Friday, December 31

A New Year...

Sarah is sick. Dan is wicked sick. I had asked Dan to stay home from work today, and go to the doctor's instead. He said that he couldn't possibly do so. Work would fall to pieces without him there. I rolled my eyes and sent Mr. Important off to work.

By dinner time, Dan realised that he was quite sick. Although I had bought him some over-the-counter meds, he said "What I would really like is some honey...". Ahhh! It was 5pm. On New Year's Eve. I had to hurry!!!

I quickly ordered a pizza. From a new place (because our regular pizza place was closed). I decided to pick up the pizza because I could go to the grocery store first and then get the pizza.

I jumped in my car and raced to the grocery store. 5:05pm. The grocery store was closed. CRAP! I raced to the only other grocery store in my small community. Yup, it was closed, too. I gave up on the honey, and headed to the pizza place.

I walked into the pizza place and gave my name. They looked at me blankly. I gave my phone number, and they said that there was no order for me. They asked me if I had ordered the pizza from them. Duh. Of course I had! This was "2 for 1 Pizza"...right? Nope, the guy replied, this was "Pizza la Difference". To which I replied, "It says 2 for 1 Pizza on the window". The guy practically rolled his eyes at me and said "That's our deal. Did you order from 1 For 1 Pizza?". CRAP! Not only had I gone to the wrong pizza place, but I had ordered my pizza from the stupidest pizza place ever! How can 1 For 1 Pizza be a good deal?! Who came up with that name?

I asked for directions to 1 For 1 Pizza. The guy waved across the street and said "It's next to the pharmacy". How lucky! I could pop into the pharmacy (please, God, let it be open!) and see if they have any honey for Dan.

I drove to the pharmacy and looked around. No 1 For 1 Pizza. Oh well, I will go in and ask the cashier.

I couldn't find any honey so I asked a sales associate. She said "The honey is over here". YAY! "But we seem to be sold out of honey". CRAP!

While I was at the pharmacy, I bought another $20 worth of cough drops, sprays, and Neo Citron for my husband. Because I love him. And it sucks being sick. At the cash, I asked where the 1 For 1 Pizza is located. The cashier said "Next to the pharmacy".

"Ummmm..." I replied "We're in the pharmacy".

"No, no. The big pharmacy. Down the road". The "big" pharmacy? I have lived in this tiny community for four years. Yes, I admit, I try not to mix with the locals. But there are two pharmacies here? And I have been going to the small one for all these years. CRAP!

Back in the car, it occurred to me that I could go into the "big pharmacy" and see if they had any honey. I drove there. The pharmacy was closed. I have to admit, so far, I'm not super impressed with the "big pharmacy".

I got the pizza and went home. I broke the news to Dan about the honey, and showed him all the new meds I got for him. He said I shouldn't have. Perfect. I went out of my way to make his life better and this annoyed him. Whatever. He's sick and cranky. I will let it slide...

After dinner, Dan wanted me to spray some of the new stuff in his throat. He opened his mouth, I had a look, and I said "You have strep throat". He said "How do you know?". I replied "I can see it". He said "No worries, I can call the clinic and they can call the antibiotics in to the pharmacy". Right. On New Year's Eve. After everything has closed. His next shot at seeing a doctor is not for two days. CRAP CRAP CRAP!

Turns out that I horde prescription medicine. I like to have penicillin, Percocet, and morphine on hand. I'm funny like that. Anyway, I cracked open my secret stash, and offered him up some antibiotics...on the condition that he goes to the clinic on Sunday and pays me back!

Dan was annoyed that I had antibiotics (despite it coming in handy, I might add!). I told him that I had been saving them and, in fact, was going to start taking them tonight. He asked what was wrong with me. I replied "I have had a raging ear infection for four days. It feels like someone is pushing a dull knife in and out of my right ear. My left ear is completely blocked. I haven't been able to hear anything in that ear for about 36 hours. I have an infection in my sinuses and my throat is starting to hurt. And, I have a tooth ache."

Dan was shocked. He asked "Why haven't you said anything?!". I had said something, but no one listened. What more could I do? He said "But you've been rushing about, taking care of the kids, and doing all sorts of fun things with them". Yup. Life continues, even when I feel awful. Shocking.

So, I threw the kids in bed, and sent Dan to bed shortly thereafter. I sat on the couch and thought of my grandmother. She once said to me "Begin the New Year in the same manner you wish for it to continue"...or words to that effect.

Sigh. I am beginning the New Year with three smelly kids (I was too sick to bathe them tonight...I'll do it in the morning). Dan is sick. Sarah is sick. I suspect that Katie is getting sick too. I'm watching TV alone. Happy New Year. Please may it not continue like this!

Thursday, December 30

The Real Me

I've become disenchanted with social media. Well, not Facebook because mostly I just write wicked funny things to amuse my brother. And that has some real value for me. But Twitter is killing me. Most blogs annoy me, too. Why? Because I seem to be "friends" with women who are perfect.

These women love their children...all the time. They think their husbands are simply wonderful. The have lovely homes, and time to focus on cleaning and decorating those homes. I read this stuff, and take a look around.  My life is wonderful, but far from perfect.

I don't want to be perceived like that. Like I think I'm perfect. Because I'm not. I have surrounded myself with friends who are far from perfect, and I find that it's their idiosyncrasies that make them worth knowing. So, I have decided to share some of mine:

  1. I read. A lot. And when I say "a lot", I mean more than any other person I know. I read non-fiction. I like learning about all types of things. Things that I would never have any use for. Because of all of this reading, I have a lot of useless information stored in my brain. My friends just love it when I wow them with whatever I have learned. When asked, "How do you know that?", I roll my eyes and say "It's common knowledge. How come you don't know this?". And they love me for it.
  2. I get my books from the library, but I don't have a library card. Because I technically don't live in the City of Ottawa, I would have to pay $50 to have a library card. I'm too cheap to do this, so I "borrow" a card. When the owner of the card wants to take out a book, I get annoyed and say "Just tell the librarian that you forgot your card, and show them some ID". Then this person calls me and says "I showed my ID and they made me pay your late fees!". Oops.
  3. I use Lysol. And Vim. And Mr. Clean. And CLR. Because they work. In fact, I don't think I have ever purchased any "green" products. Truthfully, I don't intend to. Want to hear the worst bit? I have hospital wipes that are meant to be used to sterilize surfaces (and are only meant to be used in health-care settings)...and I use them! I know, I know, everyone is against using these types of household cleaners. And that's why I don't tell them about my love affair with Febreeze. In my house, "Febreeze" is a verb, as in "Oh my God, just Febreeze the children!".
  4. I don't like people. No, not all people. Just the vast majority of people that I have to come into contact with. It's kind of funny because most people like me. They look for me. They want to talk to me. They want to be my friend. And that's very sweet of them. But, unless you can make me laugh (and laughing at you doesn't count), then I really can't be bothered...
  5. I can't remember things. I used to have a very good memory, but then I had kids, and the ability to remember things was destroyed. People have had lengthy conversations with me, and I have absolutely no memory of them. It's like it never happened. On the flip side, the situations that I do remember, I remember them very clearly. It's odd.
  6. I have two pairs of shoes. Two. I have my regular old black shoes, and I have my $10 Walmart sandals. The sandals fell apart this summer. I taped them back up with electrical tape. My mother was horrified.
  7. I love my children. Passionately. Completely. With every fibre of my being. But I don't always like them...mostly because they have plotted to kill me. Kidding! They would be content if I was simply shipped off to the Looney Bin.
  8. My husband is a good man and an excellent father. Having said that, he makes me swear. A lot. I don't think it's physically possible to live with the man and not say "What the f@ck?!" at least 3 times a day. I think he intentionally dreams up ways to harass my sanity.
  9. I have a super human skill. Ready for it? I have the ability to get red vomit out of white carpet. Not impressed? I can do it at 3am. In the dark! I know, you're green with envy.
  10. It's all about me. I tell people this, and they laugh. They think I'm kidding. Or exaggerating. But I'm not. I've tried to work on this, but have not been successful. I have decided to "accept the things I cannot change".
And that's the "real" me. Obviously, not all of me. But enough for you to understand where I'm coming from.

Tuesday, December 28

The Magic of Christmas

On Christmas Eve, I went around the table and said why I thank God for each person sharing dinner with me.  Everyone got a turn. Everyone one said something sweet. Bethie said of me, "I thank God I have Mummy because she always tries so hard to make things nice for us". All the agony of December was worth it...because she had noticed!

On Christmas morning, the twins came rushing downstairs and saw this:

Both Katie and Bethie rushed to the tree and started rummaging through the presents. They shouted to their father "Daddy! Where's the gift that we got for Mummy?". Finding those gifts became the center of their attention until the gifts were produced and I had unwrapped them. It was only then that the twins turned to the tree, and became interested in their own presents.

I was so touched by their thoughtfulness. Most 5 year olds don't rush downstairs on Christmas morning and think of other people first. I applauded myself. Obviously, I must be an extraordinary mother to have created these superior children...

Christmas morning was not as successful for Sarah. Sarah needs to cuddle with me for about an hour in order to "wake up". On Christmas, she got about 2 minutes of cuddling before I heard the twins coming down the stairs. I threw Sarah to the other side of the couch, and I leaped up to take the twinnies' pictures. Sarah was offended, and never really bounced back.

While unwrapping presents, Sarah started to meltdown. She would get angry because she didn't like the wrapping paper that Santa used. She opened presents that I know she loved. She would shout, "I don't like this" and heave the present across the room. Dan and I were shocked!

Did this affect in any way the view I had of myself as being a "superior" parent? Not at all. Sarah's behaviour was due to her being tired, and out of sorts, and a little bit sick...and, of course, she is her father's daughter. I blame him!

Wednesday, December 22

When The 2 Year Old Is "In Charge"

Some people get carried away when they decorate their home with Christmas lights and decorations. I do not. In fact, if I didn't have children, I probably wouldn't put lights up at all. But I do have children, so every year I send Dan up the ladder to put the lights up.

This year, I decided that I would like to "fancy" the house up a bit for Christmas. The children had this in mind:

I thought that this would be a bit much for me. However, an inflatable decoration would be quite nice, and the children would love it.

This caused some tension between me and Dan. He was quite adamant that any decorations should be facing the road. I argued that the decorations should be facing the I could enjoy them from the comfort of my living room. Besides, who doesn't want a 12' Santa peaking in their window (other than Dan)???

The debate was all for nought. Mum bought us a inflatable Mickey Mouse holding an ornament. Sarah fell in love, and insists that it remains... in the kitchen!!!

Dan is not thrilled, but I am amused...and, really, that's all that matters!

Tuesday, December 21


December is killing me.

Katie has an ear infection, on top of everything else. She seems to have turned a corner...again. Last time I said that, I was wrong. Kinda afraid to even think that she might be getting better...

Bethie won a Principal Award at school because she "always tries her very best". Lovely moment for her. I went to the assembly and discreetly took some pictures. She was very relieved. Apparently, I embarrass her. Payback sucks, my little girl!

Sarah doesn't want Santa to come to our house. She's kinda afraid of him. She has agreed that he can give Katie and Bethie presents, but doesn't want any for herself. On a related note, all my shopping for Sarah is done!

Dan is relieved that his passport has  finally arrived. He's going on a trip in about three weeks, and he has been waiting not-so-patiently for his passport to turn up. He was really starting to stress about it. He even filled out a form online to request information about where his passport could be...and that's when I told him that I hid it, about a month ago. Why? Because Dan plays games with my mind for laughs, and this was payback (and I'm really bored and things like this entertain me!).

The 25 Days of Christmas has been whittled down to 24. There was nothing special last night. The children didn't notice. And I have started doing things over and over again, like "Have A Christmassy Dessert". Because that's the type of mother I am...

I have 8 child-free hours left until Christmas. I'm off to create some magic...

Monday, December 13

The Best Santa Claus Parade Ever!

Katie had been sick for three weeks. The last day of school that she went to was Friday, November 19. She was well enough to go back to school today, December 13. That's almost a month of feeling miserable and being house bound. More importantly, for a five year old, she was sick during the Santa Claus Parade season.

Bethie got to go to the parade in Carleton Place.

It was fun. It was cold. It was long.

Katie was desperate to go to a parade, but she didn't start feeling better until this weekend...and most of the parades had already happened. Why are there so many parades in November? I was bound and determined that my little girl should see a Santa Claus parade. To my great relief, I found The Second Annual Carp Santa Claus Parade.

I must confess, I was a bit nervous. I don't think I'd ever been to Carp, and the only thing I knew about Carp was that the city dump is located there. Also, it was only the "Second Annual" parade. How good could it be?

The parade began at 1pm. I was ecstatic! All the parades near my home are at night. They don't even begin until the children's bed time. And it's so much colder at night! I do not enjoy the night time parades...

Anyway, we found the perfect parking spot along the parade route. I really should have taken a picture! I backed into the spot, thus ensuring that if it was too cold, we could sit in the car and watch the parade (okay, I wanted to sit in the car, but the children would rather freeze like little Popsicles before they sat in the car! But the option was there...). Since the parade went past a park and lots of open green space, there was room for all the children to run and play while waiting for the parade to come. Normally, we are stuck on a sidewalk with masses of people vying for a spot, and the children become bored and whiny and cold. This time, we let the children run wild, and Dan and I had (gasp!) a conversation! With each other! Without interruption!

If you feel so inclined, you can click here to see some photos of the parade. But I have to share a couple with you:

 The group shot...Sarah hid behind the twinnies!

 Sarah found the sirens from the firetrucks to be "too noisy"! If that's not the pot calling the kettle black than I don't know what is...

Katie, Bethie, and Sarah watching the parade. I love Bethie's face in this photo. She's sooooo excited!

The floats were excellent! Everyone put effort into their floats. They took pride in their work. I have seen some parades where they just stick a bow or a snowman on a car (with advertising, of course!) and call it a float. Every single float in Carp had been given careful thought and each had added value to the parade. There were no floats that we ignored while scanning for something better.

Here are some interesting ones:

I actually ran down the parade route to get a picture of this. First of all, it's funny. It doesn't matter what party you are affiliated with, this is funny. And memorable. And effective. When I got home from the parade, I googled Karen McCrimmon and the person she's running against, and decided who I would vote for if I lived in that riding. Guess who it was?! 

 I really liked this float! It is simple, and pretty, and charming. It was sandwiched between floats being pulled by trucks. It looked tiny. But that contrast made it even more special. What I especially liked about this float (and I could be totally wrong) was that it appeared that this lady wanted to be a part of the parade. She wanted to promote her business, and contribute to her community. She decorated that sweet little wagon, and went out there and did it! She didn't need to ask all her friends to go with her. She didn't care if she was going to be there all by herself. She just went out there and made it happen! I like that!
Yup, that's a giant bomb with an elf guiding it. Merry Christmas...BANG! How could I not love that?!

 Mrs. Claus in her very own sleigh (it's about time!) being pulled by a riding mower. Most floats carrying Mrs. Claus are big and over the top...and it's hard to see Santa and his beloved. This was perfect!

I have to tell you the truth, I saw this and laughed. Only in Carp would there be a garbage truck in the parade! But why not? They fancied it up. And Waste Management employs a lot of people who will have a roof over their heads and food in their baby's belly because of these trucks. I think this should be in every Santa Claus parade that Carp hosts!

But I also saw this scene and got very nervous. Where was Santa???? He wasn't in the garbage truck. I panicked! I grabbed a fireman and made him pose with the twinnies, hoping this would be just as good as Santa.
It was only after I had taken the picture that I realised how good looking he is. HONESTLY!

So, I snapped the picture, looked up, and saw:


Apparently, that wasn't Mrs. Claus' sleigh after all. She was just sick and tired of listening to Santa go on and on about how special he is and how the parade couldn't happen without him blah, blah, blah. So she left. It was very kind of the (hot) firemen to give him a lift. So, if you're ever in Carp, go hug a fireman (wink, wink) because they saved the parade!

I haven't even told you the best bit of the parade. The people! I have never, ever, ever seen such friendly people. Everyone stopped to talk. They didn't just say "Merry Christmas", they took the time to have conversations with us. Even the police officer who was the pace car stopped to chat me and the girls up. It was like they knew us. It made the parade even better.

I will be going to the Third Annual Santa Claus Parade in Carp, that's for sure. You are welcome to come, too, as long as you don't steal my wicked awesome parking spot!!!

Friday, December 10

My Very Own Gayle King

Last night, I watched Barbara Walters interview Oprah. When Oprah started to describe her friendship with Gayle King, she cried. Because Gayle is such a wonderful friend to Oprah. Because Gayle is the friend that Oprah wishes everyone could have. I was moved. I thought of my very best friend of all time, Lisa. She is the kind of friend that everyone should have!

Lisa wrote on facebook last night: Sigh.

My friend was feeling a little down. I wanted to cheer her up. I wanted to let her know how much I respect and value our friendship. I replied.

Me:  I was just thinking about you. I have decided that you're my Gayle King.

Then my very best friend wrote me an email and said, "OMG now you think your OPRAH??". Not "Wow. I think you're pretty special, too". Not even "Thanks!". Instead, she laughed at me. So I went back to facebook and continued to comment...

Me: Or my Ethel. Or my Tom Sawyer. Or my Ron Weasley. My Baloo! Naw, just kidding, you're my Gayle King...

Lisa:  LMAO...lets get one thing straight...I am not Gayle...I am so more LUCY than you....might I remind you of who went in the kids giant bin of balls to retrieve a child that was not mine...and Ron....RON....I am soooooo Hermione...btw did you see the last one?? And do not get me started on am more of a Belle, but if we are doing the Jungle book than let's say I'm Bageera, although I would love to be as care free as Baloo or right now I am probably as insane as King Louie... I shall agree to be Laverne to your Shirley or a Krissy to your Janet but GAYLE...REALLY!!

Me:  YOU are Lucy? I have to remind you about the strangers having the picnic in the park, quickly followed by the Oreos in the grocery store? Also, you're not loud enough to be Lucy., I didn't see the last Harry Potter. But ...Harry and Ron are tight. Hermione, not so much. I am trying to show how CLOSE we are. This isn't really "Guess Which Literary Character Most Represents Lisa". Belle, really? How come you ended up with Gaston?! Bageera. Ha! I can just picture you singing into the phone "Look for the bare necessities...forget about your worries and your strifes". But, in the end, you are the epitome of Gayle freakin' King. I hate Laverne and Shirley. Who are Krissy and Janet? OH! OH! OH! You can be the Blair to my Jo!

Lisa: How DID I end up with Gaston?? Well on the upside that means my BEAST is out there I should stay GAYLE??? I could be Kate...

Me:  ‎...well then I'm your Allie.

Lisa:  Deal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Most people would stop here. We've had a little laugh and found a suitable famous pair that we can emulate. But no...

Lisa:  Or I'm willing to do Brad to your George, but not GAYLE freakin KING

Me:  George?! He's old. Can I be Matt and you be Ben? That way, we are both GORGEOUS and rich and wicked smart with a whole lot of funny...

Lisa: Well I'd rather be Brad....or someone that at least gets to be with Brad but fine...for you I'll be BEN...

Again, we have decided on a couple, but it doesn't end there...

Me:  BTW, what's your problem with Gayle King? Oprah says she's the best thing since sliced bread and that everyone should have a friend like her. They went camping together. We could go camping... but I'm not sleeping in a tent. Nor will I be peeing in the bushes. Or cooking the dinner over a fire. Perhaps a spa would be more "us".

Lisa: Well I will agree....I am the best thing since sliced bread...LOL...I don't's just weird...

Me: Ummm...have you noticed that this has kinda been me going on about how much I adore you...and not so much in return from you? Thanks, Buddy.

Lisa:  LMAO...I was wondering when you would stop and notice...I have been laughing since it started...And what do you mean nothing in return...I gave you me being BEN!!! LOL

Me: Big sacrifice. You just made yourself Sexiest Man of Some Year. That's like saying, "I'd be Bill Gates for you". What a hardship!

Me: OMG Gayle and Oprah are in Australia together!!! We could SOOOO do Australia! Do you think Gayle is on Twitter? Can you find out for me and I would totally follow her

Lisa: Fine you be OPRAH and buy me everything and take me that I think about it...this one sounds good...LOL

Me:  If I had Oprah's money, I would buy you whatever you wanted...but you have to be Johnny On The Spot and make sure you take care of things for me. Starting with, I never want to have to wait in a Tim Horton's drive-through again. X-Large French Vanilla with half coffee every morning at 6:30am, please

Lisa: It was the least I could do...and yes she has twitter...really all this time we should have been doing boss/assistant relationships


It's worth mentioning that Lisa and I became friends when I was the manager and she was my assistant. I enjoyed that. Lisa, not as much. Although, I would like the record to show that I was the very best boss that she has ever (or will ever) have! I was very good to her. Not so much to everyone else though...!

Lisa: Ya your ellen and I'm like that skinny dude in the short shorts that does everything she says


Lisa: I knew you would know that guy...and yes he is me....and Ashton Kutcher

Me: You could be Dax!

Lisa: LMFAO.....alright...for you I'd be Dax

Me: Gotta let you know, Dax, I can't keep up with commenting while emailing you and IM you. AHHH!

Yay, that's right. While forcing me to comment on her facebook page, Lisa was also bombarding me with emails and instant messages. And it was about midnight. She fried what was left of my brain!

Lisa:  and that is why I am the ASSISTANT! I multi task better!

Me: LMAO!  But try to remember, you are no longer allowed to delegate UP!

Lisa: Sorry still do...

Lisa really is my Gayle King, isn't she?

Thursday, December 9

Day Eight

This year, I have decided that the girls were old enough to participate in the 25 Days of Christmas. That means, every day we do something together, as a family. The hope is that the focus of Christmas is a little less "Santa and presents" and a little more "love one another".

It's a lot of work! Life unravelled for me before I made all 25 envelopes. So I have eight envelopes hanging from a ribbon on my light fixture, and 17 clothes pins that are just hanging there. Empty. Mocking me. And I haven't put the activity in the envelope the night before because I have been too terrified to commit to any one activity. I feel badly because Bethie has been sooooo excited.

Before we had even started the activity on Day Two, I had 15 fits and cancelled the whole damn thing.

After I cooled down, the festivities continued.

It has been a challenge because we've pretty much been house-bound because Katie has been so sick. We did leave the house for two activities. Although Katie and I still had a good time, we endured a whole lot of Hell, too.

Here are the activities we've done thus far:
  1. Watch a Christmas movie
  2. Have a Christmassy dessert
  3. Paint ornaments for the tree
  4. Go to The Nutcracker ballet
  5. Decorate the Christmas tree/Get a little present
  6. Listen to Christmas music while having a candlelit bath
  7. Make snowflakes out of wrapping paper
  8. Play in the snow and have hot chocolate afterwards
I have no idea what we're doing tonight. I have run out of stay at home activities. I wonder if they'll like "Early To Bed Because Santa Is Checking His List Tonight!"?

Monday, December 6

Getting Up

Yesterday, I took Katie to the Children's Hospital. We left with a promise that she will start to feel better in 2-3 days. I've heard that before. I have absolutely no faith that she will ever feel better. But I am faking it because Katie is borrowing my strength until hers returns.

Melissa's funeral was yesterday. I spoke with her mother and her husband. Despite what is going on in my life, it is infinitely better than the pain and suffering that they are forced to endure. For that, I am very thankful for all that I have.

At the funeral, most of my questions were answered. Knowing more of the details about what happened leading up to Melissa's death is heartbreaking, but it helps to make sense of her "disappearance". In fact, I am starting to feel more like she died rather than "disappeared", which is good.

Not very much has changed in my life over the last 48 hours. Except that I am no longer on my knees. There's a lot to be said for that...

Saturday, December 4

Ineffably Sad

I started a new book the other day. I needed a distraction from my life, and I hoped that I could stay up late reading. Alone. In a quiet house.

A couple of sentences into the book, the main character was described as "ineffably sad". And I stopped. I couldn't move on from those words. Ineffably sad. That's how I feel...

Katie has been sick for a couple of weeks. For the last nine days, the sickness has escalated and she is in an incredible amount of pain. She cries out in pain. It's a howl that makes my blood run cold. She begs for the pain to stop, for me to do something to help her. My baby's tired, desperate, tearful eyes look to me. And I was able to do nothing! This would happen every 30 minutes during the day and every two hours at night. For nine days.

Bethie and Sarah were sick, too. Vomiting, diarrhea, strep throat. Both of them needed me because when you're sick, only Mummy will do.

Then Dan's family came to stay with us last weekend (while all this was going on). I had tried to clean the house and make everything nice, but with three sick kids, and having been up all night, I just didn't have the ability. And that was added to the long list of "How I've Failed My Family Lately".

On Saturday, the washing machine stopped working. As the mountain of clothes covered in vomit and diarrhea grew, I tried to figure out how I was going to be able to afford a new washing machine. Three weeks before Christmas. With every piece of clothing tossed into the hamper, my anxiety heightened. When I finally got in touch with the repair man, he said that he would rush on over on Tuesday! I kept reminding myself "I can do this. I CAN do this!". I took my laundry to Mum's house and more to Emilie's house.

The repair man came Tuesday and was able to retrieve a teeny, tiny sock from the pump. For $60, of course. But I didn't care. It was a lot less than the cost of a new washing machine.

I listened to the sound of the washing machine running and convinced myself that this was a SIGN that things were getting better. The kids would feel better, the laundry would be clean, and we could go back to our happy little lives.

Then Melissa's sister called me. "Melissa has passed away" was what she said. And I was blasted sideways. I was flat on my back. The Earth was spinning. And I couldn't breathe. I couldn't get up. There was nothing left to hold me together. I was broken.

I cried.

I have been crying ever since. Because I am ineffably sad.