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"Just A Note" © Rolly A. Chabot

Updated on March 23, 2013


The Fireside is crackling, it is some chilly out there and here we thought this was all over. I must tell you a little tired of this winter stuff and I can understand why half of Canada heads South for the winter months. There was a time when I thought they were all crazy but I have been having a change of mind, especially this winter. We have been having this since the third week in October and people here in this little community are starting to get a little stir crazy.

Yesterday I was out walking Quigley and when I said good day to someone their eyes glazed over and they grumbled, "What is so good about it." I got me to thinking a little, well actually a whole lot about what is good about any day and the need to find as much good as we can.

Memories is what I would like to chatter about today. We all have them and when we find those days when nothing is going right, well dig into the memory bank and take out a withdrawal. While you are at it take the time to brighten the day of the person who is maybe not having a great one. In this case pick up the snow shovel and lend a hand, if only for a minute or two help out with a task of any kind. Before long that same person is bending down to pet the infamous Quigley. She can melt the heart of the most hardened. She does it with joy that is filled with love. What can we learn from Quigley, well I can tell you a great deal.

So all gather round, what ever you can find help yourself. I think Hot Chocolate is on order for the day but there is coffee and tea, snacks are in limited supply. If you are hungry well there is the fridge, just help yourself. No matter what I want you to know that you are dearly loved here at the Fireside, so come and settle in while I slip back into some memories.



I would like to introduce my Mom to you. Her name is "Tiny," as she is affectionately named. My Dad was the one that tagged her with that name. It is actually Delphine, but the name Tiny comes from the fact she never made it over 5 feet in her entire life. Years ago Mom and Dad and I were in a mall and Dad and I lost Mom. We found her standing in a group of football players who were doing a promo for the team. It was comical as Mom hardly be seen among these monsters. What caught my attention was one of them called out loudly "Careful boys don't step on the lady" She was in in her glory, in later years one of them became the leader of the Government here in Alberta Canada and she had a picture of them standing together.

Memories are many with Mom, she had a big heart and tolerated me the angel in the family when none other would. She could be stern when she had to be and yet no matter there was love. Life was not easy for Mom while she was young, Grandfather was definitely the ruler of the home. Sometimes Mom would be the same with us. Was t because she did not love us, no certainly not. It was what she had been taught as a child. Mom was a member in a family of 16 if you can imagine. It was the French Catholic way at the time. Poor Grandmother at the time never knew what it was like to be without a child inside and another nursing I am sure. Mom was the tenth child and today there are only two remaining.

It was not until later in life did Mom share with me her hurts. She said to me once she could only remember her Dad ever once taking her into his arms and offering love and comfort during the time of loss of her loved brother. As I sit here in the wee hours of the morning I for the life of me can not fathom a father missing out on the love of a child.

Grandfather was hard even with us grandchildren. It was somewhat hard to visit as children as we were to be seen and not heard. I can recall one Christmas getting a handmade bobsled from him that became the envy of the town. You see people can be as hard as nails and yet have a heart of gold tucked away inside.

The areas for me as a child where there was maybe a lack of affection shown were more than rewarded in the gifts that Mom gave. Christmas would be special and we all looked forward to the handmade coats she would sew for hour on end. Dolly sings of a coat of many colours, well Moms may not have been of many colours but you know they were made with love. Mom and Dad made a good team, were one maybe slipped the other would take up the reins. We were blessed.



Today Mom lives in a fog of memories that have been misplaced. It is hard to watch a once very talented accomplished artist stumble over words in her attempts to speak what she would like. Dementia is a horrid illness for us to watch. To begin with I would watch Mom struggle to and become frustrated not being able to vocalize what she had on her mind.

Today I watch and listen to her speak half French and half English and carry on a conversation and I can carry on a conversation with her she thinks is normal, yet in essence makes little or no sense. When I use a French word that does not quite line up with what she knows she laughs.

It is these very special moments when she reaches out with both hands and takes my face into them and speaks of how proud she is of me that truly count. They are the tender moments I missed out on as a child and they mean so very much to me no matter the language she uses it means the same. There is nothing more powerful to any of us than the words of love.

As a Pastor I have been given the privilege of consecrating the elements of bread and wine or juice into the body and blood of Christ. It is a part of most faiths today along with prayer. When I do so with Mom there is a peace and a calm that comes over her I hold so dear as she partakes and I see her so blessed. What more could any child no matter the age ask for but to see peace come over a parent. I so treasure those moments with her.

For years as a child they prayed that one of their sons or daughters would be ordained into the Priesthood or religious order. Both Mom and Dad were a part of the day where I was ordained as a Pastor. To me it was a point and time where I had reached a point of answered prayer they had given so often over the years. For those of you who are Christians I was able to lead both Mom and Dad in the prayer of salvation. It was a blessing knowing today where my Dad is. He passed away in 2005 and poor Mom even today weeps at the mention of his name. They had 63 years of married life together. What a lesson in love and faith it has been for us children.



There Were Many

Mom was always rather feisty when it came to sticking up for the underdog. A bit of an advocate for defending what she believed in. Sometimes she would be wrong and maybe not have all the facts but she would still stick to her guns and speak out.

She struggled with technology, just about the time Blue Ray came out Mom was getting the VCR figured out. One year I bought her a DVD Player to simplify things or so I thought at least. I hooked it up, programed it on one remote for her. We sat for the longest time and practiced over and over again. I drove the three hours back home and she called to tell me she just loved the show she had been watching. I was pleased, no mishaps.

The story changed the next day because I had left the manual with her and she decided she had to tweak things a little. I managed to get all working again over the phone and suggested she just leave things the way they were. She called again and said it was broken a few days later and I discovered she had put the disc in upside down. Well we got that figured then came my mischievous when I told her to remember to rewind the DVD each time. You could hear papers rattling in the background and she wanted to write it all down. I told her she had to push the # 9 on the remote every time she was done. It took her a few years before she learned what I was up too.


The Best and Getting Caught Look

Dad and I were much alike. He was the master of setting people up and having fun. Poor mom over the years of his doings and yet she took it all in stride.

When computers first came out and we started to us email rather than snail mail mom was sitting and reading about how the Post Office was concerned about all the loss of revenue and what they may have to do combat the loss of business. Like I said mom was a bear cat when it came to government and taxes and the likes.

I thought it might be a good time to step in and add a little fuel to the fire. I told her the government was going to start charging us for "Email Stamps." Now like I said mom was a little challenged Techie world but she did know that us four children sent plenty of emails. Immediately she jumped up and was going to do battle for her kids.

I told here there was a period of a months grace and we could by these email stamps at the Post Office for a reduced rate for the next 30 days. The following morning with dad in tow (I was already 3 hours south) she stepped up to the stamp wicket and demanded she wanted to buy email stamps at the reduced rate. Dad told me later the cashier near lost it but told mom they were out. I guess dad was laughing so hard in the back ground tears were flowing down his face.

It took a few years before I was busted again. All in all we did have some fun at Mom's expense but she would just laugh and glare at me or Dad.

Yes memories, good and back can help to ground us again when the going gets hard sometimes. I look at this small lady today and think of all the things she has seen in her life and yet she still has a smile that can warm the heart.

A few years ago when this all started there was a great deal of anger and frustration not being able to express herself. Today I see she has peace, it has been my prayer all along and I see they have been answered. Her memories are faded, her worries none because she knows Gods ultimate love for her. What more could a child want for his parent, I gives me peace knowing she is at peace. It is those little moments of recognition that make the long drives to see her worthwhile. Even to just sit and hold her hand and know she knows she is loved is what counts.

© Rolly A. Chabot

Mom Song... for us all


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    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi anniebetty... sorry for the delay in getting back to you. It has been a busy week and it is a blessing to hear that this little hub touched and sparked some of the old and important things for you.

      In todays fast paced world of family work and technology it is not hard to lose track of values and what truly is important... Thank you for the thoughtful comment...

      Hugs from Canada

    • anniebetty profile image

      anniebetty 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Beautiful. Makes me think of my grandmother, Ellen, who died beautifully at almost 101 years old. Stories make us who we are, and remembering our stories does ground us when things feel like they are getting out of control. Thank you.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi CrisSp... look at this four weeks behind in saying hello and answering the much appreciated comment.

      I certainly hope things do slow for you. Working in the air has given you many more miles than most of us... Stay well and it will be good to see you back here again...

      Hugs and Man Blessings

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Sue... Thanks for the visit and spending time with Mom... she is a gem and yes Love is a powerful word...

      Hugs from Alberta (Tossed in an extra)

    • profile image

      Sueswan 5 years ago

      Hi Rolly,

      What a beautiful and heartfelt tribute to your mom. She may be tiny in stature but I can see she had a big heart and strong character.

      "There is nothing more powerful to any of us than the words of love."


      God bless

      Hugs from Toronto

      Voted up and sharing

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 5 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Rolly dear, despite the keen seriousness of your hub, in which I literally cried, you also managed to put some smile in my heart. I love your silliness on "the government was going to start charging us for "Email Stamps." Lol!

      Well, you always touch your readers heart and we love you for that. I've been missing a lot these days on HP and thanks to Audra for putting this link on FB. I'm finding it hard to catch up on my reading--flying is crazy since March break. I can't wait for the schedules to die down a bit, so I could sit down and enjoy my reading and hubbing.

      What a wonderful tribute to "mommy Tiny" --cuteness galore on her name and the photos in here are lovely. I thoroughly enjoyed this hub and the video.

      Voting up and will share the goodness.

      Love from the sky~

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Jackie... another character... good on you and like you I knew the bad side of a good spanking... lol. Yes dementia is a terrible thing and robs everyone close in its path. It is a hard thing to watch and yet as I have said before. All I do is wait for those special moments...

      Hugs and much love

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi aviannovice ... thanks for the visit and I have been told the region you speak of has many Chabot's. Grandfather immigrated to Canada as a child, then to Rhode Island. Both Grandmother and him were weivers by trade. When Dad was 11 they come North again to Canada and settled in northern Alberta where they carved a living from homestead land.

      There were three brothers of Grandfathers, one started the cranberry bogs in Mass. From what I have been told it was the start of Ocean Spray but it has not been confirmed. The other brother headed over to Washington and did the same then became a Irrigation and drainage cannel engineer. He eventually settled in CA and Chabot College was named after him.

      Hugs and Blessings

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi AliciaC for the kind words and caring hear you have.... too often in life I think we bypass the many blessings that are around us on a day to day bases. It is good to slow and ponder where we have come from...

      Hugs b=from the North

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi lrc7815 my dear friend, it is part of the journey and the frustration they feel. Some cases are more severe than others. Mom went through more what I would call frustration than anger. I began to pray that she would find peace and a few months later it slowly started to change.

      It is an illness that leaves little hope and the answer for us who stand on the outside is to have hope and simply love. For the perso who at one time was in complete control of their lives and facilities only to have it taken away, it is understanding. Taking photo albums, familiar music and familiar things to share even if it means over and over again for us can bring a sense of peace for them... Know that you are dearly loved for what you do... your dad can still be your rock... stay strong in what you are doing.

      Special hugs from Canada

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Anna... hugs my dear friend... hold those heart memories you have close and never let them go. Thanks for the heartfelt comment...

      Special hugs coming your way...

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Eric... it has always been a blessing to know that we are loved... even better to give back in later years...

      Hugs from Canada

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Faith Reaper... i is important all we know understand we love them. It is hard to watch them slowly slip away but there are those moments they come back and it is profound when it happens...

      Hugs and Blessings to you and yours...

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      So many smiles reading this. My mom had Dementia or Alzheimer's and I can relate to all you say here. Funny though, your tricks reminded me of a time in Mom's younger years when we would trick each other all the time and I came in one day while she was doing clothes and thought to hide behind the washroom door to scare her and had no sooner got there than I remembered she had been having some heart issues and that I had better not so I had my hands over my mouth wondering what to do when she saw me and when she screamed I did too! I mean I hadn't said boo even! After she got over it and I explained she forgave me after she hit me a few times, lol.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Ah, with your name I was wondering if you were French Canadian, and now I know. I lived for a few years in Biddeford, Maine, which had many French Canadians. We lived just outside Old Orchard Beach, where many Canadians liked to visit for the summer. I also remember a friend that used to make the best whoopie pies...yes, those were good memories, too. It was always common practice to inter mingle French with English there, so it was normal ways of the world. I just didn't speak French.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a very beautiful and very touching hub, Rolly. It's also a wonderful tribute to your mother. Dementia is a horrible disease. My thoughts are with you and your mother.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi drbj... thank you for the kind words and I certainly wil pass along a hug and your comment. Thank you for the visit my friend... did I mention I love you right back my dear...

      Hugs, Blessings and much love...

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

      Rolly, I am at a loss for meaningful words. The love you expressed for your Mom is palpable. There are tears streaming down my face as I write because I am so happy that your Mom has found her peace. My Dad is lost in the clouds of Alzheimer's. Before he became lost, I knew and trusted that he had found his peace too. The Alzheimer's has affected him in ways I never dreamed and for now, he is angry and paranoid and I find myself wondering if there is any peace at all in his mind. What a horrid disease this is. My heart aches for any family that has to face it.

      Thank you for writing about your Mom. We have to bring attention and awareness for these mind altering illnesses and the effect they have on families. And, we have to be supportive of each other as we make this journey into the unknown. I will keep you and Tiny in my thoughts and prayers. I know how hard it is. My Dad was my rock for 55 years and now, it is my turn to be his. I can only hope he feels the love because he is past the point of being able to express it.

      This was beautifully written but hard to read. Still, I am honored to meet your Mom and to have a window of insight into your journey. Peace be with you.

    • AnnaCia profile image

      AnnaCia 5 years ago

      Hi Rolly. This is an awesome hub. I do not even know how to express myself after reading your words. I think about my mother and father; the past, the present; the childhood memories and the actual ones. I am so far away from my parents, at the same time, they are so close to my heart. Your story bring tears to my eyes because it is so natural and real. Thank you.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Wonderful Song. As a fellow yet lower pastor and a grateful child of my mommy and Mutti, German and English, It was awesome sharing Eucharist in her releasing years. She was proud of my as lawyer but no so much as a pastor.

      Thank you so much Rolly.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 5 years ago from southern USA

      Dearest Rolly, thank you for this beautiful heartfelt piece here and sharing about your precious mother. Dementia is very difficult, as my mother had it too. She is blessed to have you as a loving son. It is very important that those in our lives know that we love them and exhibit that love for them no doubt. The human touch . . . the real human touch, goes such a long way, and with you just sitting there holding your mother's hand, I am sure she knows of your sweet love for her.

      It is also interesting to read of your family dynamics and you being a pastor and all. Thank you for a glimpse into that part of your life.

      Enjoyed this read here this day.

      Voted up ++++ and sharing

      God bless you. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Thank you, Rolly, for sharing these memories with us. You remind us how important it is to tell those we love them that we love them - out LOUD! Give your sweet Mom special hug from me and tell her I admire her and her son.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Morning Billy... thank you my friend for the blessing you have left here this morning. Thanks for shovelling the snow on the way in...

      Hugs, love and much respect from Canada

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Morning Wayne... great to see you at the Fireside and what a blessing to read of the growth and sweet opportunities you as a family had to break from the past the way you did. Touching to read of it... thank you for sharing. May it be an inspiration for others to follow...

      Hugs from Canada

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      That was beautiful, Rolly! For me to say any more would be a distraction from the original thought....just beautiful.

      blessings from Oly


    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas

      As humans we are born with the capacity to love but we have to learn to express that love through others...sometimes those lessons come through words and sometimes silently through actions but either way they say, "I love you". You have offered many examples throughout life of that very fact in this emotional piece. My dad had difficulty speaking of his love for us kids for no one ever showed him how in his growing up...these things get passed on through generations. Still, his actions toward us sent the message loud and clear. In his later years, I began to force myself to say "I love you" outloud to he and mom. They responded in kind...rather awkwardly at first but they more times that we heard each other say it the more comfortable and comforting those words became right up to the end when my dad passed away in 2007. He departed knowing that he was loved because we all said it outloud so many times. Thanks much for stirring my own memories with this excellent piece. ~WB

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Eddy... Thank you for the kind words... So often we forget to look at the many blessings we have and sadly unless we enjoy them what is right before us we miss the many.

      Hugs and Blessings my friend

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      How wonderful to share this part of your life with you Rolly ; your mother sure is a gem and it was so rewarding to feel the warmth in your words .

      Take care Rolly and have a wonderful weekend.


    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Morning Carol... hugs for finding something here. Interesting observation here... pondering another hub now...

      Hugs from Canada and many Blessings attached.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      I enjoyed reading about part of your life. You share everything so beautifully. A lovely tribute to your mom and what a loving and caring son you are. Sometimes people are not able to show a vulnerable side to themselves, but it doesn't mean they don't feel. By controlling emotions some people feel they won't have them. Great up+++sharing.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Good Morning Audra... I see you are up early as well... silly I rolled out at 2:34 AM, coffee and some quiet time seemed to go hand in hand this morning.

      Glad you found something here that spoke to you. You are so very observant and I think rather right on the mark. Finding the good in all things keeps us balanced. Fail to do so and before long your attitude and emotions go sideways. Things like, "I wish it would stop raining." Really but look at the trees and the grass that are so happy and will warm your heart with their fullness when the sun shines."

      It is all about attitude, let it rain and what the heck dance and splash in the puddles....

      Hugs and Blessings from Canada

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Good Morning Sannel... Glad you were able to have the first cup of coffee with us this morning... maybe next time I will have some snacks. Yes I was a lucky child in many ways. Mom and I did have our indifferences at times like all children and parents.

      Now I can smile about some of those and say yes she was always right. So glad you enjoyed this my friend. Please do stop around any time you like. The door is always open and the welcome mat is out...

      Hugs from Canada as always

    • profile image

      AudraLeigh 5 years ago

      So, I am listening to the song on the great...AND unexpected! You should put that at the beginning!

      Maybe not.

      I read your piece before the video and it bew me away. A few quotes captured me as I was moved sincerly. 1. "find as much good as we can

      2. "memories" (not a quote exactly, but a good segway 3. "brighten the day of the person who is maybe not having a great one"

      Quote important one for you and for me! In the midst of caos in my mind...I try to do just that! You do too! I see it in your writing and in your feedback and general comments. I especially see it in your words when you talk about #2 ; memories...your Mom and life (love the mall story inside the seriousness of the article... totally understanding and empathize on many levels. #3 Brightening day.../We can do our best to do for others and ourselves...and so much more.

      Thank you Rolly, thank you!

    • profile image

      Sannel 5 years ago

      Such a beautiful tribute to your dear Mom. I truly enjoyed reading about her and your mischievousness. . .oh, Rolly, you're so bad! Lol! It brings so much joy hearing what a loving and caring upbringing you had. Not only where you part of a family with much love, but also a great deal of laughs. Such a wonderful combination. You're so blessed. Thank you for

      giving us a chance to get acquainted with your sweet Mom. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this lovely read.



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