Today was my last day at work, and I'm okay with that

Today marks a weird spot on the calendar for me. It’s one of those landmarks that really doesn’t mean anything, other than to illustrate the weirdness of time and how we feel it.

As of today, my son Gordon has been without his mother longer than he was with her. The length of time Amanda has been gone is now longer than the length of time we were a family of three. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long, but that dangblasted calendar tells me it’s almost three years. I have not said a word about it to G, but tonight, for the first time in a long time, he pulled out the Missing Mummy book for bedtime.

Today was my last day in broadcasting for a while, as far as I can tell.

I spent the past five years as Program Director at Newstalk 1290 CJBK in London, Ontario. And in recent years, I was also the noon-hour show host, afternoon news anchor, a commercial voice guy, TV news promo voice guy, and more.

Also in the past five years, I’ve bought a house, endured renovation mayhem, supported my wife through terminal cancer, lost my wife to cancer, raised the most awesome little boy ever so far, crashed a car, sold a car, bought a car, and hey I have a girlfriend now, too. (Yeah, we’re happy and it’s pretty awesome.)

Basically, I’ve been going non-stop since little dude was born. The sloth version of non-stop, admittedly, but non-stop.

My health requires attention. Wow, that’s the most passive way I could’ve written that, isn’t it?

I must pay attention to my health. That’s better. I’m fatter than ever, my cholesterol sucks, I’m prediabetic, my shoulders and knees feel like I was an extreme athlete at one point and I am certain I never was, and I was dangerously tired a lot of the time.

I’ve been on CPAP therapy for about a month and a half now, and it’s obviously helping some. But I need to be eating better and exercising. And I’ve been unable or too unwise to make time to do that. So I’m making time to do that.

I count my official start in broadcasting as early 1994, when I started at 680 News in Toronto. So that makes a nice round 25 years. I could, I suppose, also include five years of tremendously educational volunteer work at Rogers Cable 10 in Newmarket and call it 30, but 25 is enough of a landmark.

Five years of dramatic change in my personal and professional life can fly by like a flash of lightning in the hot summer sky, so I’m not going to pump up my service time to make a point.

I’m not sure what the point is, other than that I assure you this is not a rash move, a sudden reaction, an uncalculated risk, or a brilliantly devised strategy. It’s kind of open-ended by design.

I’ve been listening to the audiobook version of Neil Peart’s Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road, which chronicles the former Rush drummer’s grief-fueled motorcycle journey following the death of his daughter in a car wreck and his wife from cancer.

The process he went through is inspiring me.

I am also buoyed by the successes of some friends and colleagues who also left the industry they once felt would be their lifelong dancing partner. I’m going to be drawing on their wisdom, and the wisdom of many more people I’ve yet to meet, and hopefully some folks I haven’t seen in too long.

I’m not looking for work right now. I’m going to spend the summer following some ideas I have for personal development and pursuing wisdom in a sector I’m imagining starting a business in. If it all sounds very fuzzy, that’s fine. I’ll be bringing it into focus, all in good time.

My thanks go out to the talented, passionate, hard-working people at CJBK and the many people throughout Bell Media who make the station work. It’s been my privilege to lead and serve for the past five years. I learned a lot. I tried hard. I wish everyone there great success. You were nothing but kind to me and I hope I was good to you, too. And, thanks to the listeners, even the ones who thought every thing I did was the Worst Thing Ever.

That’s about all I’ve got right now. I’m sure as soon as I click Publish, I’ll think of six more things I was intending to write about. But there’s always more to write about. That’s what makes life so exciting, isn’t it?



A certain measure of innocence

Willing to appear naive
A certain degree of imagination
A measure of make-believe
A certain degree of surrender
To the forces of light and heat
A shot of satisfaction
In a willingness to risk defeat
Celebrate the moment
As it turns into one more
Another chance at victory
Another chance to score

The measure of the moment
Is a difference of degree
Just one little victory 
A spirit breaking free
One little victory
The greatest act can be
One little victory
A certain amount of resistance 
To the forces of life and love
A certain measure of tolerance
A willingness to rise above


A request, as we reach two years

Wow, long time no write.

I didn't enjoy this past winter. I was certainly in a long slump. Things were very challenging at work. Gordon was awesome, as always, but I was just in a sustained funk from last summer on. And I'm not sure I'm all the way out of it yet. I'm still largely in quiet hermit mode, but have been making progress at resuming social contact. Little dude and I have a very busy summer that will go by in a flash.

This Thursday will mark two years since Amanda died. I still replay the events of that night in my head almost every day. I'd like to not. Sometimes it feels like forever ago, but sometimes I'm right there all over again.

Hey, can I ask for your help with something?

Two years ago, so many wonderful people told me that if there was anything they could do to help .... Well, I don't ask often. And I should've asked more. And I should ask more even now. I'm still not comfortable asking. But I'm asking for this.

I put out a video and another call to action last year, asking people who knew Amanda to record a little video that I can use in a larger biographical video for Gordon. It's been two years now, and his memories of her continue to fade, as do mine, I'm sure. Probably for you, too. My intention was to capture peoples' memories while they were still fresh. I think I mentioned such a thing at her memorial service?



Can you guess how many videos I've received since that call to action on Facebook?

None.

I was hoping to have something reasonably complete to give to Gordon this Christmas. As it stands now, I have very little to include. Just what I've gathered and shot myself, and one submission from the very first time I asked. (Thanks, Chris!)

Please, if you can, make something. I can help.

Here's the #mommydoc main web page, with notes on how to shoot, what to shoot, how to send it in, and more.

For everyone wondering, Gordon is doing great. He turned five. He's reading. He's doing math. He's still topping the growth charts. He did great in school. And he's still an all-around wonderful kid.

Thanks to everyone who still checks in here from time to time.

Meh. Extended Meh.

I haven't posted here in quite a while. There are a few things I haven't done in quite a while. For a while, I've been kind of meh.

In late August, Gordon and I went for the long-awaited trip to Nova Scotia. It was an epic journey, three years in the making. We visited places he'd only heard about. We spent time with friends he hadn't seen in more than a year. We took Amanda's ashes back to the ocean as she requested.

Gordon leaping rocks at Peggys Cove, NS. Click to embiggen.

We were there for a week and were on the move almost every day. We put 1000 km on the rental car in between flying there and flying back.

It was excellent, but it was also exhausting. And I found myself different in the weeks after.

Before, I was going out. I was being social. I was busy and optimistic.

After, I seemed to drop contact with almost everyone. I thought I was just tired, then I thought I'd shifted into some different gear of creativity or contemplation. But the months have worn on and I'm still not quite back to where I was. I'm meh.

But it's not a deep, dark, miserable meh. It's just a little too alone and overwhelming for my liking. I'm working on it. I haven't been 100% unproductive -- stuff is still getting done. Gordon started school in the fall, for example, and has been doing great. I'm still a passable success at grown-up living, but I know I'm not doing an A+ job in some areas.

I just wanted to make a little appearance on my own blog and say Gordon's doing great, and I'm kind of meh.

I've also been working on another project. I hope to reveal this in the coming days. It will be a call to action to people who knew Amanda. Stay tuned.

Hard to believe it's been a year - but it has

One year ago today, we lost Amanda.

Time plays tricks on all of us. We can think "that was so long ago" at the same time as "it feels like yesterday." I run into this all the time with Amanda's death.

Yes, it feels like just yesterday, or last night, or later today, that Amanda collapsed in the kitchen and died after that long, brutal battle with ovarian cancer. But every day has ticked by at a pace like any other, and it's been a whole year of those days, with incremental and sometimes revolutionary change.

As I move about our home, it's hard to fathom that she's been gone a whole year.

Amanda's garden awakens, early Spring 2017.
Many of the decorative items she carefully arranged throughout the house are in the exact same place as the last time she touched them. She had the vision, not me, so I've been reluctant to disturb her decisions on what looks good and works.

In other places, I'm reminded that it's been at least a year since something's been in place. Like the fully-stocked baking pantry. A big jar of spelt flour in there HAS to be at least a year old, because I don't even know what it's for. I've been gradually throwing out food items, now that I'm easily reminded that they're really that old.

As much as I've tried to tidy up the house and make it mine and Gordon's, there are still oodles of things that are exactly as she left them.

Her garden gloves and trowel have been hanging from a hook just inside the back door as though she's going to go right out and plant something. Her coffee mugs are still plentiful in the cupboard. Her electric toothbrush is still in the bathroom drawer. The July 2016 calendar she made is still on the refrigerator door. There's a great big Mike's Hard Cranberry Lemonade on the top shelf of the fridge waiting for her to drink with friends. Just recently I decided to throw out a bottle of water in the fridge that still had the label on it from when hospital staff would stash them in the fridge at the nurse's station.


Meantime, I just sold the RAV4 she had so many adventures in, from bringing Gordon home from the hospital the first time, to traveling across the country to move from Halifax to London, responding to nerve-wracking child welfare investigations in Nova Scotia, or going on adventures with friends. The car became a liability and I've moved on to a new one.

It was a year ago that I had to go into Gordon's bedroom and tell him that mommy died. He and I have done a lot of processing and remembering since then, and I know we're not done. We may never be. Gordon and I went to a parents-and-kids grief group in the spring. I can't say it did a whole lot, but it was an anchorpoint for a lot of discussion at home. He remembers more about that night than I thought. And he has a million questions. I've tried to answer them honestly.

He's a different boy. The day after she died, we went for a haircut. I have the "before" photo and see Amanda's moppy-haired little boy. Ever since then, he's grown up a whole lot. He's so amazing that I can't even write the words to explain it. He's smart, kind, loving, curious, and all the things Amanda wanted so badly for him to be. She wanted to survive long enough to walk him to his first day of Junior Kindergarten this fall. I'll be doing that instead.

Our latest haircut. He's grown so much.
I'm never sure how much he remembers his mom from actual memories. I talk about her every day. Too much, probably. But I want to keep the memories he has alive, and curate the partial memories he has, to build a loving, real memory of his mother. Not that she's being made out to be a perfect saint. I was telling him about the reason I close the living room curtains every night -- because she told me I had to. He paused, thought, and said "Mommy was bossy sometimes." Yes, she was. That's just part of who she was.

As for me, I've been mostly okay. As you've seen here over the months, I'm committed to moving forward even when I don't know where I'm headed or whether my head's on straight. I'm at a point in my personal life where I'm mostly making it up as I go along -- and I'm ok with that. I'm feeling a clash between "older/wiser/smarter" and "I have no idea what I'm doing" -- and that's kind of fun.

I did have an unexpected grief attack yesterday. I've been continuing to declutter and tidy up, and happened upon what looks like a bag of stuff Amanda picked up from a gift shop or antique store on one of her adventures. Some of it was an easy decision to donate to Goodwill. But I found a "hopes and dreams" jar with a cork lid. And I somehow remembered it being intended for Gordon. But I couldn't remember exactly what for, or how it worked. I took it upstairs and put it on a shelf above Gordon's bed, somehow thinking that his mom wanted him to have a place to keep his hopes and dreams safe. One little sign of Amanda thinking about his future; a future she can't be here for. And then I just lost it, wailing and unable to settle for a few minutes. I don't have a lot of those moments any more, so it surprised me.

Amanda's wishes for Gordon still influence how I parent him. If she could give me a review, I'm sure it'd be full of nitpicky complaints, but she'd be proud without saying so. Gordon is going to soccer every weekend -- she wanted him in. He's been enrolled in Kindermusik. He has friends at daycare. He swims. He's close with family. He has manners. He wears decent-looking clothes. I don't have her wisdom on call any more, which is a real pain when it comes to things that were "her job" like buying him cool clothes, remembering relatives' names and birthdays, coming up with meal ideas .... but I learned a lot from her and try to use it. She's in my head and in my soul and I like to think I'm a better person for it.

I'm trying to be a good dad by living my life and attempting to be happy. I'll say that I've begun dating. After sharing my life in public in horrifying detail for so many years, I'm going to exercise my right to have a little privacy in this regard. I don't want to make dating decisions based on how it would play out on the blog. Thank you.

Gordon and I are still hoping to trek to Halifax in August, and still hoping to record some kind of video memory when there. I hope to see some people and places that bring back that feeling of love and peace, and return some of Amanda's remains to the ocean in accordance with her wishes.

Being completely honest, I still struggle with Amanda's memory every day. I'm still processing, even a year later. Obviously I loved her a lot. But even aside from the cancer struggle, things were complicated. I have conflicting feelings that have yet to reconcile into a place of calmness and peace. That's stuff for me to work on, over time. Time keeps on ticking. Time, by itself, heals nothing.

For everyone who's remembering Amanda today, thank you. So am I. We've all been through an interesting year. I can't pretend to understand your journey, and I can only offer a tiny slice of insight into mine. But I'll say that I'm optimistic and even excited for the future. She'll always be a part of me.

Thank you to all the family and friends who've been such a help so far. I still need you. I'm still that mostly-hermit guy who takes too long to say yes to plans, and is embarrassingly lousy at being the one to reach out. But I still need you. I'm functional but still not whole. Everyone's got their own lives to live, and I know I don't always make it easy to stay close, but you have to know I really appreciate all the help that Gordon and I have been given. Love you.

Gordon turns four and has questions

Gordon wanted to know where mommy went.

Not what happened to her body, but where SHE went.

We celebrated his fourth birthday this weekend with three gatherings. One at our house with his little friends. One at nana and grampa's house. One in Stratford with the Simpson clan.

Four years of birthday parties

The big party for the kids was a success. I'd never planned such an event. Thank goodness for the Internet, where I found a Martha Stewart article that laid out the basics. And thank goodness for Party City, which had a ton of Transformers party stuff ready to buy. I wasn't feeling well, but managed to pull it off. Thanks to sister Shannon and SIL Amy for being the Designated Adults who helped in wrangling and last-minute logistics. G thought the whole event was kind of loud, but he really enjoyed it. And I feel like a winner for making it happen -- some of the other parents even chimed in that they now know what goes into a kid's party, since they were as clueless as me! Great!

Great time at nana's, too, with corn chip casserole, family, and G got a bike (!!) to enjoy this summer!

Sunday, we made an attempt to catch the Swan Parade in Stratford, but were unable to find parking and missed the whole thing. I was still feeling rotten. But, we had a fine time at granny and papa's. Well, aside from when he started coughing on his own saliva and ended up barfing a little. I caught it in my hand and ushered him from the carpet to the tile. Gross. But I prevented a spill. Years of having cats have served me well.

G fell asleep on the drive home. It was a long, busy weekend for him. Me too. When we got home, I brought out his present from me: Buzz Lightyear. He watches one of the Toy Story movies about three times a week, so he was very excited. He loves ALL the gifts he got. He knows he's a very lucky boy.

But at bedtime, things got a little weird. We watched a show and read a story, as usual. Brushed teeth. Then it came time for me to tell him an improvised story.

He asked me to cradle him like a baby and rock him. The story he wanted was: how mommy died.

He wanted details. He asked specific questions. Questions he never specifically asked before, about details I never shared before.

What exactly happened? What killed her? What did she look like dead? Were her eyes open? Did she turn brown? Did all of her blood come out? Where did they take her body? What happened to it? Why didn't you tell me she was going to die? I wish you had. When exactly did she die? How did you know?

And where did she go? Not her body -- he understands that some people are buried underground and in her case, she was cremated (I dumbed it down). He thinks it's mean to do that to someone, so I'll need to revisit that. But where did *she* go? Mommy, the person, not mommy, the body?

I wasn't sure how to answer. Someone at daycare recently told him she's always there, that she's "up there." Now Gordon thinks mommy is in the drop ceiling at daycare. Not cool.

I didn't have a great answer for him. I said, "Gordon, when you turn off the light, where does the light go?" Nowhere, he says, it just turns off. "And when you shut off the TV, where does the TV show go?" Nowhere, he says. It just stops. I left it there.

There's a program in London called PATCH -- Parents And Their Children Healing -- offered through the Good Grief Resource Centre. I've known about it for a while, but Gordon seemed to be handling things very well, so didn't connect with them. But I asked him during our conversation if he'd like to meet with people whose job it is to talk to kids about people dying. He was all for it. So, we'll explore that.

I shouldn't be surprised that he came out with all of this all of a sudden. He's been making slight allusions to death and dying lately, and has been close to tears from time to time when talking about mommy. He's even used it to try to manipulate me at bedtime, "crying" about wanting mommy, then telling me what would cheer him up would be to play a while longer. Not nice.

But really, it's been on my mind, too.

His fourth birthday is also the fourth anniversary of Amanda's cancer being discovered. Four years, in life, is not that long. But it's been a roller-coaster ride through hell. It's been long and short. It's been an endurance challenge and a joy. It's been the greatest and worst times of my life. And I'm sure he notices her absence.

His first birthday was in Halifax with friends and family with the famous cake-smash. His second was in London with another of mommy's banana cakes. His third, last year, was cupcakes in hospital with mommy and a trip to the indoor playground with me. This year, mommy's not here. He's getting enough perspective to look back and see what's changed.

Sometimes he's such a sophisticated little dude!

Me, I'm starting to realize how awful things were. I think this'll be worth a whole separate post, but I'm having short peeks of clarity where I can look back at the past four years and see how horrifically bad some of the times were. In the moment, it was about just going on. It's cancer? Gotta keep going. Treatment is hard? Gotta keep going. Cancer's back? Gotta keep going. Moving? Keep going. Amanda's cut wide open and has feces leaking into her insides and being sucked through the surgical wound with a vacuum pump? Gotta keep going. She died? Gotta keep going.

How .... .......... horrible. I'm starting to wonder how much of the positivity and bravery that people have complimented me on throughout this ordeal was a tunnel-vision focus on survival and making life decent for my little boy. How much was I able to compartmentalize and shield myself from the unthinkable things I had to face each day?

If I was somehow able to seal it all off to prevent my brain and soul from shattering from the sadness and horror of it, well, I think the seal is starting to crack. I hope it drips out slowly and not in a deluge. Again, I think I'll come back to this in future.

For now, back to the positives: Gordon is four now. He's amazing. He's a wonderful person. I'm proud to be his dad. I'm privileged to share my life with him and his with me. I love him so much. And I know I need to take better care of me so I can take the best care of him.

Chugging along through a slump

Gosh, I haven't posted since before Christmas.

I got through Christmas. I put on a good Christmas for Gordon. Maybe a great Christmas. But I also got a nasty cold and came out of the holidays in a funk.

As you've seen here on the blog, I was full of HEY, LIFE! and WOW, OPPORTUNITY! and BLANK CANVAS! sentiments for months. But then I just fell flat and seemed to lose interest in everything. Social life, self-care, home improvement, good food, personal finance, hobbies. It just all went plop and I didn't really dig doing anything any more. Thank goodness for friends and family asking me to come out and do stuff.

Now, I'm not one to shirk responsibilities when others depend on me, so I'm lucky that others depend on me. Business has been picking up at work, so that's good. And Gordon is my inspiration to keep things interesting.

We got out and about to some fun stuff, including an overnight road trip to Hamilton to see Paw Patrol Live.


Something weird happened at that show. The performance began, and soon they got to the big theme song, with all the pups on stage singing the Paw Patrol song.

And I found I was crying.

WTF? Crying because it was beautiful that I was in a theatre beside my little boy, blowing his mind with a live stage show? Crying because his mommy should've been there too? Crying because I had sadness bottled up and pushed down? Crying because I was so bloody tired? I don't know. It was weird.

I also went to Toronto to see comedian Louis CK with Michael Hainsworth. What an amazing performer. He's just so good.

And, some crappy stuff happened.

One day at work, a colleague was so funny that I doubled over laughing and slammed my head into the sharp corner of a desk. Same day, Gordon got bonked in the head by a careless preschooler with a shovel.


Another day, coming back from an outing with G to the London Children's Museum, I crashed our car. Not a big collision, but it disabled the front left wheel. Repairs would cost more than the car was worth, so I donated it to a local charity. Our other vehicle also needs more work than it's worth, so we'll be car shopping.

I've had other ups and downs. Some more bloody injuries -- slicing a piece of my thumb off while unboxing a Christmas present for G, gashing my shin open on some glass in the basement. Wins include attending a Big Wreck concert with a friend, after having seen the band several times with Amanda. She would've loved it -- singer Ian Thornley's voice was the best I've ever heard. And I build a brand-new PC for video editing. This past weekend, I took G to Super Hero Day at a local mall and showed him that even if what you love is dressing up as Spider-Bat-Man, there's a whole bunch of people out there who also like what you like. Life lessons.

Still, it feels like I'm treading water.

Time continues to pass since Amanda died. I think it was last month that the 12th came and went without me realizing it was the month-anniversary. There will be more moments like that where I straddle the line between "this just happened" and "this happened some time ago."

Big things are on the horizon, I know. I've been registering G for junior kindergarten. We need a new roof on the house. A kitchen reno is possible. The yard will need to be cleaned up for spring so Amanda's garden can flourish again. And yeah, I need to buy a car.

I'm back to getting the house tidied up, bit by bit by bit. As much as I put away, gave away, threw away after Amanda died, bits and pieces of our old life are still everywhere, just everywhere. Her electric toothbrush finally went into a drawer this week. But the drawer still has her hair ties and makeup brushes. I'm finding food in the pantry that I know I'll never use. Spelt flour? Nah, not gonna happen. There's a bottle of water in the fridge from her time in the hospital one year ago. Still has the imprint of her hospital card on it.

G has been good but recently opened up about the night Amanda died. He said he knew she was dying when he heard me calling out to her and she wouldn't answer. Then he heard me call 9-1-1 and the police/fire/ambulance arrived. He said he felt sad. Until a few nights ago, we'd never talked about that.

He's confessed to having a hard time remembering mommy. He said he can remember her smile but not much else. I can't have that. So I made him a hardcover book on Shutterfly full of colour photos of the two of them together through the years. I talk to him about things they used to do together. Special things they shared. He will know that she loved him more than anything else in the whole wide world. I won't let him forget.

Tired boy after chocolaty dessert.
So, no great realizations, epiphanies or breakthroughs. Just clomp-clomp-clomping forward into the unknown, trying to pepper the greyness with moments of colour.

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming

It's been five months today since Amanda died.

Grief continues to evolve. In the beginning, I had a mix of relief and bitterness with the sadness. I was very busy handling things. Then I transitioned into a period of expansive optimism. The past month or so, though, I've been feeling kind worn out, and new flavours of sadness have sprung up.

I've still been pretty busy. Some highlights on the up side?

Halloween with Batman Gordon.
Raffi at Centennial Hall.
Sharon & Bram at Aeolian Hall.
First snow meal of the season.
Dudes with fresh haircuts.
And on the work side, ratings results just came in for the radio station, and there are welcome signs of improvement. My bosses have put me on course to improve my management skills, which I'm grateful for -- I was sent away for a two-day class that was very educational. I've been busy as heck at work. I have enough vacation time left to take....well, until the end of the year off. With all that I've been through this year, I've taken nearly no time for myself. I'm so grateful for Gordon's sleepover nights with nana & grampa -- those nights have given me opportunities to feel like a well-rounded, vital human being in ways that being a dad and boss don't.

I've been hit and miss with my time with G. We've been spending too much time watching TV in the basement (at his urging, though I'm the grown-up), but I try to ensure we're doing special things as well.

Still, for all the good times G and I have been having, we're both feeling sad from time to time.

It hit me suddenly as we put up the Christmas tree. Putting up the tree was not the problem. It was when I opened the box of "good" decorations and pulled out the first one.


A set of ceramic mittens that Amanda glazed and put on the tree for our first Christmas together back in Halifax. I started crying. Gordon saw. That set off a week of one or both of us missing mommy. I think Gordon feels like he's starting to lose her memory. I think he's a little angry at her for not being around any more. He wants her to play with him. For a long time, he seemed pretty static about the whole thing, but it to me like seeing me cry over the decorations opened something up for him that he's not sure how to process.

It took more than a week to get back to it, but we finished decorating the tree. Lots more memories there, including decorations Amanda and G made together last year. Decorations commemorating his first Christmas. Others from the years gone by.

I'm carrying on a blend of traditions from our families -- Christmas PJs for him, a big present from Santa, cleaning up the living room before Santa comes, an advent calendar made of little tins on a magnetic board, a gingerbread house, and I will attempt to make the Land Of Nod Cinnamon Buns that made Christmas morning smell so good these past years.



So, is it the weather, having a cold, fatigue, routine, or something else that's caused my enthusiasm to dip? Or maybe I'm actually depressed and handling it well enough that it's not bad enough to interrupt daily functioning too much?

My therapist has put it to me very directly: I need to make some time for myself, or I'm going to burn out and get very sick. I've already had a nasty lung thing for more than a week. I don't want to get sicker than that.

I'm also still feeling a drive to do something creative to help Gordon and family remember his mom. I'm working on one thing that will be revealed at Christmas. I'm considering another project that will involve a trip to Halifax with Gordon, probably in the Spring. And, I'm still hoping some folks will send in their Amanda memories as I requested back in July. So far, I've had one submission.

Oh, what's the title of this post about? Well, Gordon has been enjoying the heck out of Finding Dory and Finding Nemo. They're lovely movies, though the tale of a nervous dad fish who has to raise his headstrong little boy fish after the death of his wife kind of punches me in the feels every time it's on. Dory's parents teach her to just keep swimming ... just keep swimming ... just keep swimming.


Sometimes I don't know where I'm headed or what's in the waters, but I just keep swimming. If that means we have KD and hot dogs for supper once again while I get my feet back under me, that's what we'll do. I want to serve G well and give him the life Amanda and I imagined for him, but I can't always do that every day. When I can't give Gordon an A+ day, I at least try to give him a B with extra credit for love. And just keep swimming.

Thanks, as always, to everyone who's been in my corner. I feel down but not out. Just kind of bleh and more cautious than a couple of months ago. Y'know what? That's okay. The key is not to make "bleh" my new normal.

So, TL;DR: Bleh for now, some boo-hoo, with an eye toward getting back to the recent yay and future woo-hoo.

Today was my last day at work, and I'm okay with that

Today marks a weird spot on the calendar for me. It’s one of those landmarks that really doesn’t mean anything, other than to illustrate the...