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Posts Tagged ‘sadness’

‎I could hear the voices as soon as I entered the school yard, excited, happy voices, the sound pouring out the open windows of the second floor. I smiled, their anticipation and excitement rubbing off on me, even from a distance.

I walked around the corner and took my usual position at the edge of the grass, still visible from the doors that would soon be flung wide open in reckless abandon. I checked my watch; it would just be another minute or two.

A few kids trickled out before the bell, sneaking past the teachers guarding the door. The voices grew louder, a few cheers rang out in the distance.

Then the bell rang; chaos followed.

The small trickle of kids turned into a full on flood, the doors swinging open so hard and fast that they banged against the concrete walls. ‎The little kids came first, their excitement more subdued, uncertain, restrained, until the screams of the older kids behind overwhelmed them.

My eyes welled up a little, I’m not sure why. Maybe it was the sheer, uncensored ‎joy, or maybe the nostalgic “kidness” of the situation. Whatever the reason, I wiped my eyes and scanned the crowd for the two that were mine.

I saw him first and smiled, but it quickly faded from my lips. His backpack dragged behind him, his arms weighed down with indoor shoes and a long forgotten sweater newly rediscovered at the back of his cubby, and on his face, a frown.

I started walking towards him, my arms open, and when he spotted me he stopped pretending and his face crumpled.

“Honey, what’s wrong?” I said, kneeling down and folding him into my arms, shoes, sweater, backpack and all.

“I don’t want it to be the last day of school,” he said between sobs, tears rolling down his face.

Some kids cry on the first day of school, my kid cries on the last day.

I couldn’t help but smile but I hid it behind his shoulder while I squeezed him tight. I knew it would pass, that a few hugs and a popsicle and a cuddle ‎in his chair would ease his sadness. I knew he would forget this.

Just as I knew I never would.

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‎Yesterday my best friend got on a plane and flew almost 3,800 km from here. And by here I mean here where I am, away from me.

I know it’s almost 3,800 km because I googled it. When your best friend tells you she’s moving away, return date unknown, there’s actually very little you can do, or at least very little I felt like I could do, except determine exactly how far away “away” actually is. For some reason it made me feel better, to know the number

She’s only technically been gone a day but already it feels different. Even when we lived much closer together, physically, we still did most of our communicating electronically. The pace of our lives didn’t leave much time for face to face but still there was the idea of it. The idea that if we needed it, wanted it, there could be a quiet cup of tea across a kitchen table, a bag of cookies open in front of us.

There is no doubt in my mind that our friendship will continue. I believe in my heart that it will and that’s really all the guarantee I need. I also have no doubt in my mind that she will one day return, not necessarily because it’s true but because sometimes we need to have ideas to hold onto, whether they are the truth or not.

I know I will miss her, miss her at get togethers when normally she would be in the next room or the next seat beside me on the couch. I will miss her when August turns into September and we don’t celebrate our birthdays together. I will miss her in December when our annual holiday party doesn’t include a few stolen moments to do our own little gift exchange. I will miss her in February when the Academy Awards are on and I will miss her in the summer when we used to sit on the grass and solve the problems of the world.

But mostly I will miss her in the quiet moments when I feel alone and need to hear her voice or see her words written on the page. Fro so much of my life she has been the voice inside my head telling me, contrary to what I may think, I can actually do it; whatever it may be.

And the good thing is, the thing that I am holding onto in these first days as I adjust to the new normal, is that I know she’s still there when I need her. I can still send her an email or a message and she will be there to tell me exactly what I need to hear. If I need to hear her voice, I still can, through the wonders of technology I will be able to see and hear her on a little screen and we can still sit across the table and have a cup of tea. Only this time we’ll each have our own bag of cookies.

She is 3,800 km away from here, away from me. But I know in my heart we are true friends and no distance can change that.

And that means 3,800 km is not really that far after all.

Almost 3800 km

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When we found out last year that our cat was sick my kids, after their initial shock and sadness, asked if we could get another pet.  They have an amazing way of turning lemons into lemonade, or at least trying.  I informed them that we would not be getting another cat.  Hubby is allergic, and has always been allergic, he just put up with it the first time around.  We wouldn’t ask him to do it again.  They already knew we would never be getting a dog.  There’s the whole allergy thing, on top of the fact that I am definitely not a dog person, so that was strike two.

They sat there looking at me with those big eyes, begging me to give them some kind of hope, something.  I caved.

Maybe a fish, I said.  Sure, yeah, I could do a fish.

We have had them in the past and other than cleaning out the bowl once a week or so, they’re really about as low-maintenance as you can get.  Okay, we could do that.

We said goodbye to our cat in July and I managed to hold off on the fish until September.  It was kind of a back to school kind of thing, together with the fact that my parents were in town so they could go with us to the pet store, the kind of thing grandparents love to do.  So we went to the store and left half an hour later with $50 worth of supplies and two little fish in two little plastic bags.

My daughter picked an orange fish, and named her Cheddar.  According to my daughter it’s very obvious that Cheddar is a girl.  I’ll have to take her word for it.

Cheddar

Cheddar

My son picked a black fish, and named him Puck.  The name became particularly fitting when, on the ride home, we got the call that he had been selected for the rep hockey team.

Puck

Puck

In the beginning I was really just hoping that they would make it through the week.  I mean you never know with these types of things; and my luck hasn’t been the greatest lately.  But, here we are a couple of months later and Cheddar and Puck are still happily swimming around in a fish bowl on a table in our living room.

When we brought them home my kids made all of the promises that kids make.  Yes Mama, I promise I’ll feed them.  Yes Mama, I promise we’ll help you clean the bowl.  This isn’t my first trip to the rodeo though and I could pretty much predict how long it would take until the novelty wore off.  So now I’m usually the one that feeds them, and I’m always the one that cleans the bowl but to be honest, I don’t mind.  In fact, I kind of like it.

I miss our cat all the time, probably even more than I thought I would.  I miss him when I open the door and he’s not there at my feet, trying to squeeze past me to get outside.  I miss him in the morning when he’s not waiting for me in the kitchen, crying for his treats.  I miss him in the evenings when he’s not curled up on the carpet in the hallway, his head tucked under his arm.

I miss him.

And there’s no way two little fish swimming circles and blowing bubbles around a blue tree in a bowl in my living room are going to make up for the fact that he’s gone.  But, in their own little way, they help.  They give me something to do every morning and every night, and I can talk to them and not have to listen to them talk back!

In their own little way, they need me and, in my own little way, I need them too.

Welcome to the family Cheddar and Puck.  We’re glad you’re here.

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Today was a good day.

A good day for no other reason than the fact that it wasn’t a bad day.

It seems that when I scroll back through the days that have passed, day after day after day, there have not been many good days.

I have been sad.

There have been tears, so many tears. They blurred everything and I could not see the other side; I did not even believe the other side existed. I could not see how it would ever look different, ever feel different.

But it has slowly been lifting, so slowly at first that I didn’t even notice.

And when I finally did notice I was scared to think too much of it. Scared that like a timid rabbit, if I made too much noise it would scamper back into the hole it was peeking out of. After waiting so long I was terrified that if it disappeared again, this time it would be gone forever.

I started laughing because I wanted to, not because I thought I was supposed to. I stopped staring out the window and seeing only clouds and grey; I started seeing wisps of green and blue, the sun finally peeking through and warming what was previously only cold.

And today I woke up and realized I felt lighter. I felt like there was room inside for all things positive, inspiration, and hope. For so long I have been waiting for the next thing, the next bad thing, knowing that it would come sooner or later. Knowing it would come and fearing my ability to deal with it, believing that having to deal with even one more little thing would very well be more than I could handle.

Now I feel the strength coming back, the understanding that I am healing, that I have begun to take the first steps on this long journey back.

Today was a good day.

And that is enough for now.

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