August 27, 2009

A week in review

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 12:41 am by letterstoelias

Hello My Love,

Ok, let’s see if I can get this finished this time. I can’t seem to stay awake long enough to finish a letter to you these past few days. I’m tired of feeling tired.  Even when I managed to get to bed at 10pm the other night, I still woke feeling tired.  Since I last wrote, I feel I’ve been busy, but at the same time like there’s not too much going on.  Although, I have now passed the 4 month mark.

On Friday my Mom, the girls and I ‘footsied’ over to Horseshoe Bay to spend a few hours with Bridie and Mira as they were getting ready to go over to Bowen Island. It was a brief visit, but always nice to see them, and I got to throw a few questions at Bridie about her store to help me along with my application to the Aspire program. Though it wasn’t a long day, I was pretty worn out by the evening.

On Saturday morning, the girls were in an incredible mood and were in complete harmony with each other. It was fantastic. There was hardly any food in the house so I decided to finally bite the bullet and go to the IGA in Gibsons. Sian had a good point – it was a Saturday in the summer so it would be mostly tourists anyhow. Before going, seeing as the fridge was virtually empty, I took some time to clean it while the girls were playing so nicely together. It’s still ticking and driving me crazy – it manages to wake me up at least once a night – and it’s often having a hard time keeping the right temp. Though the display only comes on once in a blue moon, I can tell its getting too cold by the frozen block of lettuce (among other things).

At the store there were moments where I felt panicky, stressed, wanted to run out (it probably didn’t help that it was the 4 month anniversary of your death), but I got through it. I know it’s ‘just a grocery store’, but we always went together, all of us. And we spent a LOT of time there. You enjoyed grocery shopping and took your time. There are reminders of you in every isle.  Especially picking produce. I feel like I’m quite recognizable in that department. I’d always pick a few items then stand and wait while you seemingly examined every single fruit and vegetable. I know it doesn’t really matter if the produce guys recognize me – they seem to be nice guys. Likewise with other staff or customers (though Sian was right, I didn’t see one customer I recognized that day). I guess I just don’t want to feel like people are saying, ‘there’s that girl whose husband died’. Sometimes I feel like I can see it in their face. In their eyes. They way they look at me. I probably sound crazy and like I’m reading too much into things. Even if they did, why should it matter? But sometimes that’s how it feels and I don’t like it.

On Sunday I was hoping that the girls would have the same harmonious energy and I could clean off the air hockey table to get it ready for the garage sale. No such luck. It wasn’t all bad, but they had a harder time getting along. It was a tough job. Not because of how messy it was, but because on that table, amongst the piles and piles of ‘stuff’, there were a great number of cancer related items. Lance Armstrong books. My Brain Tumour Information Day binder. My binder of your medical records from Dr Chan. Stacks of newspapers with the article Shannon wrote about the fundraiser last year. Stacks upon stacks of get well cards. CD’s of your MRI’s. I had a small box I started putting it all in, but it quickly overflowed. There were also other non-cancer related things that just had to do with you. Birthday cards, photos, a collection of drawings you had done for your Grandma when you were little that she recently gave back to you. Some of them were from when you were E’s age – it was interesting to compare the writing and drawing. I shared them with the girls and they enjoyed seeing them too. Obviously there’s nothing that doesn’t remind me of you, but going through things like that is particularly difficult. That said, while I couldn’t finish reading it, I started to re-read the article Shannon had written last November. Reading someone else’s words about your energy, spirit, courage and positive attitude, our positive attitudes, while going through what we were facing gave me some ease. A reminder of your strength. But, at the same time it was painful. . . . .

On Monday the girls were with Buz and Sian and I went to meet with the people at Aspire to go over a sample cash flow for starting up a retail business. I think their purpose is to try and scare, no, terrify some people so they won’t go through the program unless they are really serious about it. It makes sense, they don’t want people who just have big ideas but no sense of what will really work, but they seem to have some confidence in me and my plans so that’s good. I also managed to use their template and get some more accurate numbers from Bridie so it’s not as bad as they made it out to be. Still scary, but a little more do-able. I also worked on Monday afternoon, but I’m not taking any calls just yet.

Tuesday Anna helped out by taking the girls while I worked as my parents had gone on a short golfing excursion, and we helped out by looking after Duffy. The poor guy had eye surgery two weeks ago and has had his eye stitched shut and a cone on his head for almost two weeks. Fortunately they both will be gone tomorrow. It was great having Anna’s help and I really admire her bravery in going to the park as a lone adult with four children, 4yrs and under. It was a huge help though, and the girls get along well with her two boys so it worked out well. In the evening I got a call from Buz as he said he had something he wanted to bring by. He and Sian popped by after dinner and though he played it down like it was no big deal, it was a beautiful gift.

After your memorial I ended up with a few copies of the drawing of you that was done on the t-shirts for the fundraiser from the school. There is one on the window in the family room, and I have had two of them in the car. E had wanted one in the car so that ‘Daddy could go with us everywhere we went’ and it seemed fitting to put one on the window beside each of the girls. Buz downloaded a copy of the picture from my Dad’s flickr page and had it made into clear stickers for the car window. Much nicer than the taped up paper. He said it was easy and didn’t cost anything – but it was incredibly thoughtful and touching, and it meant a lot.

Today Ruby helped out with looking after the girls in the morning and Sian took E in the afternoon while C napped and I finished work. I’m so thankful for all the help, and I know it helps my mom to know that she doesn’t have to be the only one to look after the girls.  Speaking of help, I forgot to mention last week that Eddie came and fixed our gate.  It had been coming out of the wall and was dragging on the ground, and about ready to fall off.  He hacome by to pick up some boxes and was leaving through the gate – I told him to watch out it didn’t fall off, so he had a look and said he could fix it. He was back about an hour later and now it’s better than ever.  I had someone over to look at the fridge, but of course it didn’t make its ticking noise while the person was here, but he figures it’s a problem with the computer. A last thing to try is unplugging it for 5-10mins or so and plugging it back in to see if that might reset things, but failing that it will be a few hundred dollars to fix. Oddly enough, it hasn’t ‘ticked’ all afternoon without me unplugging it . . . . I’m not keeping my fingers crossed too tightly though. It will probably wake me up at around 4am or so as usual.

Anyhow, we are off to the PNE tomorrow with the Straw family. My Mom is coming along too which will be nice. The PNE is another thing that I can’t think of without thinking of you. You loved going and tried to make it every year. It’s tradition, you HAVE to go (as you would say). We didn’t go last year as we were in Europe, but I remember when you took E two summers ago while I was at work. She seems to have some vague memories of that as well and I’m glad you took my camera as I have a few photos from that day to show her. You always insisted on buying the home lottery tickets, much to my dismay because they cost so much, but it made you happy to do so. The last time we went together, was 4 summers ago I think (I believe we missed going in ’06 because of our move to the Coast). I remember leaving and wondering how on earth we spent over $100. I’m hopeful to get out of there for a little less this time around, but part of me wants to buy a home lottery ticket just for you. I’ll definitely eat too many of ‘those little doughnuts’ for you though. And, I hear Sian is afraid of roller coasters so I plan to drag her on ‘The Coaster’ with me. As you would say, ‘It’s tradition!’ She can’t argue with you.

I feel badly that I haven’t posted any pictures for a while – I’ll have to write again in a day or two with photos. I’m sure I’ll take a few tomorrow to choose from. One last thing, I had a great chat with Martin the other night, and we spoke about your ‘vessel’ the other night. We agree that we don’t like the use of the word urn and vessel has a nicer feel to it, but that’s what I’m referring to. He’s almost done the first one and it sounds amazing. It will have three kinds of wood in it and have a spot for candles and flowers in the stand. I’m hoping to get a chance to go by his workshop when I go to town next week and have a look. He has been working tirelessly on it so I had to remind him he could spend some time doing something for himself as well, but he loves working on it. I feel so fortunate that your ashes will finally have a beautiful home soon. A better way to honour you.

I hope to honour you in some way, every day.

~C~

P.S. I Love You

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3 Comments »

  1. Lisa said,

    I could really relate to this post Chelsea as I HATED thinking that people felt sorry for me. You may be different, but I actually found it easier to go and do these things and see everyone as soon afterwards as I could because then I felt once I saw them, they wouldn’t have the same sorry feeling whenever I saw them. You may not believe it yet, but you are one strong and incredible woman and this experience will only make you stronger and more incredible!

  2. Shannon Bond said,

    Hey you gal.

    Was kind of you to mention my writing. I do think the world of you and was so impressed with Elias when I met him.

    A good friend of mine attended the wedding of a couple your age out in Quebec last weekend. The bride has brain cancer. It is the second recurrence for her but they live much the way that you and Elias did- with hope and laughter and optimism and living in the moment as much as possible.

    They decided to tie the knot regardless of what lies ahead and celebrated with great joy.

    As my friend told me the story of the wedding and how amazing the couple is to face life with such grace, I said, I know what you mean. I know a couple who were just like that.

    Shannon xo

  3. letterstoelias said,

    Thanks Lisa and Shannon for your comments,

    Lisa, I always appreciate the your understanding as you are the one of the very few who I can speak in person with who has been through something similar.

    Shannon, every time I see the paper clippings I am so thankful of the day we met up with you. The story will be a wonderful legacy for the girls to read one day. And thanks for sharing this story about the wedding – it’s a good reminder about living in the moment and enjoying what we have.

    ~C~


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