A spirit gone, but enduring through lessons well taught

Bruce Webster defined how best to live life: with respect, humour, physical and intellectual rigour, and a willingness to take risks

A spirit gone, but enduring through lessons well taughtI packed my suitcase and dashed to the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal to join my wife and her family at the palliative care ward of the Nanaimo hospital. Four adult children and their mother were already around a bed in a private room with their dad and husband, Bruce Webster. By the time I arrived,…

The secret to a long marriage, Royal or otherwise

To make wedding wishes come true and wedding vows a reality for the long haul, spouses need to overcome the very human tendency to focus on the self

The secret to a long marriage, Royal or otherwiseQueen Elizabeth and Prince Philip just celebrated their platinum anniversary. That’s a milestone that few couples attain. While I’m not an expert on marriage (although I’ve been happily married for 35 years, half that of the Royal couple), I suspect the dream of a happy and long-lasting marriage is not any different today than 70…

Does getting older mean you’re wiser?

The untrained, uncontrolled mind can ruin our precious relationships and harden our hearts. Don’t listen to it

Does getting older mean you’re wiser?I attended a funeral recently where everyone felt uncomfortable. The atmosphere was thick and interactions felt totally artificial. We were acting like robots going through the motions – lips moving, hands shaking, legs walking. There was absolutely no heart communication. So do we get wiser as we age? If you think so, you probably forgot…

A Secret Santa challenge to one and all

Holiday gift-giving isn’t supposed to induce panic. Let's all scale back, reconnect, celebrate memories and build new traditions

A Secret Santa challenge to one and allThere was a moment, one Christmas morning not too long ago, when we realized we had overdone it. After opening our dozens of gifts, we couldn’t move from our seats around my sister’s living room. It had finally happened. We had too many gifts. It was an embarrassment of riches. As our children mature, they…

Women facing the ‘baby bounce’ have legal options

A pregnant woman facing termination or a mom coming off maternity leave who learns she won’t be rehired may have grounds for a human rights complaint

Women facing the ‘baby bounce’ have legal optionsWorking women constituted 47 per cent of the Canadian workforce in 2014, according to Statistics Canada. Women productively contribute to the economy as labourers and cabbies, business owners and engineers, and in countless other ways. So one should think all employers would regard their workplace contributions as important enough to retain them when they become…

Back to school: choosing wisely for your children

Independent schools achieve a better balance of good academic, civic, religious and spiritual outcomes

Back to school: choosing wisely for your childrenParents, what are the top three things to pack in your kid’s school bag? These days, back-to-school supplies like coloured pencils and geometry sets run a poor second place to YouTube. At the end of the summer vacation, when I checked out videos about the best hairstyles, the best first-day-back outfits and hacks for making…

A healthy marriage culture builds a thriving society

A healthy marriage contributes to family stability so there’s a need for recovery of the institution. But how?

A healthy marriage culture builds a thriving societyBy Andrea Mrozek and Peter Jon Mitchell Cardus You could sugar-coat the newly-released 2016 Census data on families, households and marital status by applauding the rise of family diversity in Canada. Yet family diversity is so often a euphemism for family breakdown, which is something that’s generally painful. A more honest take on the Statistics…

Summoning up the courage for the biggest question of all

The room was silent. All you could hear was the puppy protesting his exclusion from the gathering. But my daughter knew this day was coming

Summoning up the courage for the biggest question of allHe’s been preparing for this moment for months. Just as he does before a championship match, the professional fighter plans ahead by marking the date and moving backwards on the calendar. Sometimes he has weight to lose to drop him into the next class. He often has skills to work on, muscle to build, reflexes…

In the fight for kids’ attention, parents don’t stand a chance

Study shows Canadian kids see more than 25 million online food and beverage ads a year – mostly for junk food. It's time for that to end

In the fight for kids’ attention, parents don’t stand a chanceDear Parents, I’m writing you because you may be in the dark about the amount of unhealthy food and beverage marketing your children and teens are viewing. This isn’t your fault. It’s our reality. We’ve let food and beverage companies have a huge influence on our children. Twenty-five years ago, a parent might be expected…

Putting a stop to health care that lacks value

Choosing Wisely is helping obstetricians and gynecologists target reductions in unnecessary care that may harm patients and cost the Canadian health system

Putting a stop to health care that lacks valueBirth is the most common reason that Canadian women are hospitalized each year. It's also the root of unnecessary care. More than 350,000 babies were born in hospitals across the country last year. And the most common in-hospital surgery is caesarean section delivery, with approximately 100,000 performed annually. So obstetricians and gynecologists provide a lot of…