Saturday, March 31, 2012

His Voice.

11:15 pm. I have the lights dimmed and sit comfortably upon a couch that's battered and broken and longing for the junkyard. I should have gone to bed, should be wrapped within a comforter thats warm and inviting and instead I watch "Fact or Faked Paranormal Files". I'm not sure what possessed me to watch such a show during my husbands night shift. I know myself better than this and could predict a sleepless night ahead of me; the dark blanketing my mind with it's oppresive presence, every creek and moan a threat that tip toes in the gloom. Despite the prediction of a long a weary night I was focused and amused, entertained by the possibilites of ghosts, ghouls, and Alien visitors. With the ringing of the phone my focus shifted quickly from the horror of the paranormal to the horror of reality. I swallowed hard. I have three children under the age of four; the phone never rings past 9 o clock. I knew immediately something was wrong.

I stood in my kitchen paralyzed, phone within my hand, the call display revealing my husbands cell phone. Would I answer and find his voice or a strangers? Being a wife of a police officer I know too well the consequence of the job. The sleepless nights and worried mornings, the possibility that at anytime during a given shift I could get that call; the one in which death whispers through the line, wicked and hoarse, a chuckle beneath it's strained intonation.

I prayed it would be his voice on the other end of the phone, his voice describing some awful event, his voice murmuring that he was okay.  His voice because anything else would spell out some nightmare I would never be ready to live.

I answered on the fourth ring and his voice answered back. It was trembling and incredulous -my relief was shortlived and promptly obliterated as he described a horror I am still trying to process.

A close friend went through a violent and wicked hell. A nightly visitor, an unexpected attack, a brutal crime worthy of local news headlines.

I lay awake in bed staring into the pitch of night - the fear of the paranormal slinking away sheepish and ashamed - I pray silently to a God I'm not sure even exists for how can something like this happen? How can the oppressive pitch of night - that suffocating dark - birth something more than imagination? How is it that a true and deadly threat tiptoes in the gloom, fierce and unforgiving, clammering eagerly for disaster - for tears?

There are never any answers for the evil that skulks cowardly through so many lives. Nothing that satisifies...

Sometimes...I really hate this world.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Psychopath


I read somewhere that all two year old are psychopaths. They don’t know how to love, they are entirely “me” based, they lie, they don’t feel guilt or remorse, and they commit crimes for no apparent reason. This idea was so foreign to me. My first born child was sweet, empathetic, and completely enthralled with the world around him and the people in it. Never once did I worry that I might find him killing puppies in his teenage years. Oh but my daughter – the middle child – she makes me wonder…

Recently I found Eden sitting atop our sofa, nonchalantly watching a television show, with a crying lump underneath her. Her baby brother had slipped himself under a couch cushion and she had decided this opportunity was too good to pass up. So she sat her 35 lb. frame upon his squirming, hidden body and despite his cries of pain, claustrophobic panic, and probable impending suffocation, she didn’t relent. I freed my youngest son from his makeshift, cushion coffin and promptly put her into a timeout (vowing to myself never to leave her alone with another child again – I’m now pooping with the door wide open). She took her punishment without tears or anger and sat quietly staring off into space with a queer, creepy smile upon her face…

Her acts of random violence and attempts at innocent murder are enough to put my teeth on edge. I just don’t know what to expect out of her.  I obviously can’t trust her, and I could never count on her conscience to steer her in the right moral direction (you know, seeing how she doesn’t have one); so how should one raise a psychopath properly? Is there a formula I’m missing that will turn her from an amoral asshole into a conscientious sweetheart?

Truth be told I’m afraid, nay paranoid, that she may never outgrow her insanity.  Already my youngest child is showing more concern about people and life in general than she is. Why are my boys able to love and appreciate others (me) and she fails so miserably at it? Don’t get me wrong, I love all my kids, I just had this illogical belief they would love me back…

 I had high hopes for my life with a daughter - girly stupid things that just the two of us could do together.  Instead I have a little girl who brutalizes her Barbie’s, uses her dolls as Weapons of Mass Destruction, and would prefer to shop for Transformers… I truly don’t mind that she’s a tomboy…I just wish she could be more like Justin Bieber than Charles Manson.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Endless Chatter


I hear her speaking to me, a voice that’s melodious  and soothing, if only because I’ve listened to her since the day I was born; technically she’s my left hemisphere, my logic. She politely lays out my daily tasks, patiently handles my time, she tells me that happiness is directly correlated to my life’s circumstances and that my past teaches my future, she speaks endlessly; the audio track of my life. Most days I barely notice her incessant chatter, other days her voice penetrates and pierces my placid surface and it’s all I can do not to shout at her to shut up, be quiet, fall silent at least for a moment or two.

She’s the inner critic, my common sense; she’s the voice that insists I never be complacent in life. She recognizes the importance of knowledge and many a night she has kept me up thinking about all sorts of questions she has yet to gain the answer to. I read an endless amount of books; browse Google as though it were the Holy Grail. I watch documentaries and read wide variety of blogs – she insists that perspective and experience means everything. All of it fascinates me. But sometimes it’s too much. Sometimes her voice, her demands, harms my fragile right hemisphere. The pictures she paints isn’t always rosy, sometimes the rushed and fevered colors are too stark and depressing, sometimes it brings tears to my eyes and I am left wondering why…just why.

She has haunted me these past few months. Put me on a mission, urged me to seek knowledge about the possibility of cancer. Through my studying I have learned the terminology, grasped the medical jargon, and understood the treatments. I deny my knowledge to doctors and radiologists, my surgeon and technologists – they like it better this way. Too much knowledge from their patients is often seen as confrontational and irritating. So I pretend not to know what to expect, not to understand their medical rhetoric. I feign ignorance so as not to put others on edge. That’s not to say I’m afraid to speak out. I’m not. I will advocate for myself when I feel that their actions are wrong, until that point I will remain hidden beneath my fake and shaky smile, far more informed than they could ever imagine.

But sometimes that information weighs heavily upon my shoulders. Possibility and probability sound - to the untrained ear - to be the same thing but they are not. My left brain speaks in probabilities, and understands that the likelihood of cancer at my age (nearly 30!) is almost non-existent; small, miniscule, and highly unlikely. But the right hemisphere, the creature that speaks only in pictures, that understands emotions and spirit, the esoteric soul that sees nothing but possibility and understands the world on a very instinctual level – well she is afraid of some of the things the most logical part of me knows. She’s afraid of the numbers muttered to me by my radiologist, mentioned in passing to put me at ease, designed specifically to relax me before my breast biopsy. The left hemisphere nods at the doctors, understands all that is meant by that small, tiny, miniscule number, while the right side recoils, twisting violently against a possibility that no one sees… I’ve been a witness to small numbers before in reference to my son. He was born with a congenital heart defect, born to beat the odds – or perhaps to be beaten by them; probabilities that were so small, tiny, and miniscule to seem entirely improbable – and yet were so very possible.

And what would that mean I often wonder. If the number means nothing, if probability is only a vaporous cloud used to create efficient and reliable self-delusion. It would mean that cancer can be real for me; cancer could be lurking within a breast that nourished three children, within a body that refuses, even now, to accept the possibility of illness. I’m still young enough to feel ageless – I should still believe I’m immortal, but my past teaches my future – and like a monk within a quiet reflective monastery – that past insists life cannot be lived without suffering. We cannot walk a path clear and unaffected by the possibilities in life – by the probability that within a lifetime tragedy will touch us as surely as happiness will. Life is a gift but its lessons are rarely free. And so my left hemisphere, my logic, still chatters away about all the probabilities in life while my right hemisphere (my emotions) retreats from all those possibilities – an endless and violent cycle. But today both sides were silenced as I received biopsy results upon my left breast (my right  breast still cloaked in mystery); and I feel my life once more within my control  which of course is illusory and entirely false but comforting all the same...

Benign.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Teacher's strike.



I read a piece in my local paper today from legislative reporter Tom Fletcher speaking about the horrendous injustice the greedy teachers are doing to the fabric of our society. His first inflammatory statement is about teachers and their “Korea-style political indoctrination” of students.  In summation he accuses teachers of brain washing their students into believing their teachers are being abused. Fletcher then goes on to implore people to get educated, and to begin this education with a Google search on “Study: Class size doesn’t matter”. Despite this clearly reliable and unbiased key word search (insert sarcastic snort here) I agree. It’s time people became educated and this requires funding.

I received my high school diploma eleven years ago from a graduating class size that was over 500 bodies large. Most of my time as a student in Vanier was not spent inside the school but instead in the “portables”. Reliable heating during the winter was a crap shoot and proper seating was a joke. Our textbooks were old and overused without enough to go around. Now keep in mind this was ELEVEN years ago. With all the school closures and cuts in funding I can only imagine the deplorable conditions of education now-a-days, which is a huge contributing factor in my choice to homeschool my children. Homeschooling aside I think the biggest issue in this teacher vs. government fight has nothing to do with education or wages, benefits or government expenditure. I think the biggest issue that people are ignoring is the government’s erosion of workers’ rights.

Whether you agree with the teachers or not I have a huge problem with the government legislating anyone back to work. First it was Air Canada, then it was the Postal service, now it’s the teachers – oh and Air Canada again. Where does the government get off thinking that they have any right to take away the voice of workers? Do we not live in a free and democratic society? Can Canadians be silenced so easily?

The government claims they have to legislate people back to work because these services are essential! Essential? My husband is RCMP and without him law and order is disrupted and there is a risk of injury or death for the everyday average Joe. That is essential. But here’s the thing. We have a government who’s more than willing to strip your rights and force you to work in whatever condition they see fit; and everyone seems to be ignoring this! I can’t for the life of me figure out WHY that is. We elected them to run our government not to micromanage our lives and careers.  So if you can’t support the teachers then stand up instead for your basic human rights. Back-to-work legislation is really just a form of slavery. If they can legislate you back to work under threat of fine or jail today, then they can legislate you to work harder or under dangerous conditions tomorrow. It’s a slippery slope and I for one refuse to sit around and say nothing. Canadian apathy has reached an all-time high and it’s disgusting.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Birthdays and Biopsies



I cut his hair myself, shave it short – cop hair - because its thick and unruly and he has issues with trust and electric razors.  His green eyes are one of his best features and his full lips will be some pretty girl’s dream one day. He’s going to be handsome, everyone tells me so, but his most striking feature is his gorgeous smile. He’s a serious sort of kid, always absorbed in some sort of thought, so when he smiles and cracks his intense fa├žade it’s adorable.
He’s only three – soon to be four (March 14th) – and his strong and unwavering belief in what’s right and wrong never ceases to amaze me. He is the family’s moral compass and I have caught his father looking at him often with admiration and pride. Scott likes to boast that if there’s a child of his that will follow in his footsteps and become a police officer, it will be Gabe.

Truth be told, this statement terrifies me. Not my baby, I want to say, but I know Scott’s right. Gabe is too literal, too rigid in his understanding of what’s fair to avoid the draw of what his father does. Gabe likes to be a hero and want his closest family to see him as such. He referees fights between kids, he hands out warnings to his siblings about what is expected of them, and does his best to keep people safe.

He’s super sweet too. He can be heard saying “I love you” on a near constant basis, and will kill himself in numerous fake falls just so he can hear Preston’s melodious laugh. He picks up his toys when I begin to clean (before I ask him), he changes his own bedding when he has a nighttime accident, he thanks me profusely if I clean his room, or make him an extra special dinner; and If I pretend to be upset by something one of the children has done (Preston and Edie aren’t nearly as sympathetic as Gabe) he’s the first one by my side, stroking my arm and telling me that it’s okay. He loves to inform me that  I’m his “favourite” and that he wants to “keep me”. He melts my heart.              

He’s turning four (going on twenty) and I just wish he understood that being a kid is fun too, he needs to take a little more time playing, and a little less time correcting all the injustices in his small little world.  But if he really wants to he can continue telling me how much he loves and appreciates me… :) I won't complain.

Speaking of myself and not complaining (weak lead in…I know) I received one of my two biopsies. This was a core needle biopsy and the wait was the worst part of the entire process. The request for my biopsy was put in Dec 23rd and by March 6th I finally had the biopsy done. For those of you who have never experienced it I have to say that it wasn’t so bad for me. She cleaned the area, numbed me, sliced me with a scalpel so that she wouldn’t have to pierce the skin with the needle itself, and inserted the tip of the “gun” as the radiologist dubbed it into the hole she’d just cut. With ultrasound as her guide she found the lump, positioned the gun appropriately and fired a length of needle through the tumour gathering the needed tissue. She did this twice as the tumour was small (1.5 cm), and the needle was a 16 gauge. She then informed me that the look of the tumour on ultrasound and the smell…yes “smell” of the gathered tissue, reassured her that the tumour was benign. Now I’m not sure if she was being figurative or literal about the smell but I’m going to assume she knows what she’s doing!

Next week I should have the results and a date for my last biopsy; this one is an excisional (they take the tumour out). They are taking it out because it hurts and because it’s irregular shaped. I’m a little more stressed out over this biopsy because the ultrasound results weren’t completely reassuring... though my surgeon tells me that it’s most likely a “Complex Fibroadenoma"; however she also told me that the tumour “requires” biopsy and anything that “requires” further testing freaks me out. I haven’t had the best run with luck, odds or percentages in the past five years, so I just want this all over with already. I hate “waiting”. Waiting is LAME. I just want answers.  

So anyway that’s why March has been a slow month for blogging, I’ve been busy with biopsies and birthdays! Hopefully April will allow more time for my writing!