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Apr. 14th, 2016

Birthday beach

Happy Birthday, Ros! And an update.

Happy Birthday, auntyros! I hope it's good one full of good food, congenial friends and books with happy endings. :)

I always remember Ros's birthday because it's the day before Eddie's. He's going to be 18 tomorrow.

I know! It doesn't seem possible.

He got into the engineering program at Dalhousie University in Halifax and he couldn't be happier about it. He's actually been doing his homework without prompting and is enjoying his all science and math semester. He really hated English by the time his grade 12 teacher got done with them. It was a shame she was so uptight and prescriptive about writing and lit interpretation. Hopefully, he'll find his way back to the joys of literature later on in life.

Graduation isn't until June 28th, so hopefully he can stay focused until then. It's helped that the weather has been so awful - cold and rainy and gloomy. Someday that sun will come out!

Feb. 8th, 2016

Birthday beach

Happy Birthday, Bel!

Happy Birthday, tdu000! I hope you have a great day, doing something fun. Although Monday birthdays aren't all that conducive to big celebrations. :)

We're under a blizzard warning. So far no snow, but the wind is kicking up.

Feb. 3rd, 2016

Birthday beach

One More Semester Left

Here's Eddie's graduation portrait. He calls it his glamour shot. :)

He has one semester left of high school. It's so hard to believe. He did very well on his final exams, so now we have the waiting game to find out if he is accepted in the program he wants. Engineering at Dalhousie University. Keep your fingers crossed!

Jan. 27th, 2016

Birthday beach

Happy Birthday, amamama!

Happy Birthday, Berte! I hope your shoulder is feeling better and that the sun is shining on you and your beautiful family. All the best for today and the year ahead, my friend. *hugs*

Jan. 20th, 2016

Birthday beach

January Blues

This has been a tough month for all of us - Eddie, mainly. He has final exams next week for the first semester. Eddie has always had test anxiety, but lately his worrying has been off the charts. The universities in Canada only use grades to determine admission - grade twelve grades, to be exact. So these tests count a lot. At Christmas he had 80's in everything. However, his English teacher backloaded all sorts of projects to be due in January and she hasn't graded any of them. So he has no idea how he's doing. Plus, with writing research papers, he let math slide and now he's playing catch up.

I wish I could do more for him. I'm trying to encourage him to get some counseling to manage his anxiety, but he's no quite there yet. Oh, this is hard. Keep us in your prayers.

Jan. 18th, 2016

Birthday beach

Happy Birthday, megan29!

A little birdie told me it was your birthday, today! I hope you're having a good time skiing, or eating in a great restaurant, or just chillin' out. *hug* All the best for a great year, my friend.

Dec. 31st, 2015

Birthday beach

At Year's End

I owe all of you an update. As you know, my mother-in-law, Addie, was diagnosed with stage four stomach cancer this summer. In November they asked me to come down and help now that Addie was bedridden. I left on the day after Thanksgiving and she died on Dec. 10. It was not an easy death and she was ready to go, but it was still terrible to say good-bye to such a wonderful person who was a huge part of my life.


My father-in-law took it hard and refused to plan the funeral for two days. When he finally faced up to it, he wanted to wait a week. This left me in limbo with Bill and Eddie freaking out in Nova Scotia and me stuck in Massachusetts with very little to do. I ended up flying back to NS and then all three of us flying to Massachusetts three days later. All of these flights involved two hour drives to the airport - at 4:30 AM. I shudder to think of our Visa bill.

We got back on Dec. 20th and I finally had a chance to deal with Christmas. Honestly, it's been exhausting, but people have been so kind. From the Air Canada lady who changed and arranged all these flights and then said in her French Canadian accent, "I send you strength" to the owner of the men's store in Bridgewater who outfitted Eddie with a suit to be pallbearer and had the alterations done in two hours because he didn't want us to have to drive back to Liverpool in such awful rain. And, my goodness, the hospice people were angels sent to us on earth. No exaggeration. We couldn't have done it without them.

So I'm grateful she's at peace, but I'm sad for all of us who are missing her. I'm hoping 2016 will be a year of beginnings and new hopes as Eddie graduates from high school and goes off to university. (Probably Dalhousie in Halifax).

I'm wishing all of you the best in the coming year. *hugs*

Nov. 25th, 2015

Birthday beach

Happy Birthday, grandma_kate!

Happy Birthday, grandma_kate! I hope you will celebrate your day, surrounded by your loving family. You are a dear lady and at this time of thanksgiving, I'm filled with gratitude to have you in my life. *hugs always*

Oct. 19th, 2015

Birthday beach

Thank You and Big Day in Canada

Thank you all for your reassuring comments in my last post and for the birthday greetings. I feel very loved and supported.

Our trip to Massachusetts went as well as could be expected. We were exhausted by the early hour travel and the quick turn around, but our actual time there went smoothly. Bill was relieved to see that his mother hadn't lost anymore weight and seemed in better spirits than when he saw her August. I think they finally have her stabilized and hopefully she can continue on like this, still enjoying her house and family, for as long as possible. She has no pain, but she is weak and needs a lot of sleep. We did get out to visit Bill's cousin on Saturday afternoon after a gorgeous drive through the countryside. The leaves were bright orange red and gold and the sky was so blue. New England farm country is beautiful and quaint with all those stone walls and white clapboard houses and red barns.

Eddie managed on his own. He even cooked himself a meal (steak, potato, salad). He said the house felt empty without us.

It's a big day here in Canada. Federal Elections. I'm hoping this will spell the end of Harper. I think it will since I've heard 'anyone but Harper' a lot around here and this has been a Conservative riding since we moved here in 2000. Everyone - even the grocery checkout lady - seems interested in the election. Eddie and his friends have been debating and watching closely, which is a good thing. *fingers crossed for a good outcome*

My uncle died last week. I've been exchanging e-mails with my cousins all week. He was my god father and a modest man with a soft voice and Virginia accent. I'm putting the link of his obituary for my own memories, but you might find it interesting. He had a lot of tragedy in his life, but he kept going. I didn't know that about his service in WWII. http://www.hkfuneralhome.com/en-memorium.php?obit=1778

In happier news, the new Star Wars trailer is supposed to be aired tonight. We're all excited to see the movie this Christmas.

Oct. 8th, 2015

Birthday beach

Long Overdue Update

I realize I haven't updated since June! I guess because we've had a rough summer.

My mother-in-law was diagnosed with stage IV stomach cancer in July. The family hasn't taken this news well at all. There was much anger and denial, which is understandable. What was hard on Bill was that his brother chose to unleash his anger on us, blaming us for living so far away and not doing enough to make "ma feel better." Bill couldn't get any time off until his scheduled vacation and that was when he did visit in August with Eddie. His father was so mean to him - telling him he needed to lose weight and Eddie, too. Ranting about Obama, etc . . . Bill sucked it up for his mother's sake, but he was very upset by the whole visit.

Tomorrow Bill and I are going to fly down for two days (leaving Eddie alone for the first time - yikes) and I imagine this will be the last time I see her. She's at home, on hospice, with my father-in-law as primary caretaker. Luckily she has no pain. I don't think she realizes how nasty everyone has been - and hope she never does. She's a wonderful person. I hate that on top of the grief and helplessness, we have to feel defensive and guilty about where we live. I'm just hoping for a better outcome to this visit for Bill. It's costing us $2,000 to fly down there and rent a car, (It's an international flight - even though Halifax to Boston is no distance at all by air) but in the family's eyes that isn't enough. *sigh*

Another big worry we had this summer was Eddie's eyes. He's very nearsighted and on his eye exam the optometrist saw a hole in his retina. This sometimes happens because the eye is so elongated that it stretches the retina thin.

He had his appointment with the retina specialist yesterday in Halifax. I was a nervous wreck, but it went well. The doctor found that he had a tear on the right eye and a hole on the left. What they do to fix it is to create scar tissue to fill in the hole so that the retina isn't pulled any more. So they burn around it with a laser. It was a pretty intense procedure, but Eddie said that it really didn't hurt.

He will have to be monitored every year by his optometrist. It could happen again or never again.

It was a long day and the drive in the big city was nerve-wracking. (Only got honked at twice)

The last realm of worry is college admissions. Eddie veers from optimistic plans for future fun to dark pessimism about getting in anywhere. I find it very triggering because I was 19 and in college when both my parents died. I just can't see college as a good or positive experience at all, since my own experience was so traumatic. I feel like I'm letting him go to be put through the gears of life, rather than learning and growing and meeting new friends. My mother-in-law's situation doesn't help this trigger at all. I realize what I'm doing in my thoughts, but it's hard to self-talk positively sometimes.

And this is why I haven't updated - too depressing. :)

On a happier note, it is a beautiful fall day here. Cool and sunny with bright blue skies. We're supposed to have good weather for our flights to and from Boston.

Hope all of you are well. *hugs flist*

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