I have been away. I pulled off a major surprise and arrived at Meg’s without her having any idea that I was coming. A few weeks ago Emma was in tears on the phone because she missed her Monkey and to add to her misery she realized we weren’t coming for Christmas. For a few times afterwards she would always end her phone calls with ‘See you next year Monkey’ in a sad little voice that broke my heart. Her sad little greeting gave me the motivation to pay a surprise Pre-Christmas visit . It was wonderful. We made crafts, baked cookies and cupcakes, read books , went swimming and got lots of hugs and snuggles in. Paige was so excited to have her Monkey and her delighted little voice still echoes in my head. Last night she told Grampie’Monkey’s coming back’. Oh I will be back for sure and each moment I spent with them is right here with me, each one now a memory to add to our collective repertoire. I used to say to my kids ‘these are the days that matter’. That is so true. My brother in law Leonard died early Tuesday morning. He came to be with us on Oct 24th knowing that his time was short. He wanted to come home to NB to spend his last days with family. He did that. His older brother kept vigil as his life passed and he said his goodbyes. All our days matter. The sun came out briefly this morning filling my heart with hope. The clouds have now filled the sky and it is raining again after yesterday’s heavy downpours but I know we will see the sun again. We will get through these next few days together. We can hold on to the fact that we welcomed Leonard home and gave him as much comfort as we were able to. We will tell our stories and reflect on the days that Leonard David White was given.