A taste of the bitter-sweet

Returning home to Calgary is always bitter-sweet. I was blessed with a wonderful, magical childhood that every kid in this world deserves but doesn’t always get. Life was never perfect but I had two parents who gave me wings and taught me to never second-guess my dreams.

Well, except for that one time I dreamed I was riding to a desert island in a shark’s mouth.

This last trip to my childhood home was more meaningful than ever.

When I wasn’t busy groveling for votes for the Microsoft Office Winters Games Contest, Hadley, Bode and I spent the majority of our time hanging out with family. We collected pine cones in my parent’s golf cart, took naps, got sick, got better, visited my dear friend Stacey, went to breakfast at glorious Cora’s and played with cousins.

We also took daily walks with my parent’s dogs

and rolled down the gully near my house.

Note: It was my father who instigated that one, not me. Kinda humbling to still get your butt kicked by your 70-year-old dad.

But the true highlight was when we took a trip to Southern Alberta for my niece Ashton’s special day.
I went for several runs, exploring my favorite haunts around my neighborhood, through Fish Creek Provincial Park, and along the swollen Bow River. It was in these places, along these trails, that I first learned to dream, explore and soar.

Those moments were the sweet.

The bitter was dealing with my mother’s rapidly declining health.

Since I originally wrote about her 25-year battle with Multiple Sclerosis, she has become more open about her condition. And accepted it. She has regular debilitating attacks, can no longer drive and relies on my father for most of her day-to-day tasks. They stay abreast on cutting-edge treatments, praying for the day she might be one of the recipients. It is a process that is both hopeful and heart-breaking.

I am glad to be back in Denver. It was a great trip. It was a sobering trip. And I cannot think of a better time to be there than during Thanksgiving so that I could count my many blessings.

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