Life According to lights

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Location: Middle of Nowhere, Northern Ontario, Canada

Thursday, May 22


I lost my friend today but more importantly, my best friend lost her sister. Michelle died this morning after a long and courageous fight. My heart is breaking for Nicky, her family and Michelle’s daughters.

The phone call came while I was at work. I knew things weren’t going well. This morning on my way to work I met Nicky at Tim Horton’s. She was on her way to the hospital after a rough night with Michelle. We stood in the parking lot at 6:30am crying and hugging each other. I had a bad feeling as I drove away and when I met them again on the highway something inside me wanted to turn and follow them to the hospital rather than going to work so I could see Michelle, just in case.

While I tried to keep my mind on work I thought of my own sister and how much she meant to me. Even though we’re very different people we are very close in our own way. Nicky and Michelle had that sister bond and then some. When you give your sibling a part of your body you can’t help but have an even stronger bond than most. There was nothing that they wouldn’t have done for each other.

I left work after trying to muddle through after the phone call. I had some time before I could pick up Dave so I drove down to the waterfront and sat in my car looking out over the lake remembering fun times shared with Michelle.

We met on the ball field. When I moved to my current town I became friends with Nicky before finding out they were sisters and then discovered that Michelle had worked with my brother. Her snarkybitch comments made me notice her but her heart made me love her. She liked to portray herself as a big toughie but she was so kind hearted.

Playing ball with Michelle was always an adventure. I remember one tournament where she tripped as she crossed the hog line (a chalk line halfway between third and home) and wiped out head first as she crossed home. She came up spitting dirt and covered in dust and chalk. She dusted herself off and announced to all in earshot, “If anyone finds a nipple it’s mine. I‘m pretty sure I just lost one.” The entire bench and bleachers erupted in laughter.

I remember another tournament where she was wearing a minipad and as she rounded 1st she felt it start to slide down her leg. Rounding 2nd she could feel it was about the poke out of her shorts. Always a quick thinker she fell to the ground and faked a pulled muscle rather than humiliate herself in front of a huge crowd on hand. Everyone was concerned about her until she got to the bench and let the team in on her situation.

I thought about the night that Nicky, Michelle, Tammy and I sat up half the night playing cards in Michelle’s camper. Until the generator ran out of gas. All the boys were sleeping so Michelle and I decided that we’d seen the boys fill up and restart the generator enough times that we could do it too. With Nicky and Tammy holding the flashlight, Michelle and I giggled and stumbled (did I mention there was alcohol involved?) through the bush to the generator and struggled to get it started. After what seemed like a half hour of pulling on the cord we finally admitted defeat. We did, however, spend many hours laughing about that night in the years to follow. She loved to tease me about that night.

I thought about the girl’s weekend at my cottage with Nicky, Michelle, Cathy and Kim. We sat in the screened in porch, ate far too much food, drank just the right amount of beverages, played Humzinger and laughed until we couldn’t laugh anymore. That night will stand out in my memories as one of my favorite nights at the cottage. Michelle loved it there and it pleased me to no end to share it with her. We planned another girl’s weekend this time last year but Michelle wasn’t well enough to come.

She loved Dave. She always called him “her man”. I was fine with that. He would have done anything for her as would I. Michelle was a proud and independent woman. She never complained and was always more worried about others rather than herself. Her sense of humor was a sharp as her tongue. So quick, so funny, so down-to-earth.

Michelle loved animals. When she hit a deer with her car and smashed her car she was more upset and concerned for the deer than for her car. I thought today of her beloved dog Shadow. She was heart-broken when he died and I pictured him waiting for her today, greeting her with a wagging tail and a big drool-filled lick. Take good care of her Shadowman.

Rest in peace my dear friend. I love you and miss you already.

Wednesday, May 14

To Catch a Theif & Fainting Puppies

1. They caught part of the breakin crew. The person we thought was involved right from the start? Was involved. The 15 yr old son of a friend. On one hand I feel relief because we weren't randomly chosen for the breakin but, on the other hand, I feel sadness for the whole situation. It's awkward for everyone.

2. I should be picking up my new laptop either tomorrow or Friday. It is an HP instead of a Dell because I didn't want to have to wait the week or two it would have taken Dell to deliver one. I ordered it at Future Shop today. They are loading XP on it before I pick it up. I will also be picking up a lock which will secure it to a hardened steel anchor on the floor beside my chair. I ended up losing all the pictures I'd taken from last July until just before Niagara Falls. They hadn't been saved on my stick. *pout*

3. We've installed an alarm system in the house and the garage. It cost us a bunch of money but at least we can feel better about leaving the house now.

4. As we were getting close to home tonight I said to Dusterboy, "I've got that feeling again. What will we find tonight when we pull in the yard?" I get that queasy feeling every night now when we approach home. Tonight we found an OPP cruiser in the yard. I was glad we got there when we did or we would have missed him again. He and I have been playing telephone tag all week. He seems excited about the new leads to follow.

5. I'm going to the cottage for the long weekend on Friday where I plan to drink massive amounts of alcohol and do very little work.

6. Holly scared the bejebus out of me on Monday. I got home at 5pm after stopping at Future Shop for estimates on a replacement laptop. She had an appointment at 6:3o at the groomer's. When I walked in the door the phone was ringing and it was "Fucking Idele" the groomer. She asked me to bring Holly up right away. I grabbed Holly, jumped in the car and headed to town. Holly KNEW where I was taking her and started shaking and panting. By the time I got to the big hill (Carey and Breezy might remember it) Holly was sitting on my lap with her front paws on the window. All of a sudden, when I was at a spot on the hill where there's no place to pull over, Holly went limp and fell over. I managed to catch her without crashing the car over the cliff, put on my signal light and slow down safely to stop on the hill. The car behind me went around me and I tried to revive Holly. I thought she was dead. Her eyes opened and she slowly came around. I think she hyperventilated and passed out. Who knew dogs fainted?

7. Michelle, my dialysis friend, isn't doing well. She's been in hospital for a couple days and is finally home tonight. It's not good. Tonight is her sister's anniversary (Howie & Nicky) and I think she just wanted Nicky to go home to Howie tonight.

8. My Mom and Dad are in Branson on a bus trip. They weren't sure if they'd be able to go because when they got home from Niagara my Mom's heartbeat was irregular for a day. It scared us all because a year ago, just before their scheduled trip to Branson that they ended up cancelling, my Dad had some heart issues. So far so good. Sure glad it wasn't anything serious.

9. I really miss my Microsoft Money. I'm lost without it. It won't be long before I start bouncing checks all over town. Yes, I'm one of those anal folks that records every single transaction. *grin*

10. What would you do if your wedding rings were stolen? Would you want to replace them with something very similar or would you go for something completely different? I already have an anniversary ring that I wear every day. I'll have approx. $1200 to work with and I don't know what to do. I wish I could just take the cash.

Monday, May 5

Okay, now I'm PISSED!!!

Got home from work tonight and found the house had been broken into and the garage broken into AGAIN!

They stole my wedding rings, Dusterboy's ring made from his late mother's wedding ring, my laptop, CDs, and other little stuff. Police have been here and I'm ready to buy the meanest effing guard dog I can find. Thankfully, they didn't hurt Holly who was here in the house the entire time. I would have had to hurt someone really bad if they had.

I need a hug. And some sleep. I'll be hit and miss around here until my laptop is replaced. Anyone have good security advice? The only idea I've come up with is to have a "friend" of ours, who isn't always on the right side of the law, to house sit for a few weeks. He's up for the job if I say the word.