Thursday, 29 January 2009

Reflections On Cold Nights

Like a newborn baby, a new year always felt like a fresh start. It has always felt like a gift somehow. Anything could be possible.

Flashbacks From The Month Of January

January 2, 1998

*Nadalene is getting ready to go to Mexico.

January 3, 1998

*Still haven’t heard from Nadalene. Angelique went to Don’s and Nathan went to Kevin’s. Wahid was home, but you may as well say I was home alone. I’m in a shitty mood.

January 5, 1998

*I miss Nadalene already. It snowed all day. Mom called at nine for Angelique to pick up Pepsi for Dad. I think it was pretty ridiculous that she had to go get Pepsi at night in a snowstorm, with a car that has no winter tires.

January 8, 1998

*Wahid apologized for calling me lazy. I accepted the apology. Nana once told me that all a person can say is ‘I’m sorry.’

January 9, 1998

*The best is yet to be, and that is Nadalene getting home from Mexico tonight or early tomorrow.

January 13, 1998

*I was just talking to Mom, and I told her of a dream I had last night. In the dream; Jacquie didn’t want Mom to see me anymore, so Mom asked me not to come around. I was so surprised that I struck my hand out and pushed her in the chest. I told this to Mom and she said ‘Fuck that.’ Mom said she won’t be around forever and that she’ll die sometime. You can’t imagine how those words hit me. I couldn’t even believe my reaction. I started sobbing, almost as though Mom just died.

*I told Mom that she was the person who gave me my wings and that besides my children she is the one person I love more than anyone in this world. I admire her so much.

*It seems that the older I get, and realize who she is as a woman; I admire and love her more. I would say that my Mom is fair, loves children and they love her, truly believes that there is always room for one more and practices that, kind, beautiful, in style, modern, gave me a love of music, open-minded, does not gossip, can keep a secret, tolerant, fun, strict, caring, strong, and much much more. My Mom is not tolerant of liars, thieves, or fools. And if Mom has something to say, believe me, she will say it. She is also the best grandma in the world.

January 15, 1998

*Feeling depressed. Feeling confused. I am eating butter tarts. Does it make you feel better? NO! ‘AAAAAHHHH’

January 17, 1998

*I wanted Nadalene to keep driving, she could tell and said ‘Do you want me to keep going to Mexico?’ I said no kidding. I’m in a furious mood, I feel like I could rip somebody’s head off.

January 18, 1998

*I’m in a much better frame of mind. Honestly, Renee, get your act together.

*I typed out Angelique’s thesis for her Honors’ Degree.

January 1, 2001

*I can’t believe the date ‘2001’ it seems so futuristic.

*Diary is my generational word, but I know everyone now uses the word journal.

January 2, 2001 (two thousand and one)

*I am grateful that I like my children and I like my husband.

*It is 7:31 p.m. and I am in bed, I started my periods today, and I both look and feel like death warmed over (is that right, Mom always says that and now that I’ve written it out, I don’t know what it means). Anyways, I’m exhausted. I always feel like I do nothing for me, but I just realized I said ‘I’ 13 times in this short block of sentences.

January 5, 2001

*When I got married I was totally unsure where I was headed. I lived unconsciously, just making sure I kept putting one foot in front of the other. I have a happy marriage, and now after being married 25 ½ years, I realize how important it is to keep doing what you need to do for yourself, your husband, and your children. What I have learnt though is I should, and will do from now on, have taken the time to live in the present moment. In other words, if you’re sad, it is okay to feel it. If you’re happy, it is okay to feel it. In retrospect, what I realize that I gained most from this journey was the journey itself. In other words, where you are going may not be as important as how you get there.

January 7, 2001

*Harry came over and spent about four hours fixing the computer and it is now working perfect. I appreciate it very much, as I know how everyone’s time is precious to them. I realized today that there is only one letter separating Happy from Harry.

*Today I am grateful for my brother Harry. He is very smart. I would be interested in knowing what he thinks about. He is very private. I hope my kids know more about each other and can talk to each other about anything. Anyways, I’m grateful to Harry and grateful for Harry.

January 8, 2001

*Blah! Good night, God bless you.

*Nadalene is getting her application ready to apply for City Planning. I am so proud of her, I really don’t know how she can be so focused and she is also very hardworking. She does really well at school. Nadalene definitely gets being focused from the Khan side of the family. It is not a Ste. Marie trait, at least not one that I have. I get really interested in things but only for awhile.

*The personality trait I have that can be both good and bad is my ability to persuade people It is a positive trait when I use it for good, i.e., you’re a good person, all people are equal, when you hear something racist you must take a stand. On the other hand it is negative when I feel I am manipulating someone. Getting them to do what I want, and not taking their ‘yes or no.’ Not accepting that they can know what they want, when it may be different from what I want. When I know I’ve manipulated someone, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I (by the way) try never to do this.

January 13, 2001

*I really enjoyed my time with Angelique, she is brilliant.

January 15, 2001

*God do I ever sound like a bummer. I am grateful for . . . . still thinking . . . . my family.

January 17, 2001

*I wish I had the courage to . . . . look at my life . . . . know what I’m about . . . . to find myself . . . . have real relationships . . . . think and treat myself in a positive loving way . . . . say what I really feel . . . . do things for myself . . . . be a little selfish. Not a pretty picture, I sound like a jellyfish (no spine).

*I just realized that the list I just made about courage is all things I do have the courage to do. Now it is to make the effort.

January 23, 2001

*Happy birthday Gerry. I love my little brother.

*It has been six days since I last wrote (six days of pity for myself? Not convincing.)

*Charlton left for Africa yesterday, started crying because it was hard to see him go, no matter how happy I am for him to be able to have the opportunity.

January 4, 2003

*So very much has happened since I last wrote in this journal. The worst and saddest thing was that Charlotte died on December 10th.

*Nathan was Santa Claus for the first time ever and he did a completely amazing job.

*Drum roll please – the good big news of 2002. Angelique and Don got engaged on December 28th. The ring is amazing. The diamond sparkles, sparkles, sparkles. Really one of my happiest moments ever. By the way I couldn’t think of a more wonderful man for Angelique. My family is growing and I am so pleased.

*Financial fears: Wahid or I lose our jobs. One of us gets sick. No retirement income. No money to help our kids with school debt. No money to help them with their weddings.

January 12, 2003

*Wahid has been on holidays since the week before Christmas and we are really enjoying each other.

*Regarding my body – I do not take care of it at all. My body is neglected and weak. My stomach is huge, yesterday all I did was sit on the couch and eat junk. I’m not treating my body with love. I need to take control of what I’m eating; after all it doesn’t just fly into my mouth. I do have to use my hand to put it there.

*God is my spiritual anchor. I don’t think or do things that connect me with God enough in a day, but believe me, if I think anything is wrong I’m ‘God, God.’

January 13, 2003

*I think of myself as primarily being here for my children’s needs. Almost as if I always need to be ready in case they need me. They do not treat me as such; it is totally something I place on myself. So if I had to answer the question of ‘Who am I?’ I would say I am a person who is far more focused on my children than on myself.

*I want to be a person who is as interested in my own life as I am in my children’s. I believe I am here to make the world a better and more positive place. I am important because I am joyous. My mission is to make my family (and through them) optimistic and strong.

*I want to be here to enjoy my family and this glorious world. I definitely fear failure and that is why I take no risks. I need to feel secure. I could embrace change as an adventure if the change is done in baby-steps.

*The obstacle I see in my life is ‘stagnation – inert – laziness.’ I’m comfortable and I don’t want to be disturbed. ‘What, put on my shoes to go out!’ When I feel like this I am going to repeat the following mantra ‘Life is an adventure – go and be adventurous.’ In my life it is the lack of what I do that hurts me.

*Advice I would pass on to the next generation would be to respect each other, keep laughter and communication open and to treat the person you love the way you would want to be treated with integrity and kindness and to focus on all the positive things about your partner and not to focus on the negative, because life and love truly are a state of mind.

January 10, 2005

*I’m living in my own future.

*Wahid is definitely my main squeeze.

*I was only 19 when I became a mother so I don’t know if I had any goals and dreams that weren’t romantically-based as in married and children and living happily ever after. I believe my goals and my dreams I had at 19 have actually been fulfilled.

*Current events in the world interest me. Humanity interests me. My friends’ family interests me. History interests me. Teenagers interest me. Spirituality interests me.

January 19, 2005

*I have definitely not outgrown my life. When I was 20 I wanted to be a good mother and a good homemaker and I have achieved that. Funny or maybe not so funny, but my ambitions haven’t changed.

*I would like my life to still go forward by being an involved mother and a safe place for my family. My children are all wonderful functioning people and I believe that now I have more time to invest in Wahid and me.

*I’d really like Wahid to know me and for me to know him; warts and all. We are intimate on all levels but there is a part of both of us where we won’t let the other see our insecurities.

January ?, 2007

*Contemplation and preparation. I want to make changes so that I live a happy and productive life and don’t hide under the covers until I die.

*I want my last days to be uplifting and not to be lived unconsciously.

*What are my worries? What am I afraid of? Vulnerability; looking like a fool; unrequited emotions; not seeing my children married and with children; my family falling apart; being replaced.

Flash Forward

I see now that January is exactly what I always thought it was; a fresh start and a new place to begin. What I also see is that sometimes you have to leave the baggage at the end of the old year and not bring it in with you to the new one. It also helps to have love in your heart and to chance on a leap of faith.


Sarah said...

What beautiful and wonderfully raw glimpses into your life!! Aren't we all wondering if we have moved on, moved ahead, left all the baggage behind - finally? Leaps of faith - frightning to step out there - but oh the wonderful places you land - even when you fall. I look forward to seeing next January's post Renee!! It's all about the love!! Blessings, Sarah

Ms Dragonfly said...

thank you, it touched me to hear that i've been in your thoughts. i appreciate that :)

Shelly said...

I wish I wrote a journal ... I giggled when you mentioned Wahid called you lazy, I don't know how I just think that is cute and funny coming from him, but if it was someone elses husband I would be "off with thier head"!

Renee said...

I know, it is only because he is excellent the other 99.9% of the time that he can get away with this.

Shelly you can start a journal, you can start one tody.

Love Renee

jacquie said...

i can relate on so many levels of this post. i need to be adventureous and i also need to find myself.... both not easy for me to do, but after reading this blog i will try harder thanks to your wisdom as usual.
i feel like i just relived so many years of my life after reading this and i think you are always so interesting,intelligent and wise.
you are like the big sister i am suppose to be.aren't big sister's suppose to be wiser than little sisters??
together strong
love jacquie

Ms Dragonfly said...

lol :) xoxo

Renee said...

Well darling Jacquie, I guess that makes us even because aren't little sisters suppose to be angels?

Love Renee

Sarah said...

LOL you two!!! I'm the youngest - was no angel!!

Tessa said...

Hmmm, now you've got me thinking...

Lovely Renee, bless you. Lots and lots.

Betzie said...

Hi Renee,
So glad you visited me because I just love your art and your writing??? Wow, you must be a famous author...and if not, you really should be! You are blessed with the gift to touch with your words.
I'll be going to link you right now.
Blessings and healing and love sending your way...xo Betzie

lakeviewer said...

What wonderful memories you captured all those Januaries. We do have ways to retrace our steps and learn from our previous selves. You are inspiring many to chronicle their lives and be truthful to their core.

Sarah said...

OMG Renee!!!!!! I thought I had alot of kids!!I only have two sisters! Wowza! Hugs, Sarah

studio lolo said...

I loved sharing part of your Januarys with you. I did a post and art about leaving our baggage behind at the start of a new year. It's in my older posts...just type in "soar." That was the word for IF that week.
I got a book recommendation from Amazon today and I thought of you. I don't know how you'd feel about reading it though. It's called "The Middle Place" by Kelly Corrigan.

Who was Collette?

I hope you're having a gentle day.

mansuetude said...


Now .. and we carry then ... now...

i think i am going to listen to my heartbeat and pretend it says now, now now... for now on.


Anonymous said...

Renee, your language is so beautifully poetic. You are a true "gaia," an earth mother. Thank you for your support and kindness. I am eternally happy that our paths have crossed.
Love audrey

Sarah said...

Good evening Renee!! Nope sit back and relax - it's all on me!! Feel free to use the address. Thanks for hiding it - thought you might.
We are all well here. Had a household FULL of kiddos - ALL day lol - so I'm off for a hot soak in lavender. Talk with ya tomorrow!! Hugs, Sarah

Robyn said...

You are a remarkable woman know I think so. :c)
I have been thinking of you and wanted to tell you so.
Hugs and God Bless,
Robyn :D

CarolineH said...

All I can say is Renee, I learn so much from you. Love you!xoxo

Peach Street ~ Jamie said...

I came here to tell you thank you for your kind comment on my Bessie painting. I expected to say just that, thanks for coming and blah, blah, blah. But now that doesn't seem like enough.

My first thought was, I like the name of her blog. Then I saw your painting and my next thought was, she left ME a comment? Wow! Then I began to read and I couldn't stop. Now I will leave you a miniature novel. Sorry about that.

First, I have to say that I am so happy to have found you. Your work is wonderful, no doubt about that but your words move me more than anything else. I am pissed for you. Pissed that you are sick. It isn't fair. But since you strike me as the type of person who wouldn't tolerate pitty I will stop there.

I have been so touched by your blog in ways I had not expected. Though our experiences differ, I relate to you so well. But that's the funny part, I suppose anyone reading could say the same thing. That's what makes it so great.

So I will conclude my mini novel but telling you, and meaning it earnestly, that I am really glad to have discovered your blog. I am grateful for your compliment and I look forwared to visiting your blog often!

Thank you!


Peach Street ~ Jamie said...

Hey it was chemo! As far as I am concerned that gives you the right to take as many pretty pics as you want!

I know what you mean about the children. When I had my son, who is now 5, I thought about that every time I'd see one of those St Jude commericals. What if it were him. I'm a worrier, I admit that. But then I was like you, what made us different from them. You're right, cancer is a bastard!

Anyway, your words are your art. And I thank you for sharing!