Cottage Dreams Visit… Day 3

Gift of time…

I wake up to the sounds of two little girl voices again.  The sun is trying to appear and I am guessing it’s close to 7 am.  I’m very comfortable and had a good night sleep.  The girls crawl into bed with me. and wish me good morning with kisses.  One kiss tasted like cinnamon oatmeal, the other like peanut butter.  My father and my Aunt have wasted no time, they have started their first card game of the day.  My sister is busy gathering all of their belongings.  They are heading home today, my Dad is going with them too.

We all gather around her car watching her pack everything (she didn’t want our help, had to pack it a certain way) crammed in the trunk and around the girl’s car seats.  She is the Jinga queen.  Everything fit.  The girls liked cruising around in their toy cars (foot powered) around the perimeter of the cottage with it’s wrap around deck.  It’s been a great visit for all of us.  We say our good-byes, see you soon, love you’s, etc and wave them on.

It’s just me and Aunt Sue now.  The sky is overcast and it will rain soon.  We decide to take a drive to the nearest town, about half an hour’s drive.  We always have good conversations.  We talk about how great it was to spend time with each other.  My Aunt and my Dad really haven’t seen or spoken with each other very much (other than a 5 minute hi & bye quick catch up conversation) since my grandmother passed away in 1996.  (Meme Roy)   Fourteen years ago since their last card game.  Wow!  Also we realized that this was only the second time that Aunt Sue met her grand-niece Kennedy!  We all sure needed this cottage get-away, each of us for our own reasons.  Also my Dad passed down his work-aholocism to me, however I try to fit holiday time in whereas the last time Dad took a break was 18 years ago when he and I went to Las Vegas for his 50th birthday.  It felt so great for me to see Dad up north here again.  He was completely relaxed.  He told me he hadn’t sat this long for a long time.  My instant thought was… mission accomplished. 

Aunt Sue and I arrive into town.  A new place to visit for me.  The town of Bracebridge, Ontario.  It’s a nice town, a touristy place.  My goal is to find a thank you gift for Monique.  I couldn’t find anything in my home town for a gift before I came here.  I guess it was meant to be as now I have learned a bit of Monique’s likes by studying her surroundings.

We went to an antique/gift store combo.  I looked all over and finally I stumble across this beautiful large clock.  It’s not an antique, but it’s been crackle painted to make it look old and rustic.  I thought it was perfect to reciprocate Monique’s “gift of time” to me.  I know here at the cottage that the time of day is not important as this is a place to slow down and relax and just make the best of time, not watch the time.  No telephone, no television, just quiet time to get away from the normal hustle and routine of our lives at home.

This is a different kind of clock to me.  I am going to leave a specific request for Monique.  A request that each time she looks at this clock, she asks herself, is it “time for me?”, and answers, yes.  “Am I making the best use of my time?”, “Am I enjoying and having a good time?”, “Is it time to think of my blessings and how special I am?”.  I hope she doesn’t look at it and just say “oh, it’s one o’clock”.

As I mentionned this before, she just purchased the cottage this year and I am her (I’m assuming), first Cottage Dreams visitor.  I also found a book to go along with the clock.  It has 2 ducks/water scene on the front.  I chose it for 2 reasons.  One because of the ducks.  I see several duck related decor throughout the cottage, but she also has a photo of ducks with babies that I assume she captured from her very own dock.  This is a guest book.  My hope is that Monique will decide that this was a good experience for her as well and that she will continue to be a part of the Cottage Dreams Charity each year from many other cancer survivors and their families.  I will list my name of the first page with the dates of my visit.  I will also list the names and relationship of every family member of mine that has joined me here.  What a conversation piece this book could become!  My intent is that she will feel special and appreciated with a book full of names and realize how big an impact she has made in other’s lives.  I am upset that my camera is broken.  My sister took several pictures with her cell phone before she left, so I will be sure to send some to Monique when I get home.

Aunt Sue and I returned back “home” from our little shopping venture.  It will be dark soon.  the cottage is very, very quiet tonight without my nieces here. All we hear is each other’s yawns from total relaxation and the rain drops outside.  It is so nice to just be in the moment.  We are spending our evening by candlelight, I’m curled up on the couch, Aunt Sue curled up by the fireplace.  I managed to read a magazine and then I decided to write to you.  You see, thanks to chemo brain (short term memory loss), if I don’t get it down on paper today, I will likely only recall some of the details tomorrow.  This frustrates me considerably.

Aunt Sue is reading and as time goes on, she sinks lower into her chair.  I brought a hard copy printed version of all my blog postings since I started writing a year and a half ago.  She does not have a computer so I thought she may find it an interesting read.  I have to say that it is very, very strange to watch someone read what I have written.  I’m told by many people that I should consider writing a book or publishing my blog into a book, but I don’t think it would really be that interesting.  I write as a tool to cope, a type of medicine, to spill out what I feel inside so that I can continue working on me. 

Watching her read my pages while I am writing a couple of new pages to you (or to me, not sure what is the right word choice here), is strange is all I can say.  What comes to mind as I wrap up today’s notes is that while I watch her read my story (which she already knows) is that I am thinking of her personal story and how strong of a woman she is.  She has lost her parents (my grandparents Emile & Angeline Roy) due to cancer.  Cancer also took her husband away just a few years ago.  She also had been working for a lady friend who was in her final days with cancer, and she just passed away two weeks ago, and here is my Aunt as I admire and look at her, she is still strong and dry-eyed reading a binder/book about more cancer.  My cancer.  Our cancer, as I am not in this fight alone.  It gives me more drive than ever before to beat this terrible disease.  I can’t let cancer take me away from her or anyone else.  I don’t want to be the one that makes those dry eyes leak. 

Good night all, tomorrow is a new day…. another gift of time.