The Day My Life Changed Forever

December 29, 1982 began like any other winter morning in northern Alberta. But when they laid a tiny bundle in my arms early that afternoon, I knew my life would never be the same again. Six more children were born to us through the years. But there is something special about the firstborn child. As I gazed into her wonderful blue eyes and nuzzled her fuzzy blonde head, I prayed that Ian and I would be all she needed in a mother and father. [Read more…]


nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_participant-180And the Madness begins again! November Madness. NaNoWriMo!

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month.

It’s Year 12 for our family, with a possibility of four of us participating. This time Nathaniel opted out, so I am the only one in our home who’s doing it.

NaNoWriMo. The best way for me to describe the fun, the excitement, the atmosphere of NaNoWriMo is to share something I wrote after our Kick-Off Party six years ago… [Read more…]

An Unusual Family

Willena & Jim - 1955

Willena & Jim – 1955

I wrote this 3 years ago…

An Unusual Family

There are plenty of reasons why I am thankful for the family I grew up in. Despite the loss of our father when we were very young, we were enriched by having him for a father. My mother was only 28 when Daddy died, leaving her to raise three little ones alone. It’s a tribute to her strength of character that she raised us with strong morals, and did everything in her power to give us all she could. She rationed apples and oranges, and served us Lipton noodle soup for lunch. She went without things herself, to give us a good Christmas. Years later, I understood a little of what she was going through, but never quite, because I had no babies to raise when I was widowed.

My father knew the moment he saw my mother that she was the girl he was going to marry. He was almost 31 to her 20, the day they married. It was a happy marriage. I was only 5 when Daddy first took ill, and he was in and out of the hospital for the next two years. I remember one spring day picking a bouquet of dandelions for my mom. But when I got home, Daddy was home from the hospital and sitting at the kitchen table. All thoughts of my mom flew out the window for the moment, as I ran across the kitchen and handed Daddy the flowers. He smiled a lot, and was always kind to me.

I was born on Mother’s Day in 1953. I was the firstborn, so I made my mother a mother on Mother’s Day. My brother Jim was born on Father’s Day in 1955. He was the first son, so he made our father the very proud father of a son on Father’s Day. Now what are the chances of that happening?? I think we should be in the Guinness Book of Records!

Our brother Patrick was born in November 1957. Not only does he look very much like our dad, but he is like him in temperament as well. He was only 2 when Daddy died, so he does not have many memories of him. Mom remarried a year later, and our brother Stuart and sister Laura were soon added to our family. I was thrilled to have a sister at last!

It is rare for me to see my family, because we live over 2000 miles apart. My daughter Raewyn, son Nathaniel and I travelled across Canada by Greyhound in December 2004, and had a good visit with everyone. That was the only time I’ve seen my brother’s daughter, and my sister’s son. Laura now has two little girls who are 6 and 4 this month, and I’m still waiting to meet them.

Distance may separate us, but the older I get, the dearer my family becomes. I hope the day will come that I will see them more often. But in the meantime, Facebook, Skype and my blog are wonderful ways to keep in contact with those in my family who are online.

Father’s Day in 1955 was June 20. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my awesome brother JIM!!!

© Willena Flewelling

“I Like Big James Best”

Big James

Big James

Little James in this story turns 11 years old today. Big James was our oldest son, who was taken  from us about 7 months earlier. The following conversation took place in my living room on a summer evening in 2010… [Read more…]

A Withered Hand

reach out your hand

I wrote this ten years ago, and posted it last year on this blog. When I wrote it, all 7 of our children were still at home, and I was homeschooling 5 of them. I had just discovered I have ADD. I’m re-posting it now, because it has a new meaning for me… as I will explain in an upcoming post. [Read more…]

God of All Comfort

God's Wordoriginally published by me on FaithWriters.

“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort…” ~2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (KJV)

The words penetrated the aching cloud of grief that had held me captive for the past month. The God of all comfort… [Read more…]

The Farm

swingingAt the foot of the lane, just inside the gate, protruded a long, rusty pipe embedded in the steep rock wall. From its spout gushed a cascade of sparkling cold spring water, into a square, moss-grown stone reservoir. Although this was intended for cattle, we children had discovered its real value. How delicious and cool it was to our parched throats after a rollicking game of “hide and seek” or “kick the can.” [Read more…]

I Remember

Remembrance Park, Georgetown ON

Remembrance Park, Georgetown ON

originally published by me on FaithWriters

There were two parks in the small southern Ontario town where I grew up. My husband had never seen either of them, having grown up in Alberta. We’d already strolled through the big park where the annual Rodeo and Fall Fair were held. I’d shown him the dinosaur monkey bars and tall climbing trees where I’d spent so many happy hours. [Read more…]

Choosing My Battles Wisely

mother and daughter

(written in 2008)

A young mother asked me, “If you had one piece of advice for parents of teens, what would it be?”

I replied, “Choose your battles wisely, and don’t sweat the small stuff.” [Read more…]

Pyromaniacs and Wannabe’s


Winter may be nearly over where you live. But here in Alberta, we may have to wait for two more months before spring comes for sure. It’s a beautiful, sunny day, and new snow blankets the countryside around our home. My mind drifts back to a much colder night about ten years ago…  [Read more…]