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 19 – Postcards from the Heart

October 16, 6:37am

Mom, when we went to Disney last year we went on a thrilling ride that had Russ feeling scared. There were characters on the 3D screen that were part of it, he kept saying one looked like me. In the midst of the ride I asked, “why do you say she looks like me?” (She was 8 feet tall, skinny, blue) He said, “because if I think its you I can be brave.” I was IMMENSELY touched by this comment. THAT is the person I want to be, someone who helps others be their best self. We bought these matching bracelets to remember that moment/insight. These corral pictures illustrate moments Russ has helped me be brave. Many times in this journey with your aging body you have had to be brave. Where did you find the bravery you needed? I think the confidence in me that you and Dad showed has helped me be brave. I just re-read your Psalm, v 3 says “though an army….my heart shall not fear, though war…..yet I will be confident”

Re: Psalm 27:3 -May that be so

This postcard series is based on a series of photographs taken by Liz Griffin as she documented our work on our ranch. I used them as postcards to send messages to my Mom as she travelled her final days of a journey with cancer.

Day 18 – Postcards from the Heart

Its been hot in Saskatchewan for days and days uninterrupted. This made me think its a good time to get back to the postcard series, knowing the next image is a January one. This is a Liz Griffin Photography capture of a day when we were moving cows to standing corn and the air was crisp. Remember what that felt like? This was January 2020, before so many things changed. The image is quite striking when seen across a screen, in the format here the wide angle aspect of it makes it display small, so for the blog, in addition to the original I did some cropping to allow a better view of the people in the picture, to get a better sense of it.

If you are a new reader you might not know of this postcard series. Its a result of a photographer documenting our life for a year. I used some of her images to communicate some matters of the heart when my Mom was sick in the fall of 2020. This one is brief, its about being counted on.

Oct 15, 5:20am

Gina is really proud of this picture. It is cool. There she is at the head of the herd coming up the slope just west of our place. She is in dialogue with Jim Lee, a retired man who sold us haying equipment in recent years. Those are his grand-daughters to Gina’s left. Days like this one have been major confidence boosters for the kids. Gina had an expectation of herself, that her Dad could count on her. With cell phones they would confer, she provided leadership. She achieved her goal. She is missing the experience this year. Thank-you for ALWAYS being someone that I and my family could count on. We feel it deep. ❤ K

Day 13 – Postcards from the Heart

October 11, 2020

Mom, things feel very serious this a.m. I pray that things can be figured out, and that your comfort can be much enhanced. It is hard to be far away but at the same time, to be honest, it is okay to not be responsible to assess and get help. It is hard to fathom just how tricky 2020 has become. Your example to us is that we can always count our blessings. These 3 pictures capture our greatest blessings 1) Love 2) Gina and her beautiful passion 3) Jill and her deep well of character 3) Morgan and his joy in being a friend to all. (Thats all “mostly” so). Without your life these particular blessings would not exist. Without you there would be no Kathy Kyle, no Gina, Jill or Morgan. You and Dad birthed blessings into the world, multiple generations of them. You are a blessing.

These pictures were taken by Liz Griffin Photography in August 2020 when we celebrated our upcoming 20th wedding anniversary by having a small ceremony to renew our vows.

This is the 13th of 22 postcard messages I sent to my Mom in the fall of 2020. It was becoming clear that I was not going to have the chance to send all of the 150 pictures that I had printed up to send to her, time was becoming short. I started sending more than one picture at a time.

Day 7 – Postcards from the Heart

October 4, 2020

“Dick” the mule, you first met him around this time in 1999. Dad was pulled by “Dick” and I am so glad we have a picture of that wagon ride. He is special to me, a tangible connection to Dad at our ranch. The reason I am featuring him in these shared pictures is that the connection to you and Dick, in our minds is laugher. That little moment at our wedding. Yeah for laughter. I admire how readily you appreciate humour, even when things are hard. I don’t hesitate to let the jokes flow, you are not easily moved to judge if a joke isn’t right timing or a bit off point. You care about what really matters and are easy to laugh with about stuff less urgent, like light switches and cupboard doors. I treasure our laughs.


The moment of wedding laughter referred to in this card happened during Mom’s speech at our wedding reception where she welcomed Russell to the family. She made reference to the wagon ride she enjoyed on the day she had met Russell and his Dick. She said it so innocently but of course it landed with some shock for some, lots of giggles, and a story we referred to again and again over the years.

This post is the 7th of 22 blogs in a series of postcard images arising from circumstances detailed in the blog post called Postcards from the Heart – Day 1.

This picture was taken December 4, 2020 by Liz Griffin Photography. Gina rode Dick to round up the cow herd in preparation for weaning and trucking calves to the Auction Mart.

Day 6 – Postcards from the Heart

Mon. Oct. 5, 2020


I love this picture. It is artistic and shows Jill’s capability. Somehow this image means alot to me at this time, as the health care system shapes our experiences so much.

I know that Jill could go almost any direction in life. I think her choices almost overwhelm her. However I think the common theme will be related to this image. Here she is poised to inject a vitamin dose into a cow. She has drawn it up, into the syringe.

What has she drawn up into herself because of your life, your legacy, that she will in turn inject into the world around her? 1)Generosity 2)Kindness. 3)Creativity 4)Hospitality


This picture was taken by Liz Griffin Photography on January 1st, 2020. We were putting our whole cow herd through the chute to replace any tags that had come out, give a dose of vitamin A & D and a dose of ivomec, a liquid we apply down a cow’s back which helps prevent parasites. It was a big day. The next day they were being walked five miles by a crew on horseback, to a field of standing corn where they spent the month of January.

This postcard is the 6th part of a 22 blog series arising from circumstances detailed in the blog post called “Postcards from the Heart – Part 1.”

Postcards from the Heart – Day 3

Dear Mom,

I love seeing and hearing the enjoyment you get from all your grandchildren. You have always seen them through eyes of love and been able to overlook their struggles, to see the beautiful people they are. As a Mom that has been a gift to me.

Thank you,



This picture was taken by Liz Griffin Photography as part of Gina’s graduation formals in July 2020.

If you have been following this series so far this is the 3rd family type pic in a row. I promise it will get ranchy soon!

This postcard is the 3rd part of a 22 blog series arising from circumstances detailed in the blog post called “Postcards from the Heart – Part 1.”

Postcards from the Heart – Day 1

I have a little problem on my hands. I am behind on one large chunk of paperwork, two regular May month end jobs await me too. In good conscience I just don’t have the time to blog. On Tuesday I had an hour of time driving by myself and I told myself, “no music, you are going to brainstorm how to make all this happen, create a strategy.” That resulted in a detailed daily schedule I have discussed with Russell and an option for the blog, which I also shared with Russ, I really needed his opinion. He said, “do it.”

Back in late summer as my Mom’s cancer diagnosis was settling in, living 550km from her and with Covid distancing a big deal, I struggled to know how to support my Mom. I got an idea. I had 150 of the pictures Liz Griffin had taken printed up. I had the goal of mailing one to Mom every day, so she would always have something personal in her mailbox. The pictures were a selection of my favourite images from the various times that Liz had been out at the ranch capturing work and celebration photographs for us. I wrote on the back of the photos, thoughts that came to mind as I explained or reflected on the action or person in the picture. Those thoughts started out very brief, but as the days unfolded the reflections got a bit lengthier. I realized reading them all over yesterday and sharing them with Russell, they contain alot of work. Not the prep to write and post, but the inner work that might get to happen walking the journey we were on. There are lots of thank yous. I was glad to read that when I looked over them again. So, the question is, would it be a good idea to day by day share them until this mountain of paperwork is done? Keep the blog going without much new thought? Its now Thursday and I have spent most of my brain wandering time in the last two days pondering that question. What I have come to is this……first, the pictures reflect beauty. Liz is a first rate photographer and she has a talent for drawing out the meaning in a moment, adding a layer of beauty to an image that is already about wonderful things. Secondly, our world is hurting. We have been going through a really hard thing and there is much division. I wonder if the contents of these “postcards” is a celebration of sorts, an upholding of what it is to be human, of what matters, there is no one who reads this who will say, “love doesn’t matter to me.” Love matters. Maybe that can be a source of unity. The story that unfolds behind the scenes, my Mom’s journey through her final days, remains her story, very little of it is disclosed here. The pictures allow continued exploration of life on a ranch and are a point of connection to human things. So, I have decided to share these and here is the first.

This first picture arrived out of the blue, Mom had no idea what my plan was, the back simply read: To the best Mama in the whole world. NOT exaggerating. Love, lots of it…..from, Kathy