Through Rose Coloured Glasses
In this week’s column, I want to tell you about my nephew Tadrik. The youngest in his family, after two sisters and a brother, he was born to my youngest sibling, my sister. Tadrik was a blonde, blue-eyed little boy with an incredible smile. He was a sweet and almost delicate little boy and I always loved having him and his siblings visit us when they and my children were young. Tadrik and his siblings spent a lot of time with us, putting in a lot of “cousin time”. He was always a “people-pleaser” and avoided conflict, even as a child. We didn’t realize it then, but this was the beginning of anxiety which would last him a life time. He struggled with mental health issues and tried to self-medicate through substance use. He sought mental health supports. But in the end, it wasn’t enough. On June 26, a little over a month short of his 26th birthday, Tadrik took his own life.
As I write this column, it is the last week of June and therefore the end of another school year. Throughout the city this week, each high school has held its graduation ceremonies. It is an exciting time for our graduates. They are about to start their life as adults, the career choices they make this year will chart the course of the rest of their lives. There is no doubt that each graduate is experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions; from excitement at beginning their new lives and yet a little melancholy that this group of students who have been together for years will each go their separate ways.
This week-end, we will proudly celebrate Canada’s birthday. With each passing year, I appreciate even more what we have here. As Prince Albert becomes a destination city for more immigrants each year, and I have the opportunity to meet them and to speak with them, I realize how very fortunate I am to be Canadian. We have freedoms and opportunities which are so entrenched in our customs and laws, that we take them for granted.
My boys were water babies. They both loved the water and spent hours either in pools or at the lake. We spent many week-ends at the family cabin enjoying the sun and water. For them, it didn’t matter if the water was cold or not. Water temperature did matter for me, so I spent many early-spring hours on the beach, wrapped in a blanket, while they played in the water. Last week-end, we spent an afternoon at that same cabin with our grandson, who is also a water baby. He loves playing in the water (although he does draw the line at getting water in his face – but that’s another story).
As more of our friends and family members become grandparents (including my husband and I), I find myself wondering how is it possible that we are all old enough to be grandparents? When did that happen and why didn’t I see it coming? It seems that one day our children were babies and suddenly they are having babies of their own. Where did the time go? I guess life happened and, just as every generation of parents before us, we were too busy living life to notice the years marching on. Maybe that’s the real reason we are given the opportunity of becoming grandparents: it is a second chance to slow down and enjoy the children in our family and to see life through the eyes of a child.