Friday, November 28, 2008

It's Show Time!

Aims and her brother are currently displaying their wares at the Festival of Crafts in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The show runs from November 27th until November 30th. Come and visit!

They will be at the Butterdome Craft Sale in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada next week from December 4th until December 7th. If you're in the area, they'd love to see you!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Not Goodbye - Not Yet

Another week has gone by and I am getting nowhere with my grief. I think I've forgotten how to deal with it and it seems out of control. Memories flood my waking hours and my tears have yet to wash them clean and put them someplace safe. They hover around me, sometimes buffeting me with their softness - sometimes treading on me with harsh footsteps.

I tried to participate in the Candle Ceremony at the Rainbow Bridge on Monday. I lit my candles and followed along and dissolved like the wax into a little puddle. It felt too much like saying goodbye and I just can't do that yet. I hope Dolly and Deeb saw my candle burning for them - my love shining through the night to reach out to them. Can you see how it hurts?

My two craft shows loom ever nearer. We begin our odyssey on the 26th when my brother and I set up our booth for the first 4 day show and we finish on the 7th of December after another 4 day show. I don't know how I will do it but I will know on the 8th if I will ever do it again.

We go to see Sarah Brightman on the 8th of December. I know I will cry throughout her performance as she always brings back memories of Cid battling his way through the crowds when he took me to see her for the first time. He died two months later - one of the best now gone.

The Man has surprised me with a holiday. I don't know about his timing but he put in for his accumulated overtime and we leave on the 9th of December for 5 weeks. We are towing our little 13 foot trailer and heading to the Big Easy. New Orleans!

So let me see. I finish my last show on the 7th of December. That means probably getting home around 1am after tearing down a booth and packing it up and driving for 2 hours. Fall into bed and hopefully sleep. Get up and unpack and put away anything from the show then pack for a 5 week holiday. Then get ready to drive an hour and half and go to a concert. Right. Get back home again around 1am and fall back into bed and then get up and hook up the trailer and leave. Unbelievable timing on The Man's part. Exhaustion sounds like a good word to put in here.

I have to say though that he has promised to get the trailer packed and get the house ready. All I have to do is get myself packed. He has also planned the whole trip this time and already has tickets to two basketball games. The New Orleans Hornets versus the Lakers and the Spurs! (gulp - more crowds)He's also signed us up for an art tour while we are there and we are hoping to arrive in time for a tour of 7 houses in the Garden District. Something is happening every day in New Orleans during the month of December. It will be fun and exciting - I know it! (and hopefully there won't be any snow)

For those of you who have followed this blog for some time - you will know that all of the above is going to bring me almost to my knees with anxiety and stress. I don't do crowds very well - nor can I leave my house very well. However. The shows are being done with my brother - another port in the storm of my life - and we are taking our little house behind us and I am going with The Man - my biggest safety net in the whole world. I'm going to be in tears leaving the barn behind and my everyday memories of Dolly. But perhaps it will help in the long run. I think I'll probably spend the drive sleeping and trying to recuperate from the two shows - all the knitting I've done - and life.

If I don't get any posts done before the shows and before I leave - I'll see you some time in January. The Man Tales will continue when I return.

Christmas in New Orleans. Wow!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Concert

For those of you who have asked about the concert and our week away. Here is the story.

We arrived at the concert at BC Place in Vancouver and I was overwhelmed by the masses of people. I don’t do crowds well at all, but The Man had his arm around me and held me close as we wove our way through the people rubbernecking and oohing and aahing over the t-shirts and memorabilia on display near the entrance.

First of all – our tickets cost $225.00 for the two of us and they were in the nosebleed section. Never having been to the BC Place – The Man decided to ask at information where our seats were. The man behind the counter took our tickets – looked at them and then turned around and picked up some others and handed them to us. He said – these are right over there – enjoy.

He had traded our seats in the nosebleeds for seats that were 20 rows away from center stage! They cost $225.00 each! We were astounded!

As we sat in our seats stunned by our sudden fortune – a mother and daughter team came along and sat beside us. Their conversation went along the lines of what great seats they were. It turned out that the daughter had gone to the information desk and asked if they could trade in their tickets on an upgrade! And the same man had given them the seats right next to us. So someone had upgraded their tickets and the four of us got lucky!

The concert started soon after that and a man named Gordie Brown came on stage for the warmup. He was funny and great and we all got into the spirit of the thing. He was an impressionist who sang like other performers and he did it all with such humour he had us all laughing and clapping along with him.

While he performed – two girls came in and sat directly behind The Man and myself. The one girl was on her cellphone and yelling into it that she was at the concert and held it out for whomever to listen! I thought – okay – she’s all excited – I’ll let it go.

Then Celine came on stage and the crowd went insane! She started by singing ‘I drove all night’ and the girl behind The Man sang along at the top of her voice! I could feel the tension in my back and in my mind building and I was gripping the arm of the seat. I always seem to sit in front of someone who talks through everything! When Celine launched into her second song and the girl behind started to sing along again – well I had had it! I turned around with a huge smile on my face and tapped her on the knee and she leaned forward – singing at the top of her voice.

“I paid to listen to Celine Dion” I said with a sweet smile on my face.

“So did I!” she yelled in between singing – she didn’t even take a breath to say it!

“Yes!” I said – the smile leaving my face. “Not to you.”

And that was it. She shut up and never said another word.

People around leaned forward and flashed me grateful smiles. I told the girl sitting beside me what I had said and she laughed with delight and told her mother who also burst out laughing!

We didn’t have our camera with us, but my new-found friend next to me did. (and no - unfortunately Andrea Bocelli was not actually singing along with her in person - but it looked great!)

“Make sure you get a picture of her shoes,” I said very quietly as she snapped away.

“You’re right! They’re fantastic aren’t they?”

Then she asked for my email address during a ‘scene change’ and I handed it over! She sent me 41 pictures of the concert and I have a new found friend!

So – here are some of the pics she sent me. The show was incredible! Celine’s voice was incredible! And I only cried right at the end when she sang the Titanic song. I couldn’t help it! I didn’t know until we got back to the trailer that I had smudged my mascara onto my cheek – but I didn’t care.

Thank you Kris for sending me these and thank you for not talking or singing all through the performance.

I really believe that if you pay to see a movie or listen to a performer – then that is what you should get. If that girl behind us could sing like Celine – well then I would have been happy to pay to listen to her perform. But believe me – she couldn’t. And when it comes to telling people to be quiet at something like this – then I’ll do it! It’s my right to get what I paid for.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Memory Dance

I just want to say thank you - again - to everyone for all their kind words and thoughts.

Grief and memory are such personal things, yet I have opened my heart here and in turn I’ve received so many wonderful words of support from everyone.

Here it is now 2 weeks since my beloved Dolly died and I have to admit I am no farther ahead in getting over her death than I was two weeks ago. I know that it is all part and parcel of my breakdown and the fragility of my mind since then. I became a different person after my breakdown – a nicer person I think – but still a different person. And her death has affected me like a sledgehammer to the head.

Dolly meant so much to me as we shared our days together. Before The Man - there was Dolly. Now I hate the mornings as Dolly and I had a routine. She would get me up and I would feed her. She was very talkative in the morning and much fun. She made me smile every day and often made me laugh out loud. As I spend nearly all of my time at home – alone while The Man works – I spent most of that time talking to Dolly and playing with her as I worked around the house. Now that is gone and what fill those times are tears.

Still more time is needed for me. As with Cid my grief does go on and on. He died 7 years ago and I can mourn like it was yesterday.

I missed last week’s Candle Ceremony at the Rainbow Bridge as my brother was here to pick up his cats. Tonight I will not miss it. Sharing with others who feel the same way has to be rewarding and helpful. I look forward to it.

I wrote the following this past week. It's not finished, I feel that in my heart - but it's a start.

Memory Dance

There’s a dance that we dance, alone in our heads, our arms extended and our eyes closed.

There’s a dance we swing to, sway to, sashay to.

There’s a dance we sing to, hum along to, play to.

It’s called the dance of memory, of misery, of angst.
It’s hidden inside each of us, deep down, and fearful.

It comes without calling, sliding and moaning.
It comes at our bidding, skipping and shouting.
It comes and it takes us, back and beyond.
It comes and it makes us sometimes sadder sometimes gladder.

It comes from life. From experiences. From love.
It comes and it dances inside of our heads.

It’s the dance of memory, and it plays with my head

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Week of Grief

A week has gone by and I am numb.

I just wanted to thank everyone for their kind comments and emails. All of them have touched me deeply and I am grateful for the kindness of all of you.

Tonight I am joining in the candle ceremony at the Rainbow Bridge. I have my three candles prepared and I have put Dolly’s name on the Bridgelist. I know that Dolly and Deeb are going to be waiting for The Man and myself when we can finally join them.

Some of you might say – all this over a pet?

I say – No. It’s just not a pet.

It’s the loss of an unconditional love that I had for 16 years.

Anyone who has loved a pet knows what I am talking about. The love you get back from an animal is unconditional. They don’t have to love us. They could just be animals. But if they do – then you are blessed.

And I was blessed. Believe me.

After years of abuse and illness – to have this kind of love was a gift to my heart.

Today my brother arrives to take home his 3 cats that I have been babysitting. I know that tomorrow the silence will stretch out and hammer home the emptiness of this house and of my heart. In a way I am looking forward to it. Then I can perhaps deal with this loss. Maybe not.

Every night I have gone to bed and looked for Dolly. I’ve caught myself listening for her footsteps and I’ve had to stop myself from getting out of bed and going to get her. I have a small clump of her fur that I hold in my hand when I go to sleep. I often wake up still holding it or it is under my pillow. It gives me a tiny bit of peace as I stare into the darkness.

So what is grief?

Grief is what I see when I look in the mirror - green eyes awash in watery seas of sadness.
Grief are the lines on my face and the way my mouth droops at the corners.
Grief is my heart – aching – yet still beating - reminding me every second of loss.
Grief is being suicidal and then stepping back from the abyss – but remembering the aching to take that step and have the grief go away.
Grief is realizing that forever is just the doorstep to eternity.
Grief is tomorrow. Grief is me.

I know it will get better. I do know that.