Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Rest In Peace

I miss writing. I miss my blog. I don't have much time for writing anymore. Single parenting a 5 year old and full time work in a helping profession take it all out of me. But tonight, as I washed what seemed like every single plate and pot I own, (note to self: do NOT leave the dishes for more than a day!!!), I began processing some pretty deep, dark stuff. Then I thought, I should be writing this down and getting it out of me instead of letting these thoughts and feelings just swirl around inside and eat me up.

My cousin passed away last week. He took his own life. It's...well, it's tragic. And I have been mostly stoic about it. We weren't very close; we never talked or got together. But...still...so tragic. And then, Grace's childcare worker asked me this morning if I was ok. She had heard I was going to a funeral on Friday. I told her I was fine, and I told her about what had happened, and then I got in my car and went to work...and started to cry. There it is. The grief.

On Friday, I will drive 3 1/2 hours to the little town we all grew up in, Bawlf, Alberta. (It's ok to laugh at the name, I won't judge you). We will gather in the Lutheran church where we used to gather as kids for Christmas Eve service, where I had Sunday School and Vacation Bible School as a child, where we gathered for Bryce, Nolan, and Grandma's funerals, and now my cousin, Ken's funeral. Too many funerals. And my cousin's family...too much suffering. We have lost too much. And too young.

My first memory of Bawlf Lutheran Cemetery, is from when I was a child. Maybe 4 or 5. I watched the grown ups all somber and I saw the coffin of my grandfather lowered into the ground. I didn't understand, but I knew it wasn't good or happy.

The last time I visited the cemetery, it was for my Grandmother's inurnment. They laid her to rest next to Grandpa. Then we paid our respects to the boys, Nolan and Bryce just across from Grandma and Grandpa. And we wept. Because, those little angels, they should not have been taken from us so soon.

My cousin, Ken Kerr, will be laid to rest with all of them. Grandma, Grandpa and the boys. I hope he has found peace and light and love. It breaks me. The weight of loss for my cousin's family. For our whole family.

That's as far as I can go for now. There are no more words.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Dreamers Vs. Reality

Well...as I contemplate what to write here after quite a lengthy blogging hiatus, I come up kind of blank. I mean, there is SO much I could say but I am concerned about adding my noise to the already insane noise of the internet unless it adds some kind of value. That being said, this blog has mostly been for myself. A way to process and remember some very amazing experiences. Particularly, my experiences in Africa.

I'm not in Africa right now. The sights and sounds and experiences I have currently are very regular and normal. Mundane even. I mother, I cook, I clean, I look for work (yup, currently unemployed), I exercise, I take walks...I always read about people trying to be present and enjoy the moment. Do you suppose there are just some people, (like me), who just cannot live in the present, at least not without difficulty? Is it something I must learn? I am always looking for what's ahead, something better, brighter, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, the utopia. Ha ha ha...I have always been and will always be a dreamer. I am adept at hiding my dreaminess though. ;) I use sarcasm and cynicism to protect myself from the harsh blows of...REALITY. Oh God! Reality! Noooooooooooooooo! (crossing arms over face to protect myself). You might not even realize it when you meet me just how hopeful I am that the world can be better. That I can be better. That there is meaning and purpose in this life. The friends who know me well, will not even argue. That girl there...oh boy...yup, a dreamer.

I definitely don't want to take this time for granted. And I am sure there are valuable lessons to be learned when practicing mindfulness. Like, "all we have is this moment." So, perhaps, by re-igniting my blog, I will find meaning in the everyday. And it will help me move through a particularly draining time in my life. So yeah, blog on!

Friday, April 25, 2014

How about today you stay off Facebook...

I gave up Facebook for Lent this year and it was tough because I was kind of addicted. (Ok, really addicted). But I was glad I did it, because it created space in my life for other more important things: reading my Bible, connecting with my daughter, exercise, rest!

I was excited to get back to following my friends on Facebook once Easter had come and gone, but I realize more than ever what a soul sucker it is if I let it be! So, I guess I will be doing my best to frequent FB a little less. Instead, I would really like to continue cultivating good soul fulfilling habits in my life and that's why I'm writing again.

I used to write a lot, but now I have this strange fear of writing, particularly on the internet for the whole world to see. Of course, I can write in private but I think the fear is something I want to overcome. So, I write. This post isn't as witty or spunky or profound as I'd like it to be, but I am really trying to find the joy in the process of getting my thoughts down and the freedom which will hopefully come as a result.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Growing Pains

Wow! What an exhausting roller coaster ride of a day. In the blink of an eye, my dear baby girl has fully emerged into toddlerhood and while I'm excited to see her learning and growing so much, I myself feel the growing pains! I have to adapt to this new stage of development and I feel the squeeze!

This morning, after we took my nephew to school and played at the park for a while, we started our so called 5 minute walk home. Well, the girl didn't want to go in the stroller. Fine. I don't mind if she walks. But then, the girl wouldn't hold my hand when we crossed the street. Problem. How to solve aforementioned problem? Well, how would I know? I tried explaining it to her, I tried letting her sit in the dirt, I tried compromising with her. In the end, I had to carry her, literally kicking and screaming across the street. Then, she wanted to push the stroller, by herself, no help from me, thank you very much! After about 5 minutes of not getting very far, and my niece complaining, I needed to take the reigns. Screaming, crying, flailing, for all the neighborhood to see. Sigh...Finally, we were nearly home and she decided to test me by walking in the middle of the street. No, not gonna happen babe. More kicking and screaming and me cringing inside. There has to be a better way I think.

Before lunch, she had a time out for beating up her 5 year old cousin. The "time out" is relatively new for us. I guess we're still trying to figure it out. I've been putting her in her bed (a pack n' play), for a few minutes. I know that's not an ideal spot, but it contains her and gives me a few moments to collect myself and think of my next move. So, I went in and talked to her about why she was in time out as she stared at me with her tear-stained face. (Poor boo!!). I said, "no hitting, ok?" And she nodded with chastisement in her eyes. I took her over to my niece and asked her to say sorry, which she did and then gave her a hug. That was encouraging.

Oh sweet relief came at naptime! Woohoo! We all needed a rest. Then we had an awesome play date with friends in their shady, lovely yard. Grace climbed the ladder all be herself and slid down the slide proudly proclaiming, "I did it!" I applauded and shouted, 'Yay! You did it!" I was indeed, very proud of her. She inspired her little friend to also go down the slide unaided. I loved that. She also played nicely with the other little girl who is only a few months older than her. Sweet.

Now home, now tired, now hungry, dinner was upon us. I put Grace in her high chair for supper as usual but quickly saw her insatiable desire to be next to her cousins on the bench. I knew she wasn't going to eat and I think the highchair is soon to be a relic of the past. I allowed her to sit on the bench but it was hard for her to focus on eating. Soon, there was again, need for another time out. I think I tried to get her back in her chair and she had a massive freak out about it and I was lost as to how to get the girl to eat! After the time out, I asked her if she was now ready to eat and she nodded that she was. I picked her up and she cuddled into me (I love the way she cuddles) and I helped her finish her supper.

Bath time came after that and she asked to sit on the potty. We are not actively potty training but she has a potty to sit on as she likes to mimic me, but she's never actually gone. I gave her some toilet paper so she could 'wipe', because that's her favorite part, ha ha, and when she half stood, I saw liquid in the potty! What?! You peed? Did you pee? Oh my gosh! You peed! Oh my gosh! I am so proud of you, gush, gush, gush, hugs, kisses, smiles. She was all like, what is up with my mom?

I am still, just so thrilled!

So, PJ's, some painkillers for the teething, night nights and a book. Then some milk, a lullaby and tucked in...I walk away feeling content and then...screaming, crying, "mommy, mommy." She wants me to sit by her bedside until she falls asleep, but I have a resume to update and a job to find by the end of June. It's not that I don't want to sit by her side but she won't actually sleep off this way. We've tried. She just stays awake. I don't like leaving her to cry but I have tried everything and she has to sleep! I go in and comfort her 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 times! 2 hours later, I go in, give her some more milk, pat her back, sing her a lullaby and finally she drifts off.She used to go to sleep on her own just fine!

Now it's nearing midnight. I know this whole parenting deal, is molding and shaping me. Like I said, I feel the growing pains as much as Grace does. Because I don't know how to do this, and everyday brings new challenges, new problems to solve, but also, more cuddles, more love, more laughs and more Grace, the 21 month old kind and the God kind. Being Grace's mom is a transformative gift. And now, I need to sleep.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The sun is shining; the sky is blue. The leaves are slowly unfolding, bringing colour and fullness to the trees. I am a little lighter, a little more hopeful and breathing more deeply. My babe is sleeping better with all that pure sunshine running through her body.

We have stepped out of our hibernation.

Stretch, yawn, turn your face to the sun. Welcome Spring!

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Is It Enough?

Depression is all around me. I am not myself by definition "depressed" although I have reason to be and definitely experience moments or days of darkness. Doesn't everyone? But it seems depression, that dark, lonely, isolating, heavy, painful presence is affecting many of my loved ones. The worst thing about depression for me, is how helpless I feel to help. I know my family and friends desperately want help, but they are so confined within their prison walls, it's as though they can't even see me wailing against the walls with bloody fists.

 I...

Can't...

Get...

In.

And when I'm tired of trying, and I see them slipping farther and farther from me, I am tempted to back away myself. Because my biggest fear, is that depression will win, and I will lose them.

I've seen such fearful darkness, but I've also seen how the smallest flicker of Light can dispel that darkness. That's what I hold onto right now: The memory of one of my dearest, on that edge, that precipice, getting ready to jump, and me, closing my eyes so tight so I don't have to watch, waiting for the crash that will shatter my heart and hearing instead, the most beautiful whisper of the choice to live and seeing her in front of me, broken, bruised, battered, but alive.

All I can do, is stand with you, in the darkness and hope you know how much I love you, and hope that's enough. And hope for the faintest of Light to show you the way out.

I love you. I love you. I love you.



Saturday, January 05, 2013

Making Progress and Happy New Year

Well, it has been quite a long time since I posted here. I've been thinking of things I'd like to post but they seem to get all jumbled up in my heart as one big SIGH of wordless emotion. Do you ever get the feeling, that your heart is a dam about to burst? I need an outlet, so I thought I'd start by writing again. It's always helped in the past.

I am also back on the health wagon. I let myself slip into that chocolate/carb, couch surfing oblivion which felt so good but severely weighed me down in more ways than just the physical. It was an escape, a drug that I used to keep from facing my giants. Oh boy, do I have some giants. It's only been 5 days since I started but I already feel lighter and a little clearer.

Yesterday, I took Grace and my niece to the school playground for recess. My niece loves the opportunity to run around with the big kids. When the bell rang and I looked at my two frozen girls, I asked my sister (the Grade One teacher at the school), if we could come in and warm up. Grace promptly found a chair to climb on and off of and I asked my sister if I could sing them one of our Ang Tulay icebreaker songs. She gladly approved and they loved it because you get to butt hips with each other (a giggling inducing move for any age). It only took 10 minutes but it was really refreshing for me. My sis and I talked about me coming back to teach some more songs to the kids which I consider a fabulous idea. :)

Ok. Here's to making progress. Whoop whoop. Bye for now.