Life as a writer opens up so many opportunities to hear the extraordinary stories of every day people. Here’s a few stories for your inspiration.
Jocelyn is the 2nd Rev. at REVwords but in no way does she take 2nd place to anyone or anything else. She is gritty, gracious and good at everything she puts her hand to. To say that 2020 was a challenging year for her is an understatement. The grief of transitioning out of North Pointe started to settle in on her. She missed the opportunity to connect with hundreds of women over the course of a month at Wednesday Bible studies or at Sunday services.
This was Jocelyn’s first post and it serves like a Psalm of lament. I think people who love deeply, grieve sincerely at the loss of what was. Lament is good and Jocelyn is great in this first post.
Julie Rohr and her husband, Doug have two sons, Max and Jacob. Julie says, “As I write this, we’ve just returned from a soccer tournament that was a 40-minute drive from home, in a blizzard, and finally they’re both in bed. The thing is, being a parent doesn’t stop for anything. Not for blizzards, not for late nights, and not for cancer.” In 2017, Julie was diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer, Stage 4, and inoperable. On January 14th, Julie and I will co-host a webinar on Resilience, something she knows a thing or two about. This post was written on Valentine’s Day 2020.
March has always been about madness. Watching college basketball teams from Kentucky, Georgetown or North Carolina play in the annual “March Madness” tournament is a rite of spring. I don’t follow basketball, except in March. Not in 2020. The madness in March was a pandemic named COVID-19. Phrases like “self-quarantine” and “flatten the curve” “pivot” “unprecedented” became hashtags and rallying cries for action. Dr Deena Hinshaw, as Alberta’s Chief Medical officer, rose to the occasion.
We’ve all watched in shocked horror as a Canadian Forces Snowbird fell from the sky over Kamloops, BC Sunday morning. Just two days earlier Jocelyn and I stood with pride as the jets roared over our home in St Albert and neighborhoods in Edmonton. Captain Jennifer Casey did not survive. She was just doing her job. In a year when Nova Scotia was hit by so many devastating traumas, the death of Captain Casey once again drew Canada together to mourn her passing.
The prescribed path for my convalescence following retinal surgery was to lie prone. My waking hours were spent either laying on the floor or on a massage table or leaning over a chair with my head down. After doing this for a week I developed a strain on my neck and lower back and a greater strain on my emotions.There is something about the inability to look up that made me feel down.
Dr. Peter Murphy was a legend as well as a lecturer, known to virtually every forester in Alberta and many across Canada. His favorite place in the world was in the Alberta forests and mountains. A close second was anywhere with anyone he could pass on his passion for forestry. Peter spent the last day of his 90 years, tending the White Spruce Forest in St Albert. Barb, Peter’s daughter, remembers her dad smelling like a pine tree.
Every January, I choose a word – or a word chooses me – to hi-lite the coming year. The word provides a prophetic path into the unknown. For 2020, the word “shalom” is what came to mind. What a perfect word for an unexpected, once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. Shalom is a Hebrew word meaning peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare, and tranquility. How we needed all of those qualities in 2020 and even more in 2021.
Please leave a comment about the story that stood out to you or another story from 2020 that inspired you. Share on Facebook and Twitter using the buttons at the bottom. Thank you and Happy New Year!
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