Archive for September, 2008

We had EB here for respite for a couple of weekends this month. As he is 13 he gets to go to bed a little later than Squirt.  She finds this situation inherently unfair and completely unacceptable.

Squirt: EB is lucky, he gets to stay up and play and I don’t. It’s not fair (insert a hmph, and arms crossing in front of her chest).

Mara: Honey EB is 13 and you’re 4 so he doesn’t need as much sleep as you do. He needs more time to have a bath and get ready for bed.

Squirt: Mama, when I am 13, can I stay up and play with EB?

Mara: Sure, but then he’ll be 22 and an adult by then.

Squirt: I am ANGRY! I want to stay up and play for a few more minutes!

Mara: Sorry honey, it’s bed time and EB stays up a little while longer. That’s just the way the boat floats.

Squirt: It’s not fair! And my boat is not floating and I am sad about that!


After choosing a birthday present for her friend we were in the checkout line to pay. I noticed I did not have my debit card, nor my credit card to make the purchase. I explained to Squirt we would have to come back to get it. This resulted in tears and much drama.

Mara: Honey can you use your words and tell me what’s wrong?

Squirt: Okay <sniff, sniff>.  I have nothing for R’s party. Mama she is going to be so disappointed at me! I can’t go to the party!

Mara: Yes you can honey, we’ll explain it to her and we’ll make a play date where you can give her the birthday gift.

Squirt: Oh mama <sniff, sniff> she won’t be mad at me? She won’t be disappointed at me? Really? <sniff, sniff>

Yes, a sensitive little heart she has. My sweet girl. She opens my heart a little more each day.

Mara ~ I still need another baby 🙂


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Paul Newman

I loved his blue eyes.

I loved his FU Hollywood attitude.

I love his salad dressings.

It’s so sad, really. I know that picture above is not the one many would choose to eulogize old blue eyes, but that picture speaks to me.  Mr. Newman looks old in those pictures, he looks so gaunt, and not like himself at all. It was a trigerring photo for me. It reminded me of my dad at the end. The same person, yet ravaged and unrecognizable. Emaciated, with death around the corner. It’s how I saw my dad for the last six months of his life. I am angry at myself for those last few months because I stopped seeing my dad, and I started seeing death. I knew Christmas ’06 would be our last Christmas, I was happy we didn’t celebrate my birthday….  It was a big long row of lasts. But we made those months count, there was nothing left unsaid. He knew I loved him fiercely, and I knew he loved me and was proud of me.  In my whole life, even with some great friends and family, I have never felt that pride from anyone else.  And I tried to just savour the moment, enjoy the TIME I had with him, but I knew that consciously spending so much time with him was because I didn’t have enough TIME left.  And he was amazing. He was strong. He was in pain. He was brave. He was surrendered.

And then one morning I lost my dad, and life just hasn’t been the same. I won’t ever be the same again.

My thoughts are with the Newman family.  May they remember the love and life and not the pain and death. And my heart aches for them, because it still aches for me….

And now those blue eyes are closed forever. Godspeed Paul Newman.

Mara ~ and the tears are still right there.

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Sands of time

Here is my beautiful, sweet, whiny, sensitive, caring, funny, goofy, brilliant little girl on her first day of school. She is excited. I hope it lasts. She’ll need a lot of enthusiasm to get through the next twenty or so years of schooling…

I am, however, a blubbering mess. This is such a clichee, but dude, where did the last three years go?? Just yesterday I was on a plane to China, and I blinked, and now she’s off to school.  Also? It means I’m older. Also? The house is empty. Also? I need me another baybee. Also? My baby is off to school.  Sigh.


I am so proud of her.

Mara ~ sitting in front of the computer, eating cold samosas, and burnt pakoras, and soon some beef vindaloo.  Ummm….. beef vindaloooooo

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I would like to let you know that I am fiercely pro-choice. I would also like you to understand that this does not mean I am pro-abortion or anti-life. Can you see that I am pro-choice and pro-life? It’s true. And those convictions can rest in the same small brain at the same time.  Without it even exploding.

True story.

Mara – please do NOT send me anymore fetus pictures. Thank you.

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A sea of white….

Squirt is the only child of colour in her dance class….

Mara ~  sigh………..

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Dear Dad

I don’t know where you are. I’d like to think that heaven is everything and more, and I know if it exists you are there. It has been one full year since I held you and watched the breath leave your body as the sun rose outside your hospice room window. I felt your anxiety and your fear those last minutes, even after all the morphine and dilaudid. I’m sorry my comfort was not enough. I guess we all really do die alone. I just wanted you to know that I miss you and I love you and it still feels a little bit like a rug has been yanked out from under me. I was completely unprepared for how hard actually losing you would be, and how tears would be my constant companion for this whole year. They are always right there, just ready to well up in my eyes. Always ready to fall. And I still wonder what I am going to do without you.  I still feel this huge hole in my life. I want you to know that I’m thankful that I had you for a dad. You are extraordinary.

I just miss you. A lot. Still.

And I love you. Fiercely. Still.

Mara ~ your loving daughter

PS: Roger Federer won the USOpen again.

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  • I have not been sleeping for the last two weeks. It sucks. A lot. And it took me about a week into this latest bout of insomnia to put it all together. Yeah, I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer. It was one year ago that my dad went into hospice. It was really the end of the end.  I spent two weeks in a little hospital room with my dying father.  And I wasn’t sleeping then either. I was trying to deal with a business, a three year old, a difficult, greiving mother and my own feelings.
  • I cry at the drop of a hat these days. I ran into someone that I have not seen for at least five years. We used to be very close and she meant a lot to me. She told me she was sorry to hear about my father passing away. And the tears? They are still right there. Right at the surface. And if I blink too hard they overflow.  It’s been a year. On one hand I wonder what I am going to do without him, and then I remember I have been without him, for almost a whole year. I’m not sure where this year went, but I wish my dad had been here with me. And my body was grieving this time of year even before I realized it in my head. Anniversary grief. Yup. And if I ever had any doubts (even after 3 years of watching my daughter go through it) I don’t now.
  • Squirt is amazing. She is going to start school soon. French Immersion! She is so in love with the idea of ballerina lessons, and wants to wear her tutu everywhere (even to bed). And as this huge transition is happening in her life, she asks that I recount the story of her. She wants to hear about China, and her story and she wants to know when her MeiMei is going to get here. And I have had the privilege of recounting these stories. And I want to scream when I meet parents that can’t keep the contempt they have for their child’s birth country out of their voice.  Dude, don’t you know your child is watching you? I try to recount two positives for every negative I heard until I thought my ears would bleed. I guess that’s the whole thing though. Clueless.
  • I am not an American, yet I watched Obama at the DNC. Wow. The intellect is so hot. I mean really HOT. Or maybe because he is such a contrast to George W., who is certainly not, shall we say, an intellectual (please don’t misunderestimate me, HA HA, but I digress). And I love to drive myself crazy by reading blogs and stuff that people had to say about Obama and his acceptance of his party’s nomination. I noticed many people enamoured of his ability to pull off a ‘spectacle’ in front of 84,000 people. Many people who disagreed, but did so on policy/philosophy basis. Of course, there was as many different opinions as there are people. I must comment however on those individuals that characterized his speech as ‘angry’. I find that an interesting choice of words. Hmmm. Can you guess what I am thinking? I am continually amazed at the idiots who somehow are not able to see the white privilege that conspires to keep a part of a population without agency. AND it is COMPLETELY ridiculous to think that because Obama is a presidential candidate, you can say racism is dead. The mere fact that he suceeded despite the decks so heavily stacked against him is a testament to his exceptionality. He is extraordinary and I hope that he is the next president of the United States. It would make this Canadian a little weepy.(Not that that takes much these days you understand).
  • I love tennis. But this USOpen is killing me. In fact, I am so dense and seemingly so out of touch with my own emotions that I had no idea why watching a game would send me into fits of anxiety I could not control. Why could I not just get into the match and wonder at the amazing arm of Andy Roddick and his 140mph serves or watch Roger Federer move so effortlessly across a tennis court, or watch Rafa arrange his socks, straighten his waterbottles, pick the underwear out of his butt, take forever to serve and still melt to see the Mallorcan smile?  My dad went into hospice, I watched tennis for the whole two weeks sitting in a hospital room. On a Sunday afternoon I watched Roger Federer win his 4th USOpen in a row, and the next morning as the sun was coming up, I held my dad as he died.  Watching the Open is hard this year.
  • Took a trip with the mother. It was only 24 hours. I wanted to shoot myself. Not a good relationship the two of us. Not good at all. As we were driving home she asked if I wanted to stop and visit a friend. I told her I just wanted to go home. “I miss Squirt. That was my first night away from her.” She looked at me like I was from Mars. I smiled, looked at her and gently said “I know you don’t understand.”  And the thing is she doesn’t. My mother loves to travel. When I was a child she went to Sri Lanka, Peru, Ukraine, Russia, Florida, New Zealand, Australia etc etc. And they weren’t one week trips or 4 night cruises. She’d be gone for months sometimes. And she never called. I don’t remember one phone call. Not one. I don’t ever remember her saying “I missed you” when she came back. This isn’t something I recount with bitterness. It’s just the reality of what it meant to grow up with her. I think that having a child held her back, I think I was in her way of discovering the world. Or maybe herself. And she may be my biological mother, but there is nothing motherish about her. And that makes me a little sad. Not  for me, but for her. Because this deep, abiding, consuming, selfless love I feel for my child is the greatest gift of my life. And she never got to feel that.

And that note I will bid you farewell.

Mara ~ go Roger 🙂

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