August 13, 2009


Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 11:55 pm by letterstoelias

Hello My Love,

I started letters to you a couple of times this week, but have been so tired the past few days I seem to doze off before getting them done or just haven’t found the ability to write. I hate that. I love writing to you. It’s often what gets me by. I’m just so tired. I also believe that I’m crazy. Potentially certifiably crazy.

I tried to sit down today and map out my likely schedule for Sept – Nov, then from Dec – Feb if I get into the Aspire program. Not to mention how I will manage if I do actually open a store. I’m crazy. I don’t know how I can possibly make it all work. It seems like no matter how I look at it, it’s insane. The really crappy thing is, even if I didn’t do the Aspire program and open a store, I still don’t feel like I could make it all work.  But, I need an income.  Therefore, I have to work.  And, I want the girls to be able to continue in their classes.  I have no choice but to figure something out.  But I can’t.  At least not in a way that seems like it will fit everyone’s needs, let alone my own expectations of myself/hopes for myself and the girls. And the thought of letting you down kills me. I couldn’t help but start to cry as I lay in bed with the girls tonight, waiting for them to fall asleep. Luckily I kept it quiet enough that they didn’t catch on, but I so often feel like I’m letting them down too. They completely lost one parent, and they lost me is a sense as I’m not the way I used to be with them. It sucks. We had a decent morning, but I was just grumpy this afternoon. They were also in ‘fine form’, not helping matters. I didn’t yell or get angry – but I was short, boring, easily annoyed. Just grouchy. I wanted to have a conversation on the phone with my sister – in part to help ease/vent some of my frustrations about parenting and such – but of course I picked the wrong time (close to bedtime) and as the phone is such a drama magnet as is, my hopes for a nice chat were thwarted by C’s relentless screaming about pyjamas (this of course was just one of the many interruptions, but it was the final tipping point).  They are what gets me out of bed every day (and often many times at night), albeit with reluctance some mornings.  They are what keeps me going more than anything.  Everything I do is for them and because of them, but still, it’s exhausting.  I don’t want it to affect them, but it’s hard.  Parenting is no easy road as is, no matter how much we love our kids – but parenting alone, and under these circumstances is ridiculously tough.

I think some of the grouchyness started as I was staring at this crazy, colour coded calendar scheduling in work, aspire, pre-school, 3 dance classes/week, 2 music classes/week, as well as trying to keep it as easy for my mom as possible. Right now it’s at 12 hrs a week for her (4hrs/day 3 days/week). Fortunately, with E’s preschool, it works out that she will only have C for most of the time, but it still feels like it’s a lot. It’s only 4 extra hours then what we needed in the past when you were here, but maybe because it’s less spread out it feels like even more. It would likely stay at 12hrs if I get into the Aspire program, but who knows what it would be like should I open a store.

Anyhow, the crazy making only gets worse by the fact that the fridge has started ‘acting up’ even more than usual. It’s started making this incessant ‘clicking’ noise. Initially it would only happen about once a day, and last for a couple of minutes. One of the first times it came on was about 4am in a night where C had already been up every hour. Generally it’s not that loud, but the house was so quiet and I guess I was in light sleep as is it sure jumped me awake. It took me a few frightened minutes to figure out what the sound was (for a moment I thought one of the girls had made their way to the computer room and was hitting the space bar on the keyboard – either them or an intruder . . . . ), but relaxed when I realized it was just the fridge. I called an appliance repair shop and they suggested trying cleaning around the bottom and back of the fridge as much as possible in case there’s any dust clogging something up. So, the other day I pushed the fridge out, took the back off, vacuumed everywhere as instructed, moved the fridge all around to get as much cleaned underneath as possible. I also wiped the sides down for good measure. When I had it back in place I was surprised to see that the temperature display had come back on (I can’t even remember how long it’s been now since that stopped working . . .), though it only lasted for a few minutes and then the ticking started again. Now it seems to happen more often, not less. Probably at least 8 times a day. And sometimes for longer periods of time. The other day it went for over 15 minutes before I had to take the girls to dance class so I don’t know how long it ended up going for. I really hope it’s not expensive to fix.

I also had to laugh at myself the other day. There are a number of light bulbs now out in this house. At least 4 I believe. I can’t remember the last time I changed a light bulb. It’s not that I can’t. It’s not that I don’t want to. It’s just that it was always something you did. Not a big thing, but just another thing. I’m thankful that, after being out at the Aspire application workshop all day yesterday, I came home to a freshly mowed lawn – I’m not sure who did it, but perhaps it was Greg again? Anyhow, I have to thank the ‘lawn fairy’ I suppose, as I had been happy that we had a few days of rain and I didn’t need to worry about watering, but the lawn had finally started to grow again and I knew I’d need to get out there soon, so it was sure nice to come home to it done. The rain has been a dramatic change from the heat wave we had recently – I don’t mind it, though it can be tougher to entertain the girls. E was really enjoying riding her bike again recently (with much thanks to Rob for helping adjust the training wheels – you and your need to have screws so ridiculously tight). She had some moments of frustration and a couple of near falls where she almost decided to quit, but she pushed through and kept trying. She worked so hard at it. She was trying to ride up our driveway, and tried about 50 times until we had to go in so I could make diner. Of course, she wasn’t happy about going in, which started the floodgates, which turned into disappointment in herself for not making it all the way up and almost falling, and finally a decision to ‘never ride her bike again, ever’, or at least until she was older and bigger. I let her know that I was very proud of her, and that you were too, because even though it was hard, she kept trying and didn’t give up. She would have tried another 100 times if she didn’t need to come in while I made dinner. I also assured her that even older people need to learn how to ride a bike if they’ve never done it before. Shortly thereafter she asked me if she could try again tomorrow.

I also had E enrolled in acrobatics class this week for dance summer school. She was very excited because Dan, who played Captain Hook in the dance show, was going to be the teacher, and since the show she has often requested to learn to do flips like Dan. She talked about it with great anticipation and as we were getting ready to go she was dancing around exclaiming she was going to acro. She even wrote Dan a little letter that said, ‘Acro class, Dan, E’. Very cute. When we arrived, however, she was a little taken a back by the obvious excitement level by the rest of the class, that also included some girls a little older than she was. She was one of the smaller kids in the class and I think the crazy level threw her off a bit. She spent the first half of the class by the wall or sitting in the corner watching. Finally towards the end she warmed up a bit and joined the group. I plan to enrol her for the class in the fall, so hopefully it will go ok.

C is as crazy as ever. The biting has toned down a fair bit (fortunately for E), but she’s definitely expressing a desire for more independence in many ways, as well as her extreme frustration at lacking the capability to attain said independence. She likes to be heard, that’s for sure. She also loves to laugh, and spends a lot of time doing so. Sometimes seemingly for no reason at all, which is great. She still really has your laugh. I worry all the time about keeping her connection to you. I hate that Daddy isn’t in her regular vocabulary. She’s at a stage now where she really likes to ‘name’ everyone. And she will randomly repeat names. I’m happy that two of her favourite words are ‘Nana’ and ‘Papa’ – I think that’s great – but at the same time it makes me so sad that ‘Daddy’ isn’t included in that way. When I show her a photo of you, she often won’t have ‘Daddy’ as her first answer when I ask who it is, but I also know that she gets lots of people mixed up in photos still. As much as she loves her locket, her favourite response is becoming ‘Me!’ when I ask her who’s in it. It can take a bit of prompting for her to say who else is in it. I don’t want her to loose you. I don’t want her to forget her love for you. I just have to keep reminding myself that the connection to you will show in different ways, and is permanent, but it doesn’t change the hurt otherwise.

I love that E still refers to you when speaking of our family. And when she draws pictures and writes, you are always included. I forgot to mention, I also managed to take the girls to Melody’s birthday party on Monday (after spending 2 days trying to bring back my ‘crafty genes’ and make a birthday present). It was just a short, small party. It was still tough as on the way there E decided to start talking about your viewing and funeral. . . . nice timing for that conversation. It can also be tough to be in a room with women chatting about their families – their husbands – and wishing I could talk about you in the same way. I don’t want you to be ‘past tense’. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. And I’m not bitter to those who have happy, complete families – it just hurts to miss out. It hurts so much. Talking pregnancy and babies, when I know now I won’t have another, as I had once hoped to. We had never really decided on having a third, but I know it was because deep down we knew what was coming. I believe if that wasn’t an issue, we would have had another. You always said you liked growing up in a family of three, and you wouldn’t mind giving a shot at having a boy.

It is said that I shouldn’t dwell on the future that will never come, but instead celebrate what we had . . . yeah. Sure. Let me get right on that. Rip away all our hopes, dreams, plans, goals. The love of my life, my soul mate, the father of my children, one of the few things in this world I was passionate about. Time to celebrate! I know, I know – I get what the point is and maybe even one day I’ll get to that point. But right now I can’t. And it’s not to say I don’t celebrate what we had, as I feel I do that every day in some way – but I can’t pretend that not only losing you, but what would have been our future hasn’t shredded me. That said, I don’t often think too far down the road as I’m too busy trying to get through the day. But, it’s been a common thread on the widow blogs I’ve been reading lately, wondering about how things would have panned out in the relationship. So many marriages fail. I know we would have made it to a ripe old age if given the chance. I don’t just like to think it – I believe it. We’d been through so much in the 13 yrs we were together. How could we not have survived the long haul? We weren’t perfect. We fought. We were both incessantly stubborn. I can’t sit here and proclaim we had the perfect marriage all the time – but we were pretty perfect for each other.

This is getting pretty long and it’s not even that late yet! I should go, but before I do, I’ve been thinking about this time last year a fair bit. We would have been in Venice right now. I think back to how much I pushed you to go on the trip – if it wasn’t for your parents chipping in to help pay for it, I don’t know if I would have convinced you – but I know none of us could be happier that we went. It was the trip of a lifetime. Still, it was right about this point that I started to really realize that things were not going well with your health. After a wonderful six months of no tumour growth, which included a 3 month break from chemo, we were knocked back by news in June of a ‘small’ amount of growth. But, it was back on chemo and an ‘all clear’ from the docs to go. What was the worst that could happen – a seizure. Besides, the chemo had worked before, surely it could work again. I know you hate it when I bring it up, but when we were in Venice I could see you had problems reading your watch, figuring certain things out – and there were other little things that a wife notices. Something just wasn’t right. About a week later I found out that you had kept from me that you had started seeing the light aura’s. The next night you had the seizure. The 4 month anniversary of your death falls on the anniversary of that night. The night we then really knew that things could not be good. Still, I NEVER would have guessed that 8 months later you would be gone. That I would be left here, alone.

After cleaning the fridge, I decided to start writing positive messages on the white board again (even though sometimes I hate the idea now). Right now it reads, ‘It’s a new Day, It’s a new Hour, It’s a new Moment’. I’m trying to remember that it’s never too late in the day to change your mood/attitude, as well as what was so important to both of us before you passed away about living in the moment. It’s so much harder now, but I have to keep trying. For you. For the girls. We have no way to know what lies ahead. All we have is THIS moment. And we have the power to choose how to spend it. I’m trying to spend it wisely. It may not always be happy, but hopefully wisely.

I’ll keep trying to make you proud.


P.S. I Love You



  1. Dianne said,

    Hi Chelsea!

    I check every day for a new letter and each time I’m so drawn in to your everyday life. I have followed your story from the Brain Cancer Forum (I’m 4Lindsay on there) and it just seems right to continue following it.

    What is the Aspire program that you are pursuing and what kind of store would you like to open? If money or circumstances weren’t an issue, what would you like to do? Sometimes it may seem unrealistic, when actually it is a possibility in a different way. For example, when I was asked that question, I said I wanted to run a home for pregnant moms in need. Well, it didn’t work out quite that way but I have since become a Birth Doula and I go to homes, hospitals or birth centers to love and support them through their birth. It’s totally different than I imagined but still fulfills that desire/dream that I had.

    I don’t know you personally but through the window that you’ve opened into your life, I know what you are made of. Go for it, Chelsea…you are a strong woman and can do it!

    Take care!

  2. Shannon Bond said,

    Ahhhhhhhhh gosh gal! I sure think of you often and check in here regularly.

    I love stories of the girls. They are quite the characters and you take such great photographs!

    I’m sorry you’re feeling so very overwhelmed at times. Grief and exhaustion seem to go together for sure.

    While I don’t comment much, please know that I read and “hear” your posts. I suppose I don’t comment really because I have nothing wise to tell you. Just that you are heard by a caring heart.


  3. letterstoelias said,

    Thanks so much Dianne and Shannon,

    Dianne, I hope that Lindsay is doing well – I know from our past communication that she is really living her life and I am so happy to hear that. As hard as this side of it is for me, I couldn’t be happier about how we spent our time together when Elias was here. We made sure to enjoy what we had while we had it.

    Shannon, as always I appreciate you reading along and your comments now and then. I hope all is well in ‘Sask-at-chew-in’. (I always pronounced it ‘wan’ – oops)


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