Dégénération, or when you learn I’m half Acadian

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”― Mae West

On April 25, 2021, my beautiful Mémère passed away, aged 102. Yes, 102 years old. She would have been 103 on Canada day, July 1st.

I missed her birthday last year, thanks Covid. I was sick and unable to visit out of fear of making her ill (no, I didn’t have Covid).

Two weeks before her death, I got to visit her. She looked great! She held my hand tight, looked deep into my eyes. She loved having her family near. She was a very devout Catholic and I’d like to believe that she is in her heaven with her husband, my pépère (he died in the 1980s), and her daughter, my matante Clairine, who died almost 13 years ago in an accident. I hope she is surrounded by all her loved ones.

Ma belle Mémère, my mom and me

Her name was Albertine Doucet (née Dugas). She survived the Great Depression, WWII, and so many other calamities. She started life with no indoor plumbing, no phones, none of the things we take for granted now. After my pépère past, she got her driver’s license at the ripe young age of 66! She raised seven children, only losing one in her twilight years.

My mémère spoke very little English, but always had a warm hug and a huge smile for those who didn’t understand her words. She accepted everyone for who they were. She had a huge heart and loved all of us, and we are a BIG family.

My mémère survived to see the youngest members of her extended family six generations on. She was a great great great grandmother to my cousin’s grand-children! She was the matriarch of our family and I know it just won’t be the same without her.

For the first time in years, I won’t be travelling up north to see her on her birthday. For the first time in years, I’ll be making plans for Canada day locally. It feels weird.

Je t’aime beaucoul et je t’embrace ma belle mémère. T’es toujours dans mon cœur.

Mes Aïeux – Dégénérations

Demons

“Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do.” ― Voltaire

Before I moved into our new home, I have a beautiful Indian Ringneck parrot. She, however, had been aggressive towards my little birds (that I had before her), and I thought my best option was to rehome her.

Guilt is a large emotion. I feel it often. Rehoming her was the worse guilt I have had in a long time.

Fast forward a year and a half (about) later…the woman I rehomed her to could no longer care for her. I took her back instantly.

Welcome home, Kyra. I’m so sorry I let you down and didn’t push myself more for a better solution. Between Charman (the cat) trying to nab you, the littles getting hurt, and you being relegated to a cage because we were selling our house, I thought it was in your best interest. I see now just how wrong I was. I have missed you so much and I will carry that guilt with me always.

Guilt is one of my many demons. I have guilt for not being enough for everyone – human, animal, bird, everyone. Guilt for not calling my friends, guilt for not sending that email, guilt for not making it to that late show. I have guilt for not eating right in the past, guilt for not being enough for my husband, guilt for spending any money, guilt for not spending, guilt for not being able to get everything my kids could dream of.

Anxiety and guilt are best friends in my life.

I’m working on that. I’m working on letting go of the past. I’m working on ME.

Don’t let the demons swallow you up.

Imagine Dragons – Demons

End of the World

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.

– Robert Frost

Well then…it’s been a few months since I’ve posted and I can’t say they’ve been grand.

Covid has me working from home and I love it. I had no idea that working remotely would have me being more productive. It hasn’t been without it’s challenges.

Financially, I’ve heard of people saving money due to being home…all I have to say is they must not have teens!

We lost our bearded dragon, Charlie, in the Spring due to heart failure

My baby Chalie 💔

We adopted a new pup, Dahlia! She’s almost 15 weeks and is 25 lbs already.

Pretty baby girl ❤

In April, we found out Bishop had lung cancer and his liver was herniating into his esophagus. Notice the past tense…my heart broke last week when we had to take him for his last drive and visit to the vet. I can’t talk about it yet. I miss my boy so much. He was my copilot on drives, my snuggle buddy.

Bishop’s smile

Basically, my depression has been shit, my anxiety worse and my life a go-to. But! I have a home. I have happiness. I have family. I have food in my belly. I have gratitude ❤

It’s not the end of the world, even though it feels like it is sometimes.

Great Big Sea – End of the World

The Gambler

“You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run
You never count your money
When you’re sittin’ at the table
There’ll be time enough for countin’
When the dealin’s done”
Songwritter  Don Schlitz

I’ve loved this song since – well – probably since it was released in 1978 (I was 4, my dad LOVED, and still loves, country music). I’m not a big country fan; more often than not it grates on my nerves so much that I want to punch something, but I digress…

There’s so much truth in this song.

“Every gambler knows
That the secret to survivin’
Is knowin’ what to throw away
And knowin’ what to keep
‘Cause every hand’s a winner
And every hand’s a loser
And the best that you can hope for is to die
in your sleep.”

I see this as a metaphor for how you react to life’s bumps and bruises, joys and hopes. You can sit down with what you’ve been dealt and cry your eyes out, or you can sit with it and think of how fortunate you are. Life can be shit. I know life can be shit. Hard to see the good when it feels as though you’re being engulfed in a flood of depression, self-loathing, tragedy, and loss.

My depression has been engulfing me. I was going to say lately, but let’s be real – it’s been way longer than just lately. I’ve put weight back on, I’ve had so much stress that my skin itches, I’ve migraines almost on the daily, and I can barely sleep. But you know what – I STILL have hope. I still have the light in my sights so that I can have that winner hand.

I’ll not let the hands I’m given weigh me down. Sometimes they do, not going to lie. Getting back up, walking with my head held high, I’m climbing up that mountain – weight on my back, and I’m going to reach that top and over to greener pastures.

I do a lot of soul searching. I have a lot of self-doubt. In the end, I know that I am the one responsible for my internal peace and happiness. I can’t change the shit that goes on around me. I can’t stop asshole teenagers from beating up my son (yes, happened last week), I can’t stop my children growing. I can’t turn back the clock. I can’t wave a wand and my anxiety leave me forever or my depression for that matter. I CAN work my ass off to make life the best I can.

I want to THRIVE not just survive. I plan on making sure my hand’s a good one, and I’ll lay all bets that I’m going to thrive.

Kenny Rogers – The Gambler

Breathe

“To hurt is as human as to breathe.” ― J.K. Rowling, The Tales of Beedle the Bard

I have an adopted child with FASD who has gone downhill in recent years to the point of us losing hope.

If you know what Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is, than you know what I’m feeling right now. You know why I chose the Rowling quote and the song below.

I love my child with every fibre of my being

My heart is broken.

I no longer know how to help my child. There’s so much to their story that I wouldn’t know where to start nor would I want it aired for everyone. The nuances and complexities of the familial arrangements surrounding us all both add and reduce the turmoil.

I’m exhausted beyond.

Melissa Etheridge – Breathe