Light The Night brings communities across Canada together for one magical evening to share stories, remember loved ones lost and pay tribute to our heroes, bringing light, love and hope to dispel the darkness of blood cancers. The walk on October 23, 2021 will be virtual again this year. I will be walking around the neighbourhood of Valley Ridge in Calgary on the evening of October 30 with family and friends carrying our lanterns in memory of my husband, Ken. My motto this year will be “give s’more” for blood cancer research. We’ll end our walk with s’mores around the campfire. A big think you to all our family and friends who have contributed to Light the Night in the past. Hopefully you will be able to give “s’more” again this year.
My husband, Kenneth May, passed away on August 27, 2018 at the age of 76 after a long and courageous struggle with blood cancer. Ken was an exceptional teacher whose greatest strength was his ability to relate to his students and to help them to develop a love of math. He retired from Winston Churchill High School in Lethbridge, Alberta in 2000 after a rewarding 35 year teaching career.
Ken also loved to write. During the last four years of his life when he was no longer able to be active, he started to write stories which recalled his childhood adventures growing up on a farm in southern Manitoba. When the Covid pandemic began in the spring of 2020, I decided to publish Ken’s stories into a book in memory of him. I asked an artist friend from Pincher Creek, Bobbi Wendland, to illustrate Ken’s stories. Her colourful pastel drawings really capture the essence of Ken’s stories. The first copies of Memory Lane Magic were printed in August, 2020, two years after Ken’s death. Ken’s wonderful sense of humour and his love of life shine through in these captivating stories.
I have sold or given away over 200 copies of Ken’s book. Half of the proceeds from the sale of Memory Lane Magic were donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for their virtual Light the Night walk in Calgary in October, 2020. It was the fourth walk for our “Keep Smilin’” team and our best fund raising effort so far. Ken’s spirit lives on in his writing. I will continue to honour my husband as I walk each year remembering him and raising money for blood cancer research.