These are my thoughts. They are not meant to make sense. They are my echo into the woods. I am the tree that falls, and it is here that I make a sound.
Most recent babblings

The history of babble of the modern psychotic blonde

Warps to others, warped and otherwise
Sanity Optional
Thursday, October 28, 2004

Goin' ta Carolina

It's confirmed: I am going on a business trip to North Carolina November 10, 11 and 12. I travel maybe once a year on business, usually going to various vendors for technical training sessions. This trip is have the distinct pleasure of having our president and our sales manager as travel partners. Yippee.

I think it will be interesting to say the least to be in the north-of-the-south a week after the American election. Regardless of who wins, and if the election is anywhere near as close as the last one (from what I remember, the polls say it is currently neck and neck) things could still be unsettled at that point.

I also saw my first US Presidential commericial today (it was a Kerry ad). I see the political blogs, the articles, the "Red" voters and the "Blue" ones. I've seen a site run by cousins of George W. Bush who are all voting for Kerry. I've read posts on other blogs where people question the intelligence of each other based on their political choices. I've seen sites dedicated to proving Kerry's image is a media fabrication designed simply to lull voters, ignoring his record in government prior to now, downplaying his silver-spoon background.

Something that is always downplayed in the US, for reasons I really don't understand, is the healthcare system. It doesn't seem to be an issue this election. I know it was raised a fair bit with Gore/Bush. But whereas here, while I might have to get a referral from my GP and have a bit of a wait to see a pdoc (which I bypassed by going to emerg), I do not pay one red cent for any of my care (meds are different, but are covered by my work insurance plan, which is also very common here). But I know friends in the US who are near indigent, mentally ill and unable to get care because they fall below the radar of the for-profit system that exists in most of the US. Where is that in this American election? I know you leave no soldier behind, but what about your own people? On the streets?

I'm going to have to mind my Ps and Qs more than normal when I visit the US in November. I have a feeling this election will be one to remember.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Just because I haven't done it in a long while

What the card said on the flowers that were delivered to me at work today.

Reason number 3214 why I love my husband.
Monday, October 25, 2004

A day's rest

I had today off work. Slept in til 9.20 am. Been a long time since I've done that. But instead of feeling really energetic and rested, I've had this low grade irritation running all day.

So midday I went outside to clean up the gardens a bit pre-winter. The sun was out and it did feel good.

Then my son came home from school and asked if he could work on my computer for his homework because his wasn't letting him connect to the internet. I started tinkering with his, and getting deeper and deeper into a morass of spyware, viruses, and what I believe is an outright ISP hack into his computer. Four hours of digging to find what I think is a chain of ISP addresses someone is using to bounce through or into his computer, originating from a MAC (maybe??)

This has been done by someone who knows computers far better than I and I'm afraid that even when I've cleaned it all up there'll still be something there I've missed and they'll still have access to our little network here.

So $900.00 we have a new computer. It's not high end by any stretch and I talked the guy at the computer store into giving me a demo monitor because they had no others of it in stock for 15% off. I am NOT setting it up tonight because my patience is at zero now. I'd throw it out the window.

What was meant to be a day of rest really ended up being a string of aggravations. Some of that though was due to my outlook - glass half empty sort of thing. And that's really unlike me.

I've got to make a concerted effort to find that positive thinking woman that was here a few weeks ago. She's had her day of rest.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Random Thoughts

Various thoughts throughout today, in completely random order:

The weather outside looks like winter from here, it's so grey.

Don't they realize that if they think it's cute now, when he's 5 it'll be a nightmare? Correct him!

It's sad when someone is unattractive both as a male and a female.

Move out of my way: I've asked once nicely, next time I'll ram the cart right up that bony ass.

He really is a dear man and I don't know how I ended up so lucky.

I want to make out my will, but am afraid. Sometimes the lack of one and the fear of what would happen to my son in that case is the sole thing that keeps me alive. It's been a common cyclical thought process lately.

That was body contact, ref. Or are you waiting for her to actually remove my head from my shoulders before you call a penalty?

I need to burn off some more energy - bike time.

Why does the canning recipie say on step 2 to crush and boil tomatoes and on step 3 say stir tomatoes, DO NOT CRUSH? That makes oodles of sense. To crush or not to crush, that is the tomato.

I never knew green tomatoes, unripe ones that is, have a toxic compound in them. Learn something new every day.

Why do people go on these reality shows? 15 minutes of fame is not worth that.

I can't believe so much of my hair is in the dryer lint catcher. Man, it's a wonder I'm not bald.

I do not have even remotely enough coffee in my system this early.

That goal was completely my fault - I just couldn't hold her back any more.

If I have a shower now, you know Murphy's Law is Rob will call.

Canadian comedians are the best.

I'd love to switch to Topamax to lose this weight but the side effects I just read on the Health Canada website are daunting. Besides, Rob isn't keen on upsetting the apple cart once again, searching for a holy grail that may not exist: meds that are perfect.
Friday, October 22, 2004

She saw her see saw in the see saw

I've been, as my mother quaintly would say, up and down like a toilet seat at a mixed party this week.

It didn't help that I completely forgot my Seroquel Wednesday night. Then I was waking off and on all night.

Work has been very stressful, with kudos coming from the right hand and reprimands from the left. I'm going into work for a bit tomorrow to make sure that I'm not only caught up but a bit ahead of the game.

I'm taking Monday off. Just for me. *pats self on back*

Monday, Adam's father takes him to school, so I don't have to get up early. I will sleep in until I'm finished sleeping. Oh, the luxury.

I'm also seriously considering printing off that mood chart, but forgetting to fill it out would be one more reminder of things that I can't remember anymore, pissing me off and making myself feel guilty and useless even more than normal. I do that a lot lately.

Rob's bringing pizza home tonight. Then it's off to power skating (for the non-hockey crowd among you, it's a class that helps you fine tune the power type of skating that hockey players use. It's not an instructional class in the sense of teaching you to skate but rather to skate in a more powerful and effective way that matches the speed of such a fast transitional sport).

Now I'm off to read other blogs. Look out blogdom, here I come.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004


Synergy's K may have a point. Is there some cyclical nature to my moods? I don't like admitting to the female cycle effect. I know that sounds strange but you have to understand: I had a hysterectomy five years ago due to what is called a uterine prolapse. Look it up if you don't know what it is. Just think of a page in the grocery store: "Clean up in aisle 12". That'd be close to the mark. (Now any man reading this and understanding it is likely holding his nuts and squirming).

I don't like admitting to the cyclical nature - I never really suffered from PMS. I know, sounds like crap coming from someone with a mood disorder. But it's true. I was always pretty even keeled. Admitting to the typical female monthly Gorgon phase always seemed to me like admitting to a weakness. In case you've not figured that out yet, I don't like admitting to any kind of weakness at all. And yes, I know that life doesn't work that way, and there is a rational side of me that realises that. The rest of me ignores it. It also seems so easy to me for people to dismiss a woman's emotions because of "hormones". Doesn't mean they're not valid, Jack.

But is there cycles? Possibly. But I don't think it's based on a 28 day cycle. I'm not disciplined enough to graph my moods. I can't even remember to post every day (though I try). The thing to determine, scientifically, would be what triggers a mood change. That would then give shape to whatever cycle exists. Stress is it really. And that's everywhere. So I'm buggered I guess that way.

I'm rereading this and wondering if this is even making sense. Concentration is still not the best today, and those bad thoughts are starting to creep back in. The three of us watched CSI reruns today and one was about a grandmother who committed suicide by driving into a restaurant heavily frequented by the staff of the insurance company who had her claim for colon cancer treatment tied up in limbo. She had a huge policy to which her grandson was the sole beneficiary. There was the requisite flashback showing her talking to him and making him promise to go back to school and get his degree should money ever come his way. I was choking back tears. It was far too close to scenes that run through my head almost every day. Every. Day.

The trigger to this most recent change seems to have been my "disappearance" last week that upset my son and husband. Things have been wonky since then. I'm searching for the positive me that started this blog two months ago. I need to get that back.

I'll try to keep a part of myself reserved and watchful to see if a cycle does exist.

Thanks for the thought, K. It's a good one. And you are right - every day is a victory.

Good night.
Monday, October 18, 2004

Trying flying, buying and sighing

The sky this morning when I drove to work was the colour of an old bruise. Fall has settled in and early morning is cold enough that you can glimpse the toes of the winter to come. I love winter sunshine, fresh snow, the brilliance of a clear winter day. That was not today.

Nothing I did today was right. I struggled to concentrate, struggled to hold my temper in check, tried to keep myself reminded that this too shall pass. My new position has me working only for two sales reps now: the president and one of the key principal shareholders. High profile, high scrutiny.

Then my son called to tell me he was home from school.

My son played baseball this summer. Their year end party was delayed and ended being scheduled for this Sunday. My son goes to his father's every weekend. Every one. So Adam called his dad last Thursday to see if his father was going to take him to the restaurant where the party was to be held or whether Rob and I would take him. Decision: his father. It is basically understood that his father and I are rarely together with Adam because the tension between us makes Adam highly uncomfortable (I would be too if I were in his shoes - it's not pretty).

So when my son called and I asked how his baseball party went he said: "Good, but where were you?"

I'm sitting at work, drowning in deadlines I can barely grasp, stunned. "what do you mean where was I".

Adam then proceeds to explain that his father sat in the car for two hours in the parking lot and sent Adam into the restaurant on his own. The coaches took care of his dinner apparently - it was three or four extra large pizzas for all the boys. Adam and I talked and he was disappointed that I wasn't there.

That cut. I felt the guilt draw blood almost black.

I explained that there was no way I would know that his father had left him alone and that if I knew I would be there in a heartbeat. I said "You do understand why I wasn't there, don't you?"

He said, "umm, actually, no".

I said that his father had said he was taking him and how comfortable would his father, and therefore Adam, have been if I had shown up as well.

"Not very," Adam agreed.

"I was trying to avoid creating a situation by staying out of your dad's way. And by not going, I created one anyway". I kept apologizing. I was sitting near tears at my desk, the guilt of disappointing him like anvils on my scapulae.

I called him back after a short while. If I was having trouble concentrating before, now I was a basket case. Not good when you're working right for the president. In one 25 foot walk from my desk to the ladies room I felt the paranoia creeping in, knowing that if I spun on my heel, every eye would be on me, accusing, cold, dead fish eyes. I shook it off, successfully. But that it reared its head at all was troubling.

I told Adam that I would make anything he wished for dinner, just he and I special. He asked if we could go out. I did a mental inventory of bills vs bank balance and said sure. I was still stressed about what I would meet when I got home - was he more upset than he let on? It's so easy to hide on the phone. The swiss army knife resurfaced in my car, keeping me present for a little while where things threatened to grey out. But when I got home - first thing was a huge huge hug. Much better.

So we went on one of our dates. Nice dinner at Applebees, and then to the outlet store beside the craft store where I'd misbehaved last week. New winter jacket - first time he hasn't had a hand-me-down jacket in probably 5 years minimum - new long sleeved tees and a funky faux-leather braclet he liked. We were laughing, goofing, having fun.

"I'm glad you're my mom", he said as we giggled in the parking lot on the way into the store.

"Oh thank you. Why?"

"Because we can goof around like this." He giggled and we goofed some more.


The sky was full dark by the time we left the store. But I think tomorrow's sky will be clearer. Bruises fade.
Sunday, October 17, 2004

Where was I again?

I was so smug and self-congratulatory before, earlier in the week, and last week, and the week before. Oh, how far I've come, blah-blah-blahty-blah.

You know, if you go far enough, you go full circle.

Spent most of the weekend alone. Concentrating on jewellry. Sloooooowww process when thought is becoming difficult.





One person gets off the seesaw when the other is high in the air. There's an imbalance for you. And what happens? The other person high in the sky comes crashing with a tailbone thumping whump on the ground, dazed and confused and shaking. That's an imbalance.

I'm such a damned suck.

I can't even get straight how I think about this. What I think. What I feel. Do I feel at all? It could all be a big charade, just some one forgot to tell me when the game ends.

Game over.

Like Pac-man. Eat or get eaten.


Seroquel's kicking in. That's a surprise. It's not done shit for me lately. but suddenly I'm literally going crosseyed trying to type properly.

Perhaps sleep is best now.


Thursday, October 14, 2004

When my bipolar wife goes missing, I get upset

I have been playing around with beaded jewellry for the past few months. Making the odd thing here and there.

I saw a board on the side of the road requesting exhibitors for the local hospital's volunteer charity craft show, so I actually sent in an application. Yesterday, I dropped it off at lunch time at the hospital with the required picture of a sample of the goods. They told me they were actually quite beautiful and that I definitely have a spot in the show. I was surprised to hear that during this one day show last year they had approximately 1000 people pass through. I was expecting a gaggle of old ladies crocheting doilies and oohing over each other's dusty submissions. But I was excited by the prospect of the show. I pay $100 for the table and whatever money I make at the show is mine.

So last night, I came home, made dinner for my son and then changed, telling him I was going for a bike ride. I took my bank card with me. I went for about a 1/2hr ride around the hilly neighbourhood (a river cuts right through the city about 2 miles from my house and the ravine it creates has echoes of its depth for miles around) and worked up a decent sweat.

It is October. That means around here it is full dark by about 7 pm or so. I left the house at 6:20.

Then I took my bike to the craft store. I was lost in a maze of beads, crystals, beading wire and tools. $130.00 later, I went out into the night and biked home. The store is less than a km from my house (less than 1/2 mile). I turned onto my street and saw someone walking toward me. It was my son. It was 7:40.

"Where were you!" He was quite cross.

"I told you: I went for a bike ride".

"You've been gone for an hour and a half! I thought I was going to be a motherless boy forever! And Rob's just FREAKING"


I went inside, and said my regular "Hellloooo" when I came in the door.

"Where the hell were you?"

"I stopped and got some stuff for my craft sale. I totally forgot to tell Adam about it and I'm really sorry. I didn't mean to make you guys worry."

The two of them just stood there staring at me.

"When my BIPOLAR wife goes missing for an hour, when she says she's going out for a bike ride and is gone for an hour and a half, in the dark, without a light on her bike, and no indication of where she's gone, I get worried! Do me a favour: next time you deviate from routine and go for a bike ride rather than a run, leave an itinerary, ok?" This is a clear reference to my comments in the past about driving into a bridge abutment, or when I just wandered into the emergency room and ended up committed for 8 days.

"Ok - I'm sorry. I really didn't mean to get anyone upset. I just lost track of time."

"Are you wearing a watch?"


"Then you shouldn't lose track of time."

The two of them sat down on the couch to watch CSI on Spike TV. I went over. "I know I was wrong. I just forget sometimes. I'm sorry." No response.

I turned on my heel and went upstairs.

Suddenly, I was angry. But at who? At them? At myself? And I was sad, sad that I had made my son worry so. Rob I did feel bad about, yes, but more so my son - he's only 13 and shouldn't have to worry that way. But this irrational anger kept coming up - I was thinking that Rob had been somehow conveying to Adam that his CRAZY mom was out there doing something to hurt herself out there, talking about me, turning my son against me. Part of my mind pushed that away as nonsense. But a small part still remained.

I puttered around the house, refusing to sit with them, almost as punishment. I don't know if I was angry at them for calling my bluff, refusing to let me off the hook for being irresponsible, or if I was angry with myself for being irresponsible, or both, or something else entirely. When I finally did sit with them, I refused to speak. Finally, it was just my son and I - Rob went to do something upstairs - and I apologized to my son for causing him such worry. He said it was okay, that it was just that he didn't know where I was. He seemed almost guilty in being upset with me, and that's wrong.

Later, when he went to bed and I tucked him in, I apologized again. My anger was gone. I was a self-pitying rube. I almost told him that there is something wrong with me that I can't always control how I react to things and that I didn't mean
to make him feel bad for being upset, that he had a right to be. But instead I told him that I really didn't mean to make him worry and that because I love him I know he deserves better so I will try really hard not to do that again.

After that, my husband took me aside and said how worried they both were. The reason my son was on the street when I rode in was that he was sitting on the front porch, hoping to see me.

I think my guilt is more than just one sided. The obvious holds true, that I caused them the worry I did. But I also think I feel guilty because I think I was caught sliding upward from hypomania. And I've been so smug and positive that I'm under control. But I went and spent money (mind you, it's an investment in what I hope will be a successful financial venture, supported in concept by my husband) and lost myself in a spin of ideas and images in the middle of the craft store.

The guilt and the anger were sudden. Like a knife slamming down on the chopping block. Depression? No. I don't get depressed. But the reversal in mood was severe enough to have given an average person cerebral whiplash. What do I put these guys through?

Now, 24 hours later, I'm somewhat better. Rob's coaching his competitive women's hockey team tonight, so Adam and I went to the bookstore, McDonald's for a cheap dinner, had a bit of fun just he and I. He feels much better about things, I can tell. Me? I'm tired, not as focused today, but the ideas are still there. I want to get the excitement of yesterday back - I have things to do and ideas to put into play. At work, toward the end of the day I had flashes of RAGE directed at M. I've posted about him before. I almost threw my phone across the room, but controlled the impulse. Barely.

In the spectrum of things, I really don't know where I am right now. I am spinning my wheels. I want to let the clutch go and let fly. The lack of insight (using the term in its psychiatric sense) is troubling.

Let's see what tomorrow brings.
Monday, October 11, 2004

Thanksgiving dinner

We actually had a nice dinner at my parents. My mom isn't a very good cook but it turned out pretty well. My sisters were both there, sans spouses for some reason. My brother wasn't there - he's a Toronto firefighter and had to work - and his wife just had her wisdom teeth out so she's at home with her sore mouth and their new little one, Tyler (he's 4 1/2 months old and the spitting image of my brother).

I didn't get stressed or paranoid during the visit, which is a good sign.

As well, I made a decision this weekend regarding a hockey tournament I had agreed to play in the weekend of October 22. I decided that I would back out for a few reasons:

(1) I would miss my Sunday morning timekeepers job for Rob's Sunday morning hockey league and I could use the cash.
(2) I would miss my new Saturday night league and I have a lot of fun playing with these women;
and most importantly
(3) There is a woman who is on my Sunday team who would also be in the tournament. I would be spending three days with her. I can't stand spending more than an hour with her and I decided that it would be the perfect trigger to upset my current stability.

So I wrote an email to the woman who is organizing the team, who is really quite nice but a dear friend of this other woman, and I just said some family issues have arisen that I need to tend to. I didn't lie: money is for my family, and my health, particularly my mental health, is key to my family's happiness.

All in all I'm glad with the weekend, my state of being and how I'm taking care of myself.

**patting myself on the head***
Saturday, October 09, 2004

Mommy, make it stop

I was reminded recently of something my son did when he was a toddler. It came to me while reading Dooce's blog (see the link to the right - she's really quite funny, and opinionated, basically an ex-practicing Mormon with liberal politics and a sluggish colon. You have to read to understand.)

I wrote her an email and told this story, to just let her know that all kids have their moments.

I just wanted to share a short story with you, just in case you get those who tell you that it's easier raising boys than girls, or any other such crock of shit.

My son is now 13. He has always been an early riser. Forever. I have not slept in since 1991.

When he was about 2 1/2, he came into my room and woke me, then, as a good little boy, wandered downstairs in his cotton jamma bottoms and sat in his stuffed Alladin Disney chair to watch Barney. I stumbled downstairs to mind him (I am not a morning person and therefore know that my early rising son is a form of penance I face for being mean to my mother when I was young) and found him in the chair look down.

Now, every healthy male will wake up pointing north. EVERY male. Including toddlers. So, my son was looking down at his tented thin cotton jamma bottoms and was WHACKING at this THING that was there. He was quite distressed.

Me, I'm ready to die with laughter but I'm holding it in. Poor guy is just FREAKED out.

"MOMMY!" whack whack whack
"MOMMY! MAKE IT GO AWAY" he pleaded with me.

I couldn't help chuckle. It was either that or the top of my head would've exploded.

"Adam....Adam" whack whack "honey, you have to stop doing that....that's not helping things".


I leaned forward and took his hands and led him into the kitchen to get some Cheerios. "Adam, you just ignore it and it'll go away, I promise."

He looked down, doubtful that something so monstrous would ever disappear, but soon we were at the table, snarfing Cheerios and singing Barney songs (yeah, I hate Barney too, but if I had to watch my little boy whack at his penis any longer I would've spun off into hysterical laughter. I'm sure his future wife would thank me loads for laughing at his penis at such a young age). Cheerios come in handy for every household emergency.

I swear on the fact that I love my son that this story is true. I also swear that I will tell this to every serious girlfriend he ever has :-) It's my job as a mom to test those girls and make sure they can take it :-)
Friday, October 08, 2004

Giving Thanks

I saw the doctor yesterday to tell him I'm not taking part in the pharmaceutical study. The doctor didn't listen at first. It took me a few tries, and a successive reduction of my control - at first: "I have decided", then "My husband and I have decided", and then "My husband has decided". At that point he accepted it. He just wanted me to understand that the study would've stopped at any point I started to show any form of deterioration, and that the deterioration if any would be recognized a lot sooner because the study is a much more in-depth analysis of me on a regular basis than I currently receive. Whatever. He now understands that neither my husband nor I are willing to risk a year of hard won progress for a study.

It's Thanksgiving weekend here. In Canada, Thanksgiving is always the second Monday in October. We will be driving up to my parents, about an hour north of here.

Thanksgiving is one of those really nothing holidays. We don't make a big deal out of things - it's more an opportunity for us to get together as a family, which, as my sisters and brother and I get older, is less and less often.

But this year I am giving thanks.

I am thankful I am alive. This time last year I was so fragile, it really wasn't positive for me that I would make it beyond whatever horizon I could see. Things at that time seemed so difficult, to take so much energy just to pretend anything close to normalcy at Thanksgiving dinner. My family essentially terrified me (I mean my extended family, not Rob and Adam). I didn't really want contact with anyone because I couldn't deal with pretending to be something other than this flawed Quasimodo-like beast hiding in the shell of an average woman.

But I have moved beyond.

That is an incredible lesson to learn.

Bipolar disorder can be incredibly difficult. I still have days that are harder. I still have thoughts that I can't shut out, times I can't sit still, movement I can't control. But I am stronger. I have changed. I have learned to cope better. And that's an incredible gift I've given myself.

The one constant with bipolar is change. We just don't know when the change will come. But if sometimes during the difficult times I can keep in mind that this too shall pass, that I can ride the waves through and arrive on shore, safe and intact, if I can remember all that, then I am stronger for it. I fight the undertow and arrive on the beach, able to lie in the sun and rest.

I feel good.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Canadian Television

We went to a taping of the Red Green Show yesterday.
Apparently it's seen over 70% of the US now, mostly on PBS. I didn't know that.

It was a great time - we've been once before, last year - but was a late night. Rob got pulled from the audience to be in the Possum Lodge scene again, so his big bald head will be on TV again.

Didn't get home til 10:30 and then right to bed for Adam (VERY late for a school night). I'm having trouble staying awake, so today will be the day I wish coffee came on an IV pole. Now it's time to go try and wake up Adam.

Pdoc appt is this afternoon.

I'm still going to tell him no to the study.

See ya later
Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Taking my treatment more into my own hands

Thursday I'm to see the pdoc again. I'm going to be telling him then that I'm opting out of starting the pharmaceutical study. But I'm not going to tell him that I've not got the blood test he requested. He wants to monitor the Depakote levels, getting a baseline before beginning the study. I'm not doing the study so the initial impetus for the test is gone.

I've had a conscious realisation today: it's been at least two weeks, more like three, since I've had any thoughts of suicide, even momentary. I'm pleasant, I'm energetic without being frantic, I'm productive and creative. I feel good. Excellent, really.

I am not going to get the blood test done because he will simply raise my levels again. My blood levels for the Depakote have been low for a year, and have just been into the therapeutic range for the first time on a blood test done in July. Every time he raises either the Depakote or the Seroquel, my weight goes up by 5 lbs within a max 2 week period. That will do little to help things.

I am an adult. I am making a decision here. I am feeling good, I am in control of my disorder (I hate calling Bipolar a disease - that seems to imply a progression or deterioration that I refuse to recognise and allow, while disorder conveys for me a more manageable condition).

I am encountering situations this fall that are similar to others of last fall (e.g. family holidays approaching, school back for Adam, winter hockey, Rob's competitive hockey team) and can see the stark contrast of how far I've come. The situations that caused great distress and turmoil in my weakened condition a year ago are quite mundane and normal now. I want to begin the process of possibly reducing the medications. So, here I take my stand.

I'll see what the dr says Thursday. But I am the one in control here.
Saturday, October 02, 2004

Daddy's Poem

This is interesting: I posted what I did regarding my father and earlier this afternoon I got this on an email for him. Some may think it is far too syrupy, but please keep in mind two things: (1) what I posted below earlier, and (2) my father was a firefighter for 35 years. No, my father didn't write it, but he sent it to my two sisters, my brother and me, and I think with a clear message. I cried when I read it.

Here's the poem:

A Dad's Poem

Her hair was up in a pony tail,
her favorite dress tied with a bow.
Today was Daddy's Day at school,
and she couldn't wait to go.

But her mommy tried to tell her,
that she probably should stay home.
Why the kids might not understand,
if she went to school alone.

But she was not afraid;
she knew just what to say.
What to tell her classmates
of why he wasn't there today.

But still her mother worried,
for her to face this day alone.
And that was why once again,
she tried to keep her daughter home.

But the little girl went to school
eager to tell them all.
About a dad she never sees
a dad who never calls.

There were daddies along the wall in back,
for everyone to meet.
Children squirming impatiently,
anxious in their seats.

One by one the teacher called
a student from the class.
To introduce their daddy,
as seconds slowly passed.

At last the teacher called her name,
every child turned to stare.
each of them was searching,
for a man who wasn't there.

"Where's her daddy at?"
she heard a boy call out.
"She probably doesn't have one,"
another student dared to shout.

And from somewhere near the back,
she heard a daddy say,
"Looks like another deadbeat dad,
too busy to waste his day."

The words did not offend her,
she smiled up at her Mom.
and looked back at her teacher,
who told her to go on.

And with hands behind her back,
slowly she began to speak.
And out from the mouth of a child,
came words incredibly unique.

"My Daddy couldn't be here,
because he lives so far away.
But I know he wishes he could be,
since this is such a special day.

And though you cannot meet him,
I wanted you to know.
All about my daddy,
and how much he loves me so.

He loved to tell me stories
he taught me to ride my bike.
He surprised me with pink roses,
and taught me to fly a kite.

We used to share fudge sundaes,
and ice cream in a cone.
And though you cannot see him.
I'm not standing here alone.

"Cause my daddy's always with me,
even though we are apart
I know because he told me,
he'll forever be in my heart"

With that, her little hand reached up,
and lay across her chest.
Feeling her own heartbeat,
beneath her favorite dress.

And from somewhere in the crowd of dads,
her mother stood in tears.
Proudly watching her daughter,
who was wise beyond her years.

For she stood up for the love
of a man not in her life.
Doing what was best for her,
doing what was right.

And when she dropped her hand back down,
staring straight into the crowd.
She finished with a voice so soft,
but its message clear and loud.

"I love my daddy very much,
he's my shining star.
And if he could, he'd be here,
but heaven's just too far.

You see he was a fireman
and died just this past year
But sometimes when I close my eyes,
it's like he never went away."
And then she closed her eyes,
and saw him there that day.

And to her mothers amazement,
she witnessed with surprise.
A room full of daddies and children,
all starting to close their eyes.

Who knows what they saw before them,
who knows what they felt inside.
Perhaps for merely a second,
they saw him at her side.

"I know you're with me Daddy,"
to the silence she called out.
And what happened next made believers,
of those once filled with doubt.

Not one in that room could explain it,
for each of their eyes had been closed.
But there on the desk beside her,
was a fragrant long-stemmed pink rose.

And a child was blessed, if only for a moment,
by the love of her shining star.
And given the gift of believing,
that heaven is never too far.

They say it takes a minute to find a special
person, an hour to appreciate them,
a day to love them, but then an entire
life to forget them.


What an email to receive.

Friday, October 01, 2004
Fall here in Southern Ontario is a beautiful time. I remember every fall driving north of the city I grew up in, me and my dad, for about 15 minutes, coming to a farm called Baileys. They had wonderful apples, and in June you could go there strawberry picking. My maiden name is Bayley - an unusual spelling of a very common name. But my father would say, each and every time we went there, how we were family and maybe, just maybe, could we get that slice of pie for free? They would laugh and he would smile and just me and my dad would sit and have a wonderful slice of pie.

My father now is older, 67 this past June. He is everything you'd think a Grampa would be: receding grey hair, with a pot belly, wrinkles and gives the best hugs.

And for some reason I can't stop thinking he's going to leave me soon.

It occurs to me at the oddest times and it's a tragic sense of loss. I am dreading the mid-of-the-night phone call, like the one I got a few years ago when my mom's favourite younger brother died. She called and asked me to call my sisters and brother to pass on the news. I sit and wonder if she'd do that again, ask me to pass it on. I picture in rapid frame succession me driving up the 400 to their place, cutting 140 km/hr through the autumn night to see her, to hold her hand and to kiss my daddy goodbye.

It's so strange.

I'm happy lately. I'm productive, confident, sharp and focused.

And the foreshadow of my father's time left plays on my spine.

My father and I are much alike: I even wonder if he may be bipolar. I remember just before I was diagnosed how I was telling him about how my thoughts sometimes are like a cue ball hitting the break on a billiard table - one ball going off in fifteen different directions at once. Sometimes I can follow them all, sometimes they move too fast. He said he's exactly like that sometimes, that sometimes it's hard to catch all the thoughts flying through, ball to ball to ball. My father was also hospitalized, and when I think about it, it was when he was just a little older than I am now: it was in 1978 - he would have been 41 then, vs my near-36 now. That happened just after his father died. I can't remember how old my grandfather was.

I can't shake it though, this fear of him leaving. I try to switch roles (as morbid as that sounds), and put my mom in the same shoes, and I don't get the same sense of holding my breath, of my heart stopping. Sure, I would be upset, but I don't get the frantic freefall that thinking of my father that way does.

I wish I could get rid of this. I wish I could just tell myself he's fine and will be.

I wish this clarity of thought could remain on the warmth and brightness of this fine autumn I see unfolding around me. I am still up, happy and active. Except for this shadow.

Copyright © 2005 Blondzila (because no one else would own this).

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