My late great auntie Alma used to always make the best raspberry jam in the world. It was a vivid concoction of sweetness in a jar and to this day, this is why I love raspberry anything as my favorite fruit. One day I was bestowed with the recipe, as though the holy grail of canning cuisine was tossed in my lap. As one would imagine, my offering never emulated her delivery whatsoever and inside I hoped it wouldn’t. Alma shouldn’t be that replaceable. If I failed again it would be to honor her. Love you Alma and miss you.

My grandmother, kindly referred to as granny, always made her grand kids visits the best. If ever I’m in need of a comforting memory to this day I fondly think of her and her home in Stettler. My older sisters and I would race in to the bedroom as soon as we arrived to see what candy and gifts granny had gotten for us. It would typically be those box Neilson chocolates whether golden buds, slow pokes, willow crisp or nut fudge clusters. And the sugar cereals, KD, the Flintstones and It’s A Wonderful Life at Christmas all bring warmth to me three plus decades later.

The many card games, board games and trips to Zellers floods my memories gloriously. The bed time stories she would tell us always enchanted me, not for the tall tales themselves but for the intimate time with her, as though my sisters and I were the only thing that mattered. As she danced with me when I was not much older than one I knew this woman was a saint and she would long live on in my heart. I love you, granny. I miss you.

When my dad died we hadn’t spoken in about eight years. Without delving into the why’s let’s just say I obviously regret that part of it. He was many things I didn’t like and chose not to be but he was my father. He never got to meet my son or daughters. I never got to see him as an old man and he never got to see the man I’ve become. Generations before poured down on him and I wouldn’t think he was ever very happy with or proud of himself. And that has to be okay because history can’t be changed. All those trips to the movie theatre on your motorcycle, the drawer fulls of chocolate bars and candy, and spaghetti with butter and salt. I love you, dad and I miss you.

As adults my sisters and I were never close but at least with my oldest sis we still text occasionally and see each other at holidays such as Christmas and Easter. The younger sis I haven’t talked to, texted or seen in jeez, must be ten or so years. How insane to stop and think about. We were close growing up or at least I felt like we were. Sleepovers (both sisters and with me on the floor), many trips to 711, games, movies and whatever else we did. We were blood and I miss you and love you. Forgive me for not breaching this divide.

It’s like walking off the path in a field where life is blossoming. For the most part the grass is long and thick and though it tickles as you step through it there’s nothing memorable. Just a needed quiet calming. Until you come upon field berries randomly dispersed. They are beautiful as they are sweet and they might as well live forever. There is meaning in their existence and you want them in your life. But if I pick them they will die in my head and I will never know their beauty again. So they stay on the vine as they are and forever alive in my heart and mind.

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