Category: Blog


Days in bed, not as fun as I’d hoped

Happy Cat, Happy Cup, sunshine in a happy shirt. Life is good.
Happy Friday, everyone!

..At least, that’s the superhappyfuntimes bs I always choose to share on social, and those first two lines are probably all that will get read by most and that’s okay. Let those folks think all is good and I’m happy. The truth is, last weekend one of my recurring injuries from my car crash chose to act up, and I’ve been almost entirely bedridden since then. I can’t stand for longer than 5 minutes before my back starts screaming worse than I did at Oilers games. I struggle to sit up, to roll over – hell, even sitting at my desk or on the couch becomes agony after a few minutes.

Needless to say I haven’t been able to work out this week. I haven’t been able to do much at all, and yeah, I’m frustrated as hell. I’m angry, fed up and depressed – but I’m not giving up. I’m grateful that I was able to see my physiotherapist once this week and she helped reduce the pain level quite a bit. She even kindly offered to see me again after her shift today to hopefully get me at least walking this weekend. Every one of my therapists keeps saying that I am doing everything they could ask for to recover, but I still don’t feel like I’m doing enough. I push when I can, I rest when I can’t. I’ll get through this and I’ll make everything better than before.

But – right now, I’m choosing to be mindful of the moment. Happy Cat (and a lurking happy DevilCat), Happy Cup and a stubborn JT. Let’s do this.

On mental health

I check up on people I care about. A lot. Sometimes to the point that I think I may be annoying, but I’d rather annoy someone than lose them. View full article »

Lessons.

If I should ever feel week again.
If I should ever doubt myself.
If I should lose my way..


I will remember this photo. I will remember my dad. The lessons he taught me. How proud he was of me. How much we loved each other. How strong he was, all through his life.

And I will remember what I have done. How I was able to be there for him the times he needed me. How the nurses at his hospital and his friends who’d never met me thought I was a private personal trainer because of how I’d push him and wouldn’t take no as an answer. I will remember this wise guy fake screaming in pain as I made him do exercises, just to tease his mom and lighten the mood. I will remember spending hours doing math problems, spelling words or running through his car history, just to help his brain recover after the strokes. I’ll remember being terrified when his eyesight would come and go and he would forget where the clock was in his room… but I would make him look around until he did find it, and then I’d stay on that task until he could tell me what time it was. Sometimes it would take an hour, other times it would be almost immediate – but we’d always stay on it, no matter how much he yelled at me (which was quite a bit some nights). He would get it, he would do the work, most nights he’d cuss at me.. but at the end of every night, he would thank me and tell me he loved me.

I liked to think I was strong before getting smacked by a truck and before dad’s strokes… but I’ll be even stronger from here on out.

Thanks dad. I love you too.

Blue, Christmas.

Late last night I realized this would actually be the third Christmas I’ve spent without my dad.
Two years ago he had just had his strokes and had been transferred to PG on December 20th. I woke up alone in my dad’s house on Christmas morning and was beyond grateful that Granville’s was maintaining their beautiful tradition of offering free coffee and treats on Christmas day, because I really didn’t have anywhere to go and being alone in that house was not something I could handle. I got a coffee and an extra cup for dad, sat in the table that’s been my favourite since high school, put his cup in his spot and gave him a call. 

I can’t remember what we talked about, but sitting there, having a coffee and hearing his voice was a wonderful moment. After the phone call, the kind people working gave me some bacon to give to Molly who was waiting in dad’s car for me, and we went for a drive to visit with my brother.

Last year I decided against going home, and I am at peace with that decision. Dad and I had been arguing quite a bit at the time and I didn’t feel like selling a kidney just to fly home and get yelled at from his hospital bed while I stayed alone at his house. I chose to spend the day by myself, for myself, and when dad called and started yelling at me within three minutes, I knew I’d made the right choice. It wasn’t really him yelling at me – the strokes had affected his brain and sometimes things didn’t make sense to him they way they should have. Still, it was nice to hear his voice but I was happy to have stayed home, and still have both kidneys.

This year, I don’t have a choice and if I did I’d sell that kidney and yours too (no offence) just to talk with him one more time, even if it was only to hear him yelling at me again. I knew this Christmas was going to be hard, and it is. I called my grandma last night to check in on her, and she told me how much she misses my dad, how much she misses the traditions we used to have. I still don’t know how to process this massive hole in my heart, but I hope that in time I’ll find a way.

There’s no fake fighting over perogies this year. No wrapping paper tube sword fights. No counting the amount of times my dad would say “what in the hell…?” while opening gifts. No going for coffee at Granville’s, no cooking Christmas dinner for grandma. No plaid jacket counts, no going for drives with Molly in the back seat, no laughs, no great big bear hugs where we’d take turns lifting each other off the ground and squeezing until the other tapped out, always with a laugh and love.

I’m grateful that I didn’t go home last year because my memory of the last Christmas I spent with my dad is an amazing one. We went for dinners and coffees, he got his idiot son drunk and listened to him finally open up and talk, he kicked my ass like always at pool and we fake fought over grandma’s perogies like we always did, and always will. That’s the memory I want, that’s the memory he deserves.

If you took the time to read this, I want you to know that I’m grateful you’re in my life, and I wish you all the best in the coming year. Take the time to reach out to your loved ones and let them know how much they matter to you. Be well and stay strong, friends.

Normal.

I don’t know what “normal” is anymore. Some nights I wake up and I think I’m back at my dad’s house and he’ll be sleeping upstairs. Every single day, something will make me think of him and I’ll think I should give him a call, or I’ll expect a call from him. We’ve never gone this long without talking.

I still don’t believe this is real. I fully expect my dad to jump out from around a corner, moustache bristling as he yells “SURPRISE!”, laughing his head off.

I don’t know what I feel. One second I’m angry, the next I’m sad.. 99% of the time I’m just numb.
I haven’t really been able to work much since I got the news, although I have done some work every single day. I work out, but.. it’s just the motions. Muscle memory of what I think I should be doing. I have so much I want to do, so much I want to accomplish, to keep making my dad proud.. yet all I can do is sleep.

I know I’m not the first to lose a parent. I know the pain will fade in time. I know my dad would thoroughly kick my ass if he knew I was moping around like this. He’d tell me exactly what he did about getting my first car; “If you want it badly enough, you’ll earn it for yourself.” He knew about my goals; what I’ve sacrificed so far and how hard I’ve worked. He wouldn’t want me losing sight of that. In fact, if I listen, I can hear his great, big heavy sigh right now, telling me I should know better.

If I could talk to him right now, he’d probably tell me to go for a drive and clear my head.. but cars and driving make me think of him. I will always, always, always love the memory of revisiting the roads he taught me how to drive on, in his monster 1979 3/4 ton 4×4. After I got my license, I hit those roads over and over again in my first car, and then in my Talon. I took dad back out onto those roads in the Talon, to show him just what it and his son could do together. To see my V8, quarter miles for pink slips, straight-line loving dad actually grab the holy shit handle, reach with his foot for a brake pedal that wasn’t there and say “okay! okay! okay! JASE! OKAY!” – all with a (somewhat scared) smile on his face…

He wasn’t only my dad. He’s handled the role of being both parents to me for a long, long time. He was my best friend. A mentor. A safety net and a sounding board.

I don’t know how to say goodbye. I don’t know how to even comprehend the thought of goodbye. There’s no normal in my life that doesn’t include my Grumpy Dad texting me random things at 3am or going off about conspiracy theories. There’s no normal where dad isn’t back home, putting on his fake grumpy act and smiling when people saw right through it.

Anyway, it’s Friday, so here’s my Mama Cat and the happy cup. This was a normal thing I used to do. Now I have to find a way to get back to work, like normal.

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