Thirty Four

Yesterday was my thirty-fourth birthday which means I am now firmly planted in my mid-thirties. My morning started with Grady climbing into bed with me for a cuddle and Poppy spitting up on my hair. Hashtag: mom life.

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I had an appointment at the cancer centre, which had me feeling all sorts of twisty feelings but turned out to be great because I got good news and don't have to go back for six months. It was a very nice birthday present indeed. Plus my parents met me there to take care of Poppy while I saw my oncologist and they took me out for an amazing pizza lunch after my appointment. It was a day full of wins.

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Some of my favourite people brought some of my favourite food over for dinner and it was the perfect way to end a perfect birthday. I spent it with my family. I had messages and love from friends and family who are spread across the globe. I was gifted with sunshine, good health, and amazing people (and chocolate). I couldn't have asked for a better day.

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Extra Love

Sometimes (I say generously, as really it's more like "multiple times daily,") Poppy cries for no reason. She's fed, she's burped. She has a clean diaper. She's well-rested and has been cuddled for a satisfactory-even-to-the-neediest-cuddler number of hours. She just needs to cry. The breast doesn't calm her. Nor does her paci or the jiggle or the pat or the sway or the jiggle-pat-sway. Lullabies infuriate her. The rocking chair is her nemesis. She's offended by stories and baths and baby massage. Most of the time I can pop her in the wrap and carry on with my day and she eventually calms down or I go deaf. But sometimes I need to put her down somewhere safe and walk away and count to ten very slowly and take deep breaths and remind myself that it's nothing personal. Tonight was one of those nights. Grady asked me why I was crying and I told him Poppy was crying and I didn't know what she needed. He looked at me like I was dense. "She needs extra love," he told me matter-of-factly.

I have so much to learn. 

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January 2nd

The end of August is January 2nd and the day after my birthday and the last gingerbread cookie of Christmas. The end of August is so final and a little melancholy. It doesn't help that I've been planning my Ride to Conquer Cancer for over a year and in a few short days it will be over. It doesn't help that there's a full moon this weekend (hashtag: dirty hippie). It doesn't help that my due date is less than two weeks away. I feel unsettled and uncomfortable and bruised.

 I'm surrounded by amazing people. The love and support I've received this week - that I receive constantly - has been overwhelming. My cheerleaders and magic makers and light givers have been sending me messages of encouragement and excitement all week. My people are carrying me through this week to be honest.

I do this thing where I need to talk about all the things, with all the people, to make them less scary. It's not an attractive quality, I know. Part of me worries I look like an attention-seeker (hello, am blogger, hear me talk about my damn feelings) but part of me needs to honour that side of me so I can stop spending $200/hour on therapy.

So! I'm afraid I won't be able to finish a 200+km bike ride in two days. I'm afraid that the weather reports are true and we're in for a weekend of rain and thunder and lightning. I'm afraid I'm going to fall off my bike and break my face. I'm afraid I'm going to pop a tire and not be able to change it. I'm afraid that I am going to be so sore after the ride that I won't be able to enjoy the mini-vacation we have planned. I'm afraid that I am going to fall apart after my ride because I've been so focused on finishing that I won't know what to do after it's done. I'm afraid that coming down from the ride coincides with my due date and the combination of the two is going to hit me harder than I can handle. I'm afraid that September is going to be too much. I'm afraid September is already too much.

My Oldest Friend

I met my oldest friend when we were seven years old. Her family moved to BC from another province and as fate would have it, her house was just down the street from mine. She was in my second grade class and that, combined with the proximity of our homes, was enough to make us best friends. Life is so much easier when you're a kid.

We've been through a lot together. We lived in different cities. Different countries. On different continents. We've been through love and loss and tragic haircuts together. We've cursed idiot bosses and lamented oblivious crushes together. We've danced and sung "Sweet Caroline" and stumbled home from bars together. She was with me the night I met Shawn. She held my hand at our wedding. She is the person who, apart from my family, has known me the longest. She is my chosen family. She is one of my heart people.

My oldest friend recently had her life turned upside down. Her life's trajectory, her goals, her hopes and dreams all changed in one brutal instant. My oldest friend is an ass-kicker. She's a doer. She's efficient and methodical and one of the smartest people I know. But right now she's hurting. Watching her mourn and not be able to do anything but hold her hand and tell her I love her has been the hardest thing. I know that she's stronger than she knows. She's resilient. I know a little something about living life and all of a sudden having to do a Ross Geller "PIVOT!". I know that with time, she will build herself into an even tougher, even smarter, more tenacious lady. I know she's got this, even though it doesn't feel like it right now.

Today is my oldest friend's birthday. She should be celebrating. She should be on a patio somewhere, enjoying the sun and a glass of something bubbly. She shouldn't be hurting. So today, on my oldest friend's birthday, I want to ask the universe for a little magic. I wish for strength and peace and fortitude and a little sparkle for my oldest friend.

Lady, things have been terrible. Unimaginably so. But they won't be terrible forever. I promise. I love you and I wish you a happy birthday and a happier year to come, my oldest friend.

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