Hello, Beautiful People,
April 13, 2017 — obviously I’m not ready for 2017–we’re 4 months in already, and i’ve been fiddling with this here post since January! I’m gonna just post it now already. I started this in January, then returned to it and tried to keep updating the references to dates and stuff. but now i’m just posting it, and i’ll make a new post some time in the future. so much has happened! okay. Here ya go:
I don’t remember what my last post was about, probably some update or other about the stowaway in my head. It’s been a long time, anyway — and now it’s March! Of course a lot has happened in those intervening weeks, including another MRI. That was February 25th. It showed that the tumour is behaving, as the chemo doc hoped, “in an indolent manner”. there is no change at all from November. So that’s excellent news. I knew it would be like that. After the initial freak out, and spending WAY too much time consulting Doctor Google, I figured i’d just carry on, and treat the stowaway the way I’d treat ANY guy taking up occupancy in women’s space — with derision and mockery — and finally shunning.
For a while after the biopsy, I thought I’d NEVER get back my energy and speed (i’m none too fast-moving at the best of times, mind you). I was in bed most nights by 9:30 or 10 — a great idea, by the way, which I recommend. Now i’m back to my evil ways, watching netflix or playing solitaire or listening to podcasts until late. But I can’t wake up as early as I used to, no matter what, anymore. One of my young friends from the Danish summer school I attended in 2010 used to call me a “F***king Hurricane!” which I found quite flattering. These days, I’ve been downgraded from hurricane to tropical storm, I think.
Before this bloody cold tackled a couple weeks ago, though, I was working out in the gym at least 3 or four days a week again. Ending and beginning the year where I wanted to be. going for reps. Endurance, not bulk now. i’ll have to face it, i’m past competing anymore. Even before the thing in my head, i had all these nagging injuries that I was trying to ignore. Can’t. I’ve played my accordion a bit so far. Not enough, but some every week.
And the gifts keep coming my way, you know? Did I tell you about the sock monkey my cousin in Perdue Saskatchewan made and sent me?
Note the bow tie. Her name is Patrice Mireille. I don’t know why she looks so French, but she seemed to fit that name. Bev usually makes these with scarves, not bow ties, but now there’s a thing with me and bow ties, so she went with it. And then in early February, my friend Vickie and her sister Bev came to visit, along with Lilly, Bev’s delightful granddaughter. And Vickie and Bev made me the most wonderful (and warm!) quilt ever:
Note that each square contains four bowties — one in each corner:
Such gorgeous, detailed, exacting work — so much love went into that quilt! Plus they made a pillow case and a carry bag in the same way. The backing of the quilt is all left overs of flannel pyjamas that Vickie makes for her family every Christmas. It’s been a very very cold and endless winter here in Vangroovy, and that quilt is delightfully warm and comforting in more ways than one.
PLUS we had a fun day. We went to the aquarium and saw dolphins and sea lions frolic in the snow, we watched the jellies undulate and glow for what seemed like hours, we looked for tiny frogs in big terrarium-ish things, and we got lost in the (big, bright, very tacky) gift store. I wanted more of them, my dear friends. But I loved our time together. We just know each other, you know? Bev was a little kid when Vickie and I were hanging out the most, she’s nearly six years younger than Vick. She said to me once, when I first met her again in the spring of 2015 when Vickie and Glen brought me and Mom’s stuff home to Vancouver, “I don’t remember much about my childhood, but I do remember the feeling when you came over — your voice with all the laughter in it –“. She said I took some weight from her life then, and brought fun. I didn’t know until that 2015 meeting. you never do know, do you? the kind of effects you have on people — you never know.
There’s been a lot of other stuff in the last few months — My friend Shannon’s mom died January 21st. Do you remember my post from a few years ago about Shannon? Of course not, it was years ago — who can remember stuff about someone else’s blog for such a long time? here’s a link for ya: https://easilyriled.wordpress.com/2012/01/11/releasing-shannon-to-the-river/
Joan never really got traction again after Shannon died. How could she? and Shannon’s daughter is still having a hard time, too. you know what, I don’t want to write about them yet. It’s too painful. I tell you what, the worst sort of sexism, reinforced by male violence and alcohol, swept through generations of that family and laid waste to good people. Racism, too, of course. Joan’s side of the family were Anishnabe, I think — as well as Irish and Scots — worlds of suffering — some of ’em forced out of their homelands, the rest of ’em divested from, then enslaved in their own territories. When I last saw Joan, I told her that I’d see her the next day, but she didn’t have to wait around for me to show up. She looked at me through her opiate fog, her brown eyes sharp and focused, raised her right hand and waved at me. She was relentlessly hopeful — always minimized the pain she was in, sometimes would hint that she needed help, or that she was pissed off or sad — then she’d skitter away. Her life didn’t turn out the way she wanted — whose does?–and maybe she was too ashamed to tell anyone, or maybe she was so angry about it she was afraid she’d explode if she nudged that hot ball of rage deep inside her. I don’t know. She was all heart, was Joan. All heart, love, courage, fear and rage — I couldn’t help. In some ways, I abandoned her and her granddaughter, Shannon’s daughter. I miss Shannon still. She was such a bright spark — really smart, tough, sensitive, funny — she LOVED life. she just couldn’t manage it. The depressions became absolutely crushing — she didn’t think there was any way out. dammit.
April 13 again — I will post this now, as I said. Next post i’ll write about my experience on the UBC sexual assault policy steering committee — which was both really interesting and educational — fun, even–AND frustrating and discouraging. Life is good. I miss Shannon, I think of Joan often, I see Shannon’s daughter sometimes still, she’s like her mom — really smart and sensitive and good. Troubled, of course….
Anyway, lots of people have been asking, “how’s your health, Erin?” It’s good. I’m a lucky woman. that’s for sure. now i have to take the dog out…
Which is another story.