As I laid in the Kelowna sunshine, soaking up the vitamin D (and vitamin W… you know, wine. ) I separated myself from the rest of the world. I vowed that, other than the odd instagram post, I would stay off social media and limit my texting to few and far between. I was determined to give myself a break from thinking; a little radio silence.
I knew that when I would come back from this mini vacation I would need to shift. Shift my thoughts, my routine (or lack of) and my acceptance of being transfixed in this world between what was and what will be.
So I spent some days with a friend in her backyard,(and maybe a couple vineyards) just being at peace, happy, sunned and wined. We laughed a lot, as we always do, and talked of life, love and of course, Lilee.
The weekend came to an end, I said goodbye to Candace, and the second part of my trip began. I hopped in the car of yet another amazing friend (how lucky am I to be surrounded by such incredible people, both near and far..) and we roadtrip’d back to Calgary (where she lives, and my second destination). We listened to the 9..yes 9.. burned CD’s I had made labelled “Kelowna to Calgary 2014- Chels & Sophia” -circa 2005- sang like no one was listening.. more like hoped no one could hear us…, stopped in Lake Louise (BEAUTIFUL, for those who haven’t been, GO.) and finally arrived to what would be my home for the next few days.
I woke up the next morning to snow. Yep, you read that right. Snow. Although I knew the forecast a week before, I was still shocked to see the white stuff floating down from the heavens. But, after a few minutes of brooding, I thought, when in Rome.
My few days in Calgary were spent writing, laughing, meeting new friends, and seeing some dear old ones. They were spent catching up, and looking forward.
On my last day there before heading to Banff (where my Dad lives, and my final destination) I spent some time with family I rarely get to see, and had the honour of snuggling the sweet little babe of my cousins. It was a moment I was dreading, but also looking forward to. I had no idea how I would react to holding another baby girl as I haven’t spent much time around kids since my Lilee passed. When I held Maddie, it was natural, and it was sad. There was so much love and happiness in those moments, her sweet little face so perfect. I thought of my girl and I gave miss Maddie a kiss. I’m thankful and a bit surprised that my mind didn’t instantly go to “why me, why Lil.” It did later that evening, wondering how this could have happened to my perfect little girl, but again, thankfully and surprisingly, those thoughts were easily pushed away.
I can not dwell on things I had no control over, but it’s so difficult to not have someone to blame. I understand why a lot of parents who have lost their child to a disease blame the doctors, nurses, grocery store clerk.. anyone they can find a way to justify in their minds. I get it. But it doesn’t help; at least it doesn’t help me. I don’t want to trade my heart heavy with pain and sadness for one filled with blame and anger. I just want to, eventually, fill my heart a little more with love.
The atmosphere of a small, but busy, town is contagious. As each moment passed, I felt the longing to live there draw me in more and more. The beauty is second to none, the people are relaxed, happy and the life is simple; I could use a little ‘simple’.
But the time came, as it always does, to leave. I sat in the Calgary airport for my last few moments of vacation, with an hours worth of sleep and a huge coffee. I sat back and watched as the world moved around me. People were arriving and departing, parents were yelling at their children, children were yelling at their parents. Friends were hugging goodbye, or hello, and couples were holding hands talking about their upcoming vacation. There were business men and women, relaxed vacationers, eager travelers, old people, young people, iPods, iPads, books and magazines. everyone was going somewhere, to do something, and I sat as a voyeur watching and wondering how all of their lives were unfolding. I consumed my mind with the happenings of others, to avoid the magnifying glass being flipped onto my own life.
The short flight ended, I was greeted by my mom, and came home to my sister and sister in law (and Kobe, a fat sausage of a dog) in my gorgeous little place.
I was happy to be home, but even more happy that the day was to be spent wedding dress shopping for my big sister (it was an extremely successful day I might add). Although the visit was short, we fit in some sister time for the 3 of us (my sister-in-law too) that was so desperately needed.
Today, I start my shift, the end of being “off the grid” of sorts. I have officially started a new job that allows me to work from home, which gives me the excuse to create a routine for each day. It’s a small but necessary step in becoming a functioning human again (and also, I have to eat.)
It’s so hard to think it’s been so long, almost 8 months, and yet its only been 8 months. Every day without Lilee hurts, and yet I have to do this for the rest of my life?
My two best friends, Arianna, Kiley and I were talking the other day about how hard Kiley’s and my sister’s weddings will be for me. It all kind of sunk in that all the amazing days in my life to come, will also be some of the hardest, and no day will be pure and uncompromised happiness. Thinking of my girl fills my heart, but missing her breaks me. My life will always be a balance between love and brokenness.
It’s these realizations, It’s my job, it’s taking some steps forward that are beginning this shift. I may end up falling backward and having to start again, but for now I’m standing tall, chin up and embracing today just the way it is.
With a little more understanding,