Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Year in a Blog

Having seen this on Lav Liv's blog and not having much else to say at the moment ... it's the first sentence of the first post for each month of 2008.
December - The memorial service for Mom is this afternoon.

November - So here I sit, moseying through the Sunday paper, much of it proclaiming Obama's win [to be], when I come across this column entitled "Long to-do list awaits Obama".

October - When things are going well, all seems relatively right with the world, I blog.

September - Blogging has been light around these here parts lately ~ no wonder perhaps, given that my house seems to have a perpetual revolving door lately.

August - THE RULES OF RURAL ONTARIO ARE AS FOLLOWS:

July - My Little Spot In Cyber Space To Kick Back And Contemplate Life, Politics, Raising Kids while Raising Parents And What It Means To Be A Canadian In A Topsy Turvy World.

June - Wow! Here's something definitely worth writing home about.

May - What is your Perfect Major? (PLEASE RATE ME!!)

April - So today's the big day. April 1st.

March - This could be great fun. And might just make you think a bit.

February - How would Jack Bauer have ever survived ... in 1994?

January - It's true, ya know... Oh yeah, now I remember why I don't have any cats.
So what are you to make of that? Hell if I know ...

But just in case I don't make it back here again in time, Happy New Year and all that jazz.

Yeah, I know. You would think I could do better than that, wouldn't ya?

Oh well.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I Got Nothing

Nope. Nada. Nothing.

Except that I am still here. Breathing. Living. Sort of.

Trying to get through all of Mom's stuff. Figure out what I want to keep, find a place to keep it and then indict myself for treason for getting rid of the rest of it.

Then there's Christmas returns. Best not forget them.

And work? Maybe. Once in a while. But we certainly wouldn't want to make it a habit or anything like that...

So, yeah. That's about it.

And how's your life?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Simple Truths

And so we come to the end of one year and the beginning of yet another.

A time when some will care to make resolutions as to what and how they will do things differently in the new year. To be followed by a time when many of those grand plans will fall by the wayside.

May I suggest that instead of New Year's Resolutions, we strive to follow and remember these simple truths.

Simple. Beautiful. Timeless.

Check them out and see if they might fit your life. I know they do mine.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

On Christmas Mornings

While checking out some other blogs this Christmas Eve morn', I was reminded of a Christmas morning in this house many, many years ago.

As most of you would know by now, my oldest, the Blue Jay, is developmentally delayed and a little autistic. It took her a long, long time to pick up on the concept of Christmas. Although at 15, I can most certainly confirm that she has it big-time now.

But I remember one Christmas when she was about 3 or 4. Despite the tree, the decorations and the hustle and bustle, she had no clue that it was Christmas morning or even what that meant. I sat her down by the tree and opened her first present for her. She couldn't say her own name at the time, so this is what came out out ... "Oh, sica". I tried to show her how to open the second one. "Sica, oh sica!" with more excitement. Repeated with an ever-growing sense of wonderment and excitement as I helped her open each gift.

She may not have had the slightest idea what it was all about but clearly thought it was a very good idea. I can't capture her tone, her voice here but I will never forget it.

Scotch pine Christmas tree ~ $30.00
Numerous toddler toys ~ ??
The look on that little girl's face and the wonderment and excitement in her voice ~ Priceless

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Final Word

Remember the furor around the blogosphere around the movie, Tropic Thunder? And the direct effects it had on some?

Apparently, the movie's current release on DVD, has restarted that whole conversation again. And although I still feel there is real concern that the reaction of the disability community might have given this sad attempt at a movie more play and interest than it deserved, I am happy to award the final word in the conversation to this young lady. She is affiliated with the ARC of Virginia, an organization which advocates for the rights and full participation of all children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.



What she said.

H/T to Pipecleaner Dreams

Friday, December 19, 2008

Your Tax Dollars At Work

It's been a busy session for the Nova Scotia Legislature, it would appear. After all, they did work for a whole seventeen days before rising. Nice work, if you can get it, no?

And lest you think that is unusual in this, our fair Province, does anyone recall 2006? They worked all of an entire twenty days that year. Yup, that's right 20 whole days, one day short of an actual three weeks. Of work.

Now don't get me wrong, I know all most some MLAs work hard in their constituencies. As well they should. But we are talking about Members of the Legislative Assembly here, aren't we? As in, perhaps they should make an effort to actually spend some time in the Legislature? You know, legislating.

Anyway, I thought I would give you a taste of some of the stellar legislating that was done. During that gruelling 17 days. I proudly present An Act to Declare the Sable Island Horse to be the Provincial Horse of Nova Scotia Act, An Act to Declare Ice Hockey to be the Provincial Sport of Nova Scotia, and legislation banning students from using a cell phones or other communications devices in a public school classrooms and requiring lottery tickets to have their expiration dates marked clearly and visibly.

However, lest you think all was lost, never fear, for the year 2009 shall now officially be celebrated as the "one hundredth anniversary of the first airplane flight in Canada by the Silver Dart in the Province." And that we do was most noteworthy.

It's not that I mean to imply that our provincial government fiddled while Rome burned. Heavens, no. But, then again, if the horseshoe fits...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dreamscape

I can't recall having even one dream in the past two weeks. Not since Mom died. Sure, I know we supposedly dream every night but I remember none ... until today, that is.

Tired out, I went back to take a nap after the girls left for school. But I felt sad and restless. Couldn't really seem to fall asleep. Still, it felt good just to lay there and not move.

And then dream, I did.

I was in an apartment. With my Mom. We were both doing our own thing, just another ordinary day. But then I walked into the kitchen and saw that she was trying to get out a stain (blood, perhaps?) from a sheet from the hospital. She was determined to get rid of this stain but wasn't having much luck. I told her to give up, that she would never get it out. That I had sheets from the hospital that I had never gotten the stains out of it. [Disclaimer: it was a dream, okay?]

Then I was outside walking around. So very, very sad. Because my Mom was gone. I was walking around barefoot and somehow knew that this was very inappropriate to the season. With my head down. Sobbing softly and moaning. Because my Mom was dead. I passed by some people and recall thinking that they would think I was nuts. But to hell with them, my Mom had just died.

My Mom had just died. The thought repeated itself over and over again in my head. And then suddenly ~ click! I remembered that I had just been with my Mom! What the hell? I picked up my head and started running back to the apartment to find Mom. But I didn't get more than ten steps and there she was, calmly walking towards me.

Mom. As she was. As she had been before the past year of sickness. The Mom I knew.

I ran up to her and gave her a huge hug, which she returned. Then I pulled back, looked into her face and told her how much I love her. I recall having an insight at that moment. This was Mom, the real Mom. And now I could tell her again how I felt. She returned the sentiment, of course.

And then she said goodbye, turned around and started walking away. Now this is the weird part, as if the whole thing wasn't really strange enough. There were no tears, no recrimination or pleading for her not to leave. I simply stood there and said goodbye to her as she walked away. A couple of times as I recall. Each time, she stopped, turned around and said goodbye again. The last time, I told her that I wished she didn't have to go. She turned, said "I know" and then kept walking. And yet somehow, it was okay.

The dream immediately switched to something else. I was walking on the same street but going somewhere else with all thought of Mom gone from my mind. Well, that's not entirely true. It was like a second dream and I was still very sad, with no memory of what had just happened. And so the dream continued.

I was stunned when I finally woke up. Went over the dream about Mom carefully, so that I would remember it. And then asked myself "What the hell that was all about?" I suppose it was just something my mind had to do, to find a way to say goodbye to Mom. The real Mom as I knew her. The way she had been.

Although I would like to think that maybe, just maybe, she had come back to say goodbye to me. But that would most certainly not be in line with Mom's beliefs as to what happens after death. So I don't know, suppose I never will.

But what struck me the most was how matter of fact, calm and peaceful the goodbye was. Perhaps some day that memory will bring me some peace.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Saddened

I moseyed over to Lex's this evening and read his post on his weekend. A bit of this. A bit of that. With another Christmas tree adventure.

And it saddened me.

I was reminded of a post of Lex's from last year, one where he shared with us a truly good day. Which happened to be the same day that we put up our own Christmas tree. A warm, happy memory.

This year, not so much.

We were going to get a tree today. We had kind of, sort of planned it that way anyway. But although we had a 'good' day (Church in the morning, out for brunch and then a well-wasted well-enjoyed afternoon racing bonding with my daughters over the Play Station), alas, there was no tree.

No tree. No energy. No ambition.

I'm sure we will eventually get a tree. Well, I think we will anyway. Then again, there aren't any Christmas lights up outside (or inside or anywhere else for that matter) here this year. Maybe later. Maybe not.

It's awful hard to get in the Christmas spirit at the moment. My kitchen has imploded with stuff from my Mom's little house. Although we were fortunate to be able to re-rent it quickly, it turned out to be a little too quickly. Which meant a mad dash to get the place cleaned out.

Did I mention the mad dash? Yeah, that was pretty much it. Put your head down, close your eyes, try not to see, try not to think. And for heaven sake, don't stop to comfort your kids when they get upset at Grandma's house. Because if you do, that will most surely be the end of you.

Just. Keep. Going.

So. Here we are. Maybe Hopefully, it will get better. After all, hope springs eternal, right?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Back By Popular Demand

Frosty Gets Caught ... Again


Seeing as how people were googling through to the archives for this, somehow it seemed only right...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Struggling ~ Yet Strangely Comforted

"Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped away into the next room.
I am I, and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the easy way you always used.
Put not difference in your tone,
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effort,
Without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was,
There is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you, for an interval,
Somewhere very near,
Just round the corner.
All is well.

Nothing is past;
Nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!"

~ Canon Henry Scott-Holland, 1847-1918,
Canon of St Paul's Cathedral

Monday, December 8, 2008

One Hundred

A nice round number, it is.

It might be considered large, might just be considered small. It all depends on the context, I suppose.

But it just happens to be the sad milestone reached this past Friday as the number of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan. I hesitate to admit that I have been "waiting" for this day to come. Not wanting it, of course, but awaiting it.

Here's the thing - it's such a small number compared to the losses of other countries. In both Afghanistan and Iraq. Or compared to the number of Iraqi and Afghans civilians killed or even just the numbers of American military who have died.

How does one go about even making sense of these numbers?

And admittedly it's miniscule compared to the number of Canadian soldiers lost in WW II ~ 45, 300 dead from a populating of only 11,267,000 ~ or WW I ~ 69,944 dead from a population of only 7.2 million.

Yet, for whatever the reason, and despite the references to "combat fatigue", it's a large number to Canadians. A number that weighs heavily on the Canadian psyche.

Personally, I believe wholeheartedly in what we are doing in Afghanistan. Many Canadians feel the same way. Many don't. And many, I would venture, are tremendously swayed by either way whatever the current news coverage might be on a given day.

Either which way, I doubt too many would argue that it is time to bring this one to a close. If it can and could and has been done in Iraq, than surely we can turn such a corner in Afghanistan. And the way I see it, there is only one way to do that.

We keep hearing that more American Marines have been or will be redeployed from Iraq to Afghanistan.

Please.

Make it happen.

Already.

And my condolences.
To the families of those last three soldiers killed this past Friday.

And to the families of all the soldiers who have lost their lives in this cause, from whatever country.


Friday, December 5, 2008

'Twas The Month Before Christmas

*Twas the month before Christmas*
*When all through our land,*
*Not a Christian was praying*
*Nor taking a stand.*

*'Cause the PC Police had taken away*
*And the reason for Christmas - no one could say.*
*The children were told by their schools not to sing,*
*About Shepherds, and Wise Men, and Angels and things.*

*It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say,*
* December 25th is just a 'Holiday '.*

*Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit*
*Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!*
*CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod*
*Something was changing, something quite odd! *

*Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa*
*In hopes of selling books by Franken or Fonda.*
*As Targets were hanging their trees upside down*
* At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found.*

*At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears*
*You won't hear the word Christmas;
it won't touch your ears.*
*Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty*
*Are words that were used to intimidate me.*

*Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen*
*On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton !*
*At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter*
*To eliminate Jesus, in every public matter.*

*And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith*
* Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace*
*The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged or discarded*
*The reason for the season, was stopped before it started.*

*So as you celebrate 'Winter Break' under your 'Dream Tree'*
*Sipping your Starbucks, Listen to me.*

*Choose your words carefully, choose what you say*
*Shout MERRY CHRISTMAS ,
not Happy Holiday !*
Please, all Christians join together and wish everyone you meet during the holidays a MERRY CHRISTMAS

Christ is �The Reason� for the Christ-mas Season!

H/T to Punky D


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Today...

The memorial service for Mom is this afternoon. I so don't want to do this. Can't I just crawl back into bed and stay there?

Will today be the day when it really hits me? I am starting to think maybe ...