20151212_135623_resizedOh my gosh!  I finally know why this holiday gets to me so much. I never get time to write my blog. I wish that were really it. It isn’t. This time of year rubs me up and down in such extremes that travelling in between these emotions wears me out. Last week was a fraking roller coaster ride from hell. I am not even going to get into explaining why. But by the end of the ride something beautiful happened.

I am going to skip over the bullshit here and rewind back to Friday, December 4th when I had the amazing opportunity to meet and hear Eddie LeMoine speak at PeopleCan here in Sackville. His values align closely with those of my proclaimed guru Dr. Dyer.  Eddie’s new book Bring About What You Think About, will no doubt put me on the right track for 2016. In fact, I look forward to revisiting this blog next year to report on my journey.

I left Eddie’s talk and got on a bus to the valley, where I spent the weekend retreating into my writing again. Book 2 of the Bride sisters trilogy is underway. This will be an entirely different adventure. I make no promises when this book will be published. I want to savour the moments a little more this time around. Two new characters presented themselves that weekend. I cannot wait to share them with you. But I am getting off track.Scrabble

While I am grateful for that talk and that weekend, as soon as I got home the shit hit the fan, hard. I had a week of highs and lows that set records on my mental health chart. I am not going to dive into the negatives here today but instead tell you about how I manifested what I was really thinking about while everything was slapping me in the face; my dad.

Father ChristmasNo matter what came my way last week, I thought of him and how much he loved Christmas. How much he helped hold that holiday together for all of us growing up. How the memories of fighting over chips and dip and not being able to open gifts until he slowly made his cup of tea. And how Christmas has changed so very much since he has passed on. I tried not to give into my state of mourning but I fell into it quite easily as a way of coping with the other things that were going on. I figured if I kept thinking about my dad and the happier times, it would help in some way.

And then it happened, the magic. Exactly one week to the day of Eddie’s talk, I found myself breathing deep while out shopping. I walked the isles singing Joel Plaskett songs in my head to drown out the Christmas carols. I was tired of them by the end of November. Insert Bah humbug here, I only like Boney M at Christmas time; the rest get on my nerves.

I finished paying for my things and with all my bags in the cart, I went to leave but for some reason I felt something pull me to the exit located in the other direction. I listened to my gut, I turned around then I noticed a volunteer from the Salvation Army setting up her kettle. I instantly grabbed my wallet to see what little change I had, and trust me it was little. The folks at the Sally Ann hold on to the strings to my heart very tightly, I couldn’t walk away without giving something. This is the blog explaining why.

When I reached out to put my change in I said, “I wish I had more but what I have is yours darlin’.”

She replied with, “What part of Newfoundland are you from?”

It is easy to recognize a fellow Newfoundlander, well for the most part.  We like to sniff out our own. I answered her question with, “Long Island,” and she replied with, “Grand Falls.”

I instantly smiled, “That is my dad’s hometown.”

“Oh yeah, what’s his name?” Our excitement grew quickly because us NFLDers love chatting about things back home.

“My dad’s name is Roger Hillier.”

“Oh Rog,” she said, as her face lit up like a Christmas tree and then the stories began.

“Sure we grew up right down where your great grandmother lived on Railway Road.”

20151215_120440_resized_1 (1)We must have stood there for a good fifteen minutes talking about my dad and his many brothers and sisters. I broke her heart when I told her that he had passed on.  With smiles on our faces and tears in our eyes we exchanged our contact information. We both plan on getting together for a cup of tea after the holidays for more Hillier stories.

I rolled my cart out into the parking lot feeling as if the Salvation Army saved me once more. My interaction with the kettle lady named Jane reminded me that I don’t have to be sad, my father is still here as long as I am. My blessings are many.

That same day, Debbie from PeopleCan posted a message on Facebook asking for volunteers for the Salvation Army kettles here in my community. I messaged her to let her know that I was all in.

Happy holidays everyone and cheers to Eddie LeMoine!

I really did bring about what I was thinking about; my father, at Christmas.

Eddie LeMoine