Sunday, July 26, 2009

Birthday Boy

I love watching four-year-olds at their birthday celebrations. For the first time it seems, fully enjoying the idea of a party just for them, able to engage with everyone and coming into themselves as kids.

Here he is hanging out with his 14-year-old cousin - having fun and feeling like a big boy!

As nieces and nephews go, this is number six and it's just such a charming age to see every time.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A life well-lived

Time is short. Life goes on. There's no time like the present.

Live in the moment. Live each day as though it's your last. Breathe it all in. Take time to smell the roses.

We hear these sentiments on a regular basis and they usually serve, fleetingly, as reminders to live our lives consciously. With purpose, with a focus on what's truly important. Family and friends. Neighbours and community. With faith and love and compassion. Giving to others, contributing to the good of all. With grace and good humour.

Today, I attended the funeral of a colleague who exemplified all of this and then some. Someone who overcame a lot of adversity in life, while always supporting others with strength and a genuine smile. I didn't have the chance to get to know Anna Kwan well, but know that she touched the lives of so many of her friends and colleagues and customers at the Library for more than 20 years. And in hearing of her family and personal life, it was clear that Anna's large spirit and strong will had an even more profound impact.

"It is hard to say goodbye, when goodbye seems too soon" was communicated by Anna's eldest daughter Deborah. Although she and her sister Jennifer will miss their Mom tremendously, they must have been comforted seeing how many came to say goodbye and pay their respect to Anna today.

There is no question that Anna made so many feel loved, supported and welcomed - demonstrating a life that truly has made a difference to those who knew her well and those who benefitted from her dedicated commitment to helping others.