Monday, February 18, 2008

Back from Saskatchewan

I am back home safe and sound from the big freeze of the prairies. I don't know if I will ever warm up. My flight was late leaving Regina last night by 2 hours and narrowly able to catch my connecting flight home. But even that was only by the good graces of the pilot who said he would hold the plane. I wonder why it is if a connecting flight is going to be late why on earth pilots don't park right next to
the plane that passengers are going to be getting on. Why on earth part on opposite ends of terminals?

But I am home safe and sound. I did have the same experience at the security clearance at both legs of my trip. I had to be taken aside with my carry on purse to get permission to go through it. They said "something was pinging" but because it was so packed they couldn't get a clear reading of what it was. DUH! I am a female who
needs that much stuff on a 2 1/2 hour flight!! Who knows what I might want to do. Heaven forbid I just have one pocket book to read. I told them fine they could empty it but they had to put everything back exactly the way it had been but of course they didn't. This time coming home they actually swabbed my purse inside and out to check for who knows what.

I got off the plane at 1am in Regina when I first got there and when I got outside the insides of my nostrils stuck together making me have to breathe through my mouth. I told the cab driver that it was very cold out here but he chuckled and informed me they were having a tropical heat wave as it was only -16 without the wind chill factor which was warm compared to the -50 of previous weeks. Remind me again why I am over here??

But I got a couple of hours sleep at the hotel then my youngest brother picked me up in the early hours to take me to the bus depot to continue to my last part. Outside was completely white with hoar frost. I had forgotten what that looked like!It's like walking through clouds. Driving for 4 hours like that was hair raising to say the least. But I finally got to my mom's. She was very happy to see me! We had another hour's drive to get to her place and I knew I did not want to sit for anytime soon.

The temperature kept dropping and winter storms hit. My oldest brother and his family were supposed to come down the following day to visit with me and I thought for sure they would not be able to as the RCMP kept saying everyone stay off the highways but nope not my family :-D. They showed up at one of my other brothers en masse with enough pot luck food to feed a small army! Wait.. we were a small army hehehe.

We had a good visit although way too short. I had spent the better part of the morning and afternoon in ER the second day I got there from an incision that had started bleeding and I was exhausted so we finally went home. I had written my family members in my home town letting them know I was coming and really needed their help in gathering up photos so I could scan them for my book I was writing. My oldest brother had brought one of his scanners for me to use but for some reason it was not compatible with my laptop so on one of my every other day trips back into the city for dressing changes, I picked up a scanner. We spent part of one day with 2 of my dad's brothers and their wives as well as one of my cousins as we poured through boxes of pictures. It was way more then I could have even began to have expected to get. Of course there was a lot of "no that's not so and so it's him/her". I furiously wrote on the backs of as many pics as I could. The next day one of my aunts showed up at mom's with another box full plus a huge package of pics she had copied for me to keep. I was moved beyond words. All together I scanned nearly 400 pictures of my ancestors. There were many many more but no one knew who the people were so I just left those.

Last 3 days I have been going through the photos through the middle of the night labeling them into some sort of order but I have so much more to go through. I had the wonderful experience of meeting with 2 of my cousins that I had not seen since high school and I loved every second of every day. It reminded me how different small town life is. Your family is your priority. You drop everything for your family. I wanted to get something for the 2 that had helped me tremendously there that week so mom and I went to the florist shop. Now in my home town all businesses close for lunch from noon till 1pm. It was almost 1 when we got to the florist but the open sign was there so in we go. After awhile of not being greeted we did our "hellllooo anyone here" kind of thing and nothing. We were there just browsing when I finally found what I wanted. it was almost 1:30 by this time. I was about to just leave the items on the counter with a note saying who I was and that I would be back as I had other errands to run when in walks the owner. Her comment was "oops I guess I forgot to lock the front door again". Small town life. A different way of living.

It was very cold for most of the time I was there. I had bought new boots just for my trip and it was nice to go for walks and here this crunch crunch under my feet. The last weekend home my youngest 2 brothers and their families came to mom's for one last visit. One of them had driven almost 4 hours one way to pick me up to take me back to Regina for my flight back. My brothers didn't care there were travel advisory out. I was there. They were coming to see me. End of story. I have the most beautiful and amazing sister in laws that every woman on earth should have even just one like them. Hugs after hugs after hugs. I got to sit on the floors and watch Happy Feet with my nephews many times over. I got to play catch with Miss Ella and dance with Nicholas. I got to listen to Aidan read me bedtime stories. I got to hug a little Zacharie to pieces to hide my tears when he asked me if I was "still broken".

Everyone kept taking me aside asking how Mom had taken the news, how she was, how I was. We were a houseful for breakfast Sunday morning when I left to come home. It
hadn't occurred to me to really check the calendar when I booked my flight. I was leaving my mom worrying about me on the day that my only sister had died of cancer. Great planning Sally.I am a big journal writer and have been for many many decades. I had found one that had the word INSPIRE on the cover. I got that for mom and left it on her bed just before I left. I wrote inside telling her that she was the strongest woman I knew and that she was my inspiration for my strength. I hope her new journal will give her strength as she goes through this next phase in our lives.

I thought I was fine this whole trip.. till I came down the escalator and saw Keith standing there with this huge bouquet of flowers in his arms. I dropped both of my cases regardless of those behind me and ran into his arms. I knew I was home; that I was safe, that I no longer had to be the strong "I am perfectly fine" type; I knew my knight was there to look after me and look after me he did. As we drove home I told him of my trip. I told him how proud I was of my family, of my brothers and their families. I told him that although we grew up very dysfunctional we were still our best family. That thought will give me great comfort over the next few months as I go through these next trials.

I know I have eluded to things happening lately on my blog but I could not say anything before I had spoken to my mother. I was too worried she would get the news from someone else. I was diagnosed with breast cancer just before Christmas. My brothers and my children knew. They knew the surgery I had to have and the results. But for mom, I knew I had to tell her this face to face. I wished I had planned the date a little better so I was not leaving the day my sister died of cancer.

I have learned that one can face anything as long as they have faith, faith in themselves, faith in prayer, faith in God, hope and most of all as long as they have family around that love them. That I do have. There was no doubt in my mind over the last 9 days that I have the best family. How can I possibly not survive this?

These pictures are of my mom's home on the whole block of Main Street
This picture is of my 2 youngest brothers and their families

Niece Michelle

Niece Raquel with daughter Mia

Brother Richard and sister in laws making dinner preparations. Leanne you REALLY can make a fortune selling your cabbage rolls!

Oldest brother Claude and my mom at Ricahrd and Janet's house

Little Zacharie popping hweelies :)


Anonymous said...

My prayers are with you. I'm glad you got to spend time with your family. Happiness can go a long way toward defeating cancer. Love to you.--Norma P

Sally said...

thanks Norma :)

Carmen said...

Happy you are home safe and sound!