Final Sandy Blog (by Andrea Wiebe)

“Do I still have blood?”

He asks on our way to the Monday blood test.

“Only one way to find out.”

I reply.


Sandy returns to the car fifteen minutes later with a story.

Louise, the hospital cafeteria woman, adopted four kids from Haiti; right out of the dining room.


“The dining room?”

I interrupt.

“The dying room, Peeker! You never listen!”

He says, shaking his head.

“Typical bloody woman.”

“Oh, of course the dying room. In Haiti! Not Saanich. Okay!”

I reply.


Sandy looks concerned.

“Well I don’t know if she never married, but all the kids are still in the phone book under her last name. What the bloody hell is that?”

He asks.

“A lot of people do that nowadays; keep their maiden names.”

I reply.

“Well people can do what they like, but not with me!”

He laughs without a feminist bone in his body to stop him.


Lauren stops by the farm with a few residents from the group home. We lead Cedrik over to the hammock but the endless rolling view stops him and he screams.


Until we settle for the picnic bench.

When Sandy stumbles around the house, Cedrik, always inspired by a true gentleman, lifts his hat in Sandy’s direction.

“I see we’ve got the same barber.”

Says Sandy.

“Too much off the top.”

Lauren and I laugh.

Cedrick says.

“Fire truck.”


I explain that Cedrick loves umbrellas. He sleeps with seventeen in his bed at night.


Says Sandy.

“I cuddled a bottle of scotch for 40 years.”

And he continues his circle around the house, leaving a trail of laughter behind him.


September is coming and I’ll be working seven days a week. My brother has just moved to the island and is staying on the farm. When the two of us start half-heartedly looking at houses closer to town, neither of us expected to find something with an immediate move-in date.


“You’re moving?”

Asks Sandy.

“I’m 38 and single; I need to be in the city!”

I laugh, fighting back tears.


I know it’s time but it still doesn’t make sense. I never once imagined leaving the farm.


“Oh, that’s too bad.”

He says, staring at my cats.

“The hunting will be terrible in the city.”

He tells Margaret.

I wish I could cover her ears.


My last few years have been full of tough goodbyes. Pain that feels like cracking open on the inside.

In an effort to feel my feelings, I practice picturing a rainbow bursting and swirling from the wounds like flowers that grow through the concrete.

Another chapter:

More creative, more connected and more central!



Sandy finds me in my kitchen.

“If you want to meet a man, you should check out the church.”

Visions of dry white toast and pale tea in china cups fills my mind.

He’s the third person this week to give me such advice so either he’s onto something or I need to leave this tiny town.

Or maybe I just need to stop telling people I’m 38 and single.


Sandy always says,

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

Or maybe that was Gandhi.

Potato, Potahto!


Dear Sandy, Katie, Joan, Lynn, Delean, Seth, Rowan, Kai, Taeja, Nicol, Ryan, Little Wiebe, Sampson and the three tiny pissers,

Thanks for the memories!

For reals,

Andrea, Edwin and Margaret


About Morbid Optimist

My name is Katryna Mary Brooke Ormiston. I am 35 years old and after living in Vancouver for a decade, I am returning home to my 81 year old father’s hobby farm on Vancouver Island to care for him in the final stages of his life. This blog is to document my journey, process my experiences along the way and hopefully share and feel connected to a community beyond the three and a half acres I find myself on. A message in a bottle in the cyber-sea.
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2 Responses to Final Sandy Blog (by Andrea Wiebe)

  1. dawn says:

    I was deeply moved by your sensitive and honest recounting of this story…your story.
    Thank you. It had resonance for me

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