Day 20 – Postcards from the Heart

Looking at this postcard and the seven pictures that go with it I can tell that I was in a hurry when I wrote it. I have tried to reproduce it exactly as the original postcard looked. There is no date, no greeting, no sign off, several abbreviations and its basically in point form. That in itself tells a tale. I remember it was at a time when I knew if I wanted Mom to see these pictures I didn’t have the time to send them one by one.

The first picture was taken in December 2020, the next six were all November 2020. Liz has a zillion more colourful and varied pictures of Russ since this time, but this is what I had chosen to have developed for Mom. They look good in this format but some of these will be best shown, perhaps you could even say, “AMAZING” in the coffee table book we are working on creating with Liz.

This set of pictures comprises the 20th of 22 posts of this series “Postcards from the Heart”. The entire series contains photos taken by Liz Griffin Photography, used as a way to share my life and my thoughts with my mom while she dealt with her cancer reality.



-its core to his identity

-I think being a mother is core to your identity and I wonder if seeing that in you has allowed me to embrace that for myself. I believe my call in life is not primarily ministry, but to create a family…. to be “Mom”. I ❤ it!!

The pics 1. Morgan, cousin Laurie + Russ in the morning sun.

2. Russ + Clarence at the back of the herd.

3. 4 hooves off the ground! Dirt flying!

4. Russ – pleased by something🙂!

5. Maddie, David Powell, Knightwing, Russ + Bingo – rounding cows out of the bushes in our rented “River Pasture”.

6. The snow that made for epic pictures.

7. Russ, hot on the trail + 65 lbs heavier than he is now.

Morgan, cousin Laurie + Russ in the morning sun.

Russ + Clarence at the back of the herd.

4 hooves off the ground! Dirt flying!

Russ – pleased by something!

Maddie, David Powell, Knightwing, Russ + Bingo – rounding cows out of the bushes in our rented “River Pasture”.

The snow that made for epic pictures.

Russ, hot on the trail + 65 lbs heavier than he is now.

Day 17 – Postcards from the Heart

Oct 15, 4:39am 1 of 3

Mom, yesterday as Jill, Russell and I rolled down the road to Estevan, I sat behind Jill the driver, my eyes closed, battling my nausea wondering to myself, “what do I need from my Mom still?” Your comforting text that morning had touched me so readily. I wondered, “what more do I need to hear from her?”

One thing that came to mind is I need more of your wisdom + advice. That got me thinking, what advice has Mom already given that rumbles in me in a big way. Your wisdom has completely shaped my existence but what advice rings + echoes. The first of 3 things to tell you is this, I was ticked off about it at the time, but you gathered us girls at the dining room table about 5 years ago and warned us that our weight could easily get away on us in this mid-life stage, we need to make it a priority to take care of ourselves. As time unfolded your words were so true. I love this picture

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of Russell and I striding through the corral. I had lost 35 pounds, felt strong and my long lean legs were a revelation to me. The other night you were cleaning your teeth at your beside, taking time on them even when you were exhausted + hurting. You said you wished you had done better with this through the years. You are a good example to me Mom. I want to promise you this, and this feels deadly serious……I am stopping to think about this before I write it, do I mean it? Can I follow through? I have to. I Katherine Mary Kyle promise to take good care of myself – my soul- I will keep on in my r’ship with God, my weight – I am on the right track, my teeth – gonna buy more of those little tools you gave me. My skin – Mary Kay and I are gonna be best friends. My “me” – I will write more (thats the one that makes me cry to

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write…..hmmmmm -). So that was piece #1 of advice. You also told me “don’t worry how long something will take if you really want it, like education, the years are going to pass anyways.” And when I was 19 and came home from a dance broken-hearted, feeling rejected you said to me “keep doing what matters to you, what you love to do and Mr. Right will cross your path.” Again, as time unfolded, your words were so true. I have found in Russell the most loyal and loving life partner I could ask for. I am thankful for him, especially his wisdom, his humor and his absolutely incredible ability as a Dad. So this set of 3 notes + 3 pics is rounded out by these 2 from our vow renewal day. That hat Russell is wearing and his coat are the same he wore in 2000. Thanks for your advice Mom!

This is the 17th of 22 posts in a series, sharing ranch photographs taken by Liz Griffin Photography and used as “postcards” to communicate with my Mom. These were all written in the fall of 2020, while my Mom dealt with a terminal cancer diagnosis.

A little further background…………the trip to Estevan mentioned at the start was for Jillian’s drivers exam. Thinking about it now, through the lens of distance and a much lighter heart, I want to give myself a hero badge. I had a headache bad enough to be nauseated and my heart was burdened, over burdened. Due to Covid the examiner could not be in the car with Jill, instead Jill had a video camera installed, a parent beside her and a cell phone on speaker mode connecting her with the examiner. We were not sure that Russ could keep from influencing Jill with his expressive ways, so, I was the parent in the vehicle throughout the test. She passed! I think my headache was mostly gone when the exam started, but still, patting myself on the back, I think this should be remembered as one of those times when I stepped up to the plate. Russ cuts me alot of slack most of the time, I don’t feel like I have to do super hard things very often, but I remember this as one of those times and I am actually stunned that I could pull up my socks and do it.

Day 16 – Postcards from the Heart

Oct 15, 4:27am

Mom, I love this picture of Gina, I look at it and I think “Grace”. She is in a place and posture to receive. The kiss of the sun looks as if it is giving her peace, a reminder of how sacred she is, a moment of rest. In addition it brings her beauty alive in a new way. I find myself wishing the same things for you. I know how you love to see and feel the sun, you can transport yourself to Hawaii anytime if the sun is kissing you. In a hospital room it may not be as possible, but God’s grace is enduring and not dependent on circumstances. So I wish for you, as in this image, a deep sense of peace, constant reminder of how sacred you are & comfortable rest. I observe that this time is bringing alive in you, or making glow, your particular inner beauty…..the ability to flex + flow, to be grateful in all circumstances, to give unconditional love, to inspire goodness. Thank-you.


This postcard is the 16th in a series of 22 being posted occasionally on the blog. It is part of a set of photocards, all taken by Liz Griffin Photography at various times since November 2019. The postcards were for my Mom when she was living with cancer.

This photo was part of Gina’s grade 12 graduation photos, from her casual photo shoot with Liz in July of 2020.

Day 12 – Postcards from the Heart

This is a hard one to write.

Thinking about packing up and leaving you, I find myself wondering if I might have thoughts ands feelings similiar to how you felt when you left me with new babies after getting me through those first days. You know in your heart and mind that the pieces are in places to ensure that loving care is known by all, but nonetheless, circumstances are tricky. Mothers and daughters — a lifelong process of holding close and letting go. From my perspective you have lived that “dance” almost perfectly, even when it was hard (when I moved to Gainsborough.) Here, we only hugged a bit, once, after you vomited, but maybe our table graces allowed a spiritual hug that looked like this pic of Gina and I.

As long as I live I will treasure your wisdom that held me close when I needed it and let me go to find my way too.


I feel like I want to explain the bit about only hugging once. My Mom’s life convictions about being a good citizen led her to many great decisions and actions. When Covid came to be a reality she followed guidelines with utmost care, and she did as she was told, she hugged no-one. I almost don’t want to say this because it will fuel those who say that fear ruled people’s lives. Maybe it did for my Mom but it was fear fuelled by love for all. She wanted to be part of the solution. She also couldn’t risk becoming sick, she needed to have access to the cancer clinic and she was keeping herself ready for that. It was all very tricky. If you look at this with a critical eye you will say, “you sat beside her on her bed and gave her pills, you sat closely at her table, if you were going to give it to her, if you were carrying it, she would have got it.” That would likely be true. So the way this was handled wasn’t exactly consistent and didn’t truly make sense. This is, for me, where grace comes in, doing the best I could with what I had and extending grace, trusting that even if people are inconsistent they are doing the best they can. Did it hurt that my Mom wouldn’t hug me? Yes. Do I regret that? Yes. Did she spiritually hug me almost constantly……with her concern, interest, gratitude, and affirmation of me? Yes. I will hold on to that and celebrate the beautiful example of citizenship that my Mom was.

This postcard is the 12th in a series of 22 that were shared with my Mom in the fall of 2020 when she was battling cancer. I am sharing them as blog posts for two reasons, to keep my blog active when I am too busy to create fresh material, and to offer material that might draw us together around our common humanity, in a time when life is pretty hard for alot of people and conflict is so painful.

This photo was taken by Liz Griffin Photography as part of Gina’s grad formals session.