Wednesday, December 30

Then One Day I Wake Up And POOF...He's Becoming A Man


I am grateful for our relationship. I am glad we can talk about real and sometimes serious things and even though we might both be uncomfortable and it feels awkward,  we still talk, then laugh. 

I am grateful for our afternoon together. Shopping with you today showed me a lot about the man you are becoming, the things you understand and have learned so far. It was a pleasure watching you interact with people, budgeting, thinking things over before you made your choices and seeing you take pride in those choices.

I am grateful for your sense of humour. Did you see how that beautiful blonde girl was laughing so hard when you brought this cake up to pay for it? You made her laugh....Dont' ever forget that! You will win 100 times over with the opposite sex when you make them laugh. Far more than show boating or being cocky.

 I am grateful you are healthy, happy, smart and funny.

Happy 14th Birthday Ethan!

Love Mom

Tuesday, December 29

Christmas Day In Chase

 I am home. Back at it. I feel like it takes me longer each time I come back to readjust to "this hat". My mind often wanders back to mom and I find myself less able to just snap back.

Days with mom are structured. Pills, food/juice, naps, research online and we start all over again every hour or two.

I find it extremely challenging having to return to a life of parenting and responsibility. Nurturing is a very dominate personality trait of mine and it's weird, I feel the pull towards mom, but I know I have to be here for the kids. It is SO HARD to have to sort your own emotional crap while you have young kids. To have to fill others buckets when yours is so empty. BLAH!!

Anyway, I digress from this blog post.

Christmas is done now for another year. It was a lovely day. There were no more incidents of friendly fire after the first 2 days, thank god. We all put away our weapons and had a nice time. I can feel the hot bed still bubbling just under the surface of everyone.... but for this day,  it was peaceful.

Christmas morning was really beautiful, I was up early and took some fantastic pictures.

Mom, Adele, Suri and I went out for a walk before we opened gifts. 

My brother Dawson got an old TV/radio from our Grandparents that takes only 12 DD  batteries. lol

I got a lovely candle holder set.

 My Mom had these metal animals made for each of us. I love mine! It now has permanent residency on our front step. Its quirky and charming.

Every year my mom gets me a turtleneck shirt for the office. This years came with matching pants. I will be wearing the pants tomorrow to work. They are ridiculous... but I love them.

Later, after gifts and before my mom laid down for her nap we chatted with the kids on FaceTime.
I missed those little creatures so much.

The rest of the afternoon, before dinner was spent like every afternoon is spent. reading, searching. Trying to find something to try. An idea to bring to the doctors, something that has had success for someone somewhere.

Dinner was amazing,  it was a group effort with the cooking. It might have been the best Christmas dinner I have ever had. But I think I feel they way because mom was able to eat a small amount of it. It was a nice feeling to see her getting to be "normal".

The good feelings were short lived when I saw how much pain and discomfort mom was in after consuming food like that. Her new stomach and organs have only had to deal with fresh vegetable juices and broth soups for the last few weeks... meat and sugar was not a welcome visitor.

Thats' my dad wishing me a merry Christmas!

My Grandfather was so dapper that night.

I bought my grandad some picture books about airplanes.  I hate how he sits and listens to us all talk but clearly can't hear or follow along in conversation.  SO I wanted him to have something to do that he would enjoy.
Dawson spent time with him reading them and listening to him tell stories about the planes he had flown years and years ago.

The AMAZING thing about Alzheimer's is how some memories are gone (he doesn't ever remember me) yet he can tell you every single plane in that book before he reads the names.
It's such a curious disease. So unkind and hard to watch.

I don't have a super close relationship with my grandmother. I really never have.
But I tell you what. This Christmas my heart broke into a thousand pieces for her. I watched her saying good bye to my mom after our evening was over in this picture and she completely broke down.

That's when it dawned on me. I can't believe I have never thought about it before that moment. My mom is her baby. No parent should ever have to watch their child suffer and my poor grandmother not only struggles with her own health, she has to do the day to day things for my grandfather with his Alzheimer's, AND watch all this happen to my mom. I just hugged my grandmother and let her cry. And I didn't even feel like letting go.

And now, now I need to get back to work and need to plan a 14th birthday party and be Joelle wearing this hat for a few weeks. Until I can get back out there. 

It was a good Christmas. 



I am so bloody grateful for points that allow me to fly. I hated driving there and won't do it again once airfare goes back down to non Christmas time prices. 

I am grateful for freshly waxed eyebrows. 

I am grateful for the illusion of sanity. 

Ooh and I am ever so grateful for finally getting to see the new Star wars movie. 2 hours of escape. 2 hours of getting to be a Jedi where good always wins. 

Thursday, December 24

Booze And Plywood

I'm up really early again. I have no idea why, its the curse of this place. I can't seem to sleep.
I am not sure whats worse, not being able to sleep, or the jolt that wakes me up when I have slept a little. I forget where I am and wake with panic.

The days for mom are busy, but not with traditionally busy like things shopping or baking. Things I remember from my childhood around Christmas. Moms days are busy documenting pill intakes and what kind of juice did she drink last. Her supplements and searching on the internet for ideas and new recipes to make juices better/tastier/more cancer fighting.

There are alarms and reminders for mom. The goal is 13 glasses of juice a day...She can manage 3. She goes for walks. Correction, a walk, outside to the property line or to the neighbours 2 houses down, then we need to turn around. That exhausts her. Watching this exhausts me and hurts my heart.
My mother is annoyingly fit and constantly bouncing around, this regression in her abilities only tears at my heart more.

Yesterday I needed to get out of the house for a bit, so I went exploring Chase to do some last minute Christmas shopping. It was frustrating beyond words, I have clearly become accustom to city life. My list was thrown out the window when I realized that there was only a hardware store to shop in.
This year everyone is getting booze. Booze and plywood.



 I am grateful for my kids. I miss them terribly and can't wait to see them.

I am grateful for this body of mine. I have not said the kindest things about it sometimes. But its strong, and healthy. I will say and think kinder things about it from now on. It has and continues to serve me well.

I am grateful for these beautiful giant snowflakes falling right now. It's grey out, but slightly romantic.

Wednesday, December 23

Cancer Is Like A Tornado

I drove for 12 hours yesterday to get to my parents place. I hate driving this time of year on BC roads. The huge semi trucks seem to have all of the confidence of the grade 12 boys and just plow down the roads without a care in the world.

I was in  4X4 truck and still felt scared that I'd get thrown into the lockers. I am a good driver too. I had to make a few stops along the way from boredom, and having to use the bathroom. It's beautiful but scary as hell.

By the time I finally arrived I had listened to my thousands of songs at least twice. I even had an imaginary 4 song karaoke competition that I was victorious in, obviously.


I walked into the house, sore, tired and starving, and was greeted with hellos and the smell of something wonderful cooking in the oven.

Mom was doing stretches on the floor and was just getting up when hugs were being handed out. I had to be very mindful of my facial expressions when she finally stood up and I could see all of her.   It's shocking how much weight she has lost in the week since I saw her last. She could not get up from her stretches unassisted, which seemed to age her more. The veins in her hands look strained and she is really fidgety. The discomfort/pain is clear and she can only sit in a position for no more that 3 minutes. If that. Up down, up down, rubbing her back ...up down up down again. Heating pads are her new accessory with every outfit.

We all caught up and were chatting about what friends of my parents had come to visit. We all talked about what's planned for the week and that's when the tornado fired up..

Cancer is like a tornado. Well, maybe the cancer isn't like the tornado, but cancer causes the perfect environment for a tornado. Differing opinions, feelings, experience and approaches to stressful things are laying the ground work for a tornado. They are the weather, and when the weather is just right the tornado appears.
Hacking and slashing, ripping through whatever is in its way.  Raised voices and emotion swirling around in a hotbed of feelings. I am confident it's all just sadness, but its wearing an anger costume.

After the heated exchange, I lost my appetite.

It's crazy to think that this thing the size of a golf ball can hurt a family and cause such conflict.

I hope our family can come out of this still a family.

In the mean time, it's Christmas. Whatever that means.



I am grateful for my moms friends who are taking such good care of her physically and emotionally.

I am grateful for time. Time with mom this next week.

I am grateful for my ability to sing along, in time, to 90's rap songs. It will come in handy one day. I just know it.

Monday, December 14

Jason's Impressive Elf On A Shelf

While I was away last week, Jason took on the task of doing the elf on a shelf (the make work Christmas project) Nora had asked for. 

I already really dig this guy, but after this week, I have fallen in love with his creativity and humour all over again. 

I feel it goes without saying that the kids have completely lord this whole thing. 

Netflix and Chill. When Jason told the boys what this one was called they almost died. They said, "do you even know what that means"?

Fred had a rough go in this one.

Fred poops chocolate here, and then made cookies with them.

Practical  life lessons with this one.

This one was after my star party so Jason was lacking in both energy and zest after that night.

This one is the kids real friends taking care of the nark.

I'm looking forward to all next week, to see what this guy comes up with.


I am grateful for face time.
It was good to chat with mom. The kids had a good chat with her too.

And to make today even better....look who got to eat today!!!!

I am grateful for Jason. He is really good stuff.

I am grateful for convection ovens.

I am grateful for a few days to watch all the Star Wars movies before the new one!