sadness and Grief

A couple of weeks ago Johnny began to want to deal with his feelings of SADNESS and try to express himself. After his Grandpa passed away, if we asked him about “Wompa” he would say “Mamma…shhh!”  Dealing with grief and sadness is hard enough let alone when you are dealing with young children.  Imagine how big…

Bumps, Emptiness and Fond Memories

    Navigating along the journey of grief is full of bumps, emptiness and fond memories but definitely more challenging when experiencing it with a child by your side. More complex when that child also has autism and the loved one was more then “Grandpa” (Wampa) but a caregiver, friend, buddy, helper, caregiver, hair ruffler,…

Are You Sad? “Shh!”

I opened up Johnny’s daily log book 2 days ago and read that he was sad at school and cried when he was in the bathroom with his EA and later when he dropped his snack on the floor at snack time. I asked him about being sad at school and he said “Momma….Momma….shhh!” and…

Christmas Letter 2011

      It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. ~ Charles Dickens. 2011 was our roller coaster year full of incredible moments and sobering reality. Began the year with Johnny at 3 years old beginning to use words again to communicate after losing all acquired language by 18 months….