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Daughters and Daddy

Fun morning with the girls. It was no picnic getting the girls to this waterfall singlehandedly. I gave up at one point and turned around, but then decided to remember who I am and what I am made of, and got it done. I hope my girls will be proud. My main thought was to teach them to persevere, no matter how tough or scary it seems at the time. No ability to take pics of the obstacles to get there – hands full.

We also walked through the big water tunnel under the national highway, and had to lots of rock hopping with the big ol BOB. More pics to come later. Suffice to say the girls had a frigging blast.

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Where there’s a will…. and serendipity.

Here is a door knob and two hearts that I made for the girls bedroom back at the farm in Tatamagouche. I got Jillian to draw the hearts on paper (I don’t care who says what, girls draw better hearts than guys) which I then traced onto Nova Scotia harvested and local sawmill milled pine and cut out by me. This, by the way, is the most fragrant wood I’ve ever smelled in my life by a factor of several hundred percent. Smelled not of pine but of intoxicating ladies perfume. Mindblowing.

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I made these hearts to go onto the custom french doors that I hand made for their bedroom. Pictured below is their room: custom repaired and painted by me (with colours chosen by Jillian), the french doors, the custom built in cupboards and shelving, custom lighting, dimmer switch for slow wakeups in the morning (oooo rewiring the poorly executed and connected wiring for lights and sockets was a real headache), pink tree trunk chair on wheels, repositioned electronic wall heaters in a custom bay and a peek at the 8ft odd daybed/ magic tunnel (with internal lighting!) I made for them (strong enough for 4 adults and 3 kids to sit on top).

Took me a month of full time work to get this puppy in shape it appears here. Jillian made the curtains for the cupboards and two entrances to the magic tunnel. The bedroom is a mess here; it was getting prepared to be sold. (its also with some pain again that I recall how Jillian testified that I was an uninvolved father who never took care of our children)

 

Girls bedroom

I primed the hearts, Jill painted the hearts pink and I glossed them afterwards and mounted with simple hot glue.

Also good to be back in business with two tubs of pure honey from my Mennonite neighbours and friends in Tatamagouche. Life has these moments of being quite uplifting.

Glad to have a part of the girls bedroom again. I thought I was building that bedroom to last for the next 20 years. Sure beats their current bedrooms.

Here is the view…….

 

 

I figured it out.

Hallelujah. Today I figured it out.  From gut wrenching, heart breaking grief and relentless confusion…………..to a sense of peace and resulting attitude of advocacy.

I am so grateful. Compassion replaces anger; understanding replaces hopeless discombobulation.

Sad though. At least there’s a peace in understanding.

 

Gratitude

I am so grateful for the opportunity to come out on the other side of pain. Pain tells me I did something wrong: burn a finger, cut a leg, trust someone who should not be trusted with something I shouldn’t have trusted them with.

At this point, I feel like I’ve been blessed with a Spiritual renewal – or rather, that I’ve been granted the opportunity to reconnect. I feel as if I might be Christian, but I dont go to church. Don’t read the bible much, but I remember good portions of it (former bible student/ missionary here).

I feel that my big lesson in life right now is to put the right trust in the right recipient.

Trusting humans to never break your trust is……..putting that sort of trust in the wrong place.

Trusting someone to be faithful and loyal is……. reasonable.

Trusting someone with your deepest darkest secrets is…… reasonable.

But when they break your trust (and they will – whether it be large or in something small), don’t be devastated or if you can, even disappointed – because that is the nature of humanity.

Growing up is a gift and maturing to understand these things is one of the greatest things about getting older. The other (for me) is talking with God and having Him by my side to talk to throughout every minute of every day/night. When I focus on that relationship, I dont give a rats rear what anyone thinks of that. When I think of all of the people and what they think of that, I think they think I’ve gone nuts – finally hit the looney bin. I think they think things like “its the stress; its got to him” or “always knew there was something kooky about him” or “dimbulb – theres no god you childish twat”.

Hahaha! Therein lies the magic of getting older: you realise you’ve got to make your own path and no one has the right to tell you otherwise.

Trusting in Him is a wonderful escape from worrying what other people thing and will do. Its that ice cold drink on a 45degC day. Its that coming inside to sit in front of a big fire after having cleared the 750ft driveway of ice and snow.

Its also liberating knowing that I no longer need to force myself to trust someone who has proven to be wholly untrustworthy just for the sake of my innocent children and trying to keep the peace. That I can provide a better example for them of how to live, and hopefully that by doing so, that example will provide a good foundation for them to build on as they grow their own relationships. God knows they need it now, and its clear they’ll need it in the future.

I LOVE you my girlies.

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Eden, you’re 3 today!

Happy Birthday my dear Angel. I love you with a power that is unconquerable by anyone on planet earth. You were the first baby I shed tears to when you arrived my sweetheart; and you will always occupy a big Eden shaped space in my heart. Today is a special day!

 

Eden Announcement
Eden’s conception announcement

Here is the picture I created for your birth announcement Edie. You’ll see that there  are girlie clothes and traditionally girlie things in there, but also a tool box, piston, open wrench, cricket ball and my pink band which you happen to love now.  Those items were purposely placed because I believed that you could whatever you wanted in life – from being a housewife to a diy specialist to a mechanic or a traditionally male sports player or anything at all and anything in between. That band is the most important because it had three acronyms saying “What would I like to do?”, “What is important to me?” and “What is right for me?” with a crown on it signifying that you must always be the captain of your own soul.

Even though your Mom argued vehmently in court that I am a blatant misogynist and thus a terrible fatherly influence to you three girls deserving to be removed from your life, this photo taken well before you were born shows who your Daddy really is – someone who believes in your sole right to be whatever it is you want to be.

 

Eden Birth 1
Your Mom looking excited Eden

Life was good Eden. Here on the fridge are two pictures – one from Skye and one of yours from the ultrasound. Your Mom looks ready to pop! Notice your Moms jar of valentine dates to me on top of the fridge too – she really did care for me Edie.

 

Eden Birth 2
Dad was there too – ready for anything

See me here kissing your Mom with love Edie. I really love/d your Mom too – and she will always remain in my heart. Notice that I am washing up dishes too while I am kissing your Mom – I’m not the kitchen absent Dad I have been made out to be.

 

Eden Birth 3
And so were Ouma and Oupa

Here are your Ouma and Oupa who came all the way from BC to Calgary, Alberta to help your Mom and Skye (and me by way of extension) get through your birth. They look right proud don’t they? This is also where I had some hard talks with your Ouma and Oupa imploring them to treat each other right. Be careful with admonishment – because I too needed to be reminded of that same lesson later as I used some very hurtful words towards your Mom too.

 

Eden Birth
It was a hard journey for your Mom but you’d never guess it from this pic

Here are your proud parents. Your Mom did a terrific job and showed me how strong she can be internally when she wants to be. Physically too!!!! See the bacon I made for your Mom to recover her energy – I’m not that pathetic in the kitchen. Funny thing is how the smell must have gotten to your primal self – you are mucho gusto about bacon now too!

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(I’m removing this picture just in case)

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Eden, what a bundle of delight you are. Look at how tight your knuckles are here, showing white against the red skin of your hand. Notice your Moms engagement ring too – we really were a team!

 

Eden Birth 6
Here we are, both exhausted – but bonding

Although you have always preferred your Mother Eden, I have never stopped trying to bond with you – even minutes into your life. Here we are resting our eyes a little.

 

Eden Birth 5
I changed your first diaper and put your first clothes on

There you are in your first outfit Eden. That Superman t shirt was given to me by your Mom as her belief that I was a SuperDad.

Though her beliefs have changed, I am still your SuperDada

 

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This stuff got me through the night

 

Ooooo – these things got us through the night. Red Bull gives you wings and a great big bloody crash afterwards.

 

I asked your Mom in advance if I could take you out for an ice cream on your birthday today Eden as you told me in the week preceding with the infinite honesty of a 2 year old that Mommy did not want me at your birthday.

I am sorry to say that she said that “its my day and my answer is no.” Sorry about that sweetheart, I really did try  – and try – and try.  Even used Skye’s birthday this year as a motivator where I gave your Mom an extra 2hrs to celebrate with Skye on my visitation day (remember, my 31.5hours vs your Moms 136.5 hours a week) – but nada. We will have to by example teach your Mom that fair is fair, and that sharing is good.

Even though I am not allowed to visit you or play a greater role in your life as a doting Dad, we must just remember that your Mom is human and all humans make mistakes. Hate is a horrible cancer, and we must protect our hearts against it at all times. Just know that she does care for you and she thinks she is acting in her and your best interests.

What a wonderful day its going to be for you. Your Ouma overseas and I will be thinking of you and so will Ruby.

I LOVE YOU EDEN – Happy Birthday, Dadda.

Happy Birthday Jill

I’m pretty certain my mind is firmly split into two camps when it comes to a number of topics, including the thought whether anyone other than Kev ever reads this private blog anymore.

Equally ambivalent are my feelings about exposing my inner thoughts on a blog, or rather keeping them all buttoned down inside,  thus protecting heart, mind and even possible retribution from anything that could hurt my family in the future (even from those within it).

Today, I’m going to let a little hang out. I make a conscious decision every time I communicate with my ex-fiance to use her full name Jillian. My personal reasoning is that it formalises things; keeps things a little emotionally distant – a true coping mechanism. Calling her Jill (or the much more personal “Jillie)” is just too revealing for me, displaying too much vulnerability with the woman I chose to make life with. Its obvious to me that I still feel for her, and as ridiculous as it sounds at times –  there are lots of quiet moments when I still long for that connection with her; a happy future together.

So, Happy Birthday Jill. I wish you all the blessings in the world.

 

 

The Shack, Passenger, Dreams and Peace

In late 2008, I was dating someone whom I really admired. She gave me a book called The Shack to read and despite my desire to please her, I just could not get into that novel. It really all seemed a bit weird to me and many efforts resulted in the same thing – “this book is dumb”.

Still, I had good intentions towards this book. I took the pile of pages with me from Victoria, Vancouver Island all the way to Calgary, Alberta where I figured one day I would do it justice. Yeah right!

When we as a family decided to check out the “Far East” in the Canadian Maritimes, I again faithfully packed the book for the journey. First to PEI and then onto Nova Scotia. Google tells me that I transported this tome 6160 kilometres – and I never did read one more page of it.

When my ex fiance decided to separate, shut down our life there and relocate back to Victoria again, it was time to do the big purge. While this is a very sore topic, it was also an opportunity to get rid of extraneous junk. Things like university books that were good for starting fires and a box of 50 tennis balls that had sat idle for 4 years. Things like that book called The Shack. Good riddance!

I gave that box of tennis balls and that book (and many other things) to my favourite neighbour of all time and about six months later he called to say that he had read about half the book. Hallelujah! Finally, someone could go cover to cover. He said that reading the book would help answer some of the questions I had about God and Christianity as a whole and that it was worth the time. Amazing to think this is the same man who professed being illiterate to me when I first met him. Turns out desire is always stronger than circumstance. (profound no?)

Forward a couple months into the future and one day on the nets, I was checking out a site where I could procure a copy of a certain movie called The Shack. If it was good enough for my neighbour, it was good enough for me. Movies are easier to consume than books mostly, and so the movie sat there waiting for me to watch it. Forward another couple of months odd, an address change (my fifth in 12 months – absolutely dreadful), one lonely night, a swig of cider and boyo was it ever time.

I cried a lot, and I cried often. As a Father myself, I am easily moved into compassion and tears when parents with younger children get hurt, or killed in the movie. This movie pushed all the buttons for me. I didn’t understand all of the movie, but I did see some things that have made a huge impact (aside from the obvious). (all copyright etc etc belong to The Shack/ distributors etc etc)

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Holy Manna from heaven. This sight took my breath away. Now, I am not 43 years old anymore so I am not duped by the very real fact that this whole place was massaged into a technicolour dreamscape by a massive set building film crew.

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But check out that garden as he approaches. Fairybook stuff.

 

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The view from inside looking out to the yonder. When I saw this, I knew it had to be somewhere like the many places I’ve seen and experienced like this in BC. Like….. the Slocan/ New Denver etc. Turns out it was (apparently) Cultus Lake, Vancouver area. Not too far from me now.

And now for some more gratuitous screenshots (Dropbox visual included!)

 

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My girls love the music from the band Passenger. I try to skip the parts where there are swearwords and thankfully no swear words have been said. I know it will happen eventually but for now I like to think of my girls as having fairly innocent speech patterns.

Here are a few lines from the song, “Things that stop you dreaming”

“Well if you can’t get what you love

You learn to love the things you’ve got
If you can’t be what you want
You learn to be the things you’re not
If you can’t get what you need”

Thats poignant stuff and I wonder if its not true for my ex too. I teach my girls when they hear those lyrics that no one can stop them dreaming ever  – and over time with repetition and increasing maturity I am quite certain that they will understand what I mean by that.

That belief in the power of dreams includes my own, which I will try to focus on now. Although I am losing interest in writing this next part below due to a sudden aversion of “letting it all hang out”, I’ll push on and type out a basic outline of what I intended to say from the start. And I’ll edit it later on when I get the inspiration.

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Part of this posts title says, “Dreams and Peace”.

I don’t like where I live at all. I dream of big vistas in front of me and having lived that way for about two years (GTF farm/ Brule Point/ Cobble Hill), I am now facing from my desk something beautiful (a private forest) albeit with no sweeping vista. One of the Neuro Linguistic Programming visualisations that I frequently use has its beginning centered on finding a safe, happy place intensely personal in nature that allows oneself to communicate unfettered with whats really inside.

This place above from The Shack does it. Having tried farming, living and maintaining a large acreage, etc etc, this scene from above is the kind that keeps being a draw emotionally for a variety of reasons. It feels like a place that I could call home.

And isn’t that something worth working towards?