Sunday, June 03, 2012

Don't let the mundane get in the way of living life

On Friday morning, Max and I learned that one of our high school friends, Charles Hwa, had passed away on May 27 from a heart attack. He had just been in town a few weeks earlier but with everything that was going on, we didn't have a chance to get together. The last time I saw him was in May 2007. He's the first one of our classmates from ISB to die and for a class of only 45 people, that means a lot. It was a tough day for us and neither of us could focus on our work. We spent several hours looking through old photograph to find ones of Charles to scan and post online. Reading the eulogy from his sister, Vivian, who was also a classmate, made me cry. There have been more since, posted on Facebook in a group created in memory of Charles. I can only read them one at a time because any more than that at once is too much to handle right now.

Saturday was very different. Unconsciously, we made every effort to go, do, live. An email from my Dad telling me that he had sold a piece from his Etsy shop, Bayshore Woods, was some much needed good news! I called him right away, very excited. This was his very first sale! To one of my followers on Twitter no less! I called just as my sister was picking up Chloe from my parents' house so I got to see them both on Skype as well which made me happy.

At noon, Max and I went to Sportrock to take a basic skills class for rock climbing. Max had a great time but it was scary for me. I sweated and was terrified the whole time I belayed for Claudine, another person in our class. And I was so scared to go up when it was my turn to climb. After the class, we had the option to stay longer but I decided that 2 hours was enough for the day. I texted Marianna, one of our friends who loves rock climbing, that we were heading out and would miss seeing them there. She asked how I like it and I told her "Um. It was okay" - hardly ringing endorsement. But when she asked if I would try it again, I told her "I would go with you guys." And I will. I'll never conquer my fear if I don't keep trying. Max and I were given a cheat sheet so we could practice our knots. Sometime soon we'll go back and take our climbing test.

Those two things, helping my Dad sell one of his wood carvings on Etsy and trying rock climbing, were on my Bucket List.

Later that day when I woke up from a nap, I saw Max outside cleaning up our brick driveway. Normally, I probably would have stayed inside. But I decided to go out and join him. We got to see one of our neighbors, Mike, and his son, Connor. They had made multi-coloured rice krispie treats and offered us one. The rainbow colours were a little startling but the taste was the same. Talking with Mike was nice and when I found out that his son wasn't feeling well, I picked a flower from our garden for him. When we went inside, there was a thank you text with Connor holding the flower. Totally made me smile.

I called my parents on Skype again and we chatted some more. I found out that they're going up to Montreal to pick up my brother (returning from the Kangiqsualujjuaq) and see my Dad's cousin, Dénis. My Dad was very close with his cousin in his youth but he hasn't seen him in many years so I was very glad to hear that they're going.

After talking with my parents, I saw on Facebook that two of our friends had checked into a restaurant not too far away. Totally out of character, I suggested that we go out and meet them. They live 4 miles away and we haven't seen them since mid-January because of our schedules. So much has happened since then, including their engagement! Feeling very carpe diem, we left the house at 10pm and stayed out until 2am. I needed that and I'm glad I went. A very good Saturday helped to make up for a very bad Friday, one definitely a tribute to the other.

Don't take life for granted.


And don't let the mundane get in the way of living life.

Dinner with classmates Charles and Angela in New York City, May 2007


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