April 27, 2015
Then wouldn't you know it, I was cooking dinner and my phone rang. It was the sweetest voice I've heard in a long time - his voice radiated that of an 80 year old man who meets his buddies at the local coffee shop to discuss the day's headlines. His name just had to be Bill or Frank. He called to thank me for finding his money. He was hell bent on finding out where I lived so he could give me $20 for turning in his money. I just couldn't take a dime of this sweet man's money. I wanted every dollar he had to fund whatever cribbage tournament he was likely embroiled in.
He said surely you have to accept $20. I said, I can't, and don't call me shirley. (Kidding). But the last thing I want is to take a sweet pensioner's money (who am I kidding, he's probably living in an ocean view condo, handing out $20s like they are kleenex in his sleeves). But I digress.
He was so sweet and told me he couldn't believe I didn't take any of his money, and that I was one in a million. It really made my night. #thisiswhyI'llnevergetrich
April 26, 2015
My mom has been an absolute warrior throughout this process. Her dignity and strength have been tremendously inspiring. She never has complained. She's tried everything in her capacity to battle this - chemo, holistic methods, juicing, meditation, you name it, she's done it. Last February, she was given 3-4 months to live, and has lasted 14 months since being diagnosed. And in that 14 months, she got to celebrate her amazing 50th anniversary (which felt like a beautiful garden wedding), she got to enjoy hundreds of visits with friends and family and celebrate another Christmas and another birthday. Those, along with the tremendous outpouring of love and support our family has received are the silver linings that I desperately cling to, to offset the horrendous memories from this year watching her being sick from all the chemo, watching her be in so much pain until they were able to get it under control, from countless hospital scares, from shitty CT scan results, and watching her body being eaten away before our eyes. Enough is efuckingnough. I wouldn't let any of my pets endure what she's experiencing. Today I spoon fed her lunch while my sister in law changed her bandages for bed sores. We lift her up to go to the bathroom because she has no more strength and weighs less than 100 pounds. I'm not saying any of this to you for sympathy. I'm saying this to you because in this day and age, people shouldn't have to endure this anymore. She told me she wants to fly away like the beautiful birds outside her bedroom window.
She's so done. And yet she has to continue soldiering on.
People think, with a disease like cancer, you have a chance to say your goodbyes, to prepare....etc....etc...
But I'll tell you this, since my mom has been diagnosed with cancer, there's no new way I've told her I love her, she already knows this from the relationship we have, she didn't have to lie in bed for six weeks for any extra closure. And as much as I've watched her literally fading before my eyes, I'll never be prepared for her absence. Never. She's been the core of my foundation for 40+ years, and I will be just as devastated after this year of illness as I would have been if she died in her sleep at the age of 80.
I try so hard to keep this space positive and upbeat, because that's how I like to live my days, but I can't act right now. I didn't go to my company's yearly party last week, because the idea of walking around a room, smiling, answering, "How's it going?" With, "Oh, I'm great!" just isn't in my bag of tricks right now. I'm not great. I'm imploding. The woman who has been my life's north star, who I've turned to my whole life for every bruised knee, every celebration, every broken heart is leaving soon.
If I could give you any piece of advice I've learned from this, it's to tell the people you love how much they mean to you, it's to know that friends and family are it - there's nothing, and I mean nothing more important and it's that it's so desperately quick, this life of ours. Give your mom the biggest hug next time you see them. xoxo
April 19, 2015
Yesterday my hubby and I had a little afternoon date, where we got to dash out to do some furniture shopping for our new home and pop out for a cocktail to mull over our decisions. I had one whiskey sour, but I swear, if I had one more of those, I would have bought everything I laid my eyes on. It's been such a fun process dreaming of how we're going to set up our home. Honestly, it's given me so much to be excited about, and hopeful for, in an otherwise extremely painful time of life.
Today we spent the afternoon at the beach, building castles, burying our feet in the sand, looking for beautiful shells - if I'm in the great outdoors with these two, I'm definitely in my happy place. The last photo cracks me up. Hops sure loved his chocolate hazelnut gelato.
This weekend I had a huge epiphany. Whenever I see my mom, I always drive away in tears. I save it until I'm in the car. I can't help it. She's literally fading away before my eyes. She's sub 100 pounds now. And for a woman who is 5'6, it's extremely difficult to see. Her life has been reduced to her bed or the sofa, either way, she's horizontal. But her advice to me tonight was to savour every moment I share with my family and friends, because in the end, that's what it's all about. And this weekend, I had so many pinch-me great moments, so many laughs, so many times where I caught myself feeling so blissfully happy, that I thought, I'm in the depths of the hardest days I've known, and yet, I'm still capable of these amazing moments. Maybe, just maybe, I'll get through this. xoxox
April 14, 2015
Grill and Vine. We're talking floor to ceiling windows, a breathtaking view of the mountains and a four course menu laid out for each of us. Right away, we got our little girl something simple off the menu. I was sitting next to one of the other company wives and she was showing me photos of what the other women got up to that day (they were all childless). I saw a series of photos from the Scandinave Spa, photos of them wearing sombreros drinking margaritas and eating Mexican food, photos of coffee stops, shopping, and then she said, what did you get up to today? And without skipping a beat, I exclaimed, "there's this awesome playground.....it has a bumpy slide!"
It was a pretty funny juxtaposition. I think it was also the moment I realized they were all nicely dressed and I was wearing my jeans tucked into my hunter boots. I swear those boots are so comfy that I often forget I am wearing them! I looked like I was ready to tend to some farm fields and they were in dresses. Halfway through the second course, before we got our Main, I could tell, my daughter was getting fed up colouring her placemat, so I packaged up my dinner to go, and whisked her away to the hotel. My hubby got in after the dinner and the waitress had, very kindly, wrapped up my fourth course (the best lemon tart I've ever experienced) and given it to him to take back to the hotel. I seriously wanted to live in that lemon tart.
On some level - and that level being most levels, you have to let go of the old way you used to travel, but I really did have a blast with my little gal. I'll never forget dancing on the hillside with her, while a live band played on the stage below, or catching snowflakes on our tongues while I ran with her around the pool, or sitting by the fireplace in our room, reading new books, cuddled under a blanket.
I wouldn't change a thing. xoxo