i honestly do think of these three things every day

headshot of man sitting down, smiling, wearing sweater

Friends: I have been lucky enough to have had a great number of “acquaintances” over my life. These would include Harold Town, the artist, and Chris Hadfield, astronaut. However I feel my great accomplishment is to have a number of very close friends, all with very different interests; some of which coincide with mine, with whom I feel a close connection. I feel happy when they are happy, and a cloud comes over me when they are facing some personal challenges. I know I could count on them if needed and they know the same thing of me.

My life partner: Susan and I have faced life together now for 46 years. We are about as similar as night and day. I am the loud, outgoing guy. She is the quiet, introspective and careful one (she refuses to do this project herself). We yell and scream at each other on occasion (actually I do the yelling, she waits until I calm down and then points out why I was wrong). We have faced a number of challenges. A few with children. Some with parents. Some financial. I am thankful that we have always come out ahead – largely, I admit, due to her careful thoughtfulness.

The kids: We have three children – a son and two daughters. All born, raised and educated in Barrie’s public school system. They are as different as one could imagine – amazing that they came out of the same oven. My son is the scientist with a PhD in bio-medical engineering. My middle child is the “politician,” and is a lawyer practising in Barrie (Cesia was voted the city’s favourite real estate lawyer in the latest Barrie Advance poll). Our youngest is the artist – she is a graphic designer living and working in Toronto. All three have great jobs, great life partners themselves and have given us five beautiful grandchildren (and one more on the way).

So, I make it a point, at sometime each day – sometimes as I get up in the morning, or in the shower at night – to stop for five minutes and think about these three topics.  Somehow after that, even a tough day seems a little less stressful.

– Marshall, husband, father, lawyer, arts supporter, music lover, volunteer