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 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 …

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The Beauty of Banff

In the aftermath of all the trials and traumas of the past month, my family decided it would be wise to take a brief vacation, an opportunity to regroup, to consider the way forward. With most destinations completely or functionally closed to us, we set out for the province of Alberta, one of only four places in the world we could visit without quarantining on the way in or out. We spent most of our time exploring Banff National Park, …

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 …

What’s The Point Of Family Devotions?

We don’t have little kids around here anymore. In fact, most of the time we now just have one kid around here, and she’s well beyond the little years. We’ve moved past parenting tiny children and into parenting young adults. Toilet training, bike-riding, and grade school drama have given way to navigating graduate programs, assessing romantic relationships, and even planning wedding ceremonies. Our family life has changed dramatically. But one habit that has stuck is the habit of family devotions. …

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 Mid-June Family Update

After many of these family updates in which I’ve had to report, “not much has changed” I can finally say, “lots has changed.” As of today my region (Halton Region) has entered stage two of Ontario’s reopening plan. While most stores have already been allowed to open, stage 2 now permits malls, attractions, recreation facilities, restaurant patios, barbers, and so on. This is good news, though it will also begin to show how many businesses have not been able to …

An Early-June Family Update

It occurred to me the other day that it has been almost three months since I shook anyone’s hand—or had any other form of physical contact with any person who is not in my family. And I think the last hand I shook was Paul Washer’s. The last day I was out of the house before everything went into lockdown, he was in town and we spent the afternoon and evening together. The time concluded with me interviewing him as …

An End-of-May Family Update

The lockdown (or what should probably be considered a “light lockdown”) in Ontario continues, though we are beginning to see a gradual loosening of the restrictions. As of last week garden centers and other outdoor businesses were able to open, and as of Tuesday all retail outlets, except those in malls, were able to open, provided they hold to social distancing guidelines. Of course, as people in other jurisdictions have noted, the ability to open does not necessarily mean businesses …

A Family Update

God told the Israelites that rather than making a beeline for the Promised Land they would need to spend years wandering in the wilderness. This was not what they wanted and not what they would have chosen, but it was his will. Because it was his will, he would sanction no grumbling about it. His will is never evil, it is never ultimately for the harm of those he loves, so it ought to have been easy for them to …