Oct 19

Not OK

So I thought I was ok.

For a while, I thought I had found my groove, that we had things going, that I was going to be ok.

And  then I wasn’t. I’m not ok,We don’t have a groove, it’s a shit show. Im not saying this so you feel sorry for me. I’m being honest. People think it’s so much easier than it is..

It’s not easy. It’s brutally hard. Especially the alone part. I’m not a good alone person.

Oct 10

Dear Assholes



the totally UNsubtle wording of the announcement in the paper….. EVERYONE called me to ask me what that was about.

the totally UNsubtle speech? If you were hoping to make a point to the girls, it didn’t work.

Their comment? ‘Wow, that was SO MEAN. Why did he do that?’


Thank you. You made my point for me.

And yes, I know you will read this.

Oct 01

I can’t come up with a title

I have a whole post burning inside of me about the Jewish Holidays, our first Rosh Hashana without J, all the crap that we are going through and dealing with, but I can’t get it together….. so instead:

it’s October, Breast Cancer Awareness month….. you know what, I am VERY aware.
Please don’t buy any pink shit. Don’t buy pink soup, pink crackers, for the love of all that is holy do not buy a pink snow brush!

If you really want to help, donate directly to P-ink Montreal, organized by amazing friend Karen. My own Tattoo artist Jose will be helping by tattooing a deserving survivor with a mastectomy tattoo.

Check it all out on the FB page.


Sep 07

Grief is an ugly Bitch

yesterday, I got one of the emails I have gotten way too often:

‘dear friends, I am writing to tell you that *johnfreedman* passed away yesterday. The funeral will be….’

*johnfreedman* was not his real name (his family should never google him and come up in this inane rambling), but when you read the name in your head, do it in one word. That’s what J always called him. He was never just John, he was always *johnfreedman* to distinguish him from all the other Johns.

I only knew *johnfreedman* through my husband, but the stories of their antics are legendary. And I will never ever forget the Herculian effort he made to attend J’s shiva, where he himself was so weak from his battle with a cancer that doesn’t forgive.

I debated for a few hours whether I should tell the girls or not. They had only met him a couple of times, so I thought maybe they didn’t need to know. But by 9 pm last night, they bith asked me why I looked so sad. So told them. Their reaction was something along the lines of:

‘Wow, a LOT of dad’s friends have died’ and

‘Well now dad has someone new to hang out with’.


My reaction surprised me a little. I cried a lot. Not so much for *johnfreedman*, but for the recurring loss. For the number of times that I have been to a funeral or a shiva. I barely slept a wink. On Thursday I will show up and pay my respects even though I would like to avoid Papermans like the plague.


Aug 14

Figuring me out

Last night I had dinner with a sweet friend who pointed out – ‘you haven’t blogged all summer! Nobody knows what you’ve been up to!’ She’s right. The girls come home on Tuesday, after 6 weeks away. I was worried about my first real summer alone – last year, I was still visiting J at the hospital every single day. This year, what was I going to do?

Well, I said yes, a lot, to almost everything that was put in front of me: Meditation in the lavender fields, tons of comedy shows, a ‘blind-date’ with a fellow solo-mom (ie we had never met, but I had tickets to something and just called her and asked her to go with me). I tried new restaurants and played pokemon-go, I’ve been running to get ready for Ragnar. And I’ve been trying to Figure Me Out.

Maybe you heard the song, it’s playing all the time:

But I believe there’s more to life than all my problems maybe there’s still hope for me to start again
Get my feet back on the ground
Pull my head out of the clouds
I think it’s time for me to figure me out

That’s sort of how I operated for the summer. For the first time in years, I didn’t ask myself if it was the right thing to do, or put someone else’s feelings ahead of mine. I just did stuff for FUN!!!! And because *I* wanted to do it.

Somewhere along the way, I found a little bit of me that I had lost. All that time sitting in hospital rooms, it had drained the ‘me’ out of me. The girls are coming back, and obviously, they will always come first, but I think we will start operating in a way where I don’t drain the ‘me’ out of all the big life decisions we make.

And because I know you are all DYING to know, yes, I did agree to go on a couple of dates… it’s a process. But you will all get a kick out of the one where the man was seemingly a responsible adult with a job and he ended up being a Trump voter who told me that feminism is the root of all evil and socialized medicine is wrong.

Jul 16

Saying yes to new things

In the last week, I have taken a Car2go 3 times to get downtown – I don’t have to pay for parking, it’s cheaper than a cab and I can take an Uber back if I can’t get a ride home.

I also invited an old work-acquaintance to lunch. (venice, it was Delish!)

And I had not one but 2 dinners with girlfriends.

And today, on a hot and muggy saturday, while I was already going to the farmer’s market to pick up lunch for tomorrow, because I am going to MEDITATE in a lavender field, I agreed to have coffee with a guy……

it was NOT a date. it was 3:30 coffee in a busy market.


I’m trying people. I’m opening myself up to new experiences (seriously, Meditation in a lavender field!!!) And I am letting it be known that I will have coffee, or other beverages, with members of the opposite sex. So if you happen to know a bearded-tattooed single, 40+ guy with low expectations…..

Jul 09

#solosummer – Version 2.0

School ended, the kids were home with their faces attached to their screens for a week, then we went camping (seriously, I still don’t know how that happened) and then we went to the annual Canada Day extravaganza at Vodka-and-Cotton-Candy’s house. This time, I took my kids. They loved it, they loved her, they loved her kids. (seriously, best nickname EVER)

And then they left for camp, 2 days later. And #solosummer started, again, second time around.

Luckily, I am surrounded by amazing friends, so my first night alone I had dinner with a super dear friend and her only child in town. Oh and her husband!. Then I had a birthday dinner with my amazing lady-friends – Sushi and too much wine and lots of cake. I am 46, which is totally the new 36. ok I made that up.

Then the world imploded and people got killed for driving-while-black and I lost my shit on Facebook. Because I have had enough. And I grew balls the size of softballs and I posted too much and I said things I have said in my head a thousand times but never out loud.

And then I realised – This is the summer of finding myself again. I got lost in the trauma of living with someone who was dying, and I did things and allowed things because they made life easier. But no more.

Tonight, I went to see my absolute favorite comedian, who is highly NOT PC, with one of my most special dearest friends. A year ago, she was a stranger. Now, I can’t even imagine my life without her.

And we stood in the lobby near the bar nursing our over-priced drinks,  looking around and imagining what life might be for me now: Man-buns are a no (except on that one Asian dude who totally rocked it), Beards are a definite yes, the lumber-jack look is quite appealing, the smell of cigarettes is a TOTAL non-starter, I have self-confidence issues and will aim low to avoid disappointment.

The world is in absolute total chaos. I don’t know where to even begin to work on fixing it. I don’t know where to begin on fixing myself. But hey, it’s summer and I only need to work and keep the pets alive ’til the kids come home!


Jun 27

it’s coming, no matter what I do

It’s coming. it will be 6 months next week. Just about the same time the kids leave for 6 weeks of summer camp.

And then, I will be forced to deal with it. To deal with my grief and feelings, which I have conveniently packed away to deal with the day-to-day of widowhood, the kids’ feeling and their grief.

But when they are gone, I am going to have 6 weeks of me. I know so many people would jump at the chance of having 6 full weeks of freedom. I am dreading it. I have lost the ability to organize and plan things. So I know I will end up spending 6 weeks at home feeding the pets and watching all manner of streaming tv shows. I should want more from my free time. But I am so tired and fed up of the ’emergency level’ we have been living in, there is a part of me that just wants to go to sleep and wake up in 6 weeks.

Either way, it’s coming. They are leaving, and I will be alone in this house I hate, with 2 elderly dogs and 2 guinea pigs. Doesn’t that sound peachy?

Jun 05

Omar the Gardener

During dinner tonight, the doorbell rang. Weird, it’s Sunday at 6:35. Kids look and say it’s a man with a kid. Oh, Omar rthe Gardener is here! 3 houses ago, we got stuck in a turf-war over snow removal and grass cutting in Hampstead. Don’t laugh. This was serious business and we chose to break the rules because that’s who we were, rule-breakers. Also, Jay really liked Omar. So we took to Omar, who only charged us every third year.

On the one hand, he was worth every penny. On the other hand when it’s time to pay, holy shit! Omar is either Syrian or Turkish, and when he’s not cutting my grass around all the dog poop I didn’t pick up, he’s gone to his home country to help people. So I don’t ask,  I pay and I shut up.

When jay was dying and we moved, I called Omar and I said ‘stop cutting the grass at the old house. We moved to a new house’. Not only did Omar cut the grass at the new place, even though it’s totally not his territory, when I texted him that Jay was dying and the gutters were broken, he broke up all the ice and made sure the steps and driveway where perfect.

so tonight the door bell wrang. It’s our fourth house. ‘The stairs are crumbling, want me to fix?’

‘Thanks Omar, I’m broke. It has to wait’

‘I fix. You pay me when you can’

Thanks Omar

Jun 02

the non-milestone

5 months.

There is no card for ‘your husband/dad died 5 months ago’

5 months is not a thing. It’s not a milestone number like 6 months or a year or 5 or  10 years. It’s just 5 months.

Except this 5 month anniversary comes on the heels of so many end-of-school-year things: a Glee show, an award ceremony, and an upcoming diving competition, another theater show. And a very important grade 5 Generations to Generations school activity. Where people had parents and grandparents and magical fancy objects smuggled out of Poland or gifted to them by Tzars.

We had a paper egg-carton from my grandfather. On my mother’s side. My dead mother. Who wasn’t there. Along with me dead husband. My dad was there, of course. But that was it. Me, my dad and my 10 yo with her paper egg-carton.

So here we are. He died 5 months ago. I have a job and I get shit done and we are coping. But whenever the Facebook Memories or Timehop pop up on my phone, there is that moment. That oh-my-god, I used to think it was SO hard for him to be sick all the time…. except that he was here. And no matter how hard that was, it was so much easier than him NOT being here.

Here is something I haven’t really ever shared before, except to a few close friends….. It was SO HARD to take care of him, and yes, there is a part of me that was relieved that part was over. I don’t miss him-as-a-patient. I don’t miss the hospital visits and the really demeaning things I had to take care of. But I miss him as my buddy, the funny dude, the organizer, the loving dad, the devoted dog-walker. He was such a good guy. When he was good, he was really good. THAT I miss.

Last week, Eldest had a thing that required me bringing paperwork. 85% of it I had in my email. But 15% was on paper, filed in a folder, in a box. For the life of me, I could not find it. He would have found it – filing was his duty. Instead, I had to find who I had share that document with, and then beg them to please scan it and send it to me. He would have found it in 5 minutes.

5 months. It’s not a thing. But to us, it is. It’s a heavy non-milestone.
There is no card. It’s just been 5 months since our husband/father died.

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