A Good Home

Rain and Other Blessings

There’s so much rain here this morning, the tree branches are drooping low above the deck – so low that I would have to dodge them if I went outside.

But you’ll get no complaints from me – as my mother would remind us children when we wouldn’t eat our vegetables: “Be thankful! Children in some parts of the world are starving.”

Indeed, I am thankful that we have enough food and that it is raining. I’m also aware that people in some parts of the world are in the grip of a punishing heat wave or drought, and that, even in the “developed” countries, some children don’t have enough to eat. How we take care of each other and how we take care of the earth (so she will take care of us in return) are twin issues we still haven’t sorted out as a species.

In the last few weeks, I’ve also had reason to look closer to home. At my husband, who continues to support me, his children, grandchild and his mother and still does volunteer work to help make others’ lives better.

Recently, a not-for-profit organization he’s chaired through the last 3 challenging years honoured him for his leadership at a dinner in downtown Toronto.

Director after director stood up to praise Hamlin for his outstanding leadership during this challenging time – the kind of leadership which some said they’d never experienced before.

But it was the incoming chair’s reference to Hamlin as a real-life Armand Gamache (main character in Louise Penny’s Three Pines series) that moved me almost to tears. I understood the reference right away because I’ve read all Louise Penny’s novels and admire the fictional Canadian police inspector Gamache, but it never occurred to me that the qualities I admired about Gamache were qualities my own partner also possessed.

I should have known. Armand Gamache is a thoughtful, courageous, and wise leader who asks the right questions in tough situations. He takes care of his team, and in his private life, is a dedicated father and grandfather, a good friend, and a lover of literature and the arts. He carries some old wounds. He occasionally makes personal and professional mistakes, but acknowledges and works to correct them. But his values are solid.

Later, the speaker, Yvon, privately explained to me further why he thinks Hamlin and Gamache are so alike. I kept my composure – barely. Yes, I agreed: Gamache and my husband are alike in the ways that matter. It just took someone else to point out the similarities.

Later, I thought of all the other sacrifices my husband has made that his colleagues don’t even know about.

I look at this brave man who held the fort through the post-accident years, as my harrowing recovery dragged on and on and drove me to despair. He took over everything – the company we ran together, care of home, care of me. How did he ever sleep or rest?

Some days, I see the price he paid for being the strong one when I was at my weakest. He should be retired now, but all those treatment expenses, all those years of lost income, took their toll on us both. He should complain, but he rarely does. Some days I wish he would… Instead, he has made a practice of focusing on our blessings.

So this post started with gratitude for rain, the earth, and our blessings, and has become a thank-you for my husband.

Sometimes, your life’s greatest blessings are right there beside you.

I wish you a good week,


36 thoughts on “Rain and Other Blessings”

  1. You have shared an absolutely wonderful vignette with us, Cynthia. It is lovely that other people also recognize and admire your marvelous husband. Congratulations and admiration to you both.

  2. Your post brought me to tears, Cynthia. You and your family are very blessed to have Hamlin, and each other. May you all have many more years together and continue the circle of love. ❤️

    I will have to look up Louise Penny’s novels now.

  3. There is so much love here. Love this post and yes, as a lover of Louise Penny’s novels I can appreciate the uplifting comparison. Thanks for sharing your appreciation of the blessing that is right there beside you.

  4. Being a fan and an avid reader of Louise Penny’s novels, I really appreciate the comparison of Hamlin to Armand Gamache. I totally agree. You are truly lucky Cynthia to have such a man in your life. Love to you both.

  5. What a beautiful and tender tribute to your husband, Cynthia. Thank you for reminding us to give thanks to all the blessings in our lives. Much love to you and your lovely family. ❤

    1. Thanks kindly, Khaya. Imagine not realizing that one of my favourite fictional characters is that in part because he is very much like my own husband! I tell you, I’m very slow to catch on….

  6. I love your view on optimism and thankfulness. Thanks so much for sharing a view into your lovely life! Congratulations to you and your husband in the success.

  7. Lovely post on your wonderful husband. Sometimes my husband worries that he cannot do so much these days and I have to remind him of all that he has already done for his family, his friends and his colleagues. Re water: our big underground rainwater tank and our nine water butts are almost empty and our lawns are crisp and brown after over a month with no rain to speak of – and this is the rainy UK!

    1. I’ve been thinking of you and your family. And the garden too. What a drought you’re having there in parts of the UK. I remember the summer our well went dry and so many plants dried up. No fun. Yes, you’re right to remind E of all he has done already. We humans tend to underestimate our own contributions ( well, not all of us, I know) and sometimes need to be reminded. Take care of yourselves and I hope for rain in your region soon.

  8. Thank you Cynthia . We should all appreciate God’s beautiful blessings – the rain . Also you’re amazing life partner ; unconditional love, and exception of each other’s strength and weakness.
    FYI : I wait until I’m off from work in a relaxing environment to read your blog which takes days .. lol
    Have a peaceful and blessed day with your families

  9. Hamlin has always seemed to me (from your books and your blog) to be a wonderful human being. How blessed you are to be able to walk through this life with him–and how wonderful that you recognize it.

  10. Hi Cynthia-
    You are blessed with an amazing husband! True some of our best blessings in life are within reach:-)

    I had to stop by and say, I gave a copy of your book to a friend ( Myrtle the purple turtle) a few weeks ago. She and her granddaughter loved the book! Her grandchild is young but she understood the story-she told the book characters-“Friends help turn her over!!” -too cute!

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