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By Chance Alone, The World Around Us, Give'r all ya got!

Good Morning from Prince Edward Island,

Thank you for inviting me in for a cup of tea, put the kettle on and let's chat.

Don't wish to start off with sad news, but we lost someone dear to us late last week. 

Windsor MacDougall, my wife's brother was an incredible force of nature; we lost him to a heart attack last week. He was a wonderful family man leaving his best friend and wife Linda to shepherd their four adult children through the phases of their lives. He was a strong man of faith. He had a great sense of humour with the ability to make a pile of rocks laugh. I loved Windsor for his willingness to help anyone who needed it without considering his sacrifice financial or otherwise. He will be missed. He was so loved by all who knew him.

Heart disease is the number one killer of life in the world, and I found watching this video is a fantastic testament to our human desire to improve itself continually.


Many of us wish that extraordinary things will happen to us, but we have all the potential to make extraordinary things happen for good as well.

The flip side of doing things for good is the story of what happened to Max Eisan.

Tibor “Max” Eisen was born in Moldava, Czechoslovakia into an Orthodox Jewish family. He had an extended family of sixty members, and he lived in a family compound with his parents, his two younger brothers, his baby sister, his paternal grandparents and his uncle and aunt. In the spring of1944--five and a half years after his region had been annexed to Hungary and the morning after the family’s yearly Passover Seder--gendarmes forcibly removed Eisen and his family from their home. They were brought to a brickyard and eventually loaded onto crowded cattle cars bound for Auschwitz-Birkenau. At fifteen years of age, Eisen survived the selection process, and he was inducted into the camp as a slave labourer.

Just days after his 90th birthday, Max Eisen has been named the winner of CBC’s annual Canada Reads competition for his Holocaust memoir his 2016 book, By Chance Alone tells his story of being taken to Auschwitz at the age of 15 to work as a slave labourer. He came to Canada in 1949.

"I am inspired by the need to document my story so others may learn from the past. On a personal level, I have a highly developed sense of observation of the world around me, which constantly inspires and motivates me to take action." Max Eisen

Here he speaks to why he wrote it.

I have ordered two books, one for me and one for you. Anyone who comments on today's blog will have their name put into a hat, and a draw will be done, and one winner will be announced in next weeks blog. As soon as the name is chosen, the book will be wrapped up with some treats and sent to its new home.

Today's blog is not about dying; it is about living. Our legacy of being a friend to someone still has time to be learned and nurtured. If already a good friend to others, encourage others to be good friends as well.

"The hunger to belong is at the heart of our nature. Cut off from others; we atrophy and turn in on ourselves. The sense of belonging is the natural balance of our lives." John O'Donohue, Eternal Echoes

Just to put a million and a billion in perspective, did you know that a million seconds represents 11 days, and a billion seconds represents 33 years?

On that note, I have to run, good friend coming for tea to discuss David Benner's The Gift of Being Yourself. It is a compassionate and accessible, witty and fun book. A gift to the dedicated seeker of knowledge.

While writing this morning, I have been listening to a new Shubert recording by Khatia Buniatishvili while writing this morning. It is so kind to the psyche. Listen here. The passion with which she interprets and plays is another example of humanity's heart displaying the beauty of our design. Each of us is unique and special, symbolically shared through her expression of each musical note.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend, you have 86,400 seconds today. Don't be anxious, have fun and use them wisely. 

With love from Prince Edward Island, 



Three seniors are out for a stroll. 

One of them remarks, “It’s windy.” 

Other replies, “No way. It’s Thursday.” 

The last one says, “Me too. Let’s have a soda.”

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Tati - April 6, 2019

So very sorry for the loss of you brother-in-law. May he rest in peace and in the knowledge of the gifts he shared of himself ere meaningful to those he shared them with. I picked up the By Chance Alone, after reading your blog. It is an excellent book, and an important reminder to be vigilant – the roots of hatred and the destructive actions that are spawned by ignorance are alive and active (and by times in places sanctioned). We live in a time where we have the power to love, and as Maya Angelou said “love liberates”. Thank you for the beautiful music you shared.

Marjorie Foster - April 6, 2019

So very sorry to hear of your loss, but also know that the wonderful memories you have made will be with
you and your family forever. I trust they will be a real comfort. Thank you also for your blog. You never
fail to encourage and challenge me with your articles. This one especially reminds me that how we respond makes such a difference, not to just us, but strangely and encouragingly to the “world” around us.
Thank you again.

Kay Schuld - April 2, 2019

May the Lord grant you & your family strength & peace through this difficult time.
I so enjoy your blogs, they are inspiring & thoughtful.
Kay Schuld

Mary Buckingham - April 1, 2019

You are right Bruce, it is about living, not dying. I have visited 4 Concentration Camps during my travels in Europe, and I was always left with sadness but more importantly, witnessing their strength to LIVE!
In very small ways they would try to stay ‘human’ during a very inhumane time in our history. They were not treated with dignity but they lived the best they could with dignity and kindness to each other. Some people have asked me why I have visited so many of these camps, and the answer is simple…these people should not be forgotten. We must be reminded to LOVE each other!
My condolences to both you and Shirley with the loss of such a vibrant member of your family. Maybe I will see you both again in Palm Springs when I visit the 2 Steve’s, and we can sit down for a cup of tea :-)

Debbie - April 1, 2019

I am so very sorry for your loss, and I will pray for the Lord’s comfort and peace to be very real to you and your family especially now.
I always look forward to your blogs. It’s my weekly “reminder” to live more mindfully and intentionally.

Susan E. Elliott-Johns - April 1, 2019

As always, I’d like to thank you for your thoughtful and inspirational blog, Bruce…. I was late to reading this week, but can honestly say my Monday is all the richer for it!
Sincere condolences to you and Shirley on the loss of your dear Windsor. Along with Liszt, may the love and support of your family and friends there on the Island (and all of us far and wide) also be kind to your psyche at this difficult time.

Sharon L Lapointe - April 1, 2019

Sorry for the loss of your loved one.
Loved the story and the misic.
Have a blessed week.

Bryce schnare - April 1, 2019

Love your blogs…..Karen and I flew to Anna Maria Island this weekend for our 10th annual April fun in the sun. Our seat mate was this wonderful person travelling with here dog, who we discovered was also a great friend of yours…….Doris the BLOND tour bus driver… look forward to seeing you soon

Betty - April 1, 2019

Bruce, You did a wonderful job selecting the music for this week. As I listened I had a sense of your beloved brother-in law,Max Eisen and all that is beautiful with family and with life. The many memories you have will always keep Windsor alive. God bless all of you.

Ann Bustard - March 31, 2019

Like so many others, I look forward to reading your blog each weekend. I send prayers to your family as they deal with the sudden loss of a very special person. Just think of all those who he has touched during his time here on earth! I was so interested to read about Max Eisen . Here in N.C., I heard a survivor speak a few years back ; he was in his nineties at the time . That experience had a profound effect on me, and I have never forgotten that brave man. It is amazing how survivors can remember in such detail those horrendous atrocities. It hurts me so much to know what so many endured because of such an evil man! Love to hear about the books and music. PEI is a dream location for its inhabitants and its visitors!

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