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Showing posts from September, 2011

The Terry Fox Run

On Thursday my school collected change and participated in The Terry Fox Run. Like most Canadians I know the just of Fox's life. He had an amputated leg. He started running across Canada. He died of cancer before he could finish. This morning Terry Fox was simply these 3 statements to me. At lunch some staff members were discussing how they hoped the kids understood that the walk we were doing in the afternoon wasn't just an opportunity to get out of school. They hoped that kids understood what Terry Fox was really about. 


I was inspired and headed to my room and found THIS video a few minutes before the bell rang. I didn't get a chance to preview, but it was produced by ESPN, so I threw caution to the wind and started it when my students got settled in.


I sat at the front of the room in my desk, arms crossed tightly in front of me, barely holding it together for the entire 9 minute video. I thought of how incredible it is that a 20-year old man could live such a big dream. …

The Younger Brother

My friend Kerri and her son's Dylan and Drew had a playdate with Calder Wednesday morning. Calder had so much fun, that he asked if Dylan could come to the park with us after supper that night.

We biked to the park with the boys in the trailer. Calder and Dylan giggled about being all snuggled in together. By the time we reached the 2nd block they were purposefully cracking their helmets together and laughing. Typical boys. When we hit the 3rd block I felt sad. Not for me, not for Tripp, but for Drew. Calder and Dylan are such good friends. I hope that Drew feels included with the older boys. I know Kerri, her husband Chris, Hugh and I will do everything in our power to make sure he is included, but no matter what we do there may be times when he is still the younger brother. If Tripp were here, none of that would change. Drew would still be the younger brother. He just wouldn't be alone. I thought about this for about as long as it took you to read this paragraph. It is out o…

My Writing Mood

Tuesday night I was sad. I wanted to write something sad, but instead, after a little fight with myself, I made myself write about something funny. Pretty soon I wasn't making myself write. Pretty soon I was completely engulfed, enjoying my task.

I laughed out loud as I wrote.

Hugh wanted to read it. He laughed.

It felt good. I feel good. Have a good Wednesday.

P.S. My house is clean. . . It is MAR-VEL-OUS (that is me singing loudly).

Turning Into Hugh?

Almost right from day one of grieving Hugh preferred to be busy. He did big things in the house like tiling the back splash in our kitchen and putting up a wall for an office in the basement. He also did smaller things like cleaning out cupboards and organizing closets. When he needed to change the pace, he would make a to-do list and take us into the city to run errands.

I, on the other hand, found it extremely difficult to focus on any other task. So difficult that I didn't even like trying. I would have rather sat on the couch curled up in thought than try to do "busy work." Maybe I was wallowing? Regardless, it worked for me.

This fall I have found being back at work a challenge to my grieving. I have very limited time during the day to grieve in the "wallowing" way like I did at the start. I am busy. Very busy. This has meant less days that I would classify as "sad", but it has also meant that those sad days have become sadder. It feels like my g…

The Olive Tree

In August we had our niece, Maddy, over for a fun-filled sleep over. Calder's Aunt Abbey and Uncle Billy wanted to have a similar adventure with Calder and this past Friday was the night. Calder had a wonderful time. In fact, he didn't want to leave when we went to pick him up on Saturday morning.


This meant that Hugh and I had Friday night to ourselves. It was a treat. We had our 5 year anniversary a month ago and Hugh had plans to take me to the 50's inspired diner The Olive Tree(5 year traditional anniversary gift is wood). Friday was our night. We ate slowly and talked lots. It was wonderful.

I recommend that if you have the extra time, you should hop in your car and leave the city. It is about 25 minutes north of Martensville. Hugh and I enjoyed it so much that we will be making it our #1 stop over places in the city like The Keg, Earls, and Red Lobster and on a Friday night, at 6 pm, there wasn't a wait for a table. (If you know you are going in advance, they wil…

Stomach Ache

Thursday, 4:40 pm

My stomach has been aching all day. It is that nervous/anxious feeling. This morning on the way to work I kept thinking, "have I forgot something?" After a mental run through of my to-do list I realized that wasn't the case, so I began thinking, "have I said something to someone or done something I wished I hadn't?" Again, I did a mental check and couldn't think of any interaction that warrented any sort of regret or remorse.

Tripp.

It hit me. Today, 7 months ago I had a bad day. The worst day. As I reflected I realized that twice while getting ready for work I found myself thinking back to what I was doing at that exact same moment 7 months ago. I thought about where I was. I thought about how I felt. I have been thinking like that all day.

Today any second that I had down time, without even thinking about it, my stomach has started turning. Acknowledging why it was turning didn't make it stop. I just had to busy myself and try to sto…

The Death Penalty

In Georgia on Wednesday, inmate Troy Davis was scheduled to be executed for the 1989 murder of an off duty police officer. Moments before his execution Davis was granted a stay. As I write this there aren't many details out explain why the stay was granted, but you can click HERE for an update.

There are 37 states who have death penalty statutes, but a few of those haven't performed an execution in over 30 years and a few others have ruled them unconstitutional. Canada eliminated the death penalty in 1976.
I don't believe in the death penalty. I don't think anyone has the right to end another's life. Davis didn't have the right to kill the off duty police officer and I don't think the state of Georgia has the right to kill him. To use a cliche, two wrongs don't make a right. Some may call it justice, but I feel like nothing can be done to make up for the death of the innocent.
On top of that, conviction in a court of law is not absolute. Mistakes can be…

Vanity Sizing

Kirstie Alley is in the news this week. She lost 100 lbs and says she is down 10 dress sizes. Fashion guru Tim Gunn from Project Runway says there is no way Alley is the size 4 she is claiming to be. He says that a size 4 today would have previously been a 6 or an 8. He explains that retailers are using "vanity sizing" to make us feel good about the number we are in. Read more about it HERE.

Vanity Sizing Case 1:
When we went to Edmonton the Septmember long weekend most of our time was spent at the mall. It had been 2 years since I purchased jeans, so I spent plenty of time trying them on. If you would have asked me before the weekend what size I was I would have told you that I was a 28 and that I have one pair of "skinny" jeans that are 27's (and by skinny I don't me tight around the ankle. . . I mean I have to be in my best shape to fit into them). While in Edmonton I purchased 2 pairs of jeans. One were a 26 and the other a 25. UNBELIEVABLE. I am not any…

7 Months

Monday morning I got to school and looked at my calender to see what I needed to get ready for the day. After a few moments I glanced to the date. Monday, September 19. September 19. September 19.

I missed September 18th, Tripp's 7 month birthday. What happened? I couldn't believe it. I even questioned if his birthday really was the 18th. It would have made more sense to have mixed up the date than to have missed it entirely. I started crying and emailed Hugh. As I sat there I tried to figure out how I could have missed it. I think about Tripp ALL THE TIME. How did I miss this date?

Normally in the week(s) before the 18th to 23rd I spend a substantial amount of time dreading the impending anniversary of Tripp's birth and death. Last week I didn't even think of it. Frankly, I am barely staying one day ahead of my students. Maybe I was just too busy to think about it? I know it is good that I didn't spend time last week worrying about the 18th or the 23rd, but it mak…

Big Small Gestures

The last couple of days I have been thinking about a number of small gestures. And by small, I mean things that people have done that take minimal time and zero money. These gestures take thought and consideration.  The impact they have had on me is BIG. . .

A friend of a friend sent me a chain with a charm on when Tripp died. I wear it all the time along with some charms that my friend, Deena bought me. I was at a wedding a couple of weeks ago and she was wearing a matching chain and charm. I couldn't stop looking at it. She thinks about me. She thinks about Tripp.

On Friday a staff member started talking to me about the Calder's new methods of starting fires. He reads my blog. I knew he wife did, but until that moment didn't know he was following. I am aware people read my blog, but it still surprises and fills me up with happiness. If people are reading, they are thinking of Tripp.

While at the lake this summer a friend and neighbor, Jer stopped by with his son who is C…

How to Start a Fire

The other morning I went in to pick Calder up out of his crib (Yes. He is 2.5 and still sleeps in his crib. In all honesty, he likes it. And I like it. We aren't changing it.). The first thing Calder said was, "I go to school today."

Calder is obsessed with going to school. Hugh and I go to school every day and a couple of the "big boys" that Calder adores at daycare got to school. Some pretty important people in his world head there EVERYDAY, so why wouldn't he want to go?

He brings up school ALL THE TIME. We have started to tell him that once he knows his letters, we will consider it. This prompted Calder to tell us he knew all his letters. He knows 2. He used to know almost 10, but we haven't been working on them lately. Oops. So far he knows "C" stands for Calder and "D" stands for Dylan and Daddy. He knows 2 letters. He has 24 to go. Maybe he will pick up some math along the way. No. He WILL pick up some math;-)

While I wash his…

One Clean Step Forward

Yesterday a friend recommended her cleaning lady (who just happens to live in Martensville) and I called her last night. She will be coming over to case the place on Saturday. I am stoked.

Hugh is not stoked. He got a sour look on his face when I told him, but sincerely said, "whatever you want, honey." LOL!

We are just completely different in our feelings towards the cleanliness in our house. Hugh likes it clean, but is also completely content to live in it messy. And our definitions of clean/messy are different, so when he thinks the house is clean, I may think it is messy. I will also be the first to admit that I am on the picky side about what is clean and what isn't and I will also admit that I am not good at keeping up to my own standard of clean. This means I am constantly put off by the state of our house! Maybe the cleaning lady will motivate me to do better at maintaining in between her biweekly visits. Who knows? People can change!

Cleaning House

I came home yesterday to a clean house. It was not a maid and I am pretty sure it wasn't a cleaning fairy. My money is on my sister, Jes. I am completely thankful. It made me so happy that I am convinced I need to try getting someone in every couple of weeks.

I also met with our counsellor yesterday. It was a good chat. I didn't feel the sense of urgency to have answers like a week and a half ago. Ultimately, there are no answers, but I last week I needed acknowledgement of my feelings and a bit of a plan to move forward and that's what I got. This week it was nice to chat without an agenda, because although I had a much better week, I still had some moments and it was nice to hear Brad's perspective on them.

From our conversation I know that one thing I need to work on is my idea of grief. Even last week I was thinking about getting through the angry stage so it could be over and done with. Yesterday, I was reminded that grief isn't linear (even though my linear b…

Random Thoughts

I am debating hiring someone to clean our house. I have talked to a couple of people and received mixed reviews, but I might give it a try. I feel like my evenings are too busy and too tiring to get anything done. Once the weekend rolls around there are too many other things to do. . . groceries, laundry, social obligations, and bigger projects like yard work and organizing the office. I keep thinking that if someone dusted, vacuumed, and cleaned my bathrooms every couple of weeks, it might take some of the stress out of my life. As often as I tell myself that it doesn't matter if I have a messy/dirty house, it stresses me out to see dust balls under the bar stools or toothpaste spray on the mirror. The main thing that will prevent me from hiring someone is simply finding the time and making it a priority to locate a person to do it.
• • • I meet with our counsellor Brad today. I had wanted to make reaching out my goal for the last week and a half. I have tried twice to reach out a…

Calder 2.5

Calder uses the words both (can I bring both cars?), or (the green one or the red one), and match (this truck match Daddy's shirt).

Calder talks in sentences. Sometimes 7 or more words long.

He uses phrases like, "No dice" and "No way Jose"

Calder loves to eat cucumbers, strawberries, pancakes, sausages and toast with peanut butter and honey.

Calder has started giving the best hugs. He runs over to you, almost knocking you over, and grabs on as tight as he can.

Calder loves cars. Hot Wheels. Matchbox. Hugh's old ones. It doesn't matter. Tow trucks and trailers are his favorites.
• • • Hugh, Calder and I were walking to the park earlier this week and Calder began running away. Both Hugh and I shouted for him to stop. It took us 4 or 5 good shouts to get him put on the breaks. Calder immediately turned around and sternly yelled, "I NOT DOING ANY-THING WRONG!" He then took a few more steps away from us. Hugh asked him to stop and Calder turned ar…

September 11, 2001

Ten years ago I was living in Lloydmister doing my teaching internship. While I ate breakfast that morning the radio was on. The newsman said something about the twin towers being hit, but I didn't pay any attention. I had no idea where they were or what it could mean. There is always news about bombings and terrorists and at that point in my life I had no interest in any sort of world event.

When I got to the school someone asked me if I had heard what happened and I responded, "yah. . . I can't believe it. Michael Jordan is making a comeback." That was the news I had heard that morning that had meaning to me. Slowly, I started hearing more details that made what was happening feel a lot closer to home.

I didn't see the footage until that night at home. It was shocking. It is STILL shocking.

At Christmas time 2007 we went to NYC and visited the site. I can't put into words what it was like to be there. It was incredibly emotional. We saw memorials, churches,…

She Said His Name

A mini-crisis erupts near the end of the day. I leave my students busy working to chase down an athlete. As I come to the office, I see a crowd. I get a bit closer and understand why. A co-worker is standing there with her 2 week old baby. I avoid all eyes and walk past at a world class pace. Two minutes later, I walk just as fast and avoid even more eyes on my way back to my classroom. The day ends and I head to our staff meeting.

The co-worker and her daughter are there. I find a table that contains zero babies and zero pregnant women. The meeting begins and my co-worker and her daughter are acknowledged. Everybody claps. Everyone except me. In my head, I think "I can't clap. I am holding an apple." I can't even fool myself. My co-worker takes the floor. I look away. I zone out. I hear a few words. I feel anger. This isn't fair. Why am I stuck in this room. The teacher beside me puts her are on my back, gives me a squeeze, and leaves her hand there. Tears start…

8:55 pm

I am able to say that I had a better day.

That being said, I am still at school working.

I hate feeling too busy to do my best at things - and it doesn't matter which hat I wear. I like to do my best. Today I did a lot of stuff, but lack of time prevented me from doing my best at some of it.

I am heading home. Hugh is going to rub my feet (he never says no, as long as I rub his in return!). Hopefully he is not too tired and we can watch an episode from season one of Modern Family. It is a funny, feel-good show. Our counselor recommended it and Hugh and I are thoroughly enjoying it.

I can't wait for this weekend to be over. I hate that I am wishing for time to rush by. I like living my life, not rushing through it.  I just keep thinking that when this weekend ends I will feel more like doing the things I love and that I will have a bit more time to do them.

UPDATE: 9:29 pm - Hugh is already asleep. I guess I will have to rub my own feet!

Multitude of Hats

It is 9:12 pm. So much for posting at lunch. Life at work is way too busy.

I am wearing too many hats right now and none of them are looking that good on me.

Mom to Calder. Our relationship works the best when we spend the maximum amount of time possible together. Calder pushes the limits less. I am more patient. We have more fun. Regardless of the amount of time Hugh and Calder spend together, their relationships thrives. My relationship with Calder doesn't work that way, but very slowly I am beginning to figure out the way it works best. Lots of time together is critical.

Mom to Tripp. Grieving the loss of Tripp takes a significant amount of time out of my day. I think about him constantly and, of course, spend time writing. When I don't have time to think and write, I don't feel as well.

Wife. Hugh and I have talked for about 20 minutes today over supper. Calder was crying for 5 of those minutes. I just got home from volleyball and am now writing. He is working on a univer…

Weekend Away

Hugh and I travelled with my brother, Luke, sister, Jes, and both their significant others to Edmonton for the weekend. (Calder had a getaway at Grandma Fritshaw's)  I had lots of laughs, did a ton of shopping and was surrounded by fantastic company. I should be posting this fabulous blog filled with funny stories from our adventure, but I am tired and the few sad moments from the weekend are catching up with me. I am not sure how blogging at night is going to work for me now that I am back to school. I am always tired in the evening and even the best days don't seem that bright when I am exhausted.

For a couple days I might try to take 15 minutes during my lunch hour to do some writing. I am in a much better place in the middle of the day than I am at the end. I want to write, but I don't always want to be in a sad place when I do. For the record, I had a really nice weekend away.
The Roomies Classic Dad

Counseling

I have a clearer head. My meeting with our counsellor, Brad, went well. I seriously do not know how people get through difficult times in their lives without counseling. It has been incredibly helpful to me.

By the time I got to my meeting with Brad on Thursday morning, I knew that in some way I was wanting to make myself better even though I know there isn't a cure for grief. I can't do anything to make my triggers (babies/pregnant woman/families) disappear, but I know that I can control what is going on in my head. The self-talk is good and I am going to stick with it.

Brad noticed right away a change in me from the last time I saw him. I am angry. I used to be sad. I am mad that I feel crappy. I am mad that certain relationships are hard. I am mad that my life isn't where I thought it would be. This is just another stage in the grieving process. I will try and deal with the anger and hope that this stage isn't a long one. The thing is, most people wouldn't even …

A Little Bit of Self Talk

Tuesday night I went to bed exhausted and with a headache. I am fairly certain I didn't drink enough water and an immense amount of crying emphasized the fact that I was dehydrated. Wednesday, I woke up still exhausted, but with a bit clearer head.

Our counsellor, Brad, told me NOT to try and get better when we first met with him. I am wondering if all of the emotions I am feeling right now are similar to the ones I was feeling when I saw Brad that first month. I hated feeling sad and I wanted to change that. I wanted more control. Back then I was sad about Tripp. Now, although still sad about Tripp, I am also sad that other parts of my life are hard. Is trying to "fix" these other parts of my life the same as trying to "fix" my grief. I hope not.

Wednesday, feeling like I needed to try something, I strived not to let those triggers, trigger me. When I saw a pregnant coworker I told myself, "her pregnancy ISN'T about Tripp." When I saw a mom with …