Matchmaker, Matchmaker

“So Grampi, was it love at first sight when you saw her?”

Daughter’s eyes widen, jaw drops when Maternal Grandpa lets out belly laugh.

Hahahahaha …..

 Her romantic notions of darling-sweep-me-off-my-feet-I’m-yours-forever are shattered.

Sister and I glean bits and pieces over the years.

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Sister and me

Dad’s story –

“I came home from work one evening, and Mother told me I was fixed up.

No further discussion …

(Rumour has it that Paternal Grandma in her heyday was a tough bird.)

Fixed up is a direct translation from the vernacular.  There’s a sense of no-way-out about it. 

Matchmakers are Aunty Ruby’s in-laws.

Dad, up-and-coming young banker, is desperate to see what the girl looks like before formal introduction when he and parents visit her home.   Enlists help of Friend Gunam. Friend and he ride Dad’s scooter up and down Mum’s lane.  Young Lady finally makes an appearance on front porch.

Dad and Friend ride away.  Dad is glum.

Friend Gunam’s version:  “He was speechless.  He fell instantly in love.”

Dad’s version:  “I didn’t know what to say.  She looked like nothing on earth!”

Ouch …

Enormous relief to meet the girl a few days later.  Accomplished.  Demure.  Long dark hair.  Pleasant to behold.

Phew …

Turns out young lady on front porch was Neighbour’s Daughter!

Wrong address!

True story – honest – straight from the horse’s mouth.

Mum’s Story –

Me:  “Mum, so what did you think when you saw him?”

Mum:  “He was so handsome, darling.  My heart skipped a beat!”

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Stars in Mum’s eyes!
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Only after  formal engagement and a ring on her finger
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He’s the man!

                         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The date is fixed.  Here comes the bride …

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All the world and his wife were invited
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Beatrice.  Blushing bride

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Till death do us part

   

 

 

 

 

Uncle Gunam – comrade, confidante, fellow sleuth – is   Bestman.

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Man and wife.  Confetti, flower garlands and smiles.  Dad and Mum on church steps

Fast forward fifty years.   Golden Wedding Anniversary  celebrations.  

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Diamond ring.  Dad and Mum renewing marriage vows at  altar.  
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Order of Service.  Reception dinner and dancing after.

 

 

They  all said it – grannies and great aunts, aunties and elderly widows:

“Love comes after marriage, that’s how it happens.”

Stable, enduring.

Me to Daughters:  “Safer, more trustworthy than E-Harmony dot com, right?”

Daughters shrug and roll their eyes. 

Whatever …

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Love comes after marriage …

So that’s why Grampi laughed out loud.

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Youthful genes and blue jeans.  Grampi with Granddaughters (too long ago)
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Aging nicely.  Grampi and Peter (Sister’s son)

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Little voice from past echoes in my ear.  “Fall is an untidy season, Mommy …”

Second small voice chimes out in agreement.

Aptly put.

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Amazing how Memory Bank unlocks to release unexpected cameo moments. 

Daughters are all grown up now. 

I remember all over again what a pretty season this is.  

Neighbourhood trees are on fire –

Backyard fence is burning up –

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View from upstairs window
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View from kitchen 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer’s done.  Falling  in love with fall – all over again.

 

Blazing autumn promenades –  

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Husband and Puppy
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Puppy sniffs neighbour’s pumpkins on garbage day.  (No Hallowe’en celebrations at our house.)
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Eek!

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Tiny joy-moments to take one’s breath away …

(1) Pause to observe a single coloured leaf –

(2) Apple-strewn sidewalk –

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  • (3) Smudge of rainbow in grey sky –                         

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    Gasp of delight, unexpected sight
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    Hello brave rose!

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(4) Last lonely rose clinging to neighbour’s fence.

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Thought of Mum when I took these pictures –

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Landscape-in-a-window
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Living room reflected in old mirror

She used to say, “Eyes are the mirror of the soul.” 

Mum’s heart was reflected in her eyes.  Childlike, guile-less.  She drew people to her like a magnet.

Me: “Mum, has it ever bothered you that Dad is so … er  … striking?  Have you ever wished you were … maybe … prettier?”

Mum (puzzled):  “No. Why? Never!”

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Debonair Dad.  Twenty-something bachelor.
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Play on words.  Dad’s name is  Prins.

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They called him Omar Sharif in his day.    

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People leave footprints on our lives.  Mum left indelible prints on mine.

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That’s Mum
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By the lake last summer

Thankful for those who’ve touched my life, influenced my thinking. Thankful for Mum. 

Miss you, Mum.  Miss your loving letters …

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Saved every letter Mum ever wrote to me (until she discovered email)

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Chilly morning today.  Found bird’s nest under tree –

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Straw and clay – avian masterpiece

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In church last Sunday

 

 

 

 

I’ll continue to  cling to thankful.  If it’s all that remains, it’s enough.  

Until next time,

sincerely

PS: All the pictures in this post are moments captured on my IPad and phone. 

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If you enjoyed the post, please like this page, follow and share. Thank you.  xxx

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Meet Maria

 House is undergoing renovations. 

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Puppy, a nervous wreck. (“Help! Where’s my spot?”)
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Sleep tight, Claire! Overnight guest beds down with paint pots by front door

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clouds of dust, pails of paint –

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Inside the coat closet

I gasp, run for IPad.  Just remembered something …

Tap. Click.  Got it!

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Take a look at this …

… something Daughter said eight years ago.

Flashback to …

Several dark months when light in home is dimmed while Mother (me) undergoes treatment for late-detected breast cancer. Pretty much confined to bed.  A simple journey to the bathroom and back is long, exhausting.  Endless pilgrimages to hospital and clinics.  Can’t do much else besides.   Completely sapped of strength.

One day Daughter says –

“I guess God allows the pit to get so deep, so we can see how high his ladder can go …”

Bingo!

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How high can it go?
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Not high enough.  

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Grammatically incorrect t-shirt!

Words to heal or kill- power of tongue to build up or destroy …

 

 

Perspective alters instantly.  Pit is deep, very deep – yes – but ladder goes high, so high.  Begin to count blessings.  Endless list.  

People who love and care –  

  • Husband, Daughters, Family, Friends, Church (Kitchen lies idle. Meals come in unsolicited for seven months straight.
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Puppy, constant companion.  If eyes could heal ..
  • Maureen, who accompanies me to chemo sessions, sees me safely into house, remains awhile in driveway crying for me before driving away. 
  • Brother-In-Law, Jonathan, who spends 4 hours a day for a week, driving me to radiation through freezing rain and snow storms, so exhausted husband can have a break..
  • Puppy’s unwavering eyes on me. Doesn’t move from my bedside. (Never wanted a dog.  Can’t do without him now)   
  • Top notch medical care. Stellar surgeon and oncologist.
  • Knowing that everything happens for a reason.
  • Prayer.  Someone IS listening.

Etc. Etc. Etc.

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Husband wakes up each morning and says, “Good morning gorgeous!”

I cry the first time I hear him.  I’m grey,   bloated,  bald as an egg.  

He isn’t joking.

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He’s my man

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Meet Maria –

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I see Maria one morning at the chemo ward.   A pretty woman.  She begins to cry when the needle is inserted into her vein.  My heart aches.  In two weeks she’ll be as bald and as I am, with black nails and all the awful trimmings.  I don’t want her to suffer as I have. 

I place a hand on Maria’s and murmur, “You’ll be all right.”

She says, “How do you do it?”    img_20150801_202032

“You wake up each morning and ask for strength for the day.  At night say ‘thank you’ for the grace that took you through. Live one day at a time.  Don’t think about tomorrow.  It’s too frightening.”

We meet every three weeks at the hospital, talk on the phone.  Dark moments.  Shared strength.

Maria makes it.  So do I.  Sisters. There’s something about shared suffering.  Eight cancer-free years for us both this year.  Oncologist tells me I’m one of her success stories.

How high the ladder goes …

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Celebration time.  Hyrrah for Maria!         

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_20150710_103346                                                   Pink ribbons for breast cancer awareness

 Detest the wig.  Makes me itch, gets into eyes –

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Unloved.  Hardly used the wig.

Husband wears it to sixties hippy-themed costume birthday party some weeks back!

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Happy Hippy Husband.  Despised wig finally comes in useful!

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That’s my man!

 

 

 

 

Won’t ever forget that moment when head feels scratchy. Realize hair’s growing back.

What a feeling …

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Gorgeous full moon last week.  

Playing hide-and-seek over neighbour’s roof …

Roses still blooming in Garden –

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                                                                                              Standing tall.  Me in a puddle of sunshine.

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Hope is a precious thing.  Joy is priceless.  

Until next time,

sincerely

PS: The pictures in this post are all clicks from my IPad and phone.  Please share your thoughts and leave a comment.  Thank you for dropping in. 

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A dog’s life. Puppy sleeps in. 

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Real Life Sucks

The shadows catch my eye.  Long stooped frame with  cane, smaller figure keeping step.

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Walk with me

His steps falter, hers are spry.  She must have been a pretty woman in her youth.

Pause at traffic lights.  His shadow falls over hers, covers it.  Now they are one.

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Rosalyne and me standing behind them

Symbolic.  

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Young love –  Viking lass and her beau! 
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Can it last?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In my perfect world –

Daughters: “What planet are you living on, Mom?” (Eye roll!)

Planet Naive?  

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He and me 

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Still grappling with a sense of let-down over the Brangelina breakup.  Can’t think why.

Real life sucks. (Borrowing Daughters’ phraseology.) 

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What happened to  till death do us part ?

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All by myself

Aunty Joyce and Uncle Rajan celebrated fifty years this past summer, Husband’s parents mark sixty next year.   

There has to be hope.

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The royal wave. (Rajan and Joyce, 50 years)  
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The In-Laws: Merlin the Magician and Vampire Girl ( Wimsy and Devi, coming on 60 years)
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Always hopeful Puppy.  The crumb will fall. .

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Change of subject.  A well placed seat on a porch/ in a garden corner, is a beckoning invitation.

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Gunther-and-Mary’s backyard
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Patriotic front porch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slideshow – more leafy corners and slivers of heaven –

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An old chair in a green nook makes a marvelous stage for a potted plant. These dilapidated abandoned treasures found a home in my Eden –

Love how chairs add charm and character to a space (indoors or out).  Couldn’t love this one, though –

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See through pink plastic – yikes!

When I can’t sleep  I re-live  lovely moments.

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Like these –

  • Time spent with kindred spirits –                                                     
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Rosalyne and me at Word On The Street, downtown Toronto

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  • Rainbows in hosepipe mist and around the house –
  •  Puppy discovers playground –
  • Swathes of morning sunlight –
  •  Dreamin’ ‘n’ dancin’ to the crooning of Six Feet Up

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    Six Feet Up at Fairmount MacDonald.  Music from five decades ago for Golden Wedding Anniversary
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Six Feet Up.  Baby Boomers  – Kevin, Gail and Bruce.  Vocals and wind instruments.  Irresistible toe-tapping nostalgia
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Fifty years.  Rajan and Joyce.  “May I have this dance for the rest of my life?”
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That’s Husband and me!
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Just you and me
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Mine!

 

 

 

 

 

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Saw this van parked on Next Door’s driveway. 

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Bringing dreams home.  A sign for things to come?

Yes, please!  

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Thankful for –

(1) Dental care and the fresh feel of just-cleaned teeth –

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Thank you, Suzanne Garfinkle, dental hygienist since Daughters were tots

(2) Good neighbours

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Glen and Dianne – court garage sale organizers
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Court BFFs. Sepideh (left), with Jinoos and young Sahand setting up shop in Jinoos’ driveway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ever wondered about the faces behind the names defacing public property?

Romance, art or vandalism ?

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So who is Leyla?
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Who?

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Bottoms up! (Thank goodness those weeding days are done)

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 Memo to self for this week-

 Hold that tongue, watch what you say. 

    Easier said than done.

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Wise monkeys.  Tisha (left) and daughters

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Shh! In a neighbour’s garden
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I am?

Until next time,

sincerely

PS: Dad and Mum made it to fifty years too.

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Prins and Beatrice – RIP Mum.  Miss you still.

Sharing is great, please do.  Like this page and follow to receive future posts.

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The pictures are all moments captured on my phone and Ipad.

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Shopping with Mom
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Husband and Puppy.  A quiet ramble.