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Thoughts of Dad 

My father, David Franklin Witherspoon passed away on April 25th. I did write a post previously about his life and what he meant to me called  I am my Father's Son in 2017. This is the text of a more detailed tribute to Dad given at his Celebration of Life on May 18, 2019.

We asked Dad how he wanted us to celebrate his life after he was gone. He answered, “I don’t care, I won’t be there.” So let’s just wrap this up and head over to the Curling Club - drinks on Dave! 

Seriously, if Dad were still with is…

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Transitions are times of great danger. The disruption brought on by transitions leaves us vulnerable and exposed. We may fear what lies beyond the transition. Long held routines are torn away leaving us seemingly stranded in an unfamiliar world. We must be cautious with our thoughts, words and actions. 

Transitions involve an element of loss or an ending.  It takes time to process this, to grieve and accept what is no longer here. It is a very personal process and each of us responds differently. There is…

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The Joy of Impermanence 

Nothing is permanent. A permanent hairdo,  a perm, is not permanent. It only adds or removes curls for a few weeks before you have to get a new one. Perhaps that's why the perm has fallen out of favour, it's not really permanent.

There are many things we consider permanent. The constant state of frozen ground in the north known as permafrost appears to be not so permanent in the face of climate change. The builders who constructed the roof and spire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris likely thought it would…

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Remote Parenting 

It’s difficult to make generalities about generations but our involvement in our children’s lives has gone on for a much longer period than our parents were involved with us. I’m not saying this is a good or bad thing, it is just a thing. 

We were raised in a different time. Many of us had stay-at-home mothers who were dedicated to us during early childhood. Living close to our elementary school, Mom always had lunch ready for us at home. Taking a bag lunch to school was a rare treat. There are likely few…

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The Joy of Insignificance 

On occasion I find it helpful to take stock of where I stand in the universe.

I am one of 7.5 billion Homo sapiens. We collectively reside on the fourth smallest planet of eight that orbit a star that is one of hundreds of billions in our galaxy. Beyond that is an ever expanding universe comprised of an infinite number of cosmic bodies that is beyond what my small human brain can really even conceptualize. This video attempts to provide a visual perspective of the scale of both our internal and external…

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Lonely and Alone 

It is surprising that there is still loneliness in the world. There has never been a time when humans have had the ability to interact widely with others every waking moment of our lives. But this level of communication has only spread our attention and awareness thinner. Instead of being part of a physical community many of us are more active members of virtual communities that rarely have any physical form beyond a shimmering array of images on a screen. While virtual communities can expand our…

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Our Shared Experience 

We tend to relate only to those who have similar shared experiences to our own - the culture within which we were born and raised. We fear the unknown including people from other communities who may speak, look, dress, think and act differently than us. What seems uncertain is whether the Internet, ease of travel and immigration is making us more culturally homogeneous or more suspicious and fearful of those who have had a different experience than us. 

It takes effort to understand others who are not like…

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I am my Father's Son 

My father was born ninety-four years ago today and our family has the pleasure of celebrating his birthday with him. To mark the occasion, I'd like to share his story and touch on the significant impact he has had on my life. 

David Franklin Witherspoon was born and raised in Toronto to parents who were the first of their families to leave farming. They moved into the city where his father worked as a postal clerk on railway mail cars and his mother was a nurse.  Dad grew up in West Toronto at a time when…

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