Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A bit of down, a lot of Up, makin' like Sisyphus but with way more joy

The weekend went fairly well -- mom stayed on the waitlist so I didn't drive her to chemo on Friday, nor did I get to take her wig-buying (in anticipation of the chemo's predicted effects), as my sister had done that the day before. I did take her and my "baby sister" out for lunch, and I felt good about that. These are going to be tough times though, and the confusion mom is beginning to experience seems to be coupled with understandable depression (to which she has always been prey anyway). As well, her living situation seems to be grating on her a bit (my sister's family have lived with her since my dad died -- it was what she wanted and has suited everyone very well over the past 9 years with my sister and brother-in-law providing all the support mom could have wanted and their kids giving her much love, joy, and company). So far, my family has worked so well together; my dad trained us through his years with cancer. He tended to confront and deal with possible problems, micro-managing them even. Mom is more likely to bottle up but you know what can happen to contents under pressure. I'm worried we may find our understanding and graciousness challenged. Sorry if this is all a bit cryptic for some (and not enough for others), but I need to say something about where I'm at these days.

But even when there are challenges and emotional fatigue and threats of snow (yes, again!), I find some cheer. Look at this Snail Mail I received lately -- the package you see at the bottom right came directly from Paris, France, from Andie at C'est Ma Vie, who sent it shortly before Baby #3 arrived in their household. It contained a great set of sock needles, but more, for me, it contained--in the shape of those very needles-- my first blog contest prize ever won, AND did I mention already, it came directly from Paris France! Snail Mail from Paris -- love it!

The Air France card was sent locally by a friend of my daughter's, a friend we like to include at family meals when we can because she brings such fab desserts (mincemeat tarts, homemade!). Kidding, we love her company as well, and you can see why -- she's the kind of person who sends a Snail Mail thank-you card. I love opening my mailbox and scooping up a piece of personal mail, trying to see the return address and figure out where it's from. That hardly ever happens any more, and it almost makes me send a thank-you note to the sender -- that would obviously precipitate an untenable and interminable situation, but it does cross my mind . . .

Anyway, that was rather old cheer, having arrived several weeks ago, but it points me in the direction of some upcoming goodness: Pater and I have started planning this year's Paris trip. We haven't booked yet, but we think we've untangled some of the difficulties of planning 'round the conferences I'm going to, and it looks as if we'll hit Paris early June. More later.

And then the ongoing cheer which is my little Nola. I was able to upload the most delightful video of her engaging in that preliminary chat which involves eyebrows and screwed-up lips and shoulders and results in lovely, lovely cooing. But I could only upload it to my Facebook page, sorry. Blogger really doesn't like long videos and it defines long as more than 15 seconds, it seems to me. So you'll pardon me for offering you photos instead, I hope. Here she is, having fallen asleep while nursing and now completely relaxed and secure in her slumber.

But she's not really one for long naps. Here she is awake:and getting ready to tell Nana a story Now that'll cheer me up!


  1. She is a slice of heaven, and she amazingly is looking more like you every day! I love the way they can fling their head back with out it snapping off. At first that used to terrify me.
    Planning for holidays is a great way to get you through the marking and planning, although paying for them hurts a little. We are staying put in England this year as the Euro is sooo expensive. However, ever since Daisy has waxed lyrical about Basel, I am sorely tempted to go. I quiet fancy a bit of yodeling in the mountains!
    I hope all goes well with your mother, that big family does have fringe benefits.

  2. Lola pictures are as good as Lily pictures( high praise coming from me). I am so sorry for all you and your family are going through but I am so happy you are not having to deal with this on your own. Hugs to lovely you.

  3. Awww........the baby's picture made my heart go pitter-patter ;=}
    She's lovely and I'm sure that you aren't spoiling her at all right?

    This was a beautiful and heartfelt post.

    Steady On
    Reggie Girl

  4. Alison: really? you can see me in there? I can't, probably not surprisingly, but I agree with the slice of heaven bit! Much as I'm looking forward to vacation time, it will be hard to leave her for three weeks or so.
    I'm sure you'd be a great yodeller! Maybe next year?
    LBR: Thanks, my dear -- and yes, that's high praise indeed!
    Reggie: So far, she's pretty unspoilable, but as soon as she's ready . . . ;-)

  5. Wish we did not live so far apart AND that I could squeeze the adorable Nola. Saying cryptically back, the elder years have stages and changes. I found them to be as inscrutable and mood-ridden as adolescence, plus one is dealing with a parent. Add to the mix a person who is not always forthcoming, and coping with illness. Tall order. Hugs.

  6. I find that so adorable, the way babies arch their backs as you hold them up. She is lovely.

    You have the whole gamut of life going on there. Sending you many warm and sypathetic thoughts as you deal with your mum's situation. Patricia

  7. Nola is SO CUTE!!! They're so much fun once they hit that interacting stage.

    I'm sorry about your situation with your mom and her health and needs. It's never easy...

  8. Duchesse: Sounds as if you've already trod this road. It's a new one for me, and I can see it will throw up a number of challenges. Thanks for the hugs -- I need them today.
    Patricia: Yes, it's a posture I think my Pilates instructor would warn me against, but Nola seems very comfortable with it, absolutely relaxed, almost boneless! And thanks for the warmth and sympathy.
    Pseu: Isn't she?! And yes, I love the interaction at this stage -- and I remember how pleased I was as a mother once they hit it, after all those weeks and weeks of feeding and crying and diapers and no-sleep!

  9. Nola is lovely--I see so much of Bronwen in her. So sorry your mom is struggling and that those old winter blues have been nibbling at self esteem, and just generally gobbling joy. Planning travel and a trip to the Tigh Na Mara Spa are always good antidotes for me...hope to see you next week

  10. OH my GAWD, this BABY!!!! I love how they get so drunk after nursing...So satisfying for both mother and baby! I love that cooing. To me, that is the sweetest sound on earth. That, and a cat's purr...

    I'm smitten with Nola!

  11. Nola and her gorgeous young slim mama are the bomb! Those hand gestures are impossibly cute.

    I tell my parents they have to hang on and be healthy, active grandparents for at least 10 more years. I tell them this every year. I was just thinking this morning how I'm no longer a granddaughter, now just a daughter, and a mom. I can see that it gets lonely at the top, but that adding grands and greats can make it worthwhile. Life transitions.

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  13. Alison: Isn't she sweet? And thanks for the sympathy -- I'm working my way upwards with the help of a few days at home. Went for a run yesterday and to dinner at The Wesley Street last night (Gaetan is so envious of you two and the sailing, especially). I do so hope we manage to connect next week -- it would be lovely to see you and I promise not to whine out my self-pity;-)
    Karen: I know! that boneless relaxed pose -- "drunk" indeed -- that's the perfect description.
    Dana: I think some of my sadness might have to do with seeing my mom's replacement at the top of that chain by me -- if not this year, it's not far off at the speed the clock ticks these days. I become aware of all the things I am unlikely to see this little girl do so watching her my joy is shadowed by a bittersweet awareness of time passing.

  14. As an owner of one myself let me congratulate young Nola on her sizeable nose. It will serve her well.

  15. Thom: Good to hear from someone who appreciates a good strong nose -- we're big on them in our family (ha!) and know that they're nothing to sneeze at (ha! again). A strong nose (as the family euphemism goes) has done particularly well by Nola's father and her granddad, but many of her female forebears boast one as well . . .


I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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