Western education 2013

Sunday, October 30, 2011

..... and then the tears.....

My sister calls me this afternoon and asks me in a cautious voice if I am sitting down or if not, could I find a seat.  She has travelled to Kingston this past week to drop in on our parents for their 50th anniversary.  She got to Kingston on Tuesday, days before the big event and was told that he was in the hospital...... the tears began and couldn't stop......

.........Our mother had called the OPP attachment in their small town and had reported him as being violent.  When the police arrived, she was telling them that he assaulted her and urinated all over the rug.  She neglected to mention that he had recently gone through a hernia operation and due to a venus leak from surgery which had caused his abdomen and scrotum to swell to proportions that had became unbearable.  He was bleeding internally and was unmedicated for pain and he could no longer tolerate it and the bloody urine coursed down his leg soaking into the carpet. He had pushed her aside and not assaulted her.  My father has Alzheimer's and the excruciating pain had disoriented and confused him.  My mother as usual in her dementia was sure he was just trying to make her mad.  She wanted him jailed for assault but fortunately the female officer decided to have him taken to the hospital to be examined and thats when they discovered the problem.  According to my sister, he is now comfortable and is pain free... today he ate.

I called my father at the hospital and he answered immediately.  He knew who I was and he asked about the family.  His sense of humor was back and the two of us laughed.  You could tell he knew the severity of the situation but chose to look on the bright side.... a side I easily share with him no matter what is going on.  One of the first things he said was how much food they were bringing him to eat.... I realize now that he was not eating enough and my sister described his condition as seriously slender with little fat on his frame.

I am trying to make arrangements to have him transported here as soon as I can find him a long-term facility.  I will try as hard as I can to get him where we can see him often... I know he would love to visit with his grandchildren and get to know them better, and maybe, his dementia will not progress.  I miss you Dad and think of you all the time. xoxoxo

Sunday, October 16, 2011

.... Sarah's Wedding....

What a great wedding.....
..... the day started off cold, wet and drizzling.  The church was busy with another wedding and we were unable to gain entrance until after the estimated start of the ceremony.  It was an elegant and understated wedding and one of the most charming and love-filled weddings complete with Miss Payton - the daughter of the Bride and Groom.  The weather did not dampen the spirits.  If anything a lovely wedding always reminds me of the love and passion I have for my own husband.  The reconnecting of two hearts is sheer magic.

The reception was filled with loving friends and family... Sarah's family has been such an integral part of my own family.  Sarah was Lydia's age now when we first met and over the years our love and friendship has grown to include our children.  We have very little family in this country, at least until they all came into our lives.  Life has many great moments!!

Dinner was wonderful, followed by a trip across the dance floor to Nannie.  Time for Miss Payton to come home with me to go to bed.  Her newly married parents will be spending their first night as a married couple celebrating on their own.  She was a super tired little girl when we got her to the house but immediately perked up when she caught sight of Lydia.  It took her almost an hour to fall asleep.  We returned back to the reception and left Payton in the capable hands of Mitchel and Lydia.

This morning little Miss Payton stood up in her sleeping pen and peered over the edge eying Max and I.  All smiles when I pulled her up into my arms for a morning hello and hug.  Later when I was eating my bowl of cereal, she opened up her mouth and like a baby bird grunted until her mouth was filled.  She is adorable and I love her to pieces!!  Breakfast done and an hour of play and Miss Payton was ready for another sleep.  She was out before I even made it out the door!!  A nice long nap, an early lunch and some more playtime and it was time to take her back to mommy and daddy for a visit before they head out to their honeymoon weekend.  Lots of hugs, gift opening and off we go to head home for some quiet time.  Thanks Lydia for helping mommy.... love you alway and forever.  To Mitch, who has always been a fabulous helper... you are awesome!!

May Sarah and Len enjoy their honeymoon away!!!  Love you both, wishing you a lifetime of wonderful memories, joy and laughter always.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

... Marketing interview at Fanshawe

.... busy mornings now seem to start up at 7 am in the labs.  I allow my students to just drop in early to get some one on one guidance to set them in the right direction.  Sara and I seriously need roller blades some days.... today especially I ingested way too many lovely colored gummy bears and a super-sized coffee.  I am playing to a packed house and trying to get everyone started on their next project so I can slip out for an interview with marketing.  My wonderful boss wants them to do a story on me.... and while I understand that it is a great thing to showcase the triumphs of the recent past and to share that with others, the other part wants to find anonymity.  I often joke that I was born petite, quiet and demure.... somehow my 5'10 stature,and  an outrageously outgoing personality makes this more than just an inside joke.... lol.

Today was a wonderful day!!!  It feels great to be alive and to be amongst the young men and women that I have the privilege of teaching each day.  Everyone should be so lucky to absolutely love what they do and to look forward to each and every day.  We never know how long we will grace this earth..... seizing each moment and breathing it all in at the moment it happens and remembering how it felt days or years later means you are truly living.

Sara had to pace behind me as I ran off to the test room and realized that I missed the classroom 3 times before I found myself breezing through the door of the right room.... flushed and three minutes late.  There they all were sitting quietly at their desks, knapsacks placed carefully at the front of the classroom as they had been instructed to do the day before.... impressed was a word I would use many times then and for the rest of the day.  Thank you to each and every one of those students for being amazing!!!  Thanks to Sara for following me and supporting me in the classroom and for managing to keep up in the hallway!!!

Thanks to everyone for their kind words and wonderful laughter!!!

.... my first paid published article....

.... I flip open the glossy pages of the first edition of go2 London magazine that Diane has just offered me.  We are standing amongst the waning crowd of the Tampon Tuesday event....I have arrived late.  She gives me a hug and leans in to let me in on her future plans with the magazine which includes the possibility of future offers for me to write another article.  I have been writing for years but this is my first paid article.  I am so excited that I share the news with familiar faces in the thinning crowd and get hugs from a number of them as we quickly catch up.  It has been almost 6 months since I last attended this event and only because my team practice on the lake is on Tuesday and Thursday nights.

I can't sleep... it's been this way for a few nights now and I can easily blame it on the change of seasons but I know better than that.... there is always a lot on my mind but my thoughts these days have switched to Mom and Dad.  My brother has sent me some pics of our parents that he took this past summer... how did my parents get so old.  My Dad has Alzheimer's and it is slowly stealing him away.  I know that it is progressing from just the simple disorientation of last May to him now living in what amounts to the days of his early thirties.  It must be confusing for him to look in the mirror and see some old guy staring back at him?

Chris has been an absolute saint with his unwavering strength over the past 2 years of trips he can ill afford to take just to be with them to sort out one issue after another.  I am not able to visit at this time...busy with so much on the go with a recent return back to work into a hectic schedule.  I wonder why I did not make more of an effort to visit during the summer when I was home with the kids..... and then I realize that I would have spent my entire time working at the farm for days without a break in a body that can barely keep up at times with the fatigue that still pulls at me from time to time.  I just wonder what would have happened if they had decided to retire closer to us when they decided to leave Ottawa.  I think some days that my father might not have gone through such a downhill slide with his disease.  Most days, he just hides away by himself in what amounts to a self-imposed prisoner.  I just wish we were much closer than we are.  I hope that my relationship with my kids is strong enough to continue the bond into my aging years....

I should go to bed... at least get an hour of sleep before another 12 hour day begins.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

.... Dragon Boat Season is officially over for the season....

..... this weekend marks not only Thanksgiving, but also the weekend that we officially pulled the Dragon Boats and the floating docks off Fanshawe Lake for the season.  The weather has been incredible with daytime temperatures of over 28 degrees with bright sunshine.  As I stand on the shoreline and look out over the smooth as glass surface, broken occasionally with driftwood, feathers or algae, I think about the season and how it started in a miserable rain shower.  I think about the relationships that have grown over the season and of all the truly great moments with the women I have come to love and admire.  I am deeply grateful in this bittersweet moment as I celebrate the passing of my first season of which I am no longer a newbie.  I breathe in deeply and look around at the rusty, reds, oranges and yellows of a season in change - reflects a season of so much change within me.  I look forward to the next season and know that the month in between will be spent taking some much needed down time as I try to balance my hectic lifestyle.

These past few weeks have been challenging and rewarding.  The students are the best group we have had in a very long time and I am eager to see how they fare on their first test with me.  It happens this week after a period of review.  Next week I have to prepare my lectures for the students starting with how to reduce and map boolean equations.... love this stuff.... such a geek!!