Life is a bowl of cherries; Death is the pits


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Marion and I saw Dr. Zhivago when we were young. The image of little Yuri at the burial of his mother still haunts me; little did I know that I would live this terrifying scene when my brother Johnny was in a fatal car accident on December 1st, 1968. I was only 16.

It was a bitter cold day in December as I stood by the grave watching the coffin lowered into the ground. Tears freezing  on my face as I cried profusely. The sting of death was more unbearable than the biting cold wind.

December is a month of mixed emotions for me: agony and ecstasy. It can be a difficult time for those who have lost loved ones: the people we cherish will forever be missed at the dinner table.

When my cousin Marion came to visit in October, Toronto was on our list of places to go. Not only to see the CN Tower …

photo-2Marion and me

But also to see the house where my family lived when Marion came to visit in 1965. She remembered it well and took this photo, recalling many memories. The owners were kind enough to welcome us in.


This photo is from 1965 with Johnny and my mom, taken by the fireplace. The big mirror is still there, even though several families have lived there during all these years.

Christmas 1965

Marion took more photos inside the house and talked about Johnny as we drove to the cemetery. It was a very emotional experience to share this moment with her. My dear cousin Marion is the sister I never had.


Yesterday we celebrated the 1st Advent of Christmas. ‘Tis the season to be jolly. I enjoy the festivities: gathering with family and friends, the sparkling lights that adorn the houses, beautifully decorated Christmas trees and the sound of holiday music, but there’s always sadness in a corner of my heart.

The joy of the Christmas season – celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ – fills my heart with peace, hope and love.

These are the best gifts that I wish for you.

AdventDedicated to Stephanie July 26, 1987 – July 30, 2014

and Sara 1975 – 1987

Death is the saddest part of life.

♥ carmen

About carmen

Let’s make the world a better place with compassion.
This entry was posted in Christmas, Day Trips, Photography, Toronto, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Life is a bowl of cherries; Death is the pits

  1. Carmen,
    Your brother would be so proud of you if he were here today.
    Death is the pits, but Christ has overcome!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. donna says:

    Good Morning Carmen… although it was only a brief encounter yesterday it was awesome chatting with you. Thank you for directing me to your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bob says:

    My eyes are wet as I read about Johnny……your sentiments bring back vivid memories when my Mother died suddenly…..and I can empathize with you. Death always stings! Like utesmile, I send you hugs.

    The photo at the graveside is clearer on this post than on fb.
    The 1st Day of Advent is the Christian New Year’s Day….like most days we have a mixture of sadness and happiness. We reflect on the sadness and praise the Lord for our happiness found in life’s blessings .

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ralph says:

    I’m with the other commenters ! Big hug my friend xox ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hugs to you Carmen – I’m so sorry for that insurmountable loss of your brother Johnny. We never get over those kinds of loss but be assured by the fact that he is watching over you all these years. Have a wonderful holiday!


    Liked by 1 person

  6. Valerie Nunn says:

    Thank you, Carmen for your kind dedication. Yesterday was the 4 month anniversary of our dear Stephanie’s death. We went to the cemetery and put up a beautiful artificial wreath for the winter – purples and whites. We sang, read poetry and wept. We know our angel is in heaven and her spirit is always with us, but the sadness and pain of losing her is intense. We appreciate your love and support and especially your gift of dance. I dedicate my dancing to Stephanie and feel that she is dancing with me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • carmen says:

      My dear Valerie, I know the heartache of death, but losing a child is the worst pain a mother can suffer. I’m glad you are dedicating your dancing to Stephanie, that’s why I dedicated “Love Lifted Me” to her when we dance. She would not want you to remain sad.

      What meaningful moments you shared as you sang, read poetry and grieved together for your beloved Stephanie! May God’s love and the love you shared with Stephanie lift you!

      ❤ carmen


  7. utesmile says:

    I agree, Carmen, Hugs ♥

    Liked by 1 person

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