A Canada Day Family Update

Summer is now well underway in Canada. The hot weather began early this year and only now is the calendar catching up. If Canada has an unofficial beginning to summer it is the Victoria Day weekend (which falls around May 24) and if it has a more official beginning it is Canada Day (which is tomorrow, July 1). Schools have just let out, families are hitting the road, beaches are full, campgrounds and cottage country are swarming, and so on. …

A Family Update and a Cause of Death

It took nearly six months, but the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office finally determined the cause of Nick’s death and sent us an autopsy report. It was a very long wait for a crucial piece of information. And while it was very difficult to receive the report, we were glad to finally know. We couldn’t bring ourselves to read it, so took a quick photo of each page and sent it to a doctor friend. He read the report thoroughly and …

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A Family Update, Six Months Later

It’s hard for me to believe it, but today is exactly six months since Nick went to heaven. In some ways it feels like more than that, but in so many more it feels like less. Six months ago we were a family of five and looking forward to soon being a family of six through a fast-approaching wedding. Today we are a family of four, though with an unofficial “extra” we love very much and gladly consider a daughter, …

An April Family Update

We have just come off a restful four-day weekend. Good Friday and Easter are both national holidays here in Canada, and we enjoyed the days of downtime and the special worship services. With that behind us, we are in a stretch that leads to the Victoria Day weekend which comes at the end of May and marks the unofficial beginning to summer. For now, though, spring is well underway. Flowers are blooming, trees are budding, the sun is a little …

A February Family Update

Here in my home province of Ontario we have been under stay-at-home orders for the past month. It’s a relatively soft version of a stay-at-home mandate, and certainly doesn’t compare to an Italian equivalent from early in the pandemic or an Australian “emergency brake” equivalent today, but it’s still enough to keep us from venturing too far from home or from interacting much with others. Thankfully the orders are slowly being lifted in different regions and that includes ours as …

A Mid-Winter Family Update

It is hard to believe it has been 10 weeks since Nick went to heaven—10 weeks since I last FaceTimed him, since I last texted him, since I last shared a belly laugh with him. He is still the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning and he’s still on my mind as I fall asleep at night. The pain is different now than it was in the first few weeks, but while it may …

A Family Update Four Weeks After Our Worst Day

We are okay. At least, I think we are. To be honest, I don’t really know how to judge that, or even what it really means. But I think it’s true. We’re badly broken, but somehow okay. It was four weeks ago, on a Tuesday evening, that we received a flurry of terrifying text messages, then waited through a brutal silence, then got the dreaded phone call—our Nick had collapsed, had been rushed to hospital, but had been beyond the …

The Nick Challies Memorial Scholarship

In the aftermath of my son Nick’s sudden death, a number of friends asked if there was a way they could honor his memory with a gift. That led to the founding of the Nick Challies Memorial Scholarship at the schools where Nick was a student—Boyce College and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. The Nick Challies Memorial Scholarship will provide tuition assistance to a selected student from Canada whose ministry aspirations are the same as those Nick possessed—to return to …

A Thanksgiving Family Update

Today is Thanksgiving for us Canadians—we like to get the holiday out of the way a little bit earlier than our neighbors to the south. And since it’s a holiday I thought I’d take it easy and provide nothing more substantial than a bit of an update on life and family. First, though, a word about Canadian Thanksgiving. Where America has a whole narrative behind their day, I’m not aware of any behind ours—it’s just a time to gather with …

A Labour Day Personal/Family Update

It has been some time since my last personal/family update, and it seemed like Labour Day might be the time to remedy that. I suppose most people sleep in on a holiday, but I’ve never been good at sleeping in—or sleeping at all, really. So instead I’m up early with an itch to do some writing. Some friends who are new to Canada (they just squeaked in before the world shut down) were asking about Labour Day and how Canadians …