Feb 282010

Have to change … have to try,

This way of living, is no way to die.


Do it for me, do it for them …

Getting rid of old habits – must try again!


Cluttered life … complex thoughts,

Body can’t stand it … now falling apart.


The older I get, the sooner to start,

It’s a race to the finish, towards living as art.


An ‘all or nothing’ attitude, got me this state,

The only way, now, to make a clean break?


A leaf from the past … just one more time,

Then drop it forever – my plan of mine.


“Keep it to yourself” … some may say,

 Seems like vanity, going this way.


Friends, just like a ‘12-step’ plan,

Setting such goals, must be so grand!


I’ll go one better (my way so true!),

By this June 10th, I’ll report back to you.


With so much at stake and so much to lose,

 God help me when it’s over – the right way to choose!


But promises made … now must be kept,

My love ones surround me … my safety net!


Feb 092010

The other night, I heard a live performance of The Beatle’s tune ‘Yesterday’. It reminded me of when I was 17 years of age in 1964 when first saw The Beatles perform it on the Ed Sullivan show – the first time live on national TV.

And, although I’ve heard it many times since (the most recorded song in history); it actually didn’t affect me as much as it did sitting in an audience one night. The darkness of the auditorium meant that no one could see my eyes welling up, no matter how hard I tried to resist. A nagging thought of our youngest daughter haunted me. Lately, she’d not been too happy with her Dad, over things said … and probably things unsaid.

‘Why she had to go, I don’t know, she wouldn’t say …’

When she was just seventeen, I remember one morning – as I was dropping her off at her high school parking lot – she became extremely upset at me for chastising her about not concentrating on her studies. Her eyes flashed in anger, as her fiercely independent spirit compelled her to lash out at me. When I suggested that it was better coming from me, than from some jerk; she said “… some jerk did tell me!”Slamming the car door getting out, she almost immediately turned back to me; and with tears in her eyes and with arms around my neck, told me she loved me. It was over. We made our peace.

‘I said something wrong, now I long for yesterday.’

Now a beautiful young woman; she’ll be coming home for brunch this Sunday … maybe things will work out again.

So my advice, especially so close to Valentine’s Day? Don’t be like me, by not telling your loved ones how much they mean to you … every day.  You just never know what might happen tomorrow.

To me, as I get ‘old and grey’, the realization that I need my family more than they need me … is a feeling that I can’t shake.   Or to quote another great Beatle song:

‘Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64?’’


Dec 202009

As stories go, it’s not a long story – or as Charles Dickens said about A Christmas Carol, a story “which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me”. 


I begin by remembering Christmas past:


When I was a child, I received two gifts I remember well: a genuine Lionel electric train set, with the larger gauge track, and a crystal radio which had a big round dry volt battery.


And, I remember just two things about those gifts: I had a lot of fun with them and I never saw them again until I was clearing up my father’s estate, many years later, in the same home.

I believe (to paraphrase Dickens), it haunted his house pleasantly.  


I must now link to Christmas present:


Our children are grown and I wonder what will they remember about their Christmas?  Probably certain gifts, but hopefully the love expressed by family and friends. That’s the best gift I can wish for them.


What about Christmas in the future?


After we’re gone I wish that our children and grandchildren will also treasure the collective gifts from us all:  a more peaceful, loving, and sustainably friendly world– and even more– an inward peace that ‘passes all understanding’.


Is that too much to hope for? My father held on to more than broken toys from the past – he held on to happy family memories … my best gift. May you also make memories that our ‘global family’ will hold on to and cherish – with no expiry date.


So, here’s to a life well lived … the best gift I can wish for you … for this and every Christmas.

Season’s Greetings!

 Fred Parry


Dec 142009


Here is the beloved one, in hospital bed a-lying.

Monitors all disconnected now, the old sailor knows he’s dying.


Yet with it, the family understands, it’s what he’s been wanting.

Sick and unable to move, these past few weeks been daunting.


Above a computer screen urgently flashes … no time remaining.

Yet, he lives on – in slumber-induced sleep – ever weighing his staying.


He hears well the nurse’s instructions, adjusting his body again.

but he waits – until the last voice of loved ones, proved that they’ve been.


Now, the trial seems over, so clearly seen on his face.

With peace and contentment the new order, all worry’s been replaced.


A life worth celebrating, his favourite music plays.

Drinks all ‘round is called for … seems like old days.


And later, in the wee hours, when a last breath is drawn.

Under calm skies and time remaining, he sails into the dawn!




Oct 162009

This week, during our Customer Service class, we had a guest speaker who talked to us of the importance of respect in our daily lives – both personal and business.

He introduced us to 4 words to help us to remember the key concepts.

A – Assumptions: how it’s so easy to prejudge others, without any knowledge of them

K – Knowledge: finding out a little bit about them starts a connection

A – Awareness: we then become more sensitive about them as individuals

U – Understanding: ‘walking a mile in their shoes’ prevents us pre-judging others

Or, maybe we are turned off by not only what they say; but how they say it. When this occurs, it’s very effective to use the word “I” vs. “You”. (As in, “I feel uncomfortable with that language, etc … vs. “You shouldn’t say that, etc.”)


Finally, we were reminded to connect instead of just converse. Often times, we are  so concern with getting the next word in, we miss the opportunity to pick up on what has just been said – getting deeper into the other persons experience – which promotes respect. (Like peeling off the layers of an onion, so that you get beyond the superficial.)

This then prevents us falling into the trap of staying in our own ‘bubble’… tending to be more concern with our wants, our needs and not being aware of the damaging effects our lack of respect can cause others.