Tag Archives: memories

Memories of Christmas in Palliative Care

As I write this, I look around and see that the Christmas season is in full swing. Christmas has exploded everywhere. Everywhere you look Christmas decorations are on display and all of the shops are competing for your Christmas dollars. The media is working overtime trying to convince you of all the things that you just can’t live without this year.The perfect gift for the perfect Christmas is achievable, according to all the retail outlets. That’s the message that bombards us from everywhere for so many weeks. It’s no wonder that Christmas can be so overwhelming and stressful. Continue reading

Christmas, “The Season of Giving”

Written by our blogger Irene Motz

The business  of the season begins  the  day after Thanksgiving. The signs are everywhere that Christmas is just around the corner. It becomes almost impossible to escape the pressures and expectations  to find the perfect gifts to put underneath the tree. The season for me has  always been a thoughtful and reflective time. A time of year that evokes memories of Christmases past and brings  me face to face with the present. I try to remember not to get caught up with the materialism of Christmas and remember more the Christmases of my childhood. Even more so this coming Christmas as I watch my mother sitting in her chair in a long term care facility.

I remember the
Christmases  she orchestrated for her children. The traditions of an Advent Calendar was the first sign that Christmas was coming. The oranges and nuts in our stockings. Baking cookies and hanging them on the Christmas tree. Making ice chocolates and putting the moulds outside in the snow. Finally, the gathering of family around a huge table  that was covered with food and pastries  enough to feed us all for days. There was no price tag on the anticipation and wonder I remember feeling, and can still draw on to this day. I always had the sense that Christmas was more than what was under the tree. It was the feeling and  the aromas of Christmas that I remember and the people that sat around that table.

I always had the sense that Christmas was more than what was under the tree.

To this day if I close my eyes, my memories transport me back to a Christmas of my childhood. The Christmases in my heart were wrapped in the memories created by my mother. As a young mother I re-created  those memories for my own three children. The season began with the Advent Calendars to begin the countdown. The excitement of my children opening each window to find the chocolate behind it. The dozens of cookies we baked as a family. Some given as gifts, some hung on the Christmas tree, others shared with family and friends.

It was always a family event picking out the tree. We always found the perfect tree that seemed to have been waiting just for us. I began new traditions and incorporated those traditions of my own childhood. New pajamas every Christmas Eve. I stuffed the stockings with oranges and nuts. The table on Christmas Day was surrounded by family who filled the table with food and pastries…and the house burst at the seams with laughter and love of not only that Christmas day, but echoed with the sounds of Christmases past.

As I watch my own children with my grandchildren, I see glimpses of the same traditions, the Advent calendars , baking cookies, decorating the tree , family gathering together, laughter … Three generations of traditions stemming not from material wealth …but from the scarcity of it. It was the gift of family.

The traditions  of  Family, Love and Laughter are the gifts we pass on to the next generation. These gifts do not have a price tag. They cannot be found on the department store shelves. They  are gifts from our heart that will resonate in the hearts of our children and our  grandchildren.

Getting To Know You Questions – Remembrances

In November, our blog is all about remembrances. Our bloggers were given the six questions below. Get to know our Ladies and find out what their take is on memories!
  1. How do you want to be remembered?
  2. Finish this sentence: My favourite childhood memory is…
  3. Can you share with us the one person you will always remember, and why.
  4. Finish this sentence: If only I remembered to ….
  5. This November 11th Remembrance Day we pay tribute to those women and men past and present that served and continue to serve our country.  As a fellow human being, what does their sacrifice mean to you?
  6. If you could only remember three moments in your life, what would they be?

 

MarilynMarilyn

How do you want to be remembered?

I’d like to be remembered as creative and resilient, as well as generous and helpful.

Finish this sentence: My favourite childhood memory is…

…going to Sherkston every summer.

Can you share with us the one person you will always remember, and why.

I will always remember my father because he was an entertaining character who taught me the love of music.

KaitlynKaitlyn Samways

How do you want to be remembered?

I would like to be remembered for being kind, compassionate and choosing to make a difference. I hope that I will be able to inspire others to do the same.

Finish this sentence: If only I remembered to…

…write that down.

This November 11th Remembrance Day, we pay tribute to those women and men, past and present, that served and continue to serve our country. As a fellow human being, what odes their sacrifice mean to you?

The sacrifice that men and women have made, and continue to make, means that we have an obligation to live with value and honour in our own lives. We have access to all the information to make informed and ethical decisions; we have the ability to know how our decisions impact anything else on the planet; we must choose the path that has the greatest positive effect and does the least damage. We have a responsibility to make sacrifices as well.

Crystal

How do you want to be remembered?

I thought of so many ways to answer this, but the fact is I only need tMEo be remembered as a great mom. The impression I leave with others will always be important, but ultimately, it’s the imprint I leave on my son’s existence which will define me.

Finish this sentence: My favourite childhood memory is…

Christmas. The presents were nice of course but, for me, it was all about the quality time. It was the one time of year we all disconnected from the rest of the world and made it just about us.

This November 11th Remembrance Day we pay tribute to those women and men past and present that served and continue to serve our country.  As a fellow human being, what does their sacrifice mean to you?

For me, it translates most clearly into respect. The idea of living a life where your loved ones don’t come home from war is so outside of my framework of understanding that I think about it with awe. Awe for their sacrifice, and their courage, and awe for the strength of those left behind to keep going. I don’t know how I would fare in those circumstances, and have nothing but respect for those who have endured.

DonnaDonna-2

How do you want to be remembered?

With love, affection and over the sharing of a great joke.

Finish this sentence: My favourite childhood memory is…

My mom and older sister volunteered on Saturday’s at the St. Catharines General Hospital – so one of my favourite childhood memories is dropping them off at the hospital and then going to Montebello park with my younger sister and my Dad.  We played on the now very dangerous park swings and twirl and whirl for hours.  Then he took us to MacDonald’s on Ontario Street for lunch and we watched the rowers (it was all open to the water below at that time) and talked about everything and nothing.  This, a treasured memory you ask…..my family never ate fast food, everything was prepared from scratch, so and I know this now sounds odd, but fast food was such a treat, and the time with our Dad’s undivided attention, priceless.  To this day, I still smile when I eat those fries….such a great memory!

Finish this sentence: If only I remembered to ….

Keep my opinions to myself, unless asked.  I am working on it, and now realize it doesn’t count when I ask them “But, would you like to hear my opinion?”!

This November 11th Remembrance Day we pay tribute to those women and men past and present that served and continue to serve our country.  As a fellow human being, what does their sacrifice mean to you?

Where there is battle, or a tragic event of a monumental scale, there are those people that run from it to safety and then, there are those people that run towards it.  For all those people that run towards it, I am eternally grateful for the sacrifice of that choice.

IreneIrene2

How do you want to be remembered?

As someone who made positive change for our generation, to make it a better world for the next generation.

Finish this sentence: My favourite childhood memory is…

…my first Christmas in Canada. My family immigrated to Canada in the fall of 1959. My aunt and uncle wanted me to visit for a week in Windsor just before Christmas . I had never seen Christmas lights before. I remember sitting in the back seat  as my uncle drove through town. The entire town was covered in snow and  lit up with huge coloured lights that looked like huge gumdrops. It was a magical scene that has brought back fond memories for me, of my first Christmas in Canada .

If you could only remember three moments in your life, what would they be?

That exquisite moment when I first held each of my three children in my arms after they were born.