Western education 2013

Monday, May 31, 2010


...... the feet still hurt even with a double layer of gel insoles in my new runners.  My feet were in so much pain last night that I was unable to sleep as I kept trying to stretch them.  Max hates feet and yet last night, he helped massage them

The long weekend was spent out in Ottawa re-connecting with classmates I knew 30 years ago.  I started out my travels by driving to Kitchener and parking my car in a car pool lot, meeting up with Roman who drove the rest of the way.  We were able to catch up on the long drive and fill in the missing years.  He used to live a few doors down from the townhouse I was staying in after I left home.  Now it's just his Mom who lives there. We pull into the townhouse complex of my long-time pal Debbie after being on the highway for 7 hours - she and Alfie have fallen asleep on their respective comfy chairs but he wakes first when he hears me call his name.  He gets Deb up and she sleepily drags herself off the couch and grins from ear to ear as the arms come up and engulf me in a huge hug.  We step back and now we are both grinning.... the weekend has begun, at least for me.  Deb has to go to bed as she is going to work in a few short hours.  Roman is off to his Mom's house and we promise to meet the next day to do some touring.

The morning brings the warm sunshine and the smell of fresh coffee - Alfie is in the kitchen making me breakfast and I am totally spoiled.  We spend the morning getting to know each other and I listen to the slight east-coast accent.  His eyes are blue like the sky, he is tall and handsome and well spoken and I can see what a wonderful guy he is and why Deb loves him so much.  Roman arrives in the late morning and he needs to shop for a new bike - his mid-life crisis has him getting into shape in various sports and judging by the conversation he has with the sales guy at the local Sports Chek, he really knows his stuff.  He is methodical and careful about his purchase as he goes over every detail comparing the two top choices.  I am used to being around techies, as I am already one and his choice reflects the esthetics after the mechanicals both pass.  He has ridden the bikes multiple times through the store and still finds the color determines the final choice. We walk around the mall and choose a lebanese place to eat.  Roman finds the choice a good one and digs into his shawarma.  It reminds me of one of my best friends who lives in the area - I have left her a message but will not hear back from her until I have already left the city.  Roman drops me off at Deb's and makes his way home but later calls to let us know that he would like to eat dinner with us since he has no dinner plans.  Roman comes for dinner and drinks and Alfie offers to drive us out to the Byward Market.  It has been a long time since I was last here.  The evening is warm and the population begins to soar as the evening progresses - it is after all, Friday night!!  It is the official location for the 4 bars participating in the reunion.  Our class is between decades, so we start with the 70's crowd at the Honest Lawyers and then later find ourselves in the Velvet Room for the 80's group where we run into many of our classmates.  It was a fun evening but fatigue finally won as we headed back to the Honest Lawyers to meet up with our designated driver.  Stepping inside the bar for a last parting drink for my companions, I bumped into Deb Mac... she was like a second Mom to me - 8 years older and wiser beyond her years.  She would often be a source of comfort when the world was feeling crazy and looking at her I couldn't help but cry!!  Hugs and kisses later, we chat and catch up. The bar fight in the corner, complete with blood bath signal that it is time to go home and a few minutes later, the dynamic trio is on the sidewalk getting picked up by Alfie!!  We giggle all the way home and find our way up to bed.  Debbie has had a few too many and I can hear her throwing up in the bathroom next door - Yikes, sounds like she uncoiled all 32 feet of intestines and she is golfing in the early morning!!!!

The morning comes quickly and I can hear the two of them leave the house just as I am pulling myself free of the sheets.  It looks like it might rain at their golf tournament and I roll out of bed searching out a cup of joe.  I find the almost full coffee pot and the irish creamer on the counter.... ah, life is good.  It will be a few hours until Roman calls, so I shower, eat and cozy in with my book.  We are going to the tulip festival where an old classmate of ours is playing at a park next to Dow's Lake.  We arrive and walk around with many tourists and are dissapointed that the tulips have all flowered the week before and have only brown leaves and empty stalks to photograph.... weird spring in Ontario!!  Rob Letourneau is in the band Black Cherry as the drummer - a truly talented player whose husky voice and constant physical movement reminds me of a kid who would have been diagnosed as ADHD in today's world.  He is pure fun with his quick smile and twinkling brown eyes.  His wife is the centered smart manager who keeps him grounded and eyes us as we approach.  Her guard drops when she recognizes Roman.  Roman and Rob - both musicians, both talented and complimentary of each other shake hands and start to reminisce about days long ago.  Roman is an accomplished guitar player - learned most of his music by ear.  We listen to the tunes they belt out with their newest addition, a young lady whose nervousness shows in the stilted movements and off-tone voice.... it's her first public gig and her father is sitting front row...  Diane G. shows up with her hubby and I am able to chat with her and get her signature in a little book I have purchased for the weekend.  We have a few more hours before I have to get back to the house to get ready for the evening activities at our high school - school tour and dinner.  We drive over to my old neighborhood, to the townhouses that were still under construction when we moved in.  It looks so small when we drive up to my old unit and get out to take pictures.  I was in my mid teens when I moved out - I remember the morning of the last day I lived there and the unceremonious handing over of the house keys and the $30 thrust into my hands.  I had a suitcase and my tape deck with me and I was moving out - June 1981.... still just a kid.  The back yards were just postage stamp size and still are but now the home owners have claimed the territory beyond their little wooden fences for flowers and vegetables.
The green space behind our unit is now filled with scrub bushes and trees.  The owner of our unit and the owners of the end unit next door come out and we chat about the old days - they are younger than I am and the one husband has lived in the neighborhood his whole life - I likely babysat him.  They have roots, I am still developing mine after having been an army brat who moved more times than I care to remember.  We leave the neighborhood and I ponder about what it would have been like to have parents still living in the old neighborhood..... I do not recognize anyone as we slowly drive along the loop and past the swimming pool that is under repair. It is time to go 'home' and get ready for the evening. Roman can walk from where he lives and will meet us there.

What an interesting gathering of students who span the course of 40 years.  The school was only 8 years old when I first attended but looking around now.... you can see the wear and tear.  There are portables on the far side of the school and one in the back making it look rather rag tag.  The trees soar above our heads and block the bank of second story windows in the front.  I remember doing greens keeping when the trees were just barely above the first floor lower windowsills.  The hallway walls are a host to colorful student artistic endeavors - a wonderful take from the once barren and austere look of our time.  The halls are smaller but I remember where all the lockers used to be and are now reclaimed for sitting space or new classrooms.  I could feel the rush of air as fast feet move past when I close my eyes and I envision what it was like and I point out memories to Deb and Peter whom I have accompanied on this journey through time.  We laugh as we stand in front of colorful artwork in the front stairwell and I can't see past the tree blocking the view..... so long ago as we put the camera away and walk on.  No regrets, it was a fun walk into the past and parts of my heart tug when I remember the friends I had and whom I lost touch with and how distant I am from my past..... something to be said about roots.  I will never go back for another reunion but will keep in touch with those I have just spent time with.

I am ready to leave for home early in the evening after a wonderful dinner with Alfie, Deb, Roman and Alfie's son, daughter-in-law and two small girls.  It made me so home sick for my own children.  Roman helps me pack the van and as we pull away and I see Deb standing at the end of her front walk, the tears begin to roll.  Roman rolls down the window and lets Deb know that I am bawling, and I am.  We are going home and the long drive begins to wear on my nerves.... need to get home and we are running out of gas!!  We make it into only one of two gas stations open on the stretch between Ottawa and Kitchener with only 3 KM to spare - we laugh and take pictures for posterity.  I manage to get into my car and head  towards home and feel a deep sense of relief when I finally tuck myself in beside my amazing husband.

The rest of the week has been spent enjoying an unusually hot spring - the pots around the pool are in full bloom and the pool is a balmy 77 degrees taking us into the new month of June.

Monday, May 17, 2010

..... family comes to call

...... my parents, older sister, brother and nephew have come a long way to visit with us and arrive on Mother's Day within minutes of my in-laws.  All these people I love under one roof.... so many people laughing and exchanging stories around the dinner table.  Gina is probably right when she says that it will likely be the last time we are all together under the same roof.

Monday 10th May

Today is my Mother's 77th birthday and Gina and I break out in 'Happy Birthday'.  I have not slept well.... surprise, but am on my best humor as I prepare breakfast for 11 people at 6 am.  The kids are up early and eager to sit around the table and be a part of the energy that swirls around and incorporates everyone.  Gina and her son Ben are only overnight guests after dropping my parents off - they will make their way up to Tobermorey to catch the ferry which will take them up to Manitoulin Island, shortening up their trip out to BC.

Today will be a long day... Dad has the beginnings of Alzheimer's which becomes more apparent as he grabs his dinner plate and makes his way over to the bathroom off the family room and Max takes him by the elbow and guides him over to the dinning room while he  expresses a sense of surprise when he realizes that he has never been to that side of the house..... he had breakfast there hours before.... I react by laughing almost hysterically - not because it is funny but because I would be crying otherwise.  We take him out shopping - he loves going out and ends up wandering off in his own direction but not the one we need him to go in and he is shuffling his feet.  His eyes look distant when I approach him and slip my hand into his which gets his attention and he smiles at me with his beautiful blue eyes.  The ends of his fingers are bent every which way but straight, so I make sure that I do not squeeze them as I lead him through the store while trying to pick up a chicken and some sugar for his coffee.  My Mom just follows along.  Shopping with them is akin to playing psychologist/daughter.  They each bend my ear when they are sure the other is out of earshot and funny enough, probably because they have been together for almost 50 years, they say the same things.  Each of them, despite the complaints they will issue about the other... it would be wise not to say anything other than the positives about each of them, to each other.

I am tired and need to have some down time - I have now set aside quiet time for the two of them in the afternoon and will put on a movie or ask that they read a book.  During the day, I take them for walks in the mall because it is not warm enough outside.  I am reading the Nora Roberts books - J.D Robb series and love the time spent reading these mysteries.

Thursday 13th May 2010

My Dad is staying in bed today.... must be all the activity of the past few days - forced marches through the shopping malls that he loves so much.  The weather is providing most of this depressive mood and I and Mom are downstairs wrapped in blankets and reading magazines or a book... perfect day for just relaxing.  Time goes by fast when you are at home, surprisingly, this afternoon is as well.

I missed yoga this morning - my doctor thinks I may have Plantar fasciitis which is painful.  It is like my heels are walking on a rock.  My hands still are numb at the tips and my left shoulder is causing me some pain and popping noises are abundant when I move the arm..... need to go back to the gym when my parents head out on Monday to go back home.  We managed to book them on a train that will travel straight to their destination without having to transfer trains in Toronto.  They will be traveling first class for the first time and I know that they will be well taken care of and well fed.  Last thing we need to worry about is Dad getting lost in a train station.  I will take them to the train station and will see them board the train and make sure that the person picking them up is going to be at their destination.  Gina and Benjamine have travelled into Saskatchewan as of last night.  They reported that the Chi Cheemaun Ferry was a great idea and cut short their travel time by a few hours.  The country they travelled through to get there is gorgeous.  They anticipate an arrival home by Friday afternoon.  I miss them already.

Saturday 15th May

It is my birthday.... I am now 46 and will celebrate the end of a really long year and a journey that re-routed me from a predictable path to the unknown.  I will celebrate a new birthday today that will hopefully be the start of a very good year.  My parents take us all out to dinner to a chinese restaurant that I always took my children to before we moved four years ago.  The owner steps out to say hello and to fuss over the kids.... she taught Will how to use chop sticks a dozen years ago and her son and mine would sit together and watch TV in the back kitchen while waiting for her husband to cook our meal.  Now her son is serving our table and William towers over her..... where does the time go?

My deepest condolences to John and Sue on the passing of his father today.  Through all the sadness of his passing and her step-mother, who will soon also pass from this world, she has thoughtfully brought over home-made cupcakes and card to celebrate my special day.  I am deeply sorry for the week you are having and I wish I could make it better.  I love you Sue. xo

Sunday 16th May

My parents do not have a lot of money but are quick to pull out their wallets to try and pay for everything.... once a parent, always a parent.  My Dad is starting to show the stress of having Alzheimer's in a strange place.  We found that he had folded his pajamas and house shoes in a neat pile in the livingroom - he keeps telling me that we need to get ready to go to the train station.  No worries, I tell him, the train leaves after you wake up tomorrow morning.  He began the ritual over again when he woke up from his nap.  This morning I found him laying down on the bed with one house shoe on and one off.  He was so thirsty and couldn't find a tap to fill his glass (bathroom is next to his room) so he decided to just take a nap.  I sat with him while he drank from the cup I had filled for him.  I filled it three times while he rambled on about France.  He has repeated the same stories over and again and I can now repeat some of them verbatim.  He sits at the edge of the bed looking forlorn, his eyes are far away and I just hold his hand and rub his back.  He is quick to tear up when I am talking about the wonderful people who have helped me in my journey and rubs his eyes with the back of his large soft hands - the tips of which are cantered in different angles signifying a rheumatism of sorts.  My mother is looking quite worn with fatigue as he has been coughing most of the night and quickly falls asleep on the couch in the afternoon and I just cover her up with a blanket. She begins to snore part way through her nap.  I study her face and see how old she really looks and I am sad.  My parents are in the last years of their lives and circumstances of our modern world have them living farther away than any parent should live from their children.  I have spoken with them about moving but they are set on staying where they are.  We have also discussed finding them a retirement home close to where they live and have said they would consider it later.  Right now my Dad still has most of his wits about him but that will soon go with all the memories of us.  Mom has come down to say goodnight and I am trying not to tear up - I have been tucking them in every night when I can but tonight I am filled with emotions and do not want them to see me lest it upsets them.  I run the furnace fan all night and open my windows near the cold air intake so that my father will not cough because of the stuffy room they are in.

Monday 17th May

Although I have slept well this week, I did not sleep at all last night... worried we would get up late and they would miss their train, but I can hear my Dad up at 5:30 washing his face and hands and getting ready for the day.  Lydia is up just after I rise to take a shower and she informs them that she will be taking them to the train station.  We arrive early to check in their suitcase and get them settled into the first class waiting room.  I get Mom a Cappuccino and Dad gets a paper to take with him to read on the train.  Lydia would like a hot chocolate but I inform her that we will get something later as this is only for the train passengers.  She reads out the breakfast menu for the train ride to Toronto and begs me to let her travel with my parents - what a magical journey they must be going on where they feed them while they are riding the train.  She pouts as she sits with them.  I realize, looking into my father's beautiful soft blue eyes that waiting until the train pulls in will cause him duress - the tears have come so quickly for him these past few days and this would just be too much.  I quickly rise and instruct Lydia to say her good byes to them.... it has all happened so fast as I hug my parents and kiss their cheeks.  I look into their eyes and tell them I love them.... have a safe journey and please enjoy the trip.  I am out the door with Lydia in tow before they realize we are gone.  'No tears' I kept saying to my Mom, 'just smile'.  I will have time for tears later....

I make sure the kids are off to school and head out to the car dealership to once again check the tires for the annoying tire pressure light that has once again come up - this is the third time in as many weeks.  I will wait for them to rectify the situation in the waiting room.  I am only there a few minutes when I look up from my book and see Pat.  It is a small world - I just met her again last weekend at the Breast Show In Town, and now here she is sitting across from me... neither of us have an appointment.  I make my way over to her and begin talking...... I offer her a coffee and our conversation flows like a lazy river on a warm sunny afternoon.  We have a lot in common and a real parallel life story.  She takes down my email and she will get in touch with me.  Many times in my journey, I have found that the little inconveniences seem to be part of the pay attention opportunities that only become opportunities when you recognize them as such.... it is an interesting life.

..... tears do come later but not in torrents and only because I know that I will miss my parents.... I will  miss my Dad and all that he was when his illness robs him of his recent and then past memories.  He speaks of his sister and his mother and is confused why they lost touch..... so long ago, so much has happened in between.... I heard him muttering under his breath many times in a voice so whisper thin, I could barely make out the words but got the impression he was trying to remember things that were important and repeated them in order to keep it in his mind.  It is so hard to see my pal begin to disintegrate before my eyes.  My children love how funny and affectionate he is.  He is mesmerized by Lydia as he describes her to be all knees and elbows as she crawls all over him.  He is patient with her and smiles when she pats his face and looks into his eyes..... his distant far away eyes which sharpen when she gets in close.  He is blind and sees so little at arms length but can see her clearly when she comes in close for hugs.  William laughed at him the other night when Dad walked into his room butt naked - he just took Dad by the hand and walked him to the room next door for my mother to dress him after his bath.  My Dad was always fiercely independent..... a trait he passed on to me..... 
I will miss my Dad as I watch the clock and envision where they are on the train...... the tears fall.... we all have a journey and this is his.... I Love you always and forever.... what I wrote in  the hand-painted birthday card I made for him last night while he sat on the couch sleeping.  

I will miss my Mom too.  She always says life is not easy..... she has said it her whole life, and as we sit at the table while I paint her a card, I tell her that all of us have a journey and easy or not - it is the cards that are dealt to us.  Every event has been a challenge to her and she never seemed to see the opportunities when they presented themselves to her..... and so, she failed to recognize them as such and labelled everything 'wasn't easy'.  She is perplexed at how I view my cancer as an opportunity... an opportunity to learn, grow and meet like-minded people.  She sees the pain but finds the positives elusive..... she is a lonely person, I have seen it many times in her over the years but most often she can hide it quite well.  I learned to be a rock in her world.  She is gentle and soft with eyes that tear up when I look into them and wish her a safe and fun journey.  I promise her that I will call in the evening to make sure that they have arrived home safe and sound.  For days, I have been building up her confidence to travel by train and to enjoy the trip..... she is ready.  I have bid a quick and early good-bye which has taken her by surprise - she has little time to react and I know I have made the right decision as I walk quickly away.  Her tears will fall when the train trip ends..... our visit will be complete.  I Love you always and forever.  xoxo  

I cried a lot this afternoon when there was no one around..... I will miss you both so very much.  

I called my parents just as they were coming in the front door from their trip - they are both tired but really enjoyed the first class ride from Via.  We have promised to keep in touch and to not wait so long in between visits - they are looking forward to another trip back to us for a visit!!!  I will pack up a care package for them with memories of their visit with us and will send them cards every month filled with pictures and notes from Lydia.

Thank you to Emily for her lovely handwritten card to Lydia!!! xo

Tonight, Lydia will go to her first soccer practice..... I used to play on an all-male team when I was in the military and do soccer camps for kids.... now I get to watch from the sidelines and cheer on my own child 25 years later.  The Long week end will find me in Ottawa for my 30th high school reunion - an old classmate of mine will be driving us out and back... still too tired to do any driving much past an hour.  It will be great catching up!!!  Sending out the love to all my family and friends and especially to Sue. xox

Thursday, May 6, 2010

.... friendship

..... the lady down the street's daughter is still hanging out with mine and there have been many sleep-overs and play dates in the past few weeks which necessitate Sandra to enter into my backyard unannounced in order to pick her up from yet another after school get-together.  It wasn't until Sandra's close friend called to give his best regards to Max and neglecting to extend the same to myself that I realized exactly why her and I are not friends..... she talks... not only about herself but she talks... you know, about the private things that people tell others in confidence.  I realize that I know more about the caller's deepest secrets that God forbid should I share with anyone - which I have not - and now I know why she really made me crazy for all those years and why I never told her anything of importance.  Despite the fact that I am outgoing, I am a deeply private person and feel that everyone has the right to their own privacy.  I should never have to spell it out to anyone that when someone talks to you, you keep it to yourself.... and I do.  She would divulge everyone's secrets to me and if any of her friends showed an interest in getting together with me, she would simply pass messages but neglect to invite one or the other to her gatherings. I take it from the caller's cool attitude towards me that she has justified the ends to suit her means.  When you are going through a life changing situation, really, the last thing you want to have to deal with is someone who cares more about the attention they get 'sharing' your personal stuff without your permission.... all she now has to share is her personal opinion.  I just call out as I make my retreat into my haven.... see you tomorrow to the little blonde head that streaks out past me to join her Mom.

The gals after Yoga all understand what this all means to them and they each have a 'name'  in their lives.... or used to.  You gauge your world by your feelings and sense of security and learn to not waste time with those that threaten either one.  The girls get it and know that when the cancer journey is over usually a lot of friendships are as well... one of the gals ended her marriage just before her diagnosis because she knew instinctively that she would never get the kind of support from him that she might need and realized that the marriage had been over a really long time.  Why do we wait so long to 'clean house'?  Is it because we are so busy in our lives, don't want to hurt feelings, perhaps the loneliness factor or just wanting to keep the peace at all costs?  Why are some people just outright mean?  Why are some people so nice to you when you are ill, but lose patience or revert back to their old ways when you are better?  When I left my life to venture into the unknown, I kept in touch with the people who I knew were good friends and who could be there for me... I left behind the ones who talked a good game but when it counted, they were nowhere to be found, the ones who seemed to know when I needed them and those who knew me the best - the ones who knew the facade was just that and respected the sensitive person whom they had befriended.  I wish to thank my extraordinary friends!!  The yoga gals and myself hope that we have been good friends to others in our life's journeys - we may never know but we are all deeply conscious of those around us and aspire to be a friend like the most memorable ones in our hour of deepest need.  I hope that my friends, old and new know that I love and admire who they are  and I do not question why we are friends. xoxoxo

Tomorrow night I will be heading out to network with other women at a sleep-over hosted at a really great hotel an hour away.  I am the guest of a woman that I can barely find the words for - she has touched my soul to the core and I am deeply honored that she considers me a friend.  She is patient, funny and kind and just says what's on her mind.  She is not afraid to tell me when I am being an idiot!!! I am not offended when she does because I know she says it with love and kindness.  I am fortunate that my friends are comfortable telling me what they think of me and know that although it isn't always easy to listen to, it is always said with love. xoxoxo

This journey has brought people into my life who have helped to shape my attitudes about what friendship really is and what I have to offer.  I have been hand-painting thank you cards when I find a few minutes for those who have touched mine and my family's lives..... Hallmark and my Art Therapist would be proud!!!  Art is so incredibly liberating for the soul and my paints make me so happy.  My mother used to say that a home-made anything lets others know how much you care about them.

Thank you for reading my blogs and letting me know in your own personal ways how much you care. In 9 days I will turn 46...... it will be one year to the day that I found my lump and my life as I knew it came to an end.... no regrets - I have become a better person for the experience, my children have matured, my friends are extraordinary, new and incredible people have come into my life and made it better and my marriage, although pretty great before this has become an even deeper bond and continues to deepen as we move forward - he is ultimately my best friend and soul mate and who encouraged me to share the more personal me through my blogs.... I love you now and for always.  xoxo

Monday, May 3, 2010

.... depression

.... I would be remiss if I didn't name what the past month has been like - depression.  I always thought like many people that it was something that happened when you were being weak, but I have since come to understand that it happens when you have been strong for far too long.  That feeling of being lost that comes with the end of one chapter and before the next one begins....

It's not that I expect others to understand, I really don't, but it is a consequence of any trauma that life has to offer and sometimes it is not always well-handled but hey, it's what makes us human.  It felt some days like I would never stop crying and every thing regardless if it was little or not blew itself out of proportion... when the dust settled, there were hands helping me up through phone calls, messages, lunches and thoughtful gestures. There will be days to come  that will inspire tears to fall but I am OK with that... we really don't have a whole lot of control in our lives and trying to gain some after not having any means that I am on the way back to finding my groove sooner than later.  I am disappointed that one person I reached out to and whom has been a friend for so many years and whom I have listened to and helped through their recent issues has turned his back on me and has ignored the few emails I have sent.  This hit me really hard and it's not like he is not aware of what is going on.... he was one of the first people I told.  I have learned that there is a difference between being friends and being friendly.  I have talked to many survivors of varying journeys and they too mention the ones they least expected to turn away and were devastated when they did.  I have made new friends who get where I am at and will listen and support me with kindness and understanding..... I move on.

As my 13 year old son is quick to point out these days - everyone is on a journey of some kind. It makes you appreciate those around you more when you have been there and done that.  I will always look to Kim for her sage advice in our  class.... she only gives me information when asked and listens quietly while I talk to her.  Kim says that there is no point in giving information ahead of time when you are never sure if that is where your journey will take you. She does understand and shares what she went through when it is applicable to the issue at hand.  She knew right away what I was going through when I mentioned the anxiety and tears and confirmed my suspicions that this was all part of the package.  I know her sister is right where I am right now in her journey so she calls her every day to let her just talk.

The past few days have been spent hand painting thank you cards to the Supper Club, Mandi, Sandra and Joelly.... I ran out of paper but when I purchase more, I will be able to complete the rest on my wish list.

I thank those who called like Tracy from LympheDiva's who made me laugh and I was touched by her concern.  I forgot to ask what the weather was like in Philadelphia!!  A big hello goes out to Emily from Lydia... we will send you a note really soon to see how you are doing!!

Thank you to Mandi without whose incredible support, love and friendship, this journey may have been so much more difficult than it has been.  I love you to pieces now and always.  You inspire me.  You are the reason why I went to Wellspring in the first place, where I have met so many wonderful and loving people whom I look forward to seeing every week.  You are the one whom I told all those many months ago and cried with in your office.  I cannot thank you enough for being there through thick and thin and giving me hope on the days that I felt hopeless.  Thank you for looking out for me and helping me up when my world fell apart.... a few times.

Monday 3 May 2010

It has been muggy much of the weekend with threatening clouds which gave up so little of their life giving rains until early this morning.  I am always amazed that the birds start their song so early in the morning - long before the sun rises..... they take advantage of the peace and quiet those hours provide so that they can distinguish their mates and friends without the cluttering of noise from our busy lives.  My life is not busy right now but I am making it so with the perpetual art projects and small household chores. In a few weeks I will note the first year mark - the mark that began this journey and took me off course of my life as I knew it.  I do not know what will come my way but am optimistic that it will hold some new adventures.

This morning I am finishing up a project I started yesterday.  We picked up stuff from Michael's and I am making our traditional pool sign for the front door... a little bit of the original one with some items added and deleted to create a happy welcoming to our pool!!  It will be a hot summer and look forward to family and friends coming out to chill with us.

My parents are coming to stay with us for a week or so starting on Mother's Day Sunday.  We have not seen them in a few years and of course I have not travelled since prior to my illness.  My Mom wanted to see me bald but gratefully my hair has grown in enough to not have to wear my scarves or hat to cover up the dome.  My Dad was diagnosed with Dementia this year and I am hoping that the break away will bring him joy especially since his grandchildren are all waiting to see him.  My Dad is an Electrical Engineer and his friends often joke that I am the son he never had!!  I often get caught between the traditional Mom and the boys by the BBQ.... the BBQ crew usually wins.  I am always the only girl out chillin' and having beers with the boys!!  I have been a tom girl since I could remember.... used to drive my Mom nuts when I climbed trees in my dresses or ran around wearing only pumper pants in the 70's.  I would climb anything from door frames to overly tall fir trees (sap never came out of my favorite t-shirt).  I would feed the squirrels by putting the peanuts in my mouth and let them climb up to get them - my mother was horrified!!  I rescued injured birds and bunnies alike and was able to convince my mother to keep them until they were better.... she released them for me.  I am grateful that they always said to follow your heart and your dreams and I think for the most part I have..... my physical world is now not the same and I will eternally miss not being able to once again pull myself into a tree...I can't feel my left shoulder due to the nerves being injured through surgery and the edema will always threaten to flare up if I should over-extend or injure it.  I now watch my daughter climb the crab apple in the front and coach her from the steps.... never face away from the trunk when climbing down as she discovered when the seat of her pants caught on the way down and she was facing space...

Mitchel is getting his braces removed after 27 months!!!  I finally get to stop paying for them next month!!  Dental with a family of 5 is very expensive and I can't imagine anyone doing so without a little help from insurance.  Two kids down and one left to go with the braces!!  I thought at one time that I would like to get my teeth straightened after a getting them straitened years ago as part of a clinical Orthodontic trial.  I used to be called 'bucky' and 'bugs' when I was a kid.... ah those were the days!!  As my neighbor always says 'you could mow the lawn through the fence' or something to that effect.  I called Max to find out whether he was going to go to work or get his cavity filled and I caught him in the chair - ooh, he is frozen gooder!

Thank you to Janice for the lovely lunch and your wonderful company.  Our paths crossed quite by accident and has been a godsend in my journey.  Your loss runs deep but yet you still have to courage to move ahead and support me with your wisdom and loving spirit... I lost a friend and gained another... how poetic.