that perfect hand…

In Ocean's 11, Danny said that "the house always wins. If you play long enough, never change the stakes, then the house takes you. Unless, when that perfect hand comes along, you bet big… and then, you take the house." Here's the hand I've been dealt, sometimes it's risky and sometimes it's safe, but all the time… it's perfect. It's mine.


my nana

"Love, and say it with your life."

"Love, and say it with your life."

Life comes at you so fast sometimes, it’s hard to catch your breath when it is all said and done. A number of weeks ago, Nana had an open heart surgery here in Victoria and her recovery period has made me learn things and appreciate more about her.

A couple weeks ago, I spent the whole day with her and she was the best that day than I had seen her since the surgery and it was amazing. From heated discussions (and I mean really, really heated) about President Obama and all things politics, God and trust, family, heart aches for home, my future, and just the occasional flip to ‘Price is Right’ on the TV, I’ve felt like I truly have gotten to know her over the last few weeks, connect with her…particularly that day, and it was a total God-thing.

For example, did you know that Nana’s dream to have a large family (9 kids!) started during the WW2 era when she was working in a orphaned children’s home? The home was atop a large hill and when storms hit, the children would gather into her bed in her room of this house and they would wait out the crashes of thunder and lightning together. It was with this piled of children in her bed that she started to dream of having some of her own. And it was so neat to hear her explain it and to see her eyes as she remembered those days for me.

When I asked her which one of her grandkids she thought would have the most kids of their own, she kind of blushed and said ‘I don’t know’… yet those of us in the room settled on Stef. hehe 🙂

Nana is a superhero because she delivered my mom on her own in the little old cabin they lived in. She’s also a superhero because she’s the greatest prayer warrior I know and ever will know. She can name all of us grandkids, greatgrandkids, in-laws, and others by name and prays for each of us all of the time, everyday, with no question that Jesus hears her.

One of Nana’s closest friends is one of my closest friend’s mom. Somehow that gives us something to talk about when there’s not really much to say. It makes me wish sometimes that the four of us could hang out together, drinking espresso and hearing more stories. Or that I could just hang out with Nana and have nothing to say at all.

I watched a movie recently that strongly portrayed life and love. I left the theatre coming undone at the power of both of those things. For life is meant to be lived, literally, yet what is it without love? Any kind of love. Of lovers or friends or children or sunsets or passions or desires or whatever. Each cord of life has tremendous beauty and intricacy that love has to find its way there. Otherwise, what is the point?

Nana, with her stubbornness and age, sense of humour and quiet calm, reverent faith, experience and bravery, gentleness and mercifulness, grace and perserverance… somehow recaptured my heart in the moments of transferred care: I got to look after her. And in some small way, God was whispering that life has come full circle and He is to be truly and miraculously celebrated in this. I know that it was hard for her to be dependent on us for awhile, but I wouldn’t trade those moments for anything. I am sure I could talk myself in circles over this, but I just learnt a pretty valuable lesson through spending time, and remembering, with my Nana… she has the connected life and love way of doing things figured out. I hope that I inherited some of that in myself. And I sure don’t mind being her prayer warrior for a change; it’s really too bad that she got better and had to go back to Smithers! 🙂