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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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Betty Morgan - March 30, 2019

Please give your wife a big hug for me. My brother died when he was 49 after open heart surgery, the first they did in Halifax in 1972. Those were the days when they opened up the chest cavity, ribs and all. He was butchered in an attempt to repair his heart after a massive heart attack. He left his wife and five sons and a sister who was devastated. He was my hero. A paratrooper who was dropped behind enemy lines on D Day, shot in the chest by
a machine gunner and left to die in a trench for 8 hours before he was found and brought back to the lines, but not before he had carried out his part of the mission. He was mentioned in dispatches and there are many books about that time of his life. He came home, finished high school which he had left to join up, and with the help
of the government, got a degree in Fine Arts from Mount Allison. He led his class. His teachers were Alex Colville, a war artist, Ted Pulford, and Lawren Harris Jr. He helped Alex paint his house! They had veterans
quarters, little apartments in long buildings off campus where he lived with his little family. (The first two of the five boys). So I can truthfully say, I know how your sister feels and will feel as time goes on. It is bittersweet as
I age and know that he didn’t get a chance to live to see any of his 11 grandchildren. All artistic and into music and drama art. It is wonderful that you are there to support her in her grief, because she will need you.
Thank you for the opportunity to get that all out!

Gillian Keane - March 30, 2019

My condolences on the loss of your brother in law. The joy he brought to your family will be with you always. Max Eisen sounds so inspiring.
My Saturday is not complete until I have read your blog. This morning as I am watching the snow in Ottawa, your blog remindsme that August is coming and our annual trip to PEI is coming with it.

Terry Greenham - March 30, 2019

Thanks for your blogs. They are very inspirational.

Diana Chandler - March 30, 2019

I too look forward to reading your blog every Saturday. It’s my little touch of PEI until I can get back there. I am counting the days until May and my return to Cavendish. My deepest condolences on the loss of your brother in law.

June Wadden - March 30, 2019

So sorry for your loss. Enjoy reading your Blogs

MURDOCK MORRISON - March 30, 2019

Bruce , so sorry to learn of the passing of your wife’s brother and appreciate your commentary of him. Also, it was important to use Chuck Murray’s insight into the heart as it is a book I will read later and the insights that he has for this disease. Your second book from Max Eisen on the Holocaust is also one that I can add to the books that will be on my reading list for 2019 . Your music selection this morning by Shubert is not one that I listen to as I listen to the music of the 80s and 90s – old favourites and that is why we are doing what we love to do in this wonderful life that we all have- have a great day Bruce- murdock

Kay Ingalls - March 30, 2019

Thank you for your blog. I was especially moved by this one. I am so sorry for the loss of a loved one in your family. I lost my mother to a heart attack in recent years. I found the stem cell research hopeful and the Schubert recording took me to a place of peace in my body and my mind. What a wonderful way to start my day. Blessings 💚

Dale Harman - March 30, 2019

So sorry to hear about your loss. Praying that God’s peace will surround you and Shirley and the family. We have a blessed hope that one day we will be reunited to never part again. Blessings! Dale Harman

Carol McFarlane - March 30, 2019

As I do your blog, I follow Canada Reads every year and admire not only the chosen authors but the panelists chosen to represent them with such passion and research. I particularly look forward to reading By Chance Alone – there are so few survivor voices left to tell the story. Condolence on the loss of your wonderful brother in law.

Marylou Sinnott - March 30, 2019

Enjoyed reading your blog as I always do – thank you and enjoy your weekend with family and friends.

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