The last two years have been amazing for me. It has been almost two years since I met Greg, and we are having the time of our lives. He that’s and looks at my like we just met. Two years later and he still gives me butterflies.
To be honest…based on my history, I really never thought I’d find someone as amazing as him…and a lot of my friends knew that I felt that way. I had dealt with a lot of shit, not only relationship wise, but health wise too. So when Greg came along and my friends saw how happy i was, they were all happy for me too.
Well…almost all of them.
Someone i used to be close to resented the fact that I was in a relationship. She was mad that I wasn’t spending as much time with her after I met Greg as I was before.
I would say that i’m a bit of a late bloomer among my friends when it comes to relationships. My closest friends and I went to school with and grew up with began to get into relationships, then got married, then had children. At first, I didn’t understand it. One of my best friends began to fade away a bit and I knew it was because she was focused on her relationship. I blogged about it. In my blog post I talked about how much I missed her. She happened to visit my blog and read it.
She understood. She called me, we talked about it, and we made a promise to hang out when possible, but to also understand that as we get older, our focus shifts a bit. For the most part, the goal of a relationship is either marriage or at least a long term commitment. The goal is to foster this relationship into something that will last forever. This goal was that this relationship would result in a family.
Years later, I found myself on the otherside. I met a wonder man who swept me off of my feet. We of course spent a lot of time together. So when I came across my (former) friend, she basically stated that I had abandoned my friends now that I was in a relationship. I never called anymore. It’s interesting because I had sent her a few messages before that and she didn’t respond. I messaged her again and challenged her for not responding. She said she was busy with her own stuff so I left it at that. She messaged me again and i didn’t answer.
So for that reason i was shocked that she felt that I was abandoning my friends when I took me at least 3 messages to get a response from her. That was nearly a year ago.
I came to find the other day that she unfriended me from various social media sites.
Like, as people get older, things change. I’m spending time with someone who I plan on building a future with. I still manage to have relationships with my other friends. My friends that aren’t mad at me for having a boyfriend. In gaining a boyfriend I lost exactly 1 friend, someone who clearly wasn’t a friend to begin with or they would be happy that I’m happy.
I’m in a job that I love that just gave me an amazing bonus and an even more amazing raise. Greg and i are working hard to build our future together. I have zero time for needy, immature people.
I wish no one any ill will, but I won’t be upset about someone unfriending me because I’m in a relationship and happy.
Today, we caught an early showing of Mastermind at the theatre (11:45am!). It was funny. Crazy to believe that it was based on a true story. Or at least partially. In the late afternoon/evening, we watched Halloween 2 on Shomi (the Rob Zombie version).
My mind is all over the place right now and it’s so hard to focus. This year has brought me many joys, including good health and a wonderful man in my life. But my heart shattered into a million pieces on Sunday night. A million pieces…just from one simple whatsapp message.
I was at my boyfriend’s house. It was late in the evening. We had just got back from having dinner at Jack Astors and a round of glow in the dark mini golf. We had a blast. We got home and were going to watch a bit of TV before settling into bed to recharge for the Monday to come. I had place my iPhone in “Do not disturb” mode, as it’s not uncommon for me to receive emails and notifications in the middle of the night. I didn’t want those buzzes and beeps from my phone to disturb our sleep. Little did I know that I’d be getting very little sleep that day.
I decided to take one last look at my phone when I saw a message from one of my coworkers. She said that she had some bad news. She said that one of our dear managers had passed away. My coworker knew that this manager and I were close. When I saw the message, the first thing out of my mouth was “what??” My boyfriend said “what’s wrong?” All I could say was “what??” I think I said it at least 3 times before I could even respond to him. I didn’t know how to act at first…it hadn’t even begun to sink in.
I finished up my conversation with my friend…and I put my phone down on the table. It was at that point that I put my hands on my face and started to cry. I can’t believe this…I didn’t even know she was sick.
I spent the night tossing and turning, unable to get comfortable enough to sleep. I tried my best to turn my back to my boyfriend and cry quietly, but I’d feel him hug me from behind.
I always, without fail, wake up with enough time to do my makeup before going to work. But that Monday, I didn’t care. I got up, brushed my teeth, washed my face, got dressed, and that was that.
Greg dropped me off at work and I headed for Tim Hortons. I knew I wasn’t going to finish this bagel, but I bought it anyway. I headed to the elevator and landed on my floor. I was met with crying coworkers and managers trying to comfort them. I lost it; I bursted into uncontrolled tears.
Anna and I had a history beyond work. We met nearly 20 years ago when I was a patient at sick kids hospital. I’m not sure what her exact title was, but she seemed to be in charge of toy donations. She came to visit me as she was already a friend of my father. In passing, I talked to her about the “tickle me Elmo” craze, and how I’d love to have one. Wouldn’t you know it…the very next day, she showed up in my hospital room with a grey plastic bag. She had a huge smile on her face as she squeezed the plastic bag…and out came the laughter that is synonymous eith Elmo. Oh my God…she got me a tickle me Elmo!! I later learned that she contacted the company who made the Tickle me Elmos, somewhere in the states, and had the toy fedex’d to the hospital. I couldn’t believe it.
Years later, I’m sure you can imagine my surprise when I saw her again at the bank. I had just recently started working there, so a meeting was set up for all of us to meet all of the managers. She and I locked eyes and looked at each other for a few moments, both unsure why we recognized each other. Then, amazingly, the light switch turned on for both of us. We hugged and laughed as everyone else looked on, wondering what was going on.
Years passed and my relationship with Anna remained strong. She was an auxiliary police officer, and coincidentally, was my dad’s partner. This just solidified our bond. We would always hug when we saw each other in the hallways or elevators at work. She always had a smile on her face. She always made you feel good.
Just a few weeks ago, there was a pilot training project happening at work. She was the head of this training project. And, in typical Anna fashion, she showered my whole team with gifts-company branded gym bags, pens, winter ice scrapers…it was amazing. But, I wasn’t surprised. I knew that if it had been anyone else heading up that pilot project, we would not have gotten all of those thank you gifts/tokens of appreciation.
Fast forward to now. There was no opportunity for her to fight, as the cancer was already at stage 4. It was just too much for her loving and caring soul to deal with…so this angel took her rightful place in heaven next to God.
I spoke to grief counsellor at work, and that was helpful. I just…I’m sitting here imagining her smiling face and her kind voice.
That’s the thing with the passing of a friend. We cry and we sob because they are no longer here with us, and we love and miss them. But, I honestly and truly do take solice in the fact that she is no longer in pain, she is no longer suffering. But God…I’m gonna miss her so much.
This past weekend was Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada. My weekend was packed and relaxing all at the same time.
On Friday evening, my boyfriend came to pick me up at home as soon as he finished work as per our usual routine. We stopped and picked up some hakka cuisine and headed to his place. We ate our food and headed to bed early, falling asleep to the sound of the tv playing in the background.
The next day, we headed to Pumpkin Fest, where, of course, we picked out a pumpkin. Before that, we went into an indoor flea market that was located right in the same area. We walked around and perused through the usual flea market fare- cell phone cases, wallets, and questionable brand name clothing. We stopped at their small food court and bought some food at a local Latin joint We got a tamale and pupusas. I liked the pupusas…but the tamale con pollo was not my favourite. That’s okay, though. We hadn’t yet reached Pumpkin Fest, and I knew that there would be food trucks there.
Greg is a big fan of watches, especially those silver coloured ones where the band stretches so you can put it on with ease. He picked himself up a few of those.
When we finally made it to the actual Pumpkin Fest, we went to the Rebozos food truck. I got 3 tacos for $10-two chicken and one pork. Anyone who knows me knows that I love salt…and maybe it is for that reason that I felt the chicken tacos could have used just a touch more…but it was delicious just the same. We also picked up a beavertail and some churros. Then, our pumpkins.
After we were Pumpkin Fested out, we headed to Starbucks for a quick coffee before heading home to watch a horror movie before falling asleep. 1408 was the movie of choice. Yup-pretty scary.
The next day was thanksgiving dinner day. It would be my first thanksgiving with Greg and his family. After a quick stop for some bread, breakfast, and cappuccinos, we picked up Greg’s uncle and Nonna before heading to St. Phillips bakery to pick up the cake. After that was done, it was time to head to Innisfil.
Dinner was great. There was an amazing spread of turkey, corn, rice, mashed potatoes, stuffing…you name it. Needless to say, I was stuffed. We had a bit of fruit and then had the cake. We sat outside for a while as it was an absolutely beautiful day. As the day grew dark, we headed back home. Thankfully, traffic was good to us both ways.
The next day (today), Greg picked up a very healthy breakfast for us at McDonalds as I stayed in bed and slept. After breakfast, we thought about what to do-movie, go for a walk, etc. With today being another gorgeous fall day, we decided to head downtown and just take in the good weather. Of course, Starbucks made its way in there somewhere.
We stopped and had some lunch at Toma burger (delicious!) The burger and the onion rings were both divine. I got a burger with chipotle mayo, cheese, caramelized onion, spinach, and some bacon which I asked for on the side. Greg got a more traditional burger with onion, cheese, and pickles. I gave him my bacon so he had bacon in his burger too.
While the meal was absolutely amazing, my favourite part of it was when Greg turned to me and told me what he was thankful for on this thanksgiving. He told me that he was thankful to have someone like me in his life, and how much he loved me. I held my tears back, as I definitely wasn’t expecting anything like that.
After finishing our meal and doing some more walking, it was time to head home, pick up my stuff, and for me to head home.
When we got home, it was at that point that I told Greg how lucky and thankful I am to have him. Every day with him feels like a dream that I never have to wake up from. We have been through some ups and downs as it relates to my health, and Greg has always been nothing but supportive and loving. One of my fears about being in a relationship was ending up with someone who didn’t understand (and didn’t want to understand) that sometimes I’ll have good days, and other times I’ll have bad ones. He is always there with a smile and a hug no matter what the situation is. I never have to call him, as he calls me every morning before we start our days, and every evening when he is finished from work..and after dinner..and just before bed. He makes me feel like the only girl in the world.
What are you thankful for this thanksgiving?
The last couple of months have been packed…in the best possible way. Blogging is actually pretty important to me. I definitely like the ability to look back at the good times..and reflect on the perhaps not so good. But, I’m glad it crossed my mind to write a life update, so here goes.
In May, my mom, dad, sister and I went to Italy! It was an absolutely amazing experience. We got to visit a number of amazing places, including Tuscany, Rome, Florence…It was all simply breathtaking. I feel infinitely blessed to have been able to go on such a trip. The fact that a good friend of my dad owns a house there and we had a place to stay as well as someone to take us around was absolutely phenomenal!
|Florence Italy by Night|
|Mmmmm Pizza from Move On in Florence|
|Gelato in Florence on my Birthday!|
|Mom, Me, and my Sis in Rome|
|Mom, Sis and I in San Grimignano|
I basically can’t wait to go back, This was my absolute favourite vacation ever! When it was time to come home a couple of weeks later, the first of our two connecting flights got cancelled. Now what?? Luckily, my Dad spoke to the people at the airport and they were able to make alternate arrangements for us. We went from Florence to Amsterdam to Detroit to Toronto. Phew! I would have been content leaving the airport after we found out our flight was cancelled. Maybe this was a sign that Florence is supposed to remain IN Florence! But, for the first time in probably my whole life, I was actually looking forward to getting home. Why, you ask?
|Because I had this face waiting in Toronto for me|
And now, here’s me, smiling like the Cheshire Cat with glee.
I’ve blogged through tears way too often.
I’ve felt sad and without hope way too often.
The strange thing is..even though those past situations and occurrences hurt so bad, I think they were necessary. Not only have they taught me that I, at the end of the day, have to honour me and put ME first, but they also taught me that I deserve more; I deserve better.
You know what I thought? I thought that because I have an illness/condition, that I have to…”put up” with things, like perhaps not being treated as well as I should be treated, because I did not have the right to be “picky” about men. I should be so happy/lucky that someone wants to be with me in spite of the fact that I have a tricky and often unpredictable condition. I felt like I was either going to have to put up with that kind of shit, or I was going to need to “date down”. When I say date down, I mean that I would have to date someone that I actually had little in common with and wasn’t really attracted to simply because they wanted or was willing to give me the time of day.
Having learned to talk to others about my feelings and having learned to be open to and accept the (unbiased) suggestions of others, I began to heal. I healed enough to feel like I was ready to “put myself out there” again. I was guarded-very guarded, but I did it.
I went on many first dates. Many of those first dates would also be last dates, but I did go on many dates and met many nice people. But, while dating these nice people, I had to keep in mind that I’m allowed to be a bit picky. I had to keep in mind that people could be nice people and still not “be for me”.
I met one guy in particular-he was great. Our first date was to a local pub for dinner, then out for coffee after dinner. On that first date, he baked me gluten free red velvet cupcakes from scratch. They were quite good, too! We sent text messages back and forth several times a day. We went out a second time, this time for dinner and a movie. He was super nice and I very much enjoyed his company. Pretty cool, huh?
Not quite. Yes, he was a wonderful, kind, and thoughtful individual. But…just not for me. There were certain things about him that I didn’t like. I didn’t like that fact that he was sometimes…negative for no good reason.
“That movie looks terrible. I wouldn’t be caught dead watching that.”
“Only an idiot would watch “
Aside from that…it just didn’t feel right. I knew that he really liked me. When I became distant and pulled away from him, he chased. But I let him go.
Just as I was letting him go, I met another guy. We texted back and forth and spoke on the phone daily for about a week before going on a first date.
The day we were to go on our first date was a day with near blizzard conditions. Undeterred, he picked me up right on time. When he picked me up, he came armed with sour peach candy (I had mentioned that sour peach candies were my favourite type of candy) and had in mind exactly where we were going to go for dinner. Much to my delight, he pulled into the parking lot of a pizza place that I told him was one of my favourites. The fact that he was not only listening, but incorporated these things into our first date was quite impressive if I do say so myself.
We chatted and laughed over pizza, often pausing without words while exchanging shy smiles and giggles.
I like this guy…and this was only after the first date! And what’s more? He lives, literally, without exaggeration, about a 1-2 minute drive from my house!
We went out a few more times and I realized that I really did like this guy, and it was very clear that he liked me too. When this realization began to sink in, I knew that the time for me to tell him a little bit about me and my condition was here.
So I told him.
I told him that I had lupus. I told him about my kidney transplant. He knew about my knee surgery, as the scar on my knee is very apparent. I drew my breath in and let it out slowly.I was scared. I was scared about what he would say or how he would feel about it.
What he said next is something I will never forget.
He told me that he wanted to be there for me no matter what. He told me that he would take care of me.
He told me he wanted to be my rock.
I couldn’t help it. I burst into tears. No one has ever said anything like that to me. They way he looked right into my eyes when he said it…I don’t know how else I can describe it except to say that it was powerful. We sat there for about half an hour, me crying quietly in his arms.
As my tears began to dry, he asked me a few general questions about my condition that I was happy to answer. He asked me if I had any limitations he should know about, or anything that he should or shouldn’t do. The fact that he asked these things because he wanted to make sure that I was well and comfortable…it was just plain thoughtful and amazing.
This all happened at the beginning of February. We have spoken to and/or seen each other every day since then.
He’s always very complimentary. He makes me feel like the prettiest girl he has ever seen. He never makes me feel self-conscious about my scars or my less than perfect body. He’s loving and accepting of all my perceived imperfections…all of my curves and all of my edges. When he looks at me…the way he looks at me..I can tell that he feels just as lucky to have me as I feel lucky to have him. In fact, he tells me this often. I tell him too.
Since our first date, I’ve told him whenever I’m going to a doctor’s appointment, what it’s about, what happened at my appointment, etc. Since then, he’s been nothing but kind, gentle, caring, and attentive. He has been perfect. There is still much to tell and much to learn, but we’re in no rush. I tell him new stuff about me often, and he always impresses me with his amazingly supportive responses.
Is he my knight in shining armour? Is he the guy I’ll end up with forever and ever? Who knows. But what I can say is that it’s absolutely extraordinary to know that there are (still) amazing people like him out there…and I just feel privileged to call him my boyfriend.
Oh yeah, meet Greg, my boyfriend.
The tears haven’t stopped, but they flow less frequently. The hurting hasn’t stopped, but I’m managing to find joy in things all over again.
It’s a good thing to talk. Talk about stuff.
I go back and forth when it comes to the above statement. Sometimes…I don’t want to talk about stuff, because I know, mid story, it’ll make my cry. At the same time, if I don’t, the tears that need to be “cried” simply remain inside. That’s not good either.
This weekend was one of catching up with friends-good ones.
On Friday evening, it was date night with my close friend and confidant, Mikey. Mikey and I have known each other and immediately connected as friends soon after we met each other back at our first job in a ritzy Italian grocery store. He was 14 and I was 16. Mikey is one of those friends that I can tell absolutely anything and everything. My most embarrassing of stories, even my secret embarrassments..nothing is too embarrassing for me to tell Mike. What I also like about our relationship is the way it has evolved. Back then, we were kids with not a worry in the world. We spent most of our waking moments together, whether it was going to the movies, out to dinner/dessert, or just aimlessly driving through the streets without a destination or a care in the world. Now, we’re adults. We have responsibilities, and oftentimes these responsibilities prevent us from getting together as regularly as we did. In spite of this, what I do know is that things will be exactly as they were when we last saw each other, regardless of how many hours, days, or months have passed.
Anyhow, Mikey came by to pick me up so we could go and do one of the many things we enjoy doing together- grabbing some dessert. I wouldn’t believe the following story if I hadn’t been there-as we drove down the street, did we NOT see the car of the gentleman I was dating and have been whining about these last few posts driving almost right beside us??
“That’s his car!!” I yelled at Michael. He, rightfully so, instantly thought I was crazy. Yes Flo, that car, which looks like a million other cars, just so happens to be HIS car? I didn’t have my glasses on, but I could see some distinct characteristics which lead me to believe that this was, in fact, HIS car. The back of the vehicle was damaged from a previous fender bender. The license plate wasn’t one from my city-it was from another city from another province…just like HIS.
We both got caught at a red light. There was another car between us, but it was clear it was him. I noticed he had a passenger. I’ll admit it-I went mad for a moment and contemplated jumping out of the car, opening the passenger door of his car, dragging the occupant out, and spreading her across the street like jelly on toast. “Relax, it’s a guy” Mikey told me. Even if it wasn’t…I really had no jurisdiction to attack his passenger. But, I won’t lie-the thought went through my mind. Since HIS car was on Mikey/the driver’s side, I turned my head to look out the passenger window in an attempt to not look “obvious”. I say this because as I noticed the vehicle and told Mike, we certainly did…adjust our speed to get a closer look. Very obvious indeed.
Anyhow, we went our separate ways and headed off to enjoy our dessert. What I enjoyed about talking to Mikey is the fact that he gives my advice based on his own experiences. He relayed advice of his own, as well as advice given to him from others when he needed it. I was tired that night, but was sad when the night ended, as I could have stayed there and chatted with Mikey for hours.
Last night, myself and my friend Sadia met up for dinner, dessert, and, of course, debriefing. She also another amazing person to speak to because her experiences and thoughts have been similar to mine, but in a different way than they are with Mikey. See, Sadi and I met in the hospital system, as we both had kidney issues and both eventually received kidney transplants. She knows what it’s like to go through these emotions, especially with the health aspect attached to it. Since meeting, we’ve gone on many adventures throughout the city as well. Again, one of my favourite things to do. Trying new restaurants and just “hanging out” is something I really enjoy doing with Sadi. She’s also someone that I can share my inner most secrets with-and trust me-there are few people I can do that with.
She also gave me some perspective based on her own experiences. In a previous post, I talked about wishing that I was the woman I was a number of years back-I was “tougher”, “stronger”, and “less willing to put up with shit”. There was one factor that I didn’t consider that Sadi brought to my attention: Prednisone.
Prednisone is a medication I’ve spoken about before. It’s an evil drug side-effect wise, but works well to control my lupus symptoms as well as minimize the chances of rejection of my kidney. But, that said, take a look at these side effects:
Being on a medication like this coupled with some of the low lows I’ve been feeling…it could very likely be an issue as well-one that should be explored.
It’s ok to be sad, but it’s also ok to reach out to those you love when you are feeling sad. This is still a concept that I’m struggling with, but I’m getting better.