A Beautiful Mess

I’m a Fine Arts Major. This is my unimpressed art gallery selfie.
I’m a Fine Arts Major. This is my unimpressed art gallery selfie.

I’m a Fine Arts Major. This is my unimpressed art gallery selfie.

*Kyle
We were sitting on his couch last night (late night).
Well, him sitting and me straddling.
I needed to be close to him.
"I can feel your heartbeat." he said to me.
"What does it feel like?"
I asked readjusting my hold on him.
"It’s strong, it doesn’t feel sick at all".
My heart sank a bit… Did he feel that?
"Can you promise me to remember what it feels like. 
My heart.
Remember what it sounds like.
Can you just.. remember this moment.” I sounded desperate, I knew it.
I’m starting to brake my own rules for this guy.
We stayed like that for awhile, intertwined like weeds, listening to Valerie June.
I readjusted the blanket that was covering my shoulders and placed it over our heads.
"Now It’s like we’re in a Fort " I said "Tell me a Fort secret"
"We’re a secret" he said, kissing my neck. 
No ones’ immune to neck kisses.
He was right. We were a secret.
No one really knew what was going on between us, not even us.
"Kyle, what does it feel like when you see me?"
"What do you mean?"
"Like on the inside. What does it feel like on the inside?"
"I feel a lot of thing. But mostly I get scared."
And then there’s that look that someone gives you when they are about to tell you something that you don’t want to hear. 
 
Say it fast, Kyle…
"Why do you get scared?" I asked without really wanting to know the answer.
" Well, Do you remember that night I walked you home from Lucky bar? You probably don’t remember, you were pretty drunk. I told you I was falling for you and you argued with me about it. 
You kept going on about how you were like a cancer bomb that could go off at anytime. That you didn’t want to be responsible for hurting anyone anymore.
You said that you didn’t want to leave me like how Jess had left you.”
Ah Fuck. I kind of remembered…
"Well, I’m scared because I think that I have already fallen in love with you.
And I’m sorry, because honestly, I agree with you.”
"Woa. What?" The look on my face must have been pretty awful because he let go of my waist and put his hands on the arm rests, the furthest that they could get away.
The walls of his tiny bachelor apartment felt like they were caving in.
"I can’t be in love with you Cynthia."
Breathe.
"Why the fuck not?"
Breathe.
"Because I don’t want to be in love with someone that I’m going to loose. And I’m telling you that I agree with what you said that night. I don’t think it’s fair to me if I were to completely fall in love with you".
My heart sank.
I think he felt it this time.
 
 (* pseudo name)

I’m taking writing classes.

I would like to share some stories with you.

Don’t question them.

They could be fiction.

You may find yourself in a character or two.

Just Act natural.
xo

Compassion and strength in the wind #mollysthrone #home
Compassion and strength in the wind #mollysthrone #home

Compassion and strength in the wind #mollysthrone #home

I love you babe x #thetopofyourheadismyfavouritesmell #iwantourfacestotouchalldayonsundays #JDN
I love you babe x #thetopofyourheadismyfavouritesmell #iwantourfacestotouchalldayonsundays #JDN

I love you babe x
#thetopofyourheadismyfavouritesmell #iwantourfacestotouchalldayonsundays #JDN

This Song. 

I was reminded of it at 12:38 am last night and I got nostalgic.
I goes back years and years and years. 
It ties a lot of friendships.
It has a different meaning now, since I’ve known too many hospital beds,
but the message is still the same.
Someone, Please, Sing this to me..
x
You+Me+Renfrew=Magic
You+Me+Renfrew=Magic

You+Me+Renfrew=Magic

Go build a fort in the woods

Do you ever close your eyes and think about your ‘happy’ place? The place that brings you calm, serenity and peace. The place that lights up your heart and soul from the inside out.

I do, sometimes even twice a day.
It happens when I close my eyes while I’m drink my green juice in the morning, when I meditate, when I’m running, when I’m working on my patience or even when I’m getting an IV put in…. 
It helps bring me down to that grounding feeling. 
Here’s the story of mine.
In 2003, I left the safeness of Ontario and moved across the country to the mountains by myself. 
I was 20, I was nervous and I was excited. 
I had just up and left my boyfriend of 4 years (sorry Thomas) and I needed a change. 
I needed to grow. 
I got to Jasper on a sunny, hot saturday night at the end of the month of May.
I’ll always remember this…
In the middle of the staff accom quad, the bus pulled up to over 60 - 20 something yr olds drinking and playing outside. Getting off that bus was one of the most intimidating things I had ever done up until then.
But as soon as I stepped on to the grounds, I saw Jess. 
Actually, I should say, I heard Jess. 
"Woa, look at her!!" (PG version)
Thanks for that Babe…. 
As I nestled into the mountains, meeting forever friends and getting comfortable, I met an australian girl named Tiff. 
This girl… She changed the game for me. I guess this is why, when I think of my happy place, she’s associated with it. 
We were inseparable, she became my best friend, like a sister. 
Day after day, I would climb thru her window (I never once went through the front door), we would smoke copious amounts of weed and make a plan on how to take over the world. 
And I believe we did. 
We took over our world at least.
Shoe Free Fridays? (This idea hurt as much as it sounds).
One morning (it was ungodly early, 6am?) we were going sky diving. Somehow, she convinced me. That was her, somehow, someway, she would make me see the fun in absolutely everything. 
My fear and reason wouldn’t ration the idea. 
I never questioned or doubted myself with her.
I believed I could conquer anything. 
 What a beautiful gift to give someone…
Thank fucking the authorities that my silent-sub-conscious prayers got answered and the flight was canceled due to bad weather. 
I just don’t do heights…
But we were up and we had snacks packed, so we decided to go for a hike in the woods instead while playing the left and right game. 
This is when you take a walk deep into the woods and at any given moment anyone can call Left or Right and you have to obey and change your course… 
It was super fun.
We definitely won the game that morning!
Not to far from the lodge, we walked right into a lake and a boat. When you are stoned at 7 am, finding this discovery is pure magic. 
We were stoked!
So we thought that getting into this random plastic dingy was a great idea, We made it ten feet out into the lake and the entire thing submerged on us. We were fully clothed. You can imagine how upset we were swimming back to shore realizing we had lost our one hitter. 
RIP Tony (because he was the boss).
Ahhh, the great sinking of 2003.
From that day forward, we decided to make it our mission to retrieve it. So we built a fort on the lake. 
To pass time.
Our fort, it became our sanctuary.
We had a lounge/bench where we carved our names and our invites names (the invites came much later in the game tho). 
We had a dock that led into the water where we would light candles on logs and watch them float on the lake. 
And then we had the fort. Ironically, we spent the least amount of time in the later. 
Every night, when we were deciding on how to take over the world, we would grab a 40 of Old English (the fort was later named OE) and we would sit with candles, cigarettes and a new one hitter (Tony part 2), talking simplicity. 
That was it. 
That was the big lesson that I had to learn.
She made things simple for me. 
She taught me how to make life simple. 
No matter what was going on in real life, I would ask her advice and she would always set it straight for me with just a few phrases.
That was the serenity of the fort.
At the fort, we were always ourselves, we were the raw version of us, the real version of us. 
I learnt to let go of all the fear I didn’t even know I was holding in. 
Fear about accepting who I was, and who I wasn’t. 
We laughed a lot.
For the fist while, it was just the two of us. 
Our friends and colleagues would ask us where we would sneak off to for hours at night, but it was top secret. 
Her and I, we shared the secret of what mattered that summer.
One day, that all changed. I don’t remember who was the first, but I remember it was by invitation. 
What followed suit, were invited guest to come share our secret world - Our simple world. 
Our fort!
Months went on like this, we grew, we laughed, we were silly, we were simple. 
Thats the way it went.
Days were like groundhog day, but it was one damn good day.
My favourite night that summer, was my surprise birthday party. The fort was busy with my favourite friends and the sun was setting over the mountains. Tiff changed all the words to Tom Petty’s “free falling” and sang me the best birthday song, while our friend Mitch accompanied her on the guitar. She is totally tone deaf.
It was Perfection.
At the end of July, I was working a late shift at the restaurant, and Tiff ran into the hallway crying. It was an awful sight. 
There was an emergency and she was moving back to Australia in a few days.
That was hard for me. 
I felt like I still needed her.
That night, we decided to climb the highest mountain in Jasper. /div>
the mountain is called Edith Cavell and it stands at 11033ft, we left the next morning.
 
We were finally, truly, taking over the world.
This is what we’d been training for.
We did it! Fourteen hours later, we were eating poutines on our stoop. Things changed for me on that mountain. 
I truly saw and understood how strong I could be. That no matter what, I could get through absolutely anything. 
And I have.
To this day, it is still the best day of my life.
I have that mountain tattoo’d on me and Tiff named her baby boy Cavell. 
That’s how much it rocked us..
The best quote of that day was ’ This will do for now, but we have to get back to the fort’ Tiff ‘2003. 
Hahaha, she still makes me laugh.
We wrote in the top-of-the-mountain capsule, that we would meet again August 3 2011.
Tiff made it, I didn’t. 
Jess died a few days before she was supposed to pick me up for our road trip from Vancouver to Jasper. 
It took me awhile to forgive him for ruining that for me. 
It was a day that I counted down for 8 years.
I still haven’t seen her since 2003.
It just occurred to me that this piece was set out with an intention on writing about the fort, but it took a turn into describing one of the most influential friendships I have ever had. 
Tiff came into my life for a reason. 
She holds a huge part of my heart.
Unfortuanetly, life, it gets in the way sometimes… It takes over.
But 11 years later, twice a day and when I need serenity the most, I close my eyes and think of those summer nights at the fort.
And for that moment, I remember what its like to be simply free.
Thank you Tiff ximage

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Mcfly ! I could use a time machine right about now. #playahermosa
Mcfly ! I could use a time machine right about now. #playahermosa

Mcfly ! I could use a time machine right about now. #playahermosa

Chemo Room

Its a bit late for this, but for months I’ve wanted to share my thoughts and experiences on the chemo room. 
It is such a special place and it took a huge part of my heart. 
I developed feelings that I never knew that I could have. 
That room taught me the true meaning of compassion. 
It was a big lesson that I’ve had to re-learn after loosing Jess.
When you enter the Cancer agency, arrows point you in the direction of the waiting room. 
Out of all the waiting rooms I’ve sat in in the last year, this one takes it. The intensity alone would make anyone want to run for their lives! 
Some people just can’t sit still. 
Some people are using any activities to distract them i.e.- books, iPad, fingernails.
Some people are just straight up terrified and have the most horrific look on their faces.
I was all three of those types. I observed, I people watched, I chewed the inside of my cheeks, I re-read paragraphs of my book 17 times and I was straight up terrified.
I always strived to be zen about it, at least I tried too.
In the waiting room, there’s a donation boxes full of scarves, hats, toques and head covers. They are homemade and they look like they were knitted by someones grandma, it’s sweet.
(and thinking about grandma’s is comforting at least.)
The waiting room provides complementary peppermint tea but it’s clear everyone in there just wants a whiskey neat.
As I’ve sat there impatiently waiting, the volunteer eventually calls my name  (I go by Elie at the hospital) and she/he escorts me to my lazy-boy recliner, my chemo chair.
Que - Tragically Hip: The Luxury. 
Back to the volunteers…
They are astounding. 
They are outpouring with compassion, love, patience, understanding and sympathy, and I’m not exagerating .
Their job is to make you feel ok in the most NOT ok situation. What a hard thing to do! And they don’t even have to be there! They are there because they want to be there for you. What a concept, right?
I truly believe that some people are sent from the ‘authorities’ (my version of god) to make the world a bit better, run smoother,  control chaos and perhaps teach us about love along the way - Pure, True, Selfless Love.
These beautiful people will bring you peppermint tea and a warm blanket every 25 minutes.They will help you walk and get around if you need to stretch it out. They will get you a snack if thats what you need. They will smile at you when you need it the most or just sit with you in silence and hold your hand.
Angels. 
The room is quite large, it holds about 25 recliner chairs, all open and all facing each other so we can watch one another.
Intense yet?
There’s 25 Patients and rarely an empty chair.
Curtains are provided, but in my four months I never saw the curtains drawn around any chair. 
The chemo room, and it’s unlucky members, share a bit of a secret code. We’re all strangers but we have the most important thing in common, the will, the desire, the fight to live.
When diagnosed with cancer, no matter which stage, grade, type, you are given an expiry date. Without treatments you are told that you are going to die, really soon.
You have that power to say - No, no more treatments, I choose to die.
But this isn’t the case in the Chemo Room, we’re all fighters. We are all super hero’s.
I’ve made unlikely friends in that room. I learned that in your most difficult situations, it is never the worst. There is always love, laugh, friendship, for those who want to see it. You just have to open up your heart.
As I settled in my chair with my book, tea, sister, a sense of ease and relax came over me. Every single time. 
Because as soon as that IV started,  it meant that I was closer to my end date.
That’s what a chemo patient strives for - the end, the last chemo treatment. Sitting in the room, you know exactly which 4-5 people are on their last treatments. Their smile - it’s Powerful. 
They have the most accomplished, positive, energetic glow around them that you just want a part of, but you know your time will come. 
I learnt the meaning of patience in those four months.
I can’t write which session was the hardest or easiest, they were all the same. The drug itself is exactly what you would imagine, but worst. There’s over 2000 different types and recipes of chemo drugs, no two are the same. One of mine (I had two) hurt. I felt it going into my veins, it was awful.
I consider myself extremely lucky to have had such an amazing and beautiful life! When I think of the happiest times of my life, there’s so many to choose.
I spent 8 amazing years with the love of my life.
I climbed the highest mountain in the canadian rockies with the most amazing, inspiring lady.
I cheated a grizzly bear attack with my two siblings in the back country 
I got to live with my mom, as an adult, and truly become best friends with her.
The list is endless… 
But on that list, in the top five, is walking out of the Chemo Room. I will never be able to accurately describe the sense of relief, strength,  accomplishment all mixed with a bit of nausea. And it was powerful. 
As much as I hold that moment as one of the best days of my life, as much as I hold that room as one of the best places on earth,  I never want to go back.
xo