Erin's Journal

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Just a thought... Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on. [Eckhart Tolle]

Welcome to Friday. Once again our suitcases are open and laid out on a guest room bed; Molly senses something’s up, but we have a house sitter who will be with her from the time we leave tomorrow morning until we get back next Sunday afternoon. As you probably know, Rob and I are joining Mike Cooper for a river cruise with AMA Waterways.
 
It’s called Tulip Time and we’ll be helping to host a 7-night cruise to and from Amsterdam. I’ll have snippets of the itinerary in next week’s journals, but we’re happy to be sharing this time with some 51 former CHFI listeners and journal visitors (and even a few like Mary Larin and Bill & Andrea Bates, who won trips with us back in the day) as we take a scenic cruise through, as the brochure puts it, “Amsterdam’s legendary canals, past elegant narrow buildings and the house where Anne Frank once lived in hiding.”
 
Rob and I had been looking forward to taking the daily cycling excursions (the boat, the AMAStella has its own - and helmets, of course) but the weather’s looking rainy and chilly. However, we’ll make the most of it, wandering the serpentine cobblestone streets of medieval cities like Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges.
 
One of the things to which we most look forward is spending time with our sweet friend Mike Cooper. For a time, when Debbie’s long and valiant fight with cancer was coming to its sad and long-foreseen conclusion, he let us know he just couldn’t see coming along. He was unable to envision a future of doing anything, never mind travelling, without his life’s companion. And yet, here he is. We never gave up hope and, once again, he found his.
 
Mike’s taking part in this river cruise as much for himself and his own spirits as he is for all of us. And I know it’s going to be a good week all around. That’s what friends do for each other; we are there to hold each other when we can’t catch a breath from laughing so completely, or crying so hard.
 
In many ways, you’ve been like that for me here and it’s for that reason that I have a confession to make: I have had to clear out some emails. Actually, a lot of emails.
 
Two weeks ago, Rob and I switched out this computer:
 

worn keyboard

 
….for a new one.
 

MacBook Pro

 
As much as I owed my old one for all it had seen me through over the past several years, I was tired of seeing the rainbow-wheel-of-doom spinning endlessly when I was trying to save or send. We recently both upgraded our computers and, after the migration, I came across literally thousands of messages from the past two or three years, marked as unread. I know for sure there was none that had not been read and I really need to tell you that. But, I’m sorry to say, there are a few hundred where I'm not sure if I responded.
 
Many came in when I announced in November 2016 that I was retiring. More came in the following month when I left Toronto. When Debbie Cooper passed away last October, there was another thick and wide blanket of warm wishes to envelop us, but with travel and the work obligations that followed Deb’s funeral, I simply did not answer all of them; I just wasn’t able to do it in a timely manner. But your support and kindness were appreciated.
 
So here it is: please forgive me if you’re still hoping for an answer to any emails. It’s likely that if you sent something prior to 2019, you will not get a response, and that pains me. But I have to do something to get my head above water. (Perhaps heading out on a river cruise I could use a different term…but anyway….)
 
I have come up with a system of colour coding emails so that people who are writing with their stories of bereavement are first to be answered. That said, there are some souls who wrote to me at the end of February to whom I have not yet written back. It’s not that I don’t know what to say, but I want to take the time to say it right.
 
For everyone else, yes, your emails matter to me as much now as they always have. I do apologize if there are long periods between your writing and my response. As we head out tomorrow to fly from Victoria to Vancouver to Amsterdam, I will be spending less time answering emails than usual. So I’ll beg your understanding and, again, forgiveness if I don’t answer. Know that I have read your note…I always do.
 
Next week: all new journals. Feel free always to comment on my FB page and have a fantastic weekend. And thank you!
 
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