Publishing stories of fascinating Prairie People and Unsung Heroes

Welcome to the blog of Deana Driver - author, editor, and publisher of DriverWorks Ink, a book publishing company based in Saskatchewan. We publish stories of inspiring, fascinating Prairie people and unsung Canadian heroes - written by Prairie authors including Deana Driver. We also publish genres of healing and wellness, humour, children's fiction, and rural poetry. Visit our website to learn more about our books.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

I found a dime - an angel sign in Newfoundland

On a recent vacation in Newfoundland, I and my author friend Janice Howden visited the village of Woody Point, across the bay from where we were staying in Rocky Harbour. We listened to a local musician, looked in several gift shops, checked out some sites of the Writers at Woody Point events, enjoyed lunch and a visit to the library, then walked along the waterfront.

About half an hour before we had to be at the dock to catch the passenger ferry back to the village of Norris Point on our side of the bay, I said to Jan, "We should walk down this way. We haven't gone there yet." (I'd unintentionally caught on to Newfoundland sayings and dialect, in which everywhere you want to go is "down" even if it is actually north of you. 😊)

So we walked in the direction we had not yet been and I noticed a small pier made of rocks and such. It felt like a nice place to walk out onto and listen to the water lapping against the shore, so that's what I did, as did Jan.

On our way back to the street, I suggested we sit down on big rocks near the road to wait until the ferry came. Jan agreed, so we sat down and stared out at the bay.

For no reason at all, I looked down at my feet and saw a dime between my shoes. I knew it was an angel sign from my late husband, Al, to tell me that he was with me on this journey.

The  Bluenose ship on the dime was facing up - a ship Al and I saw in dry dock during a trip we took to Nova Scotia many years ago.

I couldn't believe my eyes, but yet I could. I had found coins in the strangest, most unusual and unexpected places many times since Al passed away in 2015, but this was the first coin I'd seen during this vacation.

I'd seen other signs of his presence on this trip. I saw 13 dragonflies fly in front of our vehicle one morning as I was driving beside a river. Thirteen was Al's favourite number. A single large dragonfly flew right in front of my face more than once on this trip in different locations - an unusual experience for anyone, but being "in my face" is in keeping with Al's strange sense of humour.

I'd been travelling for two weeks with my friend Janice. She is lovely, funny, smart, and kind, but she is not Al. There have been many times when I have missed him and even a couple times when my brain sent me a thought that "I need to tell Al about..." before it registered the fact that I cannot do that in the way I once did.

Another writer friend once told me that since her beau died, she believes that he sees everything that she sees. It is a comforting thought for her and it has helped me many times since she shared that idea with me. 

On this day in Woody Point, I know that Al sent me and my friend Janice a message. He was with us, sharing our vacation and the things we saw and did. It was a good moment. We smiled.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

A woman on the plane and our talk about life after loss

My seatmate on the flight from Medicine Hat, AB to Calgary was a wonderful, gentle 85-year-old woman. She impressed me in many ways. airplane and clouds

She only became a widow a few months ago, after 65 years of marriage, whereas I've been a widow for three and a half years after 40 years of marriage to my soulmate, Al.

This was her first flight without her husband. I've been on many trips since my loss, but I'm also younger and still working too.

She visited family on this trip and had some fascinating experiences, including being sent to an emergency shelter while the town of Irvine, AB  was evacuated due to a train derailment. And she went whitewater rafting with some of her children, grandchildren, and maybe even great-grandchildren.

Yes. Whitewater rafting at age 85. As a new widow. Talk about inspiring.

We chatted about our families and how grateful we are that they've been so helpful and supportive to us after the deaths of our main men. We spoke with gratitude that we had great husbands and how meaningful, funny, and wonderful their memorial services were. We were proud of ourselves and our families.

We talked about where we're living and what is different about our daily lives now. We are learning how to live alone after decades of being a couple. Eating alone all the time - not by choice - is not fun. I told her how I don't eat at the table. I eat in the living room most of the time. She thanked me for telling her. The newly bereaved need to hear that it is okay to change the routine to feel a little more comfortable in this new life. Once again, I was grateful for what I've learned in bereavement support groups.

We talked about what we do to keep ourselves busy and I mentioned my work as a writer and book publisher. She was curious about my work and took a pre-order card for the Flight book with her.

When it was time to leave each other at the airport, we hugged and wished each other well.

I will think of her fondly and aspire to - maybe - go whitewater rafting myself in another 20-some years.

Yes, I will remember this sweet little lady from British Columbia who also lost her husband Al.