What is Grief?

Grief sneaks up at your door when you do not look.

It appears in the least unexpected times in one life.

Grief is not neatly written in a book.

It is ugly and dark.

Grief does not stop at one loved one.

It takes its greedy hands on everyone in sight.

Grief took over my world.

Taking over in the dark of night.

Grief may be part of life.

Inhaling and exhaling with my every breath.

Grief cuts my heart with a knife.

It can kiss my ass!

For Kai, Paul, Judy, Grandma R, Grandma G, Grandpa R, Grandpa G, Bob, Harley, Baba, Debbie, My Mom and countless others who have been taken too soon in this lifetime.

Dear Daughters

Dear Daughters

I spy on you when you are playing or sleeping. I gaze at your peacefulness in your own skin. The day of tantrums (both of ours) and spit-ups are a distant memory.

While you are at tender ages, I hope that the skills your dad and I use to raise you will carry over into being a teenager and an adult. I can’t even fathom what you might look like at that stage.

This year I will be turning 38 years old. The same age your grandma (my mom) passed away from her second battle of cancer. I have feared turning 38 for obvious reasons. Now with your surprise appearances, I am in fear more of having my mother’s fate.

This is why I do not sweat over having a spotless house nor cooking from scratch. I rather play with you by coloring or playing dress-up. I scribe your stories in case I am not here to tell you.  

I love it when my first miracle rolls her eyes when I tell her I love her for the zillionth time that day. Then hugs me and tells me that she loves me too.

With all my soul,  I hope I am here to help you with homework, ground you for coming in past your curfew and help you with your babies.  

You are my everyday delight.

I make this promise to you.

No matter where I am you will always be in my heart.

With love,

Your mommy

For Baby Kai and others

For months my friend travelled back and forth to Women’s Hospital to have her unborn’s heart checked. There was indication that there was something wrong. You could tell she was working on keeping strong in front of her older two children and her friends. We all prayed and kept her strength going in our hearts.

Two weeks ago she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Kai. Within days he went in for surgery in hopes to have his heart fixed. After a short surgery, it was declared that he needed to be placed on the priority heart transplant list.

For the past 14 days, Facebook and Twitter filled with wishes and prayers to get him his heart. Last night he passed away. Never having a chance to see his home or all the loved ones who never got to meet.

 As one who has lost a lot of loved ones, it is never easy. Rationally, you know he is now at peace and not in pain. But it still hurts.

Hug your loved ones tight. Life is too short and precious.

 Have you registered your family to be donors?

Google how you can.

If you are in BC here is the link to register. http://www.transplant.bc.ca/index.asp

Sistering through Motherhood

It is the Monday before Christmas, I am sitting in a dim lit room. The only light is from the hallway.The machine is beeping its presence beside her bed. The muffled sounds of pages on the loud speakers. The stinging smell of the recently clean floor is finally dissipating. My eyes travel up from the tubes that are snaked under the crisp sheets. I stare at my sleeping sister as she breaths slowly. My heart pounds harder than ever in fear and love.

My sister just came from the recovery room after having a tumor removed. The initial talk is that her cancer might be back. There will be a lot more tests and results to pain stakingly wait for. All I can feel is the powerful déjà vu that takes over my soul-Here we go again. I smooth her sheets and refill her water cup. I refresh the wet washcloth that is kept near to cool her face. Unlike last time, she now has a loving husband who treats her as his queen, and I have young children.

I feel so guilty today. I tried to be a mom to my kids, with an eye on the clock for when my husband will come home, so I can run to the hospital. Outside of my household, my sister is the only family I have. If it were not for the kids, we would post-pone Christmas. It is not the same celebration without her.

 As I watch her chest rise and fall, I am grateful that she made it through the surgery so I can be here with her. Her eyes open and peer at me. She smiles through her drug haze. She says how glad she is that I am here. My heart strings tug with full might. Her eyes close again, this time a hand grasping mine. I see the irony just now. I always feel like a mom who doesn’t know what she is doing. All my years of being a big sister proved to be training for this moment, to care for all my loved ones. I exhale a sigh of relief. I know my kids are fine at home with their daddy. I am right where I should be.

One of my happy places

In two days I will be participating in one of my favorite things to do. Book Club. It is the best kind because I will be at home, in front of the computer and tweeting with my fellow book lovers. At the helm will be Wanda (aka @YMCBookalicious).

There is no need for a babysitter or for myself to drive at night. Hubby will be down in the playroom with the kids while I cozy up to the keyboard with a glass of Chardonnay.

It never matters the book, the picks are always good. It is a bi-monthly treat for me to talk online with people I may never have met. As a work-at-home mom my outside contacts are at the playground or school drop-off. Adult conversation face to face is a rarity. It just is that way right now.

For about an hour, we converse with specifics about the read and get off topic occasionally. Before I know it, it is time for me to get the kids to bed. It always goes to fast.

We all need to take time in a happy place. I have felt better in carving a wee bit of space for me. It is always written on the calendar in pen. There is no excuse to miss it since I don’t need to leave home.

Have you carved out time for yourself? What is your happy place?

A New Year Brings Grief.

I guess my heart can take more grief and worry.

This is the week where every day brought more grief and worry in our world. From my sister working on not worrying on her future, our daughters surrogate great-grandma passing away and our friend’s newborn waiting for a heart.

At times this week I chastised myself for not writing more. It is a habit I broke during the week travelling to the hospital and the Christmas holiday. Yet writing is therapy. As a stay-at-home mom the isolation of connecting to the outside world is tough on its better days.

 By writing and speaking out maybe little Kai will find his heart. Maybe you will give up one Starbucks to your favorite charity. Maybe the end of the year will bring happy endings to the dark chapters. Maybe reading this short post you will tell a loved one how much you love them. Or to #bekind to a stranger.

You never know if the next minute, hour is the last. You will never regret giving an extra hug over staying an extra hour at work.

Please share your random #bekind or if you have a heavy story please share. It helps to talk even to an online friend.