Missing 4 Months, a Signature and a Year of Firsts

Missing 4 months, a signature and a year of firsts, some thoughts and a laugh from in and around the Carr family for another week.

I am happy to say I am feeling more like my normal self. A carefully scrutinized dose of some serious medication, lots of friends’ shoulders and a team of therapists, working around the clock have confirmed my original thought, that I am basically fine and the rest of the world is completely messed up. It has been a few months since I blogged the stories from my little life, and I have forgotten how much I missed it, and how much I get out of it. I write for me, and hope to be read, but in the end if it is only me and the automated spiders at Google that scan the words in the confessions page, I am ok with that too.

One of the reasons I have feared beginning again, was how do I recap the missing 4 months of not writing. And when I mentioned my apprehension to blog reader and great sister, Janey, she gave me the answer I needed to get back at it, “You just do it one sentence at a time Jim”

We had some laughs...
A Trip
4 weeks before May 20th, I had a little conversation with Bentley the super dog, after reading a look in his eyes that reminded my of a line in my favourite poem by Robert Service called “The Cremation of Sam McGee”. In the piece, after a long trek in the cold and snow, the main character – Sam, who hates the weather and is not well, says to his friend and travel companion, “I’ll cash in this trip I guess”. You see Bentley was struggling to make it up the stairs on his own, and the look in his eyes, said it all to me. I am tired, I am in pain, I don’t like this and I am done. I asked him if he was ok, and picked him up, rubbing the back of his neck like I had done so many times before, and he looked away, almost as if to say, please don’t look at me. I knew at that moment for sure, that his 14-year trip with us was drawing to a close.

I tried to sluff off the image, the words, and the whole thought of it, and instead tucked it in my back pocket for a future blog. This blog. The blog that I knew I would write after we had say goodbye to a great dog for the last time on the 20th of May.

Bentley thank you for teaching me the true meaning of unconditional love. Thank you for teaching Nathalie and I, early on in our marriage, not only responsibility, but how to deal with each other, on important issues like destruction of personal property and thank you for always knowing when to bark, when to sit and when to run away, most of the time and most of all, thanks for giving us, someone to run home to.

A Year of Firsts
This has not been the easiest of years for my family or me. One of the themes I have heard of a number of times while making my way through life for the last 365 days, was that for the first year after a loved ones passing, of course it will be difficult, but mostly during significant anniversaries, events or family gatherings. When you mark a date in time, as you have so many times before with that person, it stands to reason that when you have to do that same without that person, your emotions are heightened.

The year of firsts, was full of happy memories, and some sadness and an over all comfortableness over the loss of my Mom. It is not that time has made me forget her, but I think that time has allowed me to appreciate all that she meant to me when she lived even more, and that is a good thing I guess. I don’t hear her voice as much as I did a year ago, but I still can see her smile and when I need to smile myself I close my eyes, and just watch her dance.

In Closing
Somewhere in a box, possibly labeled “old stuff” in my garage, in a large stack of paper is one piece of lined fullscap I know I saved from a life ago. A page that many would look at and immediately think it was a scrap paper with blue or black pen doodle on it, but I kept it because I thought it was a great symbol. Before Nathalie and I got married, when her name was longer, naturally, she had her signature down pat, but she needed to figure out how the “new” name would work in addition to hers, and she must have practiced it a million times. Two dots over the “i” underlines, circles and lines in varying lengths over and under others, all part of an inspiring piece of artwork, the way I look at it.

I remembered that piece of paper this week, after an innocent conversation with Jordyn that ended up making me laugh. She said, “Daddy, when do I get my signature”. Confused, I asked, “What do you mean?” She said, “You know, when do I get to have a signature of my own?” After processing the though of being given your very own signature, I said, “You have a signature now Jordyn, you have a name, so you have a signature. Your signature is something you make. You can have it anytime you want!” She smiled, and said, “Ohh I though like the government would send it to me, and I would have to practice it.”

Off to practice my own signature!

Thanks for reading and have a great and safe week,

Words That Count, Traffic and Happy, Happy, Happy

Words that count, traffic and happy, happy, happy, the week 14 recap of the week that went to the dogs, in the Carr house.

The little fur ball - Jersey!

We have a great dog, all be it an old dog, but a great dog nonetheless and we certainly do love him. This weekend, we got a reminder of the young dog he once was in the form of an 8-month-old little ball of fur named Jersey. He belongs to my sister’s family and with them on the road for a couple of days, it is our turn to pay back some of the dog sitting credits me have amassed over the 14 years with Bentley and dog-sit their little mutt. It was fun to see them running around and Bentley even showed glimpses of his own adolescence by playing way more than he normally does. I am giving myself the award for line of the weekend, after shouting out for the 10th time, “Jersey, if you keep smelling his bum, he will get upset”. Now there is something you are not going to hear everyday!

Word Count

I love my blog. I love to go back in the archives and read bits and pieces of old posts, and each time I do, it takes me right back to where it was I was when writing it, and of course right back to the situation I was writing about in the post. I love that I have readers, but truth be told I do this for me mostly. I am very happy, that I can take a 1000 word snapshot into life and times of my family and sometimes pull it off with a laugh or two and am able to post it for the world to see, as if standing on top of a mountain and shouting, “Listen to me, and hear how great my family is!”

I love that some of the points are just silly observations, and some are about the family and some are about work, but somehow, seemingly with purpose, I can tie them all together. This week is my 79th entry and that brings my total written word count to an alarming, 77,244 or around 167 pages and the way I look at it, that is not too shabby, for a little less than two years of writing. So thanks for taking the time to read and please feel free to comment.

I take the GO bus to work as often as I can. It is great, I always listen to music and do home work or write, or most likely get caught up in the world according to Facebook. I have to confess, I have a routine that includes checking a number of friends’ statuses and in doing so, I get a good picture of what is going on around my little world. I have made the joke before, that if I am in trouble I will likely find out about it first using some form of social media. Well, early this week. I laughed at the updates from Nathalie’s BFF, WW. It would seem that she had a very rough week due to an overwhelming amount of traffic, driving the same direction she was going at the very same time she was on trips to and from work, a couple of days in a row.

Now, I want to clarify, I was not laughing at WW in a mean way. You see I am sure she knows voodoo and could easily fashion a doll in my likeness, from stuff she has around her house (if she has not already done so), but I am simply bring up her dilemma because of my own commute on Friday. I wanted to just get there, and get home as fast as I could so I drove. After sitting in horrible traffic for more then 40 minutes, I thought about WW and her updates and me laughing at her from my comfortable seat on the bus and had to admit, that it was likely karma playing its cruel little game with me.

The one positive thing I was able to take from my car ride was the introduction to a song that I had never heard before. I saw these two girls in a minivan just going to town, with an air band performance from the anonymous safety of their own front seats. Until they finally came window to window with me, and I smiled and laughed at their performance, and then they buried their heads, laughing at themselves. They didn’t know what to do, when I rolled down my window to ask them what song had them dancing and singing so much? Turns out that it was Ricki Lee – Cant Touch It and I just have never heard it before. Wikipedia says it is from 2007, but most recently in the trailer for the movie, Sex In The City 2. I downloaded it when I got home, and in the end, I was able to pull somewhat of a smile from a lousy traffic situation.

I think I am at my happiest when we entertain guests at our home. Now there are lots of other times in my life I am happy, but this weekend I was reminded just how fun it is to have friends and family come to our house. It makes all the mad cleaning that we do, hours before hand all worth it. I love walking around the super clean house, topping up drinks and making sure that the people in our home are well fed, and lubricated (with drinks of course), while engaging them with interesting conversations and laughing. Lots of laughing!

Saturday night, while the kids where at a birthday sleep over, L & L came for dinner and drinks and we had a blast. If that wasn’t fun enough, we also have Nathalie’s parents, her sister and her family and Nathalie’s brother coming over tonight for dinner. This is just the kind of weekend we need every weekend.

In closing
Jordyn is one of the most sensitive and caring people I know and that she is only 11 makes me think that she is bound to become an even better person then she is all ready. This week, Nathalie and I had a bit of a disagreement about something, and when two passionate people such as us disagree, the conversation to solve the differences can be a little confusing. Nathalie wanted to clear her head, so she went to the store and when she left, Jordyn our little marriage counselor, who was supposed to be in bed, got to work on a three page, hand written letter, outlining her love for us and the reasons it is wrong to fight, and a simple solution for our differences. I will not scribe her entire letter here, but I loved this sentence the most, “Mom and Dad, Christmas is about giving and finding times to love and (not) times for hate. This time you are giving hate to each other by yelling.” I love you Jordyn and am so proud of you each day that you show us you care and love and are able to offer wisdom beyond your years.

Have a great and safe week, and thanks for reading!