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Reply by NatR
18 Oct 2015, 1:01 AM

Dear Xenia 

it it is good to hear from you
what adventures  you have had / and the travel inconveniences are just too much for us older folk - but necessary in this day and age
thankfully you had a laugh and provided comic relief for other travellers 

I also travelled recently to the States - and it wasn't quite as eventful as your trip / but I understand
travel is exhausting and I know just how you felt - me too!!!

glad to  hear you scattered johns ashes where he is close up his family and those passed on
keep treasuring the memories and I am sure  you will do well / you are quite the gal / and pretty good at making lemonade out of lemons!

wishing you a good weekend - hope your weather isn't too cold- here in northern ontario we are getting snow and it's not a happy thing  
i feel the cold now that I am okder
hugs and best wishes to you Xenia and all readers  

the election is happening on  Monday - hope it brings us better attention to elderly and care for those who need it
we do need some changes ;)
ok I am off my soap box now
NatR 😃👍
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Reply by dorms
18 Oct 2015, 10:06 PM

Dear Xenia 

I admire your outlook on all you're going thru. I lost my dear husband just three months ago from Mesothelioma & I often wonder if I'll ever get to the point where I feel like myslf again. I feel so lost at times it hurts. I have great friends & family that live out of town & have gone to visit them & have felt better while I'm there but then I have to come home &  I'm lost again.

So your message is so helpful & I love your sense of humor. You are moving on. I still have a long way to go but hopefully it gets better.

I'm in the process of getting a headstone done for my husbands grave. I've gone with my sister to his gravesite a couple times but thats hard too. Her husbands grave is  just one row back from my husbands. So it does help when you have someone go with you.

Well its really cold here today in Northern Ontario. No snow but I really am not looking forward to winter. Have to go this week & get the snow tires on my van. Thats a new experience for me. My husband always looked after  these kinds of things. I always thought of myself as an independent person but now I'm finding out I'm not so independent. Life does play tricks on us, doesnt it.

Wishing you all the best & hope you enjoy your new home. I know I have to do that in the future & hope it helps to move forward.



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Reply by Xenia
20 Oct 2015, 3:00 AM

Dear Nat and Dorms and all On this message board:

Thank you so very much for your replies.  Just like you, Dorms,  I went through the ups and downs of grieving.  Some days were like the song "Some Days are Diamonds, some days are gold"  Each day was so different, one day I was on top of the world like everything was okay when I was with friends or family and my mind was not on John and his passing.   Then I would be alone and the unbearable hurts would return and I would find myself crying and wanting to understand why, why, even though I knew why John had died.  

Time may be a great healer but each day is so different, today my daughter was showing me how to go on Facebook, a new venture for me, when we went to my nieces facebook there she had put a picture of John and his sister, her mother.  I just about lost it as my tears and crying was so anguished.  I didn't expect to see John on this page.  My daughter just let me cry and helped me with learning Facebook.  

Once again, like you, the unexpected happens and we have to give into our feelings and not feel we have to be in control all the time.  I have had to learn this as I believe I put many feelings aside after John died and I was in a fog, I ask myself was I trying to be brave, etc.  I will never know, however, I know I miss the man I lived with for 59 years and miss him each day but memories help me get by and I know you too will find memories helpful as you go about your days without your husband.  

I cannot assure you it will get better but it will be bearable each day and each day will bring something new to help you get through the day.  Perhaps some momento of your husband, a card, a song will bring him to mind and it hurts but it also helps keep the memory of the good times to help you through this very trying time.

Without the members on CVH I could not have gone on without their help as they understood my ups and downs, my days where I am sure I was close to mania as I wanted to know why and they realized, that I was not special and in my heart I knew why John was gone.  He could no longer live with the pain and all the illness and it was time for him to rest and for me to let him go even though I wanted him alive and be the person I knew for so long.  It was time to let him rest and keep his memory with me and remember the love we shared and honour this and let him go in peace and keep this close to my heart whenever I feel his loss.

I wish you the best and keep posting as we help each other by sharing

Fond regards and hugs to all on this message board, I miss you, Jimmie, Nat, OldBat, etc. etc.

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Reply by AdoptedSon
20 Oct 2015, 6:02 AM

Hello All

It's been awhile since I been around, and for some reason I just can't explain why. I mean I know why, its not a secret, but for some reason I have been in a 'funk' and no amount of chocolate seemed to help.

I suppose it is as a friend told me it would be, a time of coming to terms with what was, what is gone, and as much as I wished it wasn't, it was.  Yet somehow, tonight was different. It was like, well a fog had cleared.

For the first time in a long time, I actually watched the news, saw the Liberals sweep to power and all I could think of, was how I watched Pierre Trudeau sweep to power, with Mom and Dad way back all those decades ago. And now here was his son, becoming Prime Minister, and how much Mom would have loved to see that happen.

Maybe it was his message of hope, or his message that Canadians sought for 'better' not the status quo. I don't know, but for some reason I actually feel like I can accept Mom is gone, that I am not really alone, despite that loss. Life suddenly seems, well worth looking at once again.

I was a political junkie back in the day, but even this election only made me angry, until tonight.

The country had changed, while I cared for Mom, and yet here we are, changing again, but without her, and yet I find some hope in that. I don't need the chocolate, to realize that we are lucky, that we had those moments with those we lost, and that they would only want us to move on, to remember them with thoughts of love, of laughter, of joy, and that being in a 'funk' just isn't how they would want it.

Mom died nearly two years ago now, two years this Nov 26, and when you say it, it sounds like a long time, but honestly it has felt like it was only yesterday. I can still see her smile, smell her perfume, feel her eyes on me, and it makes me sad, makes me feel empty and all alone, but yet tonight, for the first time in all this time, it doesn't feel that way. It does feel hopeful, that there was a purpose that one day, I may come to understand.

I have read the posts, felt the loss so many are facing, and it feels like that is how our lives ar meant to be, a sense of loss, that one day, we hope, will change to one of reunion. I suppose if one doesn't believe in a higher Being, there is another thought that will help them through what seems an endless roar of pain and emptiness.

Truthfully I marvel at the strength so many have posted, and I wish I had such strength, such endurance to face it all, but then I realize, in some ways, I had that strength too. Tonight, I realize that tomorrow is possible, that it won't have to be like yesterday. Tomorrow might be filled with more endless tears, but maybe they will be tears of joy too.  After all, for 60 years I was loved, cherished, and held, all for these days.

Maybe that is their legacy, and maybe it will be mine too. That those I meet, will remember me with fondness, with humour. I don't know, but I do know that sitting and being filled with self pity, with fear, isn't gonna cut it.  Maybe I need a sign or something, and maybe this was it, or maybe it is just the superstition in me, the wanting to believe in the mystical wonder of life, but whatever it is, I hope it holds for longer than a brief time.

We all cope in our own ways, and I am amazed at how much so many here have had to deal with, and sit in awe at all your strength in just getting out of bed each day. You all have had to deal with far more than I have, yet you all have such courage, such faith, such humour in the face of adversity, that it is rather inspiring. Maybe in some sense, that is what our new Prime Minister alluded to when he said it was US who made the difference, not him.

You know, it is nice to suddenly feel hopeful again, even if it only lasts the night, it is a feeling that I think I can hold onto.  Course I may have to bolster it with a nice piece of fudge or some super slice of brownie, or even a nice gooey piece of chocolate.

Ah heck, I'll have all three, what the heck, you only live once, right?  or did I miss the memo, again. LOL

This really is a good place, and thank you all for your sharing of your stories. It does make a real difference, least it has to me.

Thank you
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Reply by Xenia
25 Oct 2015, 3:40 PM

Good Morning All:

So much good advice and understanding on CVH and all have helped me.  I went back to a number of pages and was glad I did so as this week has been a very trying one right until yesterday, Saturday.  

My good friend, Doris, who helped me when I had the knee injury lost her 61 year old son to a heart attack.  We lose our partners, husbands, parents, etc but the hardest seems to be a parent losing a child regardless of age.  Attended the Celebration of life, seems all the truck drivers on the West Coast attended as Doug had a truck driving business and it appears they care very much for each other.  

Yesterday, my oldest brother Dusty, 93 years of age passed away.  The youngest brother Stephen passed away at 67 a month ago and the dynasty of 9 brothers have passed and our family of 14 has the 3 sisters remaining, myself and two other sisters to carry on.  Two other children passed shortly after birth.
As much as I understand life and it's changes it still rattles one when you look at your immediate family passing and so few remain behind.  The children of these brothers will carry on but once again with Canada such a large country will they continue the get togethers we had or as life does slowly slip away as just a memory.  

I do not dwell on that part but carry on and make the best of what I have and am looking to live the best I can, do what I can, carry on with my advocacy work, even though I wonder if it pays off, but not to be detered I will write the new goverment and see if they will carry out their election promises.

My friend, Doris, is coming over this afternoon as well as my daughter and another friends so I will sign off for now and carry on with all the help I get from rereaading the good advice and such on the former pages.

Hugs to all.

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Reply by NatR
25 Oct 2015, 3:54 PM

Dear Xenia

my condolences to you - life is hard when we lose younger people - children, friends - those who are taken too soon

you are a warm and wonderful person and I know your heart breaks with each loss

it is challenging to go in when so many losses happen in a short time - but I know you will find comfort with your family and friends

sending you a warm hug from my corner of Canada to yours!
best wishes
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Reply by Jimmie
26 Oct 2015, 10:52 AM

Dear Xenia:

I am saddened to learn of your latest losses.  My mom was the last surviving member of her own family.  People slip away.  Lifetimes of memories fade, connections, as you suggest, once strong and significant - loosen, perhaps - in time - dissolve. I wonder now (I was too "busy" then) what Mom was thinking through all those years of holding so many lives awake within her until she too was gone. It is strange, this coming and going, and becomes even more so, at least for me, the older I get.

I admire you deeply, Xenia and echo NatR's condolances.  You are a remarkable individual, a treasure for your family and friends, as well as for me. Hold fast. 



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Reply by Xenia
06 Nov 2015, 12:00 AM

Good Afternoon All:

Greetings from a very wet coast.  A good day to settle in and read a book and reminise and miss all of my friends on Who Advocates for me and CVH

I have been clearing up many things regarding the selling of our home, still think of my home as ours, checking out all the items I thought I needed for my new home and lo and behold I really do not need them.  Final bills come in from hydro, telephone, etc.  addressed to John now changed to my name.  Brings back so many memories and in one of the books I was reading I read something touching about death that I felt I needed to share it to CVH friends.

The book I was reading - something light..Southampton Row by Anne Perry.  There are two persons speaking about a death 13 years prior. A death of a son.

Ange flashed in Narraway's eyes, then pain.  " If you had anyone, Pitt, you would know that the hurt doesn't go away.  People learn to live with it, to hide it, most of the time: but you never know what is going to wake it again, and suddenly, for a space, it is out of control.  "I've seen it many times, Who know what it was?  The sight of ayoung man whose face reminded him of his son?  Another man who has the grandcildren, he doesn't.  An old tune...anything.  The dead don't go away, they just fall silent for a while."

How true this has been for me, learning to hide the pain, learning how to pick up a picture and see John in it with his family or his sister and such.  Learning that this November 20, we will be getting together to celebrate Thanksgiving as we let it go by as we had been in Windsor and this will be the first year we celebrate John's birthday on November 20th.  Life does send us curve balls and like the quote above stated:  "The dead don't go away, they just fall silent for awhile."

I have been busy doing odds and ends for the Legion, the Poppy fund always takes time, getting the boxes together, some of the women deliver them to the stores, other spend hours at Walmart and grocery stores volunteering in the rain...thank goodness there are over hangs for protection and some stores have lobbies so they can stand there.

I am learning to live alone, live alone in an Independent Living residence is an oxymoron, so many here and so many lonely women, so many who have been caregivers and now are alone.  I never cease to look at these women who cared for their loved one and carry on.  We do have a number of gentlemen who care for their wives here and it is so heartening to see them, caring, wheeling them into dinner, doing the wash, taking them to get their hair done.  

I think of yhou Jim and how you care for your wife, Sarah and how lucky she is to have you as caring husband, partner and love.  I also think of you and your caring for your grandchild and your daughter and their family.  You too have the heart of gold which we often overlook as caregiving  has been so much identified as a women's place.

Nat how are you doing since you came home from your holiday in the states,  Old bat where are you?  Ian you are a treasusre and Katherine I do send you hugs as youhave been a supportive backbone for so many of us and all we can do is offer you our support and continue to support each other and knowing we all care for each other even if we are not on line as often as we like to be.

It is getting on to 4:00 p;m, I need to get ready for dinner,  Meet the ladies for the 4:45 sitting and tonite they have Hymn sing, just might go out and see what this is about.  Trying to get to all the activities and learn how the residence functions.

All for now, Hugs to you all.

With fondest regards.

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Reply by oldbat
06 Nov 2015, 3:28 AM

Hi Xenia et al,
Sorry Xenia, not quite sure how to answer your question.  Where am I?  Wish I knew.  It has been an incredibly difficult year, and doesn't appear to be getting any better.  Starting to feel like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, except she at least landed somewhere.  all I do is keep falling and falling and falling.

Everythinng these days is a fight.  Trying to get Karl off his current floor and on to one where there are at least a few people he can talk to.  Since his only friend there vanished into dementia, he has retreated to the point where his hard-won language skills have deserted him.  He's been hiding in his room for the better part of the year.  Doesn't want to get involved with any new denizens because, I believe, he's so scared they'll vanish too - either into death or the living equivalent.  He used to be the president of the Residents' Council.  Resigned from that this year.  Doesn't go to any of the outings arranged by the home. when he used to go to all of them. I know that if I said I'd go, he would, but it's not always possible for me.  Between living his life, along with whatever I can cobble together of my own, and my increasing physical difficulties, just getting around is a problem.  The non-diabetic peripheral neuropathy in my feet and legs has started to race ever upward.  Past my knees now and God knows where it will end.  So between that and his very large, inoperable, diagnosed-this-year abdominal aortic aneurysm, we're definitely in the wars.

Finances are dire.  He's needed a new wheel chair recently.  And the company that provided it screwed up so badly that I've been told this new on should be replaced.  The government paid for 75% of this one, but won't pay for another, and I can't afford to spend close to $10,000 to buy one.  I took him to the Seating Clinic at a very good hospital yesterday.  The physio who assessed him, and did an excellent job - its going to speak to the company in question, but warned me not too get too hopeful.  They were so appalling that I actually cancelled the original deposit I'd given them.  The president called me and promised to make good - he lied.  But I'd already sent a replacement cheque.

Karl has also needed new glasses, and so did I.  Two pairs each - problem vision for both of us.  Extensive dental work for both of us, too. 

It really is hard to keep fighting like this.  I can't and don't let him know how down I am, but doing everything totally alone, for us both, is depressing the hell out of me.  I can't imagine ever feeling happy again.  I'd settle for a  modicum of contentment.  Not sure where that's going to come from though.  

I do have a few friends, but they're fighting their own battles.  One of them is actually suicidal.

The one piece of good news; REALLY, REALLY, REALLY GOOD news is that Harperman is gone.  Do I think all our future days will be sunny, as Justin would love us to believe, hell no.  But at least we can restore our in international reputation, put our house in order and no longer buckle under the politics of a small, mean, vicious and vindictive mind. 

I can't apologize for this lugubrious post. But did feel I owed everyone an explanation.  I do follow all your posts on all the boards, and feel deeply for everything you're going through.  Am lost in admiration for people like you Xenia, and you Jimmie, and you Kath, who have been and are still being tested to the max.  You  are my role models.  I aspire to exhibit, if only in part, your extreme grace under pressure. 

And for all of you, every one of you enduring your own baptism of fire, my thoughts and prayers are with you.


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Reply by Jimmie
06 Nov 2015, 5:07 PM

Dear Oldbat and Xenia:

" If you had anyone, Pitt, you would know that the hurt doesn't go away.  People learn to live with it, to hide it, most of the time: but you never know what is going to wake it again, and suddenly, for a space, it is out of control". 

"It really is hard to keep fighting like this.  I can't and don't let him know how down I am, but doing everything totally alone, for us both, is depressing the hell out of me.  I can't imagine ever feeling happy again.  I'd settle for a  modicum of contentment.  Not sure where that's going to come from though."

I don't know what to say in the face of such suffering and exhaustion.  It is such a grinding, corrosive struggle for you Oldbat, and such a painfully lonely one for you, Xenia. God almighty, it can be so difficult to get through the length of a day.

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