Words to Live By

Happily married. 41. Infertile/perimenopausal. TV and iPod addict. Transplanted Canadian living in California. {Warning - abundant sarcasm and frequent *gasp* profanity lie herein.}

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Ode to Annie

I'm starting to bore myself here folks, so if you came back, thank you. Emotionally I'm doing better, but now I have a cold; which could explain some of the melancholy I've been experiencing.

Even though Rule #1 is This Blog is All About Me, today I've decided to give everyone a break and give you some tunes.

I've loved Annie Lennox for 20-old years now, going way back to the early Eurythmics' days. I cut my eye teeth on the dance floor of the clubs in the Vancouver suburbs on "Sweet Dreams", "Love is a Stranger" and "Here Comes the Rain Again"...who didn't? The dance clubs were the place I let loose my conservative, bookish persona and introduced the world to the chick who would get up on the speakers to dance in front of the video screen. I'm sure alcohol helped in those endeavours. People from school or other parts of my life would barely recognize me, and I met several boyfriends at the clubs. None of those relationships worked out, as they were surprised to find the girl they were dating wasn't always Speaker Girl. One of them was one of the great loves of my life though...definitely the one who got away (back to England). Dammit, how did I get back to me??

There is an excellent biography/discography here if you want to know more details about Annie, who is far more interesting than me. Her three solo albums are Diva (1992), Medusa (1995), and Bare (2003), all of them chock-full of amazing vocal performances. Here's a song from each (right click on the link and Save Target As to download).

Cold (Diva) mp3

Waiting in Vain (Medusa) mp3

A Thousand Beautiful Things (Bare) - mp3

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


You are correct, I am over thinking this. And yet, I can't stop. Today I am overwhelmed and feel like I have nothing to give to anyone.

I took on a second client this week, working for a good friend that I've worked with and for before. Easy work, some of it from home, good money. Even when you add together the time for both clients, it still doesn't equal a full-time job. And yet, I wonder if I've bitten off more than I can chew.

Last night I was at the hairdresser for my once-every-five-week attempt to keep the gray at bay. I've been seeing the same stylist for a long time and we chat easily. She also struggled with IF and was never successful, so I feel her to be a kindred spirit of sorts. Usually the salon is a haven for me, but last night it was filled with children and babies. Ugh. How dare they invade my inner sanctum. I told my stylist about D.'s son resurfacing, she was happy for us, as is everyone. As I sat there surrounded by the sounds of children and adults interacting with them, I could feel myself sinking. I couldn't hear anything after a while, the voice in my head was so loud.

"You are never going to have a child," it said.

Fuck. I need a drink.

It's five o'clock somewhere.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Stop Making Sense

I apologize upfront for this post, it will most likely be a lot of rambling and disjointed-ness.

I've asked my brain for some assistance in sorting out the reality that my husband's child will soon be 24. Wait, back up! "My husband's son" doesn't make sense, because any son of his would be a son of mine. No? OK, never mind.

I started thinking maybe in the grand scheme of things it was probably a good thing that we didn't have a baby, since that would have happened in the last couple of years, because how weird would that have been to have a child and a grandchild around the same age? Oh, wait. My Dad has a son and a grandson almost exactly the same age, and two grandchildren younger than his son. Crap.

My maternal grandmother had her first child at 20 and her last (her 9th) at 41. It would have been quite possible for her eldest daughter (my mother) to have been pregnant at the same time as her mother; thankfully this didn't happen, although there is only 7 years between my youngest uncle and my brothers.

My parents had their first children (twins) when they were 24, and their last child (me) when they were 31. Their first grandchild was born when they were 44, their last grandchild when they were 64. In between there, at 57 my Dad had a baby with his girlfriend, which completely throws off the entire timeline.

D's brother and sister both had their first child at 28, and D's brother became a grandfather at 49. D had his son at 24 and became a grandfather at 46.

So why am I so confused and conflicted by the thought of having a 24 year-old step-son? D's sister is 14 years older than me and has two children in their 20's, and D's brother is 11 years older than me and has a daughter in her early 20's and a granddaughter in single digits. But, my sister is only 15 months older than me and has a 15 year-old, an 11 year-old and an 8 year-old.

To add to the mix, I would have a 22 year-old son or daughter of my own had I not terminated my pregnancy back in 1984.

So, simutaneously it seems that I am way too young AND exactly the right age to have a son (step or otherwise) in his mid-20s. I've been told so many times that it was normal and even relatively easy to have a baby after 35 or 40, my view of the world is skewed. Go figure.

Norah Jones -- Crazy (Live) -- Mp3

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Fresh Start

First, I want to talk about cheese and honey sandwiches. Take an english muffin and put a piece of cheese on one side. I usually use swiss but you can use whatever you like. Trim the cheese so it doesn't drip off the sides and bake in the toaster oven until the cheese starts to color just a little bit. Let it cool for a minute and then put a drizzle of honey on the other side and eat like a sandwich. It's good, really. Try it.

I know you are all dying to hear how our meeting went last night. I've been struggling to find eloquent words to describe it but I've given up so I can post something.

So, we get there and look around a bit and realize he isn't there yet. We wait outside and a car pulls up and he gets out, D. recognizes him immediately. They shake hands and with the other arm, hug each other. Then he hugs me. He's very tall, easily two inches taller than his father. A very good-looking kid. We all admit to being a bit nervous and C. pulls out some pictures of S. to fill in the time. C. bought S. a little snake as a pet and they have a long discussion about the python D. used to have, the first of many similarities. We get seated and just start talking, after about 10 minutes we've all settled in and most of the nervousness is gone and we are just chatting.

I won't bore you with all the details, but over the course of the evening we found out they have a lot in common: love seafood, don't drink coffee, martial arts, guitar, hunting (this one was huge for D., he can be a part of their group that goes every year), loves the outdoors, animals (dogs in particular), on and on. He really wants to be a writer (!) but is going back to school to finish out his degree so he can have a real job while he pursues that. Something we ALL have in common.

He's very polite, articulate, quietly confident, loves his little boy and his family (despite a lot of ups and downs over the years), has beautiful skin, his father's eyes and a gentle soul. He was very gracious and thankful to D's Mom, telling her how much he appreciated the effort she made to be a part of his life when he was younger.

The two of them were sitting on the couch at Mom's while I sat in a chair across the room; sitting there watching them talk and joke around, it brought tears to my eyes a couple of times. It was definitely NOT about me, my heart was just so glad for them both. On the way home we were talking and I said again what a shame it was that they had been separated all this time, and how great it would have been if they had been a part of each other's lives in some way through the years. D. said if that were true then maybe we wouldn't be together. Can I tell you how much I love this man? And is it possible to love someone you just met?

Neil Finn -- Throw Your Arms Around Me (Live) -- Mp3

Friday, January 20, 2006

Wild and Crazy

Am I scaring people away with all this heaviness? I know there are tons of lurkers out there, I'd love to hear from you, particularly anyone who has adult step-children.

I was tagged by Jude so I thought I would lighten things up a bit today and give you 5 weird things about me.

1. I wear my watch on my right wrist even though I am right-handed; I found it really difficult to fasten the strap when its on my left. Consequently, people often think I am left-handed at first glance.

2. I have a very acute sense of smell, D. calls me The Super Sniffer. Sometimes that's a good thing (chocolate chip cookies), and sometimes it is not (roadkill).

3. I cannot say the word "malevolent". I can barely type it.

4. I have a problem with left and right. I have slight dyslexia and that seems to be the way it expresses itself. If I had a dime for every time someone said to me, "No, your OTHER right!", I'd be sitting on a velvet chaise lounge having someone feed me grapes while they fanned me as I typed this.

5. I love cheese and honey sandwiches. Maybe it's a Canadian thing.

After our dinner tomorrow we are all going over to see D.'s Mom. It's her 85th birthday and she is tickled pink that she will get to see her youngest grandson again.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

48 Hours

Just about 48 hours from now we will be sitting down to dinner with C.

I'm doing a bit better, but it still feels bittersweet. Before, D. and I carried the shared burden of being a childless couple, and our own private agony over why it was so for each of us separately, and us together. Now, the rules have changed. He is a father and a grandfather over there and I'm still over here, childless. I know that isn't the reality of the situation, he's no more C's father in the sense of being his parent than I am his step-mother, but there is a blood bond there that I will never share.

On the flip side of that coin, as long as I've known him, he's been a father, and had the opportunity to go through his partner's pregnancy and watch the birth of his son, and spent the first year watching over him and watching him grow and learn. Ironically, that is why D. was so hesitant to have a baby with me (the fear of going through all that again), and what made it possible for me to even entertain the idea (my fears being calmed by being with someone who had already been through it).

'Tis a tattered web I weave.

Monday, January 16, 2006

A Thousand Words

We have pictures. Four pictures of C. and his son, S., taken last summer. Father and son have the same eyes, the same shape of face, the same hair. Not just the same color and type of hair, but the same hair CUT. We went over to his Mom's on Saturday to show her the pictures, and she noticed right away they have the same hands. She brought out an old photo album from when C. was a baby, for comparison purposes. Looking at those old photos just made me so sad.

First, because D's brother and sister had their kids at about the same time, C. is the youngest by barely a year, there is less than 5 years between the four children. There are pictures of all the cousins, everybody together at family gatherings, etc. It would have been so perfect if D. had been able to keep his son as part of his life, he would have gotten so much support and C. would have grown up with the other three, who are all wonderful young adults now. Seeing D. with C. in his arms just broke my heart. Then it was broken again when I looked at C. and his son, who are now separated.

Then, there's the selfish part. I wonder how this will change things in my relationship with D. Now more than ever, I assume there won't be any more discussion about us having a child by any means, he's at the beginning of a new chapter with his son and grandson. His family tree continues, while mine just ends in a stump. I'll never know what its like to see my eyes in someone else's face, or to hear my Dad's sense of humor passed on. Back when we were considering a surrogate I had myself convinced that the fact that it wouldn't be my bio-child didn't matter, I wanted D's genes to continue. That's bullshit. It DOES matter. As I've said before, biology and the need to procreate is hard-wired. We are all innately selfish creatures with a desire for immortality.

C. seems like a wonderful young man and I will be happy to welcome him into my life. I'm just feeling sorry for myself. Unless something changes, I'll be there when father and son reunite, this coming Saturday.

The Kinks -- Picture Book Mp3

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Freedom of Information

There's still communication going back and forth between D. and his son (C.), providing more details and insights. We've both been struck by how similar their writing styles are. Sadly, they both became separated from their sons at an early age, something which may have been the catalyst for C. wishing to seek D. out. C. indicated in one of his messages that he thinks "we may be more similar than either of us would have imagined."

We've now found out that my Aunt died of pneumonia and that she'd been ill for quite some time. In order to obtain her records from the institution I have to file a request with the Canadian equivalent of the Freedom of Information Act through the Ministry for Children and Family Development. They will make a copy of her file and someone has to come to their offices and pick it up in person, showing identification. Obviously I'm not going to be able to do that, so I hope my brother will help me out. My contact from the institution's survivor's group said not to be surprised to see information blacked out, that it would only consist of "what they dared to write in her file". I'm not quite sure why I feel so compelled to find out as much as I can about her. Partly its just pure curiousity; I can't imagine being deaf and blind, never mind growing up in such a place. I'd love to write about it, maybe that's my first novel.

In obtusely-related news, last Thursday Dubya signed into law a prohibition on posting annoying web messages or sending annoying e-mail messages without disclosing your true identity. Does this mean the end of blog trolls? Here's the relevant language: "Whoever...utilizes any device or software that can be used to originate telecommunications or other types of communications that are transmitted, in whole or in part, by the Internet... without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any person...who receives the communications...shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both." Read the CNET article here.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Lost and Found

As I mentioned a while back, I'm working on a new blog but its not ready for prime time yet. I have a Very Talented Designer working on the graphics and template. I'll keep this one for archive purposes but I felt it was the right time to start fresh, and with all the changes to the template it was just easier to get a new URL so we could play around with it and not drive my readers crazy while it was going through design stages.

I sort of wanted to start out the new year with the new blog, but I cannot hold onto my good news any longer. Remember my "Seven Things" post from last month? It looks like #3 on the list of Things to Do Before I Die is going to happen a lot sooner than I thought. Go ahead, look.

Last week D. got an email from his son, out of the blue. It was carefully worded, cautiously optimistic, respectful, with fine grammar and syntax...everything we could have wished for. I want to be very careful about their privacy so I can't give you all the details, but I can tell you he's close by, he has a son of his own, and seems remarkably baggage-free, considering what he's been through. They're writing back and forth right now exchanging information, and a face-to-face meeting is in the works. D. was stunned but happy (as was I), and seems to be in a really good space about everything, as does his son.

Obviously this doesn't lessen my sadness regarding our failure to have a child of our own, but it goes a long way to lighten the heartache of knowing D. had a son out there who didn't know him. Now they both have a chance to make a fresh start. Funny how your life can change in an instant, and all of a sudden you are on a new path. Happy new year, indeed.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

New Beginnings

My sincerest thanks to everyone who sent me their condolences...I'm actually doing OK. I'm working on posting some good news for a change, and some other big changes. Stay tuned.