Monthly Archive for July, 2015

Inspirational mother creates a legacy for daughter

The “feel good” story below has a sad element – the mother is dying of breast cancer and creates a collection of cards for her daughter…

It got me thinking about people who regret not spending more (quality) time with their families while they could… That, in my view is just as sad. Sometimes, you think you would “like to” spend more time with friends and family, but truthfully, you don’t. That is different than wanting to spend time that you don’t have, in this case because of a terminal illness.

I advise all my clients and friends that they must say what needs to be said because you just never know if another opportunity will come to actually say it. Once relieved of the burden, you will feel the freedom to be – authentic and genuine – without restraint.

Try it and see what happens. At least you have the option. Some people aren’t so lucky/fortunate.

A great movie that had a similar theme is “P.S. I love You“, released in 2007.



What will your legacy be?

Will it be as funny as this one published in The Star.

STOCKS, Mary Patricia (nee Morris) —Pat Stocks, 94, passed away peacefully at her home in bed July 1, 2015. It is believed it was caused from carrying her oxygen tank up the long flight of stairs to her bedroom that made her heart give out. She left behind a hell of a lot of stuff to her daughter and sons who have no idea what to do with it. So if you’re looking for 2 extremely large TV’s from the 90s, a large ceramic stork (we think) umbrella/cane stand, a toaster oven (slightly used) or even a 2001 Oldsmobile with a spoiler (she loved putting the pedal to the metal), with only 71,000 kilometers and 1,000 tools that we aren’t sure what they’re used for. You should wait the appropriate amount of time and get in touch. Tomorrow would be fine.

This is not an ad for a pawn shop, but an obituary for a great Woman, Mother, Grandmother and Great-Grandmother born on May 12, 1921 in Toronto, the daughter of the late Pop (Alexander C.) and Granny (Annie Nigh) Morris. She leaves behind a very dysfunctional family that she was very proud of. Pat was world-renowned for her lack of patience, not holding back her opinion and a knack for telling it like it is. She always told you the truth even if it wasn’t what you wanted to hear. It was the school of hard knocks and yes we were told many times how she had to walk for miles in a blizzard to get to school, so suck it up.
With that said she was genuine to a fault, a pussy cat at heart (or lion) and yet she sugar coated nothing. Her extensive vocabulary was more than highly proficient at knowing more curse words than most people learned in a lifetime. She liked four letter words as much as she loved her rock garden and trust us she LOVED to weed that garden with us as her helpers, when child labour was legal or so we were told. These words of encouragement, wisdom, and sometimes comfort, kept us in line, taught us the “school of hard knocks” and gave us something to pass down to our children.
Everyone always knew where you stood with her. She liked you or she didn’t, it was black or white. As her children we are still trying to figure out which one it was for us (we know she loved us). She was a master cook in the kitchen. She believed in overcooking everything until it chewed like rubber so you would never get sick because all germs would be nuked. Freezing germs also worked, so by Friday our school sandwiches were hard and chewy, but totally germ free. All four of us learned to use a napkin. You would pretend to cough, spit the food into it and thus was born the Stocks diet. If anyone would like a copy of her homemade gravy, we would suggest you don’t.
She will be sorely missed and survived by her brother George Morris, children: Shauna (Stocks) Perreault, Paul/Sandy (Debbie) Stocks and Kirk Stocks, son-in-law Ian Milnes and son from another mother, John McCleery, grandchildren: Lesley (Sean), Lindsay (Lucas), Ashley (James), David (Tia), Brett, Erin (Brian), Sean, Alex, Courtney and Taylor and great-grandchildren: Connor, Emily, Ainsley, Tyler and Jack. She was preceded in death by her loving husband Paul (Moo) Stocks and eldest daughter Shelley (Stocks) Milnes and beloved pets Tag, Tag, Tag and Tag. All whom loved her dearly and will never forget her tenacity, wit, charm, grace (when pertinent) and undying love and caring for them.
Please give generously to “in memory”. A private family ‘Celebration of Life’ will be held, in lieu of a service, due to her friends not being able to attend, because they decided to beat her to the Pearly Gates. Please note her change of address to her new place of residence, St John’s York Mills Anglican Church, 19 Don Ridge Drive, 12 doors away from Shelley’s place.
This of course is all tongue-in-cheek and we have to believe Mary would get a good laugh out of it. On a more serious note, we are all destined to have an obituary written about us — one day. Without being morbid, what would you like yours to say?
Now is the time for you to create that legacy, the memories that people will recall once you are no longer around. What would you like them to say about you, your life, your virtues, your vices?
Take the time while you have it, to create the life you will be proud of, the legacy that will outlive you and endure for generations to come.


You’re more than $27,000 ahead if you don’t smoke!

According to a Danish study as reported in the July 11th edition of The Economist Magazine, the lifetime benefits to men who give up smoking at 35 are around €25,000 ($27,400), most of that in increased productivity. So if you never smoked in the first place… It’s even more than that.

So what’s the moral of this story? Well, there are a few.

  1. First, smoking is a disgusting, repulsive habit. (Does my bias show?)
  2. Second, it is well understood that it’s an expensive habit for “society” that is stuck dealing with all the health costs associated with it. Less well understood are the costs allocated to the individual. The article in The Economist quantifies it scientifically at more than $27,000. I venture to say it’s much higher than that in lost (social and professional) opportunity costs.
  3. Social opportunity costs can be simply summarised by a comment overheard at a coffee shop recently. “Mate, when I kissed her, it tasted like the bottom of an ashtray… Don’t get me wrong, she was gorgeous, but no one’s that attractive!”
  4. Professional opportunity costs are similar. I know for a fact that employers won’t admit publicly that they shun smokers, but they do. Many now are searching social media to confirm a candidate’s non-smoking status prior to short listing prospective interviewees.

I am not advocating the removal of all vices – just this one. It’s a disgusting, repulsive habit that is costly to you and society with no redeeming qualities or benefits that can’t be acquired otherwise.  If you don’t quit, you’re in for a lot more than $27,000.*

* The benefits alluded to in the Danish study do not take into consideration the costs associated with the purchase of the cigarettes that could be put to much better use… But that is another discussion for another day.

Inspirational Quote: Montreal gets into the swing of it!

Bus stop swing Montreal

A bus stop in Montreal