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Our most meaningful relationships are also our most complex.

I think we are most vulnerable and tender because we are attached to the outcome and that outcome is we all have the need to be loved.

That is the universal common thread in all of us.

It starts with our first love, which is our parents.

Our mother and father.

These are the first beings we meet in the world and they set the foundation for our experience of love. Not everyone’s experience is universal and the role of a ‘mother’ and ‘father’ can take on many different shapes and forms.

Every year as Mother’s and Father’s Day rolls around I have a quiet reflection. As both of my parents have passed I take the day to reflect on them and my relationship - past and present.

This past Father’s Day… was a little different and I will share why.

I was excited to see that my new favourite show, My Next Guest with David Letterman on Netflix had a new season starting.

He was speaking with Ryan Reynolds and the discussion of fathers came up. I always believed what you're looking for is looking for you.

This topic was what I have been looking for, for a very long time.

The question to Ryan, “do we ever really know our fathers?”

Was he really who I thought he was?

There is a shroud of mystery behind the man.

Something inaccessible about the father figure.

Something we crave, want to obtain and never quite reach.

Do we really know someone or is it what we imagined?

Do we ever get the really deep conversation of:

How are you, REALLY?

How do you FEEL?

Like a sense of never really knowing this person that has incredible power, as well flaws, that we never can discuss fully.

The moment changes when we lose them.

Perhaps when we are the age they pass or the age they have us.

We start to relate to them as human beings.

It is then we can start to understand and relate?

We perhaps begin comparing ourselves and how we are more the same than different.

We either try to be like them or decide early on to be completely different and to never walk the same path.

Do we somehow feel mad that they die and that some things are really never said?

That was a punch in the stomach…I never realized that the emotion was, yes, mad that they died. That's it…no going back and now trying to put the pieces together without all the clarity I need to get the full picture.

Ta Dah...a lightbulb moment.

The good news is, there really is no clear answer who my father is or was. It is how I feel about it now that matters and to find peace and acceptance is the only way. I know my father would want that for me.

What I found to be so fascinating and truly comforting is that it’s not just me feeling this way with so many questions about my father.

Is it a coincidence that Ryan Reynolds was speaking about his relationship with his father…or just this Saturday, I was listening to an interview with Jane Fonda, who is now in her 80’s, who has made peace with her fractured relationship with her late father, Henry Fonda.

Jane spoke that when she did the movie with her famous dad, On Golden Pond, life mirrored art. Her dad was dying in real life and they, to that point, never talked about how she felt like she was never good enough for her dad. All she wanted was to hear he loved her.

Jane explained that it was at that time she learned he would never change, and that we really never do. Her father was never going to give her what she needed, so she gave it to herself.

Jane told her father what she needed and accepted he was not able or would ever be able to give it to her.

The world works in mysterious ways…another coincidence that this interview was playing to me at that moment. I like to think of it as another message being sent to all of us. If you can not get what you need from others, give it to yourself. That compassion and understanding is something that comes with time.

Do we ever really know our loved ones?

It's never too late to try to find out.


Looking at Rick across a large oak table covered by architectural drawings of our dream beach house, I was forced to confront that jarring and surreal question. I’m 60 and Rick is 72.

Our ages never really mattered to us. It just wasn’t an issue, other than hearing the odd lighthearted joke among long-time friends. But looking across those diagrams, we knew the punchline had become a headline. Concerns about the age gap were suddenly tangible, suddenly real.

Rick and I met when I was in my 20s and he always shrugged off the 12-year difference by literally saying, “I’m your age, so it doesn’t matter.” Together, we spent decades pouring all our time and passion into building a successful cosmetics business. In the last few years I realized I wanted a gathering place for my friends and family so we could finally set aside the grind of being entrepreneurs and enjoy the companionship of our loved ones in a relaxed and beautiful space. We’d earned it and I’ve always wanted a beach house.

The lots on Georgian Bay are narrow. You must “build up” if you want more square footage, so naturally our plans called for a 3-storey home. In the moment that changed everything for us, we were pondering where to put a bathtub. To my surprise, Rick was the one who unwittingly shattered my age bubble when he said, “If we can’t climb stairs anymore, the guest room on the main floor can become our master bedroom.” Pardon me! As I stood staring at the drawings, I couldn’t process the statement.

My instantaneous thought was: “I’m always going to be able to climb stairs so what the hell are you talking about?” Today, when I think of “old” I think of someone who’s 90 or 100, but not my husband’s age. Yet here HE was, my youthful husband suddenly being Mr. Pragmatic after 30 years of zestful living. I remember when I was a kid thinking that my grandmother used to look ancient to me. Back then, everyone thought that once you turned 65, you retired and you're dead. That’s what kids assumed, or at least I did.

So here’s me, now in my 60s, listening to a benign discussion about a main floor guest bedroom escalate into a crisis that was about to get even more out of hand. Cue Rick again - “Maybe we need to plan for an elevator,” he casually asserted.


I wondered if I was witnessing my loving husband surrender and give up the bubble of invincibility that had insulated us for all these years. Then again, it’s also Rick being his pragmatic self by displaying his adorable wisdom. Or…are we actually old now because our conversations revolve around future challenges presented by stairs and whether getting an elevator is simply pretentious or a smart decision? It was a jolt like I had never experienced. Thing is, the questions were logical, but my reaction was all emotion and bereft of logic. I started doing more math and quickly added the years it’s going to take to complete plans, get permits, and construct the beach house because of COVID delays and suddenly Rick is 75 and I’m 63. Sigh.

I’ve always believed aging is a beautiful thing, even if you don’t resemble the indomitable Maye Musk. My motto is “beauty is difference,” and I mean that with all my heart. Age has brought me confidence, experience, strength and resolve. So, as I gaze at Rick with a measure of disbelief at his utterance of the word “elevator,” I also know that I love him even more at that moment…and because of that moment. As always, he’s looking out for us by being proactive and positive and hopeful of the many years we will share on the beach with our family and friends.

Now, when we show our friends and family the plans for the beach house, we silently giggle a bit as we explain that the main floor guest room might become our master bedroom. Everyone understands what the admission really means at its core. Yes, we are getting older. But that doesn’t mean we are old.

In the end, we decided against the elevator. We need the space for a workout room and wine cellar.

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