A random, eclectic mix of thoughts, feelings, observations, and experiences – LIFE

Posts tagged ‘personal story’

Sushi Surprise

My brother is awesome. He’s 4 years younger than me, and a lot of time, you’d think he’s 4 years older than me. He takes such good care of his big sister. He looks out for me like an older brother would. Or like a dad. He definitely gets that from our dad. The protector. There’s really nothing that he denies me when it’s in his power. Of course, I treat him the same way, but I’m supposed to. I mean I want to as well, but I’m the older one. I guess it’s give and take. We give to each other as needed, and we take turns being the big, bad (but good), protective, problem-solving sibling.

I had a bit of a rough week. Things didn’t really go as well as I’d hoped or expected. Bad things happened, good things I expected sort of fell through. I ended up a bit out of sorts. When I needed to talk to someone about what was going on, he answered the call. He listened, commented, made me laugh, laughed with me, and we both kind of concluded that life sort of snowballs people sometimes. At one point, he said, “Boyyy, life really ain’ playin’ wit’ you!” We had a good laugh.

On Thursday, I needed a ride from work. Mum was able to get me, but she needed to be to work 2.5 hours later, so she took me home (to my grandmother’s) with her, and I waited for her to be ready for work. Then, she’d drop me off before going to work. Well, my brother and one of our sisters met up at Grams’. He said he could take me home. Mum sent us out to get some Krazy Glue, so I took the opportunity to pick up a cabbage and some corn to complete a meal. (I’ll blog on that next week.) After the quick errand, he took me home.

He did some laundry for me on Sunday. A few pairs of jeans, one or two shirts, and towels. He had been riding around with the clean stuff in his car, waiting to see me. I definitely forgot them in his car. It was probably about 9pm when I realized this. I was on Skype with Babe, and exclaimed, saying bad words. I told her why. I was really annoyed. It added to my frustration from earlier when I didn’t know if I’d have a way home (without having to walk or cycle in the rain), my sister saying something to me that I didn’t like, being hungry, etc. I called my brother and asked if he was at my aunt’s (because she lives about 3 driving minutes away from me). He said he wasn’t, but asked what I needed. I told him I forgot the clothes. He immediately said, “Oh, I could just bring them to you.” Just like that. No big deal. I was relieved. My mood improved. I went back to chatting with Babe.

About an hour later, I heard his car pull up, and he said my name in the military/police type of way that only he and our dad do. Well, occasionally our mother. Anyway, I went rushing out the door. He said, “You’re gettin’ a lil more than you bargained for.” I said, “Oh, ok,” having absolutely no idea what he meant. I got to the car, and there was an old friend. I hadn’t seen her in AGES. I was happy and surprised to see her, and we chatted briefly as Alan helped me to get control of the clean goodness in my arms. THEN, he showed me what he brought me. SUSHI. He told me to go ahead with the clothes, and he’s come behind with the sushi.

Now, I love sushi. I hardly ever get it. It’s fairly expensive here (as compared to what I’m used to paying in Canada), and there are only a few places that do it, and even fewer that do it well. Well, he opened the carry-out plate and showed me the rolls and sashimi. Yummm. I was SO happy. I’d just told Babe that I was hungry, and was trying to figure out what to make. It was already kind of late to be eating, but I needed SOMEthing. As always, my brother was there. Right on time. That little bit of kindness was the world to me. Clean towels and clothes. One of my favourite things to eat. Warm, happy feelings. And a smile.

Is there someone in your life who tends to sort of “save” it? Do you have a faux-dad? Who does the unexpected and makes you smile?

They Took My Cellphone

But not my life. Or will to live. Or sanity. Or self-respect. None of me. I’ll let them have none of me. The violation was enough.

I was robbed. Last night. It was so fast. And crazy. And quite the shock. I reacted so quickly. Yet slowly. I couldn’t tell how time was moving. It seemed pretty fast. Those guys weren’t that fast. I could have chased them down. I didn’t. I didn’t care that much. I was appreciative of the fact that I was still breathing. Able to walk. Unharmed. Not stabbed. Or shot. Or raped. Alive. And well. Just less one little thing. One of my favourite things, but a THING. So it’s no big deal.

It’s so weird the way things happen. Something out of the ordinary has to happen before we can really appreciate the way that life unfolds. A sequence of events. Each one dependent, in some way, on the one before it. Choices. Decisions. The roads we take. The ways we turn. The speed with which we move.

This is what I mean:

  • I spent the weekend at Babe’s. The plan was to get a drive back to my place on Monday night. I had a lot of things to transport back to my apartment. My ride fell through. Ended up staying over at Babe’s. Which was fine.
  • On Tuesday morning, I rode to work on Babe’s bike, Kiwi. Tatum (my bike) was, and still is, at my place. Got to work and realized that I left my keys at Babe’s. Decided to ride back there after to work to get the keys, then head back to my place.
  • Got to Babe’s around 5:45 on Tuesday evening. Cooled off. Drank some water. Called my sister to see if she was still at work and could pick me up, but got no answer. (Later, she told me she was at my grandmother’s and left the phone in the car.) Played word games. We had cereal. At about 7:30, we decided it was a good time to leave. The sun sets shortly after 8pm, and it would take me about 30 minutes to get to my place.
  • Walked up the hill (Babe lives at the bottom of one), then rode about 15 seconds before I realized I didn’t have my cellphone. I should mention that a lady said, “Good evening,” and when I responded, she said, “Nice bike!” I thanked her. That made me smile. Anyway, I rode down the hill back to Babe. Got the phone, and walked the bike back up the hill. The same lady said, “Oh. Looks like fun!” It was hilarious. I said, “No, I just forgot something.” She clearly thought I was walking up and coasting down the hill repeatedly for fun. I shared this with Babe later, and we both had a good laugh.
  • Where I work is the halfway mark between Babe’s place and my place. I got a bit beyond there when I realized something was wrong with the bike. Something must have come loose. The handlebar was no longer lined up with the front wheel. No matter how I steered, the wheel was going it’s own way. I stopped. I couldn’t fix it without tools. I got my cellphone out of my backpack and called Babe to explain the situation.
  • We decided it made sense for me to walk the bike to my grandmother’s (about 5 minutes driving distance from my work). Now, this isn’t the best area to be on. Particularly as a young woman, walking alone, wheeling a bicycle along. *sighs* I didn’t really have a choice. I didn’t know anyone in the area with a truck or SUV that could carry the bicycle. It was faster to just walk. I talked with Babe as I walked.
  • Just as I was wrapping up the conversation with her, I heard two very loud thuds/footsteps (the last steps of the two guys that ran up behind me, and felt impact on my right ear. One of the guys was snatching the phone out of my hand. [I have to say, I HATE that people do this to people they know as a joke. This has happened to me several times, and I have given black eyes and sucker punches to friends. After making a few “mistakes” like that, I’ve made great effort to freeze and just wait for the person to identify him/herself since it’s more likely (SADLY) for a known person to do it that an attacker.] After being hailed about 3 times that evening, I just froze and waited, but no one’s hand covered my eyes, and no voice said, “Guess who?” in 5 seconds, so I suddenly expected a hand around my throat. I turned, saw the guys, realized what was happening, and I screeeamed. Twice. They ran off. I stood in shock for about 5 seconds. Then decided to get moving. I was literally 5 steps away from the corner, and diagonally across the street was a laundromat. I was heading there to use a phone to tell Babe that I was alive. I figured my scream was heard.
  • Holy coincidence/luck/divine intervention. At the corner, about to turn, was a family friend. Jimmy. Good ol’ Jimmy! He said, “Hi,” and stuff. All I managed to say was, “Jimmy, can you do me a favour? Take me to my Grammy?” He said he could, he just needed to make a stop to pick someone up. As he loaded Kiwi onto the truck, I told him what happened, ever-so-briefly, RIGHT before he got there. He was PISSED. He hopped in that truck and was ready to go on a manhunt. I wasn’t quite so enthusiastic. I wanted to leave it alone. He picked up two people, and we rode around the general area, looking for the guys. Finally, I convinced him to give it up. A cellphone really isn’t worth getting killed over.
  • The moment I caught my breath, after getting into the truck,  I asked Jimmy to use his phone. I called Babe. I felt terrible. Babe sounded so distraught. Already, a friend was there to help look for me. I said I was okay, and would head back there instead of going to Gram’s and alarming people. Jimmy took me there, took the bike down, and gave me his card. Sidenote: He has a trucking service, so I guess that’s a good backup for moving in two weeks!
  • I got to Babe’s place around 8:45pm. We spent the rest of the night debriefing, talking it out, cuddling, consoling each other, etc. It was rough. It was a small thing, but a big thing. For Babe, to feel so helpless and out of control. For me, to be so completely unsafe in this crime-ridden country, and to know that I gave such a scare. I felt guilty. I still do, kinda. One thing Babe said that’s stuck in my head is, “We can’t be reckless any more.” Bike riding, walking… Doing whatever because we think it’s okay. I don’t want to live in fear, but we can’t live stupidly either. *sighs*
  • I think it was a good thing that I was on the cellphone. Babe knew right away that something was wrong. If something worse happened, SOMEone in the world would have some sort of idea of what happened and where I was. And it was easy for them to grab. That way, there was no need to engage me. I was wearing a BACKPACK. Imagine me trying to get that off in a panic. Imagine them, in their hurry, getting annoyed at me taking forever to get my backpack off. And YES, they WOULD have engaged me. A woman was walking in the same area earlier that day, and got her handbag snatched. Apparently, it was on the 7pm news (which I did not watch).
Back to the sequence of events… This probably would not have happened IF:
  • My cousin was able to give me (and all my ish) a ride to my place on Monday night, provided that I had the bag with the keys with me.
  • My brother didn’t have a crazy car that I feel bad about asking him to use to rescue me.
  • I didn’t forget my keys.
  • My sister was still at work or in the car and answered my call, and gave me a ride.
  • I got my keys and left right away.
  • I didn’t forget my cellphone.
  • I didn’t turn back for my cellphone.
  • The bike didn’t go out of whack.
  • I stayed my bum at Babe’s place.
But this is the way it worked out. And it’s okay.
The take away:
  • I have life, and nothing is more precious.
  • It’s important to be very vigilant.
  • The jury is still out on whether or not one should talk on a cellphone when walking alone in the semi-dark.
  • DISCRETION is important. Maybe I shouldn’t have left Babe’s.
  • Pay attention to the signs that are everywhere. I forgot my keys at Babe’s, I couldn’t reach anyone to give me a ride, I forgot my cellphone… The universe or God or whatever/whoever was clearly trying to convey a message. I probably should have stayed at Babe’s.
  • Remember that it’s all “small stuff.” My cellphone is gone. It’s a BlackBerry and I really liked it. It sucks. More than that, I had pictures, video, notes, etc. saved in the phone. That sucks more. BUT. It doesn’t suck more than physical harm.
  • We never know what situation our current situation is preventing. Who’s to say that those guys didn’t save me from something worse? Maybe there were worse people further down the road that would have done something worse. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to make it to my house for some reason. Maybe it wasn’t a good night to get my mom to drive me home when she was already home (at Grams’ house). I don’t know what that occurrence saved me from, but I am thankful. Regardless.
  • There are little angels everywhere. Even in the most unlikely places. In the most unlikely people. And there are no coincidences. We are all in specific places at specific times for specific (divine) purposes. Whether we realize it or not.
I can’t say that I slept easily. I can’t say that I didn’t a lot of sounds in the street and near the window. I can’t say that I didn’t see the scene play when I closed my eyes. I can’t say that I would have ever gotten to sleep if I wasn’t with Babe. I can’t say that I would have been able to make my own cup of tea. I can’t say that I didn’t feel some of the same things I felt when an ex semi-stalked, approached, and assaulted me in a dark parking lot when I was in university. I can’t say that I was particularly excited about life this morning. But I can say that I am alive and well. I’m still dealing with what happened in some way, but all-in-all, I’m a-okay. 🙂
Edit: I just realized that I was only wearing one earring. 😦 My brother bought me the pair of earrings I was wearing. Now I just have one. I’m really sad. Devastated, really. I don’t know why, but I’m super sentimental about things like that. I’m more upset about the missing earring than anything else. Crazy, maybe. *shrugs* I’m going to ask my sister to take me to where it happened to see if it fell out there. And hasn’t been rolled over. Cross your fingers for me, please!

It’s Thankful Thursday!

Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.                  -Buddhist Quote

Honestly, I’m not feeling particularly thankful. I’m actually in a not-so-great mood. It’s not fun. You know… When your mood sucks. I’d rather be happy. I knooow, [mocking tone] haaappiness is a decisionnn. It’s just a decision I don’t feel like making right now. I’m gonna play King of Sorrow by Sade, allow myself to have a moment, and THEN, if I FEEL like it, I’ll decide to be happy. And thankful. Wait right here while I go do that, k?

[King of Sorrow plays as I sing some parts, and just cry during others. Then a few minutes of silence as I get myself together. Wash my face. Drink some water. Clean my glasses. Put them on for the first time today. Look back at the task at hand. Take deeeep breath. Sip more water. Choose to be happy. Think of all the things I should be thankful for, even if I’m not in this moment. Until I AM.]

Okay. I’m ready. It’s another Thankful Thursday, so you know a list is coming, right? Here are things I’m thankful for today:

  1. Life. My life, although I haven’t managed to like every single minute of it, is not too shabby. I breathe without labour. I have food to eat when I’m hungry. I have clean water to drink, cook, and shower. I have family and friends, and they’re real.
  2. Healthcare. My grandmother is in the hospital. For the first time in her life (aside from giving birth to her children). Two days ago, she felt very ill. Heart racing, feeling weak, etc. Yesterday morning was worse. The decision was made to call the ambulance. Her blood sugar level was almost 5x what it should have been. I visited her last night. She looked good. She was calm, relaxed, and well-taken care of by the hospital staff, and her children.
  3. Lunch. Babe made spaghetti last night. I wasn’t hungry by the time I got home, so I didn’t eat. Still, Babe made enough meat sauce for me to have some for lunch today. I just made some noodles this morning, and BAM! Lunch. (I love bringing lunch from home, and very much dislike buying lunch. Especially since the places around here are: hot dog vendors, the worst Chinese food ever, and a sandwich/pasta deli with super salty food.)
  4. Internet. Keeps me entertained at work, connects me with friends AND new people, keeps me in touch with Babe while we’re apart, loads of information at my fingertips… It’s just great.
  5. Grams’ humor. My grandmother is super funny. And good-natured. And positive. It cracks me up a lot. Here’s a bit of the exchange I had with her:
Me: Hi, Grammyyy!
Gram: Oh, look who it is! How you doooing?
Me: Nooo, how are YOU doing?
Gram: Me? I’m in TOP SHAPE! [This is her standard answer to the above question, no matter what!]
Me: Top. Shape? Then what are you doing in here?
Gram: Good question. What I doing in here, hey? This ain’ no way to spend a vacation now, is it?
Me: *laughs* No, not at all. *looks around room* You don’t even have an ocean view in this room.
Gram: Yes, I do! Look! *points at picture of a beach scene on wall*
Me: Oh! You do! I see.
Gram: *laughs*
Gram: Yes, everyone (minus Chris) was here today. All of them (my 8 children minus Chris) were standing up out there, working on getting me this room. The hospital was full.
Me: Oh, yeah, I heard there were no beds. That’s good you got one. And they were here to make sure you got sorted out.
Gram: Yes. The only one I didn’t see today is Chris. It’s his birthday. We were supposed to be having a party tonight.
Me: Party?
Gram: Yes, for his birthday.
Me: Oh, well I guess we’ll have to party later. When we get you outta here.
Gram: Yes, we’ll probably do it for Stevie’s (grandson) birthday. His is on [insert day here].
The woman was in the hospital, making me laugh, and talking about eating crab cakes, mangoes, and having birthday parties with cake. What a woman!
I have to say that I feel much better than I’d decided to feel a few minutes ago. Thinking of the things I’m thankful for and remembering the exchange with Gram… It really put things into perspective. And reminds me that I’m control of my happiness. Sure, there are sucky moments, and there may be times when it’s harder to pick myself up and be great… Sometimes, I may need a nudge from a friend, a lunch packed by my Babe, a nice email/text message, a surprise phone call from a far-away friend, a cupcake, or a can of COOOLLLD Coca-Cola… But at the end of the day, I can WANT to be happy, and MAKE. IT. HAPPEN. For knowledge of this, I am thankful.
What are you thankful for today?