Friday, April 06, 2012


We were shopping, getting ready for company this weekend, and I was on a mission to pick up some cheese. As I did I noticed that I was going by a display of spray whipped cream. I suddenly burst out laughing. It caught the notice of people who were all, at that moment, looking like shopping was really serious business. Here's why I laughed:

Last time Ruby was here, to go to the ballet, we were about to finish dinner with a bit of dessert. Joe had picked up some strawberries and was cutting them into bowls. Ruby asked, 'Can I have ice cream with mine?' Joe said, 'Sorry, Ruby, we don't have any ice cream.' Pause. 'Can I have some whipped cream with mine?' Again Joe said, 'Sorry, Ruby, we don't have any whipped cream.' Pause. Pause. Then, 'You guys need to take a kid shopping with you to make sure you get what you need.'

It struck me funny then. It struck me even funnier as I was sailing by on a cheese mission and not picking up the essentials.

Memory gives little gifts like that doesn't it?

I reminded Joe of the conversation when we were on our way home. We laughed all over again. It was like a tiny drop of joy that fell into the ocean of our day. Lovely.

Lovely that memory can do that.

It left me wondering, not in a morbid way, if I am making sure to build memories in the minds of others. After all it is in memory that I will live long after I'm gone. Have I built a shelter for myself in the minds of those I love? Am I making sure that there are those moments when, someone in the future, will stop and laugh at the mere thought of something we did, or that I said, or that happened when we were together. Will my spirit appear in that laughter?

Am I doing enough?

Saturday morning we are making 'Easter Pancakes' ... which is simply putting jelly beans into pancake batter so that there can be an Easter Egg hunt to start the day ... I hope that becomes a memory. Sunday we are going for lunch up the CN Tower so Ruby can talk to God and Sadie can wave at the tiny cars down on the street far below, I hope that builds a memory.

I have fought for accessibility and inclusion most of my adult life. I have to remember that it's not all fight - that sometimes it needs to be about being accessible to those I love and making sure that those who love me, and those who I love, are included into that time that I seem never to have.

Whipped cream will always make me smile.

That's magic.

I want more magic.

I want to be magic.

Perhaps those jelly beans will grow into a beanstalk that reaches right into heaven.



Kristin said...

Dave, I hope you and Joe have many, many more years to make memories with your loved ones. However, once the time comes that you are no longer around, I have no doubt that Ruby (and others) will smile and laugh when they think of you and all that you did together.

I know that I will always remember the lessons and stories I gained by reading your blog.

Roia said...

Actually, Dave, you have built good memories in people's minds. When I heard you speak at our facility, some years ago, I recall you saying you heard black is slimming so you went out and bought yourself a black VW. Every time I see a black VW I think of you. I'm not sure if that was the memory you were going for, but it always makes me smile with joy and recall that is was one of the few times our facility had someone who had really good things to say (you were talking about the Ethics of Touch) come and give a talk.

John R. said...

Trust me...I have followed your work for many years, have the great pleasure of now knowing you a bit personally, have read all the accounts of how you have loved your family; Joe, Ruby etc...and I would dare say and estimate that....beautiful and magical memories that you are responsible for are numbering in the millions!!

And, I predict that millions more are on the way!!
Happy Easter.

Colleen said...

Dear Dave:

You make those memories in the most unexpected ways. You probably will never know all the loving memories people have of you. But have faith that they are there.

Happy Easter to you and Joe

Jo Ann said...

Thank you Dave, for sharing your thoughts and stories which provide me (us) with great memories. Your recent elevator story made me laugh out loud. I love walking into your world each morning. Wishing you and Joe a lovely Easter. Enjoy those pancakes.

Liz Miller said...

You are certainly making memories with Ruby and Sadie, and you absolutely are with me as well.

Even though I've never met you personally, you are present with me daily. I have you next to me as I go through my life, because your words are with me.

Louise said...

Well, do you know, I had a memory of you just an hour ago. A man I support - an elderly man with intellectual disabilities, had a pretty rubbish life, came to our community just months ago - reached his arms out to me for a hug. For the first time. And I remembered some words on one of your videos, and because of your work, I was able to respond in a way that was at once boundaried and affectionate, and, well, just CONSCIOUS. No false or inappropriate messages, just the message of 'I care'. Thank you.

Flemisa said...

As long as there is the internet and the vast quantites of materials that it stores - you will always be a memory. A very good memory of those who read you on a regular basis and those we introduce to you on line.

Found Bisquick Gluten Free so now even I can have pancakes. Just wish we had the jelly beans.

Enjoy the egg hunt!

Anonymous said...

Mmmm, sounds yummy and fun ... all wrapped into one! Your grand-daughters have many special memories ... and many more to come. And, if I may suggest, maybe take the girls out shopping some time, so "they" can get all of those special little things that you "grown-ups" don't think of! You'll be surprised with what you all return home with ... :).

I don't know if you eat ice cream; but, if you buy a half-decent kind, it is considered a dairy product, as well as a protein. I took the suggestion from one of my mennonite cookbooks, which explained meals using all of the food groups .... and, one morning, my neice, nephew and I all had banana splits for breakfast, when their Mum had dropped them off for the day. I know they never forgot this ... and neither have I.

I never tried jellybean pancakes; but, I will now that you shared this. I think Andrew and my nephew, who is staying over on Saturday night will be surprised to have them on Easter morning :).

Elizabeth & Andrew

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you guys have a wonderful weekend planned. Have fun and Happy Easter!!!


Shan said...

OK, I'll pick one of my memories of you. Because we're on your blog, I'll pick one that's relevant to your subject.

In the "Group Entrance" lobby of the Royal Ontario Museum, you stopped me very theatrically to tell me a story about a young boy who got angry, channeled his frustration, and as a result made a concrete difference in accessibility at the museum.

You were really proud of this story, but what you were proud of was that the young man had taken his power for himself, rather than abdicating it to you or to another adult...that he had made a positive change. You were proud not because YOU had coached him, but because he discovered a voice and used it for good.

That story really moved me. I can still visualize the whole scene.


Anonymous said...

I feel that what you have posted is very moving, memories are magic, and should last a life time. I know I have many, many memories I can look back on alot of them and still laugh my head off. i think those memories are what counts in life, the ones that you can share with you loved ones, family, and friends. Your blog is very inspirational, and I am going to keep readding them.
Happy Easter to you and yours.