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.
The insanity has been spread. Here’s the documentation:
Spent a quick day in Squamish trying not to get killed by my sister’s cat. (Turns out I am extremely allergic. Not to cats in general, only to Sarah’s cat. Convenient, no?) The resulting goal when I come to visit? Avoid her home at all costs. A hike seemed like a great way to accomplish this and show our guests some of what BC has to offer. So we hiked:
Samuel was pretty tired by the end of that one. It’s disturbing to note how much he looks like one of the people in those ads for CF where the person is deflated. Anyone out there remember what I am talking about? The ads were effective, but messed up.
Fear not, he was just resting:
& not having a temper tantrum or doing the dead fly. Just attempting to swing himself back up before we went for lunch.
After lunch we went on another, shorter hike:
Seems to be a reoccurring theme. Maybe we should have cut the kid a break until he was less jet lagged. Regardless, he rebounded the next day. We went swimming:
& had a beach day in Parksville:
Here are a few of the other highlights from our time in that area:
Goats on the roof in Coombs:
Wildlife Recovery in Errington:
We saw eagles, owls, and loud, enormous turkeys (to name a few). However, it seemed that Marbles the cat was a highlight for Samuel:
My vote was for the turkeys. I have my reasons.
On our way to PR, we impulsively decided to go to a fish hatchery. I love it when random decisions pan out. We walked around for a while, in the rain, scoping things out. Little did we know that we were being scoped out at the same time. Word of tourists spread like wildfire and we ended up meeting “Magic Mike”:
He recommended that we pay a visit to a VIU research site on our way up island, so we did. Samuel loved the tidal pools:
Marbles was up for some competition now (it should be noted that the most exciting part of the trip for him on the whole was Scooter, the kitten. Nothing else really stood a chance).
Then came our time in PR, which included a day on Savary, of course. We sat on the porch:
And played on the beach:
And were pretty darn tired when the day was done:
But not too tired to pose beside the start (or end? Let’s go with start) of highway 101. On the way out of Lund I realized I drove across the whole country, but neglected to get a picture of the beginning of the road, so I took one now with a couple of my favorite Torontonians:
We had a good week. I’m still tired. But we had a rockin’ good time.
The fun patrol has been in full swing. Here’s the run down.
The walk in PR was a raging success. Although I was not able to be there in person due to a prior commitment to host another CF fundraiser in Vancouver (stay tuned for quiz night), a lot of money was raised to fight CF and everyone I have spoken to said they had a great time. Thank you so much to all of the businesses and volunteers who helped Terri and I pull it off. It warms my heart to know that people care so much.
Quiz night was also went off seamlessly. That said, the win was contentious. The “Tinkerbells” took the trophy by half a point and weren’t shy in the slightest as they openly embraced their success:
King Kayliegh was honored to take home the team trophy and happy to rub her team’s half point victory in the other teams’ faces. She was also quick to peel out and flee the scene when April decided to chase her down the street in a vain attempt to snatch the award, which she felt quite strongly rightfully belonged to her own team. I stand by my original ruling.
The following day, we had our own low-key walk with the fam, Leslie, and of course, the original Tinkerbell:
From there, I headed north to have a lightening visit with the Sandman and spend a few days in Clearwater. The nieces and nephews were more than impressed with Grandpa and Grandma’s new wheels:
Also included was a trip to Barrier to watch Keltie play ball, a trip to Kamloops for some shopping with Poppa Randy and Shirley, and a movie night with Yaya. In fact, I hardly spent any time in Clearwater at all. That said, some time is better than no time.
Next, I headed to the village of Clinton, where my friends Roy and Rachel were getting married. This is the view from the cabin I stayed in:
Yep, we were in the middle of nowhere. Strangely enough, I’ve been there before. Years ago, Joey and I blazed through Clinton on our way home, but felt compelled to pull over and take a picture of our heads over wooden cut outs of a cowboy and a pink dress that was set up to attract tourists. Guess who was the cowboy and who was the lady in the pink dress. Sadly, the wooden cut outs had been removed upon my return, but I was able to force Sam to take a photo of me standing on the same porch below the same sign:
The bottle of gin in the paper bag is a classy touch. When in Clinton…
And now for some wedding shots.
Sister of the groom:
Mother of the groom and I with our fancy purses:
Jill and Michael:
The lucky soon-to-be husband:
Stephanie (AKA: Kimberly’s doppelganger) and I:
Not kidding in the slightest. Check this out:
I knew there was a reason I felt so comfortable with you! You are the taller version of one of my best friends!
And finally, the wedding that went off without a hitch:
(except for the fact that the marriage commissioner was unable to make it because she got stuck behind a semi that caught fire and the happy couple had to be married by one of their “fat ginger” friends. I’m not making this up; the papers still hadn’t been signed when I left yesterday. As far as I know they aren’t legally married. Disappointing for them, but it makes for excellent blogging material).
The “groom” and I:
Brother of the bride:
Roy and Brendan, AKA: the wanna be groomsman:
In fact, he was probably the one who started the truck fire so that he could sub in. “If Matt has to stand in as the marriage commissioner, I can usurp his place in the wedding party and claim it for my own!” In all honesty, it was a coincidence. I just like to bug people who are insecure.
The bride and I:
Isn’t she lovely?
So after a night of much dancing and celebrating, we had a few more wiggles the following day:
And then I hit the road again. The drive back down to the coast was beautiful:
I was also delighted to discover that they apparently have unicorns around these parts:
Although I wasn’t lucky enough to see one for myself.
Eventually, I arrived in Squamish for the white trash barbeque and to reunite with my own doppelganger from Toronto and her son Samuel:
It’s going to be another fun week. Can’t wait to spread the insanity around Powell River.
Not a bad rebound, huh?
Admittedly, I have totally been dropping the ball here. My reasoning is as follows: I have been monster-depressed and enveloped in things that are triggering me and I’m trying to keep my head on straight, so the blog has been a low priority.
Over the last few weeks, Momma R and Daddy G, with the help of several other family members, have cleared out their house in preparation for it to be rented. It’s a good move for them and what needs to be done, but I am not reacting well to the change. I’m sick of change.
Any-hoo, I was spending a fair bit of time at the house helping. Although, on more than a few days, my “helping” consisted of going home shortly after I arrived so that other people didn’t have to watch me cry. What a trooper.
Here we are the night before they left:
Locked out of their own house, peering in the windows. That’s what we’ve been reduced too. Check out Momma R’s wine glass in the background. Even that looks sad.
So goodbye house. Goodbye Christmases; goodbye Easters. Goodbye backyard parties:
And Heather with the burn mark in it:
And Gapping Gourmet doll:
(Although in all fairness, he was really just relocated to Calgary).
Hello grumpy drive-bys and unfair resentment of tenants. Sad, but probably going to be true.
In other news, Terri Cramb (of T-Fit) and I have been planning a CF walk in Powell River for this Sunday at 11:00 at Willingdon Beach. Check out this article in the PEAK:
If you want to sponsor either of our teams, please visit: www.cysticfibrosis.ca , click on the Great Strides link and search our names. Or better yet for me, do a team search for Joey’s Angels. My name is spelled with a confusing absence of the letter “e”, so doing a team search seems easier and more likely to be successful.
So that’s the abbreviated version of what I’ve been up to lately. I’m ready for some fun. Which I believe I am going to have in great abundance over the next few weeks. More on that later.