Thursday, April 17, 2014

Liberty in death

Already fifteen years since the day my father decided to go.   I still miss the old man.  As I'm aging (or simply because) I'm realising more and more that I am my father's daughter in more ways than one.  One would hope that one would forget some, let go of that pain in a way, and yet it's not really the case.

It still gets to me when people talk about how a lot more than why.  I guess I know why, and for sure I do know how.  I respect how.  I could never do what he did.  It's not only a question of courage or lack of, but more a question of decissiveness - of being so decided on doing something that no matter what one just has to do it.  Does that make any sense?  Recently a family member commented on how, and debated that his how was a cowardly one.  It is, in a way, but at the same time I think he mustered lots of courage.  I don't think there was anything easy about his out.  I can't fatom the idea of being so desperate that I could set up everything the way he did, plan every details and then go ahead with the whole thing knowing full well what he was about to do.

He had an ultimate goal:  to stop his suffering, his pain... his life... to find his liberty in death.

May you rest in peace dad - after all those years I can only hope that you've found sweet liberty - may its bell ring for you and bring you a well deserved rest.  I love you still, and always.

Monday, March 31, 2014

About Time

Just watched this movie... I loved it.  As we're about to enter April, not that it looks like it outside,  far from that.  We had yet another snow storm.  Winter just doesn't want to go away.  I know that Spring is on its way though, since on Saturday while running errands I've noticed that it smelled like Spring, you know, that smell of melting poop?  Yep, that is one sure sign of Spring, way more reliable than that ground hog, if you ask me.

Wouldn't it be great if we could travel back in time?  Having the possibility to just go back in our lives and do-over some of those bad days we've had?  I would love to.  I'm not one filled with regrets but there are a few moments that I'd like a do-over of sort.  I don't think I'd like to come back to my twenty years old self and change my experiences, those made me the person I am today.  I've worked (on myself) to get to this point.  I would love to go back and share some special moments again... like in the movie, go back to a day I could share again with my father, or with my favorite aunt, or friend.  A simple moment in time I could relive, just because for the pleasure of it, not necessarily to change it, but more to feel it again, to cherish it fully.

Already three months of 2014 have slipped by, at vertiginous speed or at least it felt like it at times.  I've been trying to take it a little more easy since we came back from our last trip.  It's not always easy or even possible, but I'm trying.  I've scheduled myself and try hard to follow it.  I've been good at avoiding work on weekends, and that's a very good thing.  I don't even answer emails anymore.  I take time for myself.  I've been scrapbooking some, working on our wedding album, at night. It forces me to be elsewhere than the office plus I'm away from the computer; bonus.

I've also been quite active with Postcrossing, especially since the prices of stamps are increasing as of today: $0,22 more for local stamps, $0,10 more for the States and $0,65 for international.  That one hurts, since most of the cards I'm sending are outre-mer.  Last week, I went shopping with a friend, at Ikea, and came back with sixty cards.  I'm a postal addict!  The next day I was receiving a little parcel from Poland with sixteen cards in it.  I'm fully loaded, I'd say, and yet, I'll always land on a profile that requests something I don't have; like a postcard of a dog.  Strange but true, I have no cards of dogs. Oh well.  Curious about some of the cards I've received and sent?  Check out my Flickr album, here.  They're not all there.  These are the ones that weren't scanned by the sender that I scanned myself, and they're only the ones through Postcrossing, nothing from the personal ones I've been getting (since 1978), too many to scan.  I still love sending postcards, and receiving them, it's fun to exchange with people from all over the world.  I've been doing it since high-school, with letters, then with blogging and now with Postcrossing and Bacefook.  Hours of fun, I tell you!

Monday, March 10, 2014

It never fails.

Just when I think things are good, something pops up. On Friday, my mother called. She rarely does. She called because a life long friend of the family had called her to let her know he had cancer. Again. He's been battling it for years, and I thought he was in remission, but he called my mom to let her know that his brain and lungs were now attacked. The end is near for him. When I had first found out a few years back he had cancer, I had written him a letter (I think I had posted about that back then). After I spoke with my mom, I felt sad.  He's a good man.  He wants to live and it saddens me to think of him going.  But such is life.  It sucks, but what that is why we're here, to live some and die.  Sad, ridiculous but true.  We don't have much choice about it. That's life.

Tonight, I found out the brother of a friend passed away.  He was only 42, father of two young ones.  It is sad.  I know he had a hard battle.  Not easy for anyone.

At times, I can't help but wonder if it is worth the effort we put in.  We're doing all of this, for what?  Nobody gets out alive, nobody's found a loophole, no matter your fortune, your relationship status, no matter how well or poorly you treat people, you will die too.  Nobody escapes it.  When I think of it, I then wonder why am I trying to be a better person, to be honest, to respect others, to be nice?  Does it really matter?  The way we live doesn't reflect on how we will die.  You can be an asshole all your life and go quietly in your sleep, while the nice person will suffer through cancer and all of that. 

Even if I do believe in karma, at times, it all doesn't make sense to me.  I guess I don't have that type of faith, the kind that will explain or rationalize it all, 'cause even if I try not to judge, because when I think someone isn't deserving of suffering I'm judging that person (in a good way, but still it is my judgement), and I shouldn't.  I should mind my own business, do my best and trust in the universe, or the energy or whatever.  At times, it is fucking hard to do.

I know life isn't easy, I get that.  We all have a path, that we choose or not to follow.  When I think of people (relative and friend) who stopped talking to me because I did or didn't do something, that they disliked but never had the gull to talked to me about it, it makes me... angry more than sad.  We have little time here, why are we wasting it this way, are we that arrogant?  Do we think that death will pass us by, that we have all the time in the world?  Can we really be that stupid?  Argh.

I swear, when I feel this way I so get why my father took the way out he did.  I'm assuming that was a way for him to claim some control over what he felt he could no longer control...  I still think it showed courage, and desperation, but courage to pull that trigger.  Courage I don't have.  At least not for that.  I have courage, but what I'm lacking at the moment, is hope, or is that faith?

Monday, January 27, 2014

With Aloha...

I don't know about you, but I'm one who do believe in signs; you know signs that life gives you at different times that we most often choose to ignore?  Hubby tends to ignore them, since the scientific geek in him likes visible, explainable facts, none of that feeling thing.

Before we left for our vacation, our much needed time off, I had a little episode which landed me in the ER.  Hubby has been telling me to slow down, that I was heading towards a crash of some sort.  I've been dismissing him, ignoring his warnings and kept on pushing; things had to get done.  On the Wednesday before we left I was at a client.  After lunch I got myself a latte mocca and had some palpitations, which I (still) think were caused by the coffee - I don't drink coffee often - so I didn't think much of it all.

That evening, while watching TV I had some foot cramps - no biggie.  I went to bed after 1am and woke up abruptly at 3 am with a major calf cramp, it wasn't just a cramp it was a hell of a cramp!  I was in such pain, and I've experienced pain before (between knee surgeries and full contact karate to name a few) but nothing like that.  I couldn't put my foot down, it was bad.  I slowly made my way to the bathroom, felt really dizzy and nauseous. I managed to sit on the toilet, but couldn't get that damn crap to let go.  I felt cold and was all wet and felt really bad.  I tried calling Hubby twice, and was starting to get scared.  I had never felt like this before, and couldn't help but think I was having a heart attack or something of that nature.  I did manage to wake him up by the third call and also saw my face in the mirror, and I will say that I had never seen myself so damn white.  By the time Hubby got to me, I was ready to pass out.  He called 911. When the EMS arrived, they plugged me to an EKG, took my pressure, my sugar levels and everything seemed to be fine.  They suggested I'd go to the ER anyway, to make sure.  So, they strapped me to a stretcher and we made our way to the hospital. 

As soon as I came in, I was wheeled to the ER, where I had another EKG, took my pressure, and waited.  And waited to be seen by a doctor.  She came to see me at about 7am.  Took my vitals again, asked a few questions, and sent a nurse for some blood tests.  The nurse came by at about 8:30 am.  They were doing a bunch of tests, to be sure, but it looked like it might have been a stress attack more than anything else.  Supposedly, often people will think they're having a heart attack when in fact it is a stress one.  I was let go, by 10:30am with a clean bill of health.  They couldn't find anything and my heart,  etc. were all good.

During the whole time I was lying on the stretcher, I couldn't help but think of our upcoming trip, and was hoping it was nothing serious that would keep me from flying.  Hubby was with me the whole time, and was periodically telling me, that this whole thing was a sign, if one believed in those, and that I should listen. 

I hate to admit it but I think he has a point.  I just don't know how to fix it, how to address it so that I'm happy as well as him.  I understand his arguments, they all make sense.  I just have to wrap my head around it. 

On Saturday, we visited our dearly missed karate master.  I had made sure we brought flowers and a beer.  He loved to drink beer and I thought of offering him one.  I know it's weird, but I like to think that somewhere, somehow he's still around and will/did enjoy the thought.  We spent some time at the cemetery, the time it took Hubby to sip his beer sitting on the grass by our friend's resting place.  We returned to our condo and as Hubby got out of the car he found a penny on the ground.  I couldn't help to think of this - found pennies come from heaven... Like I've told Hubby, odd that he'd find a penny on the day we visited our friend, maybe our Hawaiian friend threw us a penny to let us know he was also thinking of us... no matter what that is one sign I chose not to ignore as it warms my heart just as much as the warm sun of Hawaii does my bones.

Friday, January 10, 2014

It might be time...

... for me to update my side bar, where it says "Blog I Read", since I don't really read many nor do they post often, so I guess it evens out, somehow, right?

Weird to think I use to blog daily and nowadays I'm on Bacefook daily and on Postcrossing.  I even started playing with Flickr and uploaded all cards I've mailed since I joined in December 2010, all 199 of them!  In doing that exercise, I've realized that I'm sending a few less each year: first year I've sent out 70, second year 64 and last year 58...

Besides freezing my ass off (among other parts), I've been working a lot.  Funny fact: today while working at a client, our accountant currently doing our company year-end called me to answer some questions he had.  Turns out we had a good year, our revenue increased.  The way he was saying it was as if he was wondering why, so in my all natural way of being I told him:

"No shit Sherlock, we've made more money, we've been working our asses off lately!"

I've mentioned before wanting to ditch some clients, well, it looks like 2014 will be the year for that.  I'm heading (if not already there, depending who you're asking) for Burnoutville, and for having visited that town once before, and since it wasn't that purdy, I'll try to change lane and head in another direction.  I'm hoping one thing will help me change where I'm heading when in eight days we'll be leaving on a jet plane for our favorite location: beautiful Hawaii.  I will take that time to re-evaluate and soak up the sun for damn sure!  We'll see what the future holds when we come back, but I've already told my main client that I wanted to leave... We'll see how good these two weeks will be.  Time will really tell.

OK, now it's time to say good night! Ciao!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 by way of the alphabet

I did this last year, and since I always do a review of the year we're about to close I thought of doing it again this way.

Apron: something I started wearing one when I bake

Bowling: activity we did one night, was fun, but really a once a year thing at most.

Cold Shoulder:  what I've been getting from Hubby's cousin, don't really know why (even if I did ask)

Dermatologist: managed to see one, burned me with dried ice and didn't resolve issue. Damn Quack!

Expectation: what I still had, since some people manage to get me down... when will I learn?

Flushed: what I did to a few of my clients.  It did take a load off, somewhat.

Garage Door: after many arguments with our neighbor and discussions with the condo admin.,
we finally got an automatic door closer installed!

Henna: what I had done for Hubby's 50th... on my ass!

Idiots: those we seem to find more and more of, even without looking for them!

Jowl: reason why I'm happy not to have Richard Fish (from Ally McBeal) in my entourage

Kitchen: a place where I seem to be spending a lot less time than I used to

Las Vegas: where we celebrated on thirteenth wedding anniversary

Mother: someone I haven't seen much of lately

Neighbor: the worst one we've never experienced finally moved away!

Obscurity: what I was in when I wrote this list, due to yet another power failure

Postcrossing: what I've been spending lots of time on...

Québec: province where we live and think it might be time to move out off

Rings: what are too loose on my fingers...

Stinkypaw: what I sort of reveal to everyone on Bacefook...

Tobi: my sweet boy, I miss dearly

UVs: what I caught too many of in Punta Cana, DR

Visits: what we made too many of, especially to funeral homes

WW: what I joined and lost twenty-three pounds, before the Holidays that is!

X-Rated: what I should probably be

Yuletide: when we did a lot of "social", time of year obliged

Zoom: what 2013 did, it zoomed by!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

O Christmas Tree

Yesterday, in a local French paper there was an article which prompted me to take a picture of my (first, real) tree and share with the world to see, because what the author (Stéphane Laporte) wrote rang so very true with me.

Without further ado, let me present you, my Christmas tree!

Dec 22nd, 2013 - snow storm, freezing rain the whole deal for a real White Christmas...

It is so full that I couldn't even put all my ornaments.

We went to a local little merchant near our place, looked at a few, discussed the differences between a Fraser and something else, and bought this baby.  We brought it home.

That was Saturday, December 7th.  See how little snow we had?  None.  We had bought a stand especially for it, and once it was home, we put it in a let it "rest" or "acclimate" to being inside and relax a little.  On Sunday, I just had to decorate it.  It smelled so good.  I was truly enjoying it.

During the night of Dec. 8th or early morning Dec. 9th, I heard the sounds of Christmas balls clinking.  My first thought, when waking up, was "what is Tobi doing?" then I remembered that we no longer had a cat... Hubby got up and went to the living room, and next thing I heard was "What the fuck now?" I, too, made my way to the living room to see our tree laying on its side, with broken glass ornaments on the floor, and a naked husband trying to lift it up.  Our tree relaxed a little too much, it looked like.  We messed around with it, far too long for people who needed to be working in a few hours, cutting my foot in the process (because I was also barefoot and naked - yeah we sleep naked), but did manage to make it stand and made sure it was

Yesterday, on my Bacefook status I wrote " I love sitting in a room lit only by the lights on the Christmas tree..." - there is something so relaxing and peaceful, I just love it.  Hubby, despite all the bitching he does, yearly, about having to log all my decorations from storage to home (storage is off site since we're living in a condo) will plug the lights on every morning, so that when I get up I see the tree lit up.  Did I tell you how much I love this man?  I do!

When I've read the article I've mentioned at the beginning,  I agreed with it.  The author is basically saying the Christmas tree is an endangered species, because many stores and public places are no longer putting them up. They prefer being neutral rather than showing a religious sign, and this even if the Christmas Tree has nothing religious about it.  It's a pagan tradition.  

Before, stores would almost compete to decorate and put up the nicest tree that would attract customers.  Nowadays, they think that by not putting one up they will attract customers but they are wrong.  Just think how many people travel, each year, to New York to see the Rockefeller Center Tree.  I know I would, and will do one year for sure. 

A Christmas tree is not only majestic, but it's does make the kid in us wake up.  I love it, just as much as I love Christmas.  It is a special time of year, and I'm not even thinking of anything religious, just the time of year where we get together with friends, and/or loved ones, where we give not only stuff but our time and attention to others.  Yes it does bring out the craziness in most, with the shopping frenzy and stress level getting higher, but when you think of it, what other time of the year forces us to see people we don't normally (and even often willingly) sit with and have dinner with?  

If only for that obligation we all, even Hubby, take time to see relatives we often don't, we get together with friends we often don't make time for and somehow, we do manage to squeeze everyone in and see them during the Holidays.  

In the article, the author wrote that if the merchants continue this way, they will make December 25th disappear and become just like any other day.  I sure hope it won't be the case, and for as long as I can (and with Hubby helping, because without his help I don't think I could) I will put up my Christmas tree and will go nuts with the gifts and Christmas cards.  I will do my best to keep Christmas alive, and like I told friends we were with yesterday, I always carry a little bell in my purse, since I saw "The Polar Express"...

At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed, it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I've grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.

My wish for you, dear blends, is that you always truly believe in the magic of Christmas!

Merry Christmas!