• memories,  the anomaly that is me

    about last september

    It’s a year today that my father passed away. I never did write about any of this, and I kept meaning to. But I still have thank you cards to send out to those who came to the funeral, or sent sympathy, and honestly? I haven’t been able to do any of that. We’ve had our full Year of Firsts. First Thanksgiving, first Christmas, first birthday, first wedding anniversary, first father’s day. First of a lot of things. Sometimes I catch myself holding in a breath and thinking, “oh my god, my dad’s gone”. It hits at weird times. I don’t remember much about last September. I pretty much lost 2 weeks of work in a job I was just learning. The week I spent with my mother (after my father – in true Impatient Healy Fashion – passed away the morning after he spoke with everyone he needed to speak with, rather than sticking around for the few weeks/months the doctors thought he had) went by in a blur. I was so thankful that I was there, speaking with my Mum, when my father passed. I was so thankful that I could stay with her that week and (try to) get things done. I am so thankful for family, and friends, who were there for me through everything. The last year has been a roller coaster for many reasons. I get motion sick so easily, that it’s been difficult to process. When things change drastically, they seem to all…

  • memories,  year in review

    the year that fell apart

    I can count on one hand the things that went according to plan this year. Not that I had grand plans or anything, but if something could go wrong this year, it did. At full volume. Three and a half months ago, my father passed away. I wish I could say that was the worst thing in the entire year, but it wasn’t. By mid-September I was so emotionally drained that when my father passed away I was simply too numb. Normally I do an annual recap for the last post of the month. There’s very little about 2018 that I want to remember. It was a year filled with way too many hospital visits, health scares, financial distress, anxiety, and loss. At Christmas last year, my father let us know his cancer had come back, and at some point in the coming year he’d need major surgery. In March my Dad turned 70, and four days later ended up in the hospital. The cancer was more aggressive than at first thought. So plans had to be cancelled and surgery was pushed up. Early in the year, I was balancing working at the bookstore, and suddenly back at my old place of employment two days a week. I was helping with a transition due to staff departures. For a while it was fine. I knew I didn’t want to work back downtown, and the extra money was nice. Minimum wage isn’t a liveable wage. By March, with the extra stress…

  • memories,  the anomaly that is me,  year in review

    through the thorns, to the stars

    There’s not a whole lot in 2017 that I feel I need to look back upon. I’m not the only one who felt it was kind of a bummer of a year, but… 2017 was an interesting year for me. It was a year I needed. To reset myself. The first year in a long time that I didn’t work in an office, instead I went back into retail. I needed that reset in my life, but I’m ready to move on again. I feel more centred, confident, less willing to take crap, and ready to tackle new challenges. 2017 didn’t end on a high note. All things considered it could have been worse. It wasn’t. I am thankful. I made decisions this past year that made things better for me. I distanced myself from many things that were drowning me in negativity. I am on social media a lot less than I was. I barely even check twitter. I understand that people have strong opinions about things, especially political, but I chose to block a lot of that out. The world is becoming a little too toxic. You may choose to crusade one way, but I choose a different path. I spent more time in my craft room this year than I have in the past. Part of this was because I had more time to do so. Part of it was because the crafting helped me in many ways. I am not hopeful, or rather, full of hope, going…

  • memories,  the anomaly that is me

    twenty

    Twenty years ago today, the girl whose parents were certain they would have to sell with the house, moved out, and into her first apartment with her girlfriend. Twenty years ago. My parents sold that house almost 5 years ago. I didn’t go with it. In fact, I’ve never moved back home since I moved  out. (Ok, there was one week during a rough relationship patch that I went home for a “visit”. But that doesn’t count. That first apartment was huge. It wasn’t  in the best part of town. It was actually a slum of an apartment with cockroaches, and an evil landlord. It had questionable tenants, one of whom tried to burn it down when he was evicted. That prompted a move to a new apartment less than a year into this first one. A  place we felt safer. A place I lived in for 6 years. A  place that had a possessed bathroom  that always had a flood. But my life changed, and grew, in those years. Relationships fell  apart, and new ones  were created. Six years later I moved into a place with Shawn. We were robbed. We got married. Our place  burned down. We lived for a year in my in-laws’s basement. We bought a house. We had two dogs. We still own this house, but now have two different dogs. In this home we own, we have had downs and ups. We have grieved. We have laughed. We have grown together as a couple.…

  • memories

    coffee, sweet

    I didn’t always drink coffee. I have never really cared for coffee. When I worked at the university bookstore, I’d have coffee during really busy, stressful times. People around me knew to avoid me when I was having coffee because I only drank it when I was in a bad mood. Coffee isn’t a soothing, happy drink. If I want to be soothed, and happy, I’ll drink tea. Anyhow, the last 10 years, I have become a regular coffee drinker. I used to have to drown the coffee in cream and sugar to cover the taste. And then I started dropping the sugar, and finally the cream. I have been drinking black coffee for a while. Every morning. Who am I? Eh, we all evolve. I happened to evolve into a coffee drinker. But coffee is bitter, and I really only drank it because I was in a bitter mood. Well, at least to keep myself in a sort of stressed, on edge state, I guess. But lately black coffee has been…wrong. I wasn’t drinking the cup I’d pour. And this past week I have started taking my coffee with cream and sugar again. And that reminds me of my grandparents. I have vivid memories of them drinking coffee at McDonald’s. I used to get to drink those little cream cups that came with the coffee. I’d get to stir the coffee with that tall, skinny, brown plastic spoon with the M on top, and then I could put the…

  • memories,  year in review

    the year of lost things & found things

    Every year, as the end of December closes in, I feel as though I am reaching the finish line staggering, and out of breath. The last handful of years, I see the start of a new calendar year as a refresh, sort of like clearing your browser history and cache. I have felt alone in my struggles through each year as I look around at others’ recaps. I miss the days when I used to read (and enjoy) blogs. I miss the days when friends I made through blogging used to blog. I would read their summaries of the year that ended and feel as though I was alone in having a difficult, struggling year. I gave up hope that the next (new) year would bring about more happiness, because things always just tended to pile up on top of what was already a suffocating weight on my shoulders. However with the end of 2016 I can finally say I am not alone. I don’t know what the heck was going on, but I don’t believe anyone had a good 2016. I’m not talking about the astonishing amount of celebrity deaths (of those there were way too many), but my own friends and their personal struggles, the rest of the world and all of the horrid, awful, evil things that have been going on. Loss of innocence, and hope, and a general loss of positive anything when you look online. I left facebook for a while. I left twitter for…

  • memories

    remembering – 2016 edition

    erin walker :: august 6, 1977 – october 23, 1994 when i close my eyes she’s too young to be forgotten her world has only just begun her future is an empty slate waiting to be filled and i see her standing there when i close my eyes dancing in the sky over moonbeams, around clouds starlight in her eyes angels in her hair and i see her when i close my eyes child of the sunlight daughter of the day sleeping on bed of roses with flowers in her hair the wind it softly kissed her cheek the raindrops fell like tears and i see her when i close my eyes a thousand white candles their flames dancing with the air as rocks play tag with ocean she’s fast asleep never to be woken and i see her when i close my eyes © catherine healy October 23, 1994 ~~>–<@>–<~~ I have been reflective on October 22 and 23 for twenty-two years now. I have been blogging about this memory since 2004 (sadly the first posts were lost on a since-deleted blog). Whenever the dates fall on a weekend, it’s harder. I remember sitting in the Church, during choir practice, waiting for Erin and her brother to arrive. We’d just seen each other the day before at school, and I was ready to start gossiping and giggling about all sorts of things in-between songs. But they didn’t show up. It was a rainy, miserable October day. Just like today.…

  • memories

    september adventure

    Hey there, Internet! I have had an unusually active and adventurous September this year. Considering my Septembers have been purely school-focused since 2012, this has been a pretty fun break from the norm. One of the courses I was to take this semester was cancelled, so instead of having two six-week classes, I only have one – and that one starts on October 24! This has left me to enjoy the end of summer, and beginning of autumn, and really appreciate these weekends and all they have to offer. I did something crazy and exciting earlier this month – I sang with a band! In front of real, live people! What? Only something I have dreamed of doing since FOREVER. Seriously. It was awesome. I even developed an appreciation for Country music (which I always just blanket thought I disliked.) September 17, 2016 @ Greenfield Park My brother-in-law, and his uncle asked if I’d like to participate in a group to sing at a Family Fun Day fundraiser for local elementary schools. At first I was hesitant, and shy, but as I went to the practices I started having a lot more fun than I thought I would have had. And it was a nice change from focusing on school work yet again. I channeled my inner Jem and sang my little heart out. I wasn’t even nervous, which surprised the heck out of me. It was the first time I’d ever performed outside, too. It was a challenge, but we…

  • memories

    when the flame goes out

    I was sitting at my desk yesterday, counting down the minutes until it was time to go home, when a friend came over, in tears,  to see me. Bad news is never expected. Bad news comes out of nowhere and punches you in the gut. A mutual friend of ours, someone I had worked with myself and adored, collapsed at work that afternoon and passed away. Sudden. I couldn’t breathe. As I made my way home, I began to shake. I was numb. In shock. I haven’t worked with Shane in 10 years. But when I was at the bookstore, he was one of my favourite people. He was one of My Shippers. I loved the men in the shipping department. They were my gang of protectors. They came to my wedding. They joined me for my Birthday Bowling Extravaganzas. Every time I’d see them at a union meeting, I’d always go over for hugs and gossip. Shane was always someone I could count on to make me laugh. He was never a doom and gloom guy. Not a chipper, cheerleader fellow, but someone with a sharp wit and sarcastic streak, and someone who always had a joke, or comment to make me laugh. He lived hard. He played hard. He was Shane. I always thought of him as The Fonz of the group. He was the Cool Guy. Listening to the rock station (always on in the shipping department). He always put a smile on my face. I went looking…

  • memories

    remembering – 2015 edition

    erin walker :: august 6, 1977 – october 23, 1994 when i close my eyes she’s too young to be forgotten her world has only just begun her future is an empty slate waiting to be filled and i see her standing there when i close my eyes dancing in the sky over moonbeams, around clouds starlight in her eyes angels in her hair and i see her when i close my eyes child of the sunlight daughter of the day sleeping on bed of roses with flowers in her hair the wind it softly kissed her cheek the raindrops fell like tears and i see her when i close my eyes a thousand white candles their flames dancing with the air as rocks play tag with ocean she’s fast asleep never to be woken and i see her when i close my eyes © catherine healy October 23, 1994 ~~>–<@>–<~~ In 1994, I was 18. As of tomorrow, I’ll be 3 months away from my 40th birthday. Something about today was nagging at me. I couldn’t believe that October had vanished in the blink of an eye. I don’t even remember it starting (likely because I was out cold with a flu and fever the first two days of this month). Today we went out to lunch with a friend who had worked her last day at her current job, and was about to start a new job next week. She’ll be working at a stable, with horses, on the…

  • memories,  the anomaly that is me

    of teen me, and summer, and nostalgia

    It is extremely rare that it happens, but occasionally I will have a moment of wishing I was Teen Me again. Trust me when I say that it is extremely rare, because even when I was Teen Me, I couldn’t ever understand why people thought being in their teens was a good thing. I was not a happy teenager. I may have looked it on the outside, but on the inside I was a dark, angry, ink scribble mess. I was shy, depressed, anxious, and was filled with the fear of people not liking me, or hurting me. But when that rare occasion that I wish I was Teen Me again crops up, it will happen during the summer. From the age of 9 months, until I was old enough to be stupid and want to stay HOME, we spent every summer a Marine Village on the shores of Lake Champlain in upstate NY. All. Summer. My mother didn’t work, and my grandparents were retired. We started out just renting one of the cottages there, and then in 1988 my parents bought us a trailer, and my grandparents switched to renting a mobile home. Once we had our own place, we’d open it up over the May long weekend, and spend every weekend there until school was out. That’s when my mum, sister, and my grandparents, would relocate for the summer until school started again after Labour Day. My dad would come down on weekends, and use his vacation time during…

  • memories,  the anomaly that is me

    the past is always closer and farther away than you think it is

    On Friday, January 23, I turned 39. I am officially in the last year of my 30s. It’s strange to me. Last week when I was looking through my blog for a old photo in archives, I came across this post. I found it oddly time appropriate since the first item on that list was “10 years ago” and it was written 10 years ago from now. It made me sad, and nostalgic, and happy, and, well… wonder. Is it time to change the same answers on this list? Because they are awfully similar to what I am doing now. So here goes. 10 years ago: I was 29. It was 2005. I got married to my soulmate on July 2. I was working at the University bookstore. I thought I’d be moving on from working at McGill. Silly me. I thought I’d be moving out of Quebec soon. Silly me. I had amazing friends, but I still suffered from the insecurity that people didn’t really like me. I had a learner’s permit, and never really practiced driving. 5 years ago: I was 34. It was 2010. I had laser eye surgery. It took 3 years to heal. =/ I saw CATS at Place des Arts with my husband. I was married for 5 years. That went fast. I did have a new job, after the bookstore, but it was still at McGill. Now I’m an assistant to a Dean. I still had my learner’s permit. Maybe this year? I…

  • memories

    20 years of remembering

    erin walker :: august 6, 1977 – october 23, 1994 when i close my eyes she’s too young to be forgotten her world has only just begun her future is an empty slate waiting to be filled and i see her standing there when i close my eyes dancing in the sky over moonbeams, around clouds starlight in her eyes angels in her hair and i see her when i close my eyes child of the sunlight daughter of the day sleeping on bed of roses with flowers in her hair the wind it softly kissed her cheek the raindrops fell like tears and i see her when i close my eyes a thousand white candles their flames dancing with the air as rocks play tag with ocean she’s fast asleep never to be woken and i see her when i close my eyes © catherine healy October 23, 1994 ~~>–<@>–<~~   I had grand plans for this year. I had even spoken to some music student friends of mine to help me realize it, but life, as it does, got in my way. I had wanted to officially record the song I wrote and gift it to the father/husband and brother/son of Erin and her mother for the 20th anniversary of their accident. I will make that happen at some point, but for now, I will just write in this space, as I have been since I started my blog. I also had big plans for the post I…

  • memories,  the anomaly that is me

    so, thirty-eight happened

    Unusual for me, I didn’t chronicle my birthday this year. A lot of it has to do with what’s going on in my life (and my head) these days, although I can’t really say why I haven’t blogged in 20 days. I guess I’m just not feeling it much lately. On January 23rd I turned 38 years old. What a strange age to be. I find it very surreal to be closer to 40 than to 20. In my mind, I’m still closer to my teens than I am to being a grown-up. I’m not sure when this feeling will change, if it changes at all. I woke up on my birthday and came downstairs to find a hand-made card waiting for me and a gluten-free birthday cake. These wonderful items were both courtesy of my amazing husband. Since it was my birthday, I was turning old, and I have been home on medical leave and feeling sort of out of sorts, I decided that my fancy party t-shirt was the appropriate attire for the day. Shawn got me that shirt for Christmas. Have I mentioned how wonderful my husband is? In a surprising turn of events, I didn’t want to celebrate my birthday this year. It had nothing to do with age and everything to do with the PTSD crap I’m going through. I didn’t want to see anyone, go anywhere, do anything,or even really talk about my birthday. Two days before my birthday I woke up feeling excited…

  • memories,  year in review

    so long 2013, don’t let the door hit you on the way out

    In 20 minutes this year will be over. Honestly, I didn’t think I’d still be awake by now but we watched two episodes of Buffy in a row and then it was suddenly after eleven. I took a shower and now I’m just waiting. Not sure why. I think it’s because I’m just eager for this year to finally be over. Done. And I am pretty sure I’ll be kicking myself  a year from now, but I just don’t have it in me to do my yearly wrap up on the blog. This isn’t particularly a year I want to remember. It’s been one of the lousiest years I can remember and some pretty Big Stuff happened that wasn’t altogether pleasant. So, I’m ready for a “new year”. For the first time in ages I even bought a calendar year agenda. I’m so used to following an academic calendar – even at work. To me, my year begins in August/September. But this year, August and September weren’t fantastic and were still too closely associated with the earlier part of the year. I’m just completely over 2013 and I think that might be why I was so drawn to this agenda. I don’t know. I don’t even know what to expect or hope for in the new calendar year. I’d like a lot less major traumatic events in my life. If that’s possible? Please. But honestly, I normally have lousy even-numbered years and generally I do not get along well with…