Category Archives: Music

Finding My Groove Again.


I may have found my groove today.

The last month has been getting steadily worse for me in regards to moods and thoughts.  There have been some really good things too, of course but then, as the night approaches, so does the sadness, loneliness and racing thoughts of doom.

Here is a little catch up for you since I last posted. I’m way behind:

I MOVED!  My daughter and I finally got a call from low-income housing and we movingmoved in to a beautiful townhouse at the end of February.  It’s been all renovated with new everything.  The bathtub is even slippery and doesn’t scratch my bottom.  hee hee.  Unfortunately I did re-injure my back during the move and it took quite a while for it to be tolerable again.  I still can’t go for my walks or stand for too long.  I’m pretty sure my depression is because of all the excitement of moving and the natural letdown that follows.  Never mind the stress from the move itself both on my body and my mind.  I just feel exhausted all the time.  I could sleep all day but make myself get up. It’s late in the day but I’m up before Carly is home from school.

I’ve seen my granddaughters more.  Such joy they give me.  I have one video of the 2-year-old in my lift chair saying “this is awesome” over and over while I worked the controls.  She says it in her very grownup 2-year-old voice.  I play it every day.  It really helps.

coffeeI met up with an old friend for coffee a few times after my last post.  It was nice to connect again.

My son turned 30.  I can’t believe I have a son who is 30.

My daughter’s 18th birthday is in 10 days.  My sister and I are going to the casino to ply her with liquor and bingo.  I can’t believe my baby is 18.

I finally had someone to talk to today.

I realized last night, while I was feeling my lowest, that I’ve been waiting for something.  I don’t know what it is but I figure it’s time to stop waiting.  Thinking back  I realized there are some things I took control of which felt beyond finishing.  A quick email to my lawyer telling him I want to go to court and not meet with that man ever again resulted in what I hope is finally action on that man’s part.  So it’s not done yet. But it feels like it’s getting closer.  It’s been 5 years since I left him.

I saw my mental health worker today where I spewed out words and feelings and spewingtears. On the bus ride over there I was listening to music I had downloaded on my phone (I finally figured it out) and every song was making me feel sadder and more lost.  When I left my worker, I felt better.  On the ride home I was listening to Paul McCartney sing “Hey Jude” live.  I had shivers up and down my back hearing the love from the crowd as they sang back.  Na na na naaaa.

I guess I must have been acting like I was really into the song because the guy next to me (young, in his 20’s) asked me what I was listening to.  I told him and he had no idea who or what I was talking about (!) so I started it again for him to hear.  It’s a long song but he listened to it all.

He thanked me for allowing him into my groove.  His words.

It might be time to let in a few more.groove

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Better Late…


Oh I have been a bad girl, missing at least 3 posts I had committed to writing.  Things are so busy with summer and all.  I find myself getting out of the apartment just about everyday now except maybe for most weekends.

Summer is always special.  I’ve written about it before and now you can read it summeragain:  The smells (on my skin, in the air, my granddaughters’ hair), the beach when I can get there (which smells totally different by the way), walking and walking even though my knees are older than dirt and so are my hips but I still walk when I can.

I just came back from 5 days at the beach with my daughter and my sister’s family.  I also was able to bring out my oldest granddaughter for the weekend.  It was “Gamma Gamma” and some new words and lots of new dance steps as well as our old favourites.  Even the nephews got into The Wiggles!  Our little gal had lots of fun.  I miss her now.

I also met a guy about a month ago. Things are really good but I won’t jinx anything.  We will just see how it goes.  🙂

It’s been great to feel the freedom from the isolation I had for the last few years.  This getting out everyday sure opened my eyes to my city.  Buses are still the fun buspart of the day with screaming babies, drunks who want to smell my hair and sometimes meeting up with old friends for those brief moments until whoever’s stop comes first.

I’ve been handling the death of my dad by keeping very busy.  It’s been kind of strange helping my sister do inventory on his estate and seeing some things for the first time and yet see the things he used every day too.  I love how he and my mom are now both in my dreams at night.

I still smoke in my dreams every night too.  Crazy.

One thing I am happy to say is we found my missing sister!  Alive and as well as she can possibly be and in touch with another family member.  Such a relief when I found out.  I was in tears knowing she still walked this earth even though her demons are still chasing her.  I don’t think I will ever see her again as it would be too difficult for her but having some contact through another trusted person makes it okay.

All that weight I lost is slowly coming back and Dr. G wants blood work done before I have my next appointment.  Fasting blood work.  Meanie.  He’s glad I seemed to have met a really nice man and also finally made my connection with a mental health worker.

Not that the new guy is my mental health worker.

Oh no, now that’s just confusing.

Dr. G is so pleased with my progress these last few months.  I do feel so much better with more positive things in my life.  These help me handle the negatives going on.

So I hope to get another post in during the next couple of days.  See you in my dreams!

 

A Room Packed With Boomers


Well another week has gone by and my Dad’s memorial service is now behind me.  So was seeing some creepy family members I could have done without but I got to see some very beloved ones as well.  Especially cousins I hardly know but love.  The plan is to get to know them better.  It was rather a unique time…a room packed with Boomers is not something you see everyday.  I just ignored the creepy ones as best as I could.

dads finalIt was a glorious day filled with stories, the wind off the lake and my Dad’s ashes scattered at his final resting place.  It was banana cream pie, conversation and hugs.  It was sadness, relief, connections and my grandbabies.  It was seeing my Dad everywhere and hardly having to look.  My Mom too.

It was having to hold in all these emotions until leaving for home and reaching a short way from the cottage and then sobbing, uncontrollably, on my daughter’s supporting shoulder.  We held each other in our borrowed vehicle and cried for the loss of a great man.  Our ride the rest of the way was filled with silence but we could hear the songs and his voice in our heads.

That man was my Dad and I’ll miss him and my Mom so much.

Today was the 70th anniversary of D-Day and I found out more about my Dad today than I ever knew before.  My eldest sister sent out an email:

He said that he was suddenly put onto the minesweeper HMCS Minus & it was very much a secret as to where they were heading.
That Canadian ship was part of the huge armada of Allied ships that assaulted the Normandy beaches in order to invade Europe.
Dad was 2nd in command of the landing craft that took troops from the Minus to Juno Beach. He said that it was heartbreaking. The seas were
very rough & a lot of the other landing craft were letting the troops off too soon. He saw lots of men drowning & struggling in the water. He said
that they made sure that they went right to the beach to let off their troops.
On one of their trips into shore the captain of their landing craft (who was standing right beside him) was shot in the head by a German sniper. His head & brains exploded all over Dad.
Dad was now in command of the landing craft that was also now damaged by German gunfire. He could not turn the landing craft around to head back to his
ship so he had to take it in backwards. When he reached the ship the captain on the deck yelled at him for coming in backwards whereupon our father told the captain to “ fuck off”.
Dad said that one of his enduring memories of June 6, 1944 was simply the huge booming noise from the guns on all of the Allied ships that were there that day.

I know he experienced much more pain than even on that day.  I’m proud of him and can’t even comprehend the horrors he faced, even during the years following the war.  The nightmares never left him and he tried so hard to not let them into his daytimes.  He did a fantastic job.

I also said goodbye to a guy I was dating for 7 months who decided he wasn’t “that into me” and broke up with me, by text, the night before my Dad’s memorial.  I sure can pick ’em!  I don’t feel a great sense of loss though.  He was obviously emotionally challenged and I’m pretty sure I was the “interim woman”.  My life certainly moves on.

Well, another week is ahead of me with plans to be with my family and some friends who have been so great helping me get though the last few weeks.

I’m looking forward to looking ahead.

Songs, Birds and Goodbyes


After an incredibly long fight my Dad finally let go in the early hours of May 23.  Every day for weeks you could see the struggle within him; wanting his aging, ailing body, mind and soul to hang on, to stay here with his family and to live another 95 years.

My Dad’s final days were spent with his family surrounding him every chance they got.  I spent a huge amount of time with him and have some very happy times I really want to share.  Little things, like when we first played bird songs on my sister’s iPad and the smile that came across his face.  He wasn’t really in the same world as we were at that point so this was really nice to see.  He spent a lot of time in this another world so any indication that he heard us or recognized something else was wonderful and so very special.

The nurses all had stories to tell and all said how much they love him, how he was a favourite there.  Dad was known for his hugs after putting up big battles whenever he had to be turned or changed as it gives him so much pain.  He would fight, kick, hit and swear at the nurses and then, when they were done, calmly ask for each of them to give him a hug.  They loved it and made it worthwhile they said.

The day before he died I was there with him and my sister.  We were playing music from his era as well as songs he used to sing to us when we were little girls, all from his era as well.  “You Beautiful Doll”, “I Did It My Way”, lots of Frankie and Bing and some Al Jolson.  Of course it was hard not to cry when we heard these songs.  We even sang them to him too.  When he could still talk he told me, very politely, to stop singing please.  So when he couldn’t talk anymore, I started singing to him again.

One song, “If You Were The Only Girl..” we played over and over because he seemed to react to it the most.  I was holding his hand when he started tugging on it, urging me to get up off my chair.  I did and his other hand was searching for my other one so I grasped our hands together.  Suddenly, he started swinging my arms to the music!  We were dancing!  It was marvelous and my sister and I were laughing so hard and he was grinning as he was trying to push me over on one side then all the way over across his bed.  Finally, his incredible strength got me to almost topple right on top of him where he had me in the most incredible bear hug and had my arms all twisted like a pretzel.  I honestly couldn’t move!  My sister was laughing so hard she finally managed to choke out, “need a little help?”  I could only squeak, “yes please” when a nurse appeared, shocked at the spectacle and he let go.  I will never forget that last dance with my Dad.

I spent a night there and would have spent many more but I was on baby alert, waiting for my grandson to arrive, which, as of this date and 10 days overdue, he has not.  But I would spend all day every day with my Dad.  Yesterday, though, my sister told me something was different and maybe I should get there quickly.  So I took the hour-long bus ride earlier than I was going to, praying that he will hold on just long enough for me to say goodbye again and arrived there in plenty of time.

I leaned over him, giving him my killer smile as I always do, and, lo and behold, he smiled back, tried to say my name and wrapped his arms around me in a huge hug.  After that though, his morphine was working and he really wasn’t conscious anymore.  More family came to say goodbye and all we did for hours was watch his chest move up and down, then nothing, then up and down again.  Fooled us many times.  With his apnea, this was expected we were told.  My sister and I were finally left alone with him for the night.  My son was getting someone else to be on baby alert.

Before he finally let go my sister and I were trying to conjure up my mom so she could come and get him since he wouldn’t leave on his own.  Not 3 hours later, I noticed his breath getting shallower and quieter.  Then I went to his mouth and nose and felt for his breath.  There were only one or two more breaths, then nothing.  Still nothing.  I checked his heartbeat and got my sister to call the nurse.  The nurse came with her stethoscope and confirmed what we already knew.   My mom found him and took him home at last.

It’s so hard to believe that this is over.  My Dad is gone.  An era is finished.  It’s very strange not climbing on the bus everyday.  It’s very strange not to hear him babble about his mom and dogs and horses and call me by his sister’s name or him thinking I’m his mom or even knowing it’s me.  It’s very strange connecting to family I haven’t seen in months or years.  It’s very strange to have the first love of my life leave this earth so quietly after arguing so much and so long with whomever is in charge of our length of time on Earth.  That’s it.  All done.

But my Mom did come and get him.  I know she did.  Thanks Mom.  Love you both so much.

A Few of My Favourite Things…


I’ve been thinking about positive thoughts and where they come from.  I really have to force myself, everyday, to think of myself in positive ways.  I thought I would try to come up with a list of my favourite things, not necessarily about me but maybe it will tell the world and me what I like and love.  So, in no particular order…

  1. Blue.  I love the colour blue for so many reasons.  I sometimes gasp at a new shade that makes me wish for the tropics or paint a picture.  Neither of which I’ll be getting to do soon.  The best blues are cobalt and music.
  2. My daughter’s smile.  It lights up the whole room.  It’s a rare thing to be seen since she became a teen.  Her brother and I spied on her while shecarly was working the drive thru at her work and oh, she smiled at everyone!  We both were astounded by the transformation.  I love her more every day than I did the day before.
  3. When she laughs it’s like bells
  4. My son’s energy.  Oh man he makes me tired!  Always smiling is that guy.  Very social which is the opposite of me.  He’s always talking and getting a deal going and has high ambitions.  I am immensely proud of him.  He is definitely one of my favourite things.  I love him dearly.
  5. My Mom’s paintings she left behind.  I just love them because she 000_0131never really knew her talent until she was in her 40’s, 50’s and she still painted until she died.  She had a passion.
  6. I love when people aren’t afraid to tell me what they think.  Sometimes I’m afraid of it, thinking it might be bad but it rarely comes out that way.
  7. I love colour and beauty and movement.  I love the ballet.
  8. I love the symphony.  The music sends me somewhere else.  I fell in love with the symphony at the same time I fell in love with the ballet.
  9. I love the kindness of others.  So many people have shown me how good they can be.  I’m truly lucky to know them and I’m a better person because of them.
  10. I love cats.  So cute, especially my Lucky who is, thank goodness, stilllucky2 with us.
  11. I like dogs too but not as much as cats. 🙂
  12. I love chocolate.
  13. I love lilacs and the wonderful aroma they leave in the air during Springtime.  I don’t think we’ll be having Spring this year.
  14. Spring and Summer
  15. My favourite flower would forget-me-nots.  I think.  If I was to make a bouquet it would be made up of many different kinds.  Orchids are always an option.
  16. I love long car rides.
  17. I love going out for supper.
  18. I love new clothes.
  19. And Shoes
  20. Reading and reading
  21. I love watching movies where I get totally lost.  I really don’t have a favourite movie, there are too many.  It always depends on the mood of the movie; for action movies I love the Terminator series; for love stories my favourite has to be The Notebook.  Whatever it is it has to be good.
  22. I like that I haven’t cried in weeks and weeks.
  23. I like Dr. G.  He saved my life along with Dr. H who died way too soon.  He found me Dr. G before he had to go though.
  24. I love my father’s face when he wakes up and sees me and the joyIMG_0292 that’s there, even though he doesn’t know its me.  He knows its someone he loves and who loves him.
  25. I love my grandchild.  She’s adorable.  I love when she holds out her arms for me even if her mom is holding her.  I love when she makes me feel special like at Easter when I was giving her strawberries and she said, in her 19 month voice, Mo Gamma.
  26. I love my younger sister and her family.  And all their dogs.  And all their cats.  Those kids have been brought up right and I stole a lot of things to use to bring up mine.
  27. Student Led Parent Teacher Conferences.  I was just at my daughter’s yesterday and finally got to see her amazing photographs.  She has a passion.  All her teachers said the same thing.  She does excellent work and it’s a pleasure having her in class.  They are all sure she will go on to do great things.  She didn’t want to go because she couldn’t see the point as her report card was excellent but I made her.  I felt it was important for her to hear the praises and make plans and goals.  She was very proud of herself and could see me bursting with it as well.
  28. I like when I make good decisions.
  29. I love to laugh and laugh until I cry or a little bit of pee comes out.  Well maybe not that but you know what I mean.
  30. I love how I’ve been able to get along for more than 3 years without a car.  Maybe it’s 4.  I don’t know but it doesn’t matter much anymore.  The only time I’ll miss it is during the summer because I won’t be able to get to the beach when I want to go.
  31. THE BEACH!  OMG I love the beach so much.  I love how it smells and the sounds and love looking at the water.  In my teens, I used to have a secretdsc024061.jpg place in the cliffs where I could be alone, write in my journal and watch the water while burying my feet in hot, smooth, white sand.  I can still feel the sun on my face and arms. The spot is gone now as everything has eroded away.  My memories of it though always fill me with comfort.  No one could find me.
  32. Driving.  I know I said I didn’t miss having a car but I really like driving.  I used to drive a lot in the summers, especially, to get to my ex’s cabin, sometimes just for the day and it would be a 4 hour drive then.  2 hours each way. Oh you know what I mean.
  33. I love the show Friends and the Joeyisms.
  34. Days of Our Lives and Dr. Phil and Ellen are my friends during the day.
  35. Wine.  Yeah.
  36. Writing of course. That’s my passion.
  37. Sleeping
  38. Eating
  39. Loving
  40. No more fear

I think that should do it.  Its been very interesting making this list.  Thanks for being interested enough to read it.  I’m sure there are lots more and I’m sorry if I left out anyone. I’ll leave you with a video someone sent me today on Facebook that has become one of my favourites.

http://youtu.be/V7OGY1Jxp3o

Later

PS:  The pictures on this page belong to me and I do not give permission for anyone to copy them without my consent.  Thank you.

The Silence


It was inevitable:  no pay bill = No TV For You.whitenoise

My apartment is so quiet.  I can hear the tinnitus in my ear, clicking away; my blood flowing; my heart beating and every sound from the upstairs suite are explosions.  They shower at least 4 times a day and vacuum at least 2.  It’s absolutely abnormal how many time they flush their toilet.  They stomp and yell and laugh and wrestle and I don’t think they have a TV either because no one is sitting still up there.  Oh and they drop a lot of things.  Big things.

My cat loves this opportunity to howl even more than she has in the past.  There’s nothing around to compete with her voice. I believe she’s trying to sing about all her life’s passions and journeys (she hasn’t had much so maybe she cries for the lack thereof).  She scrapes her nails all the way to the bottom of her litter box with more gusto than necessary.  I hear her scarfing down her cat food bowlfood, after I patiently watch and pet her every day, soothing her 3 month-long anxiety of eating alone.

It could be worse though.  She used to not want to poop alone.  This is a lot better.

By the second or third day I was almost mad by the silence and the noise.  I relied on that TV for, not only for the shows (OMG, The Voice starts soon!), it blocked out all the annoying sounds of everyday life.  noisy neighborsBut I miss Rachael Ray’s cooking!  Burger days!.  I covet her cookware. And I don’t care what anyone thinks, I need to see all the Friends episodes for the 12th time.  My soap opera is reduced to a cheap cut on YouTube where the mouths are not synched with the words and that makes me dizzy. If I squint a little, though, it helps. And Dr. Phil!  Carly and I were bonding over that show.  Sadly, I will never know if Property Virgins will ever have someone not lose their property virginity.

TV was also my main source for music.  I never could quite figure out how to piano-1.jpgupload music to my iPhone (or download or whatever).  I found a station on the internet that plays all kinds of genres though.  It’s such a relief to have beautiful music in my life again.

My eyes are blurry from reading and cross-eyed from playing games online.  I know soon I’ll regret having started the latter.  Already I can feel the cramping in my hand from the abnormal way I have to hold my phone to play.  I hate you Candy Crush.

I’m quite hard of hearing so this sensitivity to noise is pretty new to me.  People knock on my window (why do they DO that??) and it sounds like it’s coming from the bathroom.  Or the door.  Or right behind me!!  GAH!  I almost always scream a little.  I never answer the window (bring your frigging KEYS!).  Unfortunately, none of this means that my hearing has improved.  I still have difficulty understanding someone during a conversation unless they know to speak clearly with a slight Minnie Mouse tonality.

So once I catch up on the bills then I’ll have the TV back on.

I wonder if I’ll even want to?

Housework


Wow, It’s been a while again. I guess I’ve been all discombobulated. Life has sure had its ups and downs in the last few months. Let’s see…

  • I’ve moved and survived.
  • I’ve discovered music on my TV and that is giving me a lot of joy. I never did figure out how to get music on my iPhone.
  • I lost 30 pounds without even trying!! That would be because of no more Lithium.
  • My cat is now home with us in the new place and that puts me over the moon…even though she had has some adjustment issues. I look out where I’m stepping now. cat-pukingNothing like warm (or cold) cat puke on the bottom of my foot when I’m trying not to wake up too much when I have to go pee in the middle of the night.  Or the yowling.  She especially likes to yowl in the bathroom.  At 3 am.  The echo I guess?

I had such a bad time before the move. I honestly didn’t know if I could make it. My daughter was at her wit’s end.  Neither of my kids Bipolar-disorder-treatmentreally understand what’s going one with my illness.  So they get impatient. They figure I’m lazy and probably even stupid.  I’ve done what I can to get them to get it.  I will keep trying I guess.

In past posts I’ve written about my mom and how her presence seems to be everywhere. Well, the months and weeks leading up to this move I know she was trying to help. I would babble to her while I was awake and in my dreams.  I was a basket case as only I can be. I was driving everyone nuts with my fears and tears and rants and being generally incapable of coping. Coping skills? What the fuck are those? I had no money (again), no food (again), bills piling up (uh huh again), welfare not paying me what they were supposed to. I couldn’t afford bus tickets or fare so I was even more isolated than ever before.

So anyway, my daughter and I were going through yet another box of stuff that she was urging me to purge and to which I would resist. “It was Gramma’s,” I would cry. She was relentless on lots of stuff but that always got to her so I used it a lot. When we came to some pictures of she and her Gramma we would both cry. Then, in an old purse she was MAKING me get rid of, there they were.  The crystals.

stonesOf course there is a reason why I bring this up.  After my mom died, like pretty much right after and when I went back to work, a volunteer came to my office telling me she was moving in the next few days to London, England to marry her long time lover.  Same-sex marriage wasn’t legal in Canada yet.  I was glad for her of course.  We had gotten rather close the last few months before my mom died.  She always knew things.  She was very spiritual as well as a Wiccan.  She taught me a lot and gave me peace of mind.

That day she came in, she saw the sadness in my eyes that no professionalism could hide.  (Who was I kidding anyway?  Professional? Me?)  She told me about leaving and I told her I knew it was coming and I was so happy for her.  We hugged for a long time in my office.  We didn’t cry though.  She said she wanted to pull some of the sadness from me and give me some of her joy. As she moved away she reached into her bag and pulled out a little baggie with stones in it.  Gorgeous stones: amethyst for my mom, rose quartz for her and the blue quartz for me.  Spiritually aligned.  A beautiful gift.

Then I cried.

I hadn’t been able to find these particular crystals for a long time until I found ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????them in the old purse. My heart flipped in my chest when my eyes found them and my fingers touched the little bag.  I whispered “Mom” and Carly looked at me like I was, once again nuts.  She just rolled her eyes until I explained it to her.

I think her head must hurt from doing that all the time.

It was like everything changed when I got up the next morning.  The hopelessness had lessened so much I could call my worker at welfare and demand the bus tickets I needed to get to doctor’s appointments.  I could purge the things that weighed me down in that apartment.  Our new apartment is rather cozy so of course I had to give up things.  I didn’t mind so much anymore.  My daughter even said “Mom, look at you” as I zinged crap into garbage bags and hauled them to the garbage bin.  I purged even more when we were unpacking.  I arranged movers and COMMUNICATED with professionals.

Suddenly things were just working out.  We looked at a great apartment for a great price and the manager liked us so much he wanted to move us to the top of the list.  It turned out he couldn’t do that and had to take the first tenants that applied.  He did have another place, though, that we could have first crack at.  He went to bat for us to make sure we got it.  He made sure everything was ready for when we moved in.  He was wonderful.   Welfare was paying for movers so that was great.  Like I said there wasn’t much to complain about at all.

Oh and I will be a Gramma again! (No NOT Carly)

Of course I am not miraculously better.  I am better though.  I’m still more isolated than before we moved but, for some reason, welfare sent me $150.  So I bought a bus pass for the next week.  I can get to the dentist to have my broken tooth looked at, see my psychiatrist (missed the last appointment because I hadn’t called for bus tickets, doh!).  And get some food!  After that I don’t mind not going out in the bloody cold.

Part time work may be in my near future as my wonderful sister figured out a great job that might just work for me and it sounds like one I would love to do.

Things are more peaceful in my head. There’s more purpose to my days whether I’m selling my jewelry on Facebook (Carly needed tampons) or actually doing the dishes instead of letting them pile up.

My crystals are in my purse again.

I am getting things done.