Suzy Snapper
Monday, May 28, 2007
Decisions made
What a rollercoaster couple of weeks, but I'm pleased to say it's finally starting to calm down.

First off, the move. It has been put on the back, back burner for now. There were many reasons for the decision. One being the location - I couldn't get what I was looking for and still remain a reasonable distance from my parents or my commute. In the end, looking at the big picture, I realized it was more important during these winter years with my parents to make the most of the time. I am only a 5 minute drive now from their house, but had I moved it would have increased to 25 minutes. That's a long time when things don't go as planned.

It also felt like every step of the decision of househunting was met with difficulty. Whether it was finding a realtor hungry enough to actually help and not hinder, or the timing, it just didn't seem right. I was told I was a C-Class Client by one just because I refused to sell my house first before looking for a new location. 'You can rent' he says, 'You're single'. That one comment lost him my business.

In the time I was looking, I got my house nearly ready for sale. Lots of clutter gone. Lots of cleaning and tidying. Standing back, I thought to myself, I have a beautiful home. Why would I want to leave it?

To add a few more wrinkles to the mix, my Dad received unfortunate news from the doctor. He has a compressed disc and the subsequent nerve damage does not look repairable. He can't take the medicines that could help because of the heart medications so he must learn to adjust. The left leg is very weak, and he often must use a cane to steady himself. It's not going to get better, and likely he'll find it more difficult in the future. He has really had a tough go of it since last October.

My brother is booked for his double knee replacement on June 18. He's only 49 but his knees are completely gone, from repeated injuries on the job over the years. They chose to do a double, but it's not an easy operation so the summer will be a little challenging for him.

As for me, I got my news back. The good news is that it's not spread. Happy Dance of Joy! The bad news is they must do another procedure at the end of July to get the rest. However, it's a quick thing and knowing what to expect, it's not that big of a deal.

Meanwhile, I know I've been missing updating here for a while now and hopefully that will change. For now, I've been heavily involved with Facebook. What a rush to connect with old friends you likely would never have again. I have been using it as a tool for the reunion committee but also for others. I was thrilled to find my old friends from 12-15 years ago, lost in the melee of my breakup with my ex. Not to mention, old coworkers from my past job where we lost contact after being laid off in a large group and not having chance to properly leave forwarding details. All in all, a wonderful experience.

The reunion itself is going well, albeit a bit slowly. I am a planner but others may not be to the same degree. At the end of the day, it will be a great event and these challenges we're facing now will be temporary.

And lastly, my job. Can I just say I LOVE my new job? I am so motivated, so challenged, so energerized it's a bit scary. I was given a new project to head today, only 7 weeks into the job. They seem to be very happy with my performance, and for the first time in two years, I leave work with the feeling I can't wait to get back there.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Real Estate Update
So I was ready to offer last night and put my house on the market, but there was a catch. In the end, one I couldn't live with.

The townhouse complex I was interested in was 9 units. On the right, my neighbour was the Mom of the family and on the left was the Dad. The kids ran back between the houses several times while we were looking at it.

I had asked for the possibility of a gate for Molly The Wonder Collie. While they didn't deny me, they made it very clear that they were not impressed with the idea. The family wanted easy access to both the parents. Well, they can have that, but not with me there.

So it's back to Square 1. Or maybe Square 2. In any case, beautiful view and decor doesn't make a difference when you can't enjoy your backyard because of your neighbours.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
In The Market
A decision has been made. A big one.

I will be moving soon. I have decided for a variety of reasons it's time to change the residence. So I've been working with a few realtors and hopefully will have some news soon.

It won't be too far away. One of my requirements is that I am still close to the parents so any upcoming health issues won't be too taxing. However, it will be closer to my brothers and friends. There's an area that's half way between the two and that's the area I'm focussing on.

I'm excited and terrified at the same time. I love the idea of having a new home, and being able to decorate it and set it up. But I don't care for the idea of the actual move or the packing. Not to mention the actual stress of the sale.

It's been 7 years since I bought this place. It's been a great run, but it's time for some things to change.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Double Booked
Two funerals on Saturday. A decision to make. I want to be at both...each person was a big part of my life during different eras...but I simply cannot be in two places at once.

Let me tell you about the first person. She was a friend of mine in high school, although I haven't kept in touch with her. Brenda passed away on April 9 after a length illness in Alberta. I didn't know she lived in Alberta, let alone that she was ill. Being part of the reunion committee, I had her on my list of people to contact. I wanted to talk to her again and was very much looking forward to it. I'd sent her an email about 6 weeks ago, and had received a read receipt but no answer.

Brenda and I went to junior and senior high school together. She was in my homeroom classes, and had the locker next to mine for the better part of 5 years. While she moved away in our final year, I had still very much considered her part of our class and hoped she'd consider coming to the reunion. She was always a friendly, happy person whom took great joy in her family. I remember when her niece was born, she was over the moon. The baby had been born premature though, and they were worried about her health but she did well. Thriving and leaving the hospital far sooner than expected.

I did a lot of things I'm not entirely proud of in high school, and one of those things was being fairly introverted. I picked and chose the times I'd be friendly, and I was very excitable in those days. So when Brenda moved away, I didn't keep in contact. I would think of her from time to time though but never did anything about it. That was a lot of the reason I wanted to be part of this reunion committee. Instead of meeting people with the focus of some sort of validation, I am reconnecting as the person I am now - not as I was then. It has been a fantastic experience so far and I've been enjoying meeting up with people in a way I hadn't expected.

When I opened the paper up on the weekend and saw Brenda's obit, I was sad. I wrote an email to her family and had been trying to figure out how I could attend her memorial service this weekend.

Then the phone rang this morning. My Mom's voice said simply 'Diane's gone'. I knew immediately who she meant, although I hadn't seen Diane in the better part of 4 years. Diane died of breast cancer on Monday.

In a time I don't often speak of, I had another life. I was with J for 10 years and while he and I split, one of the biggest voids in my life was all the friends and family I had on 'his' side when we were together.

J and I met when I was 17. We grew up together. We socialized together. His family took me in as their own. Then he and I grew apart and realized in the wedding planning stage that our life together was not meant to be. While I don't have anything to do with him, his mom made certain that I stayed in contact with her. She and his sister were insistent that breaking up with him did not mean breaking up with them. That was 12 years ago now and while I don't see the rest of the family any longer, I do still keep in close contact with his mom (whom I still refer to as my ex-MIL) and his sister. I keep updated on the family through them.

Diane was my ex-MIL's best friend. An amazing lady who raised four children of her own before taking on as many foster children as she could. She was strict and stern - a very no-nonsense lady, but her kids were raised with love. A lot of these foster children she raised were the worst cases, yet today every single one of them is successful and accomplished. Even after her husband and she divorced, she still took in more foster children and adopted more children of her own.

I can remember so many nights in her home, helping her with the babies. One in particular - a severe fetal alcohol syndrome case - could never settle and we would spend hours with that little girl walking up and down the halls. We would do crafts at her home, and she was the one who probably got me most into scrapbooking and pushed me into photography.

After J and I broke up, I didn't see Diane nearly as much as I used to. This is still one of the hardest things - losing the extended family and friends I had then. I would catch up with her in the mall now and then, or hear from ex-MIL how she was.

Three years ago, she found that lump we all fear. She battled fiercely, as fiercely as she had for the welfare of her children but in the end it wasn't enough. On Monday, she couldn't hold on any longer and passed away.

Her father - a crusty old man who would regail us with stories of firefighting and investigation from his nearly 50 years of experience - passed away just 3 days previous. He had said over and over that he couldn't outlive his daughter, and in the end he didn't. He was there to greet her in whatever afterworld we will find.

I phoned ex-MIL immediately, surprised at how emotional I got at the sound of her voice. Imagine my surprise when I heard they'd had an informal gathering the night before with the out of town family and my name came up. I was still remembered and still part of the family to them. Even after 12 years, they wanted to know where I was.

So on Saturday, while I'd love to be able to pay my respects to both, I will be going to Diane's memorial. It will not be easy. It's a part of my life that, while has it's wonderful memories, also has more than it's share of negative ones. I try and shut those out, but the fact remains that it was a very difficult time in my life. I will be seeing people whom know me as that person and not as the person I am now. However, for Diane, I will put that aside and I will be there for her and her family.

Vancouver, British Columbia
A patriotic Canadian full of visions of a better Canada, random thoughts and a lot of hot air. Who am I? A struggling writer and photographer trapped in a corporate buyer's body. Steel shopping by day, and freeflowing prose by night. One day I hope to have the nights become my days, but am intimidated by the sheer amount of people who share my dream. So I read. A lot. I learn. A lot. I push myself. A lot. The world is a small place, and getting smaller every day. I'm proud to have friends in every corner of the earth, and abide by the old adage that there are no strangers, only friends we haven't met yet.
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