Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I find myself in ridiculous situations where I need an ear, a shoulder, a heart that loves me. I look inside myself at times and worry that the eyes looking back at me are those of a monster....not the features of a lost, confused and alone soul who longs to have someone to look back at me and smile at what they see.
I miss you. I miss who you saw when you looked at me. I long to hear your laughter at my ceaseless, worried chatter. I crave your breath on my neck and your assurances that everything is okay and that at least, you, you know my heart is filled with love....bumbling and clumsy love.
I am so far from perfect and from knowing what and who I should/could be at this "adult" stage in my life, it is frightening. Rarely do people admit just how lost and unconfident/unknowledgeable they are as adults that I worry I should be somehow doing this differently....if it were possible. I am frozen as an awkward and inept youth....yet stuck in an aged and seemingly "grown-up" body.

Friday, July 20, 2012

my spunky little Bean turns TEN!

Liv turned 10 a couple of weeks ago. 10. Ten. TEN!
Ten seems so bloody much older than nine. Is it the double digits? Is it that she has grown 2.5 cm in two months? Is it that she seems to be losing all her teeth all at once? Is it that she refers to items, incidents and experiences as "epic" and "oh. wow." (the latter seems to be used as a negative expression while "epic" is used to express that fabulousness of something).
She is beginning to understand how to get something to go "her" way by using positive means rather than yelling, pouting or whining.....But for old time sake, she pulls them out so I don't have a chance to reminisce very often.
She is still as smiley and loving as always; she remains a kid who loves to curl up on my lap or will smile broadly and run into my arms when I pick her up from school. I love our cuddles. I adore the smell of her warm hair pressed against my chin as she rests. I love that she still wants to be held.
Unfortunately, this year she has truly struggled with anxiety and its' effects. She seems to be making headway and we certainly have been working hard on trying to react with logic and less emotion....but her fears still sometimes cause her to react with instinct...
Her long, scrawny legs and caramel colour hair hint at what she'll look like in a few years. It gives me pause to notice that her chubby little cheeks and round little belly are melting away into some larger, more mature looking kid.
Liv still loves to wear her own style. She'll wear an outfit until it is worn out or is replaced by a new, more desired item of clothing. She is beginning to wear my shirts and sweaters....they're huge on her, but she wears them as tunics or dresses.
More and more, Liv can keep up with me when I take go for a walk or run across the yard. She is coordinated like I have never been. She wants to take Irish Dancing again and archery and piano and.....She has so many interests and abilities. And she astonishes me with the ease in which she picks them up when she  is enjoying herself.
So now, as I stare at her sleep (not in a creepy way, I promise) I think of the amazing kid she is and has been and the strong, capable, creative, spunky woman she will one be....It's a bittersweet realization to know that every birthday, every accomplishment, every giggle, every breath brings us closer to a day when she will fly away from me on her ruby coloured wings....And I will be without the constant love from my "Bean".
I love you, Beaner. Always and the whole pie.

Monday, June 18, 2012

nights like these

I hate these nights. Lack of sleep. Worry. Sadness. No one to talk to. Reflection on all I have done wrong or could have done better. Self-character annihilation.
I worry about dear friends and how they are....Where they are. And what I could do or have done to improve or hinder their well being. I turn these thoughts over and over in my mind like a beach comber inspecting a stone. The thoughts make me sick and sad. I want to turn back time and notice what I didn't before...I want to change my selfish or thoughtless ways. I want to declare how important their friendship and love is to me.
I lay in bed and turn the light on...and then off. And then on again...Somehow imagining that my hearing becomes increased with the increase in light...Listening for a bear to return to claim another hen...And then feeling guilty that the bear has been set up for failure by having livestock on the edge of a forest. It is doing what it does naturally...find food. So I lay in bed inspecting a electric fence manual hoping that I can install it without injuring myself or others and that some of the sadness I feel for the bear will be assuaged by the erecting of this deterrence.
I toss and turn replaying our "Father's Day". Although we talked of Jeff a lot and missed him palpably, fixing fencing and coops, visiting my own dad and generally getting through the day took precedence. I don't feel that I honoured his memory or his love for the kids or their love for him. Liv missed her dad and all he represented visibly. Briar was much more oblivious as he had spent the day with my mom and her friend. But my heart aches for both of them tonight as I think of all I should have done and have done in the past to allow them to demonstrate their love or loss. It's times like this that I wonder how Jeff would do it differently had I been the one who died. And it's nights like this that I recall his joy in his daughter's spunky intelligence and his pride in his son's thought-filled actions. I still miss him terribly four years later. I still wish he were here to whisper to in the night about all these fears, guilty and melancholy thoughts. It's his hands that I long to hold and his arms that my body misses around its' waist.

I know that lack of sleep adds fuel to these ruminations. I am aware that the darkness of night amplifies all the darkness of these thoughts. I can hear the birds beginning to sing for morning heralding the beginning of a new day....but still the sadness seeps through. Tomorrow is a new day. If I can just get through the next few hours...the morning light, the sounds of little ones stirring in their bed and the scent of coffee will make it easier again.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy birthday to my monkey....

Tomorrow is my sweet little Briar's SIXTH birthday. I cannot believe how much he's grown and how much joy and love he has brought to my life. He is such a funny and thought-filled little guy. His questions never cease to amaze me from his sleepy, "Mama, do horses have uvulas?" to his "If the Earth is round, why doesn't the ocean pour off the bottom?"
Walking with Briar reminds me so much of his daddy. It's slow. Painstakingly slow. He doesn't walk. He meanders. He inspects. He climbs. He pokes. He collects. By the end of a walk, my pockets are FILLED with small pieces of metal, heart-shaped rocks, feathers, and live bugs. His hands are filthy and grasping an assortment of twigs and objects too large for my pockets.
Briar gives hugs and kisses like no one I know. His hugs are big, heart-felt embraces that could very likely pop the head off of someone too frail to know his strength or if I have failed to warn him that he must be gentle with the recipient of his love. His kisses are so soft and gentle that it is surprising to me that the same person can deliver such forceful hugs.
Although he and his sister can fight like they are two warring countries, if he is hurt or scared, she is often the first he seeks out. At night, they rarely sleep apart and I often am brought to tears as I watch them sleep with arms gently draped over the other's neck gently breathing into their sibling's face.

Today as I asked him a few questions about his past year and what will happen when he turns six (he no longer has to take the animal name swimming lessons he is so offended by - turtle, duck, etc. He has graduated to the numbered lessons), I was struck my the desire to record these desires, dreams and musings. I hope to remember to do this for both of them the night before each birthday and see how these thoughts change or stay the same in the coming years.

I/he wrote:

The Night before My _6th_ Birthday:

Name: ________Briar________ Date: ____May 28th, 2012_______

Height: __125.5cm____Weight: ___27.4kg____

My favourite colour:___orange___________

My favourite food: ____cake___

My favourite animal: ____deer________

My best friend/s: __Camille, Yaya (Liv), Rainen and Mommy______

My favourite event in the past year: __My birthday party_______________________

If I could do anything during my day, I would: _ride my skateboard_______________

When I grow up, I want to live (where): _not where big frogs or snake-fish live_______

When I grow up, I want to be: ____in the Coast Guard or a mechanic__________________

In the coming year, I hope to: ____build a treefort.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


I'm not sure if you're there....We're still here.
I've stopped writing for Widow's Voice so I no longer have an outlet into which I pour my....thoughts. I can say that after an extended hiatus. I miss it. I miss reaching out and letting my thoughts blowing where they may...and knowing that someone hears me - happy or sad. I am heard.
So if you are willing to hear me, I am back. I will update and write when I can. I will pour my thoughts and ideas and the happenings around our little home into this place and reach out to any of you who still look into our little place on the web.
I've missed you.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

100 things to come....

Yes, I have been away from this space for far too long. I am, as always, rushing around like a chicken after a beetle and can't seem to keep up. But life is relatively good. The kids are happy and curious. I don't have time to stew and we plug along.
I manage to find joy in silly little things and was inspired tonight when I googled "things for kids to do on a road trip" brought me from a list of car games....One click to a link on the page brought me out of curiousity to "how to survive in prison" and then on to "how to survive a high fall". Next was "The life of Viking Women" and then "100 things to be happy about".
I vaguely glanced at the list until I got to #74. "Glueing Things". Five minutes later and I am still giggling. Was this person running out of items for their list or did they truly enjoy the act of using a sticky substance to adhere to items together? Or were they running out of things for the list? I will never know but it reminded me of lists I have made in the past of things I like/dislike.
I suppose these lists were a form of identification for me as a teen. I was motivated to make these lists for the same reasons that I was motivated to do those quizzes in teen magazines. To find out who I was and to mark that identity in some way.
Now, in my mid-thirties, I feel that I have a real grasp of "who" I am most of the time, but I still like to remind myself and have moments with myself where I say, "Wow! That's true! I really dislike that texture....I suppose that is why I am not so fond of potatoes..." Agreeing with myself somehow gives me pleasure.
So for the next few days, as long as I don't forget or get swept up in the tide of all the things that must be done/fed/walked/worked, I am going to create my own list of "100 things to be happy about". I'll let you know if I discover if the writer of the first list was truly a lover of stickiness or merely a glue sniffer....

#1. Making lists.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


I have read a variety of quotes with a similar message. I think anyone who has dealt with trauma, loss or tragedy has come face-to-face with this choice. I also think that, at times, we have all chosen each one of the three options. I just hope that as we all get further from the moment that provoked this epiphany, we manage to choose to let this event strengthen us. To grow instead of be wilted. To swim, not sink. There is no need for one life to be wasted for the sole reason that one life was lost.

Monday, May 02, 2011


The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt.
- Frederick Buechner

I have a dear friend who is in such dire straights at the moment that I feel humbled by my moaning over firewood and the like. Out of respect for her privacy, I won't go into the details of her issues at this time.

If you feel you are able to help her, please read her blog and see if there is anything you can do.

I can assure you that she is a wonderful and kind-heartened human-being who has shared and helped me and my children in the past.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

fabric kanzashi flowers

A friend of mine has a four year old daughter who has a white plumeria flower barrette that I secretly covet. I imagine what I'd where it with - a tan, a strapless sundress and my pair of orange leather flip-flops. I have searched for ideas to make my very own substitute for this much loved hair accessory.
During my hunt, I discovered Kanzashi flowers. Although the ones I have discovered a far from the traditional Kanzashi worn by Geishas, they are truly awesome!
After showing Liv some of the photos of them online, she and I decided to give our hands a try at this type of art.
Although there are a tonne of tutorials out there, we are adding yet another to the abundant craftiness.....

8 squares of fabric (we used 10 cm X 10 cm pieces found in fat quarters)
A needle and thread
Button for the centre
Glue gun
Alligator clip
1. Fold one piece of fabric in half diagonally.
2. Fold it in half yet again.
3. And again.....
4. Bear with me, this part is a bit hard to explain in words....Fold the two sides of the fabric down as if you are folding a paper airplane....
Get it?? It should look like this on the other side.... 5. Push your needle through the side making sure to pierce all pieces of fabric so it will hold together once they are all strung on.
6. Repeat this seven more times and add them to the thread.
**Do NOT knot between each one as you want them to be able to slide along as you position them correctly at the end!!
7. Once they are all on, your thread gently making sure to not snap it and push through the first "petal" once again so that they arrange themselves in a circle.
8. Once secured, put all the points together.
9. Using very sharp scissors, cut the rough ends off.
It should look like this.
10. Rearrange the petals in a circle and ensure their proper spacing.
It should look similar to this.
11. Pick out the button/s you want to decorate the centre of the flower.
12. Using your glue gun, make sure you get glue on each petal nearest the centre. You want to make sure that they are all secured by the glue.
13. Squish the button on. Large buttons work best!
14. You can actually attach the flower to almost anything - a hairband, a hair elastic, a purse, a shirt, etc. But we decided to attach it to the alligator clip. This allows for versatility because once on the alligator clip, you can clip it to any of these things are remove it to attach elsewhere later on.
15. Using plenty of glue, again try to make sure you touch each petal to ensure that it doesn't fall apart later on.
16. Stick the alligator clip to it. **We stuck a piece of cardstock in between the alligator's "mouth" to make sure that any extra glue wouldn't stick it shut.
17. Once it has cooled and hardened, remove the cardstock and VOILA! A little piece of decorative hair heaven!
Although these look quite difficult, they are crazy easy. Liv and her friend really enjoyed making them and have been wearing them since. I would NOT hesitate to make them again. They took about 30 minutes to make with the girls. I am sure an adult who had made them before could bang on off in 15 minutes or so. SO fun!!!!!!!!!

Friday, April 01, 2011

Photo from here...
Sometimes this whole 'widow' thing gets old. Like the chorus of an unhappy song that gets stuck in your head and keeps you awake. Over and over the words repeat singing those same lines again and again. You try to not pay attention. Try to forget the words. Try to listen to a new song. But your little brain has it so deeply embedded it can't be persuaded to "hear" something else. I get tired of being a widow. I get sick of talking about it. I get annoyed with writing about it. I am over thinking about it. But still it sticks. Stuck in the groove. Firmly planted on repeat. I'd love a new reality. To have something new to think about. A new conversation that didn't ultimately, and at times embarassingly, come around to the fact that my husband is dead. I want to be over it. I am sick of it. I don't want to think about it, breathe it, speak it or feel it. It's old.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets.
Arthur Miller

Friday, March 25, 2011


This morning will mark three years since I've held your warm hand. Heard your snores. Felt safe knowing I was yours.

My life doesn't stop today as it did three years ago....although I partially wish it would. There are appoinments to be attended, childcare to sort out and errands to run.

I'd like to lay in my bed and think of only you. To keen quietly and close my eyes to the empty side of our bed.

But I am terrified that by allowing myself to sink into the grief that still runs so deeply through my heart, I will fall back into that pit of loss. The dark and scary place where time does stop and all I feel is the loss of you.

So I fill my day. To the brim.

I will take the kids to the beach with our notes for you attached to helium balloons. I'll barely allow myself that hour to let the sadness sink in...I need to keep my heart up and my eyes sharp for my little ones.

When this tradition is fulfilled I will begin running again. Focusing on dinner and bathtime. Fingernail clipping and playing referee to intermittent sibling discord.

But after the night has brought quiet and our two children rest, I'll truly feel the loss of you. I'll remember that first night without you. The enormity of the loss. The confusion and unbelievability found in your death. I will cry out for you. I will hold the last dirty shirt of yours close and attempt to smell the long lost scent of you. I will wonder at the ability of others who naively went about their day unaware of this day's significance. And I will miss you as fiercely as I did that first day.

I love you, Jeffrey, with all my heart. I miss you still. And I don't think I can, or will, ever stop.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Happy birthday Baby Pumpkin

Today is Jeff's birthday. He'd be 49.
We'll be planting a blueberry bush and having blueberry pie in his honour today....
I wish he were here to sing this song. One of his favourites....He LOVED to sing it at karaoke. Yes, he loved karaoke. I can still see his left leg slightly bent moving to the music as he sang so hard into the microphone.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

enough is enough

I admit it. I am depressed. Clinically, situationally, whatever anyone wants to diagnose me as. Depressed.

It sucks. Brutally, royally sucks....And for some reason, I am embarrassed. I don't know if I am humiliated by the weakness that this affliction shows or by the possibility that I am "unfixable" or broken.

After the birth of Briar, I was prescribed antidepressants and attended meetings with a therapist who dealt with post-partum depression. I had been feeling "normal" for quite sometime and had been working with the doctor as I was weaned off the meds.....Then Jeff "bought the farm" (SO sick of using "died", "passed", "left us", etc. I don't think he'd mind if I used more colourful euphemisms...especially if they make me giggle...). His abrupt departure meant the end to my declining medication. I have stayed at the dose I was then. A bloody high dose.

I have been at a point a few times since he "went belly up" where I thought I could resume the lowering of my meds. But since we've moved, that phenomenon has halted all together.

I don't know what has changed aside from working outside the home, Liv attending school, not having my sister or Marnie close by, and the much higher living expenses....Okay, I suppose a lot of shit has changed.

There are truly wonderful things about being here....the beach, the community, the cooler weather....

But I want my garden and my crafts. I want to hang with my kiddos. I want time to sit in the chicken yard and gaze at the "Girlz". I want to again focus on my photography and sewing dresses.

But that time has passed and I have to move on.

I keep focusing on the negative when I should just suck that shit up and move on. I DO NOT want to feel this way. Sad, pathetic, useless, needy.

So I am forcing myself to pull up these bloody itchy socks and face this "Depression Dude" with a sneer on my lips while flipping the bird in his ugly mug.

I have an appointment with my beloved therapist who has agreed to take me on again. I will not allow myself to wallow in the negative (for every bloody issue on my list, I am going to force myself to write something.....happy) and I am making myself go back to my one-good-thing exercise. I don't have the time to do this....But I need to make the time, because I think I am going insane.

I am realizing that it's a damn good thing that I keep this blog. It has chronicled this insidious spiral downward while I was unaware of its' happening. But last night, I sat here and read my posts from the last few months.....and, dude, it was a depressing read.

So wish me luck, I am going to push off from the bottom and attempt to head back up to the surface.

Thank you for all your support, my blogosphere buddies. You rock.