My Dad

Earl Charles Tupper
Husband, Father, Grandfather, Brother, Uncle, Friend
8 April 1937-13 October 2015

For my tolerance, Feminism, fairness, love of family and place
For my humour, bad habits, black hair, making fire with two sticks
For my strength that doesn’t shun tears, for believing in me no matter what
You will always be the measure of a man to which all others must aspire
I love you Papasan

~ ‘karn liz, xo

Heartfelt thanks for all of your kind comments, the support is so appreciated. I have some close friends here on WP and didn’t want to simply disappear without a word or stay away without letting you know what’s happened. Take good care, K

Words…

I really wanted to say something today.

This Remembrance ceremony has been in the works since my Nanny’s funeral the 5th January of this year. I would have thought it’d be a “no-brainer” to find words to speak at this beautiful woman’s interment. It would be fitting as I’m “Number One” of the fourteen grandchildren. I keep a journal at my bedside, in my purse and here, on the coffee table where I bang out all these words everyday. Nothing came. Not a damn thing.

I dreamed dreams. I dreamed of an auburn-haired girl of about six, running through a field of yellow daffodils, in pursuit of a slightly older auburn-haired girl under a brilliant blue sky. I ran after them but I was who I am now and even though I called after the younger, she didn’t hear me. She never turned away from the giggling chase of her older sister, even when I called to her in Welsh, which I don’t speak…

Just last week, I told my Mum that no, I wouldn’t be doing a reading and it’s fair to say that the complications of PTSD and the Agoraphobia that can be crippling at times, factored into my decision. Even in the loving arms of my family, I am painfully aware of the ADD that trips my tongue, colours my cheeks and has me antsy and feverish and in other situations, caused an unkind assessment of my drinking habits! … I couldn’t do it. Not even for Nanny. I knew she’d get it and the family too.

Poequote Holland Death Is Nothing

There were words… Of course there were. I’m a writer, a poet. I count my leanings that way and my singing voice as being some of the gifts from this branch of my family tree. I just couldn’t grab hold of them long enough to shape them in ink on the page… or have keystrokes capture them, as it were. I was frustrated by this. This should be a simple task, to say what my Grandmother meant to me and frustration turned to chagrin. I could turn out blog posts and Instagram nonsense but nothing meaningful for today.

This morning as I lay in bed, the air was warm and heavy and redolent with the scent of rain to come. I hoped the sun that lurked behind the pearly sky would hold for the outdoor gathering and finally, I had an epiphany… still too flowery as I try to capture it here but heartfelt nonetheless.

Nanny, Bampy, Karin

This woman was one of the first people to hold me. Her voice and lilting laugh are among the first sounds I heard. Her glorious auburn hair and delicate features among the first sights to imprint themselves on my eyes. Her music, her talent with thread and needle, her love of shoes, knowledge of couture, a signature scent and love for the colour purple all passed to me in my own Mum’s womb.

Nanny & Bampy 1992

How could any words that I think or pen, convey the depth and breadth of the impact of Evelyn May Collins on my life? How do you describe someone who has gifted you with her own legacy, has been one of those who helped you to learn to speak?

Nanny C's 95th At Mum's

“I love you Nanny. Eleventy Hundred”

~ ‘Karn Liz
9 May 2015

9 May 2015 EMC

Burn Baby Burn

How many degrees to burn you out of the heart of me?

Seven Hundred sixty degrees? Nine hundred eighty?

Charred hopes, drifting embers of dreams…

And when your bones split and turned to ashes

Crumbling onto white unforgiving ceramic

Did what was contained within fly free?

Released for all Eternity…

For last night in fevered dreams the North wind howled

A familiar wolf song it seemed

Stealing in through the cracks of my consciousness

A swirl of stardust, your precious essence

Whispering “I love you”

A cherished spark landing

Upon smouldering tinder

Inside the soul of me…

~ kei

20 February 2015

Death Song

Akwaho, why did you forsake me?

The Wendigo called and you went

You’ve left me here alone

With blood in my mouth

Tears on my cheeks

My hands are broken Akwaho

I tried to fight for you

You wouldn’t fight for yourself

I’m still standing here alone

With only this doubt

I feel so weak

Where are you now Akwaho?

Can you hear me?

Do you feel me still?

Is it cold where you are?

Was death better?

Come for me then Akwaho

No man can replace

Not death erase

Your rightful place

In my heart

~ kei

2 October 2014

In Kateri's Eyes

Dear Heart

Written a couple years ago, commemorating a first anniversary, for a dear friend who’d lost his wife to cancer. I can only hope that time erases any bad and softens the edges of the good to gently poignant and no longer painful. Thinking of you today…

My arms ache to hold you
In moments such as these

How I wish there was a way
To give your heart a little ease

Let me cry them with you
And then kiss away your tears

If talking about anything helps
You know you have my ears

We can simply walk in silence
If you need to, hold my hand

Should you need my presence
You need only ask dear friend

To know the lovely person
Who is so much part of you

It would be my honour
To share these things with you

To celebrate precious memories
All those to never replace

If I could have just one wish today
Would be some of your hurt to erase

(c) KeiB
13 December 2011

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Perspective

I’ve been trying to come to terms with the crash that occurred this Wednesday past between an OC Transpo bus and a VIA Rail train. It happened about 10 minutes from where I live and work in the early morning rush hour.

I heard the emergency vehicles go out, sirens wailing, but that isn’t so very unusual. It’s only in retrospect that I realize there were more than what you’d expect to hear for the fender benders, barbecue fires and cats up trees that are the usual reason.

Six people died. Six. In a little city like ours, where so many of us take the bus everyday, this is almost unfathomable.

We all of us are taking this personally. I’ve been a “bus person” all my life by choice. Ottawa is a “green” city and OC Transpo has in the past been known as the best bus service in North America. We’re a Government town so a large segment of the population makes the daily commute from the ‘Burbs to downtown offices. Me? I got my first bus pass with my first full time job. My Dad was a bus commuter, determined to keep his “Betsey” of the moment in pristine condition. My friends, my kids, my nieces… all regular riders.

I can’t help but think “There but for the grace of a higher power go I” or someone I love…

This has put many things in perspective for me. I’ve been going through a personal crisis that has consumed my thoughts in the past couple weeks. The tenuous threads that bind people and events though, have helped me to pull my head out of my arse, as it were.

I’m not dead. No one that I know and love in my immediate circle, was lost in this horrific collision. It has touched me deeply and personally in that, I know I’ve been a passenger on a bus that Dave drove at least once and my cousin Matt – City of Ottawa Police Force – was a First Responder. Even knowing that Karen was a fellow knitter and Ottawa Knitting Guild member with two children, makes me pause. I didn’t know any of these folks other than Matty, who ironically I don’t talk to all that much except for family get togethers and yet I’d called him just the night before for his steady advice.

What’s my takeaway from this? The same lesson that we’ve all heard so many times and in so many different ways:

Life is too short to hold grudges, to not love and dream, to be angry, to not try, to self-harm, to give in to depression… to not live.

I will survive. I will carry on. I will acknowledge this stumble in my life and I will learn and grow from it. I am alive.

Life is a gift.

I’m going to live mine.