bogeyandruby

Random stuff, reflections on the meaning of life and death, humour, self-deprecation, a bit of bad poetry.

Watching game six of the Golden Nights – Canadiens playoff series and trying to keep my heart rate under control.

Honestly, I find watching games with this much at stake to be too stressful.

My favourite memories of me and my dad in the 1970s are of the two of us watching his small, portable black and white TV in the master bedroom, a length of cable winding up three sets of stairs from some kind of receiver in the basement to connect to the back of the television.

My mother didn’t care for hockey and my siblings were too young so it was our time together. Saturday night games were the best because after a delicious meal of home made pizza for supper, I stayed up to watch all three periods.

What a magical era that was for Habs fans. We were spoiled back then because they won so much of the time.

I remember that when they did lose, and I hung my head in sorrow, my dad would always tell me not to worry, that they were all millionaires. As if that could make up for losing a key game.

I remember the 1993 series vividly, the last time the Canadiens won the Stanley Cup. It isn’t the same league any more, but this is still a mega hockey city. Probably the only time opposing groups of all sorts are rooting for the same side.

They are ahead by one goal at the end of the second period. A win tonight and they are in the cup finals.

I’m finishing this blog and pressing publish before the end of the game. Worse case scenario, we’ll tune in to game seven two days from now.

Go habs go! 🤞

As I sat in front of my laptop watching my son’s high school convocation via live stream, I was suddenly struck by how alone I felt. Not surprising considering I was watching the ceremony by myself. We received the convocation protocol only a few days ago. Unfortunately, Sean’s dad was working evenings and couldn’t attend and my husband was out doing errands.

I permitted myself a brief period of wallowing as tears rolled down my face.

On a whim, I sent the live-stream link to my sister and asked her to set it up on an iPad for my parents so they could watch it from their house.

My dad gave up early on. I don’t blame him; the ceremony was very long and all in French. My mother and sister managed to catch that special moment and somehow my husband made it home in time too.

Sharing this celebration with family, albeit virtually, dried up the tears and made all the difference.

I’m grateful to my son for making it even more memorable by performing his trademark kung fu twirl and kick as he crossed the stage, then pumping his fist and releasing a triumphant roar upon receiving his diploma.

I managed to capture a poor quality video of that special moment, not to mention a few screenshots, all the while staying mindful in the present.

On a side note, I noticed that all the boys and many of the girls were wearing comfortable shoes as they crossed the stage. Wished I’d had the courage and foresight to dress for comfort and not for fashion when I graduated all those years ago.

Fist pump: made it through the pandemic and managed to graduate!

Pure joy: https://youtu.be/3bqJ63PFVkA

It was my son’s last full day of high school today. My husband, who isn’t Sean’s biological father, asked me how it felt to be the parent of a child finishing high school.

To be honest, I hadn’t really considered how I felt because I so rarely live in the present moment. If he’d asked me what my worries are for the future, I would have come up with a long list of concerns. I keep this list alongside an equally long to-do list. Doesn’t mean I don’t have hopes and dreams for him, I do. But it is the weight of responsibility and my lack of control over certain outcomes that keep me up at night.

So how do I feel? Enormous relief that he has completed twelve years of education and happy that he has thrived both academically and socially during his high school years. The former has not come easily. My son is the hardest-working and most disciplined person I know. The results are hard-earned.

Not only do I love my boy with all my heart, but I sincerely like the person he is becoming. A deep thinker, kind, and conscientious. A good conversationalist. He is a person I genuinely admire.

Even though he has a long way to go, there is a definite shift in my parenting, a letting go as he gains more independence. A short while ago, I reminded him that I wouldn’t be around forever and that he needed to start advocating for himself. In order to do that, I need to step back and give him space. That’s the hard part.

How do I feel? Happy, sad, hopeful and more than a little wistful. Mixed emotions for sure.

Well-done, my boy. Whatever you do in this life, do it with integrity and great passion. Aim for an authentic life, not an easy one.

All my love, mom.

❤️

Today is National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada, a day that recognizes and celebrates the cultures and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada.

Over the past few years, I have made a conscious effort to learn more about these peoples, avoiding sources from a distinct colonial perspective (for example, government-approved, high school history curriculum), and opting instead for reading material written by indigenous authors.

Whereas I might skimp and save on some of the New York Times bestsellers I read, it is supremely important to me that I purchase this Indigenous reading material and read the sometimes difficult stories that are shared.

Supporting the artists is the least I can do. Sitting with my discomfort is a small gesture in the grand scheme of things, one that attempts to acknowledge all that was taken from our indigenous communities and all that continues to be denied.

A good friend who works for a community health care unit in Vancouver recently shared the text that she uses to sign off her work emails. It reads « I humbly acknowledge that I live and work on the unceded territories of … » and proceeds to name the affected nations.

I wish there was something equivalent that I could use to sign off my work emails but this province has a long way to go when it comes to acknowledging systemic racism, never mind stolen land. If I feel frustrated and powerless in the face of this denial, I can only imagine how the Indigenous communities feel. A day of recognition is a good thing but it isn’t enough to make a real difference. We need to walk the walk the other 364 days of the year.

What do you get your 90 year old, low vision dad for Father’s Day, when he says he doesn’t need or want anything?

You get him a pair of drawstring Tommy Hilfinger shorts, and a box of 36 black Sharpie markers so he can read his own notes and ours.

And Indian take-out, medium spicy.

I find it difficult to see him looking so frail these days. He’s always been this stalwart presence in our lives, our biggest supporter in good times and bad, the dad who carpooled us everywhere and took us tent camping, immigrant-style. He still asks me if I need anything every time I call or stop by.

I figure at this point in his life, he’s earned a rest, a respite from worrying about his kids no matter how old they are.

Happy Father’s Day, dad. I hope we are lucky enough to celebrate many more. Time is so precious. Love you lots.

Party hats and my dad’s outfit matches the birthday cake.

I like the word mediocrity.

Ordinariness. Passableness. Averageness.

I dabble in a lot of things that I’m okay at. Nothing wrong with being okay at something. It’s better than sucking at it.

My husband has a teeshirt that reads, « World’s okayest guitar player ». I love that. I’ll be the world’s okayest dabbler.

I did win something once. It was a Kiwanis scholarship at my high school convocation. Unfortunately, I wasn’t listening when it was announced. Probably daydreaming about some boy I had a crush on.

On cue and clueless, I clapped along with everyone else when they announced my name, until the classmate next to me nudged me and said I’d better get on stage.

I wouldn’t say it is the biggest regret in my life, but it is a small one. That the one time I managed to rise above mediocrity, I had no idea why. 🤓

Ever won anything? Excel or dabble? Do share!

My husband and Tommy Emmanuel (World’s Best Guitar Player).

Last night, I reluctantly signed out of my early morning online class after making a mental list of all I had to do at the office today.

It’s never a good sign when your to-do list gives you heart palpitations as you lay your head down to sleep. A quarter dose of a quick-dissolve gravol eventually sent me off to la-la land.

I wish I could say it was a solid, dreamless sleep but it wasn’t. In fact, I dreamed that I dropped my DSLR camera attached to a very expensive telephoto lens in some fresh snow that was hiding a puddle of muddy slush. Thankfully, Sami shi tzu chose that moment to pounce on me, Tigger style, saving me from what was fast turning into a nightmare.

I worked hard today, nine hours straight, and ticked every single item off my to-do list and then some. Meetings were productive, case discussions collaborative, charting up to date, stats completed and only one client called me « stupid ». 🙄

But hey, it’s the week-end, peeps, and I’d say we earned it. Yay!

GO HABS GO!

I’ve been neglecting my creative side of late, partly because of COVID fatigue but also, if I’m honest, because I spend an awful lot of time supporting (and enjoying, I might add) other people’s creations, including my husband’s.

While I’m not talented enough to earn a living through my hobbies, I need to practice them to have balance in my life. I need more of the joy that comes from making something.

In order to fulfill those needs, I must make time for them. And that sometimes means not opening a link, attending a show, or scrolling through social media.

This void in my life is partly why I took on this 30 day/150 words challenge, to push myself to create again, to stimulate the right side of my brain before it turns completely to sludge.

I may not be great at art, but I am really good at following routine and commitment to habit.

What do you do creatively that brings you joy? Do you make time for it?

Another hobby!

I’ve got a stye 
in my eye
I wish
it were pie

If you don’t have time to soak in a tub, sit still for five minutes with a wet, warm compress on your eye and a soundtrack of ocean waves playing in the background.

We met a young husky mix with one blue eye and one brown on our dog walk this evening. As we approached, the owner instructed the puppy to sit, stay, then « look at me. » That lasted about a nanosecond.

Me to Ian: « That dog has got beautiful eyes and I’ve got a stink eye. »

My dad has macular degeneration. Not only has his low vision robbed him of his capacity to drive but he can no longer watch his stocks go up and down. On the plus side, he is now free to shout and clap along to FM opera from the passenger seat.

Every two weeks or so, my mother puts Jalapeño potato chips on her shopping list. « Your father eats them to stay awake listening to the stock market reports. »

My dad does everything with his middle finger: he points with it, uses it to push his glasses up, and scratch his nose.

Here he is using his middle finger to calculate his stock market gains on his giant, low vision calculator.

As a rule, I avoid large gatherings and anything resembling a celebration or party. That being said, I was really hoping to be able to watch my son pick up his high school diploma in person.

Instead, it will be only be accessible to the students with the parents being given a link to watch the convocation online.

It is a small disappointment in the face of what so many have lost in the pandemic but I will allow myself a few minutes to wallow in it.

He is my little miracle, the child I didn’t think I could have, the one I nearly lost. We’ve been through a lot together, he and I, and I just wanted to be there.

He’s okay about it. This is all on me.

Categories: love

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