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Showing posts from August, 2015

Goodbye with memories

I'm proud to have spoken at my grandfather's funeral. How I managed to make it through the eulogy without crying is a mystery....maybe he was up there helping me. 




It is truly an honor to be standing here in front of you and talk to you about my grandpa. 
I am one of the luckiest people I know to have had a grandfather like mine for 35 years. 

As a child I always had his love, his hilarious jokes (that we heard again and again) and always someone to tease me!! 

As a teenager, I still have that crucial and unconditional love, plus the fact that I've the toughest looking grandpa around. 
As an adult I had a friend but I also had someone I could count on no matter who, what, where, or why. 
All of us grandchildren had that and many of you here today felt the same way I'm sure. 

Today is a celebration. We had enough sadness and my grandpa wouldn't want us sitting around crying!!! He was the life of the party and the funniest one in the room and let's remember him as such.…

Back in Montreal

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I'm so so so very fortunate that I have never experienced such grief before.
I am feeling much more at peace & so happy I made the decision to take the dog with me.

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I'm still in disbelief about the events of yesterday. 
What an amazing, perfect day.
We all cried, we all laughed, we had a minister that TOLD JOKES that my grandpa would have LOVED and I got to see so much family and friends and even strangers that gave so much love. 
I feel such relief, such love, such peace. My heart still hurts. My brain is still processing. But we all got to see just how much love is out there for my grandpa and grandma. My grandpa would have loved it.

Goodnight Grandpa

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What an amazing marvellous day today was. My grandpa would be proud of us. & I needed this so badly.
I'm totally spent & dehydrated from crying...my heart hurts so much...almost physically, but I finally finally feel like my grandpa is where he is supposed to be.
I received so so so so much love today. My heart is overwhelmed & my brain is barely functioning...I hope I sleep too.
I feel so grateful to the people that came out to celebrate my grandpa's life. & lucky to have had him in my life. 
I spent a lot of time with my friends after. Several came over my to my grandma's & it was wonderful to visit

...even though my head is spinning!!!!!
We are so blessed. 

Confused

My brain is totally & utterly confused. It can't seem to process or make sense of what's going on.

My grandma is baking, there are all these arrangements being made, we are all doing our hair & nails...like we are preparing for a wedding. 
I'm totally & completely exhausted...though certainly not from over-excertion. 
I'm about to have a nap and then make the finishing touches on my grandpa's eulogy, after having spaghetti dinner at my grandma's with my aunts and mom.
Grandpa, you were so, so, so, so strong. I need your strength tonight. 

Etown

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Maggie successfully made the trip. She was totally fine in her tote bag (as seen hanging from a bathroom hook),
But it wasn't the funnest time in my life.
Also, when travelling with a dog be prepared for every child to come up to you and listen to them tell you about every dog they've ever known or met. In the end, I had a helpful 9 year old that helped to distract Maggie.
Today was spent just with my grandma. I'm still not sure how this grief thing works, but I'm sure glad I'm here. Maggie 's pretty happy to. 

Avoidance

Normally I'd be excited. I haven't been to Edmonton since last summer and I wasn't very healthy when I was there. I didn't see many people and it wasn't a ton of fun.
I'll be seeing many, many people this time. I'm much, much healthier...but I'm also a wreck. I want to stay in Montreal for as long as I possibly can so that I don't have to face what's waiting for me. 
I haven't assisted in one funeral arrangement, I haven't visited one family member, I haven't said goodbye to my grandpa. I'm in this state of limbo because I didn't realize that grief could be so incredibly overwhelming. 
I have done absolutely everything possible not to pack my suitcase. I have tried to find any excuse not to go.
I need to be with my family, eventually I'm going to crash and burn with this avoidance strategy...I just want to pretend everything is ok for one.more.day.
The night my grandpa passed away, I had real anxiety before going to bed. I fel…

That left a mark.

Thank you to anyone that has shared a memory, a condolence, a song, anything. My family is taking care of me long distance. My friends are taking care of me here. I feel very lucky and very blessed, but most of all, I feel like my grandpa truly left a mark on the world. Which is the very best feeling to have in this kind of situation. <3

🎶

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2ACmJPhz3Q&sns=em
My cousin will coming from Vancouver be singing this on Thursday. We found it last night & it was my grandpa's favourite song. I can't stop listening to it.
❤️

Celebration

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It's my honour to prepare the eulogy for this amazing man.
It's so surreal...I don't believe everything that's happened over the last two years.

Maggie takes on Edmonton

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Today was a very weird day. A mixture of relief, confusion, and intense sadness all mixed together.
I hope to work tomorrow and Friday, then head to Edmonton to be with my family and attend the celebration of my grandfather's life. 
No exaggeration - anyone who met the man loved him. I know people tend to glorify the deceased person, and no, my grandpa wasn't a perfect man, but he was a pretty freaking fantastic one, that words will never be able to describe. (But I will try to as I'm giving the eulogy at his funeral. It's still so surreal to type "funeral").
And, this thing 
Will be joining me. She's pretty much the most low maintenance, funny, precocious  creature and will bring a lot of comfort and laughter. My grandpa always wanted to meet her too. 

Goodnight Grandpa. We love you.

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"This day, with me, paradise" Luke 23 verse 43

I heard this verse last week & it's been stuck in my mind.

I am in absolute disbelief that I no longer have a grandfather  in the living world. I am honoured that he finally trusted us enough to take care of my grandma for him and that he finally let go.

But nothing seems real. I can't grasp the concept of it.

All I know is that I'm happy he's not suffering.

Strongest Heart

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My grandpa's heart continues to beat. He truly has the strongest heart imaginable. He's so loved. 















I took down a post from last night...it was too sad, too confusing, too...not me.
Last night I called my aunt & she passed the phone to my grandma, who held the phone up to my grandpa's ear. I told him I loved him and said goodbye. 
In part, I feel selfish for not being there, with my family. But everyone has more than assured me that we all deal with death differently, and it's totally fine not to want to spend the last few moments and have that as a memory.
I know my grandpa is surrounded by love. 
I hope he is soon at peace.

Next up...

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Vacation is over.
I'm tanned, itchy, & wired. 
2am. My own bed. 
Picking up the beast early tomorrow morning & then PROJECT REDECORATE goes into effect. 
For the last year & a half I've had items in storage (that I pay for!!!) that were for "our" new house...that never happened. 
So it's time to sell, keep, or find a suitable home for everything in my rental place & storage unit. I live in an amazing place in the best part of Montreal. It's time to make my home my own!!! In one month's time, I want to have my own housewarming party!!!!!!!

Memory Beach Lane

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This post is a bit all over the place...but my brain is on vacation...

So I've kinda been bummed (to put it mildly) about my...family breakup. 
I've also been going down memory lane CONSTANTLY these days.
In part, because of the breakup. 
Part of it is me preparing for my grandfather to finally be at peace...thinking of all the good times we had together. 
But a funnier part comes from one of my closest Montreal friends (I'm not sure why I need to distinguish geographical location, but I do) who regularly sings songs from my parents extensive LP collection, which i was allowed to play with at a very young age. The more he sings, the more I remember.
Today's memory madness came again this morning as I watched a family of three play with a ball in the water.
The mom and dad playfully chasing the ball in the deeper end of the water while the little one...maybe 5 or 6 laughed and chased the ball in the shallow water. 
Flashback to the last vacation I took with my parents.
I was 16 …

Miercoles

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All smiles. All day. Ending with a sunset. Life goes on.

Dia 4- gracias para mañana

Today wasn't my best day.
Perhaps I woke up on the wrong side of bed, perhaps it was the few text messages I had with one of the girls...but from morning to evening all I could think about was everything that I could have done differently, everything I should have done differently, and everything that I lost.
I didn't just lose a relationship with my ex. I think if that was the only loss...I might be ok. I lost the babies that were never conceived (or adopted), I lost the housewarming celebration in our new home that was never purchased, I lost the "stepmother" title, I lost the friendship we had, I lost the memories that are now tainted with hurt, I lost the family I thought I would never have.

In the grand scheme of things, it's entirely possible that I find another love....one day.
That we throw a housewarming party.
That we have babies of our own. 
But the future is unknown, and while I want to....so very hard focus on the future, focus on recovering from a stressf…

But what about the girls?

Stepmom. Never thought that would be me. I completely admit the first meeting was a complete disaster, ending with me forgetting how to speak French, having an anxiety attack in the parking lot, and neither party particularly enjoying the time we had together.
But slowly, with time, I fell in love. It was easier than I thought - the falling in love part, not the stepmother part. 
I was fortunate since we lived 10000km apart so we had the gift of time to slowly get to know one another with short visits. By the time we all moved in together, we had our long distance relationship for a good four years. 
Moving into together full time was HARD. The youngest had just turned sixteen and it was an age I couldn't comprehend. Wasn't it just last summer she was sleeping with her stuffed animal? Now...she in full teenager mode. And the oldest had become an adult...without me realizing it. She was always mature and independent, but now she was staying out, working three jobs while she was on…

Dia 3

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Today, I:
Read many pages read from many different books. Listened to multiple podcasts & many playlists. Snuck dessert out in a Tupperware for later tonight. Ate as much meat as I can (my iron is low). Wore sunscreen & reapplied  often & took sun-breaks often. Missed a few special people. Wore a bikini. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️








Hit the beach, hard.


Day 1 Samama Hangover

Technically it's day 2, because we arrived yesterday just before dinner. I was pretty freaking tired. Yet again, I didn't do my research and didn't realize we were a 1.5 hr drive from the airport. I get car sick...(and we had to turn around once because we dropped some other people off first and accidentally dropped off some of our luggage as well...) so I arrived to the hotel pretty sleepy and out of it. I was up all night in Friday trying to half organize my house as I just got a delivery of most of my boxes from storage.
Anyway, I lied down for 2.4 minutes, got the courage to put on my bikini and went and found the ocean. There is NOTHING that compares to the first moment that your body is immersed in the ocean for the first time in a long time. I just floated. My mind...just floated. I didn't stay for long, but I was looking forward to coming back early the next day with a book and some sunscreen.
I stopped and got a drink on my walk back, I walked around the resort,…

Coping

I thought about cancelling my last  minute trip about a thousand times. 

When I last spoke to my grandma, my  grandpa was having a good day. I knew he would never recover, but he had eaten and seemed to have more energy. I should mention that it was my grandma's 75th birthday celebration. I know that the human body can do miraculous things...and sometimes it can rally for those important moments. 

Almost immediately after her birthday, my grandpa's health rapidly declined.

I need to stop for a moment here and explain how I've been coping with this process. 

Thankfully, I was able to help out midway through this difficult experience. I happened to be in Alberta, so for a few mornings, I would come over and help my grandma help my grandpa prepare for the day. More often than not it was just me standing there, stupidly, waiting to be told what to do, and then helping him out of bed, with the help from my grandma. Between the two of us we were able to get him into his comfortable …

Surprise Vacation

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The day after tomorrow, I'll board a plane to Toronto, then onto Samana, in the Dominican Republic. 
I original had two weeks of vacation scheduled (this week & next week) to go to Edmonton, but I decided to stay in Montreal, learn the lay of my new land, put in some hours at work, and stick with my routine.
Friday last week, I decided I needed an escape. Oh for sure my problems will follow me wherever I may go, but I haven't had a vacation since January 2014. I'm overdue. I totally can't afford it (moving and stuff costs a stupid amout of money) but I've decided to add it to the credit card and pay it off when I get back. 
I'm pretty close to a burn out. I'm distracted at work (I have a patient and understanding boss), I'm not sleeping well, my stomach is upset by EVERY food, and I can just tell...my body is not dealing with this stress and I need to run away, spend time alone, lick my wounds, read, sleep, SWIM IN THE OCEAN, feel the sand between my t…

Bedtime

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Generally speaking, the last couple of weeks have been a complete & total diasaster. Certainly, it's all relative. 
This morning I received a large delivery of most of my items that were in storage for the last 15 months. We had planned on keeping them there temporarily until we found a house after the move back to Quebec. Obviously...those plans have changed...and I'm dealing with it. 

But tonight, as I look over at my place. Smelling still of humidity (it's a Montreal thing & im on the ground floor), boxes everywhere, my stuff in boxes and I don't even know where to begin...I'm so incredibly grateful for this:


The linens don't currently match. But it's MY bed. I've been sleeping on my landlord's mattress on the floor...which no matter what I did...no matter how hard I tried to ignore it...it felt like crap physically and emotionally. A mattress on the floor is fine when you're 18 or 19 (or recently separated, apparently). But tonight I sl…