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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I Wish

I wish I could go back.  I’m not even talking about going right back to better, pre cancer healthy times.  That would be lovely, but I feel as though I’d be wishing for too much if I wished for that.  I feel like that would be greedy.  I kind of feel as though I understand that it is not possible to go back too far, but maybe if I wish to just go back to last December, or even January, that might just be possible. I feel like that would not be asking for too much if I were just to ask for that because Ben was so sick by that time….how could it be asking for too much if I just want to go back to that?

I’m laying here in bed as I write this, looking at the framed picture of Ben and I hanging on the wall (it’s not even my favourite.  Why in the world did I choose that one to be blown up and framed for Ben’s service?) and thinking about how he lay right here in our bed at the very end.  

I remember the weekend right before he passed away.  A lot of people came to visit and say goodbye without really saying goodbye. Ben was still talking, albeit between bouts of falling asleep mid sentence. But he managed to have conversations with everyone and he waited for Jeff to arrive on Sunday night.  (The more time that passes, the more grateful I am to Jeff for getting on that plane to make it here for his best friend in the nick of time.  I believe Ben hung on to see him).  Ben smiled at Jeff and they exchanged a few words before Ben fell asleep, and those were essentially the last coherent words he spoke except for a weak “I love you” to the kids the next day.

I wish I could go back to just before those last moments. I wish I could tell him that in a few days I would lay beside him when he drew his last breath, and I would hold his hand, and I would comfort him.  I wish I had known before his mind went elsewhere that I had one last opportunity to have a conversation with him.  I wish I had asked him if he was scared.  I wish I had known that he would end up thinking he was drowning, and that he would panic and be desperate for some type of help that no one could give. If I had known that was going to happen I could have talked about it with him and prepared for it as we always did. I could have let him know that I would keep him safe, even though he wouldn’t feel safe. And then maybe on some level deep down, amidst the drug haze and the crazy things that bodies do when they are shutting down, he might have known on some level that he was safe.  If I had just known. If I had just talked about it.  I wish I had talked about it.

I feel so terrible for not addressing the elephant in the room with him directly. I should have addressed it.  I should have asked him.  I should have assured him I would be there with him.  That the kids would be there, and our family and friends.  I should have let him know, and if he said he was scared I should have told him I would be holding his hand. I should have told him that Jeff would be with him.  That we wouldn’t let anything bad happen to him. (You know what I mean).  That we would give him all the drugs he wanted to be comfortable and to not suffer.  He did not want to suffer.  That much I do know.

I recall how one evening last summer Ben looked at me and with shock he said, “You don’t think I’m going to die do you?”  And I couldn’t get any words out.  I couldn’t say “no”, and I couldn’t say “yes.”  I just sat on the floor at his feet and cried.  At the time I thought he was asking me if I was going to a dark place in my head that he didn’t want to go to.  But now I wonder if he was just simply asking me if he was going to die.  And if that’s what he was asking, then I let him down because I didn’t answer him.  He asked me a question and I did not answer.

I wish I could have a do-over.  One more chance to go on that limo ride where Ben was too weak to get out at each stop, but seemed so content to watch the rest of us get out and marvel at the lights.  I wonder if he was scared that night.  I wonder if he rode around in that limo thinking about how it was his last Christmas, his last limo ride, the last time he would look at the lights with the kids and I, the last time he would sit in the parking lot of a McDonalds restaurant.  All the boring, mundane, beautiful things in this life.   I wish I had forgone looking at the lights and just stayed in the limo with him and held his hand, and whispered that I would never leave him. That he need not be scared.  That he would forever be surrounded by beauty.  That we would be together again one day.

The next day the doctor told him he had 3 weeks.  She was just about bang on.

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Jaime took this picture of us on the way home that day.  She sent it to me the other day.  I don’t even recall any of us speaking on the way home, but I do recall us holding hands.

I was a bit of a coward, I think, and I wish I could go back and try again.  To tell him when he had a clear mind that I would be beside him until the very end.  That I wouldn’t let him down.  That I wouldn’t leave him.  And maybe if I had talked about that when he was clear headed he might have known it on some level when his mind wasn’t working properly anymore.  I wish I knew whether or not he knew that as he was panicking in the two days before he died.

I joined a grief group.  I started last Tuesday and I attend with my friend Lisa.  Her husband died suddenly last May. There are eight of us in this grief group, and all the other women are much older except one.  She has a six year old son, and she woke up one morning a few days after Ben died to find her own husband dead beside her in bed.  I feel so sad for her, but at the same time I’m a bit jealous over the fact that her husband didn’t have to suffer and she doesn’t have to wonder if she did enough to let him know she would stay by his side.

Anyway, we were there for two hours and we did a lot of listening to the counsellors. Most of the things the counsellors had to say are things I already know, because I had nine months before Ben died to research grief, and now I’ve had nine months since he died to do the same.  I’m very well read on the subject, actually, although that doesn’t seem to lessen the pain.  

I have read (and have now been told in person) that grief is like a pounding, relentless surf, kicking and clawing at your soul and knocking you down for TWO to FIVE years.  That’s right, ladies and gentlemen … two to five years.  I have barely yet begun.  But I am also told that the pain eases and the pounding of the “mourning” waves slows between punches.  The knowledge that the pain will ease should bring me some peace but it does not, because I don’t actually want to live in a time when Ben is not foremost in my thoughts.  I don’t want him to be forgotten.  I am scared that one day I might wake up in the morning and actually not think of him first thing. I’m scared that I might wake up and think of him as a passing thought and a quick smile.  I feel like if that happens then he didn’t exist.  And what of all those years he put in standing in the pouring rain at soccer?  What of all the years he worked to support us?  What of all the years he spent cooking for us, taking us on vacation, laughing and loving us?  What was it all for if we just continue to live our lives without him foremost in our thoughts?

Anyway, apparently I don’t have to worry about that any time soon because the experts tell me I have anywhere between one year and three months to four years and three months before that happens.  So it appears I will continue to randomly burst into tears in my office on occasion, talk about Ben endlessly to anyone I come in contact with for hours on end until no one wants to be around me anymore, and I will continue to reach out for him when I wake up in the morning for awhile longer yet. I’m ok with that.

I’ll end with this …. Ben doesn’t have a headstone on his grave.  That is because I am scared to make that final decision on what it should say.  What few words can adequately describe the man he was?  I don’t want to make a mistake.  So I thought I’d put this question out there to the universe and the one or two people who may read this blog.  Whether you knew him and loved him in person, or whether you just got to know him by reading our words on this blog …. I would love to have your input / suggestions on what I could write on his headstone.  A word, a quote … anything really.  Just something that might help inspire me to find the right words.

I’ll leave you with Ben’s favourite quote from Bruce Lee …”Don’t pray for an easy life.  Pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”  And boy did he endure.

It’s Been Awhile – Part II

On August 31, 2015, Ben posted on this blog.  It had been awhile since he had written, hence the title of his post which was “It’s Been Awhile.”  (Clever man thinking up that title all by himself).  That day was one of the few times he acknowledged his pending death in a forum that he knew I could access.  He wrote “My visits to the BC Cancer Agency only serve to re-enforce my suspicions that by this time next year I’ll be nothing but a memory to everyone. A fond one perhaps, but only a memory.

How could a year have passed since that day? How is it that he has been gone 7 1/2 months?  He has been gone now for almost as long as he suffered with the knowledge that he had cancer.  I still cannot believe it is true.  I still wait for him to come home.  I have read that for some people, the waiting never ends.

In any case, other than that one post on this day last year, he never spoke of himself dying to the kids and I until the very end.  I know he thought he was protecting us all those months.  Even last December when we discussed what we wanted Christmas 2015 to be about I cried, “If this is our last Christmas together….” and he cut me off and said, “It won’t be. It won’t be.”  I know now he said it more for me than himself.

All year I thought he didn’t know what the ending would be.  I thought this post he wrote (click here) was a one off.  I honestly thought he forgot he wrote it.  But over the course of the past few months since his death I have read things Ben wrote where it is clear he knew what was happening.  And he was so sad.   My heart shatters all over again every time I think of him suffering emotionally in silence, with a smile on his face whenever he could manage it.

While it was all happening I consoled myself with the fact that he believed there would be a happy ending, so he didn’t have to live with the emotional torture in addition to the physical torture.  I thought it was better for that to be my burden, that it was better for me to carry that for him since he was already in so much physical pain.  I didn’t want him to carry the emotional pain of wondering if each day was his last.

Now sometimes I physically feel I may vomit when I think about the anguish he must have felt as he watched the rest of us sleep, because he knew.  Sometimes I love him for trying to protect the kids and I, and sometimes I hate that he never sat me down and told me what to do after he died. But mostly I am tortured by the fact that he carried that knowledge, and I pray every day that he really did forget because of all the meds.  I think sometimes at least, that may have been true.

Now one year has flown by and I find myself celebrating my Dad’s retirement from teaching.  I’m so proud of my Dad.  I’m also very lucky that I’m his favourite child.  (That’s right, Lisa and Barb.  As Dr. B once said when Ben was in a drug induced state and asked me if I had confessed to my crimes …. “the truth shall set you free.”)  I’m very happy that I was able to celebrate with my family tonight, despite my somewhat melancholy and a tad angry mood (which I do try daily to shake off, but some days are just harder than others). We raised a glass to Ben tonight …. he would have had a good laugh teasing my Dad about retirement.  There would have been a lot of digs about “How does one retire from a job they only went to for an hour a day?”  I think Ben was probably there drinking right along with us.

September 24th would have been our 22nd wedding anniversary.  We will inter his ashes that day.  The ending to our story, on the same day it began.  

I miss you Ben.  The world just isn’t the same without you.

 

Things I’ve Done Since Ben Died

1) Learned to use a drill.  I found about 45 of them in the garage, because in our younger days (and poorer days) Ben used to build everything for us.  I always told him that if he ever got fired from the Force he could be a carpenter. He was really that good. Once he built my mom and dad a gorgeous oak bar which they still use regularly.

Most of the drills are too heavy to be practical for me to use, but I did find a “girl” drill.  And I learned how to charge the battery on it, courtesy of Zak.  Yesterday I used it to remove a bunch of clips that were holding speaker wire to the wall, AND I figured out how to remove all the wire. Which brings me to number 2

2) I learned how to unhook speakers and pull all the wires out of the wall.

3) I have learned how to be practical and get rid of “things.”  Ben was not sentimental that way. Despite the fact that he kept everything, it was more out of laziness than sentimentality. He always said that “things” are just “things.”  You can’t take them with you when you die.

So I have been selling a lot of stuff. Things that just clutter the house and therefore my mind. And I have given items that Ben loved to people he cared about who will also enjoy them, and will care that they belonged to Ben.

Nancy now carries Ben’s “man purse” around. He liked to call it a “bag” or a “satchel”, but the kids and I always told him to call a spade a spade. It’s a purse. Nancy likes it and uses it for work, just like Ben did.

Jeremy rides the stationary bike that Ben spent hours riding. Well, I think right now Jeremy is just circling it from a distance, but he will ride it soon I’m sure.

Jeff has Ben’s challenge coin. I put it in a frame with two pictures of them and photographs of the very humorous text conversation they had when Ben first got sick. It hangs in his office at work.

Zak wears Ben’s watch.  Raegan wears Ben’s sweat pants. (Yes, you read that right. Little Raegan walks around in Ben’s sweats constantly).   Zak also has adopted Ben’s electronics because he’s the only one who appreciates them.  Jaime has a framed picture of the notes she and Ben wrote each other.

Peter has a guitar that Ben left especially for him. Ben tried twice over the last year to tell Peter how much it meant to him that Peter had quite literally saved Zak’s life. Both times Ben tried to tell Peter, he (Ben) became too emotional, so he asked me to give Peter a particular guitar and tell Peter how he felt. I hope I was able to adequately pass on Ben’s message .

The list goes on, but the point is that other then the particularly sentimental items, the rest is just “stuff.”  And “stuff” is just clutter which creates chaos of the mind. So goodbye clutter.

4) I have become more patient and understanding. That probably stems from the entire last year and not just since Ben died.

5). I have paid bills. I’m working on the budget.

6). I have slightly chilled out regarding my hypochondria. Mostly because, to be honest, I tend to think about two things when I’m worried about my health.  The first is that I miss Ben so much and I really want to see him again.  Don’t freak out – I don’t say that in an “I want to die” sort of way. I don’t. That’s not what I mean. I just miss him so much and I know he’ll be waiting for me when the time comes.  So therefore there is less point in freaking out about little aches and pains.  The second thing I think of is that nothing I can ever go through will be as bad and painful as what Ben endured. Not physically, anyway. So I will just try to take whatever comes as it comes.

7).  I made the decision to install central air conditioning.  I got estimates and made the decision myself.  And I got a new hot water tank.  That is not something I ever would have done before without deferring to Ben.  I do wish I had insisted on the a/c last year so Ben could have had some relief from the heat.

In the meantime, I continue to be blessed with the best of family, friends and neighbors. Yesterday I received an unexpected knock on the door and found Jim there with a bunch of tools.  He fixed an outlet cover that Ben left undone for about 4 years, and hung new numbers on my house.



Thank you, Jim.  And thank you for remembering without me asking.  Thank you.

While Jim was hanging the house numbers, my neighbor (who moved in last summer and whom I have only met once) came over and spontaneously mowed my lawn.


In addition to those things, another neighbor has limed my lawn and taken care of other things around the exterior of my house, while on breaks from his own chemo sessions. Yes, you read that correctly. He endures his own health nightmare and still tries to help me out.

I miss Ben, but we are blessed and I’ve discovered that I can actually get a few things done for myself.

It’s Been Awhile…

Well apparently it’s been awhile since I’ve blogged. Wendy keeps bugging the shit out of me, and I keep findIng every reason not to blog. Why? It’s complicated. The straight-forward answer is that I couldn’t think of anything positive to blog about.

My visits to the BC Cancer Agency only serve to re-enforce my suspicions that by this time next year I’ll be nothing but a memory to everyone. A fond one perhaps, but only a memory. Don’t get me wrong, the people at the BCCA are very kind and helpful but they still leave me with the feeling that I’m going to die. And because of that, I haven’t been feeling very upbeat and positive.

That and the fact that I did a little googling on my very own Collecting Duct Carcinoma and found nothing but shit news. I won’t get into the details but I couldn’t find anything that led me to believe I will pull out of this. So I am doing my best not to think of cancer, and only thinking about making the best of the days in front of me.

So that’s where I’m at. No more pom-poms, false cheers or brave words in the face of this fucking thing. Just me and my disease (that could be a cool song title). I don’t know what else to do. This blog post isn’t designed to cause depression…I think I have chemo brain. My brain just doesn’t seem to work. Normally witty things just come to me but there seems to be some kind of roadblock happening. Anyways…on to bigger and better things.

Tomorrow night I am taking Raegan to the Dave Matthews concert here in Vancouver. I’ve been wanting to see him for years. I used to be a bigger fan but that seems to have faded somewhat. I still like his music but maybe five years ago may have been better timing. Anyways, we will enjoy it together. I’m looking forward to it.

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On September 11 Zach and I will be going to see the Foo Fighters. My very favourite band. If I ever grow up, I want to grow up to be Dave Grohl. What a guy. I love the energy of that band. Some may say that I am too old to like the Foo Fighters, to that I say “Piss off”. I love those guys. Period. We are both really looking forward to the show. Should be awesome.

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And the big surprise is…On September 24 my bride is taking me to see one of my favourite artists ever…Doyle Bramhall II. Yup, I know. No one knows who he is right? Right. Well I do, and I think he is awesome. Google him, he has a decent resume. He and Charlie Sexton formed the Arc Angels in 1990 and had a few hits on the blues rock charts. He then went solo in 1996 with his self-titled album Doyle Bramhall II. Then in 1999 he released Jellycream. Then released a follow-up album Welcome in 2001. Since then he has been working as a gun for hire and has quite a few big names on his resume: he has toured with Roger Waters (Pink Floyd), Eric Clapton and a host of other artists. Anyways, he is playing at a small venue called the El Rey Theatre in LA. We are flying down on the 23rd, catching the show on the 24th and flying back the next day.

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Wendy LOVES his hair. I do too actually. If I only had hair…

I had been following his events calendar for some time and was considering flying down to Texas and catching one of his shows in Austin. But with three kids and a mortgage it was hard to justify a trip like that. But with Cancer – what the hell!! Can’t wait!!!

Wendy tells me that she’s been in touch with the man himself. I’m looking forward to seeing if anything comes of this contact. I’m hoping to meet him. We’ll see. I don’t know exactly what I would say to him but…it would be cool.

Anyways, I think I’m done with this post. I may be back again…We’ll see.