Goodbye my Friend – In Memorium

In memorium to my brother-in-law ‘Bill’ – William Gies who left a void September 13, 2022 – a legend in his time.

Rest in peace my lovely brother-in-law. I will miss our conversations, and your checking up on me every few weeks as a dutiful brother-in-law and friend, and all the laughter we shared for years in our monthly card club get togethers, parties, picnics, and Christmases in those so very golden days.

©DGKaye2022

Damaged Goods, Warranties, Humor, and the Love of My Life

Damaged Goods –

A popular slang term for a person with a ravaged past, incident, or reputation – no longer perfection. Aren’t we all damaged in some way? Hard to think that anyone has sailed through life unscathed by hurt, pain, or inappropriate abuse. We don’t have to experience physical pain to feel abused  – mental, or emotional, abuse can appear in all forms.

My husband used to joke around with me because three days after we were married, I wound up in hospital – on and off for three months because they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me, thinking it was a cancer that turned out to be hard to diagnose Crohns disease. No, it wasn’t funny then, but through the years, I had a few other scares, and throughout our marriage when all was well, my humorous husband used to like to say to our friends that he married damaged goods. He’d add to that, in true used car salesman talk, he married a lemon and it was too late to give her back because the warranty had expired.

Yes, that was my husband, always full of humorous slogans. Yes, I can laugh, and so can you, because my husband loved me to the nth degree and would move heaven and earth for anything that would make me happy. I lacked for nothing and never asked for anything, because I didn’t have to. He was always willing to give anything of himself. And he always did.

Damaged goods isn’t an endearing term by any means, typically it is referred to as a product we’ve bought that failed to live up to its projected expectations. Not so pretty when used to refer to a person’s state of being. My Honey had a joke for everything between us, and that’s why we laughed together every single day we were together. Life isn’t always funny, but if you can look past the painful parts and find a way to make light of things, it helps to lighten the load. Having unconditional love allows for such jokes, without that, a comment like that would sound abusive.

My husband had so many funny sayings. He was also always full of surprises. Every year or so he’d come home and inform me that he sold my car again. This was his department not mine. I knew that when he found a happy paying customer to buy a car he didn’t have on the lot for him, but he had one his wife was driving, of course, in mint condition, it was time to sell and make a profit. It became like a side business for him because all my cars were bought at wholesale price, and sold for retail. Getting a new car didn’t cost us anything and we’d buy a newer model. He had always warned me to never get attached to ‘things’.

One day he came home from work while I was sitting outside with a neighbor. He got out of his car, came up to me and gave me a kiss as he did every single day of our lives together, then told me to clean out my car, it was going tomorrow. I’d lament as I always did once I got attached to a car, reminding him how much I loved it and didn’t need a new one. The logic would repeat, he’d laugh and add, “Now Cubby, make sure you don’t stand on this driveway because you can be sold too.” Lol, I always remembered that one. As if! He loved to give the neighbors a laugh, pretending to be the guy with authority when anyone who knew us, knew that it was I who always had the final say. But I let him get his glory moments in, and we’d both burst out laughing at the mere conception that he’d ever give me away for any price.

I miss that man more than I could ever write. My heart breaks daily again everyday I wake up without him, and the painful longing for his embrace and love. I try to keep focusing on our funny moments to overshadow the black hole that resides within me, there were so many moments. It’s a Herculian task to say the least, to struggle daily with missing my other half of me. My husband joked a lot about my being damaged goods, but little did he know that’s exactly how I feel now without him. And there are no jokes possible to lighten this load. But one thing is for sure, the warranty on my love for him will never expire.

Big Puppy

©DGKaye2022

Fleeting Thoughts: How Do We Wish to Be Remembered?

 

Have you ever thought about when your turn is up on earth, how, if, or what you’ll be remembered for? Not to sound depressing, but just thinking about impressions we leave behind as our mark in the world as our legacies. Will we leave an indelible print on someone’s heart or mind? Will we be remembered for any words of wisdom, humor, quotes or empowering messages?

 

I try not to think about my eventual non-existence in this world and had never really thought about what I’d leave behind in people’s minds and hearts. I have occasionally thought about my not having any natural children through the years, which leaves me wondering if when my time comes, will anyone remember me?

 

What would I like people to remember about me, if asked? Well, I’d certainly like to think that in some small way, the words I leave behind in my books and stories and definitely in my social media footprints may make a difference to someone or many someones as the world goes by. I’d like to think my caring and compassion will occasionally come to mind as a fleeting thought or in discussion by any who may have known me, or perhaps, from my writings, or by some who never knew me. Would all my scribbles across numerous notebooks and scraps of paper be scrutinized? Cherished? Tossed in the garbage?  Will more people read my books after I’m gone, like so many now famous authors of the past who were considered unknowns while they lived? Will anybody ever even remember that I once existed?

 

I wonder if other writers ever think about our writing and what will happen to all the words we leave behind once we’ve fulfilled our purpose on this earth.

 

Do you ever wonder about how you’ll be remembered?

 

Nobody really knows the answer to any of these questions, and of course, me being a curious soul, am just really thinking out loud. But wouldn’t it be interesting if we could actually ‘look down’ after whisked away to another dimension after our time here on earth is done and get a glimpse of how others perceived us and our work?

 

 

©DGKaye2021

 

 

Kindness, Tears and Loving Beyond – #Grief and Loss

Unexpected kindness is the small things, ordinary things someone kind may do in passing, like when someone sends us a card to let us know they’re thinking of us as a lovely gesture, often without them realizing how a simple gesture can mean so much and can bring a smile – or a tear.

 

I’ve received some lovely cards – both physical and ecards, as well as many messages, and it is comforting and humbling to know that people hold us in their thoughts. Yes, I do realize I keep saying ‘us’, as old habits die hard. I remember reading in quite a few books, how grievers tend to speak about their lost loved one in the present tense, as though they are still here. I am guilty of this as in my heart my beloved is still here with me. I don’t know that I shall ever use the past tense for my husband.

This journey of grief is certainly not for the faint-hearted. The ripples and waves, and sometimes tsunamis of grief roll through randomly and unexpectedly 24/7. Tears splash so easily – a thought, a memory, a condolence, a photo, loneliness, even opening the fridge door and catching a glimpse of his favorite foods will set off a new stream of waterworks. The smiles aren’t as plentiful as it literally hurts my heart to smile sometimes.

The tears are a constant release of pain that ooze out through the eyes, somewhat allowing the heart a tiny bit more of breathing room – until the pool refills itself, something that stuns me, the abundance of tears that never cease to replenish.

The only comfort for me in this time is being able to talk about my husband and all the good and funny things about him. But these talks only satisfy me if they are with someone who knew him well, because they could appreciate the moments with me. And then there is music, but most days I find songs too painful to listen to so I’ll resort to mindless TV.

It’s barely been six weeks since I laid my husband to rest in the double-decker grave I bought for us, yet, the pain in my heart feels like it’s been trodden over for years.

Every new day brings with it yesterday’s sorrow within. I miss my husband terribly and I can’t help but wonder if it will ever get easier. But one thing I know for sure, I will always love him from the core of my being, and not time or anyone can take that away from me.

I’ve been humming a song in the back of my mind lately. It’s a passionate song about loving someone forever, and it’s a beautiful Italian song that I always loved, only now, it’s taken on so much more meaning. Al Di La means ‘Next Life’ or ‘Above and Beyond’, I will love you beyond the beyond. This song was made famous from the 1962 movie – Roman Adventure starring Suzanne Pleshette and Troy Donahue.

 

Take a listen. And if you would like a direct translation of the lyrics, you can find them here.

 

 

©DGKaye2021

 

What’s my Rage? Why? #Guilt, #Grieving and #Loss – #Birthday #Coronavirus and the ‘System’

 

Rage crying and guilt. It’s a thing. And it’s real for me. Like Elizabeth Kubler-Ross states in her book, On Grief and Grieving, there are five stages of grief and you may not feel them in order, but surely everyone will experience them all. Well, I’m still in big time denial, a.k.a., shock, and that doesn’t mean I don’t believe my husband is alive, literally, only that numbness and other defense mechanisms set in and help to play games with my mind to sort of attempt to ‘take the edge off’ the heaviness by playing the ‘pretending game’. Like when I actually get busy doing something, I pretend George is sleeping in the bedroom. But of course, that only lasts so long.

The five stages of grief are certainly not in same order for me. My denial stage is the shock not worn off. Depression is my inner rage. Bargaining is useless, as it’s much too late for that, so I’ve switched that one up to guilt, because guilt is part of the heaviness I carry within. And as for acceptance, it’s so far off I can’t even visualize it.

 

Why didn’t I know? Why didn’t I know! I’m beating myself up at why my husband couldn’t be saved before he became terminal.  I’ve always looked after him. Every little symptom I’d report to the doctors. Covid made everything harder and worse. I can’t stop replaying the summer before he died. He’d complain and question why he’s so tired. What did I know? He was aging, he had ‘other’ issues, we were locked down for Covid, no real living, and no more getting to actually see a doctor! Tele-health calls were scant, but my husband had so much bloodwork done in the last year of his life, how did nobody catch anything? Labs should tell a story. Everyone was so busy taking care of his other issues that the possibility of cancer was totally over-looked.

Bloodwork weekly, low sodium levels, chronic indigestion and sleeping in half the day. I worried all the time. I spoke with doctors as much as I could get hold of them. Was nobody as curious as me? Did anyone consider something worse? Why did it take til February of this year to put him through the ringer of all tests til the grim discovery would show? He was so bloody tired!

These questions haunt me and squeeze my heart with grief when I start screaming out the whys. Yes, if my love could have saved him, he would have lived forever. Covid has shut down most of the world and the ironic part about it is that thousands more die because they can’t get a surgery booked or even see their doctors in the live. Labs are helpful – somewhat, but there’s nothing like being looked at by a doctor, to look in the eyes, skin, listen to hearbeats and breathing.

I’ve been told that my questions are all part of the grieving process, despite me feeling they are all valid questions. I’m living with guilt that I didn’t do enough for my husband. I didn’t scream out to doctors, my whys. People were dying from Covid and our doctor’s hands were tied with rules and regulations with lockdowns and cooties. Doctors not seeing patients, hospitals not allowing scheduled surgeries. Who was I to fight the system? This system has killed so many others who couldn’t and can’t see a doctor unless they were taken to emergency and admitted through the system. No. Right now I am far from acceptance. Nothing can bring my husband back, and yet, the guilt engulfs me; like crying over spilled milk, I know it will get me nowhere except into a darker abyss by dwelling on the whys, yet, I can’t stop asking.

Happy Birthday Puppy

 

Yesterday was my husband’s birthday, only weeks after he passed. I had extra anxiety all weekend. I decided I’d be able to handle the day better if I went to visit his grave. I struggled with it being too soon to go there, but feeling worse if I stayed home and grieved the day all day at home. I went to visit his grave, although I somehow feel closer to him here at home. They hadn’t even finished shoveling more dirt and laying the grass over where he was buried. Remnants of the funeral flowers and ribbons lay scattered over his grave. I threw in a few of my personal stones – rose quartz for love, along with some others, and I placed the stick of the little balloon with the cub on it that says “I love you” in the ground. It was attached to the little puppy love who sleeps with me on his pillow. Puppy love didn’t need to hold on to that balloon anymore because he has me beside him, so I thought Cub balloon would do better keeping him company at his gravesite.

 

Beloved Puppy

 

Birthday at the grave

 

~ ~ ~

 

Note: I recently wrote a post about the state of craziness here in Toronto with vaccine output. I am happy to report that in the past week, our province has got their act together and currently 50%, almost 1.5 million adults, have had their first Covid shot in my city, despite the detrimental number of cases still occurring daily for weeks now, approximately 3000 new cases daily. And one very special nurse who promised they’d save me an Astra Zeneca shot invited me to come have it on this past Friday. I feel blessed that all my networking has paid off and whenever my city decides to ever open up again, I’ll feel a lot more secure about entering the fray – not to mention, be able fly again as soon as flights open up here, and the UK will put Canada back on the ‘approved’ to visit list.

 

©DGKaye2021

Life Love Loss

 

Time for a #Rant – #Covid #Vaccines in Canada the Disorderly

I haven’t been back writing much lately, due to my husband’s recent passing. But that doesn’t mean through my grief that outside influences haven’t been getting my goat, like the way our province of Ontario has become a big joke for the incompetence of our government on the handling of containment and the sorrowful lack of vaccines, and the system of no law and order when it comes to how they are rolling out vaccines at random.

 

When I got my first vaccine in early March, my doctor’s office managed to get me into a local pharmacy that had openings, but not for my lack of trying, I could never get through the line to book, it’s much easier for a doctor’s office to connect. The pharmacist who gave me the jab had told me there is no return date booked for my second vax, but it will be four to 12 weeks. Well, no return date, and our province has decided four months will suffice. Why? When the directives are 4 to 12 weeks by the pharmaceutical suggested dosing, and we don’t have enough vaccine around, Health Canada ‘decided’ four months is sufficient. Do we even have any data of efficacy for that long of a wait gap?

Our province did not begin vaccines with a plan of law and order. In fact, front line workers are only RECENTLY being called on for their turn. I guess they forgot that all the people who work in factories who go to work and bring home the Covid to their families are creating wild hotspots within our city and contributing to the 3000 plus daily cases daily we’re still getting. This is a fire that can’t be extinguished because our borders are a joke, as is our government, and vaccines are being sent to us willy nilly. The general public is lost and speaking out about the joke of a system where they have to look for popup places, often getting shutout because if you didn’t stand in line from the wee hours of the night waiting for them to open, you more than likely lose out. We’re like a bloody third-world country here!

Gratefully, while I was watching the Canadian news the other night, the media announced that @VaxHuntersCan, has taken it upon themselves to establish a responsible group to take over where the government sorely missed, using social media to help Canadians get a heads up on where vaccines will be offered daily, how many spots, how to book, and who is sold out. From VaxHuntersCan, came another branch @VaxHuntersTO, they post specifically to Toronto’s availabilities. Note their slogan under their name on Twitter – “Here to help people navigate the overly complex vaccine rollout and do the Ford government’s job for them.” Yup, thanks to them they are helping Canadians out where our government fails.

Now, here’s the bug up my ass. As I am living in solitude and grief with the passing of my husband, I am ANXIOUSLY awaiting my second dose, where I know not where and if it will come from, so I can get the heck out of here by July/August. But hey, this country is farrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr from even getting close to vaxxing Canada with round one.

Here’s something that niggles at my mind. The only reason my age group was randomly called out of order, which allowed me to get the first vaccine, I found out from the pharmacist, was because at that time, (the age allowances have been changed several times since for those eligible for the Astra Zeneca – just another reason people have no confidence and don’t know what to believe about safety), the pharmacy’s vaccine was soon to expire. That’s how I got in.

Fast forward to a few days ago, when I began following @VaxHuntersTO on Twitter, they announced two pharmacies (close to me) that had lots of spots left for the Astra vaccine, that are supposedly expiring in May. So I called up both those pharmacies and told them I noted there were lots of spots on the website still available. A lot of people don’t want Astra Zeneca for whatever reasons (most of which because the government has changed their mind on age limits), so I asked if I could come in for my second dose and was refused. I didn’t hang up without making a comment, reiterating that they have vaccines, nobody is coming for, they’re about to expire, but they will go in the garbage instead of vaxxing anyone waiting for dose two. Yes apparently, in our Covid capital of Toronto where we can’t get enough vaccines, they will throw them out before giving anyone a second dose.

DO YOU SEE WHY I NEED TO GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE???

So I’ve been DMing on Twitter with one of the persons running this VaxHuntersTO site, sharing about my discoveries and they are as appalled as I am. Apparently, ‘the person’ I’m chatting with runs a clinic downtown Toronto, and they told me that they will have left overs and they will personally DM me to invite me in for round two!

Thank goodness for competent citizens because certainly our government cannot seem to get their shit together!

Note – I’d also like to add that my first dose vaccine came from India. Ironically, when India was doing so well before this next tragic wave hit them, they kindly helped Canada out with Astra Zeneca from their plants. My heart (what’s left of it) goes out to India for the horrific predicament they are in right now. It’s gut-wrenching to watch those poor people in desperation to save their loved ones. I know Canada and the US are sending them equipment, oxygen and ventilators as they so desperately need for this killer next wave that is unrelenting there. I hope other countries will send along some healthcare workers to help ease their under-staffed situation, the same way so many are helping out each other in so many other countries, including my own.

People are dying everywhere, kindness and compassion are essential in these times everywhere and from everyone. We are all one as the world.

 

©DGKaye2021

 

bitmo Kindness Matters

 

Shopping for One – Life, Love and Loss – #Grief

 

After two weeks of grueling paperwork, phone calls and income tax, and … grieving, I thought perhaps I should run out and pick up a few groceries – few being the operative word. I should have known by the sunny sky I’d spied when I peeked out the window before leaving, the sunshine would be short-lived as it rained down a five minute stunt of chunky snowflakes as soon as I pulled out of the garage. Maybe it wasn’t the right day to venture out into the world in my new singleness.

 

I had zero vegetables left – or chocolates, so that was enough to motivate me to get outside, only my second time out since my husband’s funeral. Still, I felt strange. But I thought it would also be a good idea to just get out. Sure, plenty of times while my husband wasn’t well I’d done the shopping solo, but I was still shopping for the two of us. This time I wasn’t.

I ambled into the supermarket, feeling slightly numb from the combination of half an Ativan and carrying the boulder around as added weight, which feels permanently attached to my heart. I chose what I needed for myself from the produce section and picked up a few red grapes. I stopped myself for a moment in thought. George likes green grapes. I try to explain to him, to no avail, that there are better benefits from eating red grapes – resveratrol, for one. But I’d continue to get him his green grapes, as the extra health factor in the red grapes didn’t excite, and myself the red. Today I only bought the red grapes.

As I ventured up every aisle just looking for a few things, my eyes glanced the many items I’d normally throw in the basket for my husband. Nope, don’t need the almond milk creamer, but thanks again Stupidstore for not having my soy creamer. Again! I grabbed myself a case of fizzy water, and left behind the case of gingerale, which is another staple for George. I picked up my toothpaste, not his.

As I scooted down the refrigerated aisle, I was taken aback when I passed his favorite rice pudding cups. How many years have I bought him those cups? I stood there for a few minutes just staring at the rice pudding, but in actuality, I was staring right through it, far and beyond. Then I went to the chocolate bar and candy aisle – George’s favorite aisle to roam in. I picked up my milk chocolate big bar, and left his dark chocolate one behind.

I bypassed the bread aisle. None required. The same oatmeal box caught my eye as the one I had at home, still almost full, save for that one bowl I tried to feed you again after you ate it the previous day and loved it. But that was that day, every day we’d cross a new challenge.

It was a short shop. I’d had enough. I went to stand in the Covid partroled lineup to cash out. My position in line, directly beside the flower shop. The roses took me back to the roses of two weeks ago, the ones that were placed on your coffin. Let’s go, let’s go, I kept repeating silently within as I could feel another outburst of grief brewing within. I needed to get out of that store. I just couldn’t breathe.

I think it was a bit too early for me to venture back out in the outside world, especially alone. I realized that being locked down in my Covid-free lockdown home is where I feel most comfortable at this moment. There I can be more comfortable in my unacceptance that you’re really gone, like when I’m in the living room, I pretend you’re sleeping. That’s how I’m able to function right now.

I feel the same aching inside every time I open up a cupboard or a fridge door in our home. So many of your favorite foods that I don’t eat remain resting on the shelves. I’ll throw it out someday. But right now I’m just not ready.

 

sad face

 

Triggers are everywhere and in everything. As the well of grief refills itself daily, I learn the simplest of things can set off a tidal wave of tears. Below, I’ll share a poignant passage from Gary Roe’s book – Comfort for the Grieving Spouse’s Heart, which I recently read and reviewed:

 

…My grief is like that. It can make a fool out of me without warning. No way to prepare for it. No way to anticipate it. Every moment, I’m at the mercy of my surroundings and my emotions. ~Gary Roe.

 

©DGKaye2021

Life Love Loss

 

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -2020- Pot Luck – #WritingHabits by D.G. Kaye | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

I found this in my archives, not even sure I reblogged it? But It’s always interesting to look back on plans, then a year later, look where things went – south? Looking at plans, did they come to fruition? And then of course, the dreaded burnout. And then eagle-eye Sally Cronin found it in my archives and shared it at her Smorgasbord Blogs from the Archives Series.

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -2020- Pot Luck – #WritingHabits by D.G. Kaye

 

 

Welcome to the current series of Posts from Your Archives… and I will be picking two posts from the blogs of those participating from the first six months of 2020. If you don’t mind me rifling through your archives… just let me know in the comments or you can find out the full scope: Posts from Your Archives – Pot Luck – 2020

This is the first post by D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies and she shares her observations about her writing habits and how the have changed over the course of her previous six books. I am sure something we can all relate to. This was first posted in January 2020 and just before Debby took a book break.

 

Change in Writing Habits, Book Break the New Book

 

Today I’m talking about how I notice some of my writing habits have changed through the years. When I wrote my first 6 books, I was disciplined differently. I did my writing first thing in the morning right after breakfast – or the day would surely distract me. But as the order of life sometimes changes, so has my writing.

I could write a rough draft in 2-3 months of writing 5 days a week with anywhere from 100 to 2000 words in a session, depending on the inspiration – sometimes the well is empty. After writing time, I’d move to the computer. Writing all my drafts in longhand comes in handy when wanting to stay off the computer to avoid distraction. After checking out blog comments, posts and social media, and although writing for the day was done, I then spent time in between the daily grind of life, reading articles on learning the trade of self- publishing and homing in on the craft of writing.

It’s now well over a year since I put out a new book. Oh sure, I was working on one, but somehow my enthusiasm wasn’t there, and I stopped enjoying the writing. Then life happened – a lot, then came winter vacation escape, and finally, I realized that I just needed a year off from the disciplined mandate of writing a book.

In that time of not writing a book I was still writing. I write 2 monthly columns, blog articles, book reviews, run guest interviews and have been featured as a guest myself on many blogs, and have even ventured into writing poetry more seriously. There’s no shortage of writing in my life, I just wasn’t feeling inspired to write another book without a timeout from the burnout of publishing 6 books in 5 years. Each of those books took up a good 6-8 months of my life, and I realized how swiftly life is passing by, and decided I need to be living a bit more before committing to a new project. So, I learned to accept my welcomed book writing break and learned it was okay to not be writing a book for a while. The only pressure I had was self-imposed, so I finally admitted I don’t have to write a book every day for the rest of my life, and if I’ve lost the interest for a particular project, it’s okay to abandon it. Now that doesn’t mean that all the work I’d put in would go to the delete bin. All it meant that the started manuscript would live in rest in a folder until such time I may get inspired to go back to it.

In that time away from book writing, without the rules of my self-imposed discipline hanging over me, instructing myself to write first thing in the morning, I didn’t always only write in the morning anymore. And I noticed I was developing new writing habits – writing spontaneously as compared to writing by schedule.

In my old writing habits, if the morning had passed and I was into my daily activities, I was done writing till the next morning. If an idea sprouted to mind, I’d simply jot down a sentence with the idea in a notebook to keep for fodder for a future a topic to write about. But now, throughout this past year plus that I haven’t put out a new book, I have found that random ideas have taken up more of my immediate attention—going with the inspiration when it hits. Instead of just making a notation, which would have certainly had a different interpretation than the one I originally had in mind from the magic of the moment, instead of just jotting the thought down and left to meld into the many other fleeting ideas, I’ll immediately pick up a notebook and write what comes to mind about that topic, while it’s fresh in my mind, dropping whatever I’m doing in that moment to take advantage of the moment. Please head over to Sally’s to continue reading.

 

*Note, I think I originally wrote this post in early 2020. Intentions were good, but 2020 happened big time in my life, and still continues. The book was finished and self-edited then left aside again. As soon as I get some semblance of a publishing mojo, the book will be released. Stay tuned!

 

Source: Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -2020- Pot Luck – #WritingHabits by D.G. Kaye | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

 

©DGKaye2021

bitmo live laugh love