Back to the doc’s on Thursday.


Oh,  snap.


Conversations With Joe

So, I’m making Guinness chili tonight. I browned the ground beef, the chorizo (secret ingredient!), onions and garlic. Poured in the tomatoes, the broth, the Guinness (squee!), spices, herbs. Joe got ready for me EVERYTHING I wrote down on the List O’ Stuff To Add. He’s a fantastic sous chef, really.

We get it all simmering away, knowing that it won’t be at its best until the morning. I’m doing flash-tasting on and off…just to check seasoning and everything else.

That’s fine.

About an hour ago, I say to Joe…”hon…come taste this. Do you think there’s something missing?”

Joe: “….it’s really really tasty..do we need more garlic?”

Me: “..hrrrrm…dunno…maybe a little?”

Joe: ” what about more chili powder?”


Me: “………….um……Oh…my….gosh….”

Joe: “what?!”

Me: “Joe…read me the list I gave you….”

(Joe reads off the list I gave him. Which happened NOT to included ANY chili powder. AT ALL)

I have apparently made an incredibly tasty chili…without using chili powder.

You were feeling pretty crappy,   really.           The pain was rough,    and your ankles and calves had been swelling for the past 24 hours.         You weren’t coughing too,   too much – but you were coughing.


I got your meds ready,   gave you a Perc and a Xanax.


Asked you if you wanted to go to the ER – I know the S&S of acute CHF,   and I was scared.          You said no.         So,    we called the nurse’s line.         They said to give you another dose of Lasix.       And so,   we did.


You promised that if things didn’t clear up  by Boxing Day,   we’d go to the ER.


And at 1:20am on Christmas morning….


You had to leave me.


Even now,  darlin’ – I miss you.


RIP,   babe.

Winter cold.

(We’re going to ignore the fact that Christmas is less than a week away)


My head is leaking juice everywhere.


This is neither attractive nor productive.


I shall eat liver-and-onions to make me feel better.



Do you know somebody recently widowed who is about to spend their first holiday season without their spouse?

S/he is already feeling bewildered,  agonized,  lost,  in immense emotional,  physical (yes – grief is a very physical process too) and spiritual pain.        There isn’t much you can do to break through that or push it to one side and to be honest,   that’s a good thing – she is going to have to experience and endure all of those raw feelings in order to heal and move forward.        But what you can do,   is be the friend who isn’t going to bombard her with cliches,  or offer well-intended but not-so-useful help.      You can be the friend who helps in the small but vital ways that make every difference.

So,  a few tips.

Don’t feel bad about telling her (I’m going to use “her” all the way through this,  k?) about your family,    or your plans.       We’re suffering terribly,   yes,   but we also need to know that there IS life going on somewhere.        We need to know that there is a world outside of our devastation – that there is normality at least somewhere.          There’s no need to emphasize the romantic evening you have planned with your spouse,    but encourage her to talk about Christmas traditions.      Talk about yours,  but more importantly – listen to hers.     Encourage her to talk about her late spouse.          And bring plenty of Kleenex.

In the same token of not throwing your perfect marriage at her,   don’t go heads on into complaining about your spouse.     S/he could be the biggest prick on the planet and you could be wishing for divorce papers in your Christmas Stocking – but keep that to yourself.    You see even when we absolute hated our spouse for whatever reason (god really do I have to pick his goddamn socks up off the damn floor AGAIN?!?!??)  – we’d literally give a limb just to be able to complain at them one more time.       We no longer have that option and it’s very easy for us to react with anger and bitterness,  “At least you still HAVE your husband!”.

Instead of asking if there’s anything you can do  –  while this is sweet,  it  leaves your friend just as lost as she was five minutes ago because we can’t even think of what to eat for breakfast let alone think about what we actually might need –   offer something specific.        Tell her that you’ll come over at X time next week and help wrap Christmas gifts for the kids with her.          Or you’d love to take her to lunch at X time – where would she prefer to go?       Give her something definite.          Something to focus on.

Bring her a care package.          Widows run out of everything.      Seriously.      I ran out of toothpaste,    toilet paper,   dish soap…couldn’t find my favourite hair brush,    lost my sneakers.           A notebook or journal and a few pens will also be appreciated,   as will post-it notes (we forget everything too – specially in those first few weeks.     We need to write stuff down!).

Take her to the movies.        Not to distract her so much as…well..ok,    yes,  as something of a distraction.       But more to let her know that she can do things and perhaps even experience a break in the initial grief,    with a friend she can trust.

Above all – let her talk,   and let her cry.         There is no shame in tears,    and this is going to be the worst Christmas of her entire life.

It’s not going to be a Happy Christmas for her.          But you can help it not be a Hellish Christmas.




Today we lost another to cancer.


Elizabeth Edwards – wife of Senator John Edwards – died earlier today at home surrounded by her family.


My heart goes out to her whole family.        Even the dickhead who cheated on her.

Yes,  it’s true.     I do suck.

Can’t quite believe I haven’t updated this in so long.        I suppose between the kids and the usual ‘stuff’,    my preferred method of brain dumping fell by the wayside and that’s frankly a bit pants.

So,   my goals this month:

1.     Journal at least twice a week.

2.    Try to stick with our new boundaries.   (BPD families take note)

3.    Walk more

4.    Try to actually keep past promises and commitments.      At least where feasible.

5.    Keep following doctor’s orders…