Category Archives: Family

Five Funerals and a Wedding

Funerals Some dates are etched by memory. For many, it’s a shared experience. I remember exactly what I was doing when Challenger exploded. When the Twin Towers fell. When Canada beat the Soviets in the final hockey game of the Summit Series in 1972. But sometimes, the experience is singular. This one happened to me […]

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Independence is easy. Anyone can walk through this world alone, without a care, unconcerned with the suffering of others, only looking out for number one. In a world where no one matters, it’s so easy to be selfish, so easy to be callous. So easy to ignore the obvious. So easy to turn away from […]

Also posted in Life, Wall-E—The Neuroendocrine Tumor | Leave a comment


It ended peacefully, the room as soft as a eiderdown. My little sister, Marilou Levangie, left this world a week ago Monday, as the love of her life held her right hand, and her nearest sibling held her left, each telling her that it was okay to let go. “Batman and Robin, together again,” Brian […]

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Anthem for My Little Sister

I can tell you exactly how it feels. I’m capable of enduring almost any level of physical and emotional pain. But when someone I love is hurting, that pain is transformed into something epic and primal; a meat hook that suspends me from my sternum. The greatest fear in my life has come to pass, […]

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Rise Again

A song by the late and dearly-missed Stan Rogers. As it filled the office today, I tried to take the message to heart. Rise again, rise again — though your heart it be broken And life about to end No matter what you’ve lost, be it a home, a love, a friend. Like the Mary […]

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Christmas Memories

I grew up in a happy home, and the Christmases of my youth have crystallized into memories now held near and dear. Memories that can still keep me warm on cold winter nights. My Mother was a devout Catholic, so the holidays were, first and foremost, a spiritual season filled with prayer and solemnity. My […]

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True Confessions

Pain is a great leveler. I write that to explain why I had an unexpected reaction last year when I learned that doctors had misdiagnosed my neuro-endocrine tumor, and that I was likely headed for surgery. I didn’t want to tell my family, but not for the reasons you might expect. Over the last two […]

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Sarah and Agricola

This stop-motion animation music video was created by my nephew, Jason Levangie, working with Sydney Smith (who illustrated Kate Inglis’s The Dread Crew) for Gypsophilia. Such talented lads! I hope they are chuffed.

Also posted in Entertainment, Nova Scotia | 1 Comment

Even Christian Charity Has Limits

I had a wonderful childhood, growing up happy in a big family that lived life in technicolor. Our anchor was Connie, our mother, who somehow managed to find time for each of us, especially when we needed her most. She may have been many things, but she was born to be a mother. Her later […]

Also posted in Humor, Life | 3 Comments

Kids Say the Darndest Things

I have a nephew who is considered a genius. He taught himself to read at age two, carried a huge book on ornithology* around with him — everywhere — when he was three and four, and memorized every basketball statistic worth knowing before graduating from grade one. But not everything came so easily. His socialization […]

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