Life is full of changes and given its ubiquity, not to say its inevitability,
it is amazing how death, nonetheless, surprises.
I've had a life filled with big changes of which the death of my husband Peter Butala in August, 2007, is probably the most shocking and traumatizing, outweighing even that of my parents and one sister. I have had to start life again, the first step of which was to move myself to Calgary where my son and his family live, although it took me fourteen months to do even that, and another couple of years to dare to buy a condo and settle in. So here I am, in another province (I've now lived in four of them, despite spending most of my life in Saskatchewan), in arguably the most exciting city in Canada, having arrived at an age which is in itself another country too. I'm amazed I'm still sane.
And yet, now, four years after that bitter and sudden wrench, I find life is good again. Most days it is better than good, a new reason to be astonished, for who would have thought being an (ughh) "senior citizen" could be joyful and filled with richness of experience and ideas? Trust me, it is. I am almost finished a new novel called Constancy, (my opus, I hope), I am painting again even though badly, and I have discovered fitness. I am even beginning to be asked to do readings and to teach workshops again, as if I am the one who was dead, and now I am being slowly resuscitated. After Peter, the greatest loss is the loss of the prairie. But wait:I have only to close my eyes and there it is again; I can see it, I can smell it, I am transported back. I can still paint it, and write about it as if I'd never left. Resoluteness, I find, is everything.