Joey’s 2012 Pub Night: PR Chapter

My friends and family are awesome. Have I mentioned this lately?

Let me count a few of the ways.

Last night, we had Joey’s first Powell River Pub Quiz night at Ang and Drew’s. Never mind that the majority of the group attended one that was organized for the food bank on boxing day, or that I am fairly consistently drilling people about CF related causes and organ donation awareness, and that this has been going on for years. People still came. People still care. Not just about me and Joey, but about making things better for other people with CF. That warms my heart in a way that I can’t explain. I feel very, very lucky to have such supportive people in my life. Or maybe they just came for the kick ass trophy:

The “Not Sure of Muches” were very humble in their victory, which was solidified after a nail biting tie breaker. The proceeds that were raised are being donated to the Vancouver CF clinic to help purchase another “kitchen cart” so that people with cepacia can make better use of the facilities while they are in the clink. (Cepacia is a bug that doesn’t affect healthy people, but if you have CF and catch it, it’s bad news. People with cepacia are not allowed in the CF resource room to prevent infection in other CF patients, but can send in friends or relatives to retrieve stuff for them, if they are lucky enough to have them around when they need stuff. The kitchen carts mean that people with cepacia are basically going to eat better/at all when they are in hospital since they will have items like a mini fridge, toaster, etc handy in their rooms. If you are interested in helping purchase the kitchen cart, donations can be made to the St.Paul’s Hospital Foundation Adult CF Clinic Patient Enhancement & Equipment Fund. In the memo write: CF clinic fund #01866164, kitchen cart. That’s a eyeful). In case you need a reminder of why this is important, allow me to refresh your memory.

Would you like to eat this?

Or this?

Or this?

Didn’t think so. Joey didn’t either. I believe that one of the young folks from Mountain Park Middle school in Calgary said it best when he sent Joey a card that said: “I hope you get better food soon. Dear staff: get better food”. A man after my own heart.

So our friends helped to get a start on purchasing another kitchen cart. I also get random emails and texts offering emotional support. Sometimes I get TV show recommendations because people know that I’m at a loss of where to start and that Joey would always find me the funny shows, or the trashy shows, or the movies I would like to distract me and cheer me up.

Sometimes they send me funny pictures of their kids enjoying raspberries:

Or sit around and drink coffee and let me mope when I need to. Or help me move in and assemble couches. Or do basic things like grocery shopping because they know that sometimes I just can’t get it together to be okay out in public.

I have the best friends and family in the world. I am very, very lucky.


One Year

I have a picture of a tree that is hacked to bits around its’ trunk, but is still standing. Barely. The caption underneath reads:


Time heals all wounds. But it usually leaves a pretty big scar.

I feel a certain kinship with this tree. It has been through the wringer, but it is tough. It’s in terrible shape, but it hangs on nonetheless. It’s roots run deep and strong. It will pull through provided its’ basic needs – food, water, and love – are met. Things will get better. The tree and I are one and the same.

I showed a friend of mine the tree picture a few weeks back.

“That tree is going to die”, he said.

So much for time healing all wounds.

A year ago today, Joey died. Our family is still struggling, but we are hanging on. I hope things will get better. That said, I am realistic. There is always going to be a piece of me missing and I am not the same person that I was before. I am trying because I know that is what he’d want and I know that it’s what I have to do for my own health and for the people around me that care. It is difficult. I am far from wonderful. That said, I haven’t given up. But sometimes you just need to acknowledge that you are sad and lay around and cry. Today is one of those times. Good thing I have a comfy couch to do it on.

On the last page of “A Widow’s Story”, Joyce Carol Oates wrote:

“Of the widow’s countless death-duties there is just one that matters: on the first anniversary of her husband’s death, the widow should think ‘I kept myself alive’.”

Mission accomplished.


Quick Rundown

February has been rough and there’s still more to go. That said, I am hanging in okay, although I have been more slack on the blogging than I usually am. Been having a hard time getting motivated and am struggling for something to say to sum up how I’m feeling/what’s been going on. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Cuba was bittersweet. I thought I knew the meaning of that word before, but it seems like my understanding has been heightened. Going was a good move and on the whole; we had a good time and I think I’ve returned in a better headspace than I was in before I left. (Phew! Hope it lasts). That said, it was tough being there without Joey. Even when I am having a good time, there is always something missing; hence my newfound ability to experience joy and sorrow simultaneously. I felt the same way when Gus was born. Honored and elated to be there, but indescribably sad that Joey couldn’t be there in person to get all up in Kimberly’s business. And how much would he love checking out how Gus looked when he ate his first avacado:

Or drive across Canada with me? Or be there for any number of special occasions with the special people in our life? You get my drift.

  • Valentine’s sucked, but not as badly as I thought it would. I think the key to limping through the rest of my life is to embrace all of the “crazy widow shit” that will be a part of who I am from now on. As if I wasn’t loopy enough before. The journaling, the ceremonies, the locket rings that Richard claims “make me look like a cokehead”, I’m embracing it all. I am tackling my grief head on because I don’t want it to bite me in the ass later. Or at the very least, chomp with gums and not teeth.
  • I got a new couch; I am trying to restructure to some degree. It is interesting that those who know me best feel that this is a very positive step forward. Plus, now there is somewhere comfy for people to sleep when they come to visit. I’ll be accepting bookings soon.
  • I’m still working on trying to get better and am branching even further out of my comfort zone to try new means to achieve this end. Better, but not perfect. Better than abysmal and better than completely hopeless. That’s a damn good start.

Happy February.


Happy Birthday Baby

Shortly after Joey died, Richard, Caroline, and I decided to go to Cuba. As some of you might remember, that is where Joey and I went for our honeymoon. I figured it would be best to time it for his birthday, as obviously, it was going to be a rough day. We had the best frickin’ party possible, short of him being present, which, I think he was. We went on a boat ride, snorkeling, Richard and Caroline swam with dolphins, and we went to what Joey and I thought might be the most beautiful beach in the world (though we were likely a touch biased because we were so damn happy when we were there). Here’s the pictorial rendition.

A drink for me and a drink for Joey:

Richard and I performing a little ceremony for him:

Caroline, Richard, and I doing Joey’s model face. Blue steel!

Joey’s birthday card. This was much tougher than it looks; the ocean kept washing it away. Hence the enthusiasm when we finally got it:

Leaving Cayo Blanco:

Dancing on the boat:

And they even let Richard drive for a bit. Note the expression of concern on the captain’s face vs. Richard’s confidence. It didn’t seem to take long for the captain to realize his mistake:

Happy birthday baby. We miss you.