WTF Wednesday 07:
 Celebrating Myrna Ain

My friend Myrna is powerful, tuned in, courageous and clear-sighted. She has a quick and hearty laugh, a devilish grin and an earthy steadiness that makes problems quake.

Myrna listens. Myrna cares. She proposes innovative solutions. And she’s up for fun. Her deep knowledge, wide open wonder and outstanding communication skills make her an exhilarating conversationalist. And she gracefully stands her ground with composure and respect.

She’s a teacher, a public speaker, a mediator, a survivor, an explorer of ideas and a proud, supportive Bubbie and aunt. She revels in great art and coffee. She can cultivate a jungle. She responds to grating actions without severing the source.

Myrna is open about life’s undulations.
She’s a generous, thoughtful mentor and friend.

Myrna’s company and guidance have steered me through parenting, personal and extended family chaos. And her weeklong hostings of our teen- and tween-age girls have been priceless gifts of rest, refreshment and mentoring for our entire little clan.

In The Beginning

Myrna and I met at my freaked out worst. 1996ish. At one of many stressful gatherings of my extended eventual-inlaws.

High stakes, large numbers, rigid formality and drastically unfamiliar family dynamics combined with my debilitating social anxiety to make those gatherings pure agony.

Myrna and I interacted almost exclusively under such conditions for over a decade and, though I neither coped nor presented well, Myrna chose to see me with soft eyes. She took the time to gently peel past my stiffness, to engage authentically, to share her similarities, her wisdom, her acceptance, her humour and heart. And very naturally, despite the bewilderment I caused the remaining clan, Myrna carved a safe space for me in a foreign and overwhelming new tribe.

Epic Then

In the early days, outside large family functions, Myrna and I enjoyed occasional, lively telephone chats.

Myrna and Mark’s Uncle Ken also treated our little family to weekends of warmth and hospitality at their Toronto home.

 

Epic Now

These days, Myrna and I exchange can’t-wait news, learnings and reactions by text message. We share daily happenings on facebook. We connect on Skype as regularly as possible. And Myrna generously accepts my phone calls, when I’m in need of advice.

Best of all, we get together two or three times a year — our little family and hers — to explore Toronto and enjoy good food, captivating conversation and enthusiastic swapping of learnings, wonderings and dreams.

 

University of Myrna

If only I could master all Myrna has to teach. Her huge stores of knowledge and experience. Her tact. Her confidence. Her grace under fire. Her curriculum is certainly comprehensive. I’m just lucky to be enrolled.

Myrna’s example and mentoring all these years have helped me find the me I am. It’s softened me and strengthened me and helped me stand steady and tall. Her delicate tackling of intra-family stickiness has humbled and aroused me. Her attentive respect for our girls has shepherded me back from unhealthy paths. Her fortitude in the face of loss, and the beauty, strength and serenity she cultivated for her loved ones during tragedy, are gifts of perspectives and possibilities that continue to stir my soul.

I’m a better me because Myrna’s in my life.

Fantasy Fabulosity

If I could magically conjure a next adventure with Myrna, I would pick a week of serenity and splendour in Sedona, AZ.

While Mark and the unimaginably harmonious teens explored the region, pinpointing delicious eateries and lining up evening destinations, Myrna and I would enjoy a heavenly three day meditation retreat. The venue would be breathtaking. The meals, exquisite. And the program, positively transformational.

We’d emerge renewed. Shimmering with creative energy. And the five of us, in various combinations, would spend the remainder of the week spellbound by every reachable canyon, cliff and vortex.

Rattlesnake encounters would be absolutely zero.
Scorpion and tarantula count, the same.
Bliss score would be eleven out of ten.

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WhatI’m Thankful For.
Why They’re Fab.
What Terrific Folk.
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