Tag Archives: Nanowrimo

4 Days of Labour, 3+ Months Premature and 2 Miracle Babies

17 Nov

The Story of my Miraculous Birth

{ My mother holding my twin brother. ( He was allowed to be held eventually ). Note the size of her hand compared to the size of my twin • Ottawa Civic hospital • Oct 1974 }
•••

“Mr.Flood? I’m going to have to ask you to leave the room now please,” said the doctor to my father after my brother had been born. I was still hanging out in my ‘womb. My chance of survival was low.  Living would take a miracle…

Would you like a little brother or a sister?” my mother asked my 6 year old brother. “Both” he said with confidence. I imagine the universe at that moment coming and saying, “And both you shall have!” I also imagine the 32 year old part of my mother saying,  “I don’t know if I could handle two more…then again, kill two birds with one stone…have ’em both a once and the other part of her saying to my brother, “You got it Pontiac!”

And so she did. They did. My father and mother. Eventually after one of the ultrasounds they were told they were having twins! I have no idea what my 34 year old father was thinking at the time! And this was all natural. They did not know however know the sex of their twins or if they would be identical or fraternal.

Fast forward to October 1974. My mother was only near the end her second trimester. She was only six months pregnant. Three more to go. My father and her designed a beautiful home that was to be finished in time for our birth…in January. She was now standing in our big beautiful white kitchen on the red and burnt orange checkered linoleum floor hanging out with my older brother. And what happened next would turn into a very long 4 days. “Mommy! Why did you pee on the floor?” Obviously my mother had not peed on the floor. Her water broke. Three months early. It wasn’t time. It really wasn’t time. There were twins in there. It really really wasn’t time. As the story has been described to me over the years my mother did say she was panicked. She knew it was way to early. She was also at the house in the country alone with my brother. I’m not sure if they had a second vehicle then, but even if they had, would she had been able to drive herself to the hospital? I know she was also worried for her little 7 year old son in front of her. Trying to contain her panic. She called my father at his office and I don’t know how that conversation went, but I was told that my father drove like a bat out of hell to make the ~ 20 minute drive to get to her. And then again once she was in the van to bring her to the hospital. I’m sure my father wished he still had his 67 Stingray that day to burn his way to the hospital.

I don’t know very many details of the hours that turned into days that followed of course even though I was there! I only know the things my mother always shared with me. I know that she was in labour for 4 days. I know that there was much confusion because of this situation. I know that there were many, many nurses and doctors there trying to save the twins trying to be born 3 months to early. I know that there were even more doctors and nurses because Ottawa’s best hospital, the Ottawa Civic is also a teaching hospital and there were many residents wanting to watch and participate. On the fourth day at 9:00pm,  my twin brother was born.

This is what I know of what followed. My father was there for my brother’s birth. Once my twin was born, the doctors placed him  in a mechanical ventilator to help his breathing.  I learned once that the lungs do not fully mature until the 3rd trimester. My twin, for now, was safe. I on the other hand, was not coming out. No way, no how. Not moving. I was tucked up way high and not coming out. The doctors had a very difficult time reaching me. There was quite a lot pf panic in the room, numerous doctors and specialists trying to figure out what to do with me. I think they contemplated leaving me in at one point…you know to bake for another 3 months kind of thing. This was a passing thought. Not possible! Then, the doctors turned to my father and said, “Mr.Flood, we’re going to have to ask you to leave the room now.” My mother used to say at this point she was just pleading, “Save my babies, save my babies!” to the doctors. I believe my younger brother was outside of the room for some of this time. Could not have been very reassuring for  a seven year old. When my mother would recount this story to me I asked her why they asked my father  to leave the room. She told me, “Katie, the doctors, we, had no idea if  you were going to make it or not. They would not want your father to see if you came out alive or dead.

To be continued…
Kate

{ If I get any more details or clarifications from my father I will add accordingly.}
•••••••••••••••••••

Listening to: Bruce Springsteen
Locale: Ottawa by the canal.
• State of mind: Happy to be out of a crux.

Into the Heart: Pilot’s Licence for a Porsche

8 Sep

{ Chapter 1 • Pilot’s Licence for a Porsche }

{ The Porsche 911 Accident }

{ The Porsche 911 Accident }

Pilot’s Licence for a Porsche

“Shit! What’s happening? The car’s moving to fast. We’re going on the wrong side of the road. Shit. We’re going over the bridge. The cars aren’t going to see us. Shit. My legs. I don’t want to be a quadriplegic.

“Hoist them as far into your chest as you can,” says a loud, deliberate and calm voice in my head.

“Shit! My head. My Brain. I don’t want to be a vegetable.”

If I cross my arms in front of my forehead, if there’s any glass, it’s going to have to go through two layers of bone before it gets to my skull. It won’t cut that deep. It won’t. My face. I can’t cover it all with my hands. Did I learn that on Oprah? Oprah’s life saving moments. Check date later.

“Shit.”

I crouched over then, in some kind of contrived crash position trying to protect my face from any flying glass that might come, but then I exposed my skull. Damn, I can’t protect enough of my body! The seat belt in this Porsche 911 was like a race car belt – there were two straps over my shoulders, so I couldn’t crouch all the way forward. I tried covering my head with my arms.

Our father who are in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done…I hear music. Fairground music. Like I’m at the Richmond Fair…On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this stay, our daily bread. There’s my twin. Why can I see Twin brother right now? There is a little movie playing in slow motion in my head. This isn’t movie time! I need to stay alive! Ahh, cute. There’s the two of us. We’re just babies sitting naked in the river among the rocks and the sun is glistening off the water. There we are on a ferris wheel.  Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. (God, would that one ever come in handy after this happened!).  I don’t want to be injured. I don’t want to die. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. I don’t think I have ever tried to use everything I have in me to stay alive. Don’t ask me what that was. I just pressed my feet into the floor like mad like I had my own breaks and hugged my body insanely tight and I…prayed. This wasn’t deliberate. The words just seem to come out of me automatically. I remember thinking, there is someone waiting for me. I’ll be good. I’ll be good. Please, I want to stay. He’s waiting for me. I know he is. I’ll find him. I have things to do here. It’s not time. I’ll do anything. I’m too young to die. I haven’t even finished my BA yet…

I glanced from the side of my head over at Alex somehow managing to keep looking forward and look at him in case this was the last time I would see him. “Goodbye Alex, I love you.” Out-loud or under my breath, I can’t remember – as he was trying to do anything to the car to control it, but it really seemed to be driving its own course on the wet asphalt. If this car ever stops spinning I have to get out right away. Stop already stop. My feet are pushing on the passenger breaks with vengeance. It’s not working. I think I am screaming, but I’m not sure, I don’t want to upset Alex or distract him. I can’t see anything. The car comes slowly to a halt. (I would find out later, this was not the case, but my body’s way of dealing with the insane speed, the things coming at us and impact of what we hit). The car is stopped I think I hear in my head. Get out! Get out! I hear in my head. I can hear the music turning over in the car. U2 no less. Probably With or Without You. Why is the radio on? It shouldn’t be working. If it’s on, there’s still a power supply but the lights are out. That means there’s gas. Shit, the cars gonna blow. It’s gonna blow. Cars always blow up in the movies.

Get me the fuck out of here now! I fumble for the door handle on my right. I can’t see anything. Everything is moving so fast I think I’m going to hurl. Why do they make everything pitch black in Porsche 911’s? I think I try to open it, but I can’t tell. I can’t even find the door. Where is the flipp’n door? I can’t find the handle. It’s not where it should be by my minds estimation. I don’t even remember opening a door handle. I feed my right leg out where the door should be. God, is there even ground under me? I felt like I was going to step sky and fall to my death. I try to find ground, I stand up before I am out of the car and immediately my legs give way from under me like a raggedy ann doll and I am falling. I can’t stop it. When I fall I don’t hit the hard ground.

I think somebody has caught me. Who’s there? Alex couldn’t have been there so fast. He’s still in the car. I don’t care.  I can feel my heels being dragged against stone. Must be the road. I can’t see anything. It’s pitch black outside. I feel blind. I’m placed so gently on grass. Why is there grass near the road I wonder? I want to fall asleep. “Don’t fall asleep,” a male voice says. “Stay awake ok?” the voice says. “Who are you?” I ask. “Where’s Alex?” “We were behind you,” he says. “Is that guy your boyfriend? He was driving really fast.” I hear a girls’ voice. There is commotion of voices coming in and out. I want to go to sleep please on the grass. “Is that your girlfriend?” I say to the stranger. I think he smirks or something. “No, we were just the two cars right behind you.” Oh. “Is that your girlfriend?’ I ask again. ‘What’s your name?” the guy asks me. I tell him, Kate Flood. “Do you know where you are?” he says.

I am too scared to look up. I am too scared to look anywhere. I just want to fall asleep on the glass. I remember just trying to look at the ground. The stranger is holding my back up with his legs and keeps pushing my wobbling head up. “Stay awake,” he says. “Oh my God!” I think to myself. I see blood all over my purple Sierra Design jacket. “Why is there blood? I’m bleeding, I’m bleeding!” I say.”Where are you hurt? Tell me where your pain is and I’ll try to see where the blood is coming from.” the guy says.  Then I finally hear Alex’s voice. He is standing right behind me now. He wasn’t before. “I’m going to go now.” What do you mean your going to go now, you just got here.” “They’re just going to take me down to the station.” Before I can say a word, I just see the rear lights of a police cruiser and he’s gone. I don’t remember anything in between except telling the boy he should get together with the girl. Then I am in the back of an ambulance and I think a handsome young paramedic is asking me if I know my name. “Yes, of course I know my name. Why do people keep asking me if I know my name? Do you know your name?” I say to him. He smirks. “Kate Flood.”
“That’s not what your health card says,” he questions. “Seriously? You want my whole name? Geesh! Why you asking me that? I say my whole name -with my middle two names – like the Irish Catholics have. “There. Satisfied?”
Seriously if there was anything I was going to remember don’t you think it would be my name?” I think he’s finding me funny. “Stay awake, ok. You’ve been in a serious car accident. You need to stay awake.”

The next memory I have, I am in the KJH bed by myself. No one seems to be around. It ‘s like pulling teeth to talk to anyone. Yo, can I get some service around here please, I think to myself.  I’m being sent for x-rays of my leg I’m told. Gosh, I just realized my parents happen to be in town tonight.  It’s my Dad’s 25th Anniversary for his Queens’ MBA. I try to get anybody’s attention,  “Listen, my parents happen to be here tonight, can you call them? They’re at this hotel.” I say to the nurse. They do, but it seems to take an eternity. “Did you call them?” ‘Yes, we called them they’re on their way.” Ahh Shit. Maybe I shouldn’t have had them called. They’re going to kill me. I don’t think they like Alex. Ahh Great. Ah well, as if I wouldn’t call. I’m taking by wheelchair to get x-rays. I’m still in a droopy fog. The x-ray technician comes out from behind the glass. “Ahh, excuse me.” She seems perplexed. “Did you know you had a screw in your left knee?” Oh my God, I think to myself. Are you frick’n serious? I had an ACL repair in that leg from a soccer injury. ( Another great story. Tell you in a another chapter). “The other leg lady, the other leg.” I say to her.  Geesh! She’s re-does the x-ray of my right leg that was hurting really bad. I had no idea why.  I really need to go to the washroom. Weird. I probably haven’t gone in hours. I come out and I am almost at my bed. There is blood all over the hospitals white sheets.
… { to be continued }
••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Overheard at the accident from one of the eventual many people who had formed a crowd on Kingston’s main thoroughfare at 2 in the morning on alumni weekend: I’m not sure if the bystander saw the Porsche fish tale, catch air and take flight towards the bridge or saw the angle at which we hit the hydro pole, but he said to my ex,

“Do you have a pilot’s licence to drive that thing?”

I’d love to hear from you. What did you think…

I’m still standing,
Kate

Leave me your comments below or share…

• By Kate Flood
Locale: In the Autumn forest under a rainbow of trees
On Deck: Angel { In the Arms of an Angel } by Sarah McLachlan
My irish love said whenever he heard this song and the line, “You were pulled from the wreckage” he got sad and thought of me being in the accident. Endearing.

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Shhh…It’s Summertime in Canada…

9 Aug

I’ll have a new blog post coming soon… { when i get off the dock }

Until then, I hope you are soaking in this Summer!
There is no better place to be, then the great outdoors!

• By Kate Flood
Locale: Pool side with a breeze a blow’n…
On Deck:Dog Days Are Over” – Florence & The Machine
Dog days are not over…yet! I swear I pressed shuffle and this
song came up!
Thank God El Nino goes until Thanksgiving now in Canada! Fall is my favorite time of year..

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The Day my Life Flashed Before My Eyes and I Almost Died

25 Mar

{ Chapter 1 • Pilot’s Licence for a Porsche }

{ The Porsche 911 Accident }

{ The Porsche 911 Accident }

Pilot’s Licence for a Porsche

“Shit! What’s happening? The car’s moving to fast. We’re going on the wrong side of the road. Shit. We’re going up hill over the bridge. The cars coming over the hill aren’t going to see us. God, it’s pouring down rain. I can hardly see in front. The cars aren’t going to see us for certain.”

“Shit. My legs. I don’t want to be a quadriplegic. Hoist them as far into your chest as you can,” says a loud, deliberate and calm voice in my head. “Shit! My head. My Brain. I don’t want to be a vegetable. If I cross my arms in front of my forehead, if there’s any glass, it’s going to have to go through two layers of bone before it gets to my skull. I saw that on Oprah once. How to save your life in certain situations…It won’t cut that deep. It won’t. My face. I can’t cover it all with my hands. Shit.” I crouched over then in some kind of contrived crash position trying to protect my face from any flying glass that might come, but then I exposed my skull. The seat belt in this Porsche 911 was like a race car belt – there were two straps over my shoulders, so I couldn’t crouch all the way forward. I tried covering my head with my arms.

Our father who are in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done…I hear music. Fairground music. Like I’m at the Richmond Fair…On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this stay, our daily bread. There’s my twin. Why can I see Twin brother right now? There is a little movie playing in slow motion in my head. This isn’t movie time! I need to stay alive! Ahh, cute. There’s the two of us. We’re just babies sitting naked in the river among the rocks and the sun is glistening off the water. There we are on a ferris wheel.  Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. (God, would that one ever come in handy after this happened!).  I don’t want to be injured. I don’t want to die. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. I don’t think I have ever tried to use everything I have in me to stay alive. Don’t ask me what that was. I just pressed my feet into the floor like mad like I had my own breaks and hugged my body insanely tight and I…prayed. This wasn’t deliberate. The words just seem to come out of me automatically. I remember thinking, there is someone waiting for me. I’ll be good. I’ll be good. Please, I want to stay. He’s waiting for me. I know he is. I’ll find him. I have things to do here. It’s not time. I’ll do anything. I’m too young to die. I haven’t even finished my BA yet.

I glanced from the side of my head over at Alex somehow managing to keep looking forward and look at him in case this was the last time I would see him. “Goodbye Alex, I love you.” Out-loud or under my breath, I can’t remember – as he was trying to do anything to the car to control it, but it really seemed to be driving its own course on the wet asphalt. If this car ever stops spinning I have to get out right away. Stop already stop. My feet are pushing on the passenger breaks with vengeance. It’s not working. I think I am screaming, but I’m not sure, I don’t want to upset Alex or distract him. I can’t see anything. The car comes slowly to a halt. (I would find out later, this was not the case, but my body’s way of dealing with the insane speed, the things coming at us and impact of what we hit). The car is stopped I think I hear in my head. Get out! Get out! I hear in my head. I can hear the music turning over in the car. U2 no less. Probably With or Without You. Why is the radio on? It shouldn’t be working. If it’s on, there’s still a power supply but the lights are out. That means there’s gas. Shit, the cars gonna blow. It’s gonna blow. Cars always blow up in the movies.

Get me the fuck out of here now! I fumble for the door handle on my right. I can’t see anything. Everything is moving so fast I think I’m going to hurl. Why do they make everything pitch black in Porsche 911’s? I think I try to open it, but I can’t tell. I can’t even find the door. Where is the flipp’n door? I can’t find the handle. It’s not where it should be by my minds estimation. I don’t even remember opening a door handle. I feed my right leg out where the door should be. God, is there even ground under me? I felt like I was going to step sky and fall to my death. I try to find ground, I stand up before I am out of the car and immediately my legs give way from under me like a raggedy ann doll and I am falling. I can’t stop it. When I fall I don’t hit the hard ground.

I think somebody has caught me. Who’s there? Alex couldn’t have been there so fast. He’s still in the car. I don’t care.  I can feel my heels being dragged against stone. Must be the road. I can’t see anything. It’s pitch black outside. I feel blind. I’m placed so gently on grass. Why is there grass near the road I wonder? I want to fall asleep. “Don’t fall asleep,” a male voice says. “Stay awake ok?” the voice says. “Who are you?” I ask. “Where’s Alex?” “We were behind you,” he says. “Is that guy your boyfriend? He was driving really fast.” I hear a girls’ voice. There is commotion of voices coming in and out. I want to go to sleep please on the grass. “Is that your girlfriend?” I say to the stranger. I think he smirks or something. “No, we were just the two cars right behind you.” Oh. “Is that your girlfriend?’ I ask again. ‘What’s your name?” the guy asks me. I tell him, Kate Flood. “Do you know where you are?” he says.

I am too scared to look up. I am too scared to look anywhere. I just want to fall asleep on the glass. I remember just trying to look at the ground. The stranger is holding my back up with his legs and keeps pushing my wobbling head up. “Stay awake,” he says. “Oh my God!” I think to myself. I see blood all over my purple Sierra Design jacket. “Why is there blood? I’m bleeding, I’m bleeding!” I say.”Where are you hurt? Tell me where your pain is and I’ll try to see where the blood is coming from.” the guy says.  Then I finally hear Alex’s voice. He is standing right behind me now. He wasn’t before. “I’m going to go now.” What do you mean your going to go now, you just got here.” “They’re just going to take me down to the station.” Before I can say a word, I just see the rear lights of a police cruiser and he’s gone. I don’t remember anything in between except telling the boy he should get together with the girl. Then I am in the back of an ambulance and I think a handsome young paramedic is asking me if I know my name. “Yes, of course I know my name. Why do people keep asking me if I know my name? Do you know your name?” I say to him. He smirks. “Kate Flood.”
“That’s not what your health card says,” he questions. “Seriously? You want my whole name? Geesh! Why you asking me that? I say my whole name -with my middle two names – like the Irish Catholics have. “There. Satisfied?”
Seriously if there was anything I was going to remember don’t you think it would be my name?” I think he’s finding me funny. “Stay awake, ok. You’ve been in a serious car accident. You need to stay awake.”

The next memory I have, I am in the KJH bed by myself. No one seems to be around. It ‘s like pulling teeth to talk to anyone. Yo, can I get some service around here please, I think to myself.  I’m being sent for x-rays of my leg I’m told. Gosh, I just realized my parents happen to be in town tonight.  It’s my Dad’s 25th Anniversary for his Queens’ MBA. I try to get anybody’s attention,  “Listen, my parents happen to be here tonight, can you call them? They’re at this hotel.” I say to the nurse. They do, but it seems to take an eternity. “Did you call them?” ‘Yes, we called them they’re on their way.” Ahh Shit. Maybe I shouldn’t have had them called. They’re going to kill me. I don’t think they like Alex. Ahh Great. Ah well, as if I wouldn’t call. I’m taking by wheelchair to get x-rays. I’m still in a droopy fog. The x-ray technician comes out from behind the glass. “Ahh, excuse me.” She seems perplexed. “Did you know you had a screw in your left knee?” Oh my God, I think to myself. Are you frick’n serious? I had an ACL repair in that leg from a soccer injury. ( Another great story. Tell you in a another chapter). “The other leg lady, the other leg.” I say to her.  Geesh! She’s re-does the x-ray of my right leg that was hurting really bad. I had no idea why.  I really need to go to the washroom. Weird. I probably haven’t gone in hours. I come out and I am almost at my bed. There is blood all over the hospitals white sheets.
… { to be continued }
••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Overheard at the accident from one of the eventual many people who had formed a crowd on Kingston’s main thoroughfare at 2 in the morning on alumni weekend: I’m not sure if the bystander saw the Porsche fish tale, catch air and take flight towards the bridge or saw the angle at which we hit the hydro pole, but he said to my ex,

“Do you have a pilot’s licence to drive that thing?”

I’d love to hear from you. What did you think…

I’m still standing,
Kate

Leave me your comments below or share…

• By Kate Flood
Locale: By the Canal, Canada’s Capital
On Deck: Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol
My irish love said whenever he heard Sarah McLachlan ‘s song  “Angel” and the line, “You were pulled from the wreckage” he got sad and thought of me being in the accident. I always thought that sweet…

Mom, Trudeau & the Biggest Octoberfest on the Hill She Threw

4 Nov

This 007 Fem Bond was just about to crack the case of why I survived  5 car Accidents and 1 Shotgun Hostage and then something awful happened. My mom was diagnosed with Cancer. Let me go back to the beginning to tell you about who my mom,  Jude Flood was.

{ Mom and Trudeau, Octoberfest Party, House of Commons, Ottawa,ON }

{ Mom and Trudeau, Octoberfest Party, House of Commons, Ottawa,ON }

My mother used to work on the “Hill”, Ottawa’s place of Parliament. She was an Executive Assistant to one of the MP’s who’s office happened to be right near our former Prime Minister of Canada, Pierre Elliot Trudeau.  Pierre enjoyed my mother’s company and would stop by her office to say hello. Eventually my mother organized the biggest Octoberfest Gala on the hill. She even got the Mayor of Munich to attend. Right after this photograph was taken by the hill official photographer, Pierre leaned leaned into my mother’s ear and said, “Judy – ‘One heck of a party. Well done! Now how can you get me the hell of out here?” Pierre liked his parties…for a short time.

I was just getting close to figuring out why there seemed to be something working against me in this life. Why I had been in five car accidents and 1 shotgun hostage. I was getting so close and then this cancer business happened in the middle of it all. I was still just in the beginning of my insurance battle. I was right in the thick of it all.

Before I share the day I found out my mom had cancer, I am going to go back and time to the beginning.

My mom was born in Ottawa on August 1st, 1962. A true Leo –  her most defining characteristic – too of a Leo – she loved to be the life of the party. She loved to party. Not all the time of course. She could throw a damn good party. I grew up with lively family reunions and a band in my living room for her 40th. I’ll never forget that one. She was one of four siblings ( two sisters and one brother) to an Irish decent school teacher, my grandmother Maudella McColgan. My grandmother died when I was five years old. My only memory of her was of her bringing me chocolates. I was told she was a remarkable woman and rightly so for being a french and art teacher at the time. My mother’s father was in the war and I know very little about him except I know he had large hands and was very handsome. He died when my mother was only fifteen years old. They lived in downtown Ottawa.

Mom_Dad_Ball copy

My mother was described as a free spirit (apple doesn’t fall far from the tree) and in an attempt to settle her down, she was sent to private school at Iona Academy in Alexandria, Ontario. I remember her always saying how upset and hard it was to be pulled out of school to go and care for her dying father at 15 years old so that her mom could continue to work and earn a pay check to pay the bills and feed the family including her younger sister at home.
She has albums of her at school and I used to love going through them and seeing the outfits and fun times. A classier Grease Lightening reality.

There is a whole lifetime of memories I don’t know about for my mom. These are snippets of stories I remember. I know that she was beautiful and uplifting and fun. I know that she cared about all of us and cared about how we did in school, how we dressed presentable and had fun with our friends. We grew up in the country and she was concerned about our experiences and made sure to enroll is in countless sports, activities and clubs so we were socialized around other children. My favorite photograph of her is this one above in the green satin gown. I always thought she looked so elegant, breathtaking, honestly regal in this photograph. I always wanted to see her like that again. 25 years later and a bit heavier this was a little girl’s “princess” wish that couldn’t realistically be. I also wanted her to be happy like she was in the photograph. She didn’t always seem this way to me.
Mom_Trudeau_72dpi

Who was Jude? Jude was a beautiful woman who knew how to dress well. She was incredibly artistic and painted many oil paintings. Mostly of nature, the outdoors, sunsets, mill’s and cowboys for my father. This reflected her love of nature in the real world as well. She loved thunderstorms and I remember would call us out into the sun porch to count the strikes after the thunder would roll. She had such a flare with decorating a home and would often to mini-makovers on her friends and relative’s place. She was comfortable wearing hats and had many. Scarves too like in the photo above. Her nickname to some of her second nieces and nephews was “Gypsy Lady.” She loved children and encouraging them to be strong and have fun.

She loved to talk. She counselled many friends on the phone for countless hours. People loved to be around her. She loved to entertain and did everything up right. We had a one reunion and a large summer party in the 100’s on our family property by the pool. She loved games and was clever at scrabble, trivia pursuit and tons of card games. She used to play euchre and rummy for hours. She had killer dancer legs and could dance like nobody’s business.  She loved music, and our I grew up listening to her favorites. Elvis at the top of the list, Anne Murray, Abba and Neil Diamond. Hell, she met Elvis once. I’ll tell that story here another time. My mother was intelligent, swift, quick thinking and fun. That second set of eyes never left the back of her head. She loved to have a good time. She loved christmas and was incredible at bringing that spirit alive every year in our home. She had a flare for everything artistic really. My father and her designed and built our family home and 3-4 others. She loved the holidays, any excuse to celebrate. She decorated our house for St.Patrick’s day! St.Patrick’s day was like a second christmas in our home. She used to make a gigantic green shamrock cake out of 3 hearts cake tins every year. She loved family and encouraged  family interactions in our immediate family and our relatives.

After she worked on the hill, she had my brother and I. She was sick for a little while because of this and became a full time mom. Later on she became the President of the Manotick Fringe Festival for a couple years before it even moved to Ottawa. I moved away for University at 19 and returned only for 3 years to complete by college diploma and moved to Vancouver when I was 22. My relationship with my mother was a constant tug of war. I think at some point I forgot why I was mad at her, and kept on being mad at her. I still loved her, but I was mad at her.

I loved my mom. I hated my mom.I know hate is a strong word, but I did. Parts of me really hated her. That teen angst scream many hear, “Oh yah? I hate you!” never really left. I had good reason and maybe not so good reason and reasons I didn’t even know. Actually those were the most important of all. If only I had known those reasons before she died. I guess, I guess this was the way it was supposed to be. It did not make it any easier at the time. It doesn’t make it any easier today.

My mom cared about me, don’t get me wrong and I for her. We just had a hell of way of showing it. And there were many poignant, deep and tragically beautiful reasons for this. As far as I remember, I didn’t really want to be around my mom. At the same time, there was a part of me that very much wanted to be around her. This was quite deep and quite invisible to me actually. She annoyed me. I thought she was silly. Sometimes I thought she was scary. Sometimes she seemed so big to me and strong. I also was confused by her. She didn’t always seem happy to me. Sometimes she seemed incredibly happy, dancing up a storm in my kitchen with my Dad or her brother.

As long as I can remember, my mom and I were at each other’s throats. We didn’t really “get along” whatever, however that looks for mom and daughter. I know everyone’s relationship with their mother is different, full of so many complex defining reasons – generational, economical, cultural, day to say situational. Then there is karma. Oh that blasted karma. It is also the single most important external relationship every single person has. The one they have or don’t have with their mother. Why is this?

I’ll tell you why I was so mad at her next time.

She also made the best lasagna in the world.

By a mother’s daughter,
Kate
fingerprint


On Deck: Dancing Queen by ABBA
Locale: Hardwood Banquette, Starbucks, Toronto
Mood: Wired and tired. Moving and another surgery in 3 weeks.

NaNoWriMo Day 1: Fem 007 Bond Digs Deeper: Mono & Syncronicities

3 Nov

Last excerpt where I left off:

And then I looked on the date I was to be discharged:

October 22, 1974

Holy Shit. I stared at the date. My hands began to shake. The world around me became incredibly still, the sounds around me disappeared and became background noise.

October 22, 1974. You have got to be kidding me.
That’s the same date as the car accident. At Queens. In the Porsche. Will Alex. The exact same date. Of all the days of the year, you mean to tell me the day I was going to go home to be in my mothers arms who I had been crying for 3 weeks for, and the nurse finds a hear murmur and I”m being transferred to another hospital is the SAME day as a my first major car accident where I almost died?

This is not a coincidence. It isn’t anymore. It can’t be. I flumped into my crossed legs on the living room floor with the papers spread all around me. Then I jumped up sending the papers flying.

“FINE! I believe it! I Believe it! I believe it’s all connected! I yelled out loud into the living room to no one but myself.

“Now what?”…
•••

{ continued…. }

I plugged this new found exact date into the chart I had made that was outlining all the major events of trauma in my life – the surgeries and illnesses. For example, I had already had mononucleosis 3 times and Epstein Bar syndrome.  Called the kissing disease, this was not how I first contracted it! I was only twelve years old the first time I got it in Gr.7. Hadn’t so much as hugged a boy yet! It was the beginning of my junior year. Hell, sure may have wanted to, but it hadn’t happened yet. Let me retract that statement. I had been going to school with the same boys and girls since kindergarten, so actually no there wasn’t a boy I wanted to kiss yet, but maybe, maybe he was around the grade 7 hall. I’m not sure, I maybe I wasn’t kissing material. I still remember playing spin the bottle and a girlfriend’s 10 bathroom mansion in the basement and being called into the closet with one of the long blond banged boys. I hadn’t kissed a boy yet and certainly this really wasn’t how I envisioned it going down! I still remember him saying to me, “Hey Kate, do you mind if we don’t actually kiss, but just stay in here long enough to make it seem like we had?”

Heart-drop now.

Talk about crush’n a pre-teen’s heart raging with self-esteem fitting-in peer issues! ‘Just the same, i didn’t want it, but that kinda stung too. Little confusing too.

I got mono from just being around my mom who had picked it up in the air at an arts course she was talking at a community college. Good Morning Grade seven! I missed the first three months of school. ‘Watched a lot of spiderman and the Flintstones at Noon, Y & R at 4pm and slept. Don’t worry the school passed me regardless. ‘Said, I would have “gotten all” that  I missed anyways and was an A-student. Gotta like that.

I plugged in the date the heart murmur was found on my just 6 month premature, alive 3 weeks body into the chart. I sat there staring. What does this all mean? What does this tell me? Why has all this stuff happened to me? It cannot be a coincidence. It can’t.

What am I missing?

I waited for something to come to me.

I remembered another car accident I had been in. Shit. That’s five car accidents I have been in. Geezuz.

Is someone trying to kill me?

I keep surviving. ‘Not mean’t to die. But why? This has got to stop. What am I not getting?

I made or added other columns. I put in what had happened to me in the accident or illness or surgery. There was consistency to those too.

It was getting clearer, but not completely crystal clear. The accidents – I almost die. My life flashes before my eyes. I’m going to die, but I make it.
Spinning – out of control – turning – twisting – my neck – impact – bridges – plummet to death – fear – soft landings…..

I would look at the end of the chart where the accident was and trace back. What happened before that? And before that? And before that? What’s the first thing that happened where there was trauma?

My birth. My miraculous premature birth.

So?

I survived. What. Hmm, Are they’re any other similarities with what happened to me over these 30 years?

Car Accidents. A bunch of them. Why? Maybe there is something about what happens in them….

What’s the same about the car accidents? People always say, “Shit, you must be a bad driver.”

Nope. I’m never the driver. Never have been. Always a passenger.

Hmm….There is something in that…

I revisited all the accidents.

5 years old – Hit by a Nun – In a Van – Mom’s driving. My twin and I are in the van.

16 – “Head for the Clear” Van flip into the snowbank – Dad’s driving. My twin and I are in the van.

16 – Garbage Dump Road Van Flip at camp – A fellow staff friend is driving – 2 other staff friends and I.

21 – Porsche 911 Accident  – My first puppylove is Driving – We dropped off my roommate at home – Only I am in the car with him.

29 – Christmas Accident – My Dad is driving. My twin and I our in the van.

Weird. I’m close right.

3/5 of those accidents I’m with my parents.  Once with my mom driving. It was the Nun’s fault. My mother taught me how to drive in Fitzroy Provincial park across from the Quyon ferry that her family owned and operated and she spent her cherished summers. She was a good driver as much as I knew. The other two my father was driving. All of them were in vans.

My twin was in 3/5 of them. That seems significant. He’s also reasonably ok. So is everyone. Most of them, only I seem to bear the brunt of the accident and have injuries and have physical consequences.

There were two other interesting things my Bond mind pieced together. Funny, you don;t really see James Bond piecing things together, he just does it. Goes there. Dawns an Armani suit, skis down the mountain side onto a boat, kills the bad guy where he knew he was and gets the girl. Here I am trying to piece the pieces of my life together to make sense of the puzzle.

There was another accident that I’m not sure whether to include in this count.  Something did happen, it was a close call. What was interesting, was it was in van, my father was driving and my twin had a little mishap. We were visiting my relatives in London, Ontario. I think we were about 8-10 years old, somewhere in there and my father was driving. Out of know where a cyclist tried to duck out on the road in front of my Dad. My father slammed on the brakes and my twin went flying forward. His tiny chest was bare with only his swim trunks on and SMACK he hit the front of the big console on the van. Poor little guy. I remember how red his chest was. I also remember how angry he was as he leaned out the window and screamed every exploitive an 8 year-old knows at the cyclist.

“You stupid – poohead – dumb-dumb turkey!” { Turkey derived from my father’s normal choice of expletives at bad driving. Well, at least while the kids were in the car.

My father understablly let him have it! Adding after the trail was finished and his 8 yearold voice started cracking….

“Yah! Turkey!”

The other accident? The other accident? There was synchronicity in that one too…and it didn’t involve my parents. Directly that is.

{ to be continued… }

I’m getting closer…

007 Fem Bond,
Kate

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fingerprintLocale: Chocolate Leather Club Chair { ‘could use some distressing }, Starbucks, Toronto
On Deck: Mirrors by Emma Louise
Mood: Mercury in retrograde is kicking my literary web butt.
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The Limp, A Hemorrhagic Cyst and Moving West

30 Nov

The Limp. The limp that brought me into the hospital that saturday morning. I spent the day having various tests done – blood work – x-rays – ultrasounds. All coming back negative. Until. Until. The pelvic ultrasound. Oh what a joy that is ladies? By this time I was in pain and hurdle over moaning and groaning. Then the doctors want you to fill your bladder with water so they can the ultrasound imaging properly. I feel like I’m going to explode and you want me to drink 2 litres of water and hold it?…while you stick a plastic wrapped plastic probe up my hoo haw? Hilarious. But we do it right ladies? The result?

“Katherine , you have what’s called a hemorrhagic cyst on your left ovary and it’s ruptured. That’s why you are in so much discomfort.”
The docs gave me pain killers and said I just had to wait it off. That it would settle down on it’s own and there wasn’t much they could do on their end as it is quite normal and the ovary is not twisting or causing other harm.

I was in the hospital a couple of days and sent home with bed rest. “Are you in a particularly stressful situation in your life right now?” he asked.
“School. It’s a pretty tough program. 30+ hours of class, weekly assignments, 0 tolerance for absenteeism etc.”

“Well I don’t want you going back there for 2 weeks. Stay at home and take it easy please.”

I stayed home a week. I called my school director the day I went into the hospital. Funny timing was that the our directors just switched over the break. So I had never met this new director. Car Accident, hospitalization or death of a loved one were the only acceptable excuses for absenteeism. Clearly I fell under hospitalization.

I just stayed the week and returned the following. Too much missed school and I was feeling better.

The new director handed back my mid report card. It had a big fat 0 on it. I called him. ‘Excuse me Mr., could you explain why I have a zero?”

You didn’t hand in your assignments for a whole week.

“Mr. I was in the hospital. I called you on day 1 and informed you of this.”

“Oh well. You still didn’t hand them in.”

“I couldn’t Mr. Excuse me, but it is in our program that this is an acceptable reason.”

“Oh. Well, ok sorry. I’ll fix that.”

“Yes, thank you.”

That was 1999. I seemed fine until year end. I had wanted to do my coop placement in New York City, having always wanted to live there. I had collected a massive book and photocopied every single design, communications and branding agency in New York city from the small mom and pop shops to the big organizations. I can’t really remember why – maybe the tight urn around deadline – but I ended up doing  placement at a local supposed reputable firm. While I was at work one day I suddenly out of nowhere had the most excruciating pain. Livid pain.I’m sure working where I worked didn’t help. My boss was a yeller. He yelled at me, the kind of yelling where a person yells so much they’re spitting on you – yah that was him. One time he even raised his arm at me to swat me – I shied away and he brought his hand back behind his back. Geez! His office was a pigsty. I’d always had a knack for cleaning, sorting, organizing and decorating – got that from my mom. I reorganized the office completely – did a layout of the floor plan and everything. When he wasn’t given me assignments – shy of my skill level – I found other productive things to do (so I thought). Organizing his book shelf, clients lists, files on the computer. One day he lost it on me and said why was I wasting my time doing nothing – why wasn’t I looking through magazine for inspiration? Pardon?

It was only 2 months of work. They had hired me on after the placement and received a government subsidy for hiring a student straight from school. I could tell business was slow from the drop in incoming calls and jobs going out. I got called into the office one day with his main designer who was also a graduate of the program the year prior. Really nice guy too. The two of them were staring at me and not saying anything. I say there smiling. My boss tried to speak, but couldn’t. He looked over his my colleague, “Archie, can you…you?”

“What?” I said. “What. You have to get rid of me?”

My boss went wide eyed. My colleague smiled relieved. “Ugh, how, how on earth did you know that?”

“Doesn’t take much to see there’s not a lot of work coming in here.”

I did my two weeks and you know what that boss did? When I went to file my taxes, they had no T4, no record of any employment there so I couldn’t file. You go to be kidding me. I had to go and file forms with the government giving them permission to look for this business. They had changed their name once or twice but then disappeared. I was able to track down a fax of proving that he paid me as he would request the subsidy from the government every two weeks. And that rascal, he paid me with personal cheques, but had hand written the deductions on each one, but never submitted them. Nice. Even cheaper labour.

That was on Monday. On friday my 2nd love, dumped me on the phone. 1 week after celebrating our 1 year anniversary and I had bought him an expensive dress watch. Nice. Thanks.

I’m leaving! I’m moving out west…
——-

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Go west, Go west…. { the Petshop Boys }
Kate
———-


Locale:  Starbucks. Why have some Starbuck’s taken those away?
On Deck: Slave to Love by Roxy (I have a wide assortment of music let me tell yah!)
State of Being: It’s starting to feel like Christmas.

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