Thursday, March 24, 2016

i did something that i'm not proud of today [something that i'm not comfortable enough to blog about, or even share with anyone at this point], and sadly, doing something i'm not proud of seems to be the norm for me lately.

the truth is, i hate who i've become ever since my mom died.

sure, you can tell me that i have 'every right to feel the way i do' - and you're absolutely right - but the loss that i feel isn't an excuse for me to turn into an angry, negative, monster, complaining about anything and everything, and becoming irritable - really irritable - with the wonderful people i know and love, and even those i don't.

my 'go to' when i feel like this is to disconnect from everyone by turning off my phone and facebook and hide in my room, and THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT I FEEL LIKE DOING, but the one ounce of health that's left in my mind today is telling me not to, and to reach out instead.

the thing is, guys, i don't know what to do.

i know how i feel, and how scary my thoughts are at times. i know how much i hate myself and who i've become, but feel ill-equipped to combat it, and believe me when i say this, i want to be able to combat this more than anything.

but how? the last four counselors i went to either weren't equipped to help me or didn't know how to, abandoned me [true story], or accused me [even though that's a poor choice of words] of being a lesbian in my first session and assumed that i had a hard time 'coming out of the closet because of my religion' [in case you, too, were wondering, i am not a lesbian; the reason i haven't been in a serious relationship is because 1) i am petrified of intimacy and abandonment, and 2) i haven't found a good fit].

even still, i'd be willing to try counseling again if i found someone who could actually help me at an affordable price.

and then there's meds. [this is me being vulnerable here]. i've tried a few to conquer my depression and anxiety in the past, both of which have increased since my mom passed away, but those haven't helped, either.

so i sit here feeling lost, and decided to put it out there in hopes that one of you may know what to do since i don't. all i do know is that i don't want to feel like this any longer; i want to feel like myself again, and live my life to its full!

ps. please don't give up on me.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

cancer brought my mom and i closer.

we shared amazing memories throughout her six week stint of radiation at princess margaret in toronto. with the exception of a few days a week, i made the trek downtown after work every day to have dinner with my resilient mother. physically, i was drained, but emotionally, i left each night feeling inspired, and thankful.

she fought cancer like a champ, and everyone knew it. she was her shuttle bus driver's craziest passenger, security's biggest source of entertainment, and a light to all those who were fighting the same, dumb disease. it wasn't uncommon for me to show up and find my mom surrounded by every other cancer patient at the lodge and making them laugh. she was a magnet that one; her magnetic personality was impossible not to love, and want to be around.

"this is the lot i have been given", she said to me one day after treatment. "i can bury my head in my knees and give up, or i can fight"

and fight she did.

for six weeks she endured radiation. for six weeks we walked to subway, discovered an incredible breakfast spot a few blocks away, went for coffee, sat outside in a beautiful garden, played crib on a gigantic crib board, and celebrated her completion of treatment by enjoying a nice dinner at the keg with her friends, all of which i cherished deeply.

i felt an odd sadness when my mom had finished radiation because i knew that our time together would come to an end. she headed back to alliston where she lived at the time, and i stayed here in the GTA, car-less.

when she came back for appointments, however, we met at our favourite diner for breakfast and talked about life, and when we couldn't, we'd text, talk on the phone, or skype.

a few months later, once the scans showed no sign of cancer, she moved to ottawa like she had always wanted to, and though i couldn't help but be happy for her, i felt a void in my life knowing she was now five hours away, instead of just a little over one.

but little did i know then, i would be spending more time with her in the next coming months then i had in years.

you see, just over a month later, her cancer came back full force, and a few short months later, it was labelled terminal.

i ended up taking the trek to ottawa every two weeks at that point. the first trip, we made crazy memories at walmart with her scooter and a few funny hats. the next, i stayed with her for a week while my sister and brother in law went on a much needed vacation. she wasn't feeling the greatest then, so we spent a lot of time watching wheel of fortune, family feud, and jeopardy like we did in the good ole days before i had to become an adult, but it was nice, and it was ours; i was happy to be able to spend some alone time with her.

fast forward to a few weeks later when i got the scariest call of my life three days shy of my next planned trip [see previous blogs]. thankfully, the doctors were wrong; my mom ended up making it, and i ended up getting to spend an extra week with her. granted, it was in a hospital room, but we spent time together none the less.

and then again during her last waking moments in february.

would i change her diagnosis and the outcome if i could? in a heartbeat. but if my mom taught me one thing about life by the way she lived hers, it's this: there's always good we can cling to. always. and for me right now, the good just happens to be the fact that this dumb and horrible disease brought my mom and i closer.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

he sat there in the corner with his cane, his lip quivering in attempt to hold back the tears. "i miss her so much", he said over and over as he stared intently at the slideshow that was playing in the background.

only, none of us knew who this man was.

it turns out that he was a patient at the doctor's office that was attached to the coffee shop that my mom spent her mornings in. she was a permanent fixture there, really; she sat at the same stool and drank her usual coffee with the same people day afer day, and took it upon herself to help any incoming patient find their way to the appropriate doctor. "doctor so and so is just upstairs to the right", she'd say. everyone knew her, and everyone loved her.

so you can understand why it wasn't a shock when i walked into a full house yesterday. people flooded the dining room, living room, kitchen and hallways. stories could be heard from every corner, and laughter from every room. at least, my laughter. [insert wink emoticon here].

my aunts and uncles were there, along with my cousins, second cousins and even third. some of our old neighbours showed up, her friends from the coffee shop i just mentioned [the 'saggy bottom café' as she called it], people who knew her and my dad from way back in the day when my dad apparently roller skated [you learn something new every day], her coworkers, my sister's coworkers, our youth pastors and friends, my roommate and her sister-in-law, and my grade four teacher, who didn't just come to remind me how good my spelling was back then, but to let me know how much he enjoyed talking to my mom, who lived on his street, while he was out gardening. she was always one to stop and smell the roses, after all.

i sit here even a day later overwhelmed by everyone's love and support. thanks a million to all of those who came, to those who wanted to but couldn't, and to that unnamed elderly man in the corner, who, not only donated a crisp $20 bill to the cancer society in my mom's name yesterday, but proved to be the perfect reminder that my mom's sphere of influence exceeded far beyond those she held close.

miss you, mom. thanks for setting such a great example of how we all should live our lives: simply, and surrounded by love. xo

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

about a year a go, my friend from the states posted some pretty sweet kicks on facebook, and i 'liked' them. next thing you know, thanks to her kindness, i get a package in the mail and all of a sudden, i had a pair of my own.

true story.

ever since then, i've had this really unnatural desire to run. it's as if these shoes had super power, or something.

ashamedly, even though i thought about going for a run many times since, my very new [and free] shoes did nothing but decorate my closet.

until monday, that is.

i don't know what it was about monday, really. maybe it's because i'm getting sick of looking at my disgusting stomach in the mirror every morning, or maybe, just maybe, it's because i need an outlet for all of this anger i feel ever since my mom passed away, but i laced those babies up and took them to the streets.

my already huge block seemed even bigger, and i huffed and i puffed enough to bring the first little pig's house down [and maybe even the second], but i felt like a champ after i got past the all consuming pukey feeling. and i felt like a champ this morning, too, when i faced the wind and rain and did it all over again.

funny how our fears can stop us from doing something we know to be beneficial.

kind of like how i feel when it comes to my mom's celebration of life this weekend. i feel paralyzed at the thought of showing up, but i have to.

sigh. maybe i'll wear my 'new' shoes.