When we first moved to Calgary, it was a little overwhelming.?Ç¬† At first, as a family, we didn’t know how we were going to adapt to living in a bigger city.?Ç¬† Everything was so fast paced.?Ç¬† My wife and kids didn’t know anybody in our neighborhood.?Ç¬† It felt like quite the adventure.
?Ç¬†The Semi-trailer backed up to the front of our house and the moving company employees deployed the ramp.?Ç¬† Boxes started to move into the house.?Ç¬† My wife and I started directing the movers where to put what.?Ç¬† The kids were excited, running around in the back yard.?Ç¬†?Ç¬†
?Ç¬†That’s when we first met Kim, our next door neighbor.?Ç¬† She, and her two small girls came out the front door and cheerfully introduced themselves.?Ç¬† They were the only people in our cul-de-sac who did so.?Ç¬† What a wonderful family Kim has.?Ç¬† We met her husband Steve when he got home from work that evening.?Ç¬† They are two of the most friendly people we had ever met.?Ç¬† Always helpful.?Ç¬† Always a hello or goodbye.?Ç¬† You couldn’t ask for better neighbors.?Ç¬† They helped make our transition to Calgary a smoother one.
?Ç¬†Over the last few years, we have grown our frienship with Kim and Steve and their girls.?Ç¬† My daughter would often babysit for them if they needed a night together at the movies or dinner.?Ç¬† Our children would play together.?Ç¬† It was nice to have good friends nearby.
This evening, Steve knocked on our door and brought us some bad news.?Ç¬† He and Kim?Ç¬†were in a car accident this morning.?Ç¬† Kim passed away.?Ç¬†?Ç¬†?Ç¬†Its difficult to think that she is gone.?Ç¬† It’s one of those things that just hits you out of nowhere, unexpected.?Ç¬† My heart breaks when I think of those wonderful girls of hers who will have to grow up without their mother.?Ç¬† I can’t imagine what Steve must be going through.?Ç¬† I wish there was something I could do to make it better, but it’s just one of those hard lessons life teaches us.?Ç¬† She leaves behind two wonderful children, a good husband, a loving extended family and friends, and some very sad neighbors.?Ç¬† Thanks for making Calgary so friendly Kim.?Ç¬† We love you and will never forget you.
I know the gospel of Jesus Christ teaches about the afterlife, the resurrection, and that family ties extend beyond this earth life.?Ç¬† Somehow, that doesn’t offer me any comfort or relief from the cold hard reality Steve brought to our family tonight.
Ever since hearing of Liviu Librescu‘s heroic act this week, I have been thinking about my own selflessness. would I give no thought to my own life in order for a room full of others may live? Would I be in a position ?¢‚Ç¨‚Äù confident as I am in the afterlife ?¢‚Ç¨‚Äù to lay down my life prepared to meet God?
Lastly, would my sacrifice be worth it for my children to grow up without a father?
I find that since we up and moved to Calgary, I have less and less spare time. A typical day for me begins at 4:15. I’m catching the C-Train by 4:40 and get to work at 5:15. I usually leave between 3:30 and 4:00 and get home between 4:15 and 4:45.
Sunday’s are a real day of rest. Other than my time at church, I’m usually sleeping or watching America’s Funniest Home Videos with the Kids (although that is harder now that Battlestar Galactica is on at the same time. Thank goodness for the PVR). Saturdays and a little bit of time during the evenings are my only free time.
There are many things I’d like to do with my spare time but it’s hard to pick. On Saturday’s, my girls have Snowboarding lessons at Sunshine, so we’ll be doing that until mid March. The time we get to spend together doing that is priceless. During the week I have a couple of TV shows I like to watch (Prison Break, Heroes, Lost, The Apprentice, Survivor, Smallville, and Battlestar). Most of those usually end up on the PVR and I watch what I can on Saturday nights. I’ll take my wife on a date once or twice a month. I’d love to veg out in front of the Nintendo, but time just doesn’t seem to allow it. I might put in an hour or so of Flight Simulator, Age of Empires, or StarWars Empire at War. My Son likes playing those with me so that’s usually a fun time with him. Thursday nights are music night where I get together with an old friend and jam for a couple of hours (Rick, Dar – it would be sweet for all of us to get together like in the old days and have some musical fun). Summers are spend on the Shuswap lake wakeboarding and other water sports.
You must have some free time. What do you like to do?
And Kim asked me if I miss getting letters from my grandma. Yes, actually I do. Sometimes I catch myself thinking I need to write to her and tell her something, and then I remember that I can’t do that anymore. I think it is something I will always miss.
I miss seeing that familiar handwriting in the mail and feeling a little lift in my heart, because my grandma was always such a wonderful correspondent. I think I have all her letters, at least I sure hope I do.
I will miss this Christmas, not seeing the familiar box of presents. That may sound mercenary, but really it’s not. It isn’t the presents themselves I will miss, but the gifts wrapped, in her creative, colourful way, with different pieces of ribbon and either wrapping paper or tissue, and our names written in her neat handwriting. That’s what I miss because not a year went by when she didn’t send something, not very big, but always something, and it is the wrapping and the handwriting I will miss.
I think most of all I miss hearing her voice and I hope I never forget the sound of it. For 35 years I heard it and to think, I won’t hear it again in this lifetime.
I’ve heard people say the purpose of this life is to gain experience. As we gain experience we can become more like God, gaining wisdom, empathy and the like. Yet I have to wonder if the purpose of this life is to gain experience why do so many persons die before being able to really experience anything?