Feb 25, 2011


I don't want to forget.

Today is the second anniversary of my grandmother's death, and I have one thought-I don't want to forget her.

Last year I wanted to write something in honour of her, but I was still grieving and couldn't even talk about it without crying, let alone put my thoughts out there for anyone to read. I made it to her grave on the anniversary of her death and that was about all I could do, because it still felt so fresh. She died of breast cancer, and it was quick...she left us 2 months after her diagnosis (a late diagnosis I am sure), but those two months were so horrible that all I wanted after that was to forget everything.

My grandmother (or Nana as we affectionately called her) lived with my family for 13 years, so she was my second Mom. When I was younger (before she lived with us) I used to go to her house for sleepovers, and we would walk down Bank Street to Miss Tiggy Winkles, where she would buy me a new box of 60 Crayola crayons and a coloring book of my choice (usually Barbie or Disney Princesses). She always had Werther's Original candies in her purse, loved ice cream and referred to the basement as the cellar. She also loved to tell stories about her life, and I can remember almost all of them, because she told them often. She was loved by everyone, even my friends would stick around to chat with her, and she would light up at having a new audience.
She never interfered with my parents when they had to discipline us....except the odd time when she would be trying to stifle a laugh and eventually say "I'm just glad it's not me anymore!" Growing up I would come home from school and go to her room first to watch tv, she loved the company and I loved having someone to talk to during commercials. Sometimes Nana would come downstairs looking for someone to watch tv with her, but try to make it subtle by saying "Oh. I'm just going to make myself some tea if you want to check what's on tv". She also had a very special bond with our family dog Muffy. Muffy was actually my dog, but during the day when I went to school, she would go up to Nana's room and hang out with her all day. As a result Muffy developed a few bad habits, such as barking at the bathtub until you turned the tap on so she could drink out of it, only eating her food if it was taken out of her bowl and placed on the floor and thinking the left side of any chair was hers. But we let these thing's go on, because she was great company for Nana, and if Nana wanted to do those thing's for the dog that was fine. It got to the point that wherever Nana went, Muffy did too. Even on her death bed there was Muffy, looking sad, but still keeping Nana company.

I can still remember the last conversation I had with my Nana (before a series of strokes took away her ability to recognize me, let alone hold a conversation). Nana loved Ben, he came over a lot and would have long chats with her and she just thought he was just wonderful. One day we were sitting on the couch and I think I was showing her some pictures, and suddenly she turned to me and said "Are you and Ben still doing ok?" I told her of course, and she said "Good, I want to make sure you're taken care of ". That comment came out of nowhere for me, but it didn't surprise me, there she was, aware of her diagnosis, knowing she was going to die, and her concern was for her family, that we would be ok. I know she thought of Ben as family at that point, for her to say something like that, and I am so grateful for those words.

Even though I will always love and miss her, it's not as painful to remember her anymore. There is so much more that I could share about her here, in fact I don't think I've quite done her justice, but I'm glad that I can think of her today and smile. You were an amazing grandmother Nana, I will never forget you.

Feb 24, 2011

Trying to Find the Words

Oh this is not a good week. I usually try to come on here and write about positive things, but today I'm saying to hell with that, at least for now.

I've caught this cold that's going around from the little ones I care for, so most days I'm exhausted and losing my voice and all I want is a blanket, chicken noodle soup, a hot bath and hot chocolate (not necessarily in that order). Money has also been really tight lately, which is a constant source of stress and normally when I'm stressed I either eat (I should specify that it's usually junk food) or I shop...which I can't do, so instead I'm just eating and wishing I could shop.
This whole winter thing is also driving me crazy right now. Yes, I live in Canada and I should be used to it, but when you care for little ones and can't get outside very much due to unpredictable sucks!! I'm longing for spring and summer so much right now, I seriously can't wait.

But those complaints are small, compared to what's really bothering me. I have a good friend that's going through a really hard time, and I can't be there for her. I'm frustrated because I don't know what to say, instead I wish I could just drop everything and show up at her door with a hug, some candy and a good movie. Why is it that when something awful happens (a time when people need words of comfort the most) we struggle to find the right words? Or we worry that we aren't doing enough, or maybe that were doing too much and should just back off. And yet, it's not about us, it's about the person that's hurting and as I'm writing this, I hope she knows that I would be there as fast as I could if she needed me.

There are times when everything aligns just right and life is going smoothly, and then there are times like these, when I don't understand life at all.

Feb 8, 2011

What I LOVE This Week

I promised myself that I would pay attention to my blog this year and, you know, actually start blogging! This year, more than ever, I need inspiration. My only resolution was to become more creative this year, whether it's painting, taking pictures, cooking...whatever, and this blog is going to be another creative outlet for me. Since I've found myself coming down with a serious case of the winter blues this past month, today I'm going to focus on the good things. So here goes!


1. Being curled up on the couch with a mug of hot chocolate watching "Julie and Julia" for the 1000000000th time! (Loving even more that it was my boyfriend's suggestion, and that he's watched it with me at least 6 times)

2. Starbucks Peppermint Mocha's in February- Only found out this year that you can order a peppermint mocha year round, not just at Christmas time. They always have peppermint syrup, they always have mocha they will continue to make me happy until the summer time (when Java chip frappucino's take their place).

3. My new bangs- Went back to full bangs this year (straight across my forehead), already received numerous compliments!

4. Awesome dollar store finds- Went in looking for a few Valentines decorations, left with some great scrap booking supplies, prints for the bedroom and more! As for the aforementioned Valentines decorations, LOVE!

5. That Valentines Day, my birthday and our anniversary are coming up in the next month...lot's to look forward to!

6. My home life- I often come home from work exhausted, but I've got someone wonderful waiting for me in a warm apartment that we decorated together...seriously why do I ever complain?

7. The gold letters that spell "Joy" sitting on top of our entertainment unit- They actually go with the Christmas decorations, but I left them up there as a reminder, and it does work!

8. Being a nanny- Ok, there are negative aspects to every job, but I get smiles and hugs everyday from little ones, enough said.

9. Discovering new music- To be honest, I don't do much of the discovering, but I benefit from Ben's discoveries, and that works for me! ("Face of the Earth" by Joel Plaskett is a new favorite)

10. Jewelry- It's more of an obsession, I've got such a long wish list. Right now anything by Lisa Leonard would make me so happy!

When I set out to make this list, I got to about #5 fairly easily, then had to stop and think for the rest. But I think that's a good exercise to practice once in awhile, intentionally searching out the good thing's in your life. Now I'm off to bed, feeling content.