Friday, March 28, 2008

Bumper crop

Does every celebrity have to be pregnant with twins??

I'm just sayin'.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

24 hours in the life of cucumber seedlings

March 26th, 11:30am...

A little more than 24 hours later...

I love that I can still grow things, even if they are non-human and outside my uterus.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Earth Hour, and a little poke

On March 29, 2008, people across Canada and around the world will turn off their lights and non-essential electrical appliances for one "Earth Hour" (8PM local time) to promote electricity conservation, lower carbon emissions, and demonstrate that together the people of the world can make a difference in the fight against climate change.

Earth Hour has grown from a single event in Sydney, Australia in 2007 to a global phenomenon that will occur across six continents and in as many as 20 cities in 2008. As of 24 March, over 11,900 businesses and 188,000 individuals had indicated their intention to participate at

I'm generally not one to get all political, but can everyone do this? Please? It's just one hour. One quiet, beautiful, dark, peaceful, healthy hour.

Poke. Poke. Poke.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Another holiday

Oh, Easter.

It was good. There was ham and scalloped potatoes, brussel sprouts fried in butter and sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese, roasted sweet potatoes, pretty spring peas and two kinds of pie. And, of course, a chocolate Easter bunny I have already devoured (I ate his ass for a mid-morning snack today).

I had a pot of my Grandma's African violets in the centre of the table and I set each place with packets of seeds for every person (all of whom I love very much). I had my Dad's favourite music playing the whole time (Palestrina, an Italian Renaissance composer he adores for the sacred polyphony he wrote) and I had two white candles burning brightly.

As daylight turned to dusk we sat and laughed and ate. And I was happy.

And then I wasn't.

They left, and the emptiness of another holiday settled in.

My poor Beloved, who deals with the aftermath of holidays (and the beforemath as well), chastised me for taking something good and turning it sour, but it's hard not to. And I don't do it on purpose despite evidence to the contrary.

It's just that holidays are meant to be joyous family times, and it's sometimes hard to maintain that joy for the entire length and breadth of a holiday when our little family has been hacked to pieces and lies in tatters around our weary feet. Figuratively, of course.

It's hard to sit by myself at Mass with throngs of families packing in all around me. It's hard to be visually reminded of what we've had and lost, and almost had and lost. It's hard to be shown what I'm missing.

The sad fact is that sometimes it's difficult to be happy, no matter how hard I try.

And I do. I really do. Why else would I put so much effort into Easter dinner, or any of the other things I do to make our little world happier and more alive?

I think I do well most of the time. I have sad moments, but I push on in search of comfort and joy. But holidays undo a lot of the work I put into soothing my soul. I enjoy most parts of them very much, but what I'm not enjoying is killing me. Those are the holiday extremes.

It's just the way it is for now.

And, I suspect, the way it always will be, although tempered and softened with time. As everything always is.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


30F (15F with the wind chill), snow piles still stubbornly mounded up more than waist high and, according to a meteorologist (who I assume has gone into hiding since making the prediction), six more weeks of wintry weather.

Happy Spring!


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

More musings

I wish we didn't need to know SO much about the reproductive lives of the rich and famous. Seriously, if I see one more "celebrity baby bump" story my head may explode. Or I'll stick forks in my eyes and ice picks in my ears to end the torment once and for all.

One or the other.

I love therapy. I don't always want to go (spending 50 minutes dredging up painful thoughts, worries and memories isn't necessarily something I look forward to, surprising enough), but I always end up being glad that I did.

I do kind of worry that there's never going to be an end to this though. Really, for only being 37 years old I seem to have a LOT to talk about.

Therapist lady suggested maybe it might be useful to "screen out" the things in my head, not unlike the process gold miners used to employ when they panned for gold in murky river beds. She said it might be useful to sift out the various worries and concerns in order to "see what's left behind" - and to see what my biggest issues really are.

I couldn't help it. I laughed, right out loud on her little blue couch. I'm relatively sure if you sift away at me ALL you'll find is worries at this point.

But it's worth a try, right?

Hell, anything is worth a try at this point.

I need to get rid of an organ. And I'm not having all that much luck.

It's an old two manual Lowrey organ that used to belong to my Grandparents. It has to be pushing fifty. Or possibly pulling it.

I took it out of spite when my Aunt was clearing out my Grandparents' house (back when doing stupid things out of spite held a greater place of importance in my life than it does now, post Thomas) and it's been sitting in our basement collecting dust ever since.

Spite and sentimentality are the reason for its four-year basement exile.

The thing is, I'm pretty much over the spite part, and practicality is currently trumping sentimentality. I know my Grandma wanted either my sister or I to have it, but I don't have the space, nor do I play the organ. I think it's just time for it to go.

Sadly, 50-year old Lowrey organs aren't that easy to get rid of. Even when you tell people they're free.


So, you know, let me know if you're in the market for a dusty organ that almost certainly needs servicing.

Just be prepared for me to cry when you take it away from me.

According to my Facebook friends (courtesy of the "social profile" application), not only am I the bravest, but I'm also the best travel companion with the best sense of humour.

Sadly, according to these same friends I'm neither organized nor fashionable.

I have no choice but to agree with the fashion critique, but dammit, I'm incredibly organized!


More or less.

Oh just shut up, I'm very brave.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Just a couple of things...

A classic case of mistaken identity.

Today was my neighbourly lunch date. Once every month my two neighbours and I hook up for a chatty few hours to gossip, eat and catch up. A "hen party" as My Beloved likes to call it.

I was coming out of my neighbour's house with her 22-month old daughter, helping her navigate the big porch steps while her mommy packed up the sippy cup and other baby paraphernalia inside, when I noticed a youngish looking guy all dressed in a suit coming towards me.

He was a financial planner trolling the neighbourhood for new clients. He asked if he could talk to me and I said I was on my way out. As if she knew I needed an excuse to run away, little J took off down the sidewalk. I took off after her, hoping financial planner dude would see I was clearly too busy to chat. But he didn't. He waited for me to catch her, then started in on his sales pitch.

"Blah blah blah...blah...blah blah blah" was what I heard (we have a financial planner and don't need two so I felt no obligation to listen), until he pointed to J, who I was now holding, and said "I also take care of RESPs, which is perfect for you, having a little one and all".

I just smiled politely.

And thought about how horribly, painfully, impossibly wrong he was.

Last week I taught a children's mask-making workshop. I had a small group of girls aged 9 - 16.

I haven't taught children's art classes since I was in my early 20s and doing it when I'm now old enough to be even the oldest student's mother does put a bit of a different spin on it for me, but it was still a lot of fun.

Everyone should hang out with a group of kids for a week every once in a while. It's good to be reminded that once upon a time anything was possible and that all you had to do to make dreams come true was to dream them.

On the last day as I was saying goodbye to one of the other instructors, she told me she "liked my vibe."

Now I realize this sounds a little silly and kind of hippy-dippy, but it was possibly the best thing anyone could have said to me last week. Or any week, for that matter.

I don't know what she does or doesn't know about Thomas (I got the job through a mutual friend who may or may not have told her my situation), but the fact that I still possess a vibe that's even remotely likable after everything I've dealt with over the last 5 years is astonishing to me.

And very, very cool. And uplifting. And exciting.

It was a good week. It was the perfect time for a good week.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I wish I could say it with chocolate

Thank you seems so inadequate. A dozen chocolate cupcakes with thick buttercream icing for every single person who sent loving thoughts, said prayers and did good deeds this week seems like a much more appropriate way to show my appreciation. But since that's impossible (and dangerous, given how many times I'd "need" to "test" the cupcakes for quality assurance purposes) a simple but very, very heartfelt thank you will have to suffice.

And I really, really mean it. Thank you.

Knowing that the world was a kinder place this week because Thomas once lived (and because people still care and remember) means the world to us, and we're stunned by your generosity and determination to find ways to honour his memory.

There was the friend who bought a grocery gift card and asked the clerk to give it to the next person in line, there was the blogger who picked up a mother and two kids waiting at a bus stop and drove them home, there were a number of people who helped neighbours and strangers dig out of from under the ungodly amount of snow we got this weekend, there were generous donations to incredibly worthy charities, and there were countless promises of secret random acts of kindness to come that we'll never know about.

Ripples into eternity indeed.

Thank you.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Kisses to heaven

I remember the sun crashing its way through the delivery suite windows the morning of the day you were born. I remember it bathing everything in a beautiful golden glow and feeling such joy and anticipation in knowing that you were almost here.

Today looks like that day three years ago. The sun, blissfully bright following yesterday's 36-hour snow storm, reminds me of you and the light and love you brought into our lives.

And the light and love that still remains.

Sending a million and one kisses to heaven on your 3rd birthday, my sweet one.


Friday, March 07, 2008

Ripples into eternity

Today was the twins due date. Sunday is Thomas' 3rd birthday. I'm so changed by the tiny lives that have crept silently into and out of my life. It's amazing how lives so small and impossibly brief can have such tremendous and eternal resonance.

It's a Wonderful Life is one of my favourite movies, and aside from the fact that I adore Jimmy Stewart, I think the reason I like it so much is because of the dramatic way it shows how one person's life can impact the lives of so many others. It demonstrates how every decision, every action and every reaction sends ripples into eternity.

Which is why I'm asking you, if you're so inclined, to do something kind on Sunday in Thomas' memory. Any sort of good deed, be it big or small, will mean he is still changing lives; still present here in a very tangible way.

This has always been so important to us, almost right from the moment he died. It's what we asked of people in his obituary, as a matter of fact.

It's the only way we can still know his presence here - it's the only way we can still feel it and see it and truly know it.

So please, if you can, consider doing a random act of kindness for Thomas. And unless you prefer to keep yourself and your deed anonymous, please come back and tell us how our boy's life is sending ripples into eternity.

Leah and Sherry, thank you so much for the donations you made in Thomas' memory. We are so grateful for your kindness and generosity.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

My brain


Wow, look at all the anger and negativity. I like that the back of my brain seems surprised by all this while the front stays busy waging a battle between love and hate.

Sounds about right.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Monday musings

So as it turns out the ticker is fine. Stress is the reason for the sudden (and, in my mind, alarming) increase in the frequency of my heart palpitations.

It took a while to get the results back (evidently cardiologists and family doctors see nothing wrong with buzzing off all footloose and fancy free on vacation while I sit at home worrying about my impending cardiac arrest.) but all's well that ends well. My heart is just fine.

Which of course means that my head is the problem.



On Saturday My Beloved and I went to a local maple syrup festival with my sister-in-law and my five-year old nephew (who, incidentally, is the cutest and smartest five-year old on the planet).

It was bone-chillingly cold, but the bonfires, candy shanty, scavenger hunt and maple syrup drenched pancakes and sausage more than made up for the biting wind.

I was having a really good time.

But on the wagon ride back from the pancake house the "if" word crept into my head. Because, of course, if Thomas was alive, we'd have taken him too. He would have been sitting beside me and his cousin in the wagon, bumping along, giggling and enjoying the beautiful winter day with his family. With me.

If instantly crushed my heart.

But I battled back.

"Yes," I told If, "We would have brought Thomas along. But this is still a good day. The sun is shining, my tummy is full of pancakes, and I'm spending time with another little boy that I love. It's still a good day. It is."

And If shut up.


I bought a shadowbox, finally. I've been wanting to take some of Thomas' things and display them in a small shadow box for a long time. His crib card, the hat the nurses bought him, his wrist band, maybe even the little lock of hair they saved for us. They're all still tucked up in the lacy white fabric bag they hospital quietly gave us after he died.

I brought the shadowbox home, got out the bag, took everything out, and almost instantly felt sick to my stomach.

I couldn't do it. I smelled the little hat, which has been sealed in a plastic baggy, and the hospital still clings to it. I could smell the day he died. I could smell the days after it, the days I refused to leave my room and kept the door shut against the sound of live babies crying all around me.

And I felt sick.

And then achingly guilty for feeling sick.

So I put it all away. Packed it back into the little white bag and put the empty shadowbow in the spare room along with my yarn and Thomas' change table that now doubles as craft supply storage.

It'll be there for me one day when I'm able. If I'm able.


Today at dinner, after asking me what I was thinking about and listening to my answer, my Beloved paused and said, "There's a lot of thinking going on in that head."

Yeah. And that's the problem.


I've been having some really, really odd dreams lately. The strangest involved Cher and a sadomasochistic dwarf.

Clearly my sleeping mind is doing its very best to keep me preoccupied lest I think of something very real and very sad.

Excellent job, mind. Excellent job.

But, uh, you can stop now.


A very good friend of mine just got herself a brand new nephew. A beautiful, chubby legged little boy joined their family a few days ago, so new he squeaks.

I was snooping through photos of the baby posted on her sister's Facebook profile, when I suddenly realized I was dizzy.

I was loving the pictures and then, in an instant, had to get them off my screen.

This is all new, these physical reactions to grief. Feeling sick, feeling faint. All new. And annoying and disturbing.

I tested myself today by watching a few minutes of A Baby Story.

Just so you know, I'm not ready for that either.


March came so quickly.

I might not be ready for A Baby Story, but even though it snuck up on me, I'm ready for March.

We have Thomas' special birthday plans made, I have work to do this week and a children's art class to teach next week during March break, and I'm ready for all of it. I am.

I miss the boy. I miss the boy dreadfully during March. But I'm looking forward to celebrating his birthday in the cozy way we've settled into remembering it.

And I know he'd approve. And that's all that matters.