Lain's Log


March 26/11

Before my cancer diagnosis, I was distressed, sad and depressed over the death of Mum and reluctantly prepared to sell the house she loved. Since the diagnosis I’m STILL distressed, sad and despressed, but for slightly different reasons. Sadness over Mum, distress and depression over knowing I have cancer and that I’m going for surgery to lose a large part of my breast, to be followed by weeks of radiation. Thank goodness my sister and I are spending so much time at Mum’s place, working together to clear all the stuff. Sure provides for some pure gold distraction.

Can’t even begin to describe the laughs we’ve had (in between the tears), while digging through old letters, cards, diaries and journals. This afternoon, several things had us howling with laughter. Guess they won’t sound that funny "on paper", (er, online), but I’ll give it a shot.

Many years ago, my Gramma was told she may need to have part of her leg amputated due to some kind of circulatory problems. I was young at the time and was horrified at this thought. I begged Mum to bring Gram to Toronto (from her home north of Lindsay), and to find a doctor who could save her leg. Soon after, Mum was able to contact a specialist in Toronto named Dr. Baird who could do a new procedure to turn a vein into an artery, (I think), thereby saving the leg. (which, thankfully, he did!)

While sifting through all the junk in Mum’s basement, we found an old article about Dr. Baird. The story indicated that this doctor sometimes used snake venom in his treatment of patients with thrombosis. The patient in the photo looked a tad freaked. Suddenly, Carrie goes into the “doctor’s voice,” saying “Now just relax. I would like to inject this snake venom into your leg.” As I imagined the poor patient’s response at seeing the big needle of venom, I responded, “And then the patient promptly goes into cardiac arrest and drops dead on the floor!”
(Guess you hadda be there, but we were in stitches over this scenario).

Later, while Carrie was working upstairs, I was in the basement and dragged out the extremely old box of Barbie dolls from our childhood. Mum had it hidden away for decades. Of all the toys we ever had, the Barbies were our fave. We had 30 of them, plus a Barbie car, canopy bed, wardrobe closet, tons of clothes, hats, shoes, etc. We played with them together for YEARS and created a special "voice" for each one – including the men (Ken, Reggie, Allan, Lawrence) - we had names for all of them and each one had a special personality and sound. In retrospect, I think it's pretty amazing, that in later years, Carrie ended up on Polka Dot Door, having to do TONS of wacky voices. God knows, she'd had enough practice and experience with the Barbs!

And as for me - I did voice work too, just in a different way.

When Carrie came downstairs and saw this, we went into fits of laughter and sat on the basement floor, sorting out the wrecky old clothes, pitching some, saving others, and I insisted we DRESS each nude doll. So we did. Hilarious. We didn't have enough pants for the men, so some of them had to endure the humiliation of wearing stockings, bikini shorts, underwear or bathing suits. Other dolls were missing legs, arms, even heads. Carrie said, "It's just too bad Mum can't SEE this! She would have loved it!" We decided to take a few photos.

Best of all, was this one doll (not an "official" Barbie collection doll). He was a weird little wooden soldier we named "Soldgie". His surname was Hughhhh! (pronounced like the sound of a loud snore). Can you believe this? Seriously, his name was Soldgie Hughhh!

Soldgie was a real wreck. Completely falling apart. His legs weren't even attached to the rest of his body. Mum had tried to attach the legs with an elastic band, but they kept falling off. When they WERE attached, we never had him "walk", like the REST of the dolls. We had to "drag" him around, his legs slithering across the floor. Mum was always proud of us for creating Soldgie because he was just "one of the gang." Yes, he was disabled, but we didn't care. He took part in the games and laughter, just like everyone else.

We also had a funny, bizarre GIRL doll called "Finky Florence". Mum thought there should be a lady doll who had similar problems, so, she bought this cheap, dollar store doll, cut off all her hair, drew weird makeup on her with a Sharpee and named her Finky Florence. She had the funniest voice of ALL! Carrie created it. Usually she just laughed, like , "Hoo - HOOOO! Hoo - HOOOO!" We loved her, and she was quite popular with the other Barbies and good pals with Soldgie! After each and every doll was dressed, one female doll had a male's head (we figured, times have changed - we need a cross-gender doll). They’re all packed away again, the best of the clothing bagged up, and we don't even know what to DO with these dolls! We only know, we can NEVER part with them! And to top it off, for an hour, I didn’t think about cancer at all! Hoo - HOOOO!

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At April 19, 2011 at 3:00 p.m. , Blogger Keithera said...

OMG! Hand knits for the dolls! so awesome.
I never played with Barbies much - I was more of a G.I. Joe kind of gal. My G.I. Joe would take Barbie as a war hostage. She usually ended up executed (hanging from a willow tree). My sister is still traumatized - since they were her Barbies.

Are those Kiddle Kids in the egg shaped things? My sister said Mom used to get them for us but I really don't remember. At my Mom's funeral one of my cousins was talking to us about how she can still get mad at my brother for being a "Kiddle killer" - - - and this is 40 years after the fact.


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