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Hello December..

Hello December, I’m filled with both excitement and a bit of sadness as we start this festive month. This morning I was excited to shower treats upon my baby and my fur baby! Jacob loved the things Elfonzo brought and Jasmine was very intrigued by these boxes of treats first thing in the morning that we were all very excited to show her!! Treats before breakfast and gingerbread are currently her favourite parts of Christmas!! Jacob was excited when he noticed a Purdys Santa beside his lunch. The Purdys Santa is 100% something Mom did for me as a child on December First! December lost most of it’s magic last year when Grandma got sick and left us and I want to honor her memory and my memories of how hard she always tried to make Christmas special by doing my best to bring back the fun and magic of this special month. 🎄🎄🎄⛄️⛄️⛄️🤶🏻🎅

Here We Are….

Trying to find a way of getting on with our lives. Finding forgiveness. Feeling the sadness. Learning it’s not worth being angry all the time.

Here we are wondering how things can change so bloody fast! Realizing we have to go forward because we can’t go back. Finding a way to carry on.

We carry on when our lives fall apart. We fight the darkness. We find joy in small things. We have to.

Grief is big but our ability to carry on is bigger.

I Lost My Words…

The night Muffin left me. The night my heart broke. Ive tried so many times to write but the words don’t come. Losing my Mom and my fuzzy best friend in a four month span gutted me in a way I can’t even explain. Ive been left feeling alone, feeling an urgency of my own passing years. Forced to face my own mortality. Forced to recognize that these events don’t come with complete closure.

The memories play over and over when I close my eyes. Sometimes they bring comfort but more often they make it hard to breathe. The leave me feeling that cold chill you experience when the sun goes down and day creeps into night.

I swore I wasn’t going to get a puppy. I couldn’t. I swore I didn’t have the patience. I didn’t think I could get past the feeling I’d somehow betrayed Muffin. Everyone told me to wait. I met a few rescue pups and it left me feeling like I’d gotten punched in the gut. Those pups were all sweet but they didn’t give me that feeling. I wasn’t ready to commit but the house felt unbearably empty and cold. Coming home in the mornings after taking Jacob to school gutted me day after day. Never in my life had I experienced feeling so alone. Never had I felt such emptiness.

At the urging of one dedicated dog rescue friend I went to meet a pup. A pup with big flappy ears. Special ears as Krista calls them. I didn’t expect this meeting to go much differently then the other pups. Some cuddles, a face lick and me leaving in tears.

But this meeting did go differently. This little long legged flappy eared pup cuddled up to Kevin. She ignored the other pups and took cover in my lap. She looked at me with the saddest eyes. Her eyes held the same alone feeling I was feeling. Her eyes held a story. A story that in her short life she’d been through so much fear and confusion. For this lil pup had been born in the streets of Mexico and thankfully rescued by amazing people and nursed back to health before being brought to Canada. With that gift of a new life came her losing her “Mom” multiple times in her short life. She lost her birth Momma, she lost he foster Mom in Mexico to come to Canada and on the day I met her she was about to lose her Canadian foster Mom. In that moment with those big sad eyes looking at me I couldn’t let her keep losing her “Mom’s” because I know exactly how it feels.

Now she’s ours and we are hers. Now she feels safe enough to not cry and panic when I go to work. Now she knows this is her home. She’s learned all the people in this crazy full house love her. She has learned that Emma brings her home chicken nuggets and French fries after work. She’s learned Ella is the littlest but makes her feel safe. She’s learned uncle will take kisses when no one is looking. She’s learned Ej gives the best ear scratches. She’s learned Grandpa’s bedroom door is easy to push open for a quick visit. She’s learned there is nothing like have a fuzzy cousin to wrestle with. Shes learned that somehow in this life the stars aligned and her fur brother lives a few blocks away and she gets to play with him! Shes learned Auntie gives great cuddles and usually has treats handy! She’s learned the green grass in the backyard is an amazing place to lay and watch your world. She’s learned that Jacob is the most loving big brother she could of gotten. She’s learned that Dad gives the best tummy rubs and is an absolute lover of puppy cuddles. She’s learned that this house has a box of toys that are all hers and a basket of treats that is never empty. She’s learned this house has the most amazing collection of blankets and she’s welcome to every single one of them!

And she’s learned that this Mom is her forever Mom. That this Mom needs her love. That this Mom wants to give her all the treats, all the toys, all the cuddles. She’s learned this Mom cries sometimes and holds on to another pups collar. She’s learned that those are the best times to quietly position herself next to Momma and offer quiet support. This pup has learned what it’s like to feel love and to give love.

She has learned she’s home.

Bandit is the fuzzy twine that wrapped all the pieces of my broken heart back together and is helping me through the darkness. The question really is who rescued who?

Mother’s Day

With Mother’s Day fast approaching and all the love and fun that comes with it there is also sadness. Sadness for those who have lost their Mom, for those who never knew their Mom, for those who long to be a Mom, for those who long to feel the way they did before they were a Mom. Sadness for those who experienced pain at the hands of the one they call(ed) Mom. For those Dad’s who also have to act as Mom. For those Mom’s that suffered loss and long to hold their babies one more time.

Motherhood changes a person. It made me both stronger and softer. It made me both ferocious and timid. It made me feel love in a way I didn’t know existed and it made me feel anger in ways I wish I didn’t know existed. Motherhood has made me feel both full of love and full of terror. It’s made me marvel at my ability and long for a taste of the freedom I once knew. Losing my own Momma recently has made face my own mortality. It’s made me see things I missed my entire life. It’s made me wish for 5 more minutes to tell her things I should of said years ago. It’s made me understand the demons she was fighting and see the fears she faced. I spent my whole life near her and only truly saw some things for what they were once she was gone.

Being a Mom is hard. Being a Mom is exhausting. Being a Mom means giving up part of who you are so you can help your kids be who they are. Being a Mom is an amazing journey. Losing your Mom is a journey of a different sort.

To all the Mom’s out there…. I see you. I walk beside you! I’m here to help hold you up. I’m here to tell you those feelings and frustrations are ok. To all those who lost their Mom…. I am you, I hold a membership card to that club we didn’t ask to join and I cry with you.

To all the Aunts, Grandmas, friends, sisters, Dads that help stand in for us Mommas when we are sick, tired, drained, broken, or when we just need a minute…. Thank you.

Muffin McGavin

Two moments…forever etched on my heart. The moment we met and the moment you took your last breath. 💔

12.5 short years we had together. I’d give everything for another year. I’m so thankful to have had your love tiny sweet girl.

I’m so thankful that she got to live a life in which she was with us as much as possible. I’m so glad she got to come to work with me all those days back when. I’m so relieved to know she stayed by Kevin’s side for the 7 long years he was dealing with the worst of his injury. I’m thankful she didn’t spend her days waiting for us to come home from work. I’m so glad she knew we loved her.

But most of all I marvel at the bond she had with Jacob. Muffin knew I was pregnant before I knew I was pregnant. In the days prior to me finding out she kept laying her head against my belly. I asked the doctor once and he said dogs have much better hearing than humans do and she could hear Jacob’s heartbeat. When I learned I was pregnant I was terrified how she would react to a baby…evidently I had nothing to worry about! When I got sick during pregnancy she would gag and throw up too. That’s solidarity. When Jacob arrived on the scene it took her a hot minute to claim him as hers and snuggle right in for the long haul. When he’d cry she’d become distraught. I think her favourite thing was when he learned to walk! She was amazed! I was amazed she never destroyed a single one of his toys despite them living on the floor and her being the queen of making it snow with stuffie innards!

I’m going to miss the kisses, the snuggles, hearing your collar tags jingle as you ran down the hallway! I’m going to miss the way you’d stand on my chest and stare at me when I tried to sleep in! I’m going to have to fight the urge to “accidentally” drop your favourite human foods on the ground. I’m going to cry a lot. I’m going to hurt. I’m going to have to find a way to calm myself because you were my sanity.

This world feels a little darker today. This house feels colder and empty. It’s missing it’s heart. I’m missing part of my heart. My tiny best friend has left my earthly side and it hurts in a way I could not have even imagined prior to 8 pm last night. My heart is shattered but I had the honor of knowing true, unconditional love.

Muffin thank you for the love, the knowledge and for the way you let me know I could get through the hard things. Thank you for dedicating your life to loving us. I pray you knew just how much we loved you.

We will always love you

I will never forget you shaggy girl 💔💔

Mental Health Day ….

Look… parenting is hard and I’m the first one to stand up and admit all too frequently I get it wrong. This morning tho, I got it right!

I’m a huge advocate for mental health and treating ourselves with grace. So this morning when Jacob woke up and called me into his room to make a case for missing school today I didn’t skip a beat. As soon as this usually excited for school seven year old told me he was tired and a bit sad I said ok. He continued to plead his case that he’s not sick he’s just tired/sad and I sat down on his bed and said “J you don’t need to convince me you need a mental health day” .

Let’s be real here…we could all benefit from the odd mental health day here and there and because I’ve realized the importance of this in my own life I 100% support it in my child’s life! I was so thankful this morning when even J’s teacher was enthusiastic and supportive of him having a mental health day!

I grew up with parents from a generation that all too frequently ignored mental health. A generation that championed pushing themselves to physical and mental exhaustion. Don’t get me wrong I have the utmost respect for work ethic but I also have mad respect for anyone willing to set boundaries to respect/protect their health, both physical and mental! The past two years have been hard but I’ve learned so much and I know what’s important to me. Nurturing my child’s mental health is just as important as vaccinating him, feeding him well, and keeping his body healthy!

Feeling safe, loved, and heard is so important. Today I got it right and J definitely felt all those things.

We called it a mental health day…Now he’s in great spirits. We just got home! We walked, talked, had breakfast, played at the skate park, watched the ducks, practiced our dance moves on the stage at the amphitheater, laughed, and his favourite part was when I gave him a $5 bill to hide at the skate park for someone else to find and help brighten their day! Side note…it’s actually international Random act of kindness day!

During our morning adventure we talked about the importance of filling our cup and the importance of doing little things to help others fill theirs when we can! We talked about how it’s important to feel our feelings, how it’s ok to be sad sometimes. We talked about making sure we rest, play, work hard, and honor our feelings!

Now we’re cuddling on the couch and he just paused his screen time to tell me this was the best morning he’s ever had! And with that he made my cup overflow. I got it right this morning friends 💙💙💙

The Hardest Goodbye…

This morning we as a family laid Mom to rest in a beautiful, simple ceremony. We got to say our earthly goodbyes and send her off with love and beautiful flowers. We shared donuts and coffee at home and once again held each other up.

What will stick with me forever about today is something that could be seen as unimportant to some but I am almost 40 years old and spent the better part of my life trying to convince my hard working mother to join me for a manicure. As a child I desperately wanted to paint her nails! She always had an excuse and said no because she wasn’t into that sort of thing! We lived on a farm, It wasn’t practical! She painted mine as a child but never hers! This morning as I got to say my last earthly goodbye to my Mom I was drawn her her beautiful hands, the hands that raised me, that tended our home and farm, the hands that cared for our pets and horses. The hands that cooked our meals, grew our food, baked treats, and held us up when life was hard.

This morning her beautiful hard working, well lived hands had the sweetest shade of pale peach nail polish applied to them. Very faint almost easy to miss but my heart noticed right away.

Today a stranger who cared for my Mom in her last earthly moments gave me the gift of seeing my mothers well lived hands look peaceful and beautiful. A stranger gave me a gift they have no idea I’ll carry the rest of my life.

For that I thank every one of you in the death care industry.

❤️ Heart To Heart and Hand in Hand 💔

I asked my Mom for a white Christmas just an hour or so before she left us 2 weeks ago. She delivered today. I cried and laughed simultaneously. I can’t explain the way I felt today. I can tell you I’m not ready to pack Christmas away.
At dinner we left an empty chair between my Father and my husband. This too made me both smile & feel empty and sad at the same time.
Navigating the holiday season through this season of grief has been hard. And so know my journey has only just begun. I’m thankful to be surrounded by an amazing group of friends who continue to check on me, who continue to do little things to raise my spirits. I’m thankful Christmas Day was white and snowy. Im thankful for the memories of Christmases past with my Mom. I’m thankful and I’m sad. In the words of the Grinch “Welcome Christmas while we stand, heart to heart and hand in hand. ❤️❄️❄️❄️🎄🎄🎄💔

I Know Ive Been Quiet….

But I saw something today that really slapped me in the face and got my attention!! Now I’m sharing it with you because it’s so important and no one tells you this!!!! Don’t put your well-being at risk to avoid making a scene or hurting someone’s feelings!! This goes for all the things listed below but also for friendships, jobs, marriages, family dinners, appointments, etc!! If something is making you uncomfortable you don’t owe it to anybody to stay there and suffer!!!

I think this resonates with me so deeply for a number of reasons but especially because of how long I stayed working for an abusive employer because I felt I had too!! I was raised to believe you don’t quit and now thanks to life experience and therapy I know it’s ok to quit! It’s ok to put myself first! It’s ok to walk away!!!

It’s funny writing this today after coming home from my shift at my new job which I absolutely love. I think about what I worked through at my last job and feel so incredibly grateful to now be working for a family who values me as nurse, as a caregiver, and most importantly as a person!

When I left my last job I truly didn’t know if I’d ever return to nursing but after a long hiatus involving therapy, self discovery, self love, and healing I’m so thankful to have found a job in the field I love that reminds me why I went into health care in the first place. I’m so thankful to have found a family to help that truly is thankful for my help.

I now know it’s ok to leave when you don’t feel right about a situation. It’s ok to leave when you aren’t being respected, it’s okay to walk away. You don’t owe your well being to anyone except you!!

❤️

Thankful Thursday September 16 2021

This morning I crawled out of my warm bed to take Muffin out to pee. I was hit with cold air upon opening the door! Cold air I haven’t felt since early last spring! I rushed Muff along and upon returning inside took a moment to crawl into bed beside Jacob. His barely awake warm self instantly embraced me and we cuddled for a solid 10 minutes before going about our regular before school routine. Now as I sit here reflecting on the morning I realize how much those ten minutes changed my day. They made me feel loved and relaxed and that put me in a great mood. I had more patience with my parents this morning and generally find myself less stressed!!

I hope our cuddle had the same effect on his day and I hope he never outgrows Momma cuddles! ❤️