Today is the eve of the ATCO Utility Conference. And I hate it. Not the conference – it’s a lovely conference designed to bring employees of ATCO Pipelines, ATCO Gas and ATCO Electric together to share updates and projects from each company. I hate the memory of the eve of the conference.

In 2009, it was my first year on the conference planning committee for the ATCO Utility Conference. And on the eve of the conference, after a long day at the hotel prepping for the next day, I arrived at home. It was late, shortly after 10:00pm. And I knew I was going to be returning home to bad news. The weekend before I saw amm at the hospital in Saskatoon and we were left with no answers. And on the eve of the conference I had been in touch with my dad, getting updates from him and the doctors as they became available. And while driving home, I called my dad and when he told me to wait until I got home to talk to Nick, I knew. I knew. And I will always remember that specific spot on that specific road that I knew. I knew.

Walking in the front door, seeing the look in Nick’s eyes. He knew. And he didn’t have to say a single word for me to understand. Understand that my world was caving in on me. All things that I knew and loved and trusted were leaving me and there was absolutely nothing I could do to change things. So the next day, when I should have been at the conference, we were driving to Saskatoon with no real comprehension of what we were entering.

Fast forward to 2010. Same time of year, but I am pregnant with Arrine and her pending arrival helped me through those days.

Fast forward to 2011. Same time of year, but I had the support I needed.

Fast forward to 2012. Same time of year, but hating these days more than the previous two years. And this year I have been asked to present at the conference.

I can’t wait until Friday. The horrible memories of these weeks will still be with me, but the conference will be over. At least for another year.

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