On a recent trip to Africa, Caulene Bussard, Marilyn’s sister and world missionary stumbled upon a struggling ministry to the many orphaned children in Nairobi Kenya called “The Children’s Garden”, founded by Moses Ndung’u (Daddy Moses). Without outside help many of these children would not survive. Caulene felt compelled to help and began a project with Slovack children and their families in Bratislavia to raise funds so these needy children could have their basic needs taken care of and at the same time receive an education. As more funds were raised, more children arrived, creating an even greater need. As of today there are far more needy children than funds to provide them even basic needs. Marilyn often wished she could do more to help and now she can – Through You! Please give generously to this worthy project
Click here for more information about the Children's Garden

Our Sweet Easton

Easton's Debut

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Monday, December 21, 2009

It's Been A Long Time But Christmas Has Finally Arrived

3 ½ months have come and gone since my last update here and once again a great deal of water has passed under the bridge of life..  I recall noting in my last entry how quickly vacations seem to fly by and how long it seems since the last one.  Now as I look back on the last 3 months it feels like just yesterday I was contemplating the opening of yet another year of school. 

Well school opened with a vengeance and I hit the floor running and haven’t slowed down since that first day in August.  The days seemed to blur from one to the next with very short sleeps in between.  Today, as I begin a much deserved Christmas break, I vow to savor each moment enjoying another opportunity to kick back and relax as the rest of the world flys past looking for that ever illusive perfect gift as plans are made to celebrate the most important birthday party of all.

I am happy that back in the summer months, we got together as a family and decided to have our family gathering this year at Thanksgiving – leaving the Christmas vacation open for come creative holiday plans.  So - - when Thanksgiving rolled around we all headed off to Fairmont hot springs with our turkey dinner and all the trimmings.  Luckily, I was able to find an exceptional deal on 4 condo units and with everyone chipping in we all ended up in some fine luxurious accommodations and while the turkey was being prepared the men folk (accompanied by one adventuresome lady) abandoned the never ending football games on TV and headed out for some quality golf in sub zero temperatures. Although the day looked like a beautiful summer afternoon from the comfort of a warm living room – in actuality pair of long underwear and winter parka was necessary as golf course official abandoned the idea of official proper dress for the occasion.  Keeping warm was much more important than fashion that day.  As it turned out, we were the fortunate ones weather-wise because back in Calgary a winter storm raged ending golf for another year.

I can’t remember enjoying Thanksgiving and family time as much as I did this year.   Before heading back home we all got together and thanked God for His faithfulness to us as a family.  We also decided to use what God had given us this year to share with someone in need at Christmas and instead of spending lavishly on each other we would draw names and limit our spending to $50 per person.  I can’t say I have ever enjoyed Christmas shopping but this year I had a blast.  Shopping for family was accomplished in one quick trip to Walmart and then off to Value Village to look for stuff that would make a homeless person feel like a king.  I was amazed at what one can find to wrap up as fine gifts at a thrift store.  Our bible study cell group decided to take on the bringing of cheer to some of Calgary’s less fortunate and my list included specific sizes of Jeans and T shirts.  As it turned out, all I could find in that category at Value village were brand new high end fashion Jeans complete with original store tags.  It seemed God knew I was coming and had everything on my list all laid out – including a hand carved brand new wooden cribbage board that had clearly never been used (another item on my list)  I think next month I will stop by again and see if He left anything on the shelves I might like. (I will report on that later).

As a family we also decided to leave the Holiday time for each other and just get together, exchange gifts and play some games one evening before all the hubbub of  Christmas swept us off our feet.  Fortunately all of our schedules synced up on November 30 and once again we gathered for a family fest.  Now as Christmas is fast approaching I can really find the time I need to just sit back and relax.  School is out for 15 days and I find myself lying in bed looking out at a beautiful stretch of the south Atlantic that lies in front of my Daytona Beach Condo.  To say “MY CONDO”  is a bit misleading as I don’t really own this lovely piece of property – just have custody of it  for the next 7 days.  Aren’t Timeshares Wonderful?  In the suite next door I can still hear the soft sounds of snoring from my son David and his wife Tracie.  Could life get any better??

School and Calgary are a long ways away and will remain that way for the next 10 days.  Relaxing is on the top of my list – Along with celebrating.  Celebrating the wonderful birth of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Don’t forget the One who can give an abundant life and have a very happy Christmas.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Vacations are always too short

Well once again it has been a long time since I wrote anything here. The last time I stopped to write I was celebrating Fathers Day with family and contemplating a long summer vacation. Long never seems long after it is over though. Vacation times always go too quickly and once again that was the case for me. Although I must say that even though the holiday season seemed to short I was able to pack in lots of enjoyment. God was good to allow me some wonderful travel with two fantastic companions - Ardith (Marilyn's cousin) and Lyn (my step mother).

The first three weeks of July was spent wandering through the North West USA by train and automobile and attending many wonderful music concerts. We first took a 3 day trip by van to Salt Lake City where we abandoned the van and hopped the train to Denver. What a glorious trip through the Wyoming desert. From there we rented a car and drove to Vail where we spent a week in the mountains, taking in both the beautiful scenery and one of the nations largest classical music festivals. There we heard the Dallas Symphony orchestra, Philadelphia philharmonic orchestra and many string ensembles from around the world. Not a day went by without some beautiful music. After our week in Vail we returned to Salt Lake via the glorious Rocky mountain train route to retrieve my van and to take in the American Idol top ten tour. I must say that this event (something I was really looking forward to) was the biggest disappointment of the summer. Yes - all these up and coming artists all have amazing talent but sadly they are being worshiped as god like heros. I went to hear the beautiful music they all can produce but only heard the ear splitting screaming from fans and music that was horribly distorted by amplifiers manned by seemingly untrained sound engineers. The mix of instruments and voice was so badly distorted the only thing I remember is how relieved I felt when the ordeal was over. Lyn (who had never experienced a loud pop concert) was a great sport to even go along but I know there will never be another pop concert that she will attend again in her lifetime.

From Salt Lake we ambled back to Creston where I dropped Lyn at her home and Ardith and I stayed overnight with her, went to church and then drove back to Calgary. This was a trip none of us will forget.

As an added bonus this summer I was contacted by a marketing company to do some people surveys in the national parks so after just a few days at home I was off again but this time to "work" - if you could call it working. Mostly I stood around and talked to tourists while the company paid for me to spend first one week in Lake Louise and then a second week in Glacier national park. With only 4 hours a day of "working", I had lots of free time to check out all the nice restaurants and do some sightseeing that I always wished I could do but either never had the time or money to enjoy. So at the end of the two weeks all I had to do was turn in the receipts and get paid for all the hard work I had put in. I just wish I could do that as a regular job.

After my "hard work" in the national parks I rushed home just in time to pack for an intensive one week Jazz course at the University of Manitoba. The course was great but there was absolutely no down time and I came home tired and ready to rest. Unfortunately, the Vacation time was over (due to the Alberta Government decreeing that all students and teachers return to school 10 days earlier this year). So now here I am back at school - along with a whole lot of teachers and students that had their summers cut short - trying to get back into the swing of learning but still hung over from too much vacation and not enough rest. Life is so tough isn't it.

Well that is my summer story and although I am tired I am not sad to have been busy. As I look back on the events of the past year with the first anniversary of Marilyn's passing approaching I know I will always miss her deeply. We had a wonderful life together. God took her home and I remain. The question of why probably will never be answered fully until I am reunited with her and Jesus but I have found that by staying busy the pain of loneliness is somewhat subdued.

Although life goes on here on earth I have seen others suffer through the loss of their loved ones and now can better understand what they are going through. Just last August God chose to take home a wonderful friend and servant "Jackie Littel" who has been a pillar of strength for many campers, teens and counselors at Chestermere Bible Camp. Jackie passed away in early August after suffering from brain cancer for several months. I can feel the pain for her husband Frank as he must go on as director of the camp and I know that there will be a big empty hole in his life now but also a sense of relief and assurance that Jackie couldn't be happier resting in the arms of Jesus.

Also just 2 weeks ago I received an email from my son Stephen (Easton's dad) that while on Vacation visiting Erin's (his wife's) parents in Chilliwack that they got up one morning and found Erin's father (Patrick) collapsed in the shower from a massive heart attack. As we learn in the scriptures. Our lives are just a vapor that soon vanishes. In this case I don't know where Patrick's heart was or if he had a relationship with Jesus. That question can only be answered when I reach the other side. Just let me end this blog with a question for you - the reader. Where is your heart? Don't let another minute pass without being assured that when God's time for you is finished you have no doubt as to where you will spend eternity. If you need an answer to this huge question or just want to talk - don't hesitate to leave me a message or shoot off an email to me at brseeley@cbe.ab.ca - I would love to discuss it with you. Always remember there are many people wherever you live that can help with the deep questions of life

Remember God is good and he never fails.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Fathers Day Pictures  

Easton chillin with Mommy, Daddy & Pantone on Fathers Day.


Grampa loves to cuddle with little Easton 

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Fathers Day

Tomorrow is Fathers Day - I haven't written anything since April.  It is hard to believe that so much time has passed.  Often I think of Marilyn's online friends and wonder how they are doing. Seeing some new notes from old friends did my heart good today.

I'm looking forward to a visit from my grandson tomorrow afternoon.  It seems that every time I see him he has grown a few more inches and can do something new.  I'm looking forward to being part of each new phase in his life.

With the end of the school year only a week away I am wondering how I will find spending my first summer holiday alone.  Today I hosted the annual garage sale and I must admit that there were some very hard times and memories that flooded over me as I watched strangers picking over some of the last things I remembered Marilyn using.  Even though it was hard to see I am still thankful for the memories.  Memories that I can and will always hold on to.

I must admit that the last two months have been quite exhausting.  There were so many little things that I could always depend on Marilyn for - even when she was hardly able to move from her bed she supported me with her heart.  I think these are the things I miss the most.  The end of a school year is always
full of extra details but this year I noticed each one with a great intensity I have never felt before.  Often staying at school late into the evening I would think "I might as well finish off my work at school rather than go home to an empty house".  Late nights at school are definitely not new to my schedule and Marilyn certainly didn't like it when I stayed.  Even though she hated it, I could always feel her silent and quiet support knowing that soon the summer would allow us to relax and enjoy some free time.

Well the free time is almost here again and I have never been more ready for it to arrive.  The minute that last bell rings I will be out the door and on my way to freedom for a few weeks.  This summer will find me at my fav
orite pastime - traveling.  I have talked Lyn (my step mother) and Ardith (Marilyn's cousin) to join me on a road / train trip through the rocky mountains ending up with a week in Vail Colorado.  We even plan to take in an American Idol Tour Concert. Unfortunately I will miss my sister and brother in laws visit to Calgary the first week of July but it will force me to make sure the house if clean and ready for visitors as they will be staying here in my absence.  

I plan to spend the last 2 weeks of July and the first 2 weeks August back at home relaxing and then take in a Jazz course at
 the University of Manitoba to prepare for school opening just before school opens again at the end of August.  If  anyone has a hankering to go for a trip to Calgary I would love to hear from you.  My home is an open door for anyone who needs
 a place to rest their head for a few days. just let me know and I will be happy to host.  my email is brseeley@cbe.ab.ca

Well it took me so long to write this it is already Fathers Day.  I guess I need to hurry up and go to sleep so I can dream some sweet thoughts of my little Easton.

Thanks for all your prayers.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Spring is here (I think)

Another month has come and gone so it must be time to write again.  Easton, of course is beginning to grow like a little weed and is continuing to work hard on that good set of lungs of his.  This weekend our family gathered again for the traditional turkey dinner at my home.  I am so thankful that both my sons married wonderful cooks - so together we managed to scrape up a few gourmet dishes along with the big turkey that I convinced my stepmother (Lyn) to cook up.  

Once again Easton was the center of attention so it was easy to capture some video footage on my new HD camera.  After a few frustrating hours of editing I managed to pull together 35 seconds of Easton's debut as a movie star.  I hope a few people will take the time to play it.  

I often wonder why God took Marilyn before she had a chance to meet her grandson.  Thinking about this too much brings back too many memories and the tears begin to flow again so I try not to dwell on the thoughts.  I know God has his perfect plan but I am sure all of us have many questions that will go unanswered in this lifetime.  I just hope that Marilyn and her best friend Janice (who went ahead of her) can look down from time to time and see the grandchildren they both loved so dearly.

Time away from home for spring break was good for me.  I went back to some of our favorite places in southern California.  Too often I caught myself feeling sorry that Marilyn wasn't with me to enjoy the vacation but then I was brought back to reality with the thought that Marilyn is in such a better place now.  She wouldn't even want to return.  It is only me feeling sorry for myself.  I just need to keep my faith strong and know that God will be calling me home someday too.

Speaking of coming home - when I got off the plane back in (sunny?) Alberta, I was greeted to a grand blizzard.  This was a far cry from the spring weather I had left a week earlier.  April is supposed to be a cheery month isn't it?  I came back to winter - but when I think back to other years, I guess it hasn't changed.  It is something I just never can get used to - even after over 50 years of living here.  For the last 2 weeks I have been trudging around the neighborhood taking the census for the city trying to keep my feet dry from all the 2 and 3 foot snowbanks still piled high in most peoples yards.  This week has been warm (except for the snowstorm yesterday) so I am hoping to finish up my counting in the warm and sunny weeks left in April.  At least the snow has almost all disappeared so hopefully my spring census job will soon be over and I can get busy planting flowers and setting up for the proverbial Spring Garage Sale.  Drop by in May or June and take some of my old treasures back to your garage.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Well here it is the middle of March and I haven't written since February.  I still often drop by this blog to see who has been here and though most don't leave a comment I see your presence and feel your prayers.  Last week at this time on Saturday morning I took some time to sit in one of Marilyn's favorite chat rooms.  It was great to connect with a few of her dear friends and spend a few minutes chatting about life and of course Easton.  Easton is doing well and appears that he might follow in the footsteps of his many musical relatives because he has a terrific set of lungs and singing seems to be a favorite pastime.  Although as of yet the tune is quite undistinguishable - but still very clear.  I think the words are "I am hungry, feed me now now now.

As a father I learned the very useful skill of how to turn off a crying kid.  Lay the child on his back along your forearm and then rock him back and forth. up and down very quickly.  None of this gentle stuff.  Depending on the speed with which you "rock" and the length of time you do this the child will either become dizzy or disoriented,  get very quiet and then poop their pants. This is wonderful fun for the Grampa because there is an unwritten rule that Grampas don't have to change dirty diapers so you simply turn the now quiet and happy child over to his parents for a clean diaper.  Soon the little cherub is peaceful and ready to cuddle.  Works every time (Almost).   

Now on the serious side of things - It is wonderful being a grampa and even though it has only been just over a month I can see that little Easton is starting to grow and get longer.  Soon I won't be able to do the fast rock fun with him any more because he will be just to big.  Last weekend we had a great time together as a family and everyone came over to my place on Sunday evening for dinner and to (of course) admire and pass around the newest member of the family.

As for me - I have been quite busy trying to catch up at school and trying to remember over 200 names.  This is something I am not so good at.  Spring break is just around the corner (along with spring) and I am really looking forward to a few days relaxing at the Lawrence Welk resort just out of San Diego CA.  David and Tracie (my other son and his wife) will be joining me and have planned how I will relax.  None of this sitting around the pool.  I may have to deviate from the plan part of the time to make sure that I don't end up too tired to go back to work when I get home.

PS Congratulations to Earl and Virginia Wickens (My cousin and his wife) on becoming grandparents for the first time.  Send me a picture and I will post it here with Easton. Hopefully the two boys will become life long friends like you and I have been over the years. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My first day as a Grampa

Well I have been pleasantly surprised with some rather quick responses to my comments last week.  Sometimes I wonder if people actually read what I write.  Not that I need to have people reading my thoughts but it is a comfort to me at times when I feel lonely.  I know that Marilyn had many friends that I never knew and I often wish I had taken the time to connect the way she only could. 

My life has been quite a whirlwind of busyness through January as I went back to teaching full time again.  Marilyn was always there to support me before and I miss her so now.  She would often lighten my load helping me write lessons and mark students papers.  Now with report cards due and ideas for lessons whirling about in my head I often feel overwhelmed.  One thing for sure- I do feel the presence of God helping me through each day.  

Today I went to our weekly church buffet supper for the first time in a few months.  The experience was difficult, especially when someone said "I haven't seen you in a long time - Where is your wife?  Are you alone tonight? - -  I knew I would have to face situations like this but this hit me hard.  In a church with 5000 people I know one can't expect everyone to be aware of what has gone on in my life.  It was a lesson to me of how important it is to stay connected to those around us as best we can.

I have felt the prayers of any these last few weeks and for that I want to say a big THANK YOU!!

One more thing.  I am officially a Grampa as of 7:00 tonight.  This is the one thing that I know Marilyn wanted to be a part of.  Why God decided to take her home before this event will remain a mystery and will be one of my first questions when I join Marilyn in Heaven.  But for now I am rejoicing with my son, Stephen and his wife Erin as they now have a new little life to account for.  His name is Easton Gray Seeley.  I can't wait to hold him.


PS I will post a picture or two when I get them and if the chat board doesn't work for you my email address is brseeley@cbe.ab.ca