Waxing physically and philosically...

After literally years of deliberation, and as a result of some delicate and some less delicate prodding, this blog is my effort to organize - to bring together - my thoughts about my work as a conductor and as a personal trainer, to rant and rave as necessary, to celebrate the little things and the larger moments of brilliance, and to share some conductive magic and life lessons gained through 'waxing physically and philosophically'.

Monday, July 18, 2011

"Always look on the bright side of life..."

Dear Shane --

I've just come home from your funeral -- I have to say, you would have loved it.  There were so many people there that the entire side courtyard beside where there service was was filled, and people were sitting in the aisle and standing in the vestibule.  Your mom kept busy consoling everyone else and taking care of KD.  She managed to find a wonderful celebrant who made people laugh and smile.  Jordy and the other readers read pieces that reflected your humour and spirit.  The eulogies from Laura and your Auntie Joanne were full of beautiful 'Shane-isms' that reminded everyone about what is important in life, about what knowing you helped us know, and people laughed out loud through their tears and applauded the speakers.  And even special little treats to make a conductor happy -- Eddie walking all of the way to the front to place his flower, CW and KD driving their chairs independently again.  And, thank you very much Shane and James Valentine,  I'm still singing "always look on the bright side side of life" -- and if I'm singing it so should everyone else, right?


Beautiful music, beautiful music.

At the end of the service the celebrant spoke about how one of the things that grieving people do is give themselves a hard time about would haves and could haves and should haves -- and it is so true.  Earlier this week I found myself wondering if there was something I could have taught you through CE that would have made a difference, that could have helped you.  I spoke to KD, who was also giving herself a hard time, and consoled myself while I consoled her.  It isn't about what would have and could have and should have been done, there is no fault or blame; it was your time.  We are saddened; so very very saddened; but as you would have wished, today our hearts were filled with love and joy as were were reminded how precious life is.

The celebrant urged us to remember and to share -- and I found myself remembering our time together in CE -- you and your mom and Jordy and Greg and Rebecca and me rolling around on the floor, you directing traffic and trying to stay out of the way to avoid being crushed as we all tried to figure how to get Greg back on his back; you and Greg laughing at me in my twisted yoga positions trying to facilitate between you both at the same time, the sessions when it was just you and your mom and me, with you teaching us both how to facilitate certain movements and stretches, and telling us to push more and reassuring us that we weren't hurting you.  I found myself remembering the mature, adult conversation we had when you told me that you knew that you could still benefit from CE, but after a long day of bus rides and CAS, and with your cough being what it was, you weren't looking forward  to CE in the evenings, and that you found Bowen more beneficial because you could relax with it.  I agreed that taking a break was probably the best thing.  And then we had a hilarious 'discussion' about who would be the one to have to tell your Mom.

And I thought about Fighting Chance http://www.fightingchance.net.au/home.html -- a charity set up in memorandum of your dad and now your legacy -- 'because everyone deserves a fighting chance'.  I hope you know how many people have already been helped and how many more people will be helped because your mom and loves you so much that she is willing to fight to make the world a better place for other people and their families; her love for you extends far beyond you and allows her to empathize, reach out to, and love so many others.  I am so grateful that through you and CE I have found myself included in this embrace -- she is an amazing woman Shane.  Please keep an eye on her from wherever you are.  Some people wonder how they can possibly make a difference, get overwhelmed, and end up doing nothing -- but not your mom Shane -- she loves you so much that she moves mountains while everyone else stands around wondering if there is a pebble small enough that they can throw.  And with Jordy and Laura fighting at her side the vastness of your legacy is still to be seen.  Today at your funeral, in true civil riot spirit, we sang "we shall overcome" -- and as we were reminded to support Fighting Chance and Kairos I, like so many others in the room, felt my commitment to you, to your family, and to your legacy Fighting Chance.
 "Take up our quarrel with the foe:     
To you from failing hands we throw 
The torch; be it yours to hold high."
-- John McCrae

I'm heading home to visit my family in Canada tomorrow -- I was so sad to say goodbye to you today Shane, but I am so glad that I could be at your funeral.  You have reminded me to hug everyone just a little bit longer and to enjoy every precious moment.  So Shane, since you loved music so much, here is some Canadian music for you.  This Neil Young song always makes me homesick but in a nice way --  ..."dream, comfort, memory to spare, and in my mind I still need a place to go, all of my changes were there...".  For me, it is about the sweet pain of memory, and about coming home, and about change, and about embracing the helplessness we all feel about life sometimes; when K.D. Lang first sang it, it was because Neil Young was sick and she was filling in for him.  In her introduction she talks about him as someone who has maintained his integrity and his uncompromising vision and purity -- in this spirit I dedicate it to you and to your Mom.  

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