Lain's Log


April 16/11

This strange and surreal experience of breast cancer has been counteracted by the engrossing work I’ve been doing with my sister, Carrie, for the past few months. We’ve spent many hours together, day after day, clearing out our late Mum’s house, preparing to put it on the market. Often, our hearts are breaking, when we discover special items long forgotten or unearth beautiful poems and thoughts, written by Mum, hidden away in drawers, cupboards or files for many years.

But sometimes, we’re hit by uncontrollable laughter. Bouncing back and forth between emotions is trying and tough, while at the same time, fun and freeing. We came to the conclusion yesterday, that doing this bizarre job has helped us to keep it together during a time of great turmoil. Because we do this alone, often sitting on the floor in the livingroom or the basement, it’s as though we’re completely cut off from the real world in some kind of Twilight Zone all our own. Carrie said, "We’re in a little hidey-hole". I looked up the definition of hidey-hole and it is described as, “an isolated or secluded place; a hideaway or hideout.”

Later, she wrote me an email message, trying to sum up her feelings about this solitary adventure. This is what Carrie said – (with her permission to publish it here).
Read it and weep. (or at least, I did).


“Have given further thought to our meetings at the Hidey-Hole.

They say, 'Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans,' (usually attributed to John Lennon).

So here we are having what I would describe as a fascinating time. We are laughing and crying over letters and cards from the past - recent and ancient; enjoying the pictorial diary found in thousands of photos; marveling over the certificates and accomplishments of our ancestors; learning how grandparents lived and died; poring over rare newspaper clippings of Trudeau, Churchill, 9-11, Queen Elizabeth, the Dionne Quints; Marilyn Bell; and many lesser known dudes; cherishing some lovely antiques and discovering treasures from the past; surprised at finding items from our childhood and heart-warmed at what Mum chose to keep; finding interest in her travel brochures, maps, books, sheet music, tapes, movies and CDs; reading the hundreds of journals Mum has left us; chatting about the meaning of life; all while sharing tea and goodies in our mother's home. Of course, Mum is even there with us - both in spirit, and uh, on the shelf.

This is not just a means toward an end. This is fantastic living we're doing. Enjoy the show indeed! This whole era is unbelievably unique. Apart from the cancer thing, these are great times.

See you in the Hidey-Hole!”

Carrie's stylin' basement cleaning look!

The tired-of-cleaning look!

We have to wear blankets tied around our waist because the basement is SO cold!

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At May 18, 2011 at 1:05 a.m. , Blogger Joanne said...

I still love this entry. Just reading it again can make me laugh and cry all at the same time. These moments are few, so enjoy this time alone with Carrie and of course your mum (in sprit)!


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