A Mixed Bag

In the Summertime
When I saw this prompt this morning I wanted to stick my finger up at it. All I could think was I’m spending the next 3 weeks going back and forth to the hospital. I had a crappy morning spent with an OT who didn’t listen to us. One of those days when the smells and sounds of the hospital really got to me. The fact that it’s almost the anniversary of my Dad’s death probably didn’t help either. I got home and had a cry because I am at the point where i don’t want to do this anymore and yet I have to. Mom knows how I feel and there is nothing she can do for me. Please don’t tell me “you’ll get through it” or “one day at a time” because frankly I’m sick of one day at a time.
This afternoon I got an email from a twin friend with some good news. I’m going to be able to see her next year. We are both doing happy dances. How great it would be to be able to give her a hug, to talk to her face to face. To eat with my twin angel Janet. Thank you for brightening my day.
Maybe MY Janet had a little bit to do with this too.

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The Journey

Generation XYZ
Yesterday I looked up on the Super Soul Sunday facebook page who Oprah was going to be interviewing. It was going to be a repeat of her interview with Cheryl Strayed the author of Wild (which was turned into a movie). Unfortunately in Canada they don’t seem to broadcast the same episode so I watched it online. It was a lot longer than the 45 min program on television.
I am drawn to books about journeys, struggles. A friend of mine gave me a gift card to Chapters book store for my 35th birthday. I didn’t know what to buy. Going to Chapters is an experience…so many books, so little money. I decided on the book Eat,Pray,Love. It was before it was turned into a movie. I could understand that feeling of being lost, of not knowing who you are anymore, of losing your identity.
I watched the movie Wild with my Mom at home last year just after the Oscars. It is a very raw portrayal of grief. When she was talking to Oprah she said that she took drugs so that she wouldn’t have to feel the pain. You know when people say “I wish I could take the pain away”…they can’t. It was interesting when Oprah asked her where she would be if she hadn’t walked the trail and she said “I would have found something else”.
Obviously I haven’t been to India or hiked a trail (I am not a camper and I DON’T ROUGH IT!) but I’ve walked the same path she has. I have lost a parent. I have lost my best friend. I’ve come out the other side a different person.
A stronger person.

Talking to myself

Groupthink
With my Mom still in the hospital I am now at the point where I am bored with my own company. The first couple of weeks I got caught up on stuff around the house and had a long list of things to do. I write or journal, yesterday I did laundry. When my Mom is home she gets annoyed when I talk to myself. “Who are you talking to?” MYSELF!! I’m thinking out loud.
I usually phone Mom if I’m not in to see her that day. It’s pretty boring stuff…what she had for dinner, what I had for dinner, the weather (enough rain), yesterday someone she knew died so I told her that. Yesterday the fire alarm went off at the hospital so they were in lockdown in the dining room. I thought to myself “what if you had to go to the bathroom?” and then she said one woman leaned over “I have to go to the bathroom!”. Too funny.
Weekends are long for me. There is nothing on tv. Sometimes I watch Super Soul Sunday because Mom thinks it’s too high brow for her. She liked the one with Timothy Shriver but if it’s too “spiritual” she’ll tell me to turn it off. Well not literally but I can tell. And then she’ll get all mad “you can watch it if you want”. “No, I can tell you’re not interested”.
She’s going to be in the hospital for another 3 weeks. I’m trying to take it one day at a time but it’s hard. I miss her.

I’m Thankful For…

Celebrate Good Times
Thursday I was feeling quite stressed about all the things I had to do so a wise friend of mine suggested I write down good things.

I’m thankful for…
My Ipad. Yeah it may seem trivial but it means I can take a picture and send it to a friend without uploading it to my computer and naming the file etc. I can create lists (and goodness knows I need a lot of them) and cross off when completed.
Food in the fridge. There are days when I wish someone would cook it for me and clean up after but I digress.
My friend JB who has helped me more than she will ever know. She is always there to talk to, to get advice from. She is one of my biggest suppporters in my writing.
Health care, people who take care of my Mom and me.
My friend TAR for sending me a birthday drawing. How to explain that she drew a balloon in the picture without even knowing we were going to do a balloon release. She has a strong connection to Janet.
My twin friends near and far.
My Mom.
Memories of people I hold dear.

ALL ABOUT THE FOOD

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Muse
Whenever I go out for lunch or dinner I take a picture of the food. It’s so beautifully presented. My friend makes fun of me “here she goes taking a picture of the food again”. I took a picture of her dessert for my birthday dinner but forgot to post it on facebook. It was a cheesecake tower with a meringue ornamental swirl on the top (so pretty). I also have a picture of our steak with the lone piece of bread left on the board. I have a weekness for fresh bread (or as my Dad called it “crusty bread”).
A friend of mine in the UK just recently bought herself and Ipad so she has started taking pictures of her food too.

Good Morning

The Golden Hour
I’m an earlier riser. I usually wake up around 7AM but I have been waking up at 6:30 a couple of times lately. The great thing about being by myself is I can get up at 6:30 and nobody is going to tell me to go back to bed. I start the day with coffee which I measure out the night before so all i have to do is press the button for my instant coffee relief. What is left over in the pot is made into iced coffee for my 3pm pick me up.
Since I get up early I have time to do a load of dishes if I need to, gather up stuff to take to Mom and be on the bus by 9:40. Yesterday was the first day I had been to the hospital where all the women in the room were bright eyed (most of the time they are still sleeping–oh excuse me resting because technically they are still awake). Yesterday I took Mom down to the cafeteria and we had a coffee together (I had a muffin because I ran out of bread because I hadn’t been to grocery store yet). I could almost pretend that it was “normal”. But all too soon I had to bring her back up to her room. As we left one of the ladies called out “be sure to bring her back” and I was tempting not to. 4 weeks is a long time. I miss talking to her, fighting over who is going to get what section of the paper to read. Helping her with the jumble word game and then feeling the wrath when I get a word quickly that she has stared at all morning.
Tomorrow is garbage day and I have to finish my laundry. I have 4 bags of garbage to take out and both recyling bins are full. Times like this I wish I had a man to help me but I’ll just make a few trips. And hope it doesn’t rain!!
I had such a wonderful weekend being pampered but now it’s back to reality.

MY PLAYLIST

Mix Tape Masterpiece
You make a new friend. Make them a mix tape (or playlist, for the younger folks) that tells them who you are through song
Although this song is sad it’s a song that embodies what it is like to live my life with an emptiness, a hole that can never be filled. Life isn’t the same without my twin, my best friend.

It’s a toss up between Brave by Sara Bareilles or Stronger by Kelly Clarkson. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. No kidding!!
All about that bass Meaghan Trainer
Josh Groban You Are Loved

I think my friends would probably add some songs to this list. How do I pick out songs for someone who is broken but still strong, alone but loved, someone who is still learning but also a teacher? I would need a pretty long list!

A SPECIAL DRAWING

tarbirthday41
Snapshot Stories
Ok, technically this isn’t a snapshot. A friend of mine from public school told me to be on the look out for a birthday card that she sent me while she was in Vancouver for work. I heard the tink of the mailbox so I rushed to the door and found a big bundle of mail.
I opened the card and I had a feeling she drew something for my birthday. I specifically asked her last year for our 40th. She actually drew me 2 pictures last year. One is of us in a hot air balloon. It’s in colour which is the first one she’s done in colour. I had forgotten that one of the last events Janet and I went to in the city was the BalloonFest. Inside the actual birthday card was a picture very similiar to this one only it had 40 instead of 41. The mouse in the corner is her special thing that she puts in. Janet collected mice knick knacks, ornaments, music boxes.
The thing that makes this extra special is she drew Janet holding a balloon. Mom and I did a balloon release yesterday for her and Dad. It was a last minute decision to do it and Mom had to ask if it was alright. My friend would have no way of knowing that we were going to do that. And my friend that helped with getting the balloons said “they are soaring up to them pretty fast”.
Janet at work again!!

MY WEEKEND IN PHOTOS

balloon2008007Snapshot Stories
Interesting that the prompt asks us to post the first photo that we find. I took many photos over the weekend and was going to post a couple anyways.
I purchased the purple top to wear to something (I forget now what it was) which didn’t happen so I decided to wear it last year for my birthday. Funny story I had everything packed and was in the hotel and realized I didn’t pack the top. I had washed it and it was laying on top of the dryer in the basement drying out.

Luckily I live close to the hotel so my friend drove me home and I changed my shirt. When we were sitting outside the light really reflects off of it. I stood where I did because the light was directly overhead at the time so this was the only shaded spot. I like how the light reflects just right off of the top and makes me look thinner. There is a picture of me and my friend and a public school friend of mine commented on fb–the smile says it all.

I posted the picture of my dessert. I almost cried when the waiter brought it out because it had a candle on it. It was so sweet. I did make a wish but not for myself. My friend said it best, it was a perfect day. I know Janet had something to do with that. AND my friend gave me a card that had two butterflies on it. When we went to the cemetary together there were two butterflies on top of one of the grave stones (I had forgotten). My other friend who I met yesterday gave me a card that said “It’s your birthday with a line of birds and on the inside it said “Tweet yourself” because I was having spa day.

The last picture is of the balloon release yesterday afternoon. It started to rain half an hour after I got home so this was amazing that we were able to do it. Very windy yesterday so they just flew and flew. Of course everyone asks “Whose birthday is it?”. I got 2 birthday balloons and 2 balloons that say “I love you.” One for Janet and one for Dad. I guess I should explain what a balloon release is. At the twinless twins conference they have a balloon release where we write something on the balloon and release it in memory of our twins. They often read a poem and play a piece of music. The last time I went it was “Please Remember” by Leann Rhimes. My Mom and I usually go to the cemetary and place flowers on the grave in honour of Dad and Janet but she couldn’t do that so this was better!

A very special weekend filled with the love of friends, family and beautiful memories of 2 people we love a lot.

My Birthday

Was upstairs this morning writing my blog post and the telephone rang. I wondered who was phoning long distance at 9:15 in the morning. It was a friend of mine from college who lives out of town. Apparently her husband’s plans got cancelled so she wondered ifmI wanted company for dinner. She also,knew that part of it was having time to myself to write. It took her a little longer to get here than anticipated so we didn’t get to run errands beforehand.

The Inn is a wonderful place to have dinner they really take care of you. I mentioned that it was my birthday so when he brought the dessert menu he said it’s on the house. For main we both had steak. I rarely have steak. The potatoes were so good. The dessert was like having a Reese’s pieces, it was very rich! We even got to have our dessert in the courtyard with the fountain in the pond in the background. We got gorgeous photos.

i was dreading the day because of Mom being in hospital, memories of Dad and missing Janet but I know Janet had something to do with holding the rain off. We were supposed to have wicked thunderstorms today. It was sunny and not too warm. A perfect day. Oh and when he brought the dessert out he put a candle in it. I almost cried at how sweet that is. I feel really special. I am so blessed to have friends who love me.