Mama Mama Mia!

Happy Mother’s Day Mama’s.

Medium Tania Thomas

**I wanted to write a Mothers Day Blog that was sensitive and soft. Full of pretty things like flowers and bunnies.  And then a Facebook friend’s picture rolled up on my timeline. Baby grinning…puked all over mama…and I burst out laughing…and decided…lets keep this real. Thanks to this amazing mum for allowing me to share her photo**.

Mama Mama Mia

There she was. After getting her to finally cry the doctor handed me my first born baby. I glanced downward and my first thought was…

“Good God…I’ve birthed a unicorn”

She was an interesting shade of purple, with two bruise marks on her forehead from a difficult forceps delivery.  Arriving into the world much earlier than expected , her limbs far out did her body weight and I seriously thought I’d just pushed out a purple filly.

Our first week was spent under the watchful eyes of hospital staff as…

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Mama Mama Mia!

“I have a vague recollection of one 2 am event where she was all of three months old and I was trying to figure out how to stretch my lady part to accommodate pushing her back in. No seriously….I did have that thought. I even eyed the plunger under the bathroom sink.”

**I wanted to write a Mothers Day Blog that was sensitive and soft. Full of pretty things like flowers and bunnies.  And then a Facebook friend’s picture rolled up on my timeline. Baby grinning…puked all over mama…and I burst out laughing…and decided…lets keep this real. Thanks to this amazing mum for allowing me to share her photo**.

Mama Mama Mia

There she was. After getting her to finally cry the doctor handed me my first born baby. I glanced downward and my first thought was…

“Good God…I’ve birthed a unicorn”

She was an interesting shade of purple, with two bruise marks on her forehead from a difficult forceps delivery.  Arriving into the world much earlier than expected , her limbs far out did her body weight and I seriously thought I’d just pushed out a purple filly.

Our first week was spent under the watchful eyes of hospital staff as I tried to work out how to dress my new gumby horse and not stab her with one of those huge diaper pins that were all the rage back in 1985.  I loved maternity wards back in the day. You were offered three beer a day if you planned to breastfeed.

I breastfeed and you bring me alcohol? Sign this mama up.

I failed breastfeeding in about six minutes flat. The moment she latched on every hormone in my body raced upwards to my brain and I sobbed uncontrollably while berating myself for ruining any chance of a mother child bonding experience. The infant attached to the mum in the bed beside me lay quietly while mum leaned back in a state of blissful peace while I was wailing like a wounded jackal. It was a train wreck.

The free bar was closed and I squeezed my poor breasts into a bra three sizes too small to slow the production of the milk that made me cry.

My daughter is 32 and lactose intolerant and I still think it’s my fault.

I’m still resentful about the beer too.

Our first year together is pretty much still a blur. I believe I managed to get about a good solid 60 hours of sleep over that time frame. Our little bundle of joy was hyper colic. Probably because I screwed up baby bonding breastfeeding 101.  I got to a first name basis with all of the emergency room staff as I would stumble in no less than twice a month with a baby screaming like I had cut both her long legs off.

I have a vague recollection of one 2 am event where she was all of three months old and I was trying to figure out how to stretch my lady part to accommodate pushing her back in. No seriously….I did have that thought. I even eyed the plunger under the bathroom sink.

I’m still trying to work out how I managed to conceive baby number two on the tail end of the first year from hell. I figure I was semi conscious. I was 21 and pregnant with number two. I almost bit the doctor’s ankles from my vantage point on the floor when I sank to it in shock.

I can still see his face.

“Excuse me…I must have something in my ears. You said bladder infection but I heard you’re pregnant. Let’s start that again”

Carried this one through the hottest summer on record. Migraines daily and a one year old that spewed vomit every five minutes. I had gotten to the point by then that I didn’t really give a crap where it landed. There were many episodes of “Skating With The Stars” played out across my slippery kitchen tiles. How I wish we had You Tube back then because I could have become a millionaire and hired a Nanny.

At the beginning of trimester two I was informed that I had an incompetent cervix and that I would need a suture procedure to maintain this pregnancy. Of course I had an incompetent cervix. I was also an incompetent breast feeder..why not?

“Some women are just built this way” the doctor reassured me.

All I could think was….

“Maybe I did follow through on the plunger attempt and blacked it out?”

My delivery room experience was not at all what it is promised to be in the Lamaze classes.  Not at all. My OB resident walked in, reached down, wrapped her fist around the suture and pulled like she was teaching a Rottweiler to heel.  I screeched and she glanced up and told me not to be a baby.

Well that ended poorly.

My right foot shot forward and landed her squarely in the forehead nearly knocking her off her stool. My head flew up like the Exorcist and I recall hearing a horrible voice full of four letter expletives as it demanded that she leave the room immediately.

I remember glancing up at the two nurses hovering nearby and quietly saying…

“Hello? Baby face is falling out of my vajayjay here. Can someone catch that please?”

The actual OB strode in at that moment and literally caught bundle of joy number two as he fell out. Handed him to the hovering nurse, smacked my leg and said “Good Job” and walked out.

I laid there a moment staring at the door thinking…

“I am totally becoming a baby doctor. He just got 800.00 from OHIP and he was here for a hot half minute”.

Absolutely exhausted at this point from both the delivery and my karate moves I glanced down at my new little boy and found myself being inspected by the direct gaze of two jet black eyes. I panicked momentarily and figured I had channeled Linda Blair for real. My mother had just walked in and I will never forget her bewildered expression as I lifted him to her and said…

“Take him. He scares me”

He stared at me for a full two years. Never spoke a word. Just stared.

Like Drew Barrymore in Fire Starter.

I thought that at any given moment I might spontaneously combust.

Motherhood was going well.

Baby three arrived 7 years later. I was undergoing a tubal ligation in April of 1992. As the gas mask lowered to my face and the backwards count began I clearly heard my grandmothers voice.

“Oh Tania, you’re pregnant”

My first thought on waking in the recovery room a short time later was…

“Well clearly I am not pregnant now Nanny”

And then the doctor walked in.

“Everything went really well. I decided to forego the D and C procedure”

Meaning…that the uterine lining was intact.

I swear to God that I heard my grandmother giggle from somewhere in that room.

Three weeks later I found myself at the OB office feeling very off.

“You must have left a sponge up there or something cause I feel awful”

I left some “lets check for pregnancy” blood vials behind and  my mouth on the floor.

Two days later I got the news.  The nurse called and was laughing.

“Talk about shutting the barn door after the horse bolts”

I stood staring at my husband and finally the words fell out.

“I am pregnant”

The dish he was washing fell from his fingers and hit the floor.

No suture surgery with this one. You can only do that once.  At five months in I was told to hit bed rest phase. Oh I laughed. I really laughed. Bed rest?

My eldest is seven and although the vomiting has stopped she is a drama queen with a penchant for high pitched screaming to gain my attention to the fact that she has a hang nail. Bed rest you say?

My five year old is still staring at me and now he’s obsessed with dirt. He walks around all day in my Playtex Yellow Dish Gloves. He reminds me of the butcher in some horror movie I watched when I was 12. I have fears of being smothered while on this bed rest.

I’ll pass.

“The baby may simply drop out in the toilet Tania”

“OK…well I will bend over each time and beg him not to” I responded.

On the due date day of Dec 14th I was doing jumping jacks because he had decided to wrap his feet around my bottom ribs because I think I had created his fear of drowning by begging him not to jump earlier.

I seriously did jumping jacks trying to dislodge him. I had never gone to term and this was freaking me out thinking he may never leave home at all.  I went to bed depressed and fat. I woke up at 5 am in full labor with contractions every 30 seconds.

Awesome. Note to new mothers to be. No jumping jacks. Bad bad very bad idea.

We raced out of the house and tore off for the hospital with the 7 year old drama queen and Playtex Gloves losing their shit in the back seat.

“You get to meet your new brother or sister soon”, I cooed through pursed lips.

My daughter…

“I don’t want a new brother or sister”

Playtex Gloves just stared.

We arrived in a record breaking three seconds somehow. I leapt from the car turned and hit a patch of ice. Straight up in the air and slammed to earth with an extra 60 pounds of belly to really bring it home but good. My husband still trying to wrestle the other two from the car turned and yelled

“What the hell are you doing!?”

“Oh you know….just thought I’d lay down and do it right here”

My daughter….

“Mummy you can’t have the baby in the driveway, get up!”

Playtex Gloves….well…..you know…

This baby was coming with no pain medication AT ALL. And he was turning his head back and forth like he was looking for the way out. The nurse smiled and said she’d never seen a baby do this before. Thought it was cute or something. Not so cute for me as I screamed at the top of my lungs….

“Grab that head and pull it the hell out!!!”

Oh boy. The epitome of motherhood was shining that day.

They grew up. Much faster than I ever expected they would. My mother warned me about this each time I would mutter about another Sparks meeting or Scouts. Each time I would sigh because another tooth needed fixing or another pair of shoes were too tight. Every time I would groan because my teenage daughter wanted to invite all 47 of her friends for a sleepover. Each time they hugged me. Each time they hated me and wanted me to not be their mum. Each time grew into each year and each year took us further away into now.

And each moment I found reasons to tell myself I wasn’t doing it right. Not good enough..too tough..too soft…too easy…too pleasing.  Was I too self focused? Too blunt? Was I too nurse like when they came crying and I told them to stop being so ridiculous? Was I too human?

And then I sit and remember.

I ruined a wardrobe of clothing because I didn’t want to upset my colic child any further in running for a towel. She was already struggling and in pain and my clothes could be replaced. With second hand store clothing yes…..who could afford new back then? But it was OK. I bought her 70.00 dresses that would be destroyed in ten seconds flat with similac stain. But I bought them anyway because she deserved to be pretty.

I sat hours staring back at Playtex Gloves wondering if I had screwed him up from the onset of the pregnancy. I was so tired from not sleeping the year prior that I spent the time completely down and frustrated. I wondered as he stared at me what he must think of this mother that handed him away moments after birth. You do things in a moment that can cause you to question yourself constantly. But it’s OK. He learned to speak and it turned out that he didn’t have a problem with me at all.  He simply wanted to watch the world instead.

The youngest? Well he spent years terrified…I mean terrified of water. I would quietly beat myself up absolutely certain that I made him this way.  Each time I would go to the bathroom I would lean over and say…

“God please don’t fall in”

And I think the kid heard me.

But….he learned to swim. Without any help from me. So that’s OK too.

They are 32, 30 and 25. They survived me. And I survived them.

And despite all of my perceived shortcomings they went forth and they multiplied.

Thus far we have a 5 year old drama queen, a 7 year old starer ( no gloves thank God) and the two year old is making his own brand new quirks.

Clearly I didn’t mess them up that bad.  They are incredible parents doing their best too.

Would I do it all again and the same way? With the same frustrations and the same fears?

Yes I would.

And so will you.

Be gentle on yourselves Mamas. You’re teaching your children to be real parents. Not perfect ones.

 

Happy Mother’s Day Beautiful Ladies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walk Into The Dark. A Mediums Insight On Life After Death

As I stood there in nothing I became aware of everything. I knew without any doubt at all that I was not standing there alone but was surrounded by something…anything…I had no idea what and it didn’t matter at all. I felt no fear of whatever or whomever shared this space with me, I felt only a gentle swell of something I could not quite put a name to. It did not grow in intensity, nor did it diminish. It simply was. I was immersed in “is” and if that noun could be described in feels I can only describe it as smelling a baby’s skin after a bath. It held no grandiosity in its depth, yet provided an understanding of love that transcends all we have been taught here in this physical world.

My journey into the work that I have directed to do began right here.

I often find myself wandering about in the dark. And not just any kind of dark either. The pitch of the blackness is astounding. It is as if nothing exists and all exists within the same space. I haven’t yet fully determined if this is a physical manifestation that I am wandering around in, or a soul travel moment interrupted by my own sub conscious because I had that last coffee at 10 pm. While I am moving in this space it seems predominantly real as I graze my fingertips along walls seeking the light switch that I KNOW was there before I drifted off to sleep.

I am never fearful during these times which in retrospect presents a true dichotomy given my absolute distaste of all things dark and in terror of ever going blind. All that I know for certain is that despite being enveloped in absolute nothingness I am fully aware that I will find the light if I am just patient.

Now, throw me into a darkened basement in my waking hours and listen as holy hell erupts as I screech and scratch at the door begging for release. Yet, place me here in my sleep hours and I am perfectly content to wait it out until I find the switch again. Weird isn’t it?

I have arrived at the conclusion however, that I most assuredly must be experiencing an out of body trip through the dark fantastic, because were I physically climbing out of bed to take this journey I would inevitably awaken to broken toes and bruises of questionable origin. I am the worlds most celebrated klutz who can walk into a wall even were it illuminated with a miners light.

Oddly. during these blindfolded sojourns I seem to know my way around without fear of harm.  My natural instinct is to search for light, yet my emotional response is of safety and warmth. I stub my toes on nothing, I wander without any injury to my personal self. It is as if all obstacles are removed to assist me forward without discomfort.

Some years back, during my meditative phase where I was making attempts at relinquishing the need for control, I would find myself seated in a chair, feet flat to the floor, hands upturned into submission and eyes closed. I always had a candle burning close by because the entire time I was working at disconnection, I had to be assured that should I open my eyes that I would find light of some kind nearby. The thought of opening my eyes to complete darkness horrified me and I could never understand why. I still, to this day, will drive any eyelash technician to drink with my constant need to open my eyes in case they have somehow blinded me with their super glue. I’m a freak and happily accept that. Apologies however to the tireless efforts of these pursuers of beauty who have to literally tape my lids to my cheek to keep me in check while they fill my lash line with feathers.

But I digress.

It was during these meditative attempts where I learned something incredible. Mind boggling in fact, when you consider how darkness is portrayed in our human existence. One only has to look to the culture of fear to find the dark as a sinister and cruel environment. It’s no small wonder to me that we have created a belief that death of the physical body creates a passage of brilliant light with which to follow into our version of Heaven.

“I am the Light” John 8:12

We can be confused by biblical passages such as this one because it teaches us that only in light do we find love. Not to take away from the system of belief for anyone reading this, but from the value of what I have been shown, there is a space in the middle that we must all move through first before we are ready to accept love in its purest of forms.

Its called “The Dark”

As I sat in my quiet space, my candle burning to my left, I continuously found myself pulled into a strange darkness. It was right here, at that precipice exactly where my need to control the situation would trump my desire to sate my curiosity about what was beyond that next step.  My heart would flutter, my hands would reach for the chair arms in a flailing, falling type of panic and I would find myself once again safely ensconced in my room with my candle flame flickering shadows onto the walls.

Eyes wide open.

Phew. I escaped that time! I’m not sure where my Guides were planning on taking me but I got away. Yay me! I win.

I was drifting off one night propped up in my recliner. I wasn’t looking to find a meditative place, I was simply bored with the movie and rested my head back.  As I slowly shifted into a another time and space, I heard a voice within my own mind.

“Just slip into the darkness. Nice and easy, slip into the darkness” It was odd this time because I seemed to have found a meditation that wasn’t intended at all, and for the first time I was following the  urge to step over. I placed one toe in.

As my foot released the light behind me, I found myself calming. I found my heart fill with the most curious sense of laughter followed by what felt like warm sunshine as it moved over my skin.

“Keep coming” the voice urged. “Everything you need to understand is found in the dark”

And off I went…

This became a collection of moments that changed my entire life.

As I stood there in nothing I became aware of everything. I knew without any doubt at all that I was not standing there alone but was surrounded by something…anything…I had no idea what and it didn’t matter at all. I felt no fear of whatever or whomever shared this space with me, I felt only a gentle swell of something I could not quite put a name to. It did not grow in intensity, nor did it diminish. It simply was. I was immersed in “is” and if that noun could be described in feels I can only describe it as smelling a baby’s skin after a bath. It held no grandiosity in its depth, yet provided an understanding of love that transcends all we have been taught here in this physical world.

I had no care to attempt to ascertain from where this understanding was coming. It truly didn’t matter at all.

And that is the reason for the dark.

Love cannot be trusted with eyes that can see. Love will be questioned based on what we have learned, prejudice we have discovered and scriptures we have allowed to become boundaries and battle lines. Love does not exist in pretty and in ugly. Love does not live in baubles and gifts.

Love…quite simply….exists in a place from which we have no understanding of where it arrives from.

Love lives in the dark in the middle. At the edges of death and the edges of life exists the space where we cannot control from where, from whom, or for why it exists.

We must stand in the darkness for in the darkness we cannot judge from where we receive love. We cannot decide if we want that love or wish to return it. Because we cannot see who or what we are loving we become part of this exchange of beauty that exceeds any and all experiences that this physical lifetime has afforded for you.

Love can only truly be understood in the pitch of nothing because in nothing we are offered nothing to do but to trust.

And from there you will find yourself directed into the light of what we call Heaven.

They  leave this part out in near death experience because they know our fear of the dark. I believe its time you all know the truth.

Don’t be afraid of the dark.

Enjoy the journey.

 

Tania xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018. The Resolution to Live

‘He would just nod his head as I chattered about my plans for domination of a life long battle with Cheesies, as I’d grab a bag of shrunken parsnips sea salted and baked to provide the illusion that I was eating something more appealing than parsnips.. sea salted and baked’

I just got tired of buying gram weight scales and mini carbohydrate counting books. You remember those books? Each New Years week they would miraculously appear at the checkout of ever grocery store across the land. And every year I would buy one to complement my cart full of good intentions. I would drag my husband through the aisles, carefully reading each box flap to ensure that this would meet my dietary allowances as I moved into my resolution for yet another year. He would just nod his head as I chattered about my plans for domination of a life long battle with Cheesies, as I’d grab a bag of shrunken parsnips sea salted and baked to provide the illusion that I was eating something more appealing than parsnips.. sea salted and baked.

And every single New Years morning I would wake to a momentary sensation of victory only to be followed by the shocking realization that I wasn’t getting Captain Crunch for breakfast anymore. I’d stumble out to the kitchen, pour a cup of coffee and the demise would begin in that moment. Skim milk on top of my coffee. Ughh. Nothing in life is less appealing than coffee that resembles something one might find floating in the top of the shower drain.

I’d promise the skim that I’d try again tomorrow and coddle the carton of cream from yesteryear. I’d wander to the living room where my husband would inevitably find me. He’d cock his head to one side and raise his eyebrows as I would quickly attempt to hide the shortbread that I found on my journey to the couch.  With crumbs trailing across my lips like evidence at a crime scene, I would quickly admonish him for his obvious lack of support because he neglected to clear the area of all temptation on December 31st.

One week later he would call out from the kitchen that something in the fridge was attempting escape.
“There’s something in here trying to get out!” he would yell. On closer inspection I would recognize the two heads of lettuce and the fresh spinach that were now oozing into the other like some alien science experiment in effective cohabitation.

I Have Learned Better

Sometimes we are intended to lean to the cookie jar and savor some sweetness. It’s in understanding this that we can be OK with this.

I’d like to thank all those on the spirit side for teaching me some very important lessons. My hand over heart for helping me to understand that schedules are not formed by us but created for us to get the most of this journey we have chosen.

I’ve learned many things along the way. Most importantly I have learned that life can’t be planned. If I have taken one thing from my work it is that life can only be lived.

Life doesn’t really care what you schedule for it. Life only intends to allow you to experience what it can provide for you in each moment and that includes the kale and the cheesecake. That includes the failures and the victories. It includes the delights of stolen kisses and the regrets of what if’s.

Here are some “resolutions” we can all stick to.

To breath each morning and be grateful.

To love ourselves enough to accept that we are worthy of all love we receive.

To allow ourselves the failures and to be proud of our accomplishments.

To allow others their missteps without condemnation and judgement.

To live authentically whether we choose a good health day or a slide day.

To not allow anyone else to take away from the choice we make.

To eat the ice cream. To pour copious amounts of chocolate sauce on top. To ignore the looks of those who think they know better for you and what you need in this moment of your life.

To experience profound joy.

To experience profound grief.

To live. To breath. To laugh. To cry.

To hurt. To heal. To anger and to smile.

To breath. Each moment we are given.

To experience.

Everything.

Once.

Even kale.

You won’t know what you missed if you spent your days weighing your life into grams and measurements, rights and wrongs, should I or shouldn’t I.

Just do what feels right in this moment.

Allowing the universe to flow…

And remember this…

The universe has a pocket full of curve balls. And those curve balls turn into last moments. And those moments turn into last memories.

Happy New Day 2018. All others beyond this day are not guaranteed. Live it fully.

And keep a jar of cookies beside the skim milk.

 

In love, in light, in shortbread and sugar cookies…

Tania

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tears Into Twinkles – Christmas In Heaven

“It’s a rule here in Heaven. Everyone except us kids collect tears from people who love them. And then they bring them here and decorate our Christmas tree!! We have the prettiest trees here, with better colors than a box of crayons!!”

I had stretched myself out this evening into my recliner. After a long weekend of sessions I simply wanted to escape into the low drone of the TV noise across the room and disconnect to a space where no one could reach me.

Leaning my head into the soft leather, I sighed deeply, shushed the dog chewing her toenails beside me, and took a big clean breath. How wonderful to have nothing to focus on in this moment…

I could feel the furrow on my forehead as I adjusted to the darkness beneath my closed lids and realized that I was not alone.

A small child was standing directly in front of me.No more than 8 years old she peered up at me with big hazel eyes and lips slightly opened revealing one missing tooth to the left of her front pair. Perfectly disheveled with braids that were releasing she looked as if she had just woken from an afternoon nap. I couldn’t help but want to know what she was doing here.

As I urged her to share she reached back behind her and brought forward a looping of twinkles.  There was no start and no finish, just a constant turn of color bursts that seemed to jump from one moment into the next. I had never seen anything quite this wonderful and I smiled asking her what this was.

“They turn tears into twinkles here” she replied softly.

“Oh do they now…” I countered back. “Please explain to me what you mean”

She curled her energy to the floor and sat down peering up at me.

“Here in Heaven, they use tears. They collect them from every human that cries because they miss someone that lives here with me. It doesn’t matter who you are crying about either. Some people cry about their dog. And every time they cry we have people here that collect those tears. They just wait until you cry enough and then they reach down and scoop them from your face”

I cocked my head a little trying to understand the direction of this conversation, while she twirled the twinkles between her fingers…

“It’s a rule here in Heaven. Everyone except us kids collect tears from people who love them. And then they bring them here and decorate our Christmas tree!! We have the prettiest trees here, with better colors than a box of crayons!!”

I stared down at her.

“But honey, with all the stars out there, why would you need tears to light the trees? Why would they collect someones sadness to decorate Heaven?”

She stood up. Lifted her loop of light and told me to look closely. I leaned in until my nose was close to her cheek…and I watched….

Each twinkle produced a story. I saw breakfast tables and swimming holes. I saw laughing faces and bike rides. I watched babies giggle and waves goodbye out of a car window. I saw toddlers weaving back and forth and tipping over to the floor. I saw new puppies, brides and grooms, grandmothers and grandfathers..graduations and weddings..birthday cakes and running hugs.

She tapped me on my forehead and asked me what this meant. I glanced into her wise little face and said “Its love honey…its the story of love”

A tear escaped my closed eyes…she reached up her little finger and scooped it…

And holding it out she showed me…

A mommy and daddy…hanging a frame on the tree…a picture of a little girl in crooked braids with one tooth missing…

“Tears are not sad. Tears are love with nothing to hug. So they collect it all and bring it here. To light up Christmas for all us kids who can’t go home”

She waved her arm and behind her the edges began to light. For as far as I could see magnificent waves of brilliance shot out from every corner. Hues completely unimaginable in this world lifted upward as if pulled by an artists brush…

“Just tell them please. Tell mommy and daddy that their tears hang on my tree”

OK little one….

I will.

I will.

 

What else can I add to this…

There’s nothing left to say.

Hanna said it all for me.

 

Tania. xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Christmas Tree Called Liberace

My mother, bless her heart….she had this thing for the absolute thickest furriest and shiniest garland she could possibly locate and suffocate a tree with. Honest to goodness I swear she had a thing for Liberace and was living it out each Christmas.

I was sitting here tonight staring at the tree that still sits in the box on the floor. When I get a few hours of spare time I’ll pull it all out and stand looking at the branches wondering what in heavens name goes where. I’m grateful that my husband purchased a smaller version of our typical monstrosity. It’s four feet of promised “fullness” all stuffed into a carton the size of a shoe box, so we’ll see how this goes.
It kind of reminds me of the mattress we purchased a few years back. I believe it was simply called “Mattress in a Box”. If you’ve never witnessed the emergence of a king size mattress from a box the size of a laundry hamper…well….it is truly a mind boggling experience. Just don’t plan on returning it if you don’t like it. It’s NEVER going back in the box it came in.
I’m hoping the tree expands to something as spectacular.
Because God forbid…..
Garland….
I stood tonight in Wal Mart staring at the display of bright decorations and  colors…and reflected back to my early years..to our tree…
My mother, bless her heart….she had this thing for the absolute thickest furriest and shiniest garland she could possibly locate and suffocate a tree with. Honest to goodness I swear she had a thing for Liberace and was living it out each Christmas.
I don’t think she outgrew this until after the kids left home. Sometimes I wonder if there was ever a tree under it all in the first place or if she had simply encircled a lamp and popped gifts underneath.
She’ll read this. And she’ll laugh and move a piece out of my side of the china cabinet. It’s not enough that I complain every single year about her trying to force feed me trifle. Now, I’m onto the Tree Called Liberace.
liberace-yahoomusic
Yet….this is what Christmas is about. Memories that make you roll your eyes or blow egg nog  through your nostrils in laughter. It’s all the traditions you don’t adopt yet you will never forget. It’s all the stuff that the generations to come won’t know of…and it’s our job to tell them the stories.
I know for a fact that my kids one day will tell stories of me dancing about like the fairy godmother with tinsel as my wand….my intention to make the tree appear to sparkle at the branch tips…to be colorful as daintily as possible…yet it always inevitably wound up looking a bit like a llama trapped in a hurricane.
I think I’ll try spray paint this year….
Just on the tips…
The grand-kids will love this….
In love…in light….in old memories and in new…
Tania the tinsel fairy.

Grieving Through The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

“You’re not unique you know”

My first response was fairly vehement let me tell you. Forgive me but my walls went up high as I muttered under my breath

“F*ck you..I’m not unique. I can stand there straight faced while someone goes to a million pieces in front of me and casually hand them a tissue”

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year
With the kids jingle belling
And everyone telling you be of good cheer
It’s the most wonderful time of the year
It’s the hap-happiest season of all
With those holiday greetings and gay happy meetings
When friends come to call
It’s the hap-happiest season of all”

Andy Williams

 

My husband and I walked through the doors of a local grocery store just the other day. He stopped and he pointed out the mini live trees that were standing there and suggested that one of these might be perfect.

I stood there a moment and stared at the little branches before shaking my head and responding…

“We’ll wait til next week. We’ve always waited til after the kids birthdays”

It was a great ploy to pull him away from his inevitable trek through the store with his prized little tree over his shoulder.

I just wasn’t prepared at that moment.

We have two kids in the family with birthdays this month. One is our eldest Megan who celebrates hers tomorrow on December 11th. The other is the youngest son Sam who celebrates his on the 15th.

On December 8th our youngest kissed his ridiculously weepy mum goodbye at the airport to return to live in Edmonton after coming back home for a year. Out of the three of our kids, Sam is the one most like me. A wanderer, a seeker, a “leaver”; he reminded me that I should understand him because we are the same.

The words of my parents rang in my ears..

“Do as I say. Not as I do”

I wanted to tell him he couldn’t go. Pull the mum card out and ground him. He pulled this same stunt on me three years back when he left just a week before Christmas. It’s becoming his holiday theme.

Our grocery excursion took place later that day after I peeled myself off the glass watching him move through customs…his cat Juliette attached to his shoulder as they examined the carrier, he turned and half waved at me laughing at my nose pressed on the glass…

And I just wasn’t ready…

I don’t want the stupid tree right now.

But I will soon. I’ll go out and scoop one up and promise to make its sad little branches perk up. I’ll put it high on a table to make it look less Charlie Brown like and to save it from the jaws of our insane new puppy.  Yes I will.

It’s been an incredibly insightful year and a bit for me. A year that began with a loss of a cousin that almost took me down. I was absolutely shocked at how I responded. Sat for hours berating myself for grieving so hard when I knew better.

It’s a year of experiences that have brought me to places in my own heart and soul that I feared to adventure to before.  The same places that you go. My clients, my friends and my family. The places that I have always tried to heal for you, I was now being asked to heal for myself.

It’s changed me in the most extraordinary of ways.

I’ve learned what it feels like to accept that I am worthy of love. And in that I have learned how painful it is to let that go.

And in that I have learned to grieve.  To understand the process that I have tried to walk so many through on their own experiences.

And it’s changed me.

I have learned that forgiveness doesn’t mean allowing but that forgiveness means releasing yourself enough to accept your own beauty.

But most of all. I’ve learned this…

I’ve learned how to be softer, to be gentler, to understand more of what creates the discomforts of those that reach out to me.  I have learned that I can’t fix your pain, but I can commiserate and do my best to bring you through to a place where you feel comfortable if only for a moment.

I have learned that hurt arises from so many places. Not just from physical loss but from loss of career, loss of friendship, loss of warm places to land…

I have learned to listen harder, to understand the reason behind your frustrations and to not try to push you out of it with humor but to allow you to wet your face through your tears.

I have learned to grieve.

I was angry about this. I was not prepared to feel what I thought I had already experienced. I’ve watched a hundred patients die over the years. I had learned to be tough so that you had someone to fall into when your knees buckled.

I was explaining this to a friend recently how annoyed I was that I was feeling things at all. How in heavens name could I do what I do if I felt it so deeply?

That’s like a surgeon developing a sudden fear of blood. What use is that?

I told her how she couldn’t possibly understand how it feels to feel so deeply and to want to wrestle it down and bury it.

Her response rattled the chains that I had used to keep it from breaking free.

“You’re not unique you know”

My first response was fairly vehement let me tell you. Forgive me but my walls went up high as I muttered under my breath

“F*ck you..I’m not unique. I can stand there straight faced while someone goes to a million pieces in front of me and casually hand them a tissue”

I learned how to be unique a long time ago….so bite me. Uh huh.

I’ve had time to dwell on that.

And….

I’m not unique..

I have allowed the sting of loss to finally reach my skin surface.

And now I get it. Like I never got it before.

Now I understand you better than ever before. Now I’ll encourage you to get that tree but I will take your hand and tell you I understand if you don’t.

Now I will not be so cautious in revealing that I understand your discomforts. It started not so long ago now, my sudden wading out into the audience to bring myself closer to you. My sudden need to touch your knees. To get down close and to find your eyes through your tears.

To understand all the years that you pasted a smile and hid what hurt until that moment where I ( with your loved ones help) said the words that broke the dam.

I can now hand you a tissue and honestly say…

I get it.

I don’t want a tree either.

But….

Let’s get one just the same.

OK?

Let’s do this wonderful time of the year together.

But if you can’t…

I understand.

I am looking forward to moving forward. To revealing my real self instead of pulling my shoulders back to brace.  To handing a tissue to you and to taking one out for myself.

This will be incredible.

I am grateful to be not unique.

Have yourselves a Merry little Christmas.

 

In love. In light.

Tania xo