Monday, March 30, 2009

I haven't updated my blog in over a week because things have been very hectic. Patsy died last Monday, very early in the morning. I only found out when I came home from stage that evening, so it was rough, because I knew that it had probably happened sometime that day, but I didn't know any details. It is a crying shame but it was for the best I think because she is in a better place now... Of course, it hasn't sunk in that she has gone for me, even after seeing her yesterday at the funeral. It is all so surreal and I imagine it will be like that for a while. I told Patrick yesterday how I could still hear her voice so clearly in my mind. Every time I think of a memory of her, she is just there, beside me. It's strange to explain, and I didn't think it would feel like this, but I suppose that is what it's like to loose someone you were close to. It is the first death of somebody that I was very close to, aside from my grandfather, but I was too young to remember much of that experience.

I also had a mole removed the morning that Patsy died, so a week ago now, and I was super freaked out at the sight/sound of a blade near my body after having spent the previous night in the hospital for several hours. Anyways, the procedure went well, so nothing to worry about there. It has been more the emotional strain, plus having to juggle all the prep of school with all the prep of funeral arragenments and such that were taking place over the last week.

The funeral was very nice and so many people came. We are lucky to have such supportive friends, neighbors and relatives. It was a great turnout, and so many people sent beautiful flowers, too many in fact! But it was very thoughtful of everyone. The clencher for me was when Patrick made a speech... I had read it beforehand and knew that I would ball my eyes out, and sure enough, I did. He started crying during it, so of course that just set me off. And then towards the very end of the service, they played "Spirit in the Sky" and Patrick went up to the coffin to say his final goodbyes.... oh my God, I've never been so touched in all my life.

I will leave you with Patrick's words that he dedicated to his mother yesterday, they say it all...

On behalf of my family and I, I’d like to thank everyone for being here today to celebrate the life of my mother, Patricia Luce.

There is no need to talk about how young my mother was when she passed away or the suffering that she endured, what I would like to talk about is the way my mom choose to live her life when faced with the greatest of adversity possible.

She lived life as if there was no alternative but to live. That the choice to give up did not exist, that there was no other way to live but to keep on being alive. And she lived each day finding the joy and beauty in the simple things in life, not because she was forced to enjoy them like most would feel, but because she choose to truly appreciate what she could take from living in the moment.

In part what I would like to offer to you is a small insight to the great gifts my mother has left with me, and perhaps they can leave a meaningful imprint with you as well:

In my mom’s last weeks, she said that “Even under the same roof we can all be strangers if we don’t take a moment to appreciate one another”. And she took every moment she had to make sure we knew she appreciated us. She found value not just living life through the motions, but acting in ways that made people know she loved them: every time we would be close to her, for whatever reason “out of the blue” that she could think of, she would not hesitate to wrap her arms around us and say “I love you”.

Even in her last hours she cared so much about the well being of others, that she had the strength to crack a joke or two, around family and loved ones, while not even having the physical strength to swallow properly. Thinking back on it now, what courage, bravery, and love must that have taken!

Many of us question, what is to happen to me when I pass on? Where will I go? And what will my legacy be?

For me, my mom’s legacy lives on deeply, not in memorials and trust funds, but in me, my sister, my brother, and certainly my father, and perhaps everyone that had a chance to see my mother live, whether she was battling cancer or not. In a way her passing has made my life clearer and more tangible in many ways. When faced with adversity I ask myself, what would mom do, what would mom want me to do, and as if by some special connection that can never be undone, her voice shines through, her qualities, and strengths to overcome all of her adversities in life are reminded to me, and the problems I deal with in life become so manageable. For me my mom’s legacy lives on in me forever, when I take the time to appreciate every kind and unselfish act she has ever done, and of course taught me.

As for what is to happen to me? And where will I go?

I will share some personal insight from my mom that gives me strength that life and death are not such unknown things.

Growing up with my mom I have had the privileged of discovering that my mom possessed a special gift. The ability to see bits of the future in dreams. I know for some this may seem a little difficult to believe or perhaps for other it has maybe happened once or twice, but with my mom I have witnessed at least a dozen of these premonitions come true. Some of her premonitions where comical, like someone losing their false front teeth, and some were very deep, like knowing a loved one was ready to pass on, and although my mom never embraced this gift, it’s ability was always very apparent and obvious throughout my life. These dreams would come randomly, and she would talk about them a little, and days or weeks later the event would happen, for some strange reason this was just something we learned to accept, that was just part of who my mom was. This in itself could be very meaningful just in and of itself, however there is much more. When my mom gave birth to my sister there was vast number of complications, but among them was the fact that she almost died while giving birth. Without going into great detail about the experience, I would like to share with you a very special experience my mother described during that moment:

She said that when she lost consciousness from a severe complication while giving birth to my sister, she felt her soul leaving her body, and rush that felt like pure bliss, and warmth all around her, she clearly saw the white light, and even saw deceased family members. She said the experience was so pleasant that she found it difficult to not leave, the only thing that allowed her to stay focused to return to her body, was her desire to not leave her daughter alone in this world without a mother.

Later on I learned that she also had a similar experience when she was very young. You may take what you will from this, but for someone to have actually lived many years with my mom and having experienced these things, I can tell you that in my heart my mother is in a much better place now. And that her life was such blessing, and that only now in her passing I can truly realize it.

It is unfortunate that most of us are creatures of such comfort and habit, that we only realize the value of something when it is gone. And of course I am no different. There are times in the past that I truly wish I could have taken more time to do things with my mom, or have been a better son, but those thoughts fade when I realize, they won’t do my mom’s passing justice. Those thoughts won’t allow me to pass on her legacy, her lessons of life, which she not only spoke of but proved to me through her own actions.

So in closing I would like to leave you with two of these lessons that I believe are quite profound and meaningful:

The first being; never hold anger for anyone, it is waste of time, energy, and ultimately you forget to love those you care for most.

And the second is, never believe you can’t do something.

I believe these two beliefs allowed my mom to live almost 8 years beyond what the doctors expected.

Imagine if we were to allow ourselves to have the same beliefs, what could we achieve in our lives?

My sincere thanks to everyone here in body and spirit.

---- In loving memory of Patricia Luce ----

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Well, it's Sunday morning, heading into afternoon. Thankfully I had booked the day off work from the library a long time ago... it's actually one of those weird signs/coincidences that is just now making sense after last night's turn of events.

There is no easy way to write this, but I figure it's about time that I add this news to my blog.

Patrick's mother is dying. It will likely happen in the next few days or week. It breaks my heart, but there is no getting around this besides some miracle. She was taken to the hospital by ambulance last night and will most likely remain in there in palliative care. I am grateful to be able to spend my last moments with her and the whole family. Everyone is holding up extremely well given the circumstances. I am so touched by everyone's strength and ability to stay level-headed and positive, especially Cindy.

I hate to see Patsy suffering and in pain, but at least for the most part she is resting/sleeping and coming in and out of awareness.

I can't get over the unfairness of these circumstances - she is only 50 years old. She has been a warrior. She is a wondeful person. I am so very sad to loose the grandmother of my future children. I hope she will soon be going to a better place to watch over us all.

Say a prayer or send some positive thoughts to her if you are so inclined.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It was this pretty lady's birthday the other day, so we celebrated on Sunday night. Happy birthday Carm :) Hugs to you and Chester (and Jordan, I guess).

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Glorious Saturday morning with sunshine, my favorite time of the week...

Here are a few things on my to-do list this weekend.

1. Prepare portfolio ASAP for interview next week.
2. "This week in Kindergarten" letter to parents.
3. Buy cardstock (school related, not scrap related).
4. Print shared-reading words.
5. Make more jewelry with Pat.
6. Look in to creating a treasury on Etsy.
7. Upload my pieces to Etsy.
8. Clean up messy room.

Now I'm off to take a power walk with my mom. Laters.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

We have a nice little system worked out: whenever Patrick watches the Habs, I do some scrapbooking. Now, since I've started making more digi pages, this is way more convenient, since I can work directly off his computer. And a 22 inch monitor makes a nice different I tell ya!

I was evaluated today by my McGill supervisor and all went really well! I was nervous, but it was seriously smooth sailing. We only had 9 students today (I know, what a joke!) and they were really good. I told them someone was coming "to see what we do in Kindergarten" and "to watch their behavior". Haha... that worked well.

Also, check out the Etsy shop as I have uploaded new items (a bunch of rings). You can click on the side banner!

Now I'm off to create another page, hopefully, and then watch a movie. Cheers maties.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

So it's Sunday night, which means that March break is coming to an end :( I worked this weekend at the library, and it was BuSy, like crazy busy. There were mountains of books, and I'm so tired now. But I'm happy to be relaxing and browsing the sites that make me happy.

I finished my book last night - The Other Boleyn Girl. I learned a few new historical facts that they didn't mention in The Tudors, most notably the fact that Mary had two illegitimate children with Henry. The whole Boleyn thing, it just disturbs me...I can't get over the way the father and uncle betray the three siblings hard-core... Also, the author painted Anne in a pretty chilling light in this novel. She's a much more endearing character on The Tudors. I suppose she did do a lot to get and hold her position on the throne, but having sex with her brother to conceive the next heir of England, and producing a freakishly disfigured baby that miscarried... not so sure to what extent I believe it... I don't know how much of that is fiction versus historical fact. Of course, they skewed a lot of info during her trial. I will have to look into the matter a little more.

Aside from that, I am pretty well prepared for the upcoming week in Kindergarten. Our theme is Dr. Seuss, so it should be fun! Tania and I came up with a lot of good ideas together and shared plenty of resources. I've been apprehensive about it all because I haven't had a chance to discuss anything with my CT, so there's always the fear that she won't like what I've come up with. But I think it will be fine and I just have to worry about more important issues. Like Patrick's mother, for example. I wish I could say that things have improved there, but in truth, things are deteriorating.... so it's been very hard for everyone. I'm hoping that her doctors will be back from their vacations tomorrow and hopefully they can see her. In the meantime, I try to be a good girlfriend and daughter-in-law.

Well, I'm off to eat supper very shortly. Have a great week people :)

Monday, March 2, 2009

And the digi craze continues.... this is Patrick as a newborn :)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

It's Sunday night and I've tried to have a very productive day. Here are some things that were checked off my to-do list:

- Officially set-up Etsy store and put up first item. You can check it out, finally, here.
- Installed Photoshop CS3 on my computer.
- Vacuumed basement.
- Tidied room.
- Worked out.
- Went for a walk and got some sun.
- Started covering the books I bought yesterday (I went a little crazy in the kid's section at Indigo).

Here is what I still have left to do:

- Clean and back-up computer.
- Install Word 2007.
- Finish covering books.
- Photocopy resource books.
- Lesson planning for various themes.
- Work on portfolio.
- Buy eye drops, mascara, labels, computer paper and loose leaf.

Guess what? I also caved and bought some digi kits from the Designer Digitals site. While my dearest man was watching his hockey last night, I produced this:

Also, I'm going to Burlington tomorrow with Julie and Alex - yes!! I'm so excited about that, even though I have to wake up at the regular time (6:45). Hopefully we will eat at my favorite restaurant ever, The Olive Garden.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, here are some of the books I bought yesterday: