As we approach this special weekend in June, we turn our attention to our “dad’s”. I think back on the memory of my own father, with a heart-filled with so much love. 21 years ago my dad, at the age of 42, lost a very courageous and long battle to cancer. When I say he fought, he really did fight hard; from multiple surgeries, rounds and rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, hair loss, nausea, intense pain, and all the while with a smile and a “I’m good today” attitude. The 5 years when he was sick, were probably the hardest years of my life, but at the same time a gift, because it gave us a chance as a family to grow, learn, share and deepen a family bond that will hopefully never be lost. It also taught me to value things in a different way, to live each day to the fullest, to seize the moment and not wait for tomorrow, to never give up, and that its ok to fail, in order to get better, to try new things, to appreciate and love family, find a deep relationship with God, and well the list could go on as to all the things I learned from my dad during this time.
Now as an adult, with three children of my own, I have matured in so many ways and have come to understand this journey that I have been on since my teen years, in an entirely different light. It really culminated into the life and career I have today. Growing up in SK in the 80’s and 90’s we didn’t have access or knowledge to many of the “natural” ways of living that I enjoy every day now (and never take for granted). The first “vitamin” I ever took was a Flinstone chewable multi (remember those sugar-filled treats masked as vitamins). When my dad was at the peak of his illness, him and my mom came home from Regina (from one of their many appointments), and my dad showed us kids a bottle of Shark Liver Cartilage pills. I remember him telling me how this could help him treat his cancer but that it was very expensive. I vividly remember this experience as my heart and stomach sank, thinking “he is going to get better from shark cartilage”. Yes, there is some research on the benefit of shark cartilage for cancer, however, I was wise enough to know that at the stage his was at (stage 4 bladder cancer with metastasis) that this likely wasn’t going to work. But the important thing this bottle of shark cartilage represented was hope…something that he could hold onto, and hope that it would work for him.
I didn’t recognize it at the time, but the journey my father went through, to then having my own health challenges really led me to the career that has become my life. Each day I try my very best to incorporate a little bit of the bravery and courage my father showed, although I know for certain I will never be as strong as he was. And although my health routine, is far more sophisticated today I still continue to work each day at finding my best mind, body and spirit.
In honor and memory of my dad, and for all the things that he taught me, I want to give each of you a chance to bring a little bit of my favorite health remedy into your day. The Breville Juicer is my favorite, and I can’t wait to hear about all the different blends of fruits and vegetables you create, all while giving your body the best chance at optimum health.
Cheers to a healthy life!