Saturday, May 27, 2006

For her

This is worth a second entry on the same night.

My older son (soon to be 24) and his girlfriend have been together for many years. They broke up for about a year a while back and I will admit to some reservations when they got back together again. But things were different this time. She was always a nice girl but now I am very sure that she shares his faith and love as profoundly as he feels them.

She's been coming over with him more often lately, allowing us to get to know each other on a deeper level. We've had fun and some reeeeeeeally good talks and she's opened up. Last Thursday she shared herself with me in a way she never had before, with tears, with joy, and I was very touched.

I just got a phone call and my son finally (I say 'finally' because he's been wanting to do this for a while now but the timing was never right) asked her to marry him tonight and she said YES! Poor girl got put on the phone with me while she was still in shock..... but a very happy, giddy shock.

I am delighted and VERY happy for both of them.

Do I still think they're young? Hell, yes. But I've known for a long time that they wanted to journey this life together and their love has gone through more bumps in the road than most and they have grown stronger in themselves and in their love for each other.

So, right now, I'm just plain happy for them.

Life goes on in wonderful ways.

Missing you

Still. Again. Always.

I remind myself that I miss so much because I had so much in the first place and for that I'm blessed.

Don't feel blessed today though. Feel lost and lonely and missing YOU and all you were. I am disheartened by how little it takes to unbalance me.

I'm sure it will pass.

My thoughts dwell on those in Indonesia, facing yet another monumental disaster. I am humbled that anyone can stay standing after all they deal with. And reminded how fortunate I am.

I pray for them all.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The afterglow continues

I'm back to work today and it's busy but that's okay.

This last week has been amazing for me, blessed with good weather, great fun and bonding with my sons and their girlfriends, quality time with friends, communing with nature. Not a lot of rest but plenty of fresh air.

Since the last blog entry I went for a walk by the river with my mother, spent time playing an online game and watching Firefly and Serenity with everyone and ended my vacation with a great day on Saturday.

I drove out to a beautiful lake resort area, went for a walk along the beach and voted at the sandcastle contest. On to the blue heron refuge which was soooooo exceedingly peaceful with the sound of birds and nothing else. Saw herons but too far in the distance to get a decent pic, hence the flower pic taken there instead.

Back home to meet up with my older son and his girlfriend and then my best friend. The four of us went out for Indian food (I'm normally a very unadventurous and boring eater but have become more and more willing the last few years to try different things and it's become part of the fun), talked long into the night with my best friend. It was wonderful.

I think I've laughed more in the past week than I have in a year and that feels reeeeeeally good.

Before this vacation I feared that I wouldn't feel like I'd gotten a true break without going away for the BIG vacation like I'd been used to doing the last few years. That's not how it turned out at all.

My sons and I, already close, are closer than ever. We found new things in each other that we truly liked and respected. It's always good to be with my friends. I rediscovered how important getting out into nature is for my well-being. I stuck with doing NO housework except basic dishwashing and laundry, etc., even though there's plenty I could have done. I didn't watch any news. Didn't look at my work except for work email once at the end of the week so I wouldn't be overly swamped today. It was as good as getting away.

My heart is full.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Two Simple Wonders

Went walking with a friend around a very peaceful lake yesterday, talking, enjoying the trees and breeze.

Here's one simple wonder:

And here's another: I'm happy. :-)

Monday, May 15, 2006

Playing Tourist

Repeat lesson learned: It doesn't matter what happens (eg. flu or car breaking down), when you're in the right frame of mind to enjoy yourself, you enjoy yourself.

I didn't realize it the last couple of weeks of work but I was fighting a bad flu. No wonder the migraine and FM pain kept escalating with no relief. The first day of my 'vacation', last Friday, was discouraging because I thought "dang! finally take a week off and I'm too sick to enjoy it". But I think that was its last dramatic hurrah and, armed with some meds to treat the symptoms, things began improving after that. A bit of vertigo, nausea and stomach pain linger but it's on its last legs now.

And it didn't really matter.

Saturday I relaxed and though I *could* have done some chores and home projects I decided I wouldn't do a single one of them this week. So I watched some dvds and played an online game for a while with a new friend.

Sunday was gliding and time (and more gaming) with my sons.

Today/Monday we went into North Vancouver. The weather got close to 30 degrees celcius and the city was beautiful. Went to places we hadn't been to since my sons were young. Including Capilano Suspension Bridge with its Treetops Adventure. What's really fun is being surrounded by people from all over the world, hearing different accents and languages. Watching their reactions to the cathedral-like trees. It's not new to us, living where we do, but it's still pretty damn nice. And I'd forgotten how much that bridge reeeeeeally sways, especially in the middle.

From there we went to Lonsdale Quay to explore the shops and foods, and eat lunch looking across the water at Vancouver. Verrrry relaxing, something we all needed, especially my older son who has been dealing with one frantic pressure after another for months now.

Lots of talking, about our lives, philosophies, debating ideas, and PLENTY of teasing along the way.

Next, the seabus to Canada Place (the building with the sails); check out the webcam (scroll down - it's not streaming video, just a series of pics but pretty nice). And watched Deep Sea 3D at the IMAX theatre there. I'd forgotten how much fun 3D can be if done well. And my older son remembered his/our first IMAX 3D experience when he wasn't even 4-yrs-old yet and reaching out to touch the teddy bear that was hovering right in front of him.

Home again to pick up my car (all fixed again, I hope - starter went on it AGAIN on Sunday when we were out and about after the gliding) and crash. I ain't the only one wiped out from all the walking and the heat. And I don't think I'm the only one who had a really good time.

Tomorrow I rest and recover (I hope) and game.

Wednesday back to nature walking with a friend, Thursday the same with my mother. Friday I rest. Saturday my best friend and I will get together and she'll stay the night. We have some plans but they are dependent on the weather (it may be cooler and rainier by the weekend).

And Sunday back to work. Oops! Did I just say that? Shhhhh.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Well, it only took me a couple of decades....

....but I finally fulfilled a dream and went gliding/soaring (where you're in a plane with no engine, pulled up by a tow plane and released to ride the air currents for a while before coming in for a landing.

The experience surpassed my high expectations. The people, from all over the world, were great, the day was lovely, my sons were there with me to witness it, and it all took place about 40 minutes away from where I live which means I was surrounded by stunning beauty.

Most of the time I was grinning like a fool. Some of the time I choked up. The last time I was in a small plane above glacier mountains was with Michael on Vancouver Island. Being from Australia, the kind of mountains we have were pretty new for him and I still remember his profound delight and breathlessness and sharing that wonderful experience with him.

I would have loved to have shared this experience with him. And he would have loved it that I finally did this, and that I was happy.

I haven't played much with the pics, but here's a taste.

That's my plane (I would eventually be siting in the front, pilot behind, glass canopy above and around, little window letting air in, wearing a parachute).

One of the views (pics are taken through the canopy so they're not as clear as I'd like), showing the unending mountains rolling off into the distance:

To give another idea of how beautiful it is, this is a shot we just took from the road:

So, um, now I'm looking at taking lessons. I liked the energy of the people there and flying was as wonderful as I remember from my ultralight flying over two decades ago. Not sure I can afford it this year but, despite being someone to whom patience doesn't come naturally, I can be a patient woman if necessary and if I don't do it this year, I'll do it next year. But even if I don't ever get to that point due to unforeseen circumstances, I'll have had this day and that's enough too.

Beyond that, ice cream cones from a local dairy farm on the way home, time spent talking and gaming and cooking together with my sons. Very very nice Mother's Day.

Tomorrow we play tourist in Vancouver. :-)

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Mother's Day

Thoughts going in all directions this Mother's Day.

Thinking of a friend who's just lost her best/oldest friend who is a mother. Thinking of that friend's daughter and wondering how she'll get through this Mother's Day.

Thinking of Michael's mother.... a fragile but fiesty woman in her 80s who is facing this Mother's Day without her adored and adoring son. How they used to tease each other.

Thinking of my (ex) Mother-in-Law, the woman who really taught me how to love family unconditionally and who is no longer with us.

Thinking of my grandmother (who just died), my mother and myself. Dysfunction and secrets and cowardice and negativity handed down through the generations. My mother still lives with the ramifications. I work at leaving them behind while holding on to the positives that are also there. I'm grateful that my mother is still here, grateful for all the love she gave me. I never forget those and I strive to never miss an opportunity to be kind to her, while keeping healthy boundaries (and a sense of humor).

Given the above, I never expected my own sons to actually enjoy my company once they were grown. I wasn't worried about it, just thought it was a given. So I continue to be pleasantly and gratefully surprised that, while they each have very full lives of their own, complete with work, travel, friends, girlfriends, etc., they still seek me out. And we always have a lot of FUN just being together. (At least I think they do.;-)

I'm on vacation this coming week, taking time to play tourist in my area with different people.

So this Mother's Day and the day after I'll be with my sons, doing various things around town and I'll report on those after they're done.

In case you haven't guessed yet..... for now, from the perspective of loss and with my mother and sons in my life, the feeling that fills me is gratitude.

I'm a lucky woman this Mother's Day.

Saturday, May 06, 2006


Inspired by Denise and others who have been doing the "whatisthisdoinginmyhousemondays" for a while now, I'm joining in on it this week.

This is Sam.

I was reminded about Sam when a friend made an agreement with her dieing friend that a certain kind of memento would come her way to let the surviving friend know the dead friend was okay. I was upset I'd made no such agreement with Michael. (I know, the things we beat ourselves up for are pretty dumb sometimes.) Then I remembered Sam.

A few mornings after Michael died I opened up my front door to find this ceramic turtle, about 5/6 inches in height, sitting there looking up at me with a goofy grin. He didn't belong there and I'd never seen him before in my life.

Now, I expect what REALLY happened is someone was out for their morning walk, found the turtle on the road near my lawn and assumed it must belong to me and decided to be neighborly and set him on my front porch. (I live in a neighborhood where that could happen.)

But what I chose to believe because I couldn't figure out for sure how he got there was that he was meant to be there and maybe, just maybe, it was a gift from the beyond in my time of need.

So why a turtle? Not a clue really. Had it been a frog it would have made sense. I like frogs and Michael and I had a LOT of inside jokes about frogs starting from the beginning of our relationship and carried through the years. There were frog songs, frog stuffed animals and tokens, frog mouse for the computer, all gifts from him as part of the ongoing joke.

But this was a turtle.

Okay. Next came the search for the meanings of turtles and there's a lot out there but no consensus. Could mean healing and balance and courage or a gazillion other things. Of course there's the whole 'slow and steady wins the race' thing reinforcing the one-day-at-a-time philosophy. Hmmm.

Then I saw a repeat episode of the Gilmore Girls, a show we both loved. There's one scene in the 2nd or 3rd season where Emily decides to send some workmen to Lorelei's house and tells them the key is under the turtle at the front door. Workmen couldn't find the dang turtle. That's because it's a frog on the front porch, not a turtle. Aha! Could Michael have made the same mistake and sent me a turtle when he meant to send a frog? *LOL*

Whatever the explanation, I just like the look of him. And I named him Sam because it's a friendly, not-to-bright name (sorry to all the Sams out there) that seems to fit. And he made me smile when there was so much darkness.

I left him on the front porch for a while in case a neighbor missed him from their yard and reclaimed him. He eventually was brought in to the front entrance and then into my office when we redecorated/painted in the entrance. Now he has migrated to the closest end of my fireplace mantle in my family room, right above where I sit here at my computer.

And he still makes me smile. At his grin and at how our minds will work when reaching for comfort in life's little surprises.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

One day I'll get smart.....

.....and blog in the mornings. That's when I feel SOME energy at least. When ideas are coming fast and furious.

By the end of the day/night I'm brain dead. *chuckle*

But I'm too busy at the start of my day. So, for now, I'm stuck (you're stuck) with brain-dead-blogging.

I continue to exercise every morning and some afternoons. This morning I made it through the easy level of a 23-minute workout and stayed active through the afternoon. Was fine during the morning exercises. Hurting like hell now. Feel like I've been hit by a truck and the flu at the same time. But breathing was fine and any rise in body heat is no longer triggering the lovely hives/severe itching that accompanied any exercising the last few years. Getting off that last FM med really has done the trick.

I'm also working on changing my sleep schedule. I never was a night owl until Michael and it no longer really serves me to stay up late, get up late. And that's starting to work as I get up a bit earlier each week and am getting some sleep some nights.

That's the physical self-care. Restarted a gratitude/prayer/goal journal for the rest of me.

Step by step.

Can I just say.....

Thank goodness for David Letterman and Tom Hanks? Aside from my own self-absorbed stuff, I've been thinking so much lately about all that's going on in Africa and it feels very good just to laugh at some silliness.

Sometimes it's worth staying up late. ;-)

I'm okay.

And I better get to bed before I ramble any further.

Bon nuit!

Monday, May 01, 2006


The past weekend was difficult for a few reasons, including my grandmother dieing on Friday at the age of 92. I was not close to her and I know this is what she wanted and everyone should die in their sleep after a long life of relative good health but I'm sorry she died alone. (She had visitors often but died in the few short hours in between visits.) I have real issues with the idea of those I love dieing alone. (It's one of the reasons Touching the Void is one of my favorite films, because it addresses that more eloquently than I ever could.) It seems that everyone I have lost has died alone, many suddenly with no opportunity to say goodbye. When I have had the opportunity to say all I needed to say, it's been much much much easier.

My grandmother was not a happy woman and I hope she is finally at peace now. Everyone deserves that. And I hope my mother can start to heal from some of her own pain but I have reasons to doubt that and I'm sorry for that too. I'm supporting my mother, talking with her often, and offered to go with her to the funeral in Ontario but she's chosen not to go for a few reasons including some health issues.

My grandmother's death, supporting a friend who is facing a devastating loss, and some other things going on triggered a lot of issues for me for me regarding my family and regarding Michael. I'm tired of being sad. It's always there, just sometimes it's safely behind walls that are more solid than at other times.

But I'm sorting it out and will regain my balance again. I always do.