Thursday, March 31, 2011

I AM....

Lately I have been seeing your face
In my waking dreams
Just as I lay my mind down to rest
Or sometimes in the middle of the day
I see something that captures my eye
And by no fault of my own
I’m zooming down the dark path
That leads me to your memories

Only this time I’m in the viewers seat
At the movie theater of my past
Heart in hand and tears to be spilled
Who’ll win this battle I wonder?
What lies will he fill her head with now?
How can she not see through his bullshit?
Even as a viewer
I shake my head and cannot bear to watch

Reliving every moment again and again
Your manipulation twisting my love
Into ugly cords
I’ve tangled myself in

I fought for this
I followed my heart to you
Over the mountains
Across the provinces
All to reach my breaking point
I had to set myself afire to release your hold
Exorcising the pain I basked in daily

My spirit cries to me at night
Instead of singing sweet lullabies
I see your face
I hear your lies
I feel the iciness of your love
In what used to be an embrace

Why have you returned to haunt my mind?
What more can I learn from having loved you?
How much strength does it take not to hate you?

Perhaps it is my turn…
To remember why I loved with such passion
To affirm you are not the reason I survived
To understand how your selfishness was a gift

In your darkness
I lit the path
And found myself
I underestimated the power of my own love
The power of your sickness
Overwhelmed my good judgment in many moments
But somehow I am free
Today you are not my problem

It is your ghost that creeps from my closet
Making itself known
Remember it whispsers….
Remember who you were…..
My own darkness perks
Wanting to feed on the sludge
That was my long ago reality

I take a glance in the mirror
I am NOT that woman
The one
You once deceived with fairy tale lies of love

I AM the woman
Who defied her own limits

I AM the woman
Who created love with an unlovable man

I AM the woman
Who escaped the nightmare of you

I AM the woman
Who WILL put
Your ghost to rest.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Happy Anniversary to Us!

If someone had told me at any point in my life that I would one day be living in Ottawa and loving it, I would have probably tossed my head back and roared with laughter. "Me?? Live in the East?!? hahahaa... you're crazy!" I used to watch the news in disgusted wonder at how people even managed to stay alive in such extreme temperatures or manage to maneuver their way over 5-foot snow banks.

I had never seen such a thing... let alone experienced it. And I certainly had NO desire to ever know what that felt like. Yet here I am. Initiation into Eastern living required the purchase of a few basic items. I am now fully equipped with a calf length down coat, insulated boots, scarves and mittens. All of which I put to good use for no less than 5 months of the year. Damn winter is long here….

2 years ago today, we hopped on a greyhound - destination Ottawa. After spending 6 LONG months in dirty, grumpy Toronto (my apologies to all those who love Tdot), my babies and I unanimously agreed that we would rather be eaten alive by hungry wolves rather than spend another day in a city where Prozac should be distributed through the city’s water pipes. Sure, there were circumstances that may have tainted my view of that hectic city, but the bottom line is that I did not want my children growing up there. And they did not want to grow up there. Going back to Vancouver simply wasn't an option. It felt a lot like going back to the abuser... I could have done it because it's what I’ve always known... but it surely wouldn’t help me achieve the original desired results... CHANGE.

So off we went!

I asked people what Ottawa was like and received the same answer. ‘It’s a beautiful city. It's a wonderful place to raise a family. Everybody works for the government!! There isn’t much to do after 9pm”. True on all accounts.
Somehow, in a city that is neither too big nor too small my children seem to have so much opportunity available to them. What is even more amazing is that they almost have it thrown at them. People here WANT to help. Goodness knows I am not one to ask for help. The house could be on fire and I could have stopped, dropped and be rolling. But I’d still be adamant that I’m just fine, thankyouverymuch.

I am just not treated as if I’m lesser than. We are not looked down at with sincerely pitiful eyes that make us wish we could be smaller than the 2 inches we already feel in that moment. We’re simply offered genuine kindness and support. The teachers in my children’s schools love them as if they were their own. If they see an opportunity to do something wonderful, they happily offer it. Maybe it’s because they know they can make a difference. Maybe because they see what an impact they have. It seems we have the gift of seeing people grow and change together. In a city where you see the same folks on the bus every damn day, you find yourself in the middle of a community. You participate in your community. You see how tiny efforts make the world of difference for someone else. What a beautiful way to live.

So here we are, 2 years later and still going strong. Yes, there were too many days where I contemplated selling the kids on E-bay and running off to Mexico with my Werdy.... but deep down... I knew I had to make this work. In the process, I have made some incredible friends….

Goddess... eSS kAy…. Ms. Jiggs... my world here is richer just in knowing you.

I'm putting down roots and creating the life I've always dreamed of for my children. The life I didn’t believe was possible just a few months ago. And what a feeling this is!!!

To know I can let my babies go outside and play in the back yard. To be able to let my far-too-stunning-for-her-own-good daughter go out when wants to unsupervised, (and without a GPS), because I know she's only a hop, skip and a jump away. I can go cycling to work along one of the most stunning pathways in Canada. I actually hear crickets in my backyard on smoking hot summer nights. Some days I can't believe I live in the city. Especially when I see random wild bunnies roaming the grocery store parking lots and neighbourhood! A river of ducks and geese just minutes from my doorstep. Okay… this sounds a lot like a tourism commercial. You get the picture.

It’s just all so foreign to me and just so lovely. When I wondered about moving back to Vancouver this summer, it was those simple things I knew I would miss. I was both shocked and grateful to hear my closest friends and family tell me that we should stay here. That no matter how much they would love to have us close, that we genuinely all seem to be happy in Ottawa and no matter how hard it is right now… that we should stay and keep trying.

They were right. My heart was right. My babies were right.

It's being here that has made us closer as a family. I am stronger as a woman... in my spirit and most definitely as their mother. I'm happier on my own… more than I've ever known. As we build our lives here, I am constantly reminded of the reason we came here.

All that pain… the suffering. The overwhelming grief I never thought I would live through. The anguish I almost allowed to consume me. Homeless and alone for months. But 2 years later… we are the living example of divine fortitude.

These have been 2 of the shortest and longest years of my life. The most difficult and challenging years yet. Where I questioned my sanity, my safety, my choices, my faith… my heart. I have never known such loneliness as I have here. I have never experienced such powerful independent bliss as I have here. I have never been more in love with my children. I have never been stronger in my light.

The roller coaster ride continues as I learn to find balance and structure with 3 very strong spirited children. Watching them grow into amazing people here and seeing them reap the benefits of positive influence all around them gives me hope. I see the 4 of us holding each other up without even knowing how. We simply complete each other.

I feel blessed to have been guided here. I have immense gratitude for all those hands that helped us reach this place, both near and far. BFF's, acquaintances, Werdy, baby daddy, BIGS, teachers, friends, neighbours, lovers, soul mates, my wifey, sisters, not so long lost family...

My gratitude for each one of you is plentiful and unique. I hope I have been able to express in some way, shape or form just what you mean to me and how deeply ingrained into my heart you have all become. Thank you for your thoughts, your efforts, your time, your energy, your support, your love and your light. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for sharing this journey with us, especially over all the bumps. I look forward to creating memories that are even more amazing with each and every one of you.

With much love... and respect...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Love isn't measured in miles....

I'm not quite sure how it happened... but I fell in love. Deeply, passionately, wholly, truly and perfectly. I met someone the weekend before I left Vancouver and he waltzed right into my heart and made himself at home. The scariest part was that I let him.

I made a list a few months ago of my 'dream man'. That perfect partner who would be my best friend and my lover and my confidant. Someone I could laugh with and share my joy and my sorrows. The man who would love me as I am and let me do the same for him. I'm not foolish enough to believe or even want someone to fit all those qualities. That's an idea. A dream. A perfect scenario in a world where there are no perfect scenarios.

You see, this man who stole my heart without even trying... he lives in Vancouver. I live in Ottawa. You can do the math. 5 hours on a plane. 3 hours time difference.... need I go on?? Like the title says... Love isn't measured in miles... but the miles can be a deal breaker.

The irony is I've done long distance. I lived in Vancouver. My ex lived in Toronto. After 2 years and a very intimate relationship with my telephone, I packed up and moved my family to Ontario to build a new life. Now that didn't work out as planned, and that's more than okay. There were lessons for me to learn, and I surely learned them. We now live in a beautiful city and are finally creating a life of our own. We were meant to be here.

Then I meet this man. Unexpected. Random. Someone who is familiar through a friend, but I've never met. I meet him and it's like I've come home. I sit with him and it's as if I've done it for years. We talk and it's easy. We laugh and it's familiar. We hold hands and it's right. He kisses me.... and it's magic. It wasn't love at first sight... but it was something we both knew and had already lived before. And here we are again... run down by cupid in his Love Train when we least expect it.

I come back to Ottawa just days after meeting him and spending a lovely afternoon solidifying what we already knew... that we were so magnetically drawn to one another it was painful to be apart. We talked about long distance, about what we felt, about whether we could do this... and we decided to take this Universal gift and try to unwrap it.

After opening the first layers, we realize that we have already found love. I love this man in such a short time, but undoubtedly... I love him. And it feels like heaven. There are no butterflies or giddy excitement. There is warmth. There is comfort. There is peacefulness that comes from a deeper level of acceptance and soulful connection. And it's beautiful.

A few weeks go by and we maintain as best as we can from afar. The effort is there. The intention is clear. The hope is alive. The love is strong. Then reality strikes down like lightening. The old tapes start to play. And they make no sense, but the logic... it does. How are we going to make this work? Is this enough for both of us? Is it fair to expect him to move when I know I won't? Will he regret never having his own children? How long can I go without feeling his warm embrace before it takes its toll on our love?

I think we both knew. I also think we both fell so hard that we didn't care. I know I wanted it. I know I still want it. I know every emotion I feel for him is alive and real and always will be. I also know that I love him enough to let him go. The pain from writing that simple sentence is enough to finally break me.

It makes no sense to love someone with such intensity in such a short time. It's almost ridiculous. That's how I know with as much certainty that it's so real.

I wish I could say that I knew what the Universe had in store for us. I know that we finally found each other again because we were ready to. I know that neither of us can believe that the other could love someone so amazing. I'm sure that's part of the gift...

So we say our goodbyes. Maybe we overlooked the obvious because we were blinded from the glow of our hearts. That's not a bad thing. In fact, it's a beautiful thing. Some people never know what it is to fall in love. Some won't even allow themselves the gift of doing so. But we jumped in. We embraced it. We wrapped ourselves up in it. We deemed ourselves worthy of love and respect. That's a blessing as far as I'm concerned.

I know I let him go for all the right reasons. I know my heart will stop hurting at some point. I pray that his pain is minimal. I've already grown because of him. Through what we shared. I am grateful for the opportunity to know him. I will always keep my heart open to the possibility of finding his love at my doorstep, if the Universe should allow it....

Thank you for the this song my love...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Holiday Darkness

The voices keep taking over. The tapes are so old and almost archaic… yet the message is crystal clear. You are not who you think you are. Louder and louder I hear those cries. My battered soul fighting for its right to breathe and heal. My mind is the enemy and my spirit will pay the price.

Exhaustion seems to be one of my many poisons these days. Running on empty has created a rage-filled demon that can only be exorcised by the Sandman himself. I am moody. I am plagued by migraines. I am emotionally charged. I am the living definition of depression. Once a month I become a fire-breathing dragon of feminine wonder… Pre-Meditated Suicide is more like it. Medicate me. Show me the magic pill that makes the sun shine brightly again and the clouds fluffier than they’ve ever been. Sigh… I can’t imagine reliving my rave nights…. I need to get out of here. I can’t find the goddamn door. I’m starting to wonder if there is even one built into this asylum for the mentally sane.

The joyous holidays seem like a scam to me. I feel robbed of something I don’t think I ever had. Yet I have the nerve to be angry about it. I hear the songs. I feel the snow. I see the ribbon and the tinsel and I don’t give a fuck. I have no desire to care this year. I don’t want to buy gifts…. I don’t want to wrap anything. I want to put the fa├žade of Santa and his imaginary reindeer to rest. I feel the need to pour reality down their innocent throats. The world will lie to them… why do I have to be the one who starts it?? I am so annoyed at the obligation of this season. What once was the most beautiful time of the year to me feels like a countdown of fake Christmas cheer to reach a climax filled with toys and candy and leftover wrap. This is why we put rum in the eggnog.

At night… I wander through the dream world in Technicolor. Flying, running, screaming. I dream of death. I dream in fear. I see horrid tales of my once before reality come back to haunt me in my sacred slumber. Why are you here? I see him. Squeezing the life out of my refurbished heart. If only I knew I was dreaming. I might find the strength to release his hold on me and land in my bed. Having run miles in my mind, it seems my body does the work. I wake to find myself drenched in nervous sweats. Since when did I dread sleep more than a waking moment??

On any given day… I find myself floating in the curves of the highs. Then I drop to a new depth of low where I cannot even remember what the warmth of my own skin feels like. I don’t know what brought me here…. And I surely don’t know the road out. I am a prisoner of my emotional hell today… yesterday and maybe even tomorrow. I feel trapped and confused. Empty and lost. Living in a shell that fits but does not belong to me. The tears want to consume me… I believe I’m finally drowning in my own rain.

All of my optimistic logic has been silenced by the power of my own darkness.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Lately I've been living through an internal struggle of what my life is and what I wish it was. I've been beating on myself because I'm 34 and I'm single and I have 3 kids and I'm alone. By alone, I mean no community... no family support in the physical. I'm trying to establish how I got myself here, but more importantly, how do I get where I want to be? The killer question is 'will I EVER get there?'

Feelings of complete hopelessness as a mother. Frustration so overwhelming that I have found myself hearing voices of regret. That's a bad sign... especially for someone with my spiritual faith. A faith that is built on a foundation that everything is as it should be. There are no regrets. Every lesson and moment brought me here. It's HERE that I cannot seem to accept.

After 2 years of living in a new city, I've made a few amazing friends and I'm thankful. They're kind souls who offer me a reciprocal friendship when we can find the time. Yet, I'm left with a sense of being in this life alone. Maybe because I don't have many friends who have children or can truly understand what it feels like to be in my shoes. The more I think about it, not many know what it's like to move yourself and 3 kids across the country alone only to spend almost 6 months homeless in a city where you know 2 people...

The more I write this, the more I sound like a victim. I'm fully aware that I'm a victim of my own choices. what I'm feeling inside... it's failure. I feel like I've failed at this game... at life. I can't stop the voices from telling me how badly I fucked up when I look around and see only what I haven't accomplished.

I live a life of constant gratitude from moment to moment... but for some reason, I can't find it within myself anymore. I can't see it the way I used to and that scares me. Because that cloud of darkness is getting bigger and heavier. Those voices are getting louder and they visit more often. The reality of how I came here to this moment and the circumstances surrounding our life... it doesn't justify why I haven't been able to create my dreams.

What hurts the most... what has me fall deeper into this pain and these tears... is what I can't do for my kids. What I know they should have. What I simply cannot provide. What I've got just isn't enough anymore. Maybe it never was. Maybe I was so blinded by my own faith that I saw the reality I wanted to see... not what truly was.

I don't know much in this moment except that the pain in my heart is too much to ignore or wash away with a sugar coated smile or quote of the day. Today I'm living and breathing my flawed self in the hell I've created.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

ma familia

We were coming home one night a few weeks ago and my 7 year old randomly says to me, "Mommy, when Amber beats up Noah I get upset". Amber being his big sister and Noah his older brother, who might possibly be a descendant of Lucifer himself. Of course I offer the typical 'Awwwwww baby...' and explain to him that of course he'd get upset... he loves his brother. He is quick to shoot that theory down with a doubtful 'I don't know....' Instead he tells me that he thinks it's because Noah is his blood.

You see, a few days before this, I gave one of my memorable speeches on what it means to have brothers and sisters. Maybe it was so memorable because I was bellowing half of it, or maybe he just listened this time. Hell... maybe he listens all the time. There's a reason he's my favorite.

That day, after seeing enough of Amber, my eldest, treat her likes-to-be annoying, almost 9 year old brother Noah, like crap for the 100th time, I simply lost my mind. I cannot for the life of me understand why they treat each other so badly. I have sisters... I remember the fights. There were lots of them. it's impossible to put 4 people into any living space for any length of time and expect for there NOT to be conflict. but what I don't get is the lack of connection between child #1 and #2. That one baffles me. It's as if they just can't find any love between them. Truth is... it scares me.

There are so many things I want for my babies in this lifetime. Not all of them I can provide. Some of those things, they aren't meant to have either. But family... all we've got is each other. we live in a city where we have no family. It's just the 4 of us and the small circle of friends we are beginning to create. After 2 years... most of our time is still spent with just us. I want for them to have each other. There will come a day when I'm long gone and I'd like to know that they'll take care of one another.

I went through most of my adult life without the support of my family. Missing my sisterly bond. Sure we fought as we grew up, but they're my sisters. They're my people. They're my blood. More than once I questioned that bond created by the river of red running within my being. There were even times when I believed blood isn't thicker than water. Maybe because I was fortunate enough to have friends who are my family. Friends who have created such a deep connection of unconditional love with me that they have become my sisters and brothers. Honestly, there were times when I had nobody but those friends. They carried me through the hardest times in my life. They held my hand and dried my tears. My family wasn't able to do those things. As I've grown, I realized that it doesn't make them bad people who are incapable of loving. It just means they love me and the world in their own little warped way. So do I shut out the love because it isn't exactly what I need or the way I need it? I choose to allow them the respect of being who they are while maintaining a clear understanding of who I am and what I need and where I can obtain it.

This summer I went to see my family after being away for 2 years. We didn't have a farewell celebration when I moved to Ontario in 2008... we had a full blown explosion. It was ugly to say the least. Over the 2 years, we spoke a few times but it was awkward and painful. I'm sure I wasn't the only one hurting either. Time went on and I realized how deeply I missed them. When it came time for the visit, I had no idea what to expect. I didn't know if there would be more fireworks, or if I even had anything to talk about with people who had become familiar strangers in my world. But I approached it with an open heart and was met with the same. I was offered love and kindness and gratitude. I found hugs and warmth and laughter. I came home to my family.

That visit changed me. Those 3 or 4 days.... they changed my heart. I was able to fill a void in my world that only family can fill. I'd fooled myself for a long time into thinking that I didn't need them. That I could do fine without them and it wouldn't matter at all. I'm strong and resilient and I can manage on my own. While some of that is true, I'd be a liar if I didn't admit that there would always be an empty spot without them. Nobody can fill that place because nobody else does what family does. They were made especially for me. To fit perfectly in my heart. And while I tried to rent out the sister spot over the years.... none of the tenants could live there for long. Some of them stayed on, but they created new spaces and memories to fill my heart with, leaving the family compartment empty and dark.

I'm overjoyed about my healing relationship with my family. I'm ecstatic to be leaving for Vancouver in 2 days for yet another visit. I'm grateful that we didn't wait until someone died before we saw each other again. I'm grateful that we allowed forgiveness and love to overrule history and uncertainty. I feel blessed just to have siblings and a mother who is still alive.

The lecture to my battling spawn that day included a story of when I was in elementary school and the girls were being mean to me... because that's what little girls are best at. I will never forget my sister coming to the rescue. I remember her standing in front of me and giving them hell. Asking them how they would feel if someone was doing that to them. I won't ever forget the feeling of knowing that my sister had my back. I don't think children realize their parents were once children too and it surprises them when I tell them things that happened to me when I was small. It's as if they're forced to relate to me on another level that doesn't include me being big bad grown up Mommy who must be inhuman, or she wouldn't be so mean.

I informed them all that I expected them to be there for each other because they were blood. I let them know that family was there to support you no matter what. With a confused look, I'm asked by child #3, 'what does that mean... we're blood?' After a brief lesson on biology, he seemed to understand how he and his brother shared something deeper than a bedroom and a whole lot of Lego.

I surely don't know what's going to happen tomorrow... let alone what my children will be like when they grow into adults. I can only pray that they'll find forgiveness for themselves and each other as they move along in their journey. I will pray that their paths allow them the comfort of knowing one another long after I pass into another world. I can only hope that they won't let petty arguments ruin the opportunities to love the built in best friends that God gave them in their siblings.....

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


October 10, 1997 at 10:58pm

That moment marks a huge milestone in my life. I had no idea that it was going to be the beginning of what is now the most important job I've ever had. I was given the ultimate gift and blessing wrapped up a tiny being who has proven to be my teacher as much as I am hers.

On a quiet Friday night, Amber Shanthi surprised us all with her perfect self, by arriving on her exact due date. Weighing in at 7lbs, 5oz. she appeared healthy, strong and statistically average. Who would know at that moment how far from average she would grow to become.

Anyone who's ever met my stunning daughter knows how incredible she is. And I'm not just saying that because she's my daughter and I'm a whole lot biased... she really is awesome. She not only carries herself with a maturity that most university students wish they had, she actually possesses it. After living a life that most 12 year old's only read about in novels, she strives only to be the best that she can be. And she smiles that Colgate smile through it all. She is kind and generous and thoughtful and so unselfish sometimes that I'm moved to tears by her enormous heart. In some ways she's a typical girl with her silliness and hating on her brothers, then she'll say something witty and so out of the ordinary for any child that I have to remind myself how old she really is.

I didn't think it was possible to love another human being with the capacity and force with which I love my children. And I tell Amber every day that I love her. But for a long time she didn't tell me... not first at least. And now... she says it so often that sometimes I don't think I accept it all. But then I tell her that I love her more. And she says... 'oh no Mum....I've known you longer... Remember?? I chose you'. Every day, in one way or another, I am in awe of this child.

I'm sure when she reads this, she'll know that I'm already crying as I write it. It's hard not to cry when you're overwhelmed with love and pride. I cry for the life she's had to live. I cry for the journey that lays ahead. For the bumps I can't take out of the road for her. I cry because she makes me laugh so hard sometimes. I cry because I know there are things in this life that I can't give her. And maybe it's not part of her plan to have them... but as her Mom... I want to give her the world. I cry because I am so blessed to have a daughter that's more my best bud than she is my little girl. I cry because no matter what life gave us, she stood by me. No matter how hard it got, she held on to my love and is shining brighter than ever.

My beautiful Amber...

I promised you that for a whole week I would give you a gift every single day leading up to the day of your birthday. Today is Day 3 and this is your gift... in no particular order...


1. you have a huge, kind heart
2. you bake amazing cookies and other yummies
3. you are witty, sarcastic and uber funny
4. you are smarter and more intelligent than you even know
5. you work hard for all the things that you desire to achieve
6. you are clueless to your own beauty
7. your smile lights up a room
8. you share your food with me
9. you love yourself
10. you're a nerd
11. you are a talented artist
12. you're thoughtful, generous and down to earth
13. you face your fears

I could go on for days and never run out of reasons why I think you're the most amazing daughter that any Mom could ask for. I pray that you know them in your heart though. You have brought a love and a light into my life that I couldn't have dreamed of Amber. Thank you for choosing me....

I love you baby girl...