Before my twin and I could talk my Mom said we had our own language. There are many videos online that show Twins talking to each other. In later years there were times when we didn’t have to speak we were so in tune with each other we knew what the other was thinking without saying it.
At the same time have you ever been talking to someone and it’s like hitting your head against the wall. You aren’t even speaking the same language. We have to learn to listen with our heart too. When I was grieving the question “are you ok?” wasn’t always an easy question to answer. And I could tell who really meant it and for whom it was just being polite. I remember the first Sunday back after Janet died and the sexton asked me and the greeter on the door actually told him it was a stupid question. So he just gave me a big hug.
I have learned as I’ve gotten older (or had a lot of life experiences) that there are times when there are no words needed. I would sit beside my Dads bed and hold his hand. I would bring him out a glass of iced tea. My Mom and I would roll our eyes together. My grandparents would sit on the couch together. Giving a friend a hug.
It’s the language of love.
The first thing that popped into my head when I saw the word rock is my Mom. When Janet died she was the person I leaned on. She was the only person that I could talk openly to. When my Dad underwent cancer treatment she and I looked after him. We were each other’s support. We took turns being strong for each other.
The other day the word prompt was security and for me the word represents family. In the latest Oprah magazine she wrote “Family is a safe place to land” and growing up I knew that. For my Dad security meant money. It was his job to provide for his family. In some respects my Dad was the boulder that wouldn’t budge no matter how hard you tried.
When my Dad died it was tough because I lost that person who had my back. When Mom died I lost my last support system. I had to rely on my own strength. I couldn’t go to them to ask them questions anymore. There are days when I really wish I could get her advice.
I have a really good friend that is my support system. I could use the analogy of rocks for a wall. Grief affects everyone differently but for me I learned who I could share with and who I couldn’t. Boundaries are a good thing.
I was privileged to have 3 people who formed a solid foundation for me. I have many friends who have told me how strong I am but I couldn’t have done it without strong examples. And a lot of love.
I’m sure growing up many of us heard our parents tell us go outside and get some fresh air. We lived in our house for 20 years before my Dad had a deck built above the shed. Originally it was only going to be as big as that but his brother persuaded him to build it out to the hill. Despite the fact that we had a deck Dad rarely sat on it. He preferred sitting underneath the tree. It became “our spot”. Unfortunately the air wasn’t always fresh. We lived close to Labatt brewery so there were many days when the smell was overpowering. We also lived beside an apartment building so we often heard people turning the air blue. Or they had their music playing really loud. We loved sitting in the dark watching the fireflies.
My grandparents had a balcony but they never sat outside. They used it to dry their clothes outside occasionally (which I do as well).
A balcony wasn’t a priority when I was looking for a place to live. Since the word for today is air I can say that controlled heating and central air was at the top. Last year I didn’t sit outside as often as I would have liked because of the construction. It was noisy and dusty. I love being able to enjoy my morning coffee outside. Yesterday I saw Pepe le pew walking down the sidewalk. Our superintendent warned people last year. About a week ago I saw it walking right in front of the front door. I remember waking up the smell of a skunk on garbage day so I’m glad I’m on the 3rd floor.
Spring is coming…when the air will be filled with the scent of flowers and freshly mown grass. I will be able to put on a light weight coat. Ahh a breath of fresh air.
Yesterday I wrote about how there isn’t much variety in my meals lately. This morning I went to the grocery store and kind of had a sense in what I was going to buy but at one point I was standing in front of the meat willing it to tell me what to make. I’m one of those people that used to laugh at the people who stand in the aisle without a list as if it would magically tell them what they need and yet here I was doing the same thing. For a change I picked up a piece of steak. Chicken thighs were on sale so I’m going to make that into soup. I had to go back and get some celery for it.
I admire the people who do meal prep on the weekend. There are days that I have good intentions but it rarely happens. The other day I ran out of fruit so I made some cookies for my afternoon snack. I knew I had peanut butter and golden Crisco shortening so I looked up a recipe online and I was good to go. I cooked a couple and then froze the rest of the cookie dough. It’s weird because never in my life have I had to freeze cookie dough. They never lasted that long in our house.
For a long time I lost any incentive to cook. I had a piece of meat, nuked a potato and had salad out of a bag. I think it kind of comes in spurts, some days I love it and some days it’s too much effort.
One month today they will be holding events downtown for the Juno awards. There is going to be a block party at the market which sounds like fun. Spring is coming!
Right now I feel like there is no variety in what I am cooking for meals. Let’s just say it’s a lot of chicken. I love watching cooking shows because they are cooking things I would never think of. My fridge is fairly empty as I didn’t get enough food this week and I forgot to account for the holiday on Monday. I think we all get into a rut in our meals sometimes. I am counting down the days until spring or more accurately when the farmers market starts up again in May because once a week I don’t have to cook.
But it isn’t just cooking I go to the same coffee shop, shop at the same clothing stores, eat at the same restaurant. I guess the variety is in what I order. In the summer I tried a dragon fruit and mango drink and it was good.
If you looked in my closet you would see a range of colours. Purple, yellow, royal blue, rose pink and polka dots. I tend to gravitate to the ones that make me feel the best. Because I’m a rectangle silhouette all my jeans are a straight cut. But one has embroidery and one has sequins. My twin loved clothes and got her sense of style from our grandmother. Although we are twins we couldn’t wear the same colours. Yellow is one of those colours that very few people wear but I love it. It makes me feel happy. At Christmas I wore a blue shirt that when I put it one I actually thought it was more of a shirt that Janet would have worn. It’s interesting how that happens. There have been ones that I’ve had to put back because of that connection to it.
The best time to have lots of options is for dessert!
When I was watching This is Us Tuesday night I think I cried beginning to end. I loved when Randall and Kate were standing in front of the car and she asked him why they each remember that day differently. He told her you are going to have bad days as parents but you hope the good stuff sticks. When my brother and I were sitting with Mom’s younger brother at the funeral home we all had different memories of Mom because each of us had a different relationship with her. Watching Jack’s brother tell Rebecca a story from their childhood made me cry too because that was probably the toughest thing about losing my Mom the shared stories.
Growing up I wasn’t big on Valentines Day and Mother’s Day. I believed that you didn’t need a special day to tell or show someone that you loved them. Janet and I did not share well. It’s probably because being twins we would be given one big gift that we had to share. One of my favourite memories is going shopping after Christmas and Janet bought me pajamas with her money. In our family if there was one cookie left the person who wanted it would lick it and it was theirs. Although my Dad would break off a piece of his chocolate bar to share.
I came across a blog post that I wrote titled LOVE IS. It’s a list of things that represented love. My Dad was not demonstrative but he showed it in other ways. Taking us out to dinner to our favourite restaurant. When I helped him with yard work making sure I took breaks. Providing for his family. My Mom gave me cash for a cab so I wouldn’t be taking the bus home alone at night.
A friend of mine once said that grief is shared love. For me it’s friends sending an email to check on me. Standing with me in my time of need and sharing in the joys. Love isn’t chocolates and roses it’s the little things we do everyday.
Yesterday when I was watching The Social they were talking about how wealthy people dress down to make themselves more approachable. The first thing that came to mind when they were talking about this was the scene in Pretty Woman where she goes into the “ritzy” salon and the sales lady refuses to wait on her. While we think that might be an extreme example it happened to my friend when she went shopping for a bridesmaid dress for our friend’s wedding. Growing up we were taught that you had to dress like you could afford to shop there. Nobody is going to take you seriously when you are dressed in cut off denim shorts and a tank top. My Aunt had a membership at a golf club in the city where they had a dress code.
Nowadays everywhere you go people dress down. We have casual Fridays at the bank. Women don’t wear dresses to church. When I go out to dinner with my friend at Christmas it’s hard to balance being dressed up enough for the restaurant but comfortable enough to go for a walk afterwards. While everyone else is hanging out in their pjs on Christmas our family got dressed up because Christmas was special. There are times when I see how different we were raised but I don’t think one can ever be overdressed for an occasion. We had to have what my Dad would refer to as Sunday coats. We couldn’t wear our everyday coat to church. My grandma always changed out her purse in the summer I couldn’t be bothered. It wasn’t as if I kept a lot in it at the time. I do have a small purse that I use in the summer.
I have never understood how yoga pants became an item that is worn all the time. Wearing pajamas to the grocery store is not attractive either! How much effort does it take to put on a decent pair of pants! Yes I know I sound like my mother. We had clothes that we wore around home and those were usually the pants that were a little faded or maybe had a slight hole. One thing about having furniture delivered was I always had to make sure I got dressed first thing in the morning. I remember when it was all done I had a pajama day because I could.
Last year for my birthday I got a manicure. I should get one more often than I do. Despite the fact that my parents didn’t spend money on luxuries very often my Mom always told me that you get what you pay for. It’s a good lesson to follow.
Yesterday I had a last minute Dr appointment due to cancellations. I pay a yearly fee to get my bloodwork results online so that I’m more prepared when I go. Despite my efforts my numbers are not where they should be. Sometimes you can you do all the right things and it just isn’t enough. But there are good things blood pressure is in the normal range and I have lost a little over 40 lbs. It’s more of an effort cooking healthy in the wintertime. My sister was the one who would go for a walk with me and motivate me on days when I didn’t feel like going. In the summer I go to the Farmers Market twice..not because I need to go twice it’s so I can get my walk in.
Taking recycling out in winter is more of an effort because I usually just put some shoes on and run out without a coat. I have a pile of laundry to do that I was going to do yesterday but didn’t.
Whenever I go for coffee with my friend I think about how we are making the time to get together. But it’s also a two way relationship. One person can’t be making all the effort.
I have so many things that make my life easier. I have a dishwasher and in suite laundry. I have groceries delivered. I use a Keurig. Yesterday I even made a coffee and put it in my travel mug. I order clothes online so I don’t have to go to the store. I do 90% of my banking online.
Well I’d better go tackle my chores.