Thursday, December 24, 2015

Bittersweet

It seems like just a few short months ago I was ringing in the new year with friends at a local restaurant/bar. Now, seemingly out of nowhere, it's Christmas Eve. While Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year, it's hard to be the kind of "joyful" and "happy" that this time of the year is supposed to bring.

I know I shouldn't have necessarily expected a white Christmas, as apparently due to statistics, over the past several years, there has been about a 50/50 chance of a white Christmas. But over the last several days, it has been warm. Like, record breakingly warm. I think it was 16 degrees Celsius outside today. As we drove down the street, we saw people happily walking their dogs and otherwise strolling down the street-some in short sleeves. I've spent a Christmas or two in Florida, but those occasions were exceptions. I've always enjoyed the whole idea of snow and Christmas.

Also...I mean...I went the funeral of a dear, dear friend yesterday. I tried to remain strong, and for the most part I did. The beginning of the funeral and the end were the most difficult for me. Life is crazy. I'm sure when Anna went into the hospital on December 7...she didn't think she wouldn't see another Christmas. She didn't know that this past November would be her last...this past October/Halloween.  Hell, she didn't know what she wouldn't leave the hospital at all. She didn't know that she would be with God less than two weeks later.

But, I also have tons to be thankful for. Amazing friends, amazing family, and amazing things to look forward to. But this whole experience with Anna hits home more than ever that we shouldn't take life for granted. Say what you feel; mean what you say.

Merry Christmas to all.

Xo

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Anna

My mind is all over the place right now and it's so hard to focus. This year has brought me many joys, including good health and a wonderful man in my life. But my heart shattered into a million pieces on Sunday night. A million pieces...just from one simple whatsapp message.

I was at my boyfriend's house. It was late in the evening. We had just got back from having dinner at Jack Astors and a round of glow in the dark mini golf. We had a blast. We got home and were going to watch a bit of TV before settling into bed to recharge for the Monday to come. I had place my iPhone in "Do not disturb" mode, as it's not uncommon for me to receive emails and notifications in the middle of the night. I didn't want those buzzes and beeps from my phone to disturb our sleep. Little did I know that I'd be getting very little sleep that day.

I decided to take one last look at my phone when I saw a message from one of my coworkers. She said that she had some bad news. She said that one of our dear managers had passed away. My coworker knew that this manager and I were close. When I saw the message, the first thing out of my mouth was "what??" My boyfriend said "what's wrong?" All I could say was "what??" I think I said it at least 3 times before I could even respond to him. I didn't know how to act at first...it hadn't even begun to sink in.

I finished up my conversation with my friend...and I put my phone down on the table. It was at that point that I put my hands on my face and started to cry. I can't believe this...I didn't even know she was sick.

I spent the night tossing and turning, unable to get comfortable enough to sleep. I tried my best to turn my back to my boyfriend and cry quietly, but I'd feel him hug me from behind.

I always, without fail, wake up with enough time to do my makeup before going to work. But that Monday, I didn't care. I got up, brushed my teeth, washed my face, got dressed, and that was that.

Greg dropped me off at work and I headed for Tim Hortons. I knew I wasn't going to finish this bagel, but I bought it anyway. I headed to the elevator and landed on my floor. I was met with crying coworkers and managers trying to comfort them. I lost it; I bursted into uncontrolled tears.

Anna and I had a history beyond work. We met nearly 20 years ago when I was a patient at sick kids hospital. I'm not sure what her exact title was, but she seemed to be in charge of toy donations. She came to visit me as she was already a friend of my father. In passing, I talked to her about the "tickle me Elmo" craze, and how I'd love to have one. Wouldn't you know it...the very next day, she showed up in my hospital room with a grey plastic bag. She had a huge smile on her face as she squeezed the plastic bag...and out came the laughter that is synonymous eith Elmo. Oh my God...she got me a tickle me Elmo!! I later learned that she contacted the company who made the Tickle me Elmos, somewhere in the states, and had the toy fedex'd to the hospital. I couldn't believe it.

Years later, I'm sure you can imagine my surprise when I saw her again at the bank. I had just recently started working there, so a meeting was set up for all of us to meet all of the managers. She and I locked eyes and looked at each other for a few moments, both unsure why we recognized each other. Then, amazingly, the light switch turned on for both of us. We hugged and laughed as everyone else looked on, wondering what was going on.

Years passed and my relationship with Anna remained strong. She was an auxiliary police officer, and coincidentally, was my dad's partner. This just solidified our bond. We would always hug when we saw each other in the hallways or elevators at work. She always had a smile on her face. She always made you feel good.

Just a few weeks ago, there was a pilot training project happening at work. She was the head of this training project. And, in typical Anna fashion, she showered my whole team with gifts-company branded gym bags, pens, winter ice scrapers...it was amazing. But, I wasn't surprised. I knew that if it had been anyone else heading up that pilot project, we would not have gotten all of those thank you gifts/tokens of appreciation.

Fast forward to now. There was no opportunity for her to fight, as the cancer was already at stage 4. It was just too much for her loving and caring soul to deal with...so this angel took her rightful place in heaven next to God.

I spoke to grief counsellor at work, and that was helpful. I just...I'm sitting here imagining her smiling face and her kind voice.

That's the thing with the passing of a friend. We cry and we sob because they are no longer here with us, and we love and miss them. But, I honestly and truly do take solice in the fact that she is no longer in pain, she is no longer suffering. But God...I'm gonna miss her so much.





Saturday, December 12, 2015

I can't believe it's already December!

The last few months have definitely been eventful, both for amazing and not so amazing reasons.

My creatinine is still acting crazy. At last check, it was 170-something. It has been hovering in this range for the last few months. It bothers me, because my baseline used to be around 100 or even lower. A couple of weeks ago I had a kidney biopsy done. I have a follow up appointment with my nephrologist on Monday, so we will discuss the results of the biopsy then. I imagine that it's not anything dire or I would have received a phone call.

I also managed to sprain my ankle in mid November. I was just walking down the street after having just left the grocery store...and suddenly my ankle started hurting. I didn't do anything to it as far as I know, but I guess it's possible that I rolled my ankle and didn't notice. All I know is that it was painful. When I sprained it, I was actually headed to the bank. I met a delightful man sitting in front of the grocery store entrance who was asking for change. I didn't have any, but I felt compelled to give him something. I don't always feel that way...but I did this time. I had made the decision to go to the bank, withdraw $20, buy a drink from Starbucks, and take some of that change and give it to the man. It was when I was on my way to Starbucks that this ankle shit started up. I almost said to myself to forget the whole thing and head for the subway so I could go home. But, since I had made this commitment in my own mind, I decided to follow through. The gentleman at the door of the grocery store seemed to really appreciate the gesture, and I felt good about it.

Two days later I spent the day at the hospital waiting and waiting. In the end, I was diagnosed. A sprained ankle with some torn ligaments sprinkled on top. I got an ankle splint as per the ER doctor's suggestion, then off I went. A month has passed and my ankle feels much better-I'm not limping all over the place thankfully. But I want to give it time to heal properly.

Other than that, life is good. Greg and I just recently celebrated 10 months together, and I'm happy to have him. He makes me feel like the most beautiful woman in the world! He's super sweet.

Speaking of Greg, he's right beside me right now so I should probably pay attention to him :)

 
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