Friday, May 21, 2010

Mum Loved: Sex and the City

One of the many joys I had with my Mum was sharing our favourite television programs and movies. The one problem, however, is that Mum was always busy doing *something* -- toiling away in her garden, tending to her beloved dogs, baking -- and was hard to pin down. Getting her to sit and relax was a hard sell. 

But when we did hit upon a gem of an entertainment nugget where she would stop and chill in front of the TV, it was simply brilliant. One such experience revolved around every gal's favourite quartet of girlfriends in 'Sex and the City.' 

Mum didn't watch the series during its first TV run but we managed to get her all caught up via DVDs and its upteenth airing of repeats. Mum loved it! She adored the girly chat, the crazy situations they managed to find themselves entangled in, and of course, Mr. Big. She thought he was mighty fine and was so thrilled when Carrie eventually ended up happily ever after (at least at the conclusion of the first SATC flick) with her Manhattan prince. 

At times I thought that the more risque language and adventures (looking at you, Samantha Jones!) might have been a bit much for Mum - she was such a polite, private  woman - but it was silly to worry. Mum would laugh hysterically at their hi-jinx, never ever having an issue with any part of the show. And that's just like Mum. Just when I thought that I knew her fully, she would manage to surprise me. 

The much anticipated second 'Sex and the City' movie opens this week. I will be going, and thinking of how much Mum would have loved it. 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Coping: Dido's Safe Trip Home

When you've suffered a life changing loss, it seems at times that you are all alone in your pain, that the rest of the world is spinning along oblivious. Everyone seems on track, happy...and it's hard to watch when you feel like the bottom has fallen out of your universe.

Sometimes it feels good to delve into a medium where your emotions are mirrored and I think that I've found some solace from Dido's most recent album, 'Safe Trip Home.' I originally purchased it back when it first came out - fall of 2008 - since I own her previous release and would call myself somewhat of a fan albeit a lapse one. The tone of 'Safe Trip Home' is somewhat sombre with lyrics that tell of a deep loss and the struggle to continue on despite it. At the time I had read that Dido wrote the album following the death of her beloved father and for no reason that I can explain at the time, I really didn't play it much. Maybe it was too raw for me as in late 2008 I wasn't in a similar situation... everyone was healthy, Christmas was coming, my thoughts were on a more upbeat plane, perhaps.

Now a year and a half later, I was playing my iPod before nodding off to sleep the other night, and scrolled through my 5,000+ songs and found 'Safe Trip Home' once again. It was a struck a powerful cord prompting tears & a more profound sadness, but for a spell I didn't feel like I was all alone in my grief. Someone knew exactly what I was feeling. I just wish that I could tell Dido 'thank you' for 'Summer', 'The Day Before the Day', 'Quiet Times' and the rest. Gorgeous.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Book: My Mother's Clothes

Recently while I was procrastinating about work & taking refuge in Facebook, a friend happened to mention a new book that she found fascinating & incredibly moving...and I did too.

'My Mother's Clothes: An Album of Memories' lovingly written & compiled by Jeannette Montgomery Barron (published by Welcome Books) is a treasure trove of prized clothing, shoes and accessories -- the wardrobe of a lifetime, all belonging to Montgomery Barron's dear Mother, Eleanor. 

The project began as a way for Montgomery Barron to share her Mother's memories, recollections that were fading as her Mom's ability to remember began to fail. Each piece of clothing sparked a story, a feeling, a timeless account -- and as her photographs captured for posterity her Mother's fashions, Montgomery Barron discovered more & more intriguing anecdotes about her Mother's life. 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Milestone: Mother's Day

Sunday, May 9 is Mother's Day in Canada, the US and Australia. 

For several weeks, I've been avoiding the abundance of Mother's Day shop displays at all costs. For a daughter who year after year loved & participated in this annual tribute to our Mums, it's a strange reaction to have. 

It feels foreign. It feels wrong. I feel like an orphan while everyone else celebrates this meaningful occasion. 

I'm on the cusp of the two month mark. The approach of Mother's Day is making my sadness & loneliness feel even more raw - if that's at all possible. I feel like an outsider looking in on a beloved milestone that was always a highlight on my calendar. 

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Inspiration: Joannie Rochette

One of the most emotional stories to come out of this year's Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, involved Canadian figure skater, Joannie Rochette. 

The six-time Canadian women's champion, Joannie is known for her engaging manner, and her graceful yet athletic skating style. With the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in her home country, Joannie was in the fortunate position to compete for an Olympic medal with her family, friends & fellow Canadians all in her 'backyard' cheering her on in full force. 

But two days before her first skate in the women's short program, Joannie suffered an insurmountable personal tragedy. Joannie's constant companion and best friend, her mom Therese died from a sudden heart attack. 

Joannie's life was changed forever.