They Loved You Loudly

It’s Father’s Day, and today I thank my lucky stars that I get to have dinner with this man:

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That’s me in the middle. I’m very lucky, I know, and not just because I’m clearly the cutest.

This day brings me happiness because I am so blessed to have not only the most amazing Dad, but also because he lives nearby and I can see him whenever I choose.  (And sometimes even when I don’t choose, since he has most recently discovered Face Time. He prefers it over a simple text or even a phone call and often loves to surprise me at the most inopportune moments.)  I do not know the pain of a Father’s Day without my Dad, and for that I am most grateful.

This day also got me thinking about Ben (when do I not think of him?) and all he has been denied.  He has been denied Fatherhood, plain and simple. But perhaps even more significantly, this day highlights all that our kids have been denied by his death. They have been denied their father watching proudly as they receive their diplomas.  The girls have been denied their father walking them down the aisle and twirling them on the dance floor on their wedding day.  Zak has been denied the movies and concerts he so enjoyed with his Dad.  They have all been denied seeing their dad hold their own children someday. They have been denied that feeling of safety they had for such a brief portion of their lives.  That feeling we all take for granted.

All of that is terrible.  In fact, “terrible” is not a strong enough word.  It is nothing short of tragic.

However, as Ben said on April 24, 2015, “I remind myself that there are over 7 billion people in the world today and I guarantee, without any doubt, that there are a lot of people that have it worse than me.”

It is true that my kids have been denied many things that we often take for granted, but I think it is so important that they realize and remember they have been equally blessed. They have been taught valuable lessons by how Ben lived his life, and they received more love and commitment from him in 14, 16 and 19 years than many do in a lifetime. For however short of time they had him, they were blessed with a dedicated and loving father who set a positive example of how life should be lived without whining and complaining.  And while many others will have their Fathers for much longer, none of them will have been lucky enough to call Ben “Dad.”  Only my children have that privilege,  and not even death can take that away from them.

Today there will undoubtedly be some tears shed, but with each passing year it is my hope that the pain of loss and grief loosens it’s grip on the kids just enough to allow them to remember their Dad’sa smile, and to be grateful that they were blessed with the #1 Dad. Quality over quantity.  I hope they always remember that he was the kind of Dad who was willing to send pictures of himself in socks and sandals, farting and drinking beer, just so they could make a Father’s Day video for him a few years back to show their love…

And I hope they remember that he was the kind of father who inspired a 19 year old boy to give such a loving and heartfelt eulogy that many in attendance told me afterwards that it moved them to strive to be better fathers.

So here’s to my own Dad, this Father’s Day.  Thank you for all that you are.  Thank you for demonstrating for me what a Dad should be and for providing me with the example I sought to find (and did find) when choosing my own husband.  It’s not possible to adequately express my gratitude, but I do hope I have been the kind of daughter who has managed to let you know how much you are loved.  (Ages 14 to 18 aside.  Maybe you could try to forget those years.)

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And here’s to Ben.

You were a great Dad.

You are remembered every day.

Your kids loved you loudly….

… and they will always remember you as the Dad who shamelessly tooted whenever he felt like it.

Happy Father’s Day, Ben.  Thank you for being the kind of Dad who’s children grieve for you now because they loved you so much. Thank you for being the kind of Dad who’s children strive to live their best lives because that’s what you taught them.

You are forever loved and missed.

 

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A Tip For Sleeping Better

For anyone out there who may be looking for some advice on how to sleep alone and actually get some sleep, here’s my best tip…

Snuggle a T Shirt.

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On the nights where I really need to feel Ben close I just open up that cabinet in the picture above where I store all his favourite T’s.  Unwashed.  And I inhale deeply.  And I can smell him again. It’s Heaven.  I don’t do it every night because I don’t want to lose that delicious smell, but I have done it a few times over the last two weeks and it was absolutely dreamy.

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Smelling those unwashed shirts is pretty much what helped get me through the last couple of weeks.  I believe I mentioned in my last post … The Worst Blog Post Ever … that Jaime’s grad was right around the corner.  I was feeling rather down in the dumps because Ben had to miss it, but those t shirts helped keep him close.  Well, that and the fact that I had this brilliant idea…

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She got to have her dad there anyway!  Awesome idea, I know.  I patted myself on the back for that one.

Jaime had a good time at her grad and it was slightly easier than I had anticipated.  Lisa O and I reminisced about our own grad together twenty nine years ago (yikes) and how we had looked better then our kids did.  Here’s a picture of Jaime and Jack O:

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It’s weird to see our kids graduating together.  That wasn’t something I saw coming all those years back when we were toilet papering our high school like the dangerous rebels we were.  Mind you, I never saw a lot of things coming.  Life likes to surprise us, it seems.

Here’s Jaime and I together.  Prom buddies …

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I was way more fashion forward, with much better hair.  🙂  God I miss the 80’s.

Since it was such a momentous occasion I’m going to throw in a few more pics of my sweet girl who has shown more resilience in the last two years than adults twice her age. That will carry her far in life.  I’m very proud, incase you couldn’t tell.

And last but not least, the Saint-Onge quasi-adults posed together to take a big ol’ “Fuck You, cancer” picture.  (With a small “c”)

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Ben would be so proud.  Damn right.  I’m pretty proud of what we made together. Thanks for that, Ben.  I will have this picture framed because it just screams “We are Ben’s kids!”  I love it.

Grad was not the only momentous occasion that took place around here in the last couple of weeks.  One of those momentous occasions was the day I officially surpassed Ben in age.  I am now 47 and The Titan was a mere 46 years young when he died. Suddenly 46 seems so much younger than it did not long ago.  Now it seems that he was just a baby.  Now it really seems fitting that we chose the line “And we wept that one so lovely should have a life so brief” for his grave stone.  His life really was so brief.

I was digging through some memories and found the last card he ever gave me.  My 45th birthday card, not long after he found out he was dying.

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Ben, if you ever read this I just want you to know that I know how hard you worked at being there for me.  I know you would have stayed forever if you could have. Thank you for trying so hard. I read a quote the other day that said, “You were my greatest hello and my saddest goodbye.”  That pretty much sums up the beginning and the end, but it misses the middle part, which was the best part.  I’ll always be grateful for the middle and those memories will forever make me smile.

Anyway, the other momentous occasion that took place since The Worst Blog Post Ever was a happier one.  Our boy turned 21 years old.  Wow.

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We did what we Saint-Onge’s do best.  We threw a BBQ.

And that’s the last couple of weeks in a nutshell.  Now here we are on June 8th, exactly two years after Ben’s surgery.  You can read about that scary day if you click here, but personally I think I will just skim past those memories, myself.  I don’t feel like going there right now.  Instead I will pack it in for the day, curl up with a t-shirt, and look forward to some sun (hopefully) and another celebration this weekend. (Yay Kirby!)

I love you too.

 

The Worst Blog Post

Just as I think life is picking up and moving along reasonably well, a special event will come along and derail my life.

It’s hard to watch everyone else move forward with their lives and prepare for the big events. I can put on a smile just like everyone else, but behind it I’ll admit to being frustrated that the world is not focussed on the fact that Ben is not here to watch our daughter graduate.  I’ll admit to finding that very annoying.

Reasonable?  Whether it is or it isn’t, it doesn’t matter to me. It hurts.  Badly.  I feel like the kid in school who no one wants to partner with for gym class.  All alone. I’m frustrated.  I’m annoyed.  I’m downright pissed off and I really don’t care if it’s reasonable or not.  I’m angry.

I am going to help Jaime get ready for her grad, and I’m going to take pictures and I hope she has a lovely evening.  And then I’m going to cry for all that should have been and all that never will be.  And I will be angry and I will be resentful and I will be overwhelmingly jealous of everyone I see who has a partner by their side.  And unexplainably I will be the most angry with the friends I love the most, because I am just so jealous that they still get their future with their partner, and Ben and I were supposed to be able to go forward with them.  That’s my dirty little secret … I sometimes feel immense dislike for every single person I know, because their lives move on and mine does not.  There you have it.  I may be the worst person I know.

I will be smiling at grad, for Jaime, but inside I will be screaming and throwing a temper tantrum. I am not over it.  I will never be over it.  I think about Ben almost every minute of every single day.  And sometimes I turn away from people because I want to say things that probably shouldn’t be said.  It’s hard to keep that much annoyance inside.  I’m quite resentful, in fact.

This is a terrible blog post.  The worst.  I’m even frustrated at myself because I’d like nothing more than to purge all these shitty feelings out onto paper, but they won’t even come to me in any type of eloquent form.  All I’ve got is this insane desire to throw things around and kick something.

On another note, did you know there has been some discoveries made with regards to Collecting Duct Carcinoma?  No?  What, you don’t research it every night before you fall asleep?  That’s odd, because I do.  Here’s what is now known since Ben died:

  • Some cases have been associated to kidney damage caused by an overuse of painkillers.  Well gosh, that would have been super nice to have been discovered about 10 years ago before Ben had to start swallowing over the counter painkillers at an alarming rate since his car accident.  I wonder if I can sue all over again and have the other driver charged with murder, since there was a bit of a snowball effect there.  Maybe it’s all that other driver’s fault.
  • apparently there are some links with chromosome mutations.  Great.  It could be a chromosome thing.  That sucks.

Also, I would give my right arm to go back in time so I could try taking Ben to an alternative treatment center somewhere else, or even to get him to try Sunitinib.  That was the last drug that Ben could have tried when the Cisplatin and Gemcitabine failed.  I talked him out of it.  I did.  I didn’t want him to try it because I thought he’d suffer more side effects and that it wouldn’t help.  And now I think I may have stolen his chance from him.

I’m going to go cry now.  Sometimes that’s just all you can do.

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Greys Anatomy – A Trainwreck For My Soul

I watch Greys Anatomy every Thursday night with four friends and a glass of wine.  We have done this for several seasons now, and I look forward to it every week.  But lately … lately I find that watching Greys Anatomy feels similar to watching a train wreck.  It hurts my soul but I can’t look away.  Every single week the show seems to focus on cancer diagnosis’ or cancer deaths.  It’s like a drum pounding in my head over and over.  I walk into the evening excited for the chatter and wine, and within about five minutes of the show starting all I can think is, “Again?”

And so for the last few days I have asked myself this question … are these weekly dates with my girls feeding my soul, or are they robbing me of any semblance of peace?

The most recent episode involved a pregnant woman who was dying of … wait for it …. cancer.   (Surprise!) She refused treatment in order to save her baby.  How noble of her. Blah blah blah. Before she went into surgery she secretly told the doctors she wanted to sign her own DNR.  She did not want them to take extraordinary measures to keep her alive if something went wrong.  Well, something went wrong as it usually does, and I’m sure you can figure out what happened in the end.

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As I was watching that episode it made me think about this … I signed the DNR.  I signed that DNR.  I signed it while I sat right beside Ben in the hospital.  A doctor finally had the kahunas to broach the subject with Ben, and Ben promptly shut him down hard and fast.  “Talk to Wendy about that” he said. “She’ll know.”  I remember that he used tone with the doctor.  Angry tone.

“She’ll know.”

Well apparently, in fact, I did know.  Or at least I thought I knew at the time, because I signed it.  Ben apparently did not know so I made that decision for him.  That shitty, crappy, assholish decision that I never imagined I would actually have to make in my lifetime.   I signed that DNR, tucked it into the green plastic envelope they give you with a magnet on the back and slapped it onto our fridge for all to see. (That’s what you do with it, you know.  I’m told that EHS attendants always look on the fridge for that green envelope.  A quarter century in emergency services and I never knew that DNRs are kept in green envelopes on the fridge.  Now you know too.)  I signed that DNR.  I stuck it on the fridge and it sat there right through the Christmas holidays while everyone from both families were here “celebrating” the season, and I think I was the only one who knew it was there.  (It’s possible I could be wrong about that … there is a lot I don’t remember so maybe my sisters did know.)  But what I do indeed remember is that I signed the fucking DNR.  It was the right thing to do, and it kind of haunts me.

Not only did I sign the DNR and stick it on the fridge, but I also chose a funeral hall and signed some forms about body removal at a time when Ben was still chatting people up and taking visitors.  Everyone around him was planning for Ben’s death except Ben.  He wanted to live.  He trusted me with his life and death decisions.

I signed the DNR.  It somehow seems so businesslike … so wrong, so completely casual in hindsight.  “Sign this receipt, please.”  “Sign for the package, please.”  “Sign your husband’s DNR, please.”  Funny how it didn’t seem so wrong at the time.  At the time it seemed important to plan, to prepare, and to save Ben from the agony of possibly being brought back to life only to surely die soon after.  Now it just seems surreal, and even though it was the right thing to do, I don’t really know how I managed to do it.

I had a landscaping complication this week with the neighbour, and when I brought her flowers the next day to try to calm her ruffled feathers she went on and on and on about how she had had a bad day.  That was her reason for her bad behaviour … everything had gone wrong for her.  And I smiled and handed her the flowers and mumbled, “Oh, I’m sorry your day was so tough” while I thought about how I wanted to tell her that I wish that I could have her bad days.  I also wanted to beat her a little bit but I refrained.

(On a side note, I tend to have regular Ally McBeal moments where I envision doing exactly what I want to do when people say things that I consider absolute wastes of time and breath.  It makes me feel better to fantasize.  I try to put smile therapy into practice.)

I spent some time with Ben these last few days and I was surprised to find that someone else had been visiting him too.  They left flowers. I love that.

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The bottom bunch is from someone else who must have loved him.  Can’t say as I blame them.  He was easy to love.

I asked the question earlier about whether these weekly Greys Anatomy dates are feeding my soul (the friendships) or sucking it dry (the storyline of the show).  The truth is that I could probably do without the constant cancer reminders, but then again those reminders are everywhere, every day.  I don’t need Greys Anatomy to remind me that Ben died.

On the plus side I also get at least an hour of chat before the show and I’m always guaranteed a laugh as we recount what we read on the local community Facebook page throughout the week.  (Those of you who live in this area will understand what I mean.) Those hours are worth more to me.  I couldn’t have gotten part way through this mess of Ben’s life and death without them.

Anyway, who am I kidding?  I couldn’t stop watching the 37th season of Greys Anatomy even if I was kicked out of the club.  (I don’t think they can kick me out.  I’m the original founder.)

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I Will Miss You …

A few months after Ben died I received an email from someone I’ve never met.  She said she worked with Ben briefly in the past and told me that her husband had recently been diagnosed with cancer.  She said he was expected to make a full recovery and I was simultaneously relieved and jealous.  Fast forward one year and I’m told the cancer is now in his liver, shoulder, ribs, sternum, skull … you get the picture.  He is dying.  And now I ache for these people I don’t know.

In order to distract myself I began cleaning out my (Ben’s) office.  In doing so, I found this:

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Anyone remember this?  Randy Pausch, professor, husband, father, cancer victim.  Died in 2008 at the age of 48 but not before giving the Last Lecture and writing a book for his children.

In 2008 Ben and I watched his Last Lecture and cried about it and talked about it endlessly.  (OK, I cried, but Ben talked about it endlessly.  It was Ben who bought the book).  Ben admired the lessons Randy Pausch had learned in his life (in fact, Ben constantly reminded me that “Randy Pausch says we should let the kids draw on their bedroom walls”) and how he had faced his death head on. Ben made actual changes in his own life that can be attributed in part to Randy Pausch.  It was Randy Pausch’s death that caused Ben and I to have some in depth conversations about how we would face our own deaths, although Ben always said it was just a hypothetical conversation anyway since he planned to live to 100.  (I’m pretty sure Ben privately figured he’d outlive me because I would worry myself to death before anything could ever get him. I’m almost surprised he wasn’t right.)

The death and pending death of  two people I have never met have slowed me down this morning and caused me to reflect on how Ben “planned to die” when he was healthy versus what really happened when reality swooped in.  He didn’t die the way I expected him to.  He didn’t die the way he expected himself to.

Most of the time Ben did not want to acknowledge that he was dying, but there were moments when he knew.  He sent “goodbye” texts.  He sent “I will miss you” texts.  Those memories simultaneously make me smile and cry.  The logical Ben would have scoffed at that and said, “You can’t miss people when you’re dead.”  The dying Ben thought he would miss his family and friends.

I remember the time when I told him “You cannot die on me. I need you!” and he cried and said “I know.” That moment was probably the catalyst that caused Ben to never specifically sit down to discuss his pending death with the kids and I.  He worked around it, especially at the end, but I think to him he felt that if he said the words “I’m going to die” he would have felt he failed us.  I think it hurt him too much to think about missing us.  I get that.

I know Ben lived the best life he could, and he died the best way he could which for him meant refusing to let negative thoughts of death creep into his head during the majority of his illness.  He focussed on life.  Good for him.  I need to remember that.

My plan to distract myself by cleaning the office has not worked.  I found these:

Look at his smile.  The pictures remind me that Ben always lived his life like “The Last Lecture.”  He always saw the bright side, he despised complaining, he believed in hard work, he was kind.  His life set the example for others, and it didn’t take his pending death for him to get there. He was always there.

I will miss you too, Ben.  Always.

Bettering Myself

Humour me for a moment while you read the next two paragraphs, and trust that this post is not all gloom and doom.

Two years ago today, Ben’s world came crashing down around him.  He went to see Dr B for the results of his MRI which was supposed to determine whether or not he would need back surgery or a cortisone injection.  Instead, he received his death sentence.

He didn’t tell me about it for two days, so I lived in blissful oblivion and whistled my way through the next 48 hours doing and saying exactly what I wanted.  My most prominent memory is coming home from work on April 8th and saying “Why didn’t you empty the dishwasher while I was at work??!!”  Yes, Ben had just been given a death sentence and I was worried about the dishes. Not my proudest moment.  Granted, I still had no idea that our lives had just come to a screeching halt, but my annoyance over the dishes remains one of the things I remember and sure wish I could take back.  (Let that be a lesson to anyone reading this … shut up and stop complaining about trivial things.  Take a moment right now to stop and throw some love out to your other half.  No matter what happens, the two of you will not be together until the end of time.  One of you is going to have to live like I am currently living … without my Love and carrying regret over the fact that I bitched about the dishes.)  If you’re interested, I wrote about that day in this post.

Moving forward, I recently came across a blog post written by a fellow named Benjamin P. Hardy, titled “50 Ways (that) Happier, Healthier, And More Successful People Live On Their Own Terms.”  (For the record, the word “that” was not in the title, but I thought it should be.)  His post struck a chord with me because I happen to agree with many of the 50 points on his list for living my best life, although I currently do not adhere to them.

That is about to change.

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So, on this most significant day that my brain currently recognizes as “The Day Ben Found Out He Was Dying,” I have decided to begin something that he would be most proud of. Something he would have done himself, because he was a man who spent every day of his adult life trying to become a better person than he was the day before.  And although some of his self improvement schemes were annoying, like his continual preaching “Everyone must go gluten free! You will die if you don’t go gluten free!”  (I assume you can see the irony in that one), most of his efforts could only be admired as he regularly searched for ways to expand his mind, improve his overall health and fitness, and to be a great Dad and partner.

 

With Ben as my inspiration, I have decided to use Mr. Hardy’s list to improve myself.  I’m going to challenge myself to act on one of his suggestions per week until I work my way through most of them.  I look forward to seeing how I come out the other side, and I may be able to change the name of this day to “The Day I Changed My Life In Honour Of Ben.” Or at least combine the two titles.  That’ll be a mouthful.

*Note that I said I was going to act on “most” of Mr. Hardy’s suggestions.  Not all of them. That’s because some of his suggestions are things I already do (see #5) and some are just crazy. (see #1)

Here’s the list, pared down without all the extra detail around why it is important to do each one and how it will positively effect you if you do.  If I’m moved to blog about each one I try then I will provide his detailed explanation at the top of each post.  (I say “if I’m moved” to blog about how I do because I don’t want to commit to do that and then not follow through.  Let me get some momentum going and see how I do.):

  1. Stop consuming caffeine (See?  Crazy.  Not doing it. Well, maybe.  But not right away)
  2. Pray or meditate morning, mid-day, and night
  3. Read 1 book per week
  4. Write in your journal 5 minutes per day
  5. Marry the person you love (Definitely already knocked this one out of the park)
  6. Make a bucket list and actively knock items off
  7. Stop consuming refined sugar (ouch)
  8. Fast from all food and caloric beverages 24 hours once per week
  9. Fast from the internet 24 hours once per week
  10. Stop consuming the news or reading the newspaper
  11. Do something everyday that terrifies you
  12. Do something kind for someone else daily
  13. Go to bed early and rise early
  14. Get 7+ hours of sleep each night
  15. Replace warm showers with cold ones
  16. Say “No” to people, obligations, requests, and opportunities you’re    not interested in from now on
  17. Say “Thank you” every time you’re served by someone
  18. Say “I love you” 3+ times a day to the most important people in your life
  19. Consume 30 grams of protein within the first 30 minutes of waking up
  20. Listen to audiobooks and podcasts on 1.5 or 2x speed, your brain will change faster
  21. Decide where you’ll be in five years and get there in two
  22. Remove all non-essentials from your life (start with your closet)
  23. Consume a tablespoon of coconut oil once per day
  24. Buy a juicer and juice a few times per week
  25. Choose to have faith in something bigger than yourself, skepticism is easy
  26. Stop obsessing about the outcome
  27. Give at least one guilt-free hour to relaxation per day
  28. Genuinely apologize to people you’ve mistreated
  29. Make friends with five people who inspire you
  30. Save 10 percent or more of your income
  31. Tithe or give 10 percent of your income away
  32. Drink 64–100 ounces of water per day
  33. Buy a small place rather than rent (Done)
  34. Check your email and social media at least 60–90 minutes after you wake up
  35. Make a few radical changes to your life each year (Well, clearly I’m no slouch in this department.  Lose Ben.  Retire.  What more does he want?)
  36. Define what wealth and happiness mean to you
  37. Change the way you feel, think, and act about money”
  38. Invest only in industries you are informed about
  39. Create an automated income source that takes care of the fundamentals (Done.  But I’m going to think on this one anyway.)
  40. Have multiple income streams (the more the better)  (Again, done.  But again, I’m still going to think on this one and see what else I can do.  I don’t think my current income streams are what he had in mind.)
  41. Track at least one habit/behaviour you’re trying to improve
  42. Have no more than 3 items on your to-do list each day
  43. Make your bed first thing in the morning
  44. Make one audacious request per week (what do you have to lose?)
  45. Be spontaneously generous with a stranger at least once per month
  46. Write and place a short, thoughtful note for someone once per day
  47. Become good friends with your parents (Done.  Thank God.  I can’t imagine how I would have survived without them.  I think I will change this one to: Become good friends with your adult children.)
  48. Floss your teeth
  49. Eat at least one meal with your family per day
  50. Spend time reflecting on your blessings at least once per day

Well, there you have it.  The List.  I think I may add some of my own that aren’t included on here, like:

  1. Work out or get some type of strenuous exercise 5 times per week and
  2. Spend time outside in nature every day

Those ones would be numbers 51 and 52 but I can’t seem to make the numbering work. Perhaps I should add “learn how to use numbering in a blog.” Anyway, you get the picture.  Writing this blog post today fulfills #4.  I’m exhausted.  Haha.

Now that I’ve publicly declared my intent I will begin by choosing which one of the above points I will start with.  I’m not doing them in numerical order.  My plan is to practice each one regularly for a week and see what sticks. Hopefully a week of flossing and another week of drinking lots of water will turn into habits that I can continue throughout the following weeks into forever, as I attempt the rest of the points.

Number 48 is probably a wise place to begin.

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I think Sundays will be a good day to begin something new each week.  I guess that means I don’t have to floss until tomorrow.

Have a fantastic weekend and do something nice for your spouse.

 

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This One Is For Robert K.

So, apparently I lied on February 5th when I said I was done posting on this blog. Although, in my defense I did say that I was going to stay non committal …  I left myself a little opening incase I felt moved to blog, and I happen to feel moved to blog.

Recently I decided to sell Ben’s Apple Extreme Something-Or-Other.  I didn’t really know what it was and had to google it in order to find out, but I did know that it wasn’t being used and hadn’t been used for the entire year.  Like everything else Ben bought it was essentially brand new with the box and everything it came with originally.

I put an ad on Craigslist and had several texts back and forth with some guy who wanted to buy it but he wanted me to drive it out to Pacific Center for him.  I may get a thrill from collecting a dollar or two by selling off unused items, but certainly not enough to drive into Vancouver to pass it on.  No thanks.  If you can’t come here to pick it up then you’d best find another one elsewhere.  (Silly guy, because it was a great deal.)  Anyway, the guy was a bit of a goof and kept texting me at all hours of the night over the course of last weekend until he finally believed me that I wouldn’t be bringing it to him.  He said he’d think about it, and then on Monday he texted me a photo of an Apple Extreme Something-Or-Other he had bought from someone else.  Really?  Not sure what the point of that was.  The conversation that followed went something like this:

Me: “and?”

Him:”I bought one from someone else so I don’t need to buy yours.”

Me: “good thing I didn’t drive to Vancouver then.”

Him: “well I would have bought yours if you had brought it to me.”

Me: “I am not that desperate for a  buck.”

So that was that and I was kind of chuckling over the fact that he seemed to think I would be shattered that he would not be making the purchase, when my phone went ‘ding’ and I looked at my email.  Lo and behold, right at that moment another gentleman was asking me if it was still for sale, and there began another conversation that made me smile:

Him: “Still have the Apple Extreme?”

Me: “Ironic that I should receive this email today (long story) but as it turns out I do have it.”

Him: “Perfect.  Tomorrow evening for pickup work for you?”

Me: “Well, apparently I will not be out on some wildly romantic Valentines excursion so it seems that tomorrow will in fact be a good time for pickup.”

Him: “I totally forgot about VDay being tomorrow!! How about Wednesday as my lovely wife expects me around!?”

Me: “Ha!  I’d suggest you pretend that it didn’t take an anonymous craigslist seller to remind you about Valentine’s Day.  Wednesday is fine.”

Him: “I pretend real well because at my age I forget real easy.”

laughing

I got a laugh and a sale at the same time.

Wednesday night rolled around and my craigslist buyer arrived at my front door.  I opened the door and was greeted by Robert.  Robert-With-The-Friendly-Smile and cash in hand which I happily traded him for the Apple Extreme Something-Or-Other.  And then, surprise surprise, he handed me a gift bag containing a bottle of wine, a box of chocolate and a Starbucks card.  I was so puzzled until this lovely man explained.  He told me that he and his wife had read my blog.  So had their daughters.  And he told me he thought I was wonderful.  Then he gave me a hug and away he went, leaving me with tears in my eyes, a smile on my face and a reminder of how amazing people are.

I don’t know how to reach Robert K.  I sent him a FB message but we all know how those work when you aren’t “friends” with someone.  He’ll probably discover it in a few years. So I wanted to write another post that I hope he sees just to say …

thank-you-robert

You made my one-day-after-Valentines-Day-alone a little sweeter.  And you reminded me about all the lovely people out there who are not Craigslist Killers (yes, that thought always crosses my mind before I sell something) but instead just want to bring a little light into someone else’s day.  I’m not amazing, but you are.  You are amazing, Robert and Robert’s wife.  Amazing.  Thank you.

You would think that for someone who suggested she may not blog again, that would be the end of this unexpected post. But it’s not. I have one more story about selling off Ben’s unused items that also made me laugh the day after I met The Amazing Robert.

Recently Raegan and I discovered a brand new OtterBox for an iPhone 6 plus (Ben’s) that was still in it’s package.  Neither of us could imagine why he hadn’t used it considering how expensive they are, but I have no need for it so I priced it for a quick sale on the local FB site.  It sold immediately and a lady came by to pick it up.  Sale over and I did not expect to hear from her again.  But I did.  I received a private FB message from her that read:

Hi Wendy. I had a look at the case when I got home tonight and I realized that it is not a Otter box you sold me. It is called a crseology case. A cheap Chinese import. I would like to know if this was a mistake.

OMG.  I could feel my face turn red and there wasn’t even anyone around to see.  I quickly looked at the photos I had taken of the case (kept in the original Otterbox) and discovered that she was right.  The word “Crseology” was stamped right on it and I had never noticed. How completely humiliating.  I had to convince a complete stranger that I had not intentionally ripped her off and that in fact it was all Ben’s fault.  Lol. I felt like I was stammering with embarrassment as I wrote back to her.

Needless to say I returned her money with my head hanging in shame (metaphorically, since I actually eTransferred it back to her).  I have no idea how that phone case made it into an Otterbox case, but here is my best guess.  I suspect that my sweet Ben who always liked to save a buck ordered an Otterbox online by someone who was advertising them for cheap.  Not one to pass up a bargain, I suspect he made that purchase from an unreliable seller and got ripped off but didn’t want to tell me about it because he thought I would tease and torment him relentlessly.  Which I would have, to be honest.

Now you may ask yourself why Ben wouldn’t have just thrown the case and the box in the garbage so that I would never find out, right?  That would have been the reasonable thing to do, but this is Ben we’re talking about.  Ben The Hoarder who never threw anything away.  Ben The Hoarder who kept every box from everything he ever purchased, “just incase.”  (Admittedly though, his need to save boxes has earned me some extra money over this last year when I have been able to advertise items that still have their original packaging. So I guess it might not have been the worst habit ever.)  I suspect that he just couldn’t bring himself to get rid of it.  “Just incase.”

I imagine he is laughing his head off over my awkward moment, since he knows I would have laughed at him if I had known what happened at the time.

That’s all for today, folks.  I’ll see if the mood hits me again.

Hug your families.