My Mom used to say that the sewing gene skipped a generation. My Mom could sew on a button but that’s about it. My grandmother sewed all our clothes until we were about 13. She hemmed pants and patched holes in my brother’s jeans. She attempted to teach us both to crochet but I didn’t take to it. Janet was a whiz at it. She made afghans as wedding gifts and a couple for baby gifts. Yarn is expensive and the wedding gift cost about 100 and that doesn’t include labour. She made one for a friend that had 360 granny squares and it took her months.
Sewing is a labour of love. I have grandmas quilts in my linen closet. I kept my grade 8 grad dress. When my grandfather died we had to clean out their apartment. There was a closet full of patterns. Sadly they all went in the garbage. Some were 20 years old…don’t think those are coming back in style!
My grandfather caned chairs so he made us Barbie furniture. I kept them because they were beautiful. I have since passed them down to my niece. Every time we went to visit them one of them was usually working on a project. A friend of Moms wondered why they had a three bedroom apartment. Yes it’s a lot of room but when you both have hobbies you need room for it. I have a picture of my grandmother quilting. I also have one of my grandpa holding up one of his chairs. Brings back memories.
What an interesting word…knackered. It’s not a word we use in everyday language. I certainly know what it feels like though. When I was caring for my Mom this would be the word I could use. And then when she died I was still exhausted but was expected to look after everything. Grieving for 3 people I just thought this was my new normal.
I had an appointment at diabetes centre this morning. They were really impressed with how well I am doing. The nurse said that I seem to be in the right mindset. That I’m doing it for myself. When my Mom died it was hard because I was suddenly alone in the sense that I didn’t have a family. The only person I could rely on was myself.
As someone who cared for other people it took me a long time to change my mindset to caring for myself. I know that we are told to put the oxygen mask on first but I didn’t. When my Mom died I didn’t care if I ate junk and some days I didn’t feel like eating period. Everything was just so much effort. When I moved I had less responsibilities and there was a weight lifted.
This has been the year of me. I buy myself flowers, I’ll go out for dinner. I’m being good to myself and that means what I put into my body.
Today I am doing a little retail therapy and buying patio furniture for my balcony. A little coffee time with a good friend.
Last night I was talking to a friend of my Mom. In the course of conversation she asks if I “still” miss her. When Mom and I went to a bereavement support group after Janet died we learned that there were words that we needed to omit from our vocabulary. Still, should, stuck. Because using the word still usually refers to being at a point where there isn’t any progress. As in I’m still here, or I should feel this way. Everyone’s journey is different and we all do it at our own pace.
Honestly I don’t know how anyone could ask that of someone whose mother died less than 2 years ago. I miss them everyday. It’s not the same as the pain lessons. I lived with them how can I not miss them. Do I still wish Janet was here to go for walks with me. Do I still wish that I could go for coffee with
Mom? Or go our for breakfast which was a nice treat once in a while. Loving someone means that their life leaves a hole where they once were. I share the memories with friends and my cousins because it’s natural. It’s my way of keeping their memory alive.
Every year at Mothers Day my Mom had a hard time because she missed her Mom. It didn’t matter that she had died many years before and she was a mother herself. She was still her daughter. Just like I will always be Janet’s twin and a daughter.
Yesterday I got a phone call that my income tax is finally ready to be picked up. I was reminiscing with my cousin and a friend about how Mom and Dad always argued while they were doing the taxes. Dad would complain how expensive she was because she had a lot of medical receipts. He would “help” but she would firmly tell him that she was quite capable of doing it. It seems silly to miss them arguing but it’s part of all the little things that I miss.
My friend always tells me how strong I am. I guess you could say I had good roll models. My grandparents were true partners and even in my parents generation that didn’t always happen. My grandmother could do anything. Although my Dad was boss in the major decisions they were joint. My parents taught me how to stick up for myself. The greatest compliment my Dad ever gave me was to say that I could fight my own battles. It meant I was strong enough to do it on my own.
Family was very important to my Dad.Growing up we were so “normal”. But now I realize that there is stability in that. My Dad taught me to take pride in something because his home was his castle. Some of the things might seem old fashioned but there is nothing wrong with old fashioned values.
With time the good memories become more in the forefront. I can smile through the tears.
This has not been a good week weather wise as it has rained for most of it. Thunderstorm on Thursday and threat of rain on Friday. It’s a beautiful sunny day out today although a bit chilly at 9am. I had to put my winter coat back on.
Since I had to pick up a few things at Shoppers Drug Mart I checked to see if it might also be 20x the points. Sweet it was. This is the second time I’ve taken advantage of it. When I went with Mom we never seemed to catch the right week or wouldn’t need anything at that time. Mom always stocked up on toilet paper.
Since I had to wait for prescription to be filled I walked to the market to get some fruit and of course a coffee at Red Roaster. My favourite is hazelnut. They even had a stand with the newspaper so I got to read that while I was drinking my coffee. In the home section there was an article on outdoor spaces. How outdoor furniture is going more upscale. That there almost isn’t any difference between outdoor and in. And it shouldn’t be matchy matchy. Well I only have space for 2 chairs so it’s going to match. I love people watching at the market. They were having a spin class to raise money for a charity so there were a whole bunch of women and a few men in yoga pants…ok I’m not sure what the men had on. Groups of 3 or 4 retired people. A little girl in a mint green dress, white tights who made a beeline to the store that sells kids clothes and toys. So many colours and smells in the market. Another couple of weeks until the outdoor market will be open.
When I walked home I stopped to notice all the trees that are almost in bloom. The sound of the geese nearby.
When I first saw the word for today I wasn’t really sure where I was going to go with this. Then I was talking to a friend on Facebook this morning and included some emojis in my conversation and suddenly it hit me what to write about.
For most people income tax season is not a fun time and this is no exception for me. In an email I sent to a friend she told me boy I have never seen those two emojis used with such emphasis before. I used the red angry face and the poo emoji. The first time I’ve ever used that one!
One day I was watching a segment on tv on a self cleaning toilet and I had to send a text to my friend. She was laughing out loud in the mall.
I tease my friend that she is the emoji queen. When she got a new phone she was trying out everything. I will use the 💤 for napping (who doesn’t enjoy a good nap). Sometimes I’ll just laugh at how many she can include in one conversation. The thumbs up is ok in a text but I would rather someone type that’s great instead.
On Sunday my friends and I were watching lip sync battle with jimmy fallon. My friend and I laughed but her husband was looking at us like I don’t understand how you find this amusing.
Sometimes you just have to find the humour in the situation.
Yesterday when I was sitting around with my friends after dinner some of the topics reminded me of things growing up.
My Dad was the second youngest of 7 children and his oldest sister is 10 years older than him. She has a great love of art so we were given art books as gifts. My Dads family were all interested in politics so even before we were eligible to vote we were expected to have an opinion. My parents had a rule that we had to sit at the table to eat every night. It was our chance to talk over our day. They always got the local newspaper. I do remember that was part of a class (possibly history) were we had to bring in a newspaper article to class.
My mother had season tickets to the Grand Theatre. We would go with her sometimes when we were older. We didn’t always like all of them but we appreciated the craft.
Growing up both my parents considered Sunday school an extension of our schooling. My brother didn’t enjoy going but my Dad told him he had to go until he was old enough to choose whether to get confirmed which was 14 in our church. One thing I realize is that values are really taught at home. Faith is modelled. For me it’s really about showing love to one another.
When my Dad had cancer I googled information. I asked questions of the Drs. When Mom was in and out of the hospital there were appointments I had to go with her. I would ask questions. I remember one time the Dr was surprised I knew so much. When my Mom died there were things that I didn’t know how to do but I certainly got an education going along.
We also live in a society where people no longer get their information from a newspaper or the radio it’s online. We have more choices how to obtain information. We have to filter it out ourselves.
I consider myself lucky that I grew up in a family who taught me about the arts, culture, cooking, money management, faith, and values. A well rounded education.
We all have days where we are cranky. Living with other people means there will be days where something ticks you off. I remember having many days looking after my Dad where I would be frustrated. I remember posting on Facebook and my cousin said everyone is allowed one heck take 2. But my Mom would always ask “whoa what is wrong with you?”. Most of the time I would just go for a walk or go sit in the computer room until I calmed down enough not to bark at her.
Growing up my sister was not a morning person. She also had quite the temper so I used to compare it to Lucy from Peanuts. She was crabby. We didn’t fight but there were things that annoyed me. I was the neater one of the two of us.
Living alone my friends are the people I vent to. When Moms health declined I found that being organized was the only way to have some semblance of order. Even now I like structure. When I moved I had a place for everything because there is nothing more stressful than not knowing where anything is. I do things to make life easier like getting groceries delivered.
The thing that makes me the most cranky is drama. It’s why I steer clear of it as much as possible. I had enough stress in my life I don’t need more.
My Mom would tell you that I am the type of person that you don’t tell me what to do. There are some things that I just prefer to do myself than asking for help.
As I am writing this so many memories are flooding back because when you live with an entire family of stubborn people there are many moody days. I miss them.
Today is my friend’s birthday. Tigers in the Chinese zodiac calendar. It suits us as we are strong women. She is the friend who agreed to having her picture taken with Santa when she was here at Christmas. I love her because she isn’t afraid to be goofy like me.
I have been invited for Easter by friends who have taken me into their family. There are days that I can’t believe I have known them as long as I have. That’s the thing about true friends they have been with you through a lot. I like to think we have supported each other.
My friend DKJ and I are going out to look for patio furniture this week. She is excited for me as I know that she gets what it means to have the time to sit and relax and journal…with a cup of coffee beside me. She was the first person to give me a housewarming gift. I have it displayed on top of my bookcase. She is also goofy and will laugh at the same immature things that I find amusing.
I have written about my friend CB here. She gets the times when I am at a loss for words or I try to express something but can’t find the right words. She’s also my spa girlfriend.
My superintendents take care of me and he makes me laugh both of which are beyond measure. At a time when I was so overwhelmed they made the process easy. This place feels like family.
Holidays are hard but as I read this over I am blessed beyond measure.
This morning I decided to walk to the flower shop near me and pick out some flowers for the table. I kind of had an idea of what I wanted but I usually decided when I get there. I walked in and am surrounded by all sorts of colours. They had tulips in a bucket of water so I picked 2 bunches. The one is red and yellow and the other is red and white. They remind me of my Dad’s garden. He mostly had red but he did have some yellow and a mixed one too.
It’s one thing I miss about being in an apartment is my Dad’s garden. I didn’t enjoy the work involved but I have so many memories associated with it. The smell of lily of the valley which was Janet’s favourite. The smell of lilacs. When my Dad had cancer and was at home I picked some and put it beside his bed.
I used to buy flowers in June but now I treat myself more often.