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“She’s too young to see that as we gather losses, we may also grow in love;as in passion, the body shudders and clutches what it must release.”

15 Apr

Mother I wish…..

I wish many things. I wish you had explained things to me better. I wish I would have known more than that nebulous “I’m sick”, wish I would have truly known what Cancer meant-not in terms of rogue cells and less than functional cures, but in the human cost, in terms of what I was to lose.

Or perhaps it’s better that I didn’t.

Mother, I wish you had told me you loved me. My ears don’t remember hearing those words. I know you did-my core knows that you loved me and wished for me and asked for me and one day I was there for you to love me. But I can’t recall hearing the words pass your lips. I have no notes in your handwriting, no secret messages left encoded in the wallpaper. I have one thing in my possession that crossed your fingers, and I treasure it, even if I can rarely bring myself to touch it.

Mother, I wish you had told me about love, about how it cuts both ways, how it endangers me. I wish you had told me it was worth it, so I wouldn’t have wasted years convincing myself it wasn’t, and that I was unworthy and unready.

Mother, I wish you would have told me how wonderful finding your one true love was.

I wish you would have had “the talk”. You know the one. Instead, I learned from cold books, hidden in a corner of a library where no one would find me. I wish you would have left some warning about cramps and blood and sex so I wouldn’t have felt so bloody alone curled up on a damp bathroom floor crying.

Mother, I wish you would have told me about you, your past, who you were before your family became the second part of your life. I saw drawings, art-were you an artist? What dreams did you have? You had dreams, a farm girl from southern Ontario, I’m sure you wanted to escape. Was my father your escape on Saturday in a Drugstore?

I do so wish you would have told me how much I would come to love my children, how much you loved yours. I wish I had a piece of your love to carry on with me, to share with my children, something more real than my stories. If only you had written something down for me to carry forth.

I wish you had admitted you were dying before it was too late. You had such hateful hope, and this hope prevented you from truly preparing us, for saying those things we needed to say. This hope kept you from preparing for a future you were not in. That hollow fucking place I’m finally out of. I’m so very angry with you for this. You didn’t want to face what was happening. I admire your bravery, but I’m angry at how you left us.

Mother, I wish you would have seen a second doctor when Dad told you to, when you first found that lump. I wish you would have taken it seriously, even if the doctor didn’t. You had such faith in these people! They fucked up your leg as a teenager, and they fucked up your life as an adult. Why did you believe in them so?

Mother, I wish I would have just appreciated you while you were there, instead of being the shitty little kid I was somedays. Dad would tell me to knock it off, and I just didn’t get it. Not really. It hurt, not understanding why we couldn’t go places, why you couldn’t get out of bed. Why you took so many pills and spent your days getting sick.

Mother, I wish I could have shown more compassion, more love. I wish I would have been more loving, but I just didn’t understand. Even I couldn’t yell those words, those “I love you’s!” until the machines were winding down. I was scared that if I said it, you’d die.

I guess I was right.

Mom, more than anything, I wish I had known you. I have fleeting memories of a talented, strong woman, but I never knew you. I’m told that I was always by your side, your constant companion. I’m told that you loved me more than anything, loved your family to distraction.

Mom, I wish I knew these things for sure, and not just in my mind, and sometimes even my heart.

I wish I didn’t miss you.

I wish we had beaten that cancer.

I wish things had been different, and you were still here, making your legendary poppy seed cake instead of me cursing the world that made you never write the bloody recipe down. Cursing a world in which the taste of that cake is as mythical as your voice.

I wish your knew your grand-daughters, their songs, their games, their idiocies.

Mom, sometimes, I just wish…..


(Title is a fragment from a fantastic poem by Julia Spicher Kasdorf)

“The child becomes largely what he is taught; hence we must watch what we teach, and how we live.”

28 Feb

I’m holding a bad cup of coffee, too much cream, not enough sweetener, talking to my neighbour about our kids, our street, her new house. Sitting sedately in a semi circle, making small talk with people you don’t really know, people whose kids will soon possibly become VERY known at your house. Vivian is in the gym, doing whatever it is that we came here to do. The letter just said “activities”-we could have been sorting counterfeit for all I knew.

Vivian told me to leave, so leave I did.

I hear a snuffling sad sound, and realize that Vivian has lost her shit.

“I wawaswas scared without you mommy.”

She’s red with crying, with holding it in, trying to be strong like I ask.

“I’m scared sometimes too Vivian.”


This school thing, this leaving my kid in the hands of strangers, especially the bitchy looking one-I’m not comfortable with this. Visions of homeschooling dance in my head instead I realize that we rely mainly on my income, and Mogo has made it quite clear that he wants no part in any nutso homeschooling ideas. But I feel so…turned inside out, reversed, record played backwards about the whole thing. I don’t know if I’m ok with it, with leaving her with people to learn by rote, to learn not to question answers.

I watched her doing her own thing tonight, drawing the ladybug big, not little, and be corrected. And that hurt.

It’s not like I’m raising Che Guevara or anything-I’m not looking for a counter culture overlord. But I want a child who questions everything, and questions it well. I want a child who explores her boundaries, who isn’t satisfied with stopping at the lines, or mimicking perfectly what someone else has already done.

Why all this interest in mimicry? Why is there never the same interest in newness?

I am concerned about the tomorrows. The 10 years from now. I am worried that like me, she’ll need to fight her way back to learning how to stop listening to that voice in her head that tells her she’s wrong, that there’s a “right” way to do things. The smartest people I’ve ever known knew that there was rarely a single “right” way to do anything-but many, many possibilities.

And perhaps this is what it’s really about. Potential. Possibility. People feel no compunction about arguing against abortion, claiming we’re limiting potential. But the same argument isn’t always used about schools, and their ability to suck the love for learning and curiosity out of all but the rarest of children. She has such sparkling potential, such a rare spark and gift for oration and relation. She wants to know-constantly-in that way that I truly believe most kids want to know yet have it smothered out of them.

The chubby, slow disinterested children scared me the most, their potential almost completely buried under 4 years of something that wasn’t even close to being ideal. Watching Vivian get less attention for knowing the answer-this I remember from my childhood, and still resent. The message I always got was “You aren’t worthy of anything more than you already are.”

Imagining anyone thinking that about my daughters, or your sons, makes me want to curl up and cry.

I’d like to think it would be different if they weren’t attending public school. (And yes, that IS catholic school kid snobbery-I confronted it earlier tonight) But I don’t think it would be. There’s something terribly wrong with a system that creates so few true scholars and learners, a system that makes the mechanically inclined feel stupid (when we all know that the plumbers and the mechanics will make more than I would even WITH my english degree). There is something so wrong about a system that makes me question whether or not I even want my children in it so much.

Receiving letters reminding me to read to my children really depress me. The fact that people need to be told these things-doesn’t that maybe tell you that something has been broken for a very long time?


“I want to put my sparkly shoes on.” I had carried a pair of “inside shoes” with me just in case we needed them.

“Sure baby. Sparkles always make me less afraid.”

We put them on, her little body still trembling in that sheer terror you only fear as a little girl. The younger teacher, the one I want her to have who is pregnant and likely to pop over the summer leads her to the water fountain, holds her hair gently as Vivian figures it out for the first time, the first of many drinks.

My heart flops. I remember the kindness of many soft blonde teachers. I remember many trips to the fountain, the joy of something finally your size.

We walk back to the gym.

“You need to stay with me Mommy.”

I hover behind her the rest of the night, comforted by another mother doing the same. The only downfall of never using daycare.

Vivian regains her confidence, starts blurting the answers before remembering herself and her manners. She tries to follow the instructions, she really does. Mostly she succeeds. She turns now and then, looking for me. If she doesn’t immediately see me, her hair flips from side to side to side, her eyes fill, her lip quivers. Then she sees me.

“I’m right here honey. I’m not going anywhere.”


“Regrets are idle; yet history is one long regret. Everything might have turned out so differently.”

18 Feb
Sorry it took so long to respond but as for the unsigned card, if anything, she was only trying to protect me…she has always been cautious of that since you went away and I think its always going to be in her mind, regardless of what changes. Maybe you werent ready, but neither was I, it happened, and maybe we could have all handled it differently but what happened happened, and we cant change that.Over the years, I have learned that people have to earn my trust, I dont give it easily anymore. I gave you my trust back then and you left…unforunately, trust has to be earned again.Hope the girls are doing well

I found this in my facebook inbox from my half sister last night, in reference to a conversation we had a few months back.

Part of me is really fucking angry. The other half just doesn’t care. Maybe it’s something about being lectured on trust by a 20 year old that’s pissing me off. Maybe it’s the knowledge that she’s had a relatively easy life that’s eating at me.

Maybe it’s recognizing myself in that 11 year old, knowing that feeling of being abandoned and left behind.

I don’t feel like I can explain to her that none of this was done to hurt anyone-that that situation was one that I was in no way really prepared to deal with, especially not in the all or nothing manner my birth mother decided things needed to be. I can’t explain to her-I just can’t explain to her the hurt and the pain I went through with this-the absolute obviousness of standing outside of a family that would never be mine, but was by blood. I can’t explain to her the loss of one mother, and the seeming rejection of another.

I can’t possibly explain the pain of watching her mother hold her, while I stood holding up a wall, staring out a window pretending I didn’t care.

There is a gulf, and I’m not sure I even want to bother crossing it.


Sure, she was 10 or 11. But I was 19, and eager to be done with things, eager to move on, away, into my life. She was a kid. She had her mother, and her father, a large extended family who loved and coddled her as the baby she was. I cast a thought behind me, regret perhaps, sadness at a life I wouldn’t have, a sister I truly would never had, and moved on. I never let myself love her. I liked her. But I never opened my heart fully.

I couldn’t. The tenuous heartbreak of watching my mother love her was bad enough. I had my heart, and life broken once before. There was no way-absolutely no way I was opening myself up to that again.

The one Christmas I spent with them, my mother became ill. I stood beside her bed, unsure-hold her hand? Walk away, leave them to be by themselves? As I was thinking, she screamed “Stop staring at me! Get out!”

I fled.

They pulled her out of the house by ambulance as I stood watching, unsure of my place, unsure of what anger or sadness I might be entitled to. My heart pulled the shutters it allowed to open back in, and steeled itself for the worst.

My sister was comforted by her family, and I felt envy for the arms that wrapped around her. I had my future husband, and myself.


I’m angry with her because in my eyes, she has everything-everyone. Love,  security. She’s never wanted for a thing. She’s never suffered, not from anything I can grasp as suffering. She’s been the darling baby of her family, a pet almost. I can’t shake the feeling that I’m talking to a petulant little child who has never grasped that the world doesn’t revolve around her.

I thought of her constantly. I wanted to reach out to her, but worried her mother, our mother, would prevent it. I wanted a sister, I wanted someone else in my life.

I didn’t want this. I didn’t want someone implying that I’m selfish and that I’ve hurt them on purpose. And it’s this that breaks my heart and is leading me to decide to finally cut contact for once and for all. I’m tired of this half assed “Family” sending me checks based in guilt and the odd Christmas card. What’s there to be guilty of? They owe me nothing.

I owe her nothing. Her heartbreak is as much her mother’s fault as her own, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to be pointed to as her little destroyer of worlds.

But why does this still hurt me so much?

“Just as a fire is covered by smoke and a mirror is obscured by dust, just as the embryo rests deep within the womb, wisdom is hidden by selfish desire.”

12 Dec

When I was 9 or so, I desperately wanted this cheesy game called “Fashion Plates“. It was cheesy and cheap, and likely crappy. But oh how I wanted it. It seemed like the kind of thing a girl should play with, something arty but without being weird. And it was just plain old neat to me-the idea of creating clothing!

So Christmas rolls around. I see a box that looks about that size-I get excited.

Ice Skates.

Ice Skates. For a girl who rarely ever skated, a girl who hated skating, a girl who couldn’t stop on skates without hitting the boards if her life depended on it. Skates. GIRL skates to top it all off, with that ridiculous toe pick. If I had wanted skates, I would have wanted hockey skates, not a slim pair that would cause me to trip and fall at the worst times.

I remember just sitting there, staring at the bloody things, willing them to turn into what I really wanted. I don’t remember being too outwardly displeased-or at least, I reined it in after my mother glared at me. But I was so disappointed that I didn’t get the one and only thing I wanted for Christmas, the ONE solitary thing I asked for, I the girl who rarely asked for anything since you usually wouldn’t get it no matter how much you whined.

I was so…sad. I knew we didn’t have a lot of money, but Christmas usually brought something fun. Something I didn’t need, something practical. I had asked, for once, for one of the only times I can think of, for something frivolous and useless and just plain fun.


I’ve been reading a lot online where parents my age are juggling the question “Should I buy the IT toy/crappy toy/toy they get sick of/etc. And I see a lot of the usual arguments about “teachable” moments and not wanting to waste money, not wanting to cave and get the kid what they want, not wanting to deal with the inevitable meltdown when the toy breaks.

Ever get the feeling that people overthink things?

This year, we did the majority of our shopping at Grand River Toys. Most of what we bought is wholesome and slightly educational. But something nagged at me. While I knew that the girls will enjoy what we’ve got them, none of these items were anything that they really wanted-remember that Christmas wanting, as you paged through the Wish Book, eyes gleaming with possibility? I wanted to get them each one thing that satisfied that desire-that pure desire for something fun, or different.

We learn our best lessons from the mistakes that we made. For me, I had to learn “buyer beware” in my teens because it had never been taught to me. I never received the cheap crappy toy to grow and hate. But I was also never given the chance to say “I want this for no other reason than it’s fun.” a trait I carry to this day-buying myself something that isn’t useful is well nigh impossible for me. It’s like I was never given permission to just admit that I want something because it pretty, and buy it. (I’m sure some people believe this is a good habit, but if you look at the size of my ass, believe me, it’s not.)

Don’t get me wrong-this is still a difficult concept to “walk”. Vivian is currently lusting after something idiotic called “Test Tube Aliens” and she will not budge. I keep dithering, because they’re like 20.00 and seem rather, well, stupid. But, when I put myself in her shoes, I’d so totally want one of these. So I’m sure I’ll capitulate by the 25th.

I want my children to have the opportunity to learn first hand that sometimes the thing that looks cool on TV or in the catalogue is sometimes the biggest pile of junk out there. Maybe that way when they’re 30, they won’t still be dreaming about some crap board game they didn’t get.

(and omfg-I remember TOTALLY lusting after these.)

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seamed with scars.”

28 Sep

I scream that I want your life, but that’s not fair.

I sit on the bus staring at the dozen or so heads before me, and wonder why I think their lives are perfect. Who of they will die of cancer, will find out their child was raped? Who among them has already suffered?

I cannot judge. I am not in a place to judge. To look at others and believe that they have it better than I, that their lives are less full of pain and suffering and terror.

It’s a continuum, pain. A spectrum much as my own disease, and to each his own. My suffering may be someone else’s peace, as full of fear and loneliness as it may be.

Could I survive losing a child as Bon and Kate have, living with that hole underneath my heart forever? Could I do it with such grace? Never. That ache would echo in my chest for eternity, and I would forever be changed. Theirs is not the life I point to, and that’s just it.

I do not know you.

I do not know the person next to me at work, not really. I don’t know their past, their mind, their today. I do not know what their life has meant, or where it’s going.

I remind myself, shake it off, do not judge.

Do not judge. Ask they return the favour.


On my way to work, clutching coffee blurry eyed in the rain someone I once worked with walked by, hacking, saying hello. He said he was the working homeless, spoke of how he went to the soup kitchen and some of his ex-coworkers were there and refused him a second bowl of soup. How he reacted in a rage, and could feel them thinking ‘He hasn’t changed, not just one bit.”

I felt kinship, and a humiliating helplessness. I cannot fix him. I cannot make it better. But I can question why someone needing food only gets one bowl. I can imagine how painful it is to accept food from the very people who fired you. I can see the simple lines of incidents that could lead me to his very place, mistakes, moments, sudden stops in a doorway and suddenly, your life is very different indeed.

I liked him. I always enjoyed talking with him, and now-it’s reduced to words in passing on a street, and my impotent desire to help.

My life could very well be his, my misery compounded. I could be sleeping in front of Canadian Tire.


A friend brought in her 2 month old twins, all healthy and plump and snurgly. I held, no, I hogged them both for a time, reveling in a moment I never allowed myself to enjoy. The girl fell asleep in my arms, her tired eyes fluttering up for seconds, then back down with a sigh. I could have sat like that forever.

In a rush, the newness, the glorious newness returned to my body, the remembrance of all the futures you plotted as you watched your first born sleep. The smiles you wanted to stop on their faces, the small important victories of heads up and side rolls. The shiny smell of new baby in the house, the tiny diapers.

I mourned a little then, but I also found within me the ability to move past it, to look forward to the rest of my daughters lives, to school, to boyfriends (or girlfriends) and periods and PMS and ice creams and everything that life has before us. This part, this new life, the jarring impact, it’s now past us. We have aged and moved into an age.

And with age, I can now enjoy a long baby snuggle. Small victories folks.


It’s raining today. When I was a child, I thought this meant god was crying.

“Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.”

4 Sep

I write to void myself of the thoughts I cannot bear to keep.

My mother seizing off her bed on a cool April morning.

Pictures of me, naked as a child on someone’s bedroom wall.

My father, drunk at 2am, pissing on my bedroom door, and the loathing I felt as I swore and screamed at him, my sympathy defeated by my fatigue with life.

Burying my mother. A coffin in the hard ground, my sobbing echoing across the gravestones. The tears I cried at that grave.

Realizing I wasn’t what my biological mother wanted or needed in a daughter.

Watching someone murder kittens, being too young to know how to stop him. Being so desperate for contact, some sort of friendship that I likely wouldn’t have stopped him if I could have.

Realizing a friend was trying to kill herself, listening to her life drip from her mouth on the phone. Getting there just in time. Explaining to a friend’s 3 year old sister why Gisele was in the hospital, and why I was crying.

Crying. So many tears. So much time, lost and wasted. So many years I spent tired and sad, wrapped up in the memories of days I cannot change, people I cannot affect, events I cannot alter. I cannot take my innocence back, I cannot wipe clean those pictures. I cannot erase the hundreds of little ways to grieving, lonely people hurt each other. I cannot take back my stupidity or helplessness. I cannot be strong enough.

Slowly, I begin to realize I never could be.

I write because my life begs to be written. Because my life should serve as something more than a reason for me to be depressed or angry. Because lessons learned should be shared.

Because I cannot stop myself.


My lullaby

3 Sep

My mother was dying the Christmas of 1988, I just didn’t know it then.

Just like I’d never gone, I knew the song
A young girl with eyes like the desert

That Christmas I remember for 3 things.

  • The softness of the clothing. My father went out of his way to find soft accessible clothing for my swollen, sore mother. It was all some version of pastel in my mind.
  • My grandparents and Aunt were there. We never had company for Christmas. Ever. We never went anywhere for Christmas. Ever.
  • Feeling oh so grown up from the camisoles my mother bought me.

My mother had decided that it was time to show me how to be a woman. We had previously gone to the snooty ladies dress shop to look for underthings for me. I was growing up. Things were sprouting.

I was excited. My mother was finally looking at me as a person. I was slightly unnerved by the look in her eye at times, the look of sadness, watching her ponder me. But I chose to ignore it as I fingered the expensive dresses, linen, lace, the tender tootsie shoes in rainbow colors. All the pieces of woman my mother stood like. Her staunch, classic face, which grew more and more pained and morose as time wore on.

My memories of my mother do not include smiles. Not near the end.

I prayed that the days would last
They went so fast

Christmas morning was a mess of presents, but only after church. The adults had gone to midnight mass, as was the tradition in our house, that beautiful service of dark skies and stars, the cold snap of air as the bells rang through the night. My mother however, had no energy for that, so we instead went to the morning mass, the restrained impatient one. I had no desire to go. I wanted to stay and open the massive haul of presents under the tree, the one that comes from having extra relatives in the house.

I don’t remember the service, but I imagine it was like every other one in that massive, lovely church I grew up in. The choir singing to burst their hearts, the light lilt of peace and faith hovering over heads. My mother’s face, seemingly pain free as she reveled in the glory and wonder of her own personal god. My mother believed. She really did. No matter how sick, how tired she was, she dragged her bones to church, with me in tow generally. Her eyes would be transfixed on the altar, and many times, they would bring the host to her. She wanted so badly to be healed.

When we returned home, we opened everything. There was a small look of sadness on my mother’s face, seeing that nothing my father had purchased would fit. The look of pleasure and pain, all at once. Pleased that he had thought of her. Upset that he would be sad that he didn’t get it right. Looking back, I know they knew then what they pretended wasn’t going to happen. There was no remission. There was only waiting.

I want to be where the sun warms the sky
When it’s time for siesta you can watch them go by


My mother never wavered. She never showed pain, not to me. Discomfort, frustration, the obvious irritation and sadness at making her daughter, her young daughter help her get her boots on and off and carry her bowls of vomit. But she never really let me see what was happening.

Christmas morning, I received 2 camisoles that signalled my entrance into womanhood, my baby steps there. I pranced around my room, listening to the radio on my new tiny boom box, singing, taping things just because I could, back when you had to tape songs off the radio. A song came on that I would carry in my heart the rest of my life, because my mother stood watching me as I sang it.

Tropical the island breeze
All of nature wild and free
This is where I long to be

Sometimes admitting you’re wrong is only part of the problem

1 Sep


Waiting for the bus on this cool morning, fall in the air, I hear an old woman behind us.”Such wonderful children! They behave so well!”

I search around with my eyes quietly until I realize she’s talking about my daughters. I look back at the girls, who are sitting chatting with a little heartbreaker named Kyle, he of brush cut and toothy grin, sharing the stoop of a doorway.

“Oh, mine? Yes, they are, today.”

I minimize their goodness. I reduce the times when then act as I expect to smaller moments than I should. They ARE good kids. They DO listen. They are happy to be with me. They are learning. They speak kindly and properly to other children and adults.


(Vivian sees man in Cowboy hat)

“Wow! A man in a cowboy hat! Cool! Is he a cowboy?’

“Ask him Vivian.” I snicker a little, inside of course

“Are you a cowboy!” she bellows?

“No.” he grins “I just kinda like the hat.” He smiles gently at her. She beams back.


They spread joy and warmth where ever they go most days. They are fine children I should be proud of. They are the children I wanted when I first learned they would be mine.

It’s time to focus more on them, on how they are that makes me happy, rather than how they are that upsets me. When they misbehave, it’s more like a wolf attacked a sheep, it’s nature, and it’s necessary. How I react dictates how the day is spent.

Time to stop reacting to the things I hate most I wager.


We ride the bus home with Kyle and his Grandma. Vivian drills him on what he likes.

“Do you like Tigers?”


“Do you like snakes?”


and on and on and on it goes.

New Event! First time for everything

6 Aug

I can remember a lot of firsts. The first time I realized that I had a place in a larger world, that I fit in a larger context. The night I lost my virginity. The first cry of my first daughter. My first period. The first time I ate chocolate mousse.

Firsts, to me, are indicators, sign posts. Places I’ve been, places I’ve seen. Places I will go, like when Vivian starts school, or Rosalyn gets sent home for beating up boys for the first time.

So for this month, the hazy lazy month of August (which also happens to be when the birthday of my firstborn-she’s FOUR on the 11th FOUR!) write about your firsts-the first time you wore heels, make up, the first time you knew you’d found your partner for life, the first time you ate something disgusting (scallops, I’m looking at you)

You can write a new post or use an old post, so long as you throw in a link to this post or the site, and leave me a comment linking to your post in the comments of this one. I’ll leave this month’s contest open until August 21, my original due date for Vivian.

The prize this month? A box of stuff I actually like about the Maritimes, possibly including some fricot, saltwater taffy, poutine mix, and maybe even some Acadian goodies. Mostly a surprise, since Vivian was a surprise after all. 🙂

So get writing, and linking!

“I am so embarrassed I got my period”

3 Aug

Now don’t be.

It happens to all of us. Its special. (Ok, if you’re lying on the floor bleeding like a stuck pig and wondering if you’re ovaries are trying to come out of your body, you might disagree with me on this point).

And ok, some of it isn’t that special. Like here. It wasn’t very special at the time.

But it built character, and that matters, right?

Here’s the thing. This means you’re becoming a woman. You are leaving childhood behind. I don’t care what all the TV shows say, or the books. This is a signal from your body and nature that you are blossoming into something more. Into a being that can create life, give life. You are learning that your body cannot be governed, not always. It’s magical if you think about it.

Don’t ever be embarrassed to buy what you need. (or, just go get a Diva Cup and be done with it.) Walk out without the double bag and be proud. I was actually more mortified when a cashier put it in double bags for me without asking-why would I be ashamed of a natural process? My body is doing what it should-bleeding to remind me that I haven’t created life just then.

I was embarrassed as hell when I got mine-and annoyed. Because I had no one around me to help make it a celebration of life-the giving and continuance of life, to celebrate my coming of age. My own rite of passage.

Celebrate for you if nothing else. Dance under the moon, run free through dew wet fields-tie into your world as much as you can. Embrace the womanhood that is coming.

There is nothing to be ashamed of. Be happy and strong, and grow into the woman you will be.

..this great black night, and this fireglow.

31 May

When my Vivian was a small infant, and I a new mother, my father gave me the sage advice that all grandparents seem to pass along.

“They grow up too fast. Enjoy the moment.”

Since I was juggling work, the adjustment to new motherhood by accident, and a baby who refused to nap without being bounced in a bouncy chair, I really wasn’t into appreciating the moment. I wanted the moment to pass so I could go pee or eat something.

Nearly 4 years later, I understand beyond any belief, I grasp this phrase as one of those truths you only hold dear after the fact.

I stare at both of my daughters some days, wondering where the babies I help aloof went. Where their tiny feet went, where their small grasping hands disappeared to. Their faces are now those they will carry through their lives, their legs losing the bowed stagger of toddlers, settling instead into childhood. I look on in wonder as Rosalyn navigates stairs on her belly, frighteningly fast. I shake my head when Vivian argues her point, loudly and clearly. Where did these children come from?

Yesterday it seems, a week ago, they were just squalling infants in my arms, chubby arms pulling themselves up, new feet slapping tile. I turned around to get something, and my babies were replaced with children, with MINE! And I don’t want to go home! My babies have been replaced by the daughters of my future.

I mourn that I ignored it. That I turned away from the wonder of their movement through stages so quickly I could blink and miss it. I find myself quietly asking why I couldn’t stop and see things through the glasses of memory, why I couldn’t just be, absorbing the place none of us would visit again.

It’s gone far to fast, and we’re only 4 years in for my oldest. But I see the future stretching out, quickly, elastic. I see my daughters as girls, as teens, as women. As the people they’ll be, they might be. I see them, and view the road which burns speeding from their past. I see myself dropped off as their life begins anew. I see myself wishing for grandchildren, for their happiness, for the living of their lives. I see the road, and it’s not too broad or even that far.

The future hovers over my head, much as I imagine it hovered, and still hovers over my father. I can hear in his voice the ache of past, the memories that congest his eyes, the child I once was, transposed over the woman formed by our joint past, by who he is.

I enjoy the moments as I catch them. Vivian throwing her arms around my head in the morning light. Rosalyn coy and sly, allowing just one kiss to her cheek. My daughters fighting for that toy, or book, or spot or whatever is owed to them in their little world.

Each day is past, full of smaller footprints than today might hold.

I drink of them, and hold it in for tomorrow.

9 Years Ago

18 Apr

Two weird kids got married, and then got totally trashed for 3 days. (We drank the absinthe I made if I remember right) You had new tattoos on both wrists the day before-you joked that it looked like you tried to kill yourself. It sorta did.

No one seemed happy to be there-instead, it was like an obligation. My biological family especially. No one asked them to all come. I would have preferred my name on my grandmother’s obituary 6 years later to validate me. My father only asked if I was sure-told me he didn’t agree with marrying that young, and wished me happiness, as it was my life.

I changed into army pants for the reception at that bar-that grubby sports bar. Your friends played their own music, we got drunk on free beer, and received 3 steamers as gifts. We held knives to each other’s neck in the pictures, smashed icing into ears. My favorite picture is when we’re talking to each other, and someone took a picture, unknown.

I looked so happy then. So happy to be with you.

I still am. I love you baby.


Rules for the Motherless Daughter: Two

5 Apr

She’s still a girl.

Before my mother died, I was quite the tomboy. I was constantly dirty, smelly, and without my shirt, despite my mother’s protests. I wore “boy” clothes, kicking up a fuss when forced into some awful dress. (And believe me, they were awful since my mother never seemed convinced that the seventies had really ended.) Looking back on it now, it likely looked like Gender Identity Disorder. I actively rejected “girl” activities and behaviours. I was tough as nails. I could do anything boys could do.

You could see how much this bothered my classy, graceful, ALL woman Mother.  A woman who wore dresses, and scarves, who never wore shorts, who had purses that matched the seasons. She was particular about how girls should act, and how they should look.

I wanted guns, not dolls. I wanted trucks, not toy brooms. I likely wasn’t the girl she wanted, instead a mash up of a lot of factors. I chewed my nails ragged, I licked my upper lip red and raw. Nervous habits from the sickness in our house I imagine.

Having to wear a dress to her funeral was the first “girl” battle I didn’t really fight. It was a terrible dress, picked out by a man who had never dressed his daughter in his life. It was navy blue polyester, with small white polka dots. It was made for a woman triple my age. I remember the dress, how it felt, but not my reflection in it. I remember the white nurses shoes I wore that day, and never again, despite the comfort.

It was horrendous.

My father recognized that I was something he didn’t quite understand. He loved me of course, but he loved me because I was curious, and adventurous, and always wanted to check the store with him and help him chisel out the wood from the door latch. He knew nothing about bras or dresses or skin creme or periods.

He attempted to “match” me up with the wife of his friend at the time, who attempted to dress me in all the ways I despised. Being a girl was something that scared me and saddened me. My guide as a woman was gone. Just before she died, she began buying me pretty camisoles and skin creams, instructing me on how to treat my body, preparing me for becoming a woman.

It scared the living shit out of me to face this without my mother.

I never ventured out with that woman again since I was “a handful”.

I’ve spent the majority of my life since then trying to figure out what kind of woman I am, figuring out how to integrate who I am with what I am. A vagina doesn’t make you a girl. Your heart, and mind do. My mother had only begun to train me in this before she died, and even what she did seemed rushed in the knowledge that there just wasn’t enough time.

I still remember my favorite camisole. It has a lace wolf at the top, with plastic crystal eyes. I loved it. She bought me Johnson’s Baby Lotion to soften my skin, and I remember the false pink of the bottle, the soothing smell. This was what being a woman was to be, this was all I thought she taught me.

But it wasn’t. Looking back, I’ve become many of the things that she was. I’m strong willed. I’m stubborn (Rosalyn is even worse). I’m picky about manners and rudeness. I know what looks good on me. I’m brave.

My mother’s death taught me that being a woman was more that the sum of my parts, or the parts I could buy. Being a woman meant doing it myself, and yet learning to depend on the people who loved me. Being a woman meant working twice as hard sometimes. Being a woman meant that love could also mean pain.

I’ve come to all these conclusions on my own. I never truly had a “mother” figure to guide and walk me through the years, no one to explain why super plus is sometimes REALLY needed at that time of the month. I had a wonderful father, but what did he know? He called maxi pads “sanitary napkins”. He had to be reminded when I needed new pants. He couldn’t help the girl in me grow as much as he could help the person.

A motherless daughter needs to be given the space to find herself as a woman, or a girlchild, but also given the guidance to find her path as a woman. Some will find it on their own. Some will reject the rigid path laid out for them. But some will find a quiet luxury in finally letting go, being a woman instead of a grown up. Some will come to love Satsuma at the Body Shop, salt body scrubs.

It’s hard to be a girl after you lose the only girl you love.

Ah, to be young

18 Mar

I’ve spent a lot of time lately, thinking about time. About how I don’t want to age, how much I love being able to appreciate my life right now, how much I love my life.

That’s right. I love my life. I sat on the floor today, playing with my children. Sure, this seems ordinary to most mothers, but for me? It’s a step, an incremental improvement in my life and mood. I’ve never been able to sit and play with my kids before. I’ve never settled down enough to lie there and enjoy how Rosalyn destroys all my block castles and Vivian makes all the dinosaurs attack eachother. I have trouble sitting still at the best of times, and being able to sit with my daughters-it’s a pure type of happy, one I’ve never had before. It’s like a cold shower on a hot day.

It’s wonderful-why did no one tell me about this before?

Earlier, as Vivian was sleeping after I got back from a mall trip with my father (who always buys lots of cooking stuff, and then cooks with it, which RULES) I brought Ros upstairs with me to put some clothes away. Then we sat, me reading the last essay from this book (OMFG SO GOOD! GO BUY IT! The last essay is perfection!), her reading her new Backyardigans book, snuggled under “bankie!”. How sweet, sitting quietly reading with my girl, enjoying the silence, and the purity of a Sunday afternoon today, celtic music playing on the CBC, her brown eyes staring into mine, pointing, “Mommy!”

I can grasp these moments as I never could before, when I was young. I always tried to stop and just “be”, and yet some part of me always held on, was distracted, weaving in and out of thoughts that were elsewhere. I never just smiled to smile.

The other day, the sidewalk was greasy from freezing rain, and I ran and slid across it, about 10 feet. I stopped at the edge of it, and turned, giggling. Enclosed in the moment, I was happy, and giddy, and fun. My mouth couldn’t help but turn up at the edges, pleased with itself.

My youth never afforded this-it gave me insecurity, sadness, strangeness. I’ll be 30 this year. 30, the age I never expected to reach, the age at which I only saw blackness, nothing beyond it. I worry that now, after attaining a modicum of peace with my life, something will happen, that the blackness with engulf. I wait for the other shoe to drop, much as it has in the past.

But unlike then, I have hope. I have two daughters who offer their sticky hands and faces to me, on the floor, laughing. I have Vivian who tells me I’m her best friend, I have Rosalyn who bolts from her bedroom for 30 more minutes with me at night. My youth never afforded me such simple pleasures-I always sought more complicated ones. It took me this long to absorb the fact that sometimes, the simple things are the sweetest, like lemonade on a sweaty July afternoon.

I’m not young anymore, I’m not old. I’m here. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.


6 Mar

Oh my darlin, oh my darlin, oh my darlin Clementine

Rosalyn, in 3 days you’ll be two years old. Two years old.

Today, a co-worker brought in her son, her 6 weeks old son who weighed the same as you did at birth. He was tiny and defined, like a bird. His mouth moved absently, his hands struck out mindlessly.

He was just beginning.

Just one year ago, I wrote this. Just one year before that, I actually did it.

It hasn’t been easy. Standing there this morning, looking at this girl looking fanfuckingtastic 6 weeks postpartum was rather depressing as well.

Where have 2 years gone? Where did I leave them? If you’re two then Vivian is almost 4 and I’m almost 30 and CRAP. Where is my life? Where did I leave it?

Lately, I’ve been feeling like I don’t belong to “The Club” anymore. You know the one. The new mom, fanatic about everything, passionate about parenting issues, knowing glances in the baby aisle at Wal-mart. That Mom is gone, if she ever existed. I stare longingly at the baby stuff, knowing that mine time there is gone. I glance at the young mothers, tired and worn and confused, yet together, browsing through nipples and wipes and tiny t-shirts. And I realize that an entire part of my life has ended.

I grew up.

I don’t worry about breastfeeding guilt anymore since my kids are just as smart and healthier, if not more so. I don’t worry about crying it out. I don’t worry about eating organic, or not. (Hell, i’m happy if whatever Ros is eating is actually food) I don’t worry about the little things.

I don’t recognize any of the newest baby gear. The crib section in Babies R’Us is a faint memory, as is my giant belly. There’s a girl I lost, starting with being pregnant with Vivian, and ending with having Rosalyn. She turned into a woman.

I mourn this, I really do. Sure, it’s necessary, but it’s sad. I’ll never again choose bottles for my child as hot tears of shame pour down my face, knowing I should be breastfeeding. I’ll never buy a teeny tiny little sleeper for my own baby again. I’ll never debate the merits of diaper brands again. I’ll never be so new ever again.

Because that is what I remember, that is what I feel from those days-the wet newness of it all, like kittens with eyes closed we were, I was. That golden sense of surprise and wonder, along with the tired and lonely. Becoming a woman. It was magical, wasn’t it?

And now my babies are becoming girls, soon to be women.

Me-Maw is proud.

Rules for the Motherless Daughter: One

5 Mar

In talking to Jason, I realize how much he wants to protect his daughters, how much he strives to do it right, to be there, to never let them down.

You can try dude, but believe me, you won’t win them all. We learn our best lessons the wrong way. (As evidenced by how I learned to just put the icky ice cream down the sick, instead of sneaking the mocha crap out the back door, running my calf directly into a very large, pointy piece of glass. No sympathy from my Dad either, as the blood pooled around my feet) Sometimes, you need to allow people enough rope to hang themselves, so long as you hold onto it with them unaware.

I think of Jason’s daughter as someone going where I went, doing what I did, crying the same tears and wanting the same things-her MOM! I see her bright eyes and apple round cheeks and think-I was so young, and yet so old at that age, wasn’t I? So much seen oh too soon.

But it made me who I am, what I am. So I do not regret it. Would I change it? Hell YES! But I do not regret what I can’t change.

So I wanted to sit down and write out what I consider to be “rules” for us, for girls without their mothers, without their guides. In our family, some things went right, others, not so much. We did what we could. You can’t ask for much more than that when everyone feels so dead inside.

Rule number one?

Do not erase the mother.

We didn’t talk about it. We didn’t mention it, hardly ever. It was rare that I could express anything out loud to anyone about my mother. It took years before I could do it, before I felt that anyone was listening. Everyone at my house was far too wounded, and struggling with their own pain. I kept it locked tightly inside, ready to spring when allowed.

Many drunken nights later, it would come out at the worst times-when I’d sit in the middle of the street, waiting for traffic, when I’d throw myself into a friends drumset, hoping something would hurt me, when it didn’t, I’d start bashing my head on the cement floor. Drunk enough to not feel some pain, I’d try to cure the other.

Once I tried to kill myself. I couldn’t pin point why, but I didn’t want to be alive.

I felt isolated and alone with my grief. I felt that I didn’t have the right to talk about it, to work though it, to feel it. I was supposed to suck it up, and deal with it.

I was just a kid.

My school even toed the party line, pretending like nothing had happened for the most part, assuming that I didn’t need to talk about it after a year or two had passed.

She was erased. It was like she ceased to exist.

Talk about her. Tell stories. Remind your daughter who her mother was, and what she wanted for her. Your daughter wants to know who she came from.

So tell her.

Dear 12

14 Feb

 Your mother died a few months ago. You watched her die. You watched her flail blindly on her bed in the front room, naked, as her sister tried to hold her body on the bed. You watched your mother die that morning. You sat on those spiral stairs she had wanted so badly, and watched her leave.

Are you ok now? You’re not ok. A short trip to Nova Scotia to see relatives you barely know didn’t make you better, didn’t seem to make your father better. Things are quiet, too quiet. You don’t talk about it.

So I’m here, 18 years later, to talk to you about this.

It’s not your fault. You didn’t do anythink to cause this, and no, you couldn’t fix it. Your mother had breast cancer, and even a masectomy can’t always fix it. It reached her organs. I know you watched your mother die slowly, and then quickly. I can’t take that back for you, and I can’t make it any better. Nothing, but time, will make it any easier.

You won’t believe me, but there will come a day when you won’t want to cry every hour, where you won’t want to kill yourself. My advice? See the damn shrink, don’t play games with them, and take the drugs. What are you proving? That’s you’re strong? Brave? They know that honey, they do. You don’t have to prove this every second of everyday.

You’ll be diagnosed as ADD at first, but they’re wrong. It’s bipolar. Your instincts will be right, and you should ask the doctors about this. You aren’t weird because you read about this. Save yourself a few years of crap and pain, and ask the doctors.

Bryan is wrong for you, but at the same time, you’ll need what you find in Kitchener. You need time to just have fun. You’ll make some stupid decisions, and take far too many drugs. But you’ll grow, and find pieces of you buried under all the sadness and pain. Grab hold. These friends aren’t for life though, as much as they seem at the time. You have trouble holding on to friends. Try harder. You’ll miss having people to document your life with.

Bring a camera with you the time you drop acid with Mike and Dan. The sunrise you’ll see on the school top that morning will be like none you’ll see for a very long time. Be careful on the fence though-you like those pants.

Drop your expectations of university. It IS full of people only there for the degree, not the knowledge. Don’t get high and mighty and mad about it. Just deal with it. It won’t be what you expect. You’ll hate the profs. But stick with it. You’ll regret not having even your useless honors arts degree.

You’ll fall in love, hard, at 18. Your world will contract around you, and your heart will be light. Savour this. You’ve waited for so long, convinced that no one really loved you, and you’ll find someone who loves every bit of you. It will take him a few years to realize just how much you really mean, but it’s worth the wait. Great relationships don’t just happen.

You’ll have kids. Yes, you heard me right. You’ll have two girls, so feel relieved at that. They’ll be the strangest and best thing that’s ever happened to you. You’ll feel love again, your heart will work again for the first time since Mom dying. You’ll be happy, which you didn’t think was possible. You’ll have a life you never imagined, and you’ll love it.

Sure, you won’t be writing poetry alone in a garret smoking cheap cigarettes, but you’ll be happy and writing other things. But your writing will find a joy you thought you lost when that coffin when in the grave.

You will be happy again. I can’t stress that enough.

When you’re 14, don’t take all those pills. You don’t want to die. You just want someone to notice you, and take care of you. No one will. You’ll have to do it on your own anyway. You’re stronger than you think.

Your father loves you, he just doesn’t know what to do.You have to leave him for awhile. You can’t stop his drinking. Just try to help him, but don’t blame yourself. It’s not your fault. He’ll come around eventually.

Your biological family is not what you think. Be careful. You don’t want more pain. Don search for them until you’re older. 17 is too young. I know you want to know, but you look more like your father anyway, and he’s dead. Wait for a better time, when you’re older. You have a half sister, but you’ll never see her.

Don’t admit to anyone that when you were younger, you made your brother buy you Starship. People will laugh.

Ask a teacher about your period and what to use before you get it. Trust me-the embarressment you feel at asking is a LOT less that the embarassment you’ll feel if you leak everywhere. Again, just trust me. Your Dad won’t be much help either. Just like with other things, you’ll be alone with it. Get used to it.

Life isn’t as bad as it seems, but you’re right. It isn’t fair. Stop being so angry though. It won’t make anything better.

Stop and enjoy things sometimes. Life is so fleeting.

Buy more than one box of blondisima. Green skunk hair isn’t cool.

Tell Stace not to dye her hair blue for school pictures-the backdrop is the same color.

Buy your yearbooks. You’ll care later on.

Like yourself. You aren’t as ugly, or as fat, as you seem to think.

Enjoy yourself dear. It’s gone so fast.

I’m a BIG kid now!

28 Jan

My babies, they aren’t babies anymore.

Since Ros had long since destroyed her crib mattress (and I mean DESTROYED) we decided to go to the mall, and get her a new one, since I was planning on getting her a toddler bed for her birthday anyway. We can’t fit another full size bed in the room, and I plan on a bunk bed when they’re both old enough anyway. So off we went, delirious at the thought of leaving the house.

We, as usual, almost missed the bus. But we made it there, and wandered around. I like the mall on Sunday’s after Xmas-there’s barely anyone there. So you can move through the aisles and stuff.

We found the crib mattresses, and picked one out. Then we looked at the toddler beds. The Dorf said “Why don’t we just get it now, instead of waiting?”

Good idea, yes. Mommy realizing that her baby is growing up, and she barely appreciated the time she spent as a baby, hell YES!

Once I finally figured out how to put it together, Ros jumped right on it, and snuggled in with her friends. She looked so proud and happy to have her own bed. Not that there’s a ton of room in there (I’m not disassembling that damn crib until I’m sure it’s safe). She looks ready, and has spent most of the afternoon giggling on it, when she can keep Vivian from taking over.

But am I ready? Am I ready to have two “kids”? I have let their babyhoods vanish so easily and quickly, and I regret it. I HATE regretting anything. I try to avoid it. But I regret the passing sweetness, the quiet, the giggles that are slowly disappearing, in Vivian’s case, into smart ass remarks and back talk. I’m missing my babies already.

I love them as they are, and I love watching them become. But Ros-she’s gone too fast and too slow all at the same time. She’s turned into a child faster than I could blink.

And now? Now she’s going to try her first night in a real bed, and I’m saddened. Saddened that it’s come so fast. Sad that she’s almost two. Sad that I never had the chance to enjoy it.

She might not last the night in her new bed. She might cry out for me, like she did last night after her sister accidentally cranked the heat up.

But she might drift off into a new slumber for the first time. She won’t need me.

She’s growing up.

I keep reading about heroes

5 Jan

And it’s a wonderful thing to read.

We don’t really have that many heroes anymore do we? We don’t believe in people like we once did, we don’t look up to people, since it’s all too easy to see their faults, to see the “but’s” that surround them. It’s harder to look at people as pure beings, beings that they never were. Even when people are actually heroes, like these guys who caught a falling toddler and saved his life, I wait for the inevitable words about who they “really” are. Because we can no longer accept people at their face value.

I remember being younger and asked who I looked up to, who I admired, who was my hero. I could never think of anyone. Sports stars? They’re good at playing sports, big deal. I wouldn’t emulate a CEO as a hero because he was good at running a company-why Michael Jordan? Mother Theresa type people? too godly, and that scared me. Besides, wouldn’t godly cross out hero?

Celebrities? Why would they be heroes? They’re famous for taking my money and spending it, nothing more. Perhaps a few have entertained me, but they aren’t heroes for that.

I would inevitably start thinking about my definition of a hero, what a hero was to me. A Hero was someone who didn’t think about themselves, who merely wanted to help, to save a life, like Wesley Aubrey. Sure, it might have it’s problems, what with not thinking about the consequences, but then the motive is pure-he wanted to save someone, to help, to protect a stranger because it was the right thing to do. Shit, that’s more of a hero to me than some moron who climbed a mountain to see if they could and got stuck and ended up dead, or someone pushing their bodies to some obscure breaking point. I admire the effort, but not the reasoning.

The only other person I’ve ever though of as a hero was my mother, simply because she hid her pain so I wouldn’t suffer more. She, in a way, sacrificed herself to protect me. She was strong and brave, and all those things that someone would need to be to hurl themselves onto a subway track. But she was all of that and more quietly, and privately.

We don’t hear about our heroes much. They’re buried on the inside pages, or ignored. Good news doesn’t sell papers, right? But we need it. We need to know that good still exists in others, that we have the capacity to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, because it will help more than hurt, because someone will be touched by our actions.

Because I refuse to believe that we are all so terrible. I want heroes in my life again.

So this is where I resolve, right?

31 Dec

Since it’s Dec 31 for the next few hours, I guess this is where the requisite ‘year in review” post should go.

But it was just another year in the life of someone with kids, really. Time moved too fast, my ass shrank too slowly, and I read far too few books. Instead of asking what I did with the year, I’d like to ask where it went.

Sure, I know where the days have gone. I just wonder if there’s a box somewhere that holds all the time that’s slipped through my fingers, that I can cash in later in life. During my daughters pregnancies, or in case someone I love becomes terminal with something.

I spent the year paranoid, and anxious, and equally joyous and in love. I was diagnosed as “crazy” (also known as Bipolar II). I learned that just maybe, my fuckups are not my fault, at least not in total. I’m just as confused at who “me” is, me as a mother, me as a wife, me as a person. But I’ve found some vague acceptance of all of it, of my ass, my batwingy arms (dear gawd no!) and my life as a mother.

Being a mother has by far been the biggest mindfuck of my life. I still look at myself and wonder who let me have children! And keep them! I look at other families, and I can say yes, those are adults. I can’t say that about us. And while I can’t find what “niche” to call me, I can still be comfortable being who I am as a mother which, if I think about it, if much, much more important.

I’ve resolved the guilt I’ve held over my Post Partum Depression. It was NOT my fault. I am not less of a mother, or a woman, because of it. I did not kill my daughter. I will have no more. But it wasn’t my fault either, and was the gift horse that led to my diagnosis.

I love my family-for once in my life, I can truly say I love my husband and my daughters with this enormous surge of emotion I can hardly control. I have accepted love, and allowed myself to give it. It’s been the scariest thing I’ve ever done. But I did it.

Damn I’m good. 🙂

I have my troubles still. the entire month of December was an exercise in distraction, and I don’t know why. I worry continually that I’ll lose my job. I can’t moderate my eating habits in spite of my mood swings. I still don’t know how to sew.

I’ve made friends in the computer-all of you, and for once, I feel like I CAN make friends. Of course, i’m terrible at commenting on a regular basis, and I likely say all the wrong things. But I can count “meeting” all of you as one of the highlights of this year.

I’ll be 30 this year.  My birthmother would have likely just have noticed she was pregnant with me 30 years ago. I would not have even quickened at this point. Hell, in all likelihood, I was concieved on New Years. I don’t know. But I wonder tonight about the women who gave me away. And I raise my glass to her. I do not hate her, I do not love her. I accept her. And that’s all she can ask for, really.

Every year takes me farther away from childhood, from becoming, from loss, from a life so vastly different. More and more, I learn that this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. To everything there’s a season after all.

I figure this year, my summer finally starts.

Happy New Year all. I hope it’s a good one.