Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Nine Years

Today marks nine years since I said "I do" to my amazingly, funny, sweet husband. We always laugh at the thought of how unromantic he is. He truly is, and I am very okay with that. 



Do you know what replaces romance, sometimes? Sweetness, and Scott is full of sweetness. When I was young I always pictured being married to someone who was romantic. Flowers, chocolates, secret trips to secrets places. What I have now, I wouldn't change for all the wine in Italy- and that's saying something. 





The kind of things that define sweetness are the little things that Scott does, without even realizing it. It's things like, opening all the cupboards and drawers in the morning before he leaves for work because he knows it drives me absolutely batty, but makes me laugh so hard. It's making me tea on Saturday mornings, that's hot and ready for when I get out of the shower. 


When I was laid off from my job he rushed home from work with my favourite coffee, just to see if I was okay. He couldn't stay home all day but he wanted to check in. 



Things like loving me when I was really hard to love, and when I was having a hard time loving myself. 

Pushing me out of my comfort zone and not backing down on me.

Like never sugar coating anything, no cliches. He doesn't tell me that "everything is going to be okay" or " don't worry, it will all work out." And not because he's pessimistic, but because he know those words may not be true.



He's sweet like leaving one of his t-shirts that he's worn on his pillow when he goes away for work. Or calling me to wish me luck when I'm being tested. 

But mostly, I am so lucky because every single day that he's been in my life, through all the valleys and hills, he has made me laugh. Not just giggle or smile, but laughter that shakes my entire insides and makes me realize that romance may fade in and out, but sweetness lasts forever.  








Saturday, February 6, 2016

Hooper


"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's
 soul remains un-awakened." 


Last week we had to send our sweet, beloved Hooper over the Rainbow Bridge. It was one of the hardest things our family has ever had to do. We only recently found out that he had lymphoma and had declined rapidly. 




For anyone who had met Hooper, you know that he wasn't just an ordinary pet. He was sweet, funny and had a loving personality. We were so lucky to have had him in our lives for the time that we did, even if not long enough. Hooper never thought he was a dog, he thought that he was human like the rest of us. When the kids climbed on the couch to watch a move, so did Hooper. When we all sat down at the dining room table for supper, Hooper sat under it. Usually under Alyson's chair, because her food always seems to miraculously fall on the floor when she said she was "full".



Hooper adored attention and even if you accidentally grazed your hand on his head, he was your best friend. He would adoringly sit at your feet, looking up at you with his beautiful brown eyes begging to be scratched or played with. His love for water, snow, stolen blueberry pies and roast dinners are something that we will laugh about for years. 







Hooper held within his heart secrets that our family whispered when we needed to talk but couldn't find the words. He held patience for all the trucks that Jonathan has drove over his fur, for Alyson dressing him up in all of her clothes and covering him in blankets. He held love for everyone in our family, the way he greeted Scott at the door each day, the way he nudged Destyni back out the door when she came home from school because he knew that was his walk time. 
He was incredible and amazing and he kept our family happy and protected,  and we will miss him with our entire hearts. 




Until we meet again...








Friday, December 11, 2015

Drunk & Driving

I was hit by a drunk driver a few nights ago. I was driving home after my last clinical shift of the semester. After our class finishes a clinical rotation most of us are quite happy and almost euphoric, because it’s a huge accomplishment and we are proud of ourselves and our classmates. And we deserve to be happy, because nursing school isn’t always a walk in the park. So I was happy, and couldn’t wait to get home to tell my husband, who would have been in bed because it was late, but I was going to wake him up anyway. He’s used to it and probably expects it.

I was going to make a turn and from behind I was hit, and it was a hard hit. I don’t usually write about things other than my children. I don’t like the attention; my inner core tends to be an introvert. But this time it’s important.

I can remember the crash and find myself waking through the night hearing the crunch of metal or the impact of my head off the headrest. It was a hard hit.There are more details to the story but they aren’t all that relevant, the important part is that the driver was impaired. He was driving IMPAIRED.

I have a concussion. That’s what happens when you are hit at 45km an hour when you are stopped. Your body retains most of the hit, or maybe your head. It’s been a rough few days to say the least. I have forgotten what I was doing twice, I have forgotten my daughter's name once. I asked Scott the same question three times within an hour. I am tired and have migraines and it’s almost Christmas. I understand things like this can happen, but who is most affected by this? Not me. When something happens to you, well, you just deal with it.

So who is most affected?

My family.

They don’t understand why I need to nap throughout the day. Why they have to stay so quiet all of the time because the noise puts me to tears, that the lights are dimmed or off because the brightness makes the room spin. They don’t understand why I just look at them when they ask a question because I’m not quite sure of the answer, or I’ve forgotten the question.  And it sucks, it sucks so bad.
So friends, people in my life, anyone who may read this. Please, please don’t drink and drive. The holidays are upon us and celebrating goes hand in hand with that, but leave your car. Find other arrangements. I am sure you all have that one friend (or five) who has said “if you need anything”. Well call in that favour because it’s worth it. Trust me, it’s totally worth it.




Saturday, December 5, 2015

Christmas Shopping and Tears



Sometimes it’s so obvious that I know that feeling as soon as I see a memory or her face. Her eyes with their deep intent, or how her hair sways when she walks quickly down the hall. And sometimes I am just going about my day and it hits me with such a force that I feel myself reaching where my heart is and trying to dull the emotional turmoil that awakens just beneath.




 I was out Christmas shopping the other day, the only thing that Destyni asked for this year is clothes, she wants to look in her closet and be able to see beautiful, soft fabrics all around her and pick out her “today” outfit. So, off I went to one of her most favourite clothing shops.

Then it began.

I chose some generic clothing, a regular long sleeve shirt, a pair of pants. I kept walking deeper and deeper into the store and on a rack was an absolutely beautiful dress. And in an instant I seen my baby, who just turned 14 wearing that dress. In my mind’s eye I could see her twirling, laughing, her head thrown back, her beautiful brown eyes glittering with happiness, and I reached for my chest.

I don’t know what causes the wakefulness, I don’t know if it’s the clothes, the time of year, her birthday or what my soul knows is just below the surface- the feeling of letting go.

And I’m not really good at it. On the outside I try and hold it together, but there is always an escape tear, a hug that I make last longer than just a few moments, or my tip toes that lead me into her room late at night, making sure that she’s still my child.


I told Destyni a few years ago that when she grows taller than me, I will ground her from leaving our home for two whole weeks. I like to remind her of this a few times a month. And we laugh and she always wraps her arms around me and says, “Oh, Mommy.” But if I could keep her for two weeks without leaving I would. And I would let her know that I need those two weeks because once I am looking up to her I can’t hide the tears that slowly fall down my cheeks, so I need time to adjust.


On the night you were born,
The moon smiled with such wonder
That the stars peeked in to see you
And the night wind whispered, “Life will never be the same. “
Because there had never been anyone like you…
Ever in the world. 


Friday, January 30, 2015

For Heather

I love living. I love life. I go to bed each night and am grateful for everything I have in it. I try so hard not to take anything for granted. I work on this daily.

The week before last I was reading through my old blogs. Sometimes I love to read and remember the feelings that I had about a certain event in my life. I write a lot around my children's birthdays, because I know I will want to remember them in detail as time goes by. I came across a comment that a lady had left for me months ago. There was something about it that made me want to contact her, as she had requested. A few days later I received an email from her:

Crystal,

Thank you so much for getting back to me! No worries at all. The reason I was reaching out to you was because I couldn't find an email listed on your blog! I wanted to invite you to help me out with a campaign I was working on to spread awareness of the cancer that almost took my life 9 years ago, mesothelioma.

Luckily, I am currently working on spreading awareness of a special holiday coming up this February 2nd that my husband and I celebrate each year called "Lung Leavin' Day". Nine years ago on the eve of my lung-removal surgery, we were all feeling down and fearful that the surgery wouldn't be successful. So, to overcome our fears, we wrote them on plates and smashed them in a bonfire in our backyard. Every year since then, we continue the tradition by smashing our fears and encouraging others to do the same by sharing them online!

I would love if we could do something on your blog for Lung Leavin' Day. Check out our page, and let me know what you think!

http://www.mesothelioma.com/heather/lungleavinday/#.VL0XXWTF-s
4

Thanks a million!
Heather



Heather's story is beautiful and sad and it needs to be read. There was something so revitalizing about smashing that plate at the end of the webpage. For anyone who may sometimes take life for granted, this will bring you happiness.


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Goodbye Ordinary Numbers

Dearest Destyni,

My precious baby girl. Tonight is the eve of all ordinary birthdays. After toddler-hood, your age was just a number. After midnight tonight, you are not just any number, you are a teenager, you are my teenager.

My sweet Princess, you are the sole person who has taken me from being "just a twenty year old" to "Mommy". You are everything I ever did right in the world. As tomorrow slowly creeps up, my mind keeps flooding with pictures of your life. They seem to rush in without any warning, and leaving me with tears in my eyes and happiness bursting from my heart. I don't ever know if you can begin to understand what you've created by being you, but my child, you have created magic.

This is the beginning of the letting go stage. The age when I have to slowly let you go out into the world, without holding your hand, and guiding you to all the right answers. I know I have to let you venture into unknown territories, and I have to let you make mistakes so you will know how to learn from them. This will be my hardest role as your mother.

Today I will promise you everything I have ever promised you while you flipped in my belly, while you slept in my arms, while you splashed in the tub, climbed the couch, gazed at me reading to you, drove in the car singing at the top of our lungs, holding you as you cried, danced with you, and rocked you back and forth. I promise to love you forever. I promise to always be your confidant, even when I'm not able to be your friend. Know this more than ever, no matter what happens, I am here. Behind you cheering you on, beside you, pushing you forward and in front of you, guiding you.
To my almost thirteen year old, I have never met anyone like you in my entire life. I don't think I ever shall. Happy Birthday darling!

"Breathe deep. Talk slow.
Walk soft. Let go.
Give big. Take less.
Don't count. Just guess.
Act fair. Think long.
Laugh loud. Sing strong.
Plan bold. Dream far.
Feel loved. You are."


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Oh Canada

Oh Canada.

This past week has been one that will be forever remembered in Canadian history, unfortunately. This week Canadian's were put through emotional turmoil, hurt, pain and grief.

For twenty minutes I panicked. Full out, taking my children out of school, locking my doors and windows and staying in my basement until I feel safe. Even if it meant years.

 But then I remembered.

 I am Canadian! We are Canadian! And that doesn't mean just ticking off the Canada box when asked what country we live in. It means that we hold our heads high, we sing the national anthem from our hearts and we DO NOT live in fear.



 Perhaps somewhere in a history book, some author forgot to take note that we were never just a nation. We don't all just live together because we share a land mass. We live like a family. Behind each and every solider, each and every police officer, and each and every emergency worker is a family. Standing behind them, holding them up and creating an absolute concrete barrier. So these soldiers, police officers and emergency workers not only have the bravery that allows them to protect our country so well, they also have the strength of millions of people behind them.

Canadians are a lot of things, But we are not cowards!

We are True North Strong and Free!