Monday, January 25, 2016

The Last First

We are edging toward our last first... the first anniversary of the day Tony died.

The recent snow storm has stirred up lots of memories of that time, but it was just this time of year. Crap weather, being stuck in the house, lots of snow days for the girls... combined with the feeling of this time of year... turning inward, reflection, and rest.

I still turn to see his expression when something funny happens, and there's something I desperately want to talk to him about every day. The girls and I talk about him all the time, and often we look at old pictures or videos. But we have developed a new routine... no longer centered around him, and we have many new memories which he didn't help make.

As I have started to re-form my life, it is hard to not panic over the unknown. Everything is unknown. I suppose that's always the way it is, but we often comfort ourselves by assuming we know what the future holds... when, of course, we never really do. It gets tiring captaining this ship, and although we have a wonderful support system, I really miss that one guy who was always in my corner, propping me up.

I'll spend these winter months learning how to prop myself up... reaching for memories to sustain me... figuring out how to stand a little taller on my own. And I'll look forward to the hope of the spring, new beginnings, new chapter, slightly stronger me. It's so hard to wait and see what the future holds... but we all have to wait for the spring to come again.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


Last weekend, I took the girls skiing for the first time... well... I did contemplate getting out there with them myself, but it didn't take long to realize that would be sheer lunacy. So, I went skiing, and they went to ski school.

We planned the day a few weeks in advance, and really lucked out to be there as the first snow of the season fell. It was so lovely to be back on the slopes again. I think it was probably 10 years ago that we last went. I really cherish those memories with you... before we had kids, and before ALS of course.

The girls had fun, and were both keen to show off their skills when I arrived to pick them up. I snuck past the school area a few times, so I had already seen them in action. Cora was her typical, fearless self and I saw her waving over at Louise, who I am sure was less thrilled with the proceedings.

I am very proud of your skiing skills, especially since I taught you! It was certainly the only time in our relationship when I felt more athletic than you... but you learned quickly, so that didn't last. I had a student again this time, and hopefully he will love it as much as you did.

When the girls are a little older, we'll all ski together. Skiing and swimming are the most athletic things I'll ever do with them, and I know with your genes they'll be better than me in no time!

I love you, babe.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Things I wish I could share with you

Cora's reading a book on soccer (ahem... football), and she just shouted out, "hey mama! Liverpool is in this book!"

Today Louise found an eyelash, and made a wish on it. Then she said she could tell me, because it hadn't come true. She said she wished for you.

Miss you, babe.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year

It's hard to fathom a year without you in it. But I'm still grateful I'm here to see it.

This is from New Year's Eve last year. One of the last pictures of the four of us.

Love you, babe.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Our Christmas Gifts

I have been slaving away for months...

Really only a few weeks...

Although I did start months ago...

Anyway... I've been working on our Christmas presents to our girls. I had the idea some time ago to make quilts for them from your tshirts. On our first date, you wore a tshirt (and I still fell for you), and in the past years your fashion item of choice was a tshirt. You left quite a selection from which to choose! I tried to put in important shirts, ones that had meaning. I avoided the ruder ones, although in hindsight I might have chosen differently. But there is a story that goes with each shirt, and I look forward to explaining each one to the girls.
Making the cut (wasted effort since this one didn't make it into the finished product!)

Each quilt has a Conway Cup shirt, and each one has a Don't Shrink shirt. Each contains two shirts from other ALS warriors, and each has a Celtic shirt. Each one has a part of your favorite comfy shirt, the navy waffle knit.
In honor of Michael and his family, ALS warriors

I knew that Erin's shop was the perfect place to work on them, especially because I needed her help! And I couldn't have done it without her. It was a wonderful experience to spend the time with her, and get to know her better. You were still the common thread (haha, I'm hilarious!), but hopefully we started a friendship of our own.

Sashing ready to stitch

Initially cutting the shirts was difficult, but then I was okay until the tops were finished. Then I could barely look at it without crying. There's a whole lot of love and a whole lot of emotion (and work!) put into these, and I suppose it just got to me.

Along the way, I decided to make them into duvet covers instead of quilts since that's what we normally use. I've got a bit more work to do to them, but turning them into covers helped me get them done faster. So, I've wrapped them up to give to the girls tomorrow. I know that they will love them. I also know that making them was a gift to me. I hope you'd be proud.
The finished top of Cora's quilt

The finished top of Louise's quilt

Love you, babe.