Silver Linings, Rainbows and a Celestial Conjunction

There’s always a silver lining, you just have to find it. Of course that means there are also clouds. Same for the rainbow. It comes with rain. Such a simple but profound lesson for life. Clouds and rain come with silver linings and rainbows. Sometimes a celestial conjunction. Thank heavens. 

Our doubly dark cloud of cardiac surgery during a pandemic is long enough past now for me to be able to see the positive. 

Examples abound. Surviving with some insights about perspective and priorities. Craig’s convalescence coinciding with a shut-down. An interesting construction project for distraction. Connecting with people. Slowing down.

Connecting with people, in particular, has been a pleasurable ripple effect of Craig’s medical misadventure. Everyone in our lives, from our families to our forever friends, to work colleagues to Craig’s public school hockey coach. From those we speak to regularly to those we rarely talk to but always know are there, and you are, especially when need arises. We have savoured connecting and, in some cases, reconnecting over much time and distance. We felt both buoyed and cradled by you.

A move, a pandemic and a brush with death. Bang, bang, bang. Two brushes with death if you count my fall at Cougar Canyon.

But much to be thankful for. Life, health, people. Leisure. The photos attest.

Go ahead and judge our non-existent physical distancing over the summer. We were bad. The cottage becomes an escape for those stuck with cancelled travel plans. Some missing France. Others Ontario. Coming to the Shuswap instead. We welcome every visit as an opportunity for Laura, Craig’s nonagenarian mother, to engage with others. Gives us a break. All we ask is that you nod when she asks if you are from Grenfell.

It’s a lot of fun and, like so much fun, just a bit on the wrong side of the rules. We are being much more careful now. Thankful for our luck at not getting infected.

Our rebuild project is now so extensive that Vernon city hall requires our builder provide us with a new house warranty. The old house has been stripped away to the barest of bones, like a beached whale, mostly either eaten or decomposed. A big skeleton.

We hope to be in the new house by the end of this year.

Craig is on the mend. We remain ever aware of what happened. Ever on the lookout for complications. Mindful of Craig’s surgery. A new aortic valve sewn into his heart. A graft placed in the aorta itself. Five wounds. His chest looks like he was in a knife fight.

Life goes on. The sun keeps rising and setting. The seasons change. A virus comes. The world stops and closes. Life goes on. The sun, the seasons, the moon, the weather. A heart breaks. A hand heals. Life goes on.

Those of us living through this historic time are witnessing tremendous global upheaval. Suddenly our lives morph into something simpler, pared down, stripped back to the basics. Craig & I feel grateful to be mostly hapless bystanders. We watch the news a lot, sometimes addictively. Dismayed and entertained in equal measure.

We hope every one is well able to navigate life on planet Earth 2021. It is looking to be a rocky ride. Once this is over and we are all hungry for social interaction, we will see you back at the great table of life, once more indulging in the bountiful smorgasbord of experience that it is. Well, has been. Can it be again?

Fingers crossed we can see you… not even sometime soon… just again.

  1. Craig and Bev – so good to hear from you. This is the first I have heard of Craig’s surgery. So glad that you are on the mend!
    Stay well and look forward to the completion of your new home

    • Derek, it’s been a ride! Craig is lucky to have survived. Hope to see you again this summer, although the virus will have a say in that. B.

  2. Larry and Bev Amundsen says:

    Such wonderful writing Bev you are blossoming as a poet! Such a great perspective on a year that could have been even more devastating for everyone who knows you and Craig. Thank the stars that you are both survivors!

  3. Sharon Brubacher says:

    That was beautifully said – that first paragraph in conjunction with the sky shot – and the photos of live in 2020 are lovely. Thanks for sharing. Yes, so glad you are both still there for us to reach for when we can. Sending love…

  4. Julie Hall says:

    What a year for you both. And we think our lives have changed because of COVID-19. You had so much more to deal with.
    You’re both looking well and continue to thrive on the battlefield of life.
    See you one day xxx

    • Julie, battlefield is a good description. Yes, hope to see you someday. Hope you are staying safe over there in the land of the Covid variant. B.

  5. Marilyn & Wayne says:

    Great recap and photos, Bev….it was certainly a memorable year for the wrong reasons !!! Also obvious from the pictures that many of us did not ‘stay at home’ in our family bubble ?? Hope that 2021 is a more hopeful year and that Craig is getting back to his norm….looking forward to more pics regarding progress at 20th St and, depending on the vaccine roll-out, we will see you sometime in the Summer….Many Knuffels, Marilyn & Wayne

  6. Beth O'Kelly says:

    My goodness what a year you have had. Be safe now!! We are well. Very lucky to live beside a park and the river. Rediscovered and enjoyed during the lockdown. Love your pictures.

  7. Silvana Harwood says:

    Thanks so much for this. Can’t wait to see you again … maybe play some bridge? Do want to hear about Cougar Canyon. Yikes?? Cheers to you both.

  8. Bianca Scheirer says:

    Yikes, Craig, I cannot get my mind around you having any CVD let alone a full blown heart attack, I’m so sorry to hear that and so very glad you came through. It reminds me that life is tenuous and fragile even for those who are pillars of strength. I miss you guys, it has been forever. Bev, really, you just decided one day to just fall down a canyon? It looks frighteningly steep – Oy! But beautiful photos!!

    • Bianca, it was actually an aortic dissection, different and possibly worse than a heart attack. But in typical Craig style he survived! Would love to see you and Mark. Come to the Okanagan. When possible!

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