The Other Side of Summer

It’s been a long, hot, sticky summer so far. Humidity skyrocketing one day, leading to thunderstorms the next. Today is, I think, the second nice day we’ve had, and so I’m sitting in the back yard drinking coffee and writing. Or trying to anyway — you know, just this blog post, really, but it’s something. Like LiveJournal, only not so early 2000s.

Sarah and I have been, for lack of a better, non-religious word, very blessed over the past few months, as our financial situation has been sketchy at best, and downright scary at worst. We’ve had to swallow our pride (was it Bernard Shaw or Alanis Morissette who called it a jagged little pill?) a few times over the past six months and reach out to friends and strangers for help, and the response has been overwhelming (you can be overwhelmed and underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?). See, if you don’t already know, Sarah (my queen, my bestest friend, my love, my partner, the one who puts the bop in the bop-sh-bop-sh-bop) was diagnosed with stage four endometrial cancer last year. This came only six months or so after I’d been laid off, and so it just seemed like the universe had a hate-on for us.

But the truth is, everything has seemed to balance for us. Something bad would happen, and then BAM! something good would happen to balance it out. It’s been a little like being on a boat in a storm, and there were definitely times we’ve both been seasick. I went through at least three suicidal periods, and we have been financially poorer than I’ve been in at least 20 years. But then, I feel we’ve been richer in many other other ways. If you came over for coffee, you’d fall madly in love with our home, which is full of strange and interesting things — books, art, music, and love. Lots and lots of love.

Then back in February, tragedy struck again with the death of Sarah’s best friend – a terrible car accident took her from us, and that is a whole other story in itself. We both miss her, and our house is quieter and somehow less without her daily visits.

In March, Sarah got the all clear report from her doctor, and headed back to work part time at Sephora, where she was a makeup artist (if you haven’t seen what Sarah can do, make sure to CLICK HERE — she’s been trying to get her own home-based business going, but more on that later). But the chemotherapy took its toll on her joints, and being on her feet for 8 hours a day was becoming more and more difficult and painful for her. So last month, at the advice of her doctor, she left Sephora. Not having enough hours banked to collect Employment Insurance, she began looking for clerical work. So now both of us are looking for work, and the funny thing about life is that the bills can’t be put on hold.

Don’t worry — I’m not asking for money. This is just an update, really. We’re okay right now. I don’t know what things are going to look like a month from now, but right now we have food in the fridge and cupboards, rent is paid, and, all things considered, we’re good.

Anyhow, the other thing I was going to mention is that I’ve withdrawn from social life, first online and then also in meatspace. I lost a long-time friend a few months ago over an online discussion, and I don’t think I’ve really recovered. So I’m rarely online, and I think I may have alienated some people. I don’t like being online anymore. Every time I am on for more than ten minutes or so, I come across people being cruel to each other, people dividing up into tribes and waging verbal wars against each other, and basically the very worst of humanity.

To be honest, I don’t know who my friends are anymore. I’d considered purging my Facebook account, but that seems like a pretty dangerous thing to do.

Anyhow, I’m not sure what the point of this was. Maybe I’m just emptying the contents of my brain. I should be writing. I’ve got stories to write. But all that seems less important when you’re just struggling to keep your head above water.

So how am I?

Great, all things considered. But ask me another day, and you may find me not so well.



5 responses to “The Other Side of Summer

  1. Emptying the brain is totally valid. I am so glad things are better for you both in spite of the really tough things you’ve faced. Sounds like things are on an upward spiral at the moment and I am so pleased they are.

  2. Really good to see you here and know how things are for you and Sarah. I hear you about the shit in life being strangely balanced by sudden good – and vice versa. I really do get it. I don’t talk about my shit much, though. Facebook and social media suck and I have been off more than on for the better part of the summer for various reasons. Anyway. Love the update. Peace to you both.

  3. Write. Take care. Do what is best for you. Sorry that you lost a friend over an online discussion. Best to open heart and mind to different opinions and perspectives. Staying only with a like-minded tribe is a recipe for intellectual, cultural and “spiritual” death. Quotes around “spiritual” to respect your difficult childhood experience of religious narrow-mindedness and hypocrisy. Lack vocabulary for experience of soul.

  4. Oh, so sorry about the lost dear. I’m so glad for the new improvement
    Happy that things are getting better now. Silver and gold I have non, but I pray for you for more improved better living so that your testimony will be complete.
    The lord be with you both.

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