I started off this morning having no idea what I would write for the word HELP but circumstances came into effect that now I do.
I was refilling my daily pill box with my prescriptions for the week and realized I was getting low on one. I looked at the box and I don’t have any refills remaining. To “help” myself I have all my prescriptions set up as automatic refill. Since I don’t have left I had to phone Shoppers. Press 1 for this, press 2 for that. Convenient if you don’t have to speak to a human being. Thankfully all they have to do is fax the Dr and they will send it in.
On Friday I went out to eat at my usual spot. You can now book a table online…so easy. They will send you a reminder email the day before. As much as there are times when I like to speak to a human being I don’t feel the awkwardness of having to tell them it’s a table for one.
On Saturday I learned that there is another vendor that has debit…tap. While helpful it also means I can spend more money! He asked how I would like to receive the receipt and I told him text but I had to get my phone out since I don’t know the number off by heart. Thank goodness I actually carry my phone on me all the time now (that reminds me I think it needs charging!). The only trouble with a debit machine is you have to wait for it to warm up. For some reason my card didn’t go through on the first time either. There have been a couple of times when I’ve had to send an e-transfer to my grocery guy because the debit machine didn’t work.
I don’t know what I would do without technology though. Right now it’s my only form of communication with a couple of friends. One who lives far away and another who has been really busy. Dr appointments are all put on the calendar on my Ipad. I could look up the menu for the restaurant so I had an idea of what I would have before. I keep a basic grocery list on my Ipad and add to it. Technology is a help it’s all in the way we use it. There are times when I think we have all this technology at our finger tips but we are losing that one on one connection with people.
Today is our birthday. I got a touching email from a long time friend who wrote “thinking of you and Janet”. I also have a twin friend who wrote Jennifer and Janet. The first birthday after Janet died mom and I went to the cemetery and put flowers on the grave. I remember writing in my journal how unfair it was. How strange it felt to be standing there on our birthday.
It’s really hard to describe what the day is like now. I wake up to emails from friends and by days end many people will have posted on my Facebook page. I’m going to get pampered for the afternoon. It’s a day where I feel special and loved. But at the same time there is an underlying sadness. It will always be OUR birthday. I’m turning 45 but she will remain 32.
Yesterday it was pouring rain for most of the day but today it is sunny. Whenever I have a sunny birthday I think that is Janet smiling down on me. I was wondering what I was going to do for dessert because I have to have cake on a birthday. Last night I found out that one of the vendors is going to have carrot cake by the slice. Nice how things have a way of working out.
Happy Birthday my bud. Love you and miss you everyday.
This is a picture of our first birthday and sums up our relationship perfectly when we were little. I was the instigator or as Mom called me “the little imp”. When we were about 2 years old Janet was playing in the sandbox and had built a tower and I came along and knocked it over. At that age Janet was a biter so of course she bit me.
The second picture is my favourite. It was taken 20 years ago at a family picnic. I remember taking it to a bereavement support group and everyone would comment on how much we looked alike. A twin friend said we are mirror images.
Our birthday is in 2 days and I miss her terribly. What I really miss is that unconditional love that I could only get from my twin. There are days when I feel like relationships are so much work and being a twin was the easiest relationship in the world. She was ALWAYS there for me. She understood me like no one else can.
Growing up we did all the milestones together. Our first day of school, graduations, turning 18, the first time we voted. I can’t include getting confirmed in this because I was sick so I had to be confirmed in the fall. It was funny though because everyone in church noticed because there was supposed to be 2 of us. My grandfather told me that I was special I had to have my own day…yeah I didn’t fall for it. Janet and I both had a hard time turning 30. It just seemed so much more “adult” than 20 something. At the same time we both felt like we were still learning a lot as if at 30 you should magically become all knowing. Seems kind of ridiculous writing it now but I think we all kind of reflect when we hit certain milestone birthdays. I don’t remember what we did. On Friday I’m going to be 45. Another milestone without my twin. I’m going out for lunch and having a manicure afterwards.
Yesterday was Market day and I decided to buy some flowers in honour of Father’s Day and our birthday on Friday. At first I was going to buy a bouquet but this arrangement looks a lot fuller. By the time I had made the rounds I had spent ALL my money and had to go to the bank machine.
I often think about how different my spending habits are from my parents. Growing up my Mom would take us out for breakfast. My Dad would wonder why you would go out for something you could easily cook at home. Because Dad had a garden we never bought flowers we would just pick them and even then that was rare. We would go out for dinner for someone’s birthday and ordering in was done when we didn’t feel like cooking. When my parents died I felt sad that they didn’t use their money to enjoy the finer things in life a little more often. I think that’s why I do it…life’s too short.
Yesterday was the first week back for one of the produce vendors. She recognized me and yells out “hello darlin’, nice to see you”. She is like everyone’s favourite grandma. That feeling of being valued…that’s free. A smile or a hug is free. Sending someone an email to say you are thinking of them.
If you live in Canada you know that last night was game 6 of the NBA playoffs for the Raptors. Oh my goodness the lead up to it was something else. It was all over the news. CBC had reporters in downtown Toronto interviewing people who camped out to be able to watch it in Jurassic Park…in the rain no less. Now that is dedication. Even in London they had a screen set up on Dundas street to watch and people were packed in. Last week I walked down Dundas and wondered why there were a lot more cleaning crews and realized it was the day after the last game.
I’m not a big sports fan but I got on the bandwagon like a lot of other people. I watched a little bit of the game but it started at 9pm and I wasn’t going to stay up til midnight to see who won. When I woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom I went to check my iPad to see who won. We made history being the first Canadian team to win.
Sports is one of those things that unites us. We go to a game and boo the opponent. We stand at the office cooler and discuss the game. Mom and I went a couple of times with our church on a bus to see the BlueJays play. There is something about the energy sitting in the Rogers Centre surrounded by 50,000 people watching a game.
At the start of the week it looked like we were going to have a good week of sun but I guess that was too much to hope for as it’s raining again. Only suitable for ducks as they “preen” themselves by the water. There are a lot of cool events coming up that I’m interested in going to. All are outside which means they are dependant on the weather. There is a Food Festival the day of my birthday (how convenient is that!) and so far it looks like it’s going to be sunny. I am going out for lunch but the great thing about food festivals is they have smaller plates so you can enjoy different stations. I live one block away from Eldon House which is putting on a carnival for Canada Day. Unfortunately every year since I’ve moved here it’s been about 40 degrees celcius which is too hot for me to be sitting outside. According to the weather channel we are expected to have a cooler summer so I just have to pray for sun! We have lots of events happening in my city and the great thing is most of them are free. Music, arts and of course lots and lots of food!
I think we all are sick of the rain. A lady in my building goes out for a jog regularly and she had to come back in because it was raining. My neighbour hasn’t gotten all of her plants in and her husband has already had to cut the grass a few times. I’ve walked to the market in the rain because if I waited for a sunny day I would be out of luck. Strawberries are here…the taste of summer.
I’m going away for a few days in July and I’m hoping for good weather because I would like to go to the Royal Botanical Gardens. Last year I was lucky and it rained the day I was coming home. I sat outside and read the paper in the morning or read a book in the afternoon. It was lovely.
There are benefits to living in an apartment when it rains. I don’t have to cut the grass. I don’t have to worry about tracking mud through the kitchen. And the biggest plus I never have to worry about power going off in a storm. It’s all about finding the silver lining.
This is probably an appropriate word for me this week as there were a couple of things that happened that had to do with my family. I bumped into a woman that retired from my neighbourhood bank and she asked the situation that I would rather not talk about but I just told her it’s the same. I went out with my former neighbour for coffee and she mentioned that the guy that bought our house (who also owns the house beside) wants to tear his house down for an addition. Because he has to get approval from city hall they have to send out a notice to the neighbours of the zoning meeting. She said the lady down the street is up in arms. The interesting thing is I didn’t really feel anything one way or the other. For about a year after I moved I avoided going past the house because of the memories. I also don’t meet my former neighbour too often because to me it’s part of my past. When Mom died it was weird to think of the house I grew up in being an inheritance. The Property Brothers have a new show called Forever Home and they talk about how a house is just walls…a home is what it becomes. When you strip it of all the stuff it becomes a house again.
It’s sad that when we think of inheritance we think of money. While we handle all the paperwork it’s easy to forget that it’s about a lot more than that.
Every time I get my haircut I’m reminded of my cowlick that I got from my Dad. The grey hair that was also passed on since every one of Dad’s siblings went grew early. A woman from church told me I must get my sense of humour from my Dad.
The other day they had a segment on The Social about the fact that people don’t sit at the dining room table anymore. They eat at the island or in front of the tv. I’m sure a lot of the values that I grew up with would seem old fashioned now but there is nothing wrong with good manners.
There are things that I got from my parents. Dad was stubborn. Mom was sentimental. Janet was goofy. An inheritance that connects me to them.
When I went out yesterday I saw a notice taped in the elevator that someone was going to be moving out this morning so the elevator would be in use between 9 and 11 which is the time I go to the market. Since I use a cart I decided to leave earlier so I would be back by 9. Today is the first day this season that I have been able to sit outside. It’s that in between temperature when it’s not warm enough to go without a coat but too warm with one. I have 2 big trees in front of my balcony but I can hear birds chirping.
Last night I could see a beautiful purple streak from the sunset but that’s all because my view is obscured by the trees. For me it doesn’t really matter because it’s just about enjoying the setting.
This morning I decided to go and get a haircut (really little more than a trim) and I treated myself to breakfast afterwards at Cora’s. Since you have to wait to be seated the waitress asked how many in my party…just one. It’s one of those things that I’ve had to adjust to. Although I don’t think that’s even the right word. Every other table has at least 2 people or more.
Three weeks from today it will be our birthday and I’m feeling very alone. I think it’s compounded by the fact that it’s a bigger birthday this year and many memories from 10 years ago. There is a Mexican festival this weekend that has eating contests and that was like a punch in the stomach too. I so wish Janet was here and as much as it’s unfair that she isn’t, I can’t change it.
All my life I had someone to go places with. We would walk into each other’s room without knocking and ask “can I borrow that?”. One time I was putting clean sheets on my bed and she walked up behind me and spooked me so bad I almost hit my head on the wall. She laughed and laughed.
Janet and I were not good at sharing. I have a subscription to the Oprah magazine and I no longer have to wait my turn to read it. At the same time I miss Janet going “ooh and ahh” over something. I will still see a shirt online and think “oh that would look good on Janet”. It’s all the little things that I miss. Last week when I bought some tulips at the market they had lily of the valley which is my twin’s favourite scent. She would pick some and put it in a little glass and put it on her dresser. One year I bought a bottle of perfume at Kingsmills for her for Christmas. I currently have one and every time I wear it the scent reminds me of her.
In time the pain lessens but missing them doesn’t. She will always be my best friend.
My last blog post was titled sensing a pattern and you guessed it…it’s raining again. The one day this week that we had decent weather I was waiting on a package and grocery delivery. I did walk to the market in the rain but we are expected to get thunderstorms today and Saturday. I guess the silver lining is that I don’t have to cut the grass.
Right now I feel like Mother Nature isn’t playing fair. We dealt with freezing rain for a couple of months. We wait patiently (or in my case not so patiently) for warm weather and it really hasn’t happened yet. We’ve gotten the occasional day but by May 23 we should have 20 degree temps.
This morning the market posted a picture of a dog in rain gear. They said that they are going to make lemonade from lemons. Since it’s going to rain anyways they are having a contest for the wackiest rain gear. It made me smile. Going to the market is my routine. It’s not just the food (although it is really good!). It’s the sense of community. People I don’t know will talk to me in line. One woman was buying ribs and she told me the recipe she uses for sauce. I love watching the joy of children picking out a cookie or the simple pleasure of the sweetness of watermelon.