Thursday, July 5, 2012

Reality Bites

One year ago today Callum and I spent our last night together in our own place.  So hard now to believe that it would be our last night together in the condo, even though we spent 1/2 the night in Emerg.

The past couple of weeks have been getting tougher.  I know from my work experience that "anniversaries" bring increased stress - and in these cases - sadness.  I am not sure what I am in for in the next few days.

My heart hurts now.  These days are becoming vivid reminders of how much her suffered, how brave he was to fight through the pain, and how much I miss him.  The other morning I woke up and looked across the bed, for a blinking second, I expected to see his smile.  He usually was awake before me.

This is just not fair.  I have made it through up until now without him - but it is not easy.  I still don't know how I am going to live the rest of my life without him.

It just hurts.

I hate cancer.  I hate cancer. I hate cancer.

I miss Callum.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

When God created fathers

When the good Lord was creating Fathers he started with a tall frame. And a female angel nearby said, "What kind of Father is that? If you're going to make children so close to the ground, why have you put fathers up so high? He won't be able to shoot marbles without kneeling, tuck a child in bed without bending, or even kiss a child without a lot of stooping."
And God smiled and said, "Yes, but if I make him child size, who would children have to look up to?"
And when God made a Father's hands, they were large and sinewy.  And the angel shook her head sadly and said, "Do you know what you're doing?   Large hands are clumsy. They can't manage diaper pins, small buttons,     rubber bands on pony tails or even remove splinters caused by baseball     bats."
And God smiled and said, "I know, but they're large enough to hold     everything a small boy empties from his pockets at the end of a day...yet small enough to cup a child's face in his hands."
And then God moulded long, slim legs and broad shoulders.  And the angel nearly had a heart attack. "Boy, this is the end of the week, all right," she clucked. "Do you realize you just made a Father without a lap? How is he going to pull a child close to him without the kid falling between his legs?"
And God smiled and said, "A mother needs a lap. A father needs strong     shoulders to pull a sled, balance a boy on a bicycle, and hold a sleepy head on the way home from the circus."
God was in the middle of creating two of the largest feet anyone had every seen when the angel could contain herself no longer.  "That's not fair. Do you honestly think those large boats are going to dig out of bed early in the morning when the baby cries?  Or walk through a small birthday party without crushing at least three of the guests?"
And God smiled and said, "They'll work. You'll see. They'll support a small child who wants to ride a horse to Banbury Cross, or scare off mice at the summer cabin, or display shoes that will be a challenge to fill."
God worked throughout the night, giving the Father few words, but a firm authoritative voice; eyes that saw everything, but remained calm and tolerant.  Finally, almost as an afterthought, he added tears. Then he turned to the angel and said, "Now, are you satisfied that he can love as much as a Mother?"
The angel shutteth up.
 "Children's children are the crown of old men, and the glory of children is their father." (Proverbs 17:7).

Erma Bombeck

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

9 months LWC

Well, I planned to start this blog with some updates - things Callum and the rest of you would like to know.  I have had many sad moments over the last 9 months, but this sadness was compounded tonight when I checked my blog main page, and found out another person I had been following passed away in late March, and another has just found out her cancer is back - in abdomen and lungs. Stage 4. No cure.  I hate this f'n disease!  I was following the blogs of 5 people, and 4 have passed away!  I feel so sad for those families - only 2 of those 4 were over 50 years of age.  Maybe they will all meet in the next world and help us find a cure for this damn disease!  I think this is a good time to listen to the Lance Armstrong Foundation Manifesto - something many of us relate to.

Lance Armstrong Foundation Manifesto

It has been 9 months since Callum passed away.  I am better at learning to live without him, but it still is hard many days. Every time I make a big decision on my own I wonder what he would think. I really hope he would be proud of me, even if he scratches his head at me!

It was a big day for me.  I have sold my house and found out today that all the conditions have come off so it is a done deal!  Now I will be busy packing as the new owners take possession on April 28.  I found an older, but nice an clean, duplex to live in while my new house is being built. I know many of you are looking at your computers and going "What???!!!??".   Please be assured, I know what I am doing. I have been waiting since 2007 to build a house.  I just didn't have the energy in the fall. With the help of a great friend I bought the house at a great price and made a few dollars for myself when I sold it. Not bad for 7 months!

I am finished the core classes for starting my business - now the real hard work starts!

Today was a low key but fun day. I relaxed a bit and then tidied the house before the home inspection this afternoon.  I had an appointment with my trainer (upped the weights today....ouch!)  and then went to the park with Vanessa, Cade and Rowan.  We had a lot of fun!  ( I had to show drooley Rowan!)

I know Cade would have had so much fun with his Grandad - I can't help but feel ripped off.  These two gorgeous boys deserve to have him here. As do all of us. But it is not to be.  We all miss him so much. LIfe goes on, but it will never be as it once was.

April is cancer month.....please, please, please do everything you can to prevent this dreadful and deadly disease.  Stop smoking. Exercise. Eat better. Lower your stress. See your doctor regularly. Know your body.  About 60% of cancers can be prevented through good lifestyle choices.  Changes don't have to happen overnight, but PLEASE choose something to change!

Do whatever you can so that you might not  have to go through the chaos of this disease, so you are here for your children and grandchildren.

OK - I'm getting off my soapbox.

You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.”  Jim Rohn


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Dear Callum,

It has been 8 months since you left this world.  For some reason this week has seemed like it was not that long ago. You have been on my mind nearly constantly for the past few days. I have been quite busy - I am surprised there has been time for my mind to think of you so much. 

Have I been too busy to let you know what has been happening?  I am now half way through the self employment program. I do believe I am onto an emerging market with the slideshows. I think it will be fun and I will love to see others experience that emotional connection to their memories.  

Jamie is doing well. There is still  a lot of up and down for him at work, but he has such a mature and positive attitude he will be successful regardless of what happens there. You were such a great role model for him, and I know he misses being able to talk to you about the good times and challenges at work. He respects all your accomplishments and guidance, and would love a chance to have that again.  You taught him to embrace life, and so he is visiting V and R in Mexico for the 2nd time this winter.  He also has a golf trip planned for later this month. Golf and travel....that's our son!

I have been helping Vanessa and Stuart a bit. Rowan is not a sleeper and it has been quite challenging for Vanessa and Stuart to get much sleep.  There is starting to be a few better days but it is wearing on them after 3 months of it. Did you know they have bought a lot and are building a new house? You would be so proud of them.  They have worked really hard to come up with a plan that meets all their needs.  I am so excited for them - and I know you are too.  Having your guidance would have made them very happy, so please watch carefully over them so they will have a house they love and enjoy. 

And your grandsons. What can I say? Cade is now quite the little boy and not at all a baby. He speaks so well and is a lot of fun to be around. He still remembers you. We show him your pictures often. It was kind of funny one day, because we showed him a picture of you with hair, and he thought it was you and then changed his mind. It was then we realized he never knew you with hair. Such a sad realization of the short time he had with you, his very special grandad. 

Rowan, well, Rowan is so cute. And it's a good thing because he can try the patience of the best of us! He is getting better and last night he figured out he could kick the the bath.  You would have laughed - he kicked water all over the table and the floor!  I know your first thought would be how well those legs will kick a soccer ball! 

These boys are absolutely surrounded by love. But there is no doubt there lives will not be the same without you. We will do our best to make sure they know their Grandad through pictures, stories and videos. 

I still keep in touch with your family.  Your mom and dad are doing well.  I think they have had time to recover from the trip to Scotland after Nana Campbell's passing.  Your brothers and families are doing fine. 

And me? Well, I hope you are proud of what I have done these past few months. I am trying to learn how to live without you. It is very hard sometimes. With all the things I am learning at the self employment program I still expect that I can talk with you about it when I get home.  I miss your unconditional support and encouragement - and even your sometimes brutal honesty.  Have you heard me when I asked for you to let me know it's going to be OK? To be near and walk beside me during these new journeys? 

So many memories - happy and sad.  I now have full insurance on the Porsche and will soon be driving it again. But my mind remembers all too well your last ride in it on the day you went into the hospital. You should be driving around Medicine Hat in it. I look at it and realize how much I have lost now that you aren't here. I wish I could trade away the Porsche for you to come back. 

Yes, sweetheart. You are missed every single day.  I have had a couple of good weeks but the grief has come back in a hurry this week. I miss you so very, very much.  My heart aches.  My mind remembers. My brain helps me carry on.  

And so, today I let you know how much I miss you and wish the clock of time could be rewound so I could once again feel the warmth of your hug and tenderness of your kiss. So I could again hold your hand, look into your eyes and know, just know, everything will be alright. 

"There are things that we don't want to happen but have to accept, things we don't want to know but have to learn, and people we can't live without but have to let go."  ~Author Unknown


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Whitney Houston

I am so sad to hear of the untimely death of Whitney Houston.  Her hits from the '80s bring me wonderful memories.

This has been one of my favourite songs for a long time.  I love the message in the song.  Whitney's life, and death, are reminders that great talent, fame and wealth do not protect us from taking the wrong path sometimes.

Whitney Houston - The Greatest Love of All

RIP Whitney.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

OOPS...hopefully this is a better quality video.

It came to my attention that the previous video I posted was not really great quality. I hope this one is better. it isn't, please let me know.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

6 months LWC - almost

Tis the eve of the 6 month anniversary of Callum's passing.  Where does the time go? I still hear him and feel him near me. Where do the thoughts come from? I was sitting there, in band rehearsal, and was nearly overcome with grief. Who knew a Mommas and Poppas medley could do that?! Those pictures entered my mind. Callum, laying in the hospital bed, very sedated. There I am, pulling out and unfolding the cot. Laying out the dark hospital blankets. I find my comfy pillow. I look at him and feel sad. Never knowing this would be the last night we would spend together. As I lay down, I gently reach for his hand. I can tell he is slipping away. I don't get the tight squeeze back that I have had each of the last 4 nights. I listen to his breathing, afraid he will stop breathing through the night and I won't have the chance to say good bye. Oh how I wanted him to be pain free and in peace. Oh how I wanted him to never leave me. I could not have both. It was inevitable. We were prepared. Or were we? I tried to sleep lightly enough to listen for any change in breathing so I wouldn't miss a thing.

Did I tell him how much I loved him? Did I hold him often enough?

The last night.....will last forever in my heart.

There are many family and friends who share my grief. Grief is a journey unique to each of us. I have learned that there is no right or wrong way to grieve. BUT, we MUST grieve.  I found a poem that I would like to share with you. I believe we have all been on both sides of the story, and I hope it brings some understanding, and not offence.  Our grief journeys are individual and each of us is in a different place in that journey. At the very least, I hope this poem will help you understand where I am right now.


There’s an elephant in the room.
It is large and squatting,
so it is hard to get around it.

Yet we squeeze by with,
“How are you?” and, “I’m fine,”
and a thousand other forms of trivial chatter.

We talk about the weather;
we talk about work;
we talk about everything else—
except the elephant in the room.

There’s an elephant in the room.
We all know it is there.
We are thinking about the elephant
as we talk together.

It is constantly on our minds.
For, you see, it is a very big elephant.
It has hurt us all, but we do not talk about 
the elephant in the room.

Oh, please, say her (his) name.
Oh, please, say “Barbara” ("Callum")again.
Oh, please, let’s talk about
the elephant in the room.

For if we talk about her (his) death,
perhaps we can talk about her (his) life.
Can I say, “Barbara” ("Callum")to you
and not have you look away?

For if I cannot, 
then you are leaving me alone
in a room—with an elephant.

--- Terry Kettering

"Do not protect yourself from grief by a fence, but rather by your friends".-- 
       Czech Proverb