Sunday, January 31, 2010


How do people get through life? Seriously, there is no way every other person on the planet can feel as bloody lost and clueless as I do.

Is it just that they've never thought about it?

Saturday, January 30, 2010


When I'm in the grocery store, is anyone in there just putting things in their cart out of habit? Do they know what to buy from experience, and aren't really thinking through the numb haze?

When I'm driving through the city, are any of the motorists chasing thoughts in their heads, trying to find the one that they need, but that they know probably isn't there?

When I'm serving customers at the store, are any of them putting on a happy face because they feel like they can't let anyone know about the screaming in their head?

Do any of these people wish they knew what kind of help they need, much less how to cry out for it?

Or is it just me?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Happy and Sad

Today I celebrated my 37th birthday. It was a nice day, spent with many of the most important people in my life. Jamie and I had a nice breakfast and watched a movie together, and then we met my whole immediate family for supper. Just the way I like to celebrate.

When I came home and did my habitual check of Facebook, it was to news that one of my father's cousins had died. He was a wonderful man - clever, witty, intelligent, and observant. His whole family are special people, and several of them, particularly two of his daughters and one of his grandchildren, are people who I consider among my dearest friends. My heart goes out to them.

Life is like this. Happy and sad coexist, drifting in and out of each others' spheres of influence.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Difference Between Small and Little

Small Stuff to Not Sweat

- a couple of days worth of unwashed lunch containers
- the Bay's seeming refusal to make Automatic Replenishment work properly
- being unable to move my car for a few days after a snowstorm
- dust
- screwing up Weight Watchers once in awhile
- The Things I Cannot Change (some smaller than others)

A Few of the "Little Things in Life"

- The Big Bang Theory (sitcom, not science)
- colouring
- Oz books
- 2010 = Strawberry Shortcake's 30th Anniversary... surprises await!
- figurines in unmarked boxes, the geek equivalent of Kinder Surprise
- actual Kinder Surprise

Friday, January 22, 2010

Collecters are nuts

I know, because I'm one of them.

Take today, for example. I spent $10 on an 18-year-old Christmas catalogue. Why, you ask? Well, you see, it had one page of Strawberry Shortcake toys in it.

Yes. Take that in. Meanwhile, I'll be cutting pages out of old catalogues to make a really spectacular presentation book filled with subtly-different advertising photos from the early 80s.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

God Works in Mysterious Ways

Yesterday, I lost a friend to lung cancer. She was a co-worker for a short time, having just started at our store in August. A month or so after that she got sick with the flu, and wasn't getting better. In November, she found out she had cancer, although didn't tell us until a couple of weeks ago, when it had become very clear her time was short.

I had not known Marilyn long, but in the short time we were friends, I felt blessed to have her in my life. She was a delightful and interesting woman, and I know that had we been given the chance, we would have developed a solid friendship. I already miss her very much.

When she chose to let us know of her illness, Marilyn asked to be able to tell me herself before the announcement was made to the department. That was very touching, as it leads me to believe Marilyn also considered me to be a good friend, and valued our relationship. We had a short conversation on the phone, enough for me to know that her spirit was still strong.

Through communication with her family, we learned that Marilyn's time was very, very short. I became increasingly upset that while I had gotten to talk to her, I would never see her again, since it had rapidly reached the stage where only family was allowed to see or talk to her. The cosmetics team did what little we could. We sent a floral arrangement, and two days ago, on Friday evening, we prepared a meal for her family. Svetlana and I delivered it to the hospital, and Marilyn's daughter saw that a rule needed to be broken and took us in for a short time. She had just been medicated, and couldn't communicate well, but Marilyn obviously knew who we were and was glad to see us. Her grip on our hands was strong despite how weak she was. We got one last chance to tell her we loved her and missed her.

THAT was the last time I saw Marilyn, but I am so blessed. I got some closure, I got to tell her I loved her, and I know that she understood me. The next morning, when church ended, I saw I had voicemail and I knew right away that Marilyn was gone.

Many people beat cancer, and many people do not. I do not know why Marilyn was one of the ones who didn't. But in the tragedy of this, something has happened. I have learned how precious life is, and that is something I needed badly in light of my recent issues. So often in the past year I have come close to the edge of not wanting to live anymore, and while I know that these are not problems with easy solutions, I have now been given some perspective that makes me want to fight that kind of thing with every bit of strength I have.

Goodbye, Marilyn. In the short time we knew each other, you brought me so much more than you could ever have imagined. I have no doubt that we will meet again someday, in a better place. When we do, we will have Eternity to pick up our friendship again.