My screen saver takes my pho­tos and puts them in a shuffle, dis­play­ing sev­er­al of them on the screen at once. One of the pho­tos that kept crop­ping up was an old-ish one of my dad. It was taken long before he was dia­gnosed with Par­kin­son’s Dis­ease; back when he still looked healthy, and had­n’t lost so much weight his cheeks were sunken in. He’s point­ing at the cam­era and smil­ing his big smile that always made oth­ers smile. You’d see that smile and know he was about to say some­thing funny and make you laugh. Later, he main­tained his sense of humour, but it grew slower as his demen­tia set in and he pro­cessed inform­a­tion so differently…sometimes not at all. He lost so much weight that he was only 85 pounds when he died.

Anoth­er photo that comes up in the shuffle is one of my mum sit­ting next to a bowl of yel­low roses. The yel­low rose sig­ni­fies friend­ship, and is the token flower of Beta Sigma Phi, the sor­or­ity to which my mum had belonged since she moved to the West Coast 40-some-odd years ago. This photo shows her happy and smil­ing her incred­ibly infec­tious smile that won her so many friends over the years. A test­a­ment to this is the fact that 170 people showed up to her funer­al when she died of ovari­an can­cer in 2013.

Listen­ing to my iTunes music on shuffle, up comes the accom­pani­ment ver­sion of “Aten­cion” from the music­al In the Heights. I can sing along eas­ily… This song is close to me because I was Music­al Dir­ect­or for the high school’s pro­duc­tion only last month. It so mat­ter-of-factly says, “Let every­body know…Abuela Claudia passed away at noon today.” It made me cry in rehears­al. It made me cry in each per­form­ance. It made me cry again today.

Night and Day” sung by Rod Stew­art. My mum loved that.

Did She Men­tion My Name” by Gor­don Lightfoot…My dad’s all time favour­ite singer/songwriter.

And then… back to the pho­tos… My step broth­er Peter took a bejil­l­ion pho­tos of my kids at Christ­mas time and framed a few of them for my gift. So beau­ti­ful! So these amaz­ing pho­tos of my two won­der­ful chil­dren keep show­ing up in my screen saver. There’s healthy Dad, healthy Mum… Memor­ies… and my two won­der­ful chil­dren who have brought me joy.



Spe­cial thanks to Peter Taylor