Monday, November 7, 2011
When we were young
It is a sentimental day for OBB. I have been in the mood to listen to sappy memory inducing music and just thinking about so many things. After having a lovely child free weekend with my husband where we ate good food, sleep in (well sorta as I never really ever sleep in), cleaned and organized and just enjoyed doing things on our own time. It was nice but we also loved having our little angel come back to us yesterday. Today is back to normal life. It is a typical autumn day and the sun is hiding behind the clouds. The leaves are starting to go brown on the ground and the trees are looking more naked by the day. Winter is coming.
So where has all this emotion and reflection come from? Well some of it came from my session with my crink (my preferred name for my cancer therapist) last week. You all know I live my cancer experience as openly as possible so very little is spared from mention. We talked about all the emotions I have been feeling as I come closer to finishing my main treatment – the relief, the fatigue, the worry and the sheer terror. A real mélange of emotions. Funnily enough we spent a lot of the session talking about my father. I am not sure how it all came about but I think it came from my wish that he could have been here to help me through this tough time. He always had the answer to everything and was great in a crisis. In speaking of him, we spoke a lot about my childhood and how idealic it was. That is what has got me thinking today…thinking about the greatest memories of my earlier life. When remembering what makes me smile to myself, or even laugh out loud? I was one of the lucky ones (a statement I rarely associate to myself these days) and really had the most amazing life. I never struggled, I never was denied love, I always had food on the table, someone to kiss my scrapped knee better or to help me figure out a math problem that I was stuck on. I had a wonderful mother, doting father, funny and cool brother and caring and brilliant sister. I can only hope that my own daughter can look back on her childhood many many years from now with the same idealism and positivity that I have.
What are the memories that really stick out for me? Well there are so many to choose from but if I had to choose here are a few gems from my childhood and my family.
We lived in the south of France when I was a little girl while my father was on sabbatical from his post at McGill University. We lived in a beautiful seaside town called Ville Franche Sur Mer. Life was different there and I fondly remember walking down the intricate series of stairs from our house all the way down to the boulangerie where my father and I would pick out our bread for breakfast and I would get my Pousse Pousse which was a type of ice cream/lollie. I loved the simplicity of life there.
My morning commutes to high school in Montreal (Sacred Heart) with my dad. I always got to control the radio stations and go in search of the best drive song to get us in gear for a full day of work. We used to chat about everything and anything and I watched all the big factories along the road and especially remember the Humpty Dumpty factory and the distinct smell of potatoes frying in oil!
The time I told my mother that she and I were going to Hawaii for a week because she needed it. She had literally had the year from hell and after she and I had sat by my grandfather’s side as he passed on, I knew we needed to paint a positive memory together and Waikiki did just that. It was a great time full of giggles and gasps especially when I locked the keys in the car while the car was still running in a small surfing town on the North Shore!!
Driving along the lakeshore in Pointe Claire with my older brother who I thought was beyond cool. He would cheekily smoke a cigarette and blast the latest techno beats (it was those Snap Rhythym is a dancer days!) in the cassette player. I think I was 11 or 12 and felt cool by association!
The first few months I lived in London with my brother and his wife while I was getting myself sorted. After having lived continents apart for nearly 10 years, I was so happy to be back with my brother whom I had always looked up to. We had so much fun together and the legendary champagne parties were unforgettable. We definitely made up for the last decade we had been apart and it allowed us the time to bond again and share our common sense of humour. I had my big brother back and it was great.
When I think of my sister, I think of a graceful perfect ballerina. My happy memories were of our annual Christmas trip to the ballet west production of the Nutcracker to watch her dance effortlessly around the stage in a stunning ntutu. I always wished I had her coordination and discipline when it came to dance and lived vicariously through her for all those performances.
So there are just a few examples of a much larger collection that is my life. As you can see – my memories are filled with love and fond recollection. A charmed life I have led.