Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Mike's Grad - U of Guelph
June 2008
June arrived and with that an amazing occasion for our family.  Mike was going to graduate with his MBA!  Here was a guy that didn’t do so well at Cegep (post-high school in Quebec) because he was goofing off and now he was going to have an MBA!  On top of that he did all his studying, research and assignments while still working full time and dealing with the kids during my cancer journey.  He is truly an amazing man, husband and father and we were all so proud of him.

Going to the graduation ceremony and sitting there watching him go up on the stage to receive his diploma was one of the proudest moments of my life.  I felt such a surge of love for this man and all he has done for me and for our children.  Especially in the last year.  I was certainly glad to be alive at that moment.  Glad to be healthy again able to be there to see it with my own eyes, feel it in my heart and smile from ear to ear to see him so happy, so proud.  In my books he is a true warrior and the epitome of family.

Les Tarnowskis - Newry, Maine - Summer 2010
Family is what matters.  Warts and all.  I am not sure if you have ever seen the movie “Dan in Real Life” with Steve Carell, but it is a great depiction of family.  I watched it and thought how great it was to see this story about all of these grown siblings and their families getting together every summer at their family cottage.  Every time the Tarnowskis get together (Mike and his two brothers and sister and all the spouses and kids) somebody has to host, do the grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking, etc…and we don’t really get to have a good visit.

So after watching the movie I proposed that we try a family weekend together on neutral territory and rent a big place where we could all stay for a weekend.  Hopefully without killing each other.  Every family has their dramas every once in a while right?  Anyway, I think having this cancer experience made me want to spend more time with family and create memories and have no regrets about what we should have or could have done.  So in 2007 we had the kick off to what would become a tradition every June.  We rented a big house and we all settled in.  All 20 of us. We had food, wine and each other and we were all safe and sound.
The Family - St.Sauveur, Quebec - Summer 2011

The first year our rental house was in Killington, Vermont and in subsequent years we have gone to Newry, Maine a few times and also St. Sauveur, Quebec.  These are always fantastic weekends and something I think we all look forward to.  Plus we have all survived every single family gathering so far.  The time we spend together on these weekends brings us all closer and strengthens the bond of family.  We always get home safe and sound with some new family memories to add to the memory banks.

Safe and Sound - Capital Cities

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