Easter Monday Morning, March 30, my first child was born.

I remember that Easter well!  When I woke on Good Friday morning I looked out the window to see a gloriously sunny day.  I decided to go outside to weed the flowerbed on the south side of the house. I wore a short-sleeved blue flowered maternity smock and as I wheeled the wheel barrow up the hill from the garage I could feel the warmth of the sun on my bare arms.

My tummy was heavy with child.  I was tired when I reached the edge of the flowerbed so I sat on the wheelbarrow to rest.  It wasn’t long before I was lying out full length with my feet hanging over the end.   I remember looking up at the cloudless blue sky and listening to the birds sing.  Later as I dug in the hardened soil I noticed some daffodils pushing their way up through the ground.  I knew they would soon bloom in bursts of yellow. I felt so in sync with the world.

We lived in the country seven miles from town without any neighbors living near.  I loved the trees and quiet stillness of the country.  This was where I had always lived, up on a hill, in a house my father had built.  When I married, my husband and I renovated Mother’s basement and we lived there for the next seven years.

I remember that Easter Sunday we had gone to my husband’s brother and sister-in-law for dinner.  They’d had their first baby, twenty-nine days prior on March 1st.   Later that evening, back home, my long-time girl friend came for a visit.  We’d become best friends when we were in grade three.  She and her family were new neighbors and lived a mile down the road.  She’d come to visit me often that year, from Sept. until June as I lay in bed with rheumatic fever and unable to go to school.  Illa and I visited late that Easter Sunday night and I got to bed in the early hours of the next day, Easter Monday.  I woke with tummy pains.  I woke my husband and told him I thought I was in labor.  We timed the pains for just a short time; they were about five minutes apart.  We decided around 5 a.m. to leave for the seven-mile trip to the hospital.  We knocked on Mother’s upstairs door and told her we were on our way.

At the hospital after completing the admission forms and to my chagrin, I was taken in a wheel chair to the labor room on the third floor where my husband was asked to leave.  Shortly after the nurse had prepped me the doctor walked through the door.  He walked over to my bed, put his hand on my knee and said, “Now, we are going to put into practice what we have been working on over the past nine months.”  “I want you to take a few deep breaths and relax.”  The hypnosis we had been practicing took immediate effect.  When I took my second breath I felt as if I rose above my body and was looking down at myself.

My doctor was roughly sixty years old, not a big man but on the short side with a stocky build. He appeared strong and assured.  He spoke with a heavy German accent and was obviously ahead of his time to be practicing hypnosis.  He’d been my paternal grand-parent’s physician.  At each of my prenatal visits Dr. would teach me how to relax and listen to his voice.  He would relax my whole body starting at my feet and ending at my head, telling me to tighten and relax each part of my body.  He would say things like, “imagine you are going for a walk on the beach and you can feel the warm breeze blowing through your hair”, or “you are walking in warm sand and you feel it squishing up between your toes”.  I did, I felt it.  I trusted him explicitly.

Now in the labor room I listened to his voice and his direction and relaxed completely. He stayed with me for the next four hours and then we moved into the delivery room.  I was not given any medication. Dr. adjusted the mirror above me on the delivery table and said, “There, now, can you see.” “I want you to be able to see your baby being born”.  Not long after he said, “Now, it is time to start pushing the baby out.”  “I want you to listen carefully and do exactly as I tell you”.  “That is good,… now push down very, very, very gently…, good,…now again…, slowly now…, perfect…, another little push…, good…, maybe three more pushes and the baby will be out, good,… perfect…, I can see the head, it is crowning, can you see it?”   “Oh” he said… “I can see the hair it is the same color as yours, it’s gold.” “Now one more push!”… “GREAT,… GOOD,… LOOK,… IT IS A BOY!!”  I said, “Are you sure it is a boy?” and he said “Yes, I have seen boys before.”  We all laughed.

Easter Monday morning my firstborn baby boy was born at 10:10 a.m.  He was slightly underweight at only six pounds. They placed him in the incubator beside me and I am certain I saw a smile on his face and I most definitely had a smile on mine. I looked out the case room window and saw the Easter Bunny hop across the grass.  I was so happy.  I can honestly say I felt no pain, only some mild discomfort. I saw and remembered crystal clear the entire birth.   I give the credit of a painless and perfect birthing to the professional practice of hypnosis by my doctor and my ability to relax and listen to him.

My firstborn Son is bright, beautiful and like pure gold.  Each year as Easter comes around and as I witness daffodils birthing through the ground I know that they TOO will be bright, beautiful and like pure gold bringing with them Spring happiness.

copyright 2017

THE MEANING & SYMBOLISM OF narcissus / daffodil
Symbolizing rebirth and new beginnings, the daffodil is virtually synonymous with spring. The March BIRTH FLOWER a gift of daffodils is said to ensure happiness.




My Cleo dog came to live with me in 1998. She was described to me as a back-yard Poodle, two and a half years old, apricot in colour and weighed eleven pounds. Her tail had not been clipped and was long and fluffy. They said, “She is quite beautiful”. She’d been given to them by a working couple who lived in Parksville. The working couple would tether Angel on their clothes line when they went to work. The couple had heard about Pacific Assistance Dog Society from a friend and thought Angel (her name at the time but was later changed by P.A.D.S. to Cleo). Cleo tested to be intelligent and fearless, both characteristics needed to be trained as a working dog.

I’d been diagnosed with a benign brain tumour (acoustic neuroma) in 1981 and I had undergone a fifteen-and-a-half-hour micro surgery. The tumour was successfully removed but I was left with some residual effects: I was deaf in my left ear; I had a badly bruised facial nerve and a damaged vestibular nerve. I’d often feel tippy when I walked; I had short term memory loss and couldn’t sequence information the way I did before the surgery; my left eye was a little wonky and my smile was crocked, I was embarrassed when food would pop out of my mouth because of the weak muscles in my mouth; I could hear sound but it was flat and I had no idea what direction it was coming from, word discrimination was blurred. The two years after my surgery were long and difficult for both me and our family, in fact it was traumatic. My more than twenty-year marriage ended. I was determined to make the best possible recovery; I returned to college to upgrade my education so I could re-enter the work force after being an at-home mum for the past twenty-two years.

An employment counsellor, Leslie, from the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Association who was profoundly deaf was working with me to help me re-enter the work place. In one of our sessions she told me about her professionally trained hearing dog and as she talked about her dog I felt an overwhelming desire to have one too. She said they were very expensive. I didn’t have much money but I did have a house and I said, “I will sell my house if I have to”. Leslie contacted P.A.D.S. and had them send me an application form. I was told there would be a very long wait but to my surprise within a few months I got a phone call from them saying they had a dog for me. They told me her ten-month training had been sponsored and paid for by a party who lived in North Vancouver and the only cost to me would be for her kennel, leash and her insignia P.A.D.S. Jacket. Thankfully, I was then full-time employed as an Early Childhood Educator Arrangements were made for me to be off work for a week so the trainer from P.A.D.S. could come and train ME to work with the dog.

I watched from my dining room window as the trainer and Cleo walked down our long driveway. I couldn’t believe my eyes…she was beautiful. As I watched her walking down the driveway with proud, quick, assured steps, her long tail swooped up over her back I wondered how she could be so beautiful and smart at the same time. The trainer introduced us and said she would leave us to get acquainted with one another and would return in the morning for a boot-camp day of hard work. Upon return she said, “Cleo looks different…so relaxed and happy, I think she has really bonded with you.”

When the boot camp training week was over I asked Terry a very difficult question. I said, “I cannot imagine how I will deal with her death when that happens?” She said, “You will deal with that when it happens”. It was difficult. When it happened I went to bed and covered my head for days.

Cleo was my best friend, helper and restorer of life for twelve loving years. December 26, 2001 my good friend, Gaye picked us up and drove us to the Vet and then to the doggy crematorium. I had Cleo wrapped in her favourite blanket. My son Bruce brought the blanket back for me as a gift from Mexico and Cleo would, when she could, would snuggle into it. When the needle went into her leg I held her on her back close to my heart. She didn’t flinch. We looked deep into each other eyes. Her eyes told me she trusted me and my eyes told her I loved her. I will always miss her, and remember her in gratitude and love.





A snowdrop I see2017-snow-drops

After long winter’s end

With petals of three

And green dots inside.

I’m reminded of life

And the whiteness of Christ.

If I listen in silence

My strength shall renew.

I’ll mount up wings

Like an eagle and fly,

Protected and Blessed!

Then the daffodils bloom

With a bugle inside,

My silence is broken

I’ll shout out and cry

Please show me and know me

It’s not time to die.

R.f.c May 9, 2007

Here I am March 2, 2017, ten years have passed by, oh my!  Please not to worry I am not wanting to die, not now nor then when I wrote “snowdrop”.  The pen just took me there. I share this  with you hoping a practice of silence will take you on the wings of an eagle to heights of flight.  With love.