To believe in immortality is one thing, but it is first needful to believe in life. [Robert Louis Stevenson]
Rob's home; you may have guessed this, since there's an audio journal. He arrived back from London, Ontario last night after a whirlwind of work getting his mom's affairs in order. Hand in hand with his younger sister, the two of them have made preparations for next Monday's small gathering and a small army of professionals have many wheels in motion.
I'll write next week about just how thoughtful Marg was - and her late husband before her - in making sure things were as easy as they could be for the children left behind at such a hard time in their lives. What a gracious gift! But that's for another day.
Losing someone unexpectedly, as we did 13 months ago, does many things to a person. You've read and heard of several of those aftershocks in this journal since May 2015; I won't belabour you with them all here, but the one that is having the longest and strongest reverberation is the fear that I could be left without Rob. His being nine years my senior doesn't serve to allay that fear, either.
Rob's done all he can to make sure everything - every paper, every contact, every name and number and email address (even instructions on how to post this journal!) - is in a place where I could find it if, God forbid, something happened to him. But I can't go there. And I don't mean into the office drawers.
That's where help comes in the form of therapy and even meditation. Wisdom to be in the moment, prepare for what we can (files, wills, etc.) and just not worry about scenarios that we can't possibly predict or control.
Next month, we're flying into and out of a European airport. The bombing yesterday at Ataturk in Istanbul gave me pause, I'll admit. Our friends, neighbours who take care of Molly on occasion, often travel in and out of that very airport; they did - and were due to - this week. They're safe, thank goodness. Fate was kind to our friends. But I'm sure they'd agree: if we stop travelling because of threats of terrorism, then the bastards have won. So we won't stop.
Our friend and former bandmate Peter lives just 200 metres from the house explosion in Mississauga yesterday. Some of the windows in his apartment building, on the same side he's on, were blown out, but not his. Here's a picture from the citynews.ca website. Look at the devastation.
Danger is around every corner, and most of the time you never see it coming. As a man in Toronto proved just a few weeks ago, we could just as easily be hit by a tree branch in a serene park as a terrorist's bullet abroad. So, knowing that, we take those odds. We choose life.
I guess what I'm saying is that the longer I live, the more I learn that there are no guarantees. Nothing is promised and, as the saying goes, no one gets out alive. There is just no point, in my mind, to live life afraid of the "what if's".
It's not lost on me that not one hour after I'd asked Rob that question about seizing that gentle, perfect Sunday - and him responding that he felt we were, just simply by "being" - the phone call came that brought the sad news about his mom.
Every moment is to be cherished. Every day or even hour that you're not in pain is one to be thankful for. Every bird song, every breeze, every sip of something that dances on your tongue.
I know to some it will sound corny, but we were always grateful to be in a sort of "bubble" of happiness. I said it to Rob in the months leading up to Lauren's death; I knew that we were blessed when so many were hurting. At least I had the presence of mind then to know how very lucky we were, and we won't stop seeking and finding the many ways in which we are still truly blessed.
Life is good. We're grateful for each other, Rob and I, and I thank you for being here today, and every day.