Tuesday, October 27, 2015

i keep picturing my mom putting her hands on her face when the doctor told her that her cancer was back last week. my heart breaks just thinking about it.

but today, i got word that she hugged the same doctor and 'thanked him for everything' after he told her the chemo was most likely the route she would have to take this round, and my heart was full of pride, so much pride.

my mom is the sweetest person i know, always thinking of others, even in the midst of her own health struggle.

next week, i'll be the one hugging her when she comes to toronto for more tests, and i will hug her tightly, because, well, you just never know. [you should hug all of your loved ones tightly any chance you get, really].

statistically, most don't make it through the second round, and truthfully, we all have a bad - deep gutted - feeling about it this time.

but we can't get stuck there.

we must walk through this without wasting a moment of time together, and always hope for the best.

in the meantime, i look to the hills [psalm 121:1-2] and pray, i write, and, as my old [as in previous] spiritual mom once told me, i "let myself cry, then wipe the tears from my eyes and keep going".

no matter what, you have to keep going.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

even after last night's loss, i am deeply proud of my team, and here's why:

1) 93-69 is an amazing way to end a season [especially one that didn't look too promising back in june].

2) they beat the yankees, which is a feat in itself.

3) they played through the pressure put on them by 50,000+ fans [also a feat in itself].

4) they took advantage of elvis andrus' three error inning [i'd still marry him] and came back from being down two games against texas.

5) they brought a city together.

and here's what i learned by watching them:

1) one person can't carry a team.

jose bautista is [bat] flippin' awesome, donaldson is out of this world, pillar, superman, and stroman, a big ball of passion [i could go on an on here], but no man should have to feel the pressure of carrying the team alone, not even a home run king or MVP. [others attribute our winning streak to price and tulo - and yes, while those trades brought a certain energy and hope to our team - everyone contributed to their remarkable season].

2) sports provide a temporary escape and bring people together.

whether i was at work, a sports bar, or at the dome [it will always be called the dome to me], i couldn't help but be energized by the unity i felt throughout post season. watching my whole restaurant erupt after a run scored was energizing, and listening to thousands of strangers chant 'let's go blue jays' on my walk back to union station the other night was nothing short of amazing. [all of the hot guys wearing blue jays' gear didn't hurt, either].

for three hours, nothing else mattered.

but, at the end of the day, it's only baseball.

everyone who knows me knows that i have been the biggest jays fan for decades now [i still own framed pictures of the 92-93 teams], but my life isn't altered by their loss [nor would it have been had they won], because, well, there are more important things in life than baseball.

maybe we'll get 'em next year, or maybe we won't, but either way, win or lose, the jays will always have a fan in me.

Monday, October 19, 2015

it's funny how one word can instill so much fear, and pain.

i remember the first time i received word that my mom had cancer and how paralyzed i felt when my phone exploded with texts that day.

but thankfully, after a year of tests, surgery, and radiation, she beat it, and she beat it in the most courageous way.

it was raining when i got the news this time, which seemed fitting. i was walking through toronto at the time, feeling like i as going to be sick, but choosing to focus on a breathing exercise i learned to help with my anxiety instead. even still, the 'what ifs?' and the 'why her?'s" started flooding in simultaneously with the downpour of rain; thoughts that can drown you if you let them.

but really, why her? why my mom, the one who stood by my dad's side for years and loved him with the most sacrificial love, taking care of him for years as he struggled with his own health? that type of stress was enough to kill anyone, really, and in her case, played a big part in her having a heart attack and having to undergo triple-bypass surgery, which she endured like a champ. and yet even through this, she honored her vows and took care of him until the day she woke up to him laying lifeless - yet peacefully - on the floor beside her.

and she endured that like a champ, too.

cancer came, and cancer went, and we all celebrated with tears of relief. [i still have the picture of her holding her pina colada in the air that day]. she finally caught a break.

after her first post radiation appointment three months a go, things looked promising.

three days a go, however, not so much. unfortunately, the fluid that they drained from my mom's stomach contained 'a lot of' cancer cells, stupid cancer cells.

i'm learning that there's a fine line between feeling hopeful and fearful, and being positive yet realistic.

my conclusion in all of this, though, and my encouragement to you, is this:

when life throws you a curve ball, let yourself feel what you gotta feel. want to scream? scream? pray? pray. process. journal. cry, whatever. just don't get stuck there. keep going, keep hoping, and don't you dare lose faith! not for you, not for me, and certainly not for my mom.

Monday, October 5, 2015

those of you who know me can attest to the fact that i'm an extremely emotional being.

i feel things. i cry when i'm grateful, when i'm hurting, when others are, or when i watch shows like the amazing race or undercover boss.

i love deeply and invest wholeheartedly.

but with all of this comes the constant need to recognize and adjust expectations, and the risk of facing hurt and disappointment in the process.

you see, while i acknowledge that emotion and feelings are a beautiful thing, i reject the emotional side of me more often than not.

that being said, i hate that i feel so much. i hate that i lay in bed for hours replaying a conversation i had but shouldn't have, or dwelling on something someone said to me that they shouldn't have.

when i'm hurt, i get angry and adopt an 'i don't care' attitude, and when i'm really hurt, i shut down, isolate myself, and let the few that have hurt me make me believe that everyone will.

when all is said and done [though i'm working on it], i have a hard time trusting people and find very few people safe.