“Hallelujah anyhow…”

With still half asleep eyes, I shrugged on my light grey tights, black tee shirt, and jacket, and since I’m sporting three day hair, that’s in desperate need of a fresh shampoo, a stocking cap seemed the best option.

It was a brisk morning, and the girl beagle looked expectedly up at me, as I grabbed  her leash from off the brass coat hook, her  black tail, with a white tip wagged eagerly, in anticipation of “ the walk.”

Turned out to be a three poop bag  morning with Tillie.  She is regular, I’ll give her that.  A stroll in the early morning does all kinds of wonderful things for a body and soul.  Perspective adjustment always… I didn’t know that I needed one every day, but that, apparently seems to be the case!

It wakes me up, and it gives some much needed  clarity to several of my present life challenges.  I have mentioned before that it is like I’m doing therapy with God and the universe out there on the blackened and cracked pavement.  There are small pieces of ice around, but the birds have begun chirping, as if they know.. things.. they are a changing.  There is a new season emerging, and thawing.. and soon seeds and bulbs will decide to burst open and push upwards toward the warmth of the Spring sun.

I vent, and purge out the hurts in my heart as I stride ahead.  There  are sometimes tears of tears not yet answered  prayers,  and that brings some  frustration, but every single time, my eyes end up looking into the heavens, breathing in the chilled fresh air, and it seems impossible not to just these things go.  It’s true, it would seem that I pick up these same issues throughout the day, because apparently, I don’t recall how unbelievable it feels to let things go as I walk.. Talk about a short attention span.

Short Memory Syndrome.. “SMS”.. I don’t know if this is a real thing, but it’s a real thing for me.  I have mentioned before, that for me, prayer can be my last resort, and it makes no sense, because each and every time, I seek the God of Heaven out, I am heard..and the lump in my throat negotiates it’s away out of my personal breathing space, and dissolves away.

I have so much pride in my own ability to solve all of my problems.  If I was consistent with this, then theoretically, I should have no more issues..This would make sense if it were true, but, alas… there must be some kind of bizarre comfort that I derive from hanging onto the control of things too tightly.

As I rounded the corner to walk the home stretch back to my Mother’s home, I see a set of two ladies taking in the mornings’ glory.  I greet them, and they ask where my Mum is  How is Brody,(her Westie pup?), and that they look forward to seeing her outside as the weather warms up.  They are friendly, and upbeat.

I promise to mention their greeting back to Mum when I get back to her home.  I scarcely notice, how the dark storm clouds have lifted, since the beginning of my energetic walk.  Meeting people on the path of life, always brings a “spring to my step.”

Barbara is a caregiver to my Mum, a companion, chef, housekeeper, gardener, singer, and all in all one of the most genuine self sacrificing human beings that I have ever known.  She is bloody fantastic.

I could tell as I entered the kitchen that my Mum was experiencing some tears.  She sat in her yellow cotton pajamas, with the red roosters adorning them, at the end of the kitchen table.  The room was rather dark, and I could sense that her spirit was bothered.

She unloaded some things that were plaguing her, and I sensed the need to re-direct her thoughts.  Barbara had made me a delightful breakfast with eggs, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, and bacon.  A big cup of fresh black coffee tantalized my nostrils. My Mum sat in front of her food, which was a gently toasted waffle, a few strips of cheddar, and some  freshly cut gala apple.  Her head was  down, and she was looking and appearing quite  silent, and casually dabbing her eyes with a tissue.

Barbara came  to sit with us, and one of the first things she said was, “ it is important to  just say hallelujah anyhow.”  She then went on to quote this piece..

”Never let your problems keep you down

When your problems come your way,

Just lift your hands up high and say…

Hallelujah anyhow.”

She then went on to sing the song that she was going to sing at her grandmother’s funeral tomorrow.  It was called “ God gives life.”  She has a voice, that is filled with depth, and gives chills when you hear it.  Such a gift this lady is. Her faith flows out of her continually, and her dedication to caregiving is overflowing with love, and compassion.  She is truly an inspiration.

79286FC2-8AF7-4E6B-AD41-F4AD85E3384CWhat a moment..unexpected, and sweet.. such a comforting balm to us.   As she sang this song, tears spilled from my eyes, and rolled down my cheeks.  I glanced at my Mother, and she was doing the same.  Barbara sang out the sweetest notes, with such conviction, and promise, it was impossible not to sense the transformation that entered the kitchen.  It was as if, an ethereal light suddenly turned on.

There we three sat, and as she lifted her voice in song, there was hope, a promise that rang out so pure, and honest.. it filled the place.  I felt as if I was on “ holy ground.”

Last weekend, my cousin Cory, and I drove to Ottawa, with my Mum to celebrate her 80th birthday.

We had a memorable time touring parliament, visiting museum gift shops, as per Cory’s hankering, and strolling through the downtown of Ottawa.  We visited the Byward Market, and then had mouth watering thin crust pizza, from a lovely red brick building called “ The Grand.”


Times like these are unbelievably precious..

We enjoyed high tea at the Chateau Laurier Hotel where we stayed.  It was decadent, and delightful.  We were making memories..and hopefully these times are indelibly etched on our subconscious for years to come.


(Photos are courtesy of Cory Hills, travel companion, cousin, big sister, dental hygienist, and neice of the birthday girl)

The word hallelujah means “ praise  to Yahweh, or praise to the Lord.”  It is “ an expression of worship or rejoicing.”  I’m not too sure if this word is uttered too often these days while we are out and about, but if I’m feeling especially joy  filled, or overwhelmed with thankfulness, I like to let this word  roll off my tongue.  It almost feels like a welcome relief to say it. It’s like  I have been waiting to let it out when nobody is listening.

I was wondering if a thankful hallelujah would be the highest form of praise?

In light of the recent tradegy that occurred with the  bus, and truck crash in Humboldt, Saskatchewan, I was touched, and inspired by the words the late hockey coach’s wife .  It was her husband, Darcy that perished in this horrendous bus crash.  She said that her husband did devotions with their children every night, and he often wondered if he made any difference in the lives of his players?  It seems incredible to me that he couldn’t have known what a tremendous impact he has made, both on his players,  his family, and those of us who are following this painful story of their lost lives.

He would tell his children repeatedly, she said, that no matter what, “ keep following Jesus.”  That was his highest purpose to imprint on his children, the most important calling..

They are in a state of shock.. of disbelief.. of course they are..This kind of accident is never expected..their Dad, and husband have gone away from them.. They are separated.. and this feels horrifyingly lonely.  They will lie their loved one to rest, and may feel almost in a daze while doing it.  Is it shock, or is it grace that sustains them today, and in the future.. Life is forever changed for them..

All I know is that grace sustains in a place where you never thought that you would travel, it lifts you up, when you cannot do it on your own.  Grace will comfort you, when that is all you have.







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