Monthly Archives

July 2019

Love Goes On

I apologize, dear readers, that I didn’t post last week. We went up to Canada for our holiday and I was unaware that there was no internet. Not a bit! Can you imagine? lol This turned out to be a gift, but that is a post for another day.

Today I have spent eight hours driving from one country to the next and so you will have to forgive me for not doing a *proper* post. Instead, I offer you this picture of an angel, a spirit, a loved one, nestled in close to someone who I believe is broken-hearted. I discovered this illustrator and now author, Charlie Mackesy, on Twitter and his images speak to me. This one takes me to those moments when I am missing Luke and feeling Luke in each breath. This drawing is how I imagine him as close to me – connected to me – in my sadness as he can be. I don’t know what Mr. Mackesy calls this image, but I call it “Comfort from Heaven”. For those of you missing someone you love, I hope it brings you a little peace.

I also offer you this quote on Unconditional Love. This week I sat with my own sadness and tears as I looked out over the lake wishing Luke was there to make memories with us; my heart broke for a new client whose loss is fresh as he is misses his daughter with every fibre of his being; and I was reminded of the delicate dance of grace and grief as I visited with a momma from Canada whose wounded heart has lived too many days without one of her boys. We go on because we have to. The love goes on because… it’s love. Xxx

I need you to know

Paging Dr. Bob

This week I find myself back in Canada. My momma had a second hip replacement surgery scheduled, (Yep, go number two!), and I offered to come up and help out. Truth of it is, I am really here more for moral support for my sister, Janet, who is a caregiver extraordinaire. My skills as Nurse Nancy are limited, but I can cheerlead the heck out of anyone, lol.

Watching Janet interact with my mom post surgery would impress anyone. Janet’s work history includes a long stint in nursing homes, but those of us who know her recognize that she secretly harbors a love of healing and would have made a most excellent doctor. She thrives following recovery protocol and keeping wounds clean and tracking required medication times. Any or all of these characteristics would make her the best Faux Nurse Ever, but it is her caring that is her most amazing resource. Scalpel? Check. Heart? Double Check!

Janet is equal parts tender and tyrannical, lol, and never stops thinking about what my momma is doing or anticipating her next need. She drives the hour to the hospital at an insane time of the morning so when Judy opens her eyes, the first thing she sees is a friendly face. She applies my mom’s lipstick and makes sure her hair is just right because it matters to her. Janet sleeps close by at night so whether it be a bathroom break or pain pills, she can take care of business. I love to Watch the look on my momma’s face as Janet pulls the covers up under her chin and pats the blanket just so before she rests. It just might be the most beautiful act of love you will ever witness.

So here’s what I need you to know: We all need a Janet. Especially after we lose part of our heart. Someone we can lean on in our most vulnerable state. Someone who is there for us even when we don’t recognize that we could use the help. I have had the most amazing souls take care of me since Luke passed away. My girl Lori, since Day One, has sent me texts full of hope, cards of encouragement, tokens of love and loss. She will look into my eyes or see the heartache on my face and send something my way. Each one has been unexpected and appreciated beyond belief. I love you, Lori! Most importantly I know Lori loves me. And that is what caregiving is all about. Sharing and showing love in every word and action. So, today, let’s give a shoutout to all the Caregivers of our World – to those willing to carry other’s woes on their shoulders; able to fix the boo-boos both emotional and physical; all the ones holding the pieces of our hearts together until we are strong enough to carry them for ourselves.

Dedicated to the best caregiver ever – I love you, Peanut. Xxx

I need you to know, Things that help

Fourth Of July

My dad will message me or call me every once in a while and tell me it is time for something a little lighter on the blog, lol. He is my biggest fan and an excellent gauge of how the readers are responding and he knows that every once in a while you have to inject a little humor to keep the audience from sighing and signing off. I would like to tell him, and you, it is Fourth of July in Rutland and I am in a good place and I am going to write a positive sounding blog, but Cheryl Watson knows that’s a gosh darn lie. I ran into Cheryl at the Big Y on Wednesday and we had a deep conversation and ALMOST a big cry discussing my boy and the upcoming holiday, but everybody knows there is no crying in the Big Y. 🙂

Fourth of July in Rutland is magical. I have always described our town as a Norman Rockwell throwback and at no other time is this more apparent than Fourth of July festivities. There is a formal committee that does an incredible job of planning, fundraising, and orchestrating four fun-packed days for the families. We have a theme and a Grand Marshal for the parade and everything! Our fireworks are beyond spectacular. Fourth of July in Rutland is the stuff that makes up the chorus in a great summer country song. It’s the kind of memories that when you get together with friends you look back and say, “Remember the year we were ten and our parents let us hang out on our own and so we all laid together on a blanket down on Memorial Field and it was so hot and the mosquitos were so bad, but we didn’t care ’cause you could see every star in the sky and there wasn’t a sound except the boom and sizzle of the fireworks exploding right over our heads and the whole crowd was just totally into it. Remember that?” And every event of every day of every Fourth of July in the 01543 is just like that. Memory packed.

Over the years we have done it all. John and I have the best time talking about watching the boys and their cousins do the Junior Olympics. They’d be winning ribbons all over the place and we love to think about one year when Logan was about six and just running his heart out in the 50 yard dash with one eye on his competition the whole time. The look on his face was priceless! Go Logie! We did the volleyball tournament one year and I only agreed to play because I didn’t think it would be a long day. Turns out we may have had a ringer on our team (our nephew was the Men’s Volleyball Player of the Year) and before you know it, it is five o’clock and we are in the final six before we lose! Luke kept getting mad at me because I knew everyone we were playing and kept congratulating them on their points. Ha! The scowl on his face! The parade was also the best. All those years of finding the right spot to maximize on the amount of candy you could collect. And the town floats! So much creativity and effort and cow udders! But you have to be from Rutland to understand that one. 🙂 And such great parties! From Ross Yanco’s fireworks playlist to the party that shall not be named at the Fiorelli’s, lol, we have spent many an afternoon and evening with good food and even greater friends.

Canucks play more than just hockey lol We do Volleyball!

But it’s the night of the fireworks that get me. The summer before Luke died he had his license and was able to drive himself and his brother into the fray that is the Fireworks Festivities. John and I opted to stay home, but we were so nervous about where Luke would park, how he would manage in all the traffic on the way out, and whether or not he would keep an eye on Logan, but it was a rite of passage. I continue to think about this these past five years as I sit on my front lawn and wait for my glimpses of red, white, and blue. I can’t get myself back uptown quite yet. It is just too painful. Instead I sit in silence and as the colors burst and fade I remember all those years spent celebrating in Old Navy t-shirts and bucket hats. I think about all the Fourth of July days never to come for my boy. Then the grand finale hits and it is like the explosions are never going to stop until finally the sky is ablaze with smoke and shots of light. And this is My favorite moment – when the audience realizes that the show is over and the most amazing roar fills the air- full of joy and appreciation and love of country and just life in that moment and it takes my breath away. This coming together of community in this unbelievably spectacular way. And I cry. Because I am not sure I am ever going to feel that free and happy again.

Sending extra love to all of you missing someone during this holiday. My heart is with you. Xxx

Milestones