Let the tears fall


For most people the month of September is the beginning of something, the start of the school year. Maybe starting a new job. For me it represents the end of something because it’s the month that my sister and Mom died.
I titled this post “let the tears fall” because it’s a time when there are reminders everywhere. A commercial, the word prompt for the day, a certain food. Their absence is felt everyday but around the anniversary it’s felt stronger. I know that they are with me but there are so many times when I wish I could talk to them. I wish I could give them a hug. Oh how I miss hugs.
Absent is a good word because there are events that they are absent from. Weddings, babies being born, birthdays, Christmas. It’s why I tear up when my friend draws Janet in my birthday and Christmas cards because she is included.
I wrote a post titled laughter doesn’t fill this house anymore after my Mom died. I pass my supers quite often and there is always something that brings a smile to my face. Yesterday I walked to the market and I was feeling sad but there is always someone that brightens my day.
LOVE ISN’T ABSENT. IT CAN BE FELT ALWAYS

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How can I soar with eagles when I’m surrounded by turkeys

This was my Dad’s saying and it’s certainly appropriate for the “inspired” people at city hall. Last night they had a segment on one of the areas of the city that will be important in the election. I forgot about the work that will be done on the Forks of the Thames (which is within walking distance). I’m not sure if they have approved a plan yet or not. Of course they talked about the buses that are now on King street instead of Dundas but they didn’t account for cyclists. It’s not surprising since our city seems to contradict itself on this subject. They are spending money to make Dundas pedestrian friendly, debating bus rapid transit and then build a 55 million dollar community centre in the middle of nowhere. IMO libraries should be accessible by public transit. I was wondering what was going to happen with the Westmount library and it will close. Wow, what a waste of money.
Thursday is Market day and I pass construction every week. I mentioned to one of the vendors that I will be glad when construction is over. She said it’s been really slow lately. There was only a handful of people there this morning and it’s a beautiful sunny day. Most of downtown is under construction.
There is a lot more traffic on my street because of the detours.
As of yesterday we are 2 months until the election. I’ve been going online and checking out the candidates sites. A woman who is running for Mayor has been attending a lot of events in the city if her Facebook page is any indication. It should be an interesting race!

REMEMBER


This song was played at the balloon release for the Twinless Twins conference in 2010. It “resonates” with me because it makes me think of my relationship with Janet. “I’ll always think of you and smile. I was there for you and you were there for me”. Of course griefs means that there are days when the tears come but as the song says I’m left with the memories.
A friend mentioned that she went to a meditation class last night and it reminded me of the time we went with Mom to a bible study at church and the minister started out with chanting. I went to bed wishing that I could tell Mom and Janet. Those are the things that I miss being able to share in a laugh that only they would get. Truthfully it was probably inappropriate to laugh at chanting but we laughed all the way home.
A friend of mine was inspired to make banana muffins when she saw my photo from the market on Saturday. My Mom usually made banana loaf with the ripe bananas but I preferred muffins because it was easier to make. The loaf called for walnuts and yogurt which you had to fold in. It made more dirty dishes. When my friend said that her house smells wonderful it made me think of coming home from somewhere to the smell of baking. I think it was a stress relief for my Mom because she always went to comfort food. And when my friend said she had to wait for the muffins to cool I thought of my Dad who didn’t have the patience to wait.
When I think of the blog posts that resonate with people they are ones that talk about who my family was. Ketchup is not a food…how my Dad put ketchup on a lot of foods. How Janet was a tell it like it is person. Remembering moments shared together. Remembering special people and the love that lives on.

Being thankful.

Thankful for…
1. I’m thankful for rain. Even though I had to step in a big puddle on the weekend and it means I have to postpone an errand until tomorrow. So many areas are in desperate need of rain.
2. Clean sheets and towels.
3. A grocery guy, a full fridge and debit machines to pay
4. Coffee and a muffin on the balcony
5. Markets, farmers and dessert ladies.
6. Online shopping. I bought a book yesterday that I saw on a fellow bloggers page and a small Christmas gift for a friend.
7. I found a writing class and it’s within walking distance of where I live. I’m thankful for my friend who is so supportive.
8. Libraries
9. Insurance. I know this may seem like a strange one but an apartment building near me had a pipe burst that caused water damage. Now imagine if you didn’t have renters insurance. I pray I never need it but I’m thankful it’s there.
10. Elections. I’m thankful for the people who care enough about our city to run. There is a guy who I went to high school with who is running for mayor.
11. I’m thankful I don’t have to cut the grass or take out garbage in the rain!
12. I WILL BE thankful when construction is finished!

Simple pleasures

Blue skies, a slight breeze and a coffee enjoyed outside.
Today is Market day. As I passed Harris Park my supers were coming back from a walk. They had to leave apartment as they are getting carpets cleaned. So he starts singing…”to market, to market to buy a fat pig”. Yeah he’s a character. I had to gingerly go around 3 geese who were standing at the corner across from the court house. I will be glad when construction is over so I don’t have to cross the street and then cross back again. They actually have a sidewalk so that’s progress.
I passed a hockey play area on king and Ridout and then they were having 3 on 3 basketball at the Market. Quite the busy place.
Although there certainly weren’t a lot of customers for it being a Saturday. I went with my friend on Thursday and my frozen meal table was sold out of the fish dinner so I was able to get one today. When I bought a quiche the woman asked if I have it for lunch or dinner and I always have it for lunch. I don’t have to cook on Saturdays. The great thing is it’s all homemade so I know the quality of ingredients. The frozen meals are usually made with ingredients purchased at the farmers market. On Thursday I bought a butternut squash and it made me sad because it’s a sign that fall is coming. Although I like the fall too because it’s cooler weather, the leaves changing colour and soup for lunch.
When my Mom went into the hospital and after she died I no longer found pleasure in cooking. I would nuke a potato, cook a pork chop and have some sort of vegetable and quite often I would buy a pre made salad. I know I made the right choice of where I live because every Thursday and Saturday I wake up excited to buy fresh fruit and veggies and something for lunch. I’ll buy a tomato tart or a breakfast bowl. That one was “ok”.
As much as I would love to sit outside a while longer coffee cup is empty and laundry basket is full.

Attitude


When she was young Janet was what we termed crabby…just look at the pout. There were days when she was mad but she wouldn’t tell anyone why she was mad. My Mom used to say she couldn’t win in our family because she raised 3 stubborn kids. The Rudd side is incredibly stubborn. My Dad’s siblings were all opinionated. It makes for interesting dinner table discussions but it’s not easy when one person has to stand down. We still live in a society where it’s alright for men to stand up for something but woman are seen as the word that starts with b. But looking after my parents and navigating the health care maze being strong willed helped a lot.
When my niece was a baby there were times when I could see Janet in her because she had a pout too. There was a photo of her first day of preschool and my uncle wrote that kid has spunk. My friends and I know where she gets it.
Having the right attitude comes in handy sometimes. When I was looking after the estate my friend told me this too shall pass…it will pass like a kidney stone but it will pass. My friends helped when I was disappointed I had to send back the couch I ordered. A friend told me you’ll find an even better one. Friends are the people that keep us grounded.
I’m currently enjoying my morning coffee and muffin purchased at the market. There is not a cloud in the sky, perfect temperature. Life is good.

Coming in contact with people

This morning I went to get my haircut. When I walked in I was the only person there. I was surprised since now is the time that parents start taking their kids to get their haircuts before school starts. Maybe in a couple of weeks it will be busier. This hairdresser is a nice balance of pleasantly chatty and talking your ear off. Afterwards I went into Shoppers Home Health to find a new bathroom scale. It’s funny that it’s more of a seniors place since there are a lot of assistance devices for the home but I looked online and they also sell scales. They are very helpful because the sales person came right over to assist me. Not a great variety but since I don’t drive beggars cant’ be choosers. Plus I get shoppers points (which I always forget about!)
Even though I just got groceries on Tuesday I forgot to put yogurt on the list. I got some more milk so I won’t run out. I think Mom and I went to this grocery store. I didn’t know exactly how much I was going to buy so I went to grab a cart. At this store you have to put a quarter in and it unlocks the mechanism for the chain that attaches the carts together. I wasn’t even sure I had a quarter on me but I dug in the bottom of my purse and found one. I stick it in the slot and wondered why it wouldn’t open. I’m pulling, twisting and then all of a sudden I figured it out. And not a soul around to even ask. I remember the last time someone was coming out and she just gave me her cart. When I was finished only one lane had a light on but I made eye contact with the woman on express and she was open. I only had 4 items (which for me is probably a record) so it was easy to bag my own. I don’t even remember if the woman said hello. It’s one of the things that I don’t like about the “no frills” stores…less customer service.
Of course I stopped at Starbucks for a morning coffee. My friend and I stopped for lunch at Tim Hortons on the way back from the Inn a month ago. I had iced coffee and I might as well have been drinking cream with a little bit of coffee. My coffee this morning was just right. It’s a great place for people watching. 2 woman got the drink that I ordered the last time. A whole lot of black today. Even standing in the sun waiting for the bus I was hot.
There is a couple moving into the building this morning so of course I came in contact with my super entering the building. He’s a character I never know what to make of him. He asked if I could hear the noise yesterday as they were removing the carpet from the apartment below me. It’s a good thing I’m an early riser as the elevator was in service from 11-1.
Thursday is usually market day. A day when I come in contact with dogs, people and different sights and smells.

Community

I was thinking about this word yesterday after I emailed a friend to tell her that her local library was going to be closed for 2 months due to construction. She told me she loves their local library it’s so cosy. I told her that I don’t really have a main library. While I live close to the one downtown it was under construction when I moved and the street it’s on is now under construction until the end of November. I wouldn’t call it a neighbourhood library since it’s 3 floors. They have workshops, lectures and a job skills centre. When we went to our local library we would regularly run into someone we knew. We would pick up something at the grocery store and probably go into the bank.
The other day I found an article online about the 80th anniversary of the pharmacy that we used growing up. I have friends that no longer live in the area but still use Turner’s because of the customer service. When I had to get a person in authority to sign my passport paperwork I used the owner.
At the same time our communities change. Growing up we become friends with the people who live on our street. We make friends in public school, high school. Since Janet and I didn’t drink we didn’t fit in with the college crowd. We were paying for an education not to go to the bar.
Life gets so busy. This morning pictures from July came up on Facebook. It was fun hanging out in the park with my public school friend. My coffee buddy picked me up from the Inn I stayed at. The community may get smaller but there is still a lot of love.

Setting the table

When we had company it was my job to set the table. My Mom would always buy paper napkins to go with the holiday of Thanksgiving or Christmas. I know I wasn’t good at determining what fork went where so Mom had to tell me the small one goes on the inside. My Mom had a set of good silverware that had her initial on it. It was kind of weird that it had her maiden name initial which was S and that is what we used. We had good leaf plates with gold trim. The kind that can’t go in the dishwasher. They were “company dishes”. I love watching Home Shows and setting the table is the last thing they do when they decorate the house. There is something about a full table that says home. It means food, family, sharing.
When we would stay overnight at my grandparents apartment they had a fancy container for jams. It had 3 containers held together in the middle with a handle. And she always used the good butter dish whereas we just plunked the margarine tub on the table. Even though it was just cereal and toast it felt fancier. When she died we divided up the dishes and such. She had silver candlestick holders. Years later most of the stuff ended up going to Goodwill. It made me sad but when it was just me and Mom we didn’t have use for it. I don’t need the physical things because the memories are so clear. We always had tea with our dessert when we had company. Each cup was different. I don’t even own any tea cups all my friends drink coffee.
After my Mom died I would eat in front of the tv a lot because setting the table for one was a constant reminder that I was eating alone. Growing up we weren’t allowed to eat in the living room. The rule was you ate at the table. Breakfast was ok it was the other meals that were harder. It wasn’t just an empty chair it was empty CHAIRS.
I think it’s why I like eating outside since it’s just a table for one. We didn’t eat outside a lot as a family so it’s a different routine too. For a long time cooking for one was a chore, I just couldn’t be bothered. Now I go to the farmer’s market and enjoy trying new things. It takes time to adjust to the change. I’m hoping eventually my friend and I will be able to enjoy our coffee on the balcony together.

Well meaning people

I think we have all come in contact with people like this. The people who will give their opinion without asking, tell you what to do or in some cases just outright take over because they know better. Of course there is differing degrees…the neighbour who decides it’s her job to tell me how to cut the grass (to be fair she did it to Dad too). The friends who told me I should keep busy after Janet died. And every minister, church person and counselour who really had no idea about grief. But we were supposed to give them a pass because “they mean well”. My Mom used to tell me that and I knew it was bunk. I won’t abide someone putting down my family.
Since Janet died I have had to put up with bullies. People who made decisions for me. It’s tough making a break from someone who is family but I learned that I will not allow someone to tear me down to make them look better.
I recently read a comment on a friend’s Facebook page that to me seemed a little harsh. We shouldn’t judge someone’s decisions unless we have been in their shoes. We all have our own journey. A friend posted a comedy club act about a man talking about picking your battles (in relation to marriage). But it’s true in life. At what point do we decide ok I’m not going to tolerate that anymore? Do we forgive and forget? Do we give someone a second chance?
The answer isn’t easy but sometimes it can be worth it.