August 1, 2015

I am happy that everyone had a good time today, especially the kids.

There are lots of people we need to thank. A few notables:

Jennifer, who I’ve known since we were 9, flew in from Calgary this morning just to come to the party and will fly home tomorrow.

Our superheroes, Dave, Carlos, Erin and Jamie (and Million Dollar Smiles for loaning us the costumes).

Nick, for painting the clothes lines from which we hung our Odd Socks.

Pauline for table clothes, centrepieces, cookies, and toys.

Glady for the Oddsocks cupcakes.

Kelly for cupcakes.

Our face painters, Abby and Toni, for creating some very scary and pretty faces.

Rowan, for manning the snow cone machine.

Kathy, for selling buttons (we raised $400 for OPACC!), and Stephen for making the buttons and donating time and materials.

Carolyn for organizing, delegating and just generally being awesome. Also awesome are Bevlyn, Amanda, Simon, Larry, Liisa, Julie, and everyone who helped set up, tear down, etc.

Zoe, for just helping me keep my shit together.

Jen for taking what I’m sure will be fantastic shots of the party.

Frank Nelson, for taking the time to come down from Barrie. It was an honour to meet you. Your strength and kindness are inspiring.

Our doctors who took the time to join us, Dr. Ana, Kevin, and Tammy Hermant. And our pharmacist!

Everyone who brought a piƱata – they were a big hit (see what I did there).

All of you who attended, we know you did so because you love us and you love Ollie, and you know what it meant to us to have this party for him. Thank you.

It was great to celebrate in a way that Ollie would have loved. But in a way, it hurts me, because he’s not here to enjoy it. My heart is full, but heavy, and I miss him so much.

Love you all. Xoxo

June 22, 2015

It’s hard to explain this, but I’m feeling strong, and like I have a new clarity about life. I’ve been talking to friends about this process, and my psychologist, and I just joined a FB group for bereaved moms, where we express all the feelings and thoughts that come up.

One of the moms in my group posted about a Buddhist saying, “Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional”, and how some bereaved parents are actually offended by this notion, as though they honour their deceased children by suffering. I think the exact opposite; we honour them by living full lives, by being happy, and especially by being fully present parents to our living children. My psychologist told me today, it is natural to feel guilty that you are actually feeling the benefits of an enhanced quality of life. We are no longer bound by hospital appointments, the possibility of hearing bad news at anytime, or watching our child suffer. Guilt hampers healing and we cannot change what has happened. By stepping outside the grief for periods of time, and enjoying friends, family, laughter, etc. we gain the strength we need to weather the tough times. I cannot tell you what a relief it was to hear this.

I grieved so much from the time we were told that he would die. Now I have the opportunity to think about him as much as I want, and to treasure the many, many memories I have, and to feel that is still here, in my heart, and always will be.

I know we face rough times ahead, but I am looking to the future and to basking in the love that surrounds us, always with gratitude for the time we had with our precious Ollie.

Xoxo

June 18, 2015

The rollercoaster continues. We are able to feel “normal” because of Jack, and because Rylie and Brodie are here. But there are many times when we are blindsided by the reality of Ollie’s absence.

Thank you to the friends who make a safe space to either be normal (I.e. Laughing our asses off, drinking in the backyard) or to talk about Ollie and all that that entails. You know who you are.

Thank you to my sister Zoe, the first person I called when Ollie died. She called funeral homes for us, sat with us and Ollie for hours after he died, just generally made herself available to us. We love you.

Thank you to our parents, who wait anxiously in the wings, hoping we will call on them for help. We will. The fact that you are there is what we need right now.

And thank you to all our family and friends. For coming out on Thursday, promising to come out on August 1st, or sending cards and/or flowers. We love you all. We hope you will think of us in the weeks/months/years to come, because we will still need you then.

Xoxo

July 9, 2015

I know, I said I wasn’t going to update, but I had to.

A heartbreaking moment tonight. Our friend Dan, who works for Audi, came by in an Audi R8 convertible for Ollie to see. In addition, he brought (procured by one of his co-workers) a photo of Tony Stark, autographed by Robert Downey Junior. The inscription reads, “Ollie, you are Iron Man”. But Ollie was so sleepy, he didn’t want to go see the car, could barely acknowledge the photo. A month ago, he would have been thrilled. It breaks my heart that he feels so bad he can’t enjoy something like that.

We thank Audi for their generosity though, and for being so thoughtful. Stu and Jack and I all took a spin and it is one sexy car.