Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Happy Canada Day 2010

Canada Day is a welcome summer holiday. Our entire extended family celebrates July 1st by going to a parade together in our city, then gathering at one of our houses to stuff ourselves on home baked treats, cold drinks and a barbeque. During the parade, our children wave Maple Leaf flags, scramble to pick up candy, and suck on freezies. This year, my husband and I plan to try something new by taking the kids to the evening Rodeo. As a fitting conclusion to the day, we all enjoy evening fireworks in our city as well as on CBC.

Canada Day offers an opportunity to reflect on how privileged we are to be citizens of such a peaceful, beautiful and prosperous nation.  Funny how Canada started with a Prime Minister who dreamed big about a railway to link East and West....

Canadians will enjoy Canada Day in many ways on July 1st, but first and foremost, it's about celebrating the strengths in our families, in our diverse citizens, and in the country and land we all love. I hope my many friends and colleagues will have fun tomorrow, and also take a moment to consider how incredibly fortunate and how incredibly proud we are (and should be) to live, work and play in Canada - this great country of ours.

Happy Canada Day!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Good bye Michael Anton Jacobsen (1940 - 2010)

Family and friends,

Thank you for your many kind words, thoughts and prayers -- my mom, my sisters and I felt so lucky to be with my dad when he passed away Friday evening at 6:00 pm. He died as he lived - in the embrace of his loving girls.

It has been a long good-bye since dad's stroke in March 2008 -- we have celebrated the extra time we have had with dad as he progressed through the different final stages of life. Dad still went to the July 1st parades in his wheelchair, to family homes for Christmas and Thanksgiving dinner, and to his grandson's hockey games. We had many more birthday celebrations together. He enjoyed being outdoors in the sun, and always let us know, even as speech and eventually words failed him, how much he loved his family.

Through the joys and sorrows, we have been blessed to have had more than two extra years with dad since his stroke -- this extra time allowed us to enjoy dad's company, tell him often how much we loved him, and to be together as a family. After his time in the hospital, and a short stay at an extended care facility in Calgary, the five of us won the lottery and Dad was transferred to the Bethany Care Center and lived within five minutes of his wife, children and grandchildren.

This last week's vigil has been one of laughter, love and tears as dad's girls, his sons-in-law and his cherished grandchildren shared our many memories, and prepared for dad's / grandpa's passing. We are a strong family; we are helping each other with the next steps of preparing for the public service and celebration of dad's life this Friday at Bethany at 5:00 pm; we are also strong because of the love and support of our extended family and many good friends. In closing, thank you for your many kind words and wishes as we have been on this journey as a family.

With a peaceful heart,