I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat.
Anyone else find it amusing that I have more in common with the women in that last newspaper article than I do with people my own age? Told you it was useful.
In my second attempt to make our wedding anniversary as un-shitty as possible, I adopted a philosophy that was showcased on the TV series Parks and Recreation. It’s best explained by this:
Here is my version:
Just in case. As it turned out, the gin wasn’t necessary, but served as an excellent security blanket. Ditto to the chips. Never hurts to be prepared.
My version of treat yo self essentially involved taking the entire day off of doing school work (a feat not yet achieved since I started this program). Exercise: check. Junk food: check. Booze: check but not necessary or consumed. Jewelry making: check. Movie: check. Tears: check.
It is what it is. From now on I’m giving myself permission to do whatever the hell I want for our anniversary. Ditto for his birthday. If you didn’t pick up on that already.
Oh yeah, I also got myself some flowers that are pretty darn close to the ones I had at our wedding. Or rather, the ones that Joey had:
Damn I love that man.
Okay, so it would seem that a few people are still actually following this thing. Who knew? One of them sent me the following article:
Interesting concept and I certainly see the benefit. There is some serious value in that. I have gained a lot from some of the people who I have talked to that have survived this experience. On the flip side, in some respects it reminds me of the physio room in Toronto. Joey and I were the youngest people in there by about 30-40 years. It was isolating in a way. Too many times, our concerns about him either dying on the list or after the surgery were met with comments like “You’re young, you’ll be fine” by the other patients. Not all, but more than a few. Kind of nullifies the validity of our experience and shows an obvious lack of understanding about Cystic Fibrosis. You ain’t necessarily gonna be fine when the median age of death is 37. It’s interesting how some people make weird competitions out of things when they should be supporting each other.
Any-hoo, the widow article reminded me of those experiences in some respects. It got me thinking about a) how out of place I would look in that picture and b) how some people tend to slough off the experience of me losing my husband by encouraging comments like “You’re young. You’ll meet someone else”. Maybe. Maybe not. Either way, Joey is irreplaceable. Hands down.
Bitch, bitch, bitch. Maybe I’m just grumpy because it’s our anniversary on Saturday and he’s dead.
Where my childless, young widows at?
Seriously though, thanks for the article. I liked it and it’s a smart idea.
Doubtful that anyone’s still checking the blog, but just in case you are, I thought I’d share this very important article:
Some of the factors listed contributed to Joey’s death. I can’t change our outcome, but hope that by raising awareness about it, maybe things will be different for other people in the future.
That’s about all I can muster for now.
“In a lot of ways, the second year is worse than the first”, said the older widow to the younger widow. “You think: this much time has gone by and I still feel just as bad?”
“When does it start to hurt less?” said the younger widow to the older widow.
“It doesn’t”, replied the older widow. “You just learn better ways of coping”.
Kind of what I figured. Hence the lack of blogging, really.
And around and around we go.
On a positive note, I was recently accepted into a graduate certificate program in Complex Trauma and I’m pretty stoked about that. Yeah for something being set in stone for September. Bonus: most of it can be done by distance, so I can stay put in PR. Phew!
On another positive note, I got to visit with some California girls recently.
We went on a tour of the firehall:
There was yoga:
Playing in the park:
And the rain:
And at the farmer’s market:
There were stories:
And one heck of a party:
Speaking of parties, someone special just turned 1:
Hint: it was Gus, not Kimberly.
So we partied again:
Our favorite part of the party was the gluten-free cupcakes.
Okay, so obviously I’ve been stuck again lately. I’m sad. It sucks.
That said, I’m getting better at putting on “the face” where I act like I’m okay even if I’m not. Sometimes I even managed to sneak a little fun in there too. Loud, loud fun.
Cousin Dave and his girlfriend Gemma came out from England to visit recently. We had a great time, with the exception of my dad throwing his back out and my mom breaking one of her arms while also managing to injure the other. I swear I’m not making this up people. It was ridiculous. We did, however, still have some fun. Here’s some of the documentation from later on in David and Gemma’s trip:
Directed towards prawn trap poachers:
Can you blame the guy? I’d be pretty annoyed too if people were messing with my livelihood.
After I bid farewell to that component of the fam, it was off to Whistler with April, Keith, and Emily to cheer on Yaya and her team in the Tough Mudder. A few of the highlights:
Notice how white her shirt is in this picture. Very, very short-lived:
And here we go:
I was so pumped I had to jump over the line and give my baby girl a hug:
Also note: this is right before she had to run up this hill:
And after that hill:
But before the monkey bars:
It was an amazing event and I couldn’t be prouder of the “Joey’s Angels” team:
I hear the worst part for Siarah was sliding down a compacted snow bank into muddy ice water that had crystallized so much that she had to be dragged through it by people on the other side. Good thing those mudders have a serious sense of camaraderie. Poor girl oscillated between being totally pumped up, crying about her Uncle Joey, wiping her eyes so that she could see and then realizing that she was covered in mud, which was now also in her eyes, so she still couldn’t see and she also had dirt in her eyes to boot. This went on for 12 miles. The kid’s a tough cookie.
By the end, we all felt like tough mudders:
Even though we weren’t.
Suffice it to say that Yaya took the next day to recover, while April, Keith and I went out to explore Whistler before we headed back to Vancouver:
What can I say? I’m a fan of those things.
April making a “Joey’s Snow Angel”:
Me posing beside it and pretending that I’m tough…again:
The view from the Peak-to-Peak Gondola:
So much fun, while simultaneously being absolutely terrifying.
And when we got back to Vancouver, guess who was there?
It was a sister bonanza! Was pretty excited to see Leeah and Brian. We live way too far away from each other, so I was really happy to see them on the coast.
And then I got home, messed up my own back and have been crying for a week and a half. Karmically I had it coming though. I should never have encouraged Dave to secretly take pictures of my dad clutching his back while my mom stood beside him with her arm in a sling.
The things bring you comfort are strange. Some of them make sense, but others less so.
My car is scuffed up. It has been for a number of years. I was pissed about it at the time. Joey was driving and bumped into something that I figured was obvious and could have been avoided. He was supposed to fix it and never did. That irritated me.
I had my car cleaned recently. It came out bright and shiny, with the exception of a few run of the mill bumps and dings. And then there is that one big one; the one I was pissed about.
He never fixed it and I’m glad he didn’t. It brings me comfort. It’s proof he was here. Evidence of our life together.
I miss my husband.