Monday, May 18, 2009


Dear Blogfriends,

I had what I plan to call an 'anxious episode' last Friday. The plane landed and I navigated multiple construction zones to arrive at home. Seeing that my lawn needed to be mowed and house required cleaning, I thought of all the work that waited at the office and how I risked disappointing Little One if I didn't make it home for the dance recital. I was worried about Friend and had all these tasks jumbled in my head as I tried to collect items to pack of my current week-long adventure.

And I ended up lying on my bed, eyes closed and trying desperately to get enough air. Unable to breathe and feeling my heart race, I became more frantic as I was unable to figure out what was wrong. I ended up taking an Ativan, waiting several minutes and finally growing calmer until I was unconscious, curled safely into pillows and ignoring each of the problems and needs and stresses before me.
So I took a few days to tackle the most immediate need and focus. Still, I missed you.

Love, Katie

Dear Sprout,

I love you. I think you're very pretty with your long whiskers and stripey coat and green eyes. But must you scold me the entire trip to Grandma and Grandpa's? Do you not enjoy it when we arrive? Did you not pout over being left without a Katie and a Chienne the past week? Was the constant, shrill meowing really necessary?

With promises of rubbing under your chin if you just shush during car rides,

Dearest Little One,

I remember my four years in that building where you performed on Saturday evening. Your grandpa and I went to the lobby to find my name located on a plaque that still held the names of the top 10 graduating seniors. I chased Smallest One (who is remarkably fast, actually) through hallways I recalled vaguely and classrooms I remember no more clearly.

What will, I'm sure, linger in my memory is the stunning sense of love and pride and awe that gripped me as soon as you tapped on stage in your shiny, black shoes. From the first bar of music, through every single step and until the frilly skirt of your polka dotted dress disappeared behind the curtain, I cried because you're so impossibly wonderful. And I get to be your Aunt Katie and visit far too little and talk to you on the phone and buy you presents and cuddle with you on the car ride home.

I would not stand in the driveway while cars drive by to learn a Katie the Kangaroo routine for anyone, Little One. But, for you, I will hop like whatever animal you like.

All my love,
Aunt Katie

Dearest Smallest One,

You are remarkably fast.

You are also this bright bit of sunshine in an all-too-worrisome family. Your smiles and boundless energy, the way your lips pucker for kisses when anyone bends to scoop you up, the eager way you reach for books and carefully examine pictures, grinning brightly and babbling when you see something you know. You said SpongeBob upon seeing him on a cover (and continued saying it until we left the shop, which would normally be excessive but was utterly charming from you) and tucked fruit snacks in my mouth while we rode in the car (sharing is a lovely trait). You toddle around, personality as strong as it is bright, and - even as I scurry to chase you - I think you're remarkably wonderful. Different than your sister but capable of inspiring equal love and pride and awe.
All my love,
Aunt Katie

Dear, dear Friend,

I am so terribly, deeply, profoundly sorry for your loss. For even when the death of a loved one is somewhat predictable, even when she was suffering, even when she knew she was destined for a place better than this, the loss is huge and terrible. And while I understood soon after meeting you that you'd face it, I prayed that it wouldn't come yet. And I'm so sorry and sad that it has.

I also feel this huge regret that I'm not there for you. That this job makes demands that I can't or won't ignore to attend to more important matters. I hope you're well - that what comfort is available is being offered and accepted. That you're able to rest and eat and that your family is coping as best you're able.
If there is anything I can do, I hope you let me know. In the meantime, you're all in my frequent prayers.
So much love,

Dear City that can use 'south of the border' to refer to America,

You're rather lovely! I'd heard good things, of course, but admit I'm quite impressed with the mountains and ocean, people and places.

I read in a guidebook that a ride around the park would be nice. I biked for the first time in years, following gently curving (but very crowded) paths and pausing to take photos. The mixture of mild exercise, the ocean breeze and bright sunshine cleared my head. For those 90 minutes or so, I felt happy and relaxed as I pedaled.

I also heard the cedar plank salmon was excellent. I'm not a big fan of salmon in general, but I'm wondering if the cedar plank is magical. The food here in general is quite good and I especially enjoyed the salmon.

I only drink bellinis in Canada. My great affection for and over-indulgence in them makes that a rather good thing. I've had a couple of other cocktails, two glasses of an excellent local Riesling and a glass of Pinot Noir. Given that I arrived about 36 hours ago, that's a lot of alcohol for me. But it does help the 'sleep and relax a little' philosophy.

With tipsy kisses and a slightly sunburned nose,

Local birds,
Hi. I'm not a huge fan of birds in general, but I do find the way you pose for pictures rather cute. So the annoyances which always occur (a cab driver yelling something about my legs this morning and making me feel ever so self-conscious about the length of my dress and height of my heels, waiting a few hours for my room to be ready and then another hour for my luggage to arrive, having roaming cell service when we're not that far from the US) seem rather moderate.
After all the room for which I waited has this gorgeous view and is generously sized. I'm sleeping rather well given the 'west coast bonus' of being 2 hours later than my home time zone. And I am enjoying the activities - business and pleasure - so far.
Still, if you happen to poop on that driver's car, I'll try to find a suitable treat for you.


Amelie said...

I'm sorry about the stress, Katie. the trip sounds good though. Take good care of yourself.

Seeking Solace said...

I'm glad you had a good trip. Get some rest.

Propter Doc said...

Sorry about the stress. I recognize those places, particularly the three trees just by the water in the top one. Wish I was still there somedays. Anyway, hope things get better and glad you got to see some of the sights on your trip (and the sea).

Krazy Kitty said...

Dear Katie,

As someone who leaves 6,000 miles away from her family and most of her closest friends, I do understand how agonizing it can be not to be there in person for them. But be sure that they appreciate your support all the same.

Life keeps throwing things at us, good or bad, uplifting or demanding, and sometimes it's just too much to handle. You do seem to manage pretty well, and aren't the pictures so relaxing?


rpg said...

Oh. There is hidden in that post a message I hoped wouldn't—

sadness. When you next write to Friend, please pass on my hugs.

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