And now… my dad…

The morning my uncle died I got the news that my dad was missing from the hospital. He had received an overdose of meds and had received bad news and decided to go home. He called the ambulance a few hours later and was returned but was in end stage renal failure and refused to go through dialysis. I talked to him briefly that night and he said he would call me back.

(My dad and I when I was about 9 months old)

My dad and I (5 months)

My Dad was another that had a hard life. Drugs, alcohol, partying, jail time and countless other hardships. My mother left him and took me with her in the middle of the night when I was about 18 months old. He tried for years to find me and to get me back. I met him again at the age of 9 and we had some rough times and times that I stopped all contact. Finally, in the years before I got married I let him back into my life.

(My dad, brother, Xavier and I the last time we were all together)

Over the week I prepared for my uncles funeral and waited for my dad’s call but my mind was elsewhere. He was in and out of the hospital often because of his COPD so him being there was not a shock especially since he spent 2 1/2 months there around the holidays. I won’t go there with the kids so I told myself that I would go see him on the weekend. Saturday was the day of my uncles funeral. In the afternoon, I got a call from my aunt saying that things were not looking good. I needed to stay at the funeral but I decided to head to the hospital before heading home. It was nearly 10pm and the security guard wanted to stop me but I told him that I was going up anyway. It was a shock to see him. His legs and belly were so swollen because of the fluids and he was suffering. It tool him a few seconds to realize I was there and who I was but when he did he sat up and for 15 minutes he said goodbye to me. We held each other and said “I love you’s” and then I left to let him sleep.

On Sunday, I decided to go spend the a bit of time with him and then go to supper with a friend to change to give my emotions a bit of a break. It was a rough time at the hospital with him. The swelling was at a point where water was coming out of his skin and dripping down. He was hallucinating and seeing people who were not there. He was alternating between talking about current events, talking about the future, talking about death and  repeating over and over that he wanted to die and then being completely confused and not there at all. He told me that he wanted to go be with his mom… he had always said he would not die before her, but now that she was gone, he wanted to go be with her. He was tired but could not sleep as much as he tried. I knew that being there was not helping him relax so I said goodbye and helped him lay down and gave him a kiss and left. I talked to the nurses just before leaving and I knew that he was nearing the end. I told them to call me if there was any changes.

I went for supper and talked with my friend for  a few hours which felt great and then drove the hour back home arriving at about 11:30… I looked up what my dad was going through and it confirmed what no one wanted to say. Simon asked me if he should stay home Monday and I said no, that I would call him if something happened and he said “I just hope that it doesn’t happen in the night again”… I told him… “It always happens in the middle of the night”

I wrote my half-brother on Facebook (he doesn’t talk to our dad) and told him in a few words that it probably wouldn’t be around much longer… and the 5 min later my cell phone rang. I just knew why. The nurse on the other end told me that he could not wake my dad up and that though his oxygen was at the highest setting, his breathing was laboured and that I should come in.

I left within minutes and like 8 days before I drove down the highway in the middle of the night to say goodbye to a loved one. I talked to Annie and my mom on the highway to keep my mind occupied and arrived at the hospital at about 1:25am. The nurse met at the elevators and I went to be next to my dad. He had been agitated but as I arrived he calmed down. He had suffered for so long and I didn’t want him to suffer for longer than he should. I asked the nurse what was the best way for him to go. He told me that if we took him off the oxygen he would be gone within a few minutes. I told him to do it.

I held his hand, I kissed his forehead and watched him take his last breaths and said goodbye to him for the last time. He died just before 2am.

I gathered his things and went to my car and wept and then headed to my grandmother’s house to try to relax a bit before morning. I fell asleep around 4 and woke up at about 7 and started to make a few phone calls. I went and got my aunt and headed over my other aunt’s house and we talked about what he would have wanted and I then realized that being his daughter, I was the one that needed to make all of the decisions and do everything. I knew that he didn’t want anything special, he didn’t want the funeral at a funeral home and all that comes with it. So I decided that we would forgo that, even though one of my aunt’s doesn’t understand, and instead, everyone that wanted to honour him memory would gather at a restaurant and we can raise a glass to him and be together and think of the good times.

(with Xavier, Colin, Khéna and Wilhelmina)

 

My grandmother, his mom, who died on new year’s day, had not been buried yet, so their ashes will be buried at the same time, next to each other in the family plot. He will be next to his mom.

My Dad and Grandma

I have so much to think about now… so much to do and so much to process… He was just 60 years old and he too is gone…

I’ll miss you Normand…

A Treasure-Trove of History is Lost…

I have talked about my uncle Marc here before. I have shared his Roast beef recipe and his struggles with diabetes.

He was a man of extremes and suffered from depression and didn’t lead a happy life. He would rather be alone then with people, but with those he loved, he opened up to. When we moved back to Montreal when I was a young girl, we lived in the apartment below my grandmothers. He lived upstairs with her along with my other uncle and I spent hours and hours talking with him and learning from him. He loved classic movies and history. He loved genealogy and for years I knew I could alway find him at the library, he spent hours and days looking through books and microfiche, spanning hundreds of years retracing our roots, not only our family’s history but everything he could get his hands on. He was a treasure-trove of history.

The last few years were hard on him. He battled with his depression and could not keep his diabetes under control. He was in and out of the hospital and near death on more than one occasion.

At 3am thursday morning my grandmother called an ambulance after finding my uncle in pain, confused and hyperglycaemic and hypothermic. He was unresponsive by the time the ambulance arrived and had went into cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital. He went into shock, was placed on a ventilator, his heart rate was high, his heart blood pressure was dangerously low so he had machines and medications to control his blood pressure, and he was in a coma. On Thursday evening he developed a fever of 40.6 (105.8) and stopped moving, even in a coma he was always agitated, so it was very different that he was not moving at all. We saw that he was stable so there was no reason to stay so my mom and I headed home at 3am…

He remained stable on Friday and my mom headed to the hospital to be with him in the evening. I decided to wait for a call and head there in the morning. My grandmother showed up at the hospital at midnight, it was the first time she came to see him, she never wanted to see him like that, but something made her go. Just before leaving she told her friend that she felt that he was not coming home this time.

He was still stable when my mom left the hospital to go get some rest, but was called just minutes from her front door. Even the machines could not keep his blood pressure up… there was no oxygen getting to his brain. It was the end. She called me just as I was going to bed at 2am. She was an hour away from the hospital and was scared she would not make it in time. I called my other uncle and told him and his girlfriend to head to the hospital, I got dressed and drove parallel to my mom with St-Lawrence river between us.

We arrived within minutes of each other and had about half an hour with him until the resident-on-call came to see us. We had to make the decision to prolong his life with no hope of recovering or let him go in peace. He was not there anymore, there was no hope. We gave the permission to stop the medications and take the ventilator out. He never took a breath. He died at exactly 4am Saturday morning.

We said our goodbyes and then headed to my grandmother’s to give her the news. She knew the second she saw us in the hall. We took turns holding her and comforting her. I saw my grandmother as a fellow mother. A mom that has just lost her child. Something that no mother should ever have to go through. He had never really left home so she had him close for 52 years and she was realizing that he will never walk through the door again.

There are only a few times in the last few years that we saw him really and truly happy and taking care of himself… One of those times was when he spent the summer with my mom at the cabin…

Doing work at the cabin

Marc and the boys Summer 09Marc (summer 09)Marc and the boys Summer 2009

I will miss you Marc…

Marc (summer 09)

New Glasses… the Vlog…

I decided to make my first Vlog today to show off my new glasses from the online glasses store “Zenni Optical” …

Hope you enjoy it!!

[youtube_sc url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3hQYJ6eoCc”]

and yes… you heard right… with 9.95 of shipping to Canada (only 4.95 to the US), the total cost for 3 pairs was 42$

 

By |March 12th, 2012|My Life|4 Comments|

Withdrawing…

I feel like I am withdrawing right now.

I go through phases like this once in a while… maybe it is the season, maybe it is just because I have so much on my mind but I feel like I am ignoring the computer, ignoring the blog, ignoring my friends. I don’t want to because I don’t enjoy feeling this way.

To my friends, if I am not calling you as much right now… it is not because I don’t want to talk  🙂

The only thing that I am not withdrawing from is the family… at this moment I feel even more connection with the kids. As much as I need to work through all my feelings, I also see the need to keep the kids informed to all of the decisions that we are making. At first they were apprehensive of this move and of selling the house but now they are actually getting excited and are able to understand that we need to let go of things. Especially Xavier, he may be the oldest but he is also the one that has the most trouble with change. He is maturing so much however and this whole situation makes that even more apparent and is making me see him and the others in slightly a different light. It’s hard to explain.

In light of the move… The offer on the house fell though this weekend. Everything was looking great and they wer going to have an inspector come in the next few weeks, but the bank called them and said that they finally couldn’t transfer their mortgage… So now we are waiting again… we put up a sign in our window and now we need to put one on the lawn to draw a little more attention. I have the house up for sale on the internet in various places but I know that selling by owner there is less exposure so it might take a while.  In a way, I am happy because then we have time to do all of the things that we need to do. In another way I hate it, because now we have a reason to procrastinate and not do the things that we need to do. I think I work better under pressure at times.

Putting the sign up in front of the house was a big step for me but came easily when I finally did it. What it meant is that we are finally telling everyone, something that I am finally starting to be comfortable with. Though we still have not told everyone yet. My next door neighbour did call me though a few days after… I had talked to her about the possibility that we might put the house up for sale but she was still surprised to see the sign. She told me that she is sad to be losing us as neighbors,

I need to make more effort… I need to get things done around the house, I need to reach out to people more, I need to stop procrastinating, to stop withdrawing.

The biggest thing right now is that I am starting to really feel at peace with our decision. Though it is scary and there is so much unknown, I am looking forward to it so much. I can’t wait until things start moving… I got in the car the other day and I could imagine it being the start of the long trip west and it felt so good.

 

 

By |February 29th, 2012|My Life, towards simple living|Comments Off on Withdrawing…|

Put one foot in front of the other….

And soon you’ll be walking cross the floor
Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you’ll be walking out the door

You never will get where you’re going
If you never get up on your feet
Come on, there’s a good tail wind blowing
A fast walking man is hard to beat

Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you’ll be walking cross the floor
Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you’ll be walking out the door

If you want to change your direction
If your time of life is at hand
Well don’t be the rule be the exception
A good way to start is to stand
….

OK… OK…. it’s not the holidays anymore but this song from the old animated “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” has been running though my head these last few days..

No, I am not trying to change from bad to good, but things are steadily moving and it is because I keep on forcing myself to just take that next step, to put one foot in front of the other. Doing so is actually make things change and each step brings us one step closer to where we want to be…

 This weekend we got the house all clean and ready for a home visit… actually two home visits! One of them was a call out of the blue that we got on Saturday but the other was the girl that had contacted me with interest in the house. She came over on Sunday afternoon with her daughter, and spent an hour here looking around, taking pictures and asking questions. She loves the house and they are going to the bank tomorrow and if everything is OK, then they will be making an offer.

I have been taking more pictures of things to try to sell these days and have been putting them up and putting the money we are getting in out “moving jar”. I am finding it hard at times because it feels like I am attached to stuff that I don’t even use… like some of the kids toys… but I also know that we won’t miss it and that I don’t want to move it… it is SO hard!!

I would love any tips of how people deal with getting rid of things… how to let go… I don’t understand why it is so hard for me…

On big thing that I am worrying about at the moment is financial stuff. We have a comfortable life right now. We don’t have much extra but we are not struggling and it is good. But where I want to go is somewhere where not only we will have a lot less money, even when we find a job, but rent will be more than what we are paying from our mortgage now…

I feel panicky when I think about it… how will we get by? how will this work?

I feel like the chips will fall into place but what if they don’t… what will we do?

The fear of failure or hardship is what has been stopping me from making these steps before and that fear is still immobilizing now…

But then I think of this quote…

?”Why not go out on a limb? That’s where the fruit is.”

~~Will Rogers~~

Trees in McClymont Park