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Welcome, 2014!

I have such a good feeling about this year. I’ve been so excited for it to get here and I think it will be great! I thought I would start the year off with some positive intentions. Not resolutions per se, but what I would like to keep in mind and attract for myself in the coming year.

1. I want to learn to be happy now. Not when such-and-such happens; not when I hit some milestone that I think will make me happy. I want to be happy in myself, here and now, every day. I am enough.

2. I want to be more open to love, in all of its forms.

3. I want to welcome abundance and prosperity into my life in all of its forms and trust that it is there for me always.

4. I want to become more accepting of myself. Flaws and all, I am a pretty neat person, it’s about time I saw that.

5. Along that line, I want to forgive myself and accept myself for being a bit different from what I sometimes think I “should” be and move on to discover all of the lovely things about myself that I never knew.

6. I want to see the good things all around me. I’m continuing with my gratitude practice off-line and it is helping.

7. I want to discover the things that are my joy and follow them.

I think that’s enough for now. I also hope to do some more things on my life list, but I will let those things come up as they may. They usually do. I wish you a stupendous year for 2014. May it be full of love and amazingness and everything wonderful that you could dream of and more.

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Goodbye, 2013.

Goodbye, 2013. I am not sad that you are over, but I am the person I am now in part from everything I experienced this year and I am starting to like her a whole lot. So thank you.

Thank you for the good times. They were fun and great and full of laughter.

Thank you for the lessons, both the easy and the hard. I am stronger because of them and I will carry this newly gained wisdom with me as I release the other aspects of them that I no longer need.

I am thankful for the wonderful people who continue to be in my life and for the great new people who have entered my life, many of whom are brand new themselves. They don’t replace those who have gone, but they have brightened the lives of the families they have joined and we are all the better for having them here.

Thank you 2013 for making way for the new year to come.

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So it’s December. I can hardly believe it. In some ways, I feel this year has passed so quickly, yet in others, I feel like it’s been hanging around for too long and I’m ready for the new year and a fresh start already. It’s been such a weird year.

I went and saw my grandmother and had a wonderful week with her. I am so glad I went. And exactly one month to the day that I left, I flew back to attend her funeral. I fully believe that it was her choice to go when she did. She had had enough of being sick and quite frankly, had been away from my grandfather for far too long. That was just her way. She was not one to put up with unnecessary BS when she had reached her limit. Everything about that brings me immense comfort. I miss her terribly, but I know she’s happy. That’s all that matters to me.

This has been a year of loss and various other tests of mettle for me, my family and friends; as well, it seems, within my general sphere of existence. There seems to have been so much more if it than in any years I can remember and I hope for all of our sakes that this was the worst of it and we will have a much easier go of things to come.

There have been many fun and happy times this year as well, and thank goodness, because I can’t imagine what the year would have been like without them. I have appreciated all of the lighter moments that have brought balance and healing.

I’m not really sure how to close this post. There’s no higher meaning to any of it, no moral or learning point. It’s just what I am thinking and feeling right now. I hope that’s enough.

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She Also Has A Beautiful Smile.

My grandma has been with me since the beginning. Well, technically, since my dad’s beginning, but my beginning too. She was at my parents’ place when I was born to help out during my first days (My mom’s mother was starting to get quite ill by then and was supportive from afar. She passed away the following year). My dad’s mom took on the double-duty grandmothering with ease. She was there when my sister was born, we spent nearly every Christmas with her and my grandpa and once we were old enough, large chunks of our summers were passed happily at their house, as well as with surrounding aunts, uncles and cousins.

We were not geographically close, starting at a 5 hour drive away and now there is a province between our provinces, but we have always been close in the ways that counted. Visits were as often as possible, birthdays always warranted a card and special phone call, and Christmas gifts pretty well always include something she has made herself. We have good talks about so many things and she surprises me often when what she has to say. I love to hear her tell a story. Until last summer, there had always been a deep-freezer full of ice cream pails with all kinds of baking in them. I don’t know how she does it, but when she goes into the kitchen, food just starts appearing, seemingly without effort. When she was here last Christmas, she made my favourite butterscotch tarts. When I last visited her at Thanksgiving over a year ago, she was still handling most of the meal and wouldn’t let me help — right down to planting her feet and giving that 16 lb, stuffed, turkey a good shove into the oven and then squaring her shoulders and taking her electric knife to the ham, even though she had never carved before. When my grandpa died nearly twelve years ago, she moved from their small town to the city, started volunteering at the hospital and basically showed us all just how it’s done.  She only just stopped driving last year and it was her decision.

My grandma is badass.

My grandma is dying.

Today is the first day I’ve been able to fully admit that to myself and say it out loud. I’m going to see her this week. While I knew and could say that this was probably her “last good summer,” I couldn’t bring myself to say the rest of it, silently or out loud. The not saying it has not been good for me. It’s been coming out in other ways. I’m so afraid it’s going to affect my visit with her, or I’ll be a blubbering mess the whole time. I don’t want to focus on what’s to come. I don’t want to mourn her before she is gone. I don’t want to make her feel bad. I want to be fully with her now.  I want us to laugh. I want to be able to say everything I need to say to her, even though I don’t yet know all of what I want to say to her. There is too much to say and not enough time.

She was diagnosed with lung cancer shortly after my Thanksgiving visit. She had surgery and radiation and that seemed to be okay for a while, she was well in time for summer last year and was back to all of her activities, although she did make the move from her senior’s apartment into a retirement home. When she was out to visit us this Christmas, she seemed tired, but we thought it was a cold. In fact, the cancer had come back, filling the space left behind by the surgery and giving her other symptoms as well. I don’t think surgery is an option this time and she is maxed out for radiation. Her doctor says chemo would do more harm than good, although I think they are still looking into a lower dose option. Now she is visited by palliative care nurses and is followed for pain management, which they are still working out.

I talked to her on the weekend and her voice is croaky, but strong. She is still herself. She is a little wobbly, but she is not house-bound. She is, in fact, at my aunt’s campsite (composed of a comfy trailer with a porch), commuting with my aunt into the city for necessary appointments.

I am not ready for this. I am not prepared to lose her. I can’t picture my life without her and I don’t want to. I had thought she was going to dance at my wedding. I had thought that any children I had would know her, even if only a little. I had thought she would just keep going and going. Always there, like she had always been.

Wednesday, I get on a plane to spend a week with her, as well as my extended family. I’m going to soak her in, like I do every visit. I’m going to try not to cry too much (which admittedly, I also do every visit — getting older has made me soft), especially when she is around. I’m going to enjoy a few glasses of wine with her, like I do every visit. I’m going to listen to her stories and have good talks with her, like I do every visit.

I’m also going to love her, like I have since the day we met.

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A Small Thrill

Yesterday, a hummingbird came to visit the flowers right outside the kitchen window. It stayed but a moment and was gone before anyone else could even turn to see it. It was grey with black markings on its head and wings. I think it’s the closest I’ve ever been to one and I am fairly sure I can still count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen them in my lifetime (not counting pictures/television). Also, the area I’m in is still relatively new, without any established gardens and the like (many of the bird varieties are really only just starting to return to the area), so it was such a lovely and unexpected gift of the day! To me, it was really something special.

Wishing you unexpected gifts this weekend too.

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Advice I Want to Remember

I saw my osteopath today and she gave me a really great piece of advice to remember: Make sure everyone on your personal healthcare team works to see the health in you, instead of only focusing on what’s wrong. Use your truth-seeker abilities and you’ll know who to stick with. This is good advice for me to remember for myself as well — how I look at myself. Working on it.

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