Until we meet again



 (image credit)

When I am overcome by sorrow and surrounded by an outpouring of emotion, the writer in me takes over and helps process the overwhelming feelings by using words.  I cannot express enough gratitude for those words at times when tears and despair are not adequate enough to describe the sadness of attending a funeral for a 30-year-old man who had been experiencing the best year of his life.

In the aftermath of a tragic event, two parents lost a son, a younger brother became an only son and my best friend lost her brother.  The news of his passing was felt in our small town like the shock waves recorded during an earthquake.  Everyone who knew Cam was rattled to their core.  The emotion was raw, the grief was all-encompassing and the anguish could have been described as physical pain.

We gathered in Toronto today to celebrate Cam’s life.  We shared tears, we shared many hugs and we all knew we had lost something special in our lives that we can never get back.  Cam was that guy that everyone loved to be around.  His smile will be forever etched in the memories of those who were fortunate enough to see it and his absence will never go unnoticed.

His funeral service today was a touching blend of spirituality and prayer, accented by a heaping dose of Cam’s sense of humor.  As the family left the service, the well-recognized Monty Python song “Always look on the bright side of life” played while we stood, waiting to join the family outside.

“Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones.”  —Phillip Brooks

Cam truly was a man of character.  May you rest in peace, Cam.


Monty Writeon’s – The Meaning of Blog


meaning of life

(Image credit: Monty Python)

Part I – The Miracle of Birth

The conception of my blog was, indeed, immaculate.  It was unprotected and unplanned but, once it was miraculously born, it brought great joy to my life.  I have nourished it, fed it and loved it.  Its incessant need has brought many sleepless nights but the rare moments that it smiles at me make the bags under my eyes worthwhile.  I have held it close to my heart and have had moments that I wish it would sleep through the night and let me get some much-needed rest.

I have used many tricks to make it laugh and have relished the moments that it brought a smile to my face or a tear to my eye.  I have suffered through its teething and those many moments that nothing I did would make it happy.  Through its toddler phase we had a great deal of fun together, learning about each other as we spent more time together.  I watched it learn to walk and then to run.  I soothed its scrapes and cuts when it fell but, through all the tumultuous growing pains, we forged a bond that cannot be replaced.

Part II – Growth and Learning

Over the past year and a half I have watched it grow and mature.  I have seen it develop a personality and gain some independence.  But its need for me and my attention seems to be waning.  It seems to have rapidly entered its teenage years before my eyes.  It has become sullen and withdrawn.  We don’t spend much time together these days.

I get up early to go to work and can’t find the time needed to spend with it in those rising hours of the morning.  I have been working more split shifts recently and when I come home for my break it is lying on the couch, having accomplished nothing on its own during my absence. When I attempt to create some lasting moments with it in the afternoons, it ignores me and does not react to my efforts.

I can only hope in the near future that the negative teenage reaction will subside and, as a young adult does with their parents, we form a new alliance and become friends again.  I miss spending time with it and miss creating the words and phrases that we would carve into our reality.  With a little more effort on my part, I’m sure I can find that one common thread that will bring us back together again.  I put my faith in its capacity to grow and mature and its ability to accept the fact that I, too, have my limitations.

And the words shall set us free.

Always look on the bright side of life


In my limited pool of knowledge, I have found that there are two types of people in the world – those who love Monty Python, and those who don’t.  That may be a very broad assumption, and one that has been purely based on my personal experience and nothing else.  The people I have encountered have very distinct opinions on the subject and sway very heavily to one side when it comes to the British comedy.  You may be perched on the fence, or have no opinion at all, but this post is based on the myriad of people who have shared their strong opinion with me.

It is not a subject I bring up haphazardly in conversation, but there comes the inevitable moment when I unwittingly kick a reference to Monty Python into a conversation.  It either completely misses  the uprights and lands uselessly in a blank faced crowd, or it sails right down the middle, scores and the crowd jumps to its feet.  It can be the most innocent of comments but Monty Python fans recognize it immediately and a look of happiness glazes their face when they identify with one of their own.  In mere seconds, they have responded with another piece of Python repartee and an entirely new conversation spins in a warped direction.

silly walk

(photo credit: tumblr.com)

I wasn’t introduced to the genius of Monty Python until much later in my life, but I certainly made up for lost time by watching those comedic geniuses incessantly.  Python fans seem to have an undefinable bond.  Without even beginning a conversation, I have had friends walk past me in public places doing their best impression of the Minister of Silly Walks and I can’t contain my laughter.  When I lived in Halifax, we would have Monty Python nights and the group of friends who were as fixated as we were would gather around our television set.  We were all able to quote 90% of the lines in each movie (sad, but true) and we even used small wooden salad bowls to emulate the coconut horse hooves in the Holy Grail.  Obsessed?  Perhaps.  But those are some of my fondest memories.

There are nights when I am feeling less than my usual exuberant self and Monty Python seems to be the only thing that can bring me out of my funk.  The Meaning of Life finds its way into my DVD player, the machine that goes “PING” pings and all is right in my world once again.

Time to weigh in friends – what is your quest?  What is your favorite color?  Which side of Python are you on?