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01 November 2007

November 1st and my week is over, atleast the hard part. It had the look of fall this morning when I checked out the window, but the warm air surprised me. Unseasonably warm, they'd say. Class has finished for another few days, creating a sense of relief on one hand and a feeling of anxiousness on the other, knowing it will start all over again. It's been a long one, this week. Not that the days haven't passed quickly, they did. More like they didn't pass smoothly, painlessly.

Ava will be 8 weeks old on Monday and after 7 days of meds that didn't work, and two days of 14 days worth of something else, she finally seems to be coming around. It does my heart good to see her as a happy kid. She's smiling and cooing and fulfilling our lives without even knowing. Quiet blessings. What a reprieve. School is moving, slowly but with one foot in front of the other. I said aloud that I was shooting for B's. With B's I would be happy. I came home after saying that, looked myself in the eye and said, so what's different about that? A's are wonderful, but in the end they really don't make the world go round. So B's it is.

I got a call from my doctor on Tuesday morning saying that they needed to see me as soon as possible. I had a pap done at my six week check up and apparently something appeared, so away I went yesterday afternoon. I see a nurse practitioner who worked in all the northern remote areas you could find, delivery babies, doling out help, giving hugs, offering guidance. She learned her midwifery from an old Jamaican lady and everytime she touched my belly she closed her eyes and talked softly. When I walked into her office she looked sad. She smiled and while it was genuine, it had that touch of something hurt and pained. Her best friend had passed away at noon after a 9 week battle of cancer. She came home from the Northwest Territories to be with her husband, who was dying. Ironic in the ways that hurt your heart. She told me she had cancelled all her appointments except for mine, that she had really wanted to talk to me and tell me herself since she had been the one to do the pap. I wasn't surprised when she said that my bad cells were back and that they were worse than before. She showed me where everything was labelled "moderate to severe" and that they were concerened with the speed that they came in at after having the baby. How my pap at 28 weeks came back clear and now they seemed to be in more places than really necessary. So I'm off to the hospital soon. They pushed me along on the quickest route that they could find but one that still leaves me waiting. They're going to burn off the top layer to see if something's underneath. I guess it's a bit like trying to find the heart of a person... you have to see what lies beneath.

So here I am. Mom asked me how I was and I told her tired. I didn't even want to cry, I just wanted to move on. Peter wants to get angry and blame someone. I told him he'd have to take it up with God, and if history is any consideration, he'd probably lose. I have another appointment tomorrow to get things broken down into more understandable pieces. So we'll do what needs done, take care of what needs taken care of. Mom and dad are keeping the baby tomorrow night overnight, Peter's taking me out for dinner, and I have an hour long massage scheduled. And then I get to rest, to sleep in and sleep tight without bottles or monitors or breaks between dreams. And while I love my daughter with everything I am and a little bit more, I'm really looking forward to her hanging out with her grandparents. I am in need of a bit of rest.

This is on my wall, beside our bed. I paid an outrageous amount for it about a year ago in a little shop with dim lighting that smelled like a mixture of pot and lavendar. It was probably the best waste of money that I've ever spent because if it were in a book the spine would be broken to that page. Somewhere in it is that slow burn of grace.

Go for long walks,

indulge in hot baths,

question your assumptions,

be kind to yourself,

live for the moment,

loosen up,


curse the world,

count your blessings,

just let go,

just be.

Carol Shields

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