Sunday, February 25, 2007

Oscarina She a won...

Kiss yer mudder kissw yeer fadder...
now lay a fat one on meya!!!!
Doin such a happy dance!!!!



Best Animated Short....

The Danish Pooooooooeeetttt!!!!!

Can you hear my gleee????
And tears of happiness????????

If not please read my old entry ...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Up the street from us live two kids, Sophia and Max.They have known Scooter since she was about three years of age. They live with a mother who is a buyer for a high fashion store and a copywriter for a father. Their dad is the primary caregiver as their Mom has to go into the office and their father has the luxury of working through the house. He is in charge of the endless array of pandamonium that exists, on a daily basis, in his humble home.

Sophia's name does not fit the image of 'a Sophia'. When I think of the name, Sophia, I think of sun dancing on the lake, soft gentle winds rippling the water, a seagull in the distance, I think of meadows filled with butterflies maybe throw a few bunnies hopping along for good measure. This is how I perceive the name Sophia as it dances off the tongue like sweet butter and equally blends with the scenery I have painted .

The Sophia I know does not fit the image of the name I just painted. The Sophia I know is: a tornado. The Sophia, I know, is a hailstorm with a few fallen trees and maybe a car pinned underneath with screaming children for good measure. She is a force. A force to be reckonned with.

Sophia is a rough a tumble type of girl. She excels in most sports, but her favourites are karate, soccer, skateboarding and hockey. Her favourite past times are throwing farts, watching the scariest movies around and retelling the most gruesome parts ver batum to anyone brave enough to listen.

Her mother hoping to have some semblance of a daughter has forced her to have to have long hair but as a concession Sophia may wear it the way she sees fit. And braided and to the sides make it easier for her to place a hockey mask on.She has never worn her hair loose as what would be the point to draw attention to the bain of her existence. She proudly boasts on the fact that she does not own one dress. She will only wear boys clothing. And she will normally tell you this, through 'belch speak' to drive the point home.

Sophia is not 'trapped by the fixings of being a girl'. She swaggers in a room and firmly chest butts her friends. She is loud and gregarious. She can belch like the best of them and at dear age of nine has all the confidence in the world. She always has a group of boys waiting in attendence for an impromptu game of shinney before the bell rings for school and She is always up to telling or listening to a joke about poo or is willing to hear any conversation about other 'nasty' bodily functions.

Her brother Max is the opposite. He being two years younger is unsure of himself. He always has his eyes cast towards the pavement and he is always a few paces behind his sister and father on the walk to school. He never runs and always walks like he is about to discover gold under his father's shoes never casting his head up.

Max has a learning disability which has hindered his ability to communicate and as a result is a pretty solitary boy. He is quiet and extremely shy. His voice is rarely heard in the daily routine of their day. He is blonde and gentle. His hair is long but with the massive amounts of curls he has it gives the impression of a big wig. There is something purely angelic about him. He is like a beautiful, sweet, Cherub.

His sister Sophia has given him all the Barbies that were foolishly bestowed upon her by relatives. (Friends would never have made that mistake as they would fear the pummelling they would get for mistaking Sophia for a girl.) Max loves his Barbies, he loves the gowns, he loves the sequins and he loves their accesories. He can play for hours with his dolls and loves the world of fantasy where everything comes out fine in the end.

My daughter knows the two well. Scooter used to be a classmate of Sophia's and as a result had been over for many a playdate in the past blending between the two personalities. She would be 'Wendy' to Sophia's rough and tumble Peter Pan and then would go and coax Max out of his shell for some quality Barbie time. Scooter was the only friend of Sophia's who paid any kind of attention to Max. And Max coveted the time they had spent together.

Seems like a pretty distant time as the years have fallen away. My daughter no longer attends the same school as Max and Sophia and playdates together are a thing of the distant past. But we do still see them at the local ice cream shop from time to time or on en route to various events.

Valentine's Day was approaching and Max's mother, Jean, thought that she should be the parent to take her son out and purchase some Valentines for him to give out to his classmates. She knows how sensitive her boy is and wanted to take him away from the abrasive Sophia so that he may take his time and pick out the cards to his liking.

When at the store Max protested.

'I do not want to give out Valentine's Day Cards!' he said.

And Jean thought it was due to his shy nature. She tried to talk with her son about it. She tried to tell him how sometimes it is just important to let people know that you 'like' them. 'Just a token Max that's all it is.'

And he said he didn't want to do them. There was no one he would wanted to give a Valentine to.

And his mother said that it was fine, but she still had to buy some for Sophia as she wanted to give out her cards to all of her friends. And Jean added that she wanted to get something special for her husband Bob. Because, Valentine's is also about love... And I loooooove your dad Max! and I looooove you too, even if you do not want to give out Valentines.' And with that she kissed he son on the top of the head and headed off to complete her tasks in the card shop.

And as she was looking around Sophia's cards, she found her son walking around the store with the biggest box of chocolates in the shape of a heart. His mother filled with pride as she thought the chocolates were for her. She felt a success in her heart as felt she did jostle out the notion of what Valentine's was about.

'He didn't want to give them out to his friends, he wanted to give it to his ole mom,' she thought and with the notion so firmly planted in her heart, it caused a tear of pride to swell in her heart which lead to a tear to form in her eyes.

'Ah, Max. That's a pretty big box of chocolates. '

And Max agreed. He added, 'They are for someone pretty special. Just like you getting one for Dad!'

And with a bit of presumption she said 'Honey, I do not need a box that big!'

And Max looked at the woman who gave birth to him as though she were a Martian. 'You???They are not for you!' came his indignant retort.

'Ohh? ' trying to hide the dissappointment in her voice.'Are they for your teacher Miss. Douglas. She is a really good teacher'

Well, Miss Douglas is a good teacher but they are not for her.


Well? What?

Honey, who are these chocolates for?

They are for Scooter.

Scooter? Down the street Scooter? Down the street Scooter who you have not played with in about a year and a half, Scooter?

Yes Scooter.

Right then.

And so he went to the counter and purchased his big box of chocolates for my daughter.

He went home and painstakenly made a heart and a wee note that just said
'Love, Max'.

And then he instructed his mother that he had to give it to Scooter immediately.

And with that, Mother and Son came to our door.

The door bell rings. I hear a thudd, and a scampering, as I go to answer the door.

And there on our outside table is a big box of chocolates with a giant red ribbon and Jean standing in front of me sheepishly smiling.

I look at Jean and she laughs.

'Ahh, Max wanted to drop this off for Scooter'

'How Sweet! Where's Max?

Ahh, he is under your porch?

Under my porch? and I go out in slippers, in the snow and look for him.

Max?And I can see the halo of his hair... He is looking down and refuses to show his face.


'Yes.' comes a meak voice. through his jacket.

Max? Did you bring this for Scooter?


Do you want to see Scooter?

Oooh, Okay...

Just a minute, then

And with that I call up to my daughter who is in the middle of a playdate. She comes bounding down with her friend in tow.

Yes, Momma?

Ahh Honey, Max is here and he kinda brought you something...


It's on the front porch...

And with that she flies out in her stocking feet.

'Ohhh! Wow...' She says and she looks at Jean. 'Ahhh?Where's Max? '

Oh he is under the porch.

Under the porch?

And with that my wee gal calls for Max.

Jean points to where he is.

My daughter bolts down the stairs before I can tell her to take heed with her in her socks.

My daughter kneels down. Max?Max you are so funny! Come out! Thank you for the chocolates? Do you want one? She looks up and sees her girlfiend shyly standing on our porch in her bare feet... Max? This is my friend Jamie. Jamie this is my good friend Max... Ohh, you don't want to come out? Ohhh that's okay. Thanks for coming over Max!

And with that Scooter rustled his hair and rushed up the stairs and into the house with her playdate ...

Jean laughed. She had to recount what lead her to my porch just as I have recounted it to you dear Blogger.

Max did comeout from under my porch and he looked like the King of the World. His head held high and a certain glow to the cheeks which I had not seen before... And Jean even commented on the same...As he took her hand and made her skip back home.

He conquered purchasing the chocolates, he conquered making an extra special Valentine, he conquered our stairs, he conquered having a voice that stood alone and he conquered his first of many hearts.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Love is always bestowed as a gift…

Love is always bestowed as a gift…freely, willingly, and without expectation...We don't love to be loved; we love to love." – Leo Buscaglia

When Ingrid started to speak. I wanted 'it' all to go away. I wanted 'it' to be washed away, for this diagnosis, this prognosis to be a horrible, horrible mistake. I could not hear Stage Four cancer. I could not hear 'it' is in her bones and 'it' is tingling up her spine. And yet, I heard all of it. I can not imagine that we are entering our final act.

I could hear how scared she is. I could hear how she can not leave her children. I could hear how young her kids were and how she would not be remembered. I could hear how she was afraid of vanishing from their lives and from their memory.

But I could not cry in front of her. I could not repeat Stage Four Cancer. I could not repeat the facts of the cancer, I could not utter that it was in her spine. Because then it would filter through to my heart.

'Right then...' was all I could say... 'And I am here... Ohhh, Honey I am here... There, there... I am here...Chemo, I am there... I will hold your hand, I will wipe the tears...'

If I repeated 'Stage Four' it would be true. And my heart, my heart...

And then she jolted me with 'I do not know what I was expecting Pend. Why did I ask him? Why did I need to know so soon? I foolishly thought okay... Radiation; chemo; bring it on and I would kill it. The treatment would kill it and I could move on... He told me initially that the cancer, the cancer probably caused the herniated disk... And that is why my back hurt so much. And well, ha! it wasn't a herniated disk, it was the cancer. It has spread. And you know my mother keeps on saying we can fight this... But Pend it is in my spine... And I look at my kids...'

'Ingrid, you know you do not even look sick.' I try to add.

She laughs.

'I have lost all my hair. Pendullum.'

'Ingrid, you have not. '

And with that she takes off her wig made of human hair dyed to match her own unique colouring. She takes off her wig and I sit beside her and run my fingers through her remaining hair. Hair that used to be a mane. Hair that was so full ;as kids we would make fun of it as being just a blob no matter what she did with it.

'Oh My dear sweet Ingrid. You look like a punk. A bonafide punk mohawk is what you have... A rockin mom! My, sweet, sweet, Ingrid.. The queen of Prep, looks like a punk...Who would have thunk?'

And with that she laughed... and I wiped her tears.

and she kept her wig on her lap.

"We try and keep it light around the house. We do not talk about it. Jim cooks and I play with the kids. He's a really good cook!'

We talk about her family and mine. We talk about how my Scooter looks exactly like me as a child. And we laugh about our cherished, glorious, ever so distant past.

And she left me and we are to have lunch this week. We are to spend precious afternoons together and we are to try and get as much time in before... Before...

My heart is broken.

My heart feels as though I can not make it through.

But I must.

I know. I know what lies ahead. I have gone down this road too many times before.

I can not cry in front of her. I can not make the cancer go away. I can not make the pain go away. I can only be with her. I can only be with her when it hurts and when it is not so bad. I can hold her hand and I will be there. For that is what I need and want to do.

But it hurts.

It hurts so bad that you cry in the shower when no one is around. You cry and you cry a valley of tears. You do not think you have anymore tears and then they start all over again. Your chest aches and your heart is being tugged and it feels as though it will burst out of your chest. And sometimes it catches you when you least expect it, like putting away the groceries or a song that brings you back to a time that was. And you are back to sobs that have to be muffled in case your famly hears as they will try and make the pain go away...
Ans they will be helpless as the pain must stay with you. It will be there slowly, dulling and you will be able to breath again.

I will be able to breath again without the sobs. I have learned this. I have learned that it hurts, the heart aches and then you can exhale without as much pain as the last time. I will be able to draw air in without it causing me to wince. I know this.

And sometimes we look for answers. Look for just a sign on how to get by and it happens...

And today after meeting my daughter for lunch in -30 Celcius weather I began to walk home with my head focused on the white salt stained pavement below my feet. The streets are abandoned, as who would brave such weather? I began to walk alone and in the chill of winter voices tend to carry. And I could hear the voice of a man and a woman talking. I looked up.

The elderly man was walking ahead of his wife. He was walking with a cane a few feet ahead of his wife and he was aggitated. You could see it in the way he held his head and in the stance of his walk. He looked strong and determined and his wife looked frightened.

I could hear him say'So, if I fall I fall. Such is life. I pick myself up, wipe off the snow and carry on. '

I can not hear his wife as she has her mouth muffled by a scarf. But I can see the worry in her eyes. and as they pass me I can hear...

'Wha? So I get hurt! You can not stop me from falling! If I fall; I fall. Please let me walk. And if I hurt myself, I hurt myself. I will still want to walk. You can not stop these things, they happen, and I not going to live my life in fear of what could happen if I fall. I need to live, Love. I need to do this. '

And so it is.

I will carry on. I will walk and I will stumble along the way. And indeed I will hurt myself. But it is so very nice to have all of you there to help wipe away the tears.

Thank you so very much for all your beautiful, beautiful comments. I have cried through each and every one of them. And I know I will revisit them a great deal through all of this....

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

And to all of you on Valentine's Day... My heart has been helped along the way by each and every one of your comments... You have helped pick me up along the way...
I will look up to the stars... the heavens and the blue blue window beyond the stars...
And where I can not change the course... I am so glad that you all have come along .. Love you all!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

How Do You Mend A Broken Heart?

I remember Grade Eight and having to go to Guidance Class. Our teacher/instructor tried very hard to reach us. He tried very hard to express that we should understand the concept of what satisfaction was, and what life could be. He tried to tell us to embrace happiness when it came because it is a gift and a blessing not to be overlooked and taken for granted. He was faced by our jaded group; our group of hormone-infested tweens; tweens who were practicing our best scowls, while slouching in our chairs, looking through our Farrah Fawcett/Peter Frampton hair. We already knew it all.

He would try and reach us by asking through questions as a forum. He would ask 'what is satisfaction?'. And he would receive the giddy response in return. He would roll his eyes and try to bring us out of our infinite knowledge by suggesting that satsifaction could be attained by reaching the bathroom when you really needed to go. He suggested that satisfaction could come in the form of a really great candy bar if you were really hungry or a great cold glass of water on a very hot day. He tried to suggest that satisfaction could be found in a sunrise after a very rough storm. Or in a good belly laugh after a really good cry. He tried to stress that satisfaction could be attained with small things as well as the big things in life. And if we embraced certain sensations, certain moments they could encapsolate a wonderful moment or at least a better time when things were rough. A moment of satisfaction or happiness should never be overlooked.

He continued on with our class, once a week, trying to guide us along the slippery road into teendom. He tried to help us pick our schools of choice and tried to help us realize that we could all reach our true potential. 'We could be anything. Just think of the possibilities. The world was our oyster.' He would exclaim with an earnest zealousness as we filled out our forms with hopes of admission to a high school of our choice.

But it was not all rose coloured glasses when he dealt us with. He told us to look around the classroom, as a great deal of us, may not make it to our 40th birthday. He told us by the age of twenty-five at least one of us would be dead. And this was greeted by the obligatory 'As if' And 'Pahshaw" that often comes with youth. The doubt of us, not living forever, was not part of our venacular. He was written off with any crediblity after such a remark.

Ingrid and I sat beside each other in all of this. We were never really the vocal girls. If fact we were quiet and I suppose square. We never drank, we didn't smoke, we didn't 'put out'. We sang in the choir, we played musical instruments, we read. We got by and even though we were not the loud girls somehow we were popular. I suppose it was something in the way we wore our lumberjackets and sassoon jeans. Maybe the way Ingrid's braces reflected in the summer sun, or my perms were a thing of beauty to behold. We were never without. We had each other and the attentions of others.

We went through the years together. Heck, we knew each other since we were four years of age. We had countless sleepovers. We were welcomed and lived in each other's homes often preferring the other person's life. We had gone through all our classes together. We knew how each other's thoughts and had a great love of sarcasm and our past was safely embedded in the countless letters that Ingrid had kept safely stored in bankerboxes underneath her bed through out the years. Her parents lived the straight and narrow always safe, with the ever calm presence of Ingrid's father playing the piano. There was a calm pressence there.

My House by contrast was a bit unruly, with boarders and shift work. There were four kids and there were always playdates which filled th house with a certain rauccousness. My father was a cop and the possibility of his demise was always on the surface of our family's day to day life as it could be a part of his job. Life at my house could be a bit unsettling. But full of loud fun.

The reality of the unexpected did strike us after the guidance speeches as Ingrid's father died in a plane crash the following summer. We went through a pretty hard time. As her father died just after dropping her family off at their family cottage and was just returning across the lake to pick up their luggage. A heart attack on the way to pick up the luggage. A heart attack which saw him crash into the lake 25 miles from shore.

We were given our first lesson of mortality happening at a pretty young age. Her father was a young 48 year old man. A man who would always be remembered for playing the piano and engaging us in witty, intellectual, conversation. He would be remembered for building his airplane in the backyard, his love of the English language and the University in which he taught it in, and most importantly he would be remembered for his infinite love of his family. It was so hard not to have him in our lives. The sanctity of reliability was shaken from our very core.

A young broken heart. And as the years have gone on I have attended a great deal of funerals for my friends from my school. I have lost two to suicide. An old boyfriend of mine took his life. I have lost three friends to car accidents. And the irony resonates to my heart whenever I attend a funeral, that maybe our bitter, guidance teacher did have something in his lessons.

He never did teach how to find the words of comfort for the widows, the husbands or the mothers of the children left behind. He never taught how to comfort the broken hearted.

I have had a great deal of things that I have 'satisfaction' with. I have known a great deal of happiness. I have never had a problem with seizing the day, and enjoying my 'moments' of satisfaction for indeed sometimes they do sustain you and carry you through the roughest of times.

But I have known much sadness. I have lost too, too many friends, to cancer and other tragic maladies. I have lost them before the age of forty and a great deal of me is bitter about it. I am so sad that I can not call my lost friends and talk with them. I am sad that I will not have the chance to have a glass of wine and watch our children play and grow up together. I am so sad that my friends' children will not truly have a memory of their departed mothers and fathers, or as me as their auntie. I am so sad some moments were taken for granted.

And today, Ingrid unexpectantly came to my door.

Ingrid rang my doorbell.

And I answered the door. I looked at her in surprise.

And she cried. And I hugged her on my doorstep with the cold chilling wind on her back and in my chest she wept and I was waiting for her to get her breath, waiting to hear what was so terribly wrong in her world.

She said as she sobbed...

'Ohhhhhh Pendullum. I am so very scared. I am so very, very, scared. I have cancer. I have cancer, Pendullum. I need you.'

And dear reader....

I am so very scared.

I am so very, very, sad to what road lies ahead.

And I do not know how to mend this broken heart.

No one gave me that important life's lesson...