Monday, April 8, 2019

Since Mid-January

Sometimes it takes a lot of little things to make you realize something very huge in your life. I have a number of those little things add up to a large realization just yesterday evening. 

It has been since mid-January since I last post and honestly it feels like this is the first time I am coming up for air since that time. It has felt like the last few months have been about keeping my head down and moving through one major event onto the next major event with the scenes from Finding Nemo going through my head of "just keep swimming just keep swimming."

This all started in October when Husband went off work. My first reaction internally was sheer panic - how are we going to manage how are things going to work. He had some sick time (about a month) but honestly at that point I already had a pretty good feeling this would be something longer. Plus there was a realization that Husband was to have surgery that was also going to need a month post-op recovery before he could be back to work. Read absolute panic but I had to put those feelings aside and deal with the practicalities of getting him sorted out with doctors, dealing with his union, work, insurance claims, medical forms. I knew he needed help and I needed help to support him so I called his parents - that brought us to Mid-January were it felt like things were starting to be a mucked-up level of ok-ness - I knew that things were going to take a while to figure out but at least the uncertainty was a known quantity if that made sense. 

Lucille Loiselle
1924 - 2019
I was getting ready to leave for a short night trip when I got a call from my Mom saying I needed to come get them that minute as they got a call that my grandmother wasn't doing well. We rushed to see her and she was sitting there perfectly fine and very confused about why we had rushed to see her but she said she was ready. So I went on a work trip out of town for just two nights away - it was the first time I was leaving husband since he went off work and I was concerned and worried about how he would do - but I had a plan in place and I was confident in that plan. Snap to the second night of the trip I get back to the hotel from supper and the pain set in - sheer agony. I ended up in the hospital and had to call a co-worker in the middle of the night to come out to finish the work trip and bring the husband to drive me home. Less than two days after getting back from the work trip we got another urgent call from my mom again that they needed a ride to see my Memere and this time I knew it would be different. 

I picked up my parents and off we went - I dropped them and husband off at the front door and found a place to park. I knew - I knew before we left the house, before we got to the home where she had been living, before I got off the elevator that she had gone. She had said less than a week before she was ready and it was her time. It's funny the things you remember about a person but from her I remember her determination and strength. When something was to be done it was done so when she said she was ready and it was her time I knew that she would have her way. (I also remember having Christmas presents wrapped up inside old milk cartons; her kitchen; learning to eat tomatoes just like apples; being in the garden at the farm).  We set about the business of calling and notifying family, packing her possessions. Much like when my other grandparents passed I focused on putting my head down and getting through the things that needed to be done.

Before you knew it January was over and we were into February which brings us into the months of Birthdays. First badly planning my daughter's 13th birthday. Ok - well I feel bad but apparently they kids thought it was a hit - but on my end I felt like a failure because I was emailing or texting parents literally days before the date to say please let your kid come so I don't feel like a failure. The monkey the effervescent creature she is never blinked an eye and had no doubt that her party would be amazing - I still feel like a crappy mom. 

This was all while helping plan and execute my Dad's surprise 65th Birthday (which of course means getting to make fantastic cupcakes - Dark Chocolate Raspberry; Lemon meringue Pie and a GF Spice cake with cream cheese frosting). The party was held on my husband's birthday as the decoy for what was actually going on. 

All of this is going on while I am under significant pressure at work and we are still working through the process of husband going through sick leave, short term disability, long term disability and insurance claims. He has had doctors appointments every two weeks on top of counsellor appointments and specialist appointments. He has been in such a bad spot that to say it was like having another child in the house is accurate. I had to ensure that he was eating, taking his medication, changing his clothes, showering and taking basic care of himself. 

Unfortunately this meant that in the shuffle I literally had to run to the store with the husband and monkey in tow to buy husband's birthday card because I had forgotten - it is hard to know and feel like you have failed your family because you are so terribly overwhelmed that you have forgotten to get our husband and daughter birthday cards. Their presents were handled with them in tow as well and I still feel like crap over it (I still have my Mom's birthday present from January 1st at home to give her... sorry Mom) 

On the way home from buying a birthday card for my husband we decided to stop for fun to see the animals at the Winnipeg Humane Society - never really thinking that we would actually find one, fall in love and adopt.  nevertheless that is exactly what happened - we went into just look at two dogs that were cute but we weren't set on when a worker walks by holding this wiggling pile of fur! That was it we were done for. When I heard her story I was heart broken but also felt an instant connection. She had been adopted out several weeks before by a couple who had had another dog and they returned her that very day, the day we happened to randomly go in, because they were moving and couldn't keep *her* anymore. She had been rejected and returned. 

To say that she saved my husband is a complete and total understatement. It would be like saying that the universe isn't really that much bigger than Winnipeg. The change in him has been significant. I still find myself completely overwhelmed though with my commitments and I often have felt like I am failing at everything that I am doing. Between feeling like a failure at work, trying to not let anything else fall between the cracks at home, and my other personal commitments where I likewise feel like I am feeling it has been a hard run and I am facing at least another month of of the same feeling that "this month is just a marathon - I just have to get to the end of the month" 

this has lead me to have a number of thoughts and a major realization this week - but more on that tomorrow - for now a few cute puppy pictures. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019


It is a New Year and it seems that my word of the day for the past while has been "surviving."


See more synonyms for survive on

verb (used without object), sur·vived, sur·viv·ing.

  1. to remain alive after the death of someone, the cessation of something, or the occurrence of some event; continue to live: Few survived after the holocaust.
  2. to remain or continue in existence or use: Ancient farming methods still survive in the Middle East.
  3. to get along or remain healthy, happy, and unaffected in spite of some occurrence: She's surviving after the divorce.

This has been a pretty apt description for my life over the past couple of months. In September it was a really exciting time for me - I got to audition for MasterChef Canada - such an amazing and wonderful experience with truly amazing people! (I will have to write about that later).

Things seems to be moving in a generally positive direction for me. However, my husband had been struggling for a while and then finally at the start of October he couldn't keep going the way he was and he had a break down at work. He has been off work since the start of October as a result of a major depressive episode and anxiety. I can't tell you what it does when you realize that the person you love, the other half of you is far worse than you imagined.

I got a text one day at work simply saying:
"Just so you don't panic or get annoyed. I am at home. Went off sick. I have an appointment with Dr. F tomorrow." 

Now for context my husband works split shifts and sometimes when I don't here from him in the afternoon but see he is still at home I get panicked that he slept and missed his second shift. Alternatively, I get busy at work and because he finished later than me I will stay at work later and then go to pick him up only to find out he was home early and I could have left work.

But this is odd it's different why would he have made an appointment and for the next day, something must be really wrong especially because he was waiting for a surgery date. So you call worried and upset to find out why he went home and what happened.

The next few weeks of my life became about learning all I could about insurance claims; EI Sickness benefits; short-term disability; long-term disability; ISO hearings and rearranging life. We asked to move up his surgery in hopes that it wouldn't prolong he has been off work if things 'magically' got better overnight (they didn't).

So much of our life got flipped on its head. This time has been about making it just to the next day, solving one issue only to move on to another issue. Learning that its ok to need help and like a lot of help. Learning that it is ok for me also to not be ok to be struggling with everything.

There have been a few people who have reached out and been offering support and I am truly grateful and blessed to have these people in my life - they have done more for me than they will ever know.

So far up to now life has been about surviving and making the next step. Through all of this one song has spoke to me and has been a beacon. I have been trying to write this post for a while now. The next post will be about my view and outlook for the New Year.

Monday, October 8, 2018


It is amazing how quickly time flies. It was just last week that I was having a discussion with my husband and I utter the phrase "But it's September" to which he responded "It's October"....I wanted to argue the point but it dawned on me that he was right - it is in fact October and Thanksgiving was comping up next week. Yet, here I am feeling like that was yesterday and it's thanksgiving today. 

It has been a hectic, weird time for us and this morning I got a little message via Facebook 
Happy Thanksgiving to you all!!
Just a little message from someone who has been a teacher, mentor, friend and confidant for years - has put up with me as a teenager and supported me through all things in life. Someone who instantly said "do you need to talk" when I said I'm going through a tough time and I know no matter what will be there if I say I need to talk. I am thankful for her being in my life.

I am thankful for all of the people family and basically family that I get to count to be a part of my life. Who lends support, hugs, heart and whatever is needed.

I am thankful for my parents who support me and my family in whatever we need to do. Who are always more than willing to eat my cooking. The sacrifices they have made for me and the help they continue to provide is overwhelming at times. 

I am thankful for in-laws who have provided love, guidance and support to my husband and welcomed me into their life. I am thankful for a mother-in-law who still loves me no matter what and a father-in-law who is always there with his gentled guidance and words of wisdom. 

I am thankful for an amazing daughter who is truly beyond words. I am so immensely proud of her and who she is becoming. She has spent this long weekend doing school work, helping clean the house and baking without needing to demand it of her - she just does it. She even has done her own laundry (all 3 loads) (did I mention she is 12?!) I can't imagine what the future will bring to her as such a young, bride and amazing kid. 

I am thankful for a husband who loves me - all of me - I don't know what more I can say than that's amazing to know. I am thankful to have him in my life.