Feeling Like a Kid Again – Nova Scotia, Canada

Flying a jetpack, seeing a wonder of the world, sleeping on the beach, taking a helicopterFamily Travel flight lesson, giving birth, finding the best Italian restaurant, volunteering for a new organization, and seeing immediate family may seem like an odd grouping, but it’s just part of my 2012 Bucket List. It wasn’t until this month that I’ve been able to accomplish one of the most important items (Obviously under delivering my baby girl). On July 7th, 2012, I returned to eastern Canada so Athena could meet her family. The complete happiness that filled my grandfather as he held her in his arms for the first time was one of the most memorable moments of my life; the look on my mother’s face when she gazed into Athena’s eyes warmed my heart; and watching my little sister, Gabriella, play with Athena like I played with her made me feel like I was in the Lion King and listening to Mufasa talk about the circle of life. Although only number 7 on my 2012 Bucket List, seeing all of my immediate family was one of the greatest highlights of the year.  

My grandparents live in Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia and they were the first stopping point. My grandfather, who has taught me more in life than any other single person, recently had a triple bypass and at 9 months pregnant, I couldn’t be at his side. It was the first time in my life that we didn’t stand tall together in times of distress. While trying to remain calm to avoid complications during pregnancy, my heart was breaking. Three and a half months later, we were standing on his doorstep. Weak and tired, his entire presence changed as he lifted her from my arms. He instantly became 20 years younger and his pain slipped away. A sigh of relief escaped my lungs. I had my grandfather back.

A similar feeling consumed me as my mother rocked Athena to sleep during their first day together. She held her with such as ease and relaxed manner that Athena couldn’t help but feel complete peace. My mother has a way with children and life that I aspire to achieve. Thinking about the beautiful relationship between my mother and I filled me with hope and excitement for what is to come with Athena.

Then, there’s Gabriella. I remember when she was as tiny as Athena, when she looked up at me with those inquisitive eyes, when she held my hand as we crossed the street, when she caught her first fish…. I was 21 years old when my mother told me she was pregnant with Gabriella. She marked the 6 child in the Samways family and she was obviously a surprise, but she has given all of us more joy and happiness than humanly possible. At 10 years old, she’s a confidant, a best friend, a sister, and a gift from heaven to my entire family. Athena’s smile burst from the seams every time Gabriella looked at her. They were lost in their own little world together and I was proud to witness it.

Seeing Athena with all of my family surprisingly made me feel like a kid again. All of the precious memories that I had with my grandmother came flooding back when I heard her sing foolish songs to Athena; and taking care of my sister, Suzanne was reflected back as she interacted with her new niece as I interacted with her. My family taught me that life is worth living and it’s full of limitless possibilities. It’s because of my family that I continue to live my dreams and now I get to experience them with Athena, and Darren, at my side.

77 thoughts on “Feeling Like a Kid Again – Nova Scotia, Canada

  1. Sweet and tender. What a joy to bring all these generations together. Your grandparents, who mean so much to you gained so much through the time you spent with them. Beautiful family. You remind us that no matter how scattered we are, it’s important to connect while everyone still can.


  2. How good to know you are so accomplished. I never had a bucket list. All I had was a piece of paper with desires counting under 10. You are so different but so endearing to know. May you be blessed. 🙂


  3. Lovely post … there are 17yrs between me and my youngest brother; 10 between him and my daughter (just as you have with Gabriella and Athena) – I always think of these ‘semi generations’ as being quite special; the connections that grow. My children are closer in age to my brother; more like friends, but despite the 17yrs he is my best man friend.


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  5. stopping by for the first time. i’m impressed by your bucket list. not only by how much of it you’ve already accomplished but also the awesome and unique things that are on it. i may have to make one for myself. it’s inspiring!


  6. OOOooOOO CONGRAUTLATIONS!!! Both your daughters are beautiful – and these pictures of them are adorable! You’ve done many incredible things on your bucket list (I may have to steal a few ideas for mine), but childbirth is one of the most amazing!!


  7. Lesley, thanks for consistently reading and liking my blog. I’ve been here many times but never written anything, so I just want you to know I appreciate it. Your blog is fantastic and a great inspiration. This post is especially lovely and I’m glad to see you happy with your family together (even though it makes me miss my family more now).
    Thanks for sharing!
    R xx


  8. Lovely photos! We recently visited my family after a health scare that nearly took my Grandmother’s life earlier this year. On top of that, my Grandfather has cancer and is currently going through chemo. They have both had some rough times this year, but it was so good to see them hold my 6 month old daughter Daphne. My Grandpa’s face lit up like I haven’t seen in years. It was amazing.


  9. This sounds like a beautiful experience and I can feel love emiting from it like golden warm sunshine. Thank you for sharing.

    As I wasn’t able to follow up with all your recent blog posts, yet, I also wish to congratulate you for the birth of your beautiful daughter and say:
    Welcome to this great world, Athena! May your life be filled with love, beauty, wonder and courage and the knowingness that everything you may need is already there for you. Always.

    Much love to all of you!


  10. Yes! Life is worth living. I loved the pictures of your family and the love that you show towards them. Congratulations! I’m a big bucket list person… I have a lot of weight to lose then I will do a lot of things again in life and hope to share all those pictures. Thanks for sharing your life.


  11. Congrats! I’m so happy for you and your family, and seeing everything you’ve accomplished in just one year is an inspiration! 🙂


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