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Cathi's Comments for September 25, 2016
Oh dear, what a year so far. 'Tis the best of times, and the worst of times...I don't remember a year where there has been so many losses. Not just in the big wide world out there with the deaths of people we really don't know but we love their work, but in our own lives too. I can't explain it, it's just really sad. It's one of those years where things are breaking down and there's nothing we can to stop it we just have to hold on tight and hope we make it out relatively unscathed in the end.
In April Jim's mother passed away at the age of 92. It was sad and I wished we had had the money for at Jim to go see her after she fell ill a few months before but we never were able. At least she was still able to use Skype and Jim got to talk with her that way. Not quite the same as holding a hand and giving a hug, but I am glad he had a good long talk a few days before she passed. I wrote an essay in honour of my dad and Jim's mother when I heard the news she had passed: Some Days I Wish Heaven Weren't So Crowded.
Then a couple of weeks later I was told my mom was in hospital and may not be still be alive for much longer; at 96 I knew her health has been gradually getting worse as had her dementia - up until the last few months her mind was still pretty sharp but then it began to take a turn; her times of lucidity were getting farther and farther apart. My daughter and I went to Ottawa to visit for what we feared would likely be the last time and to wish her a happy 97th birthday. It was heartbreaking but we did get to talk and I am so glad we did.
Right after I came back from the visit to Ottawa we drove down to Connecticut for Jim's mother's celebration of life. I'm very glad we went.
Mom rallied and was put in a nursing home and is in good care; while my mom's moments of clarity are for brief periods, one thing she was consistently talking about was my daughter's wedding in September. We all hoped she would still be with us and well enough to go, knowing that the likelihood of that was slim. But you what? She did make the wedding and it meant so much to all of us that she was there for the wedding and photos, and even dinner. I joked that we just need to have more weddings of her grandchildren so she can get her 100 year certificate from the Queen; we still know that the best we can hope for is today but to see her so happy was wonderful.
The wedding itself was absolutely beautiful and I honestly can't think of a better wedding that I've been to. The weather was fantastic, the venue beautiful, and they are a couple that I really think will still be happily dancing at their own children's weddings. I haven't written an essay about that yet, but I did write an introspective piece about being the mother-of-the-bride. There's a lot of emotion that bubbles to the surface when you see your baby grown up and married and that's what I wrote about. My wedding speech I had to read over about 12 times so I could read the last two lines outloud without crying - I managed, but just barely. Here's my essay: I'm the Mother-of-the-Bride and This is My Story.
On the creativity front, I started working on the artwork for The Troll of Barondale, and have started putting together my short stories and my essays (as two different books)on Tablo. If you'd like to see my works in progress you can go to Tablo.io and search on Catherine M. Harris. Of course Genève Blue has work there too. Paperback and hard cover books can be found by searching on Lulu.com. I did have ebooks on Amazon through Tablo but unfortunately Amazon and Tablo got in a dispute and Amazon pulled all the Tablo ebooks. Nice eh? Tablo is trying to work that out or make an arrangement with Kobo. I don't like that my work isn't available in ebook format though so I may be doing that on Amazon through Lulu instead. We'll see.
Beyond that I'm thinking about the current CBC Short Story contest and the upcoming Nanowrimo. I'll think I'll dedicate this year's Nano to finishing the novel that I started last year, still with the tentative title "The Late Night Cleaner's Club"- this novel is departure from my usual fantasy/horror/humour fiction, it is a story about a man in his early 50's caring for his mother who has dementia. I kind of put that one aside these past few months just because reality is haunting me enough as it is, but then I know I can add more depth with it as well. It's under Genève Blue at the moment but I think Genève won't mind if I put my name on it ;) - we'll see.
This is all I have to say for now, so please stay safe and treat those around you with compassion, it's what the world so desperately needs right now.
And here's how to buy "I Ching Jukebox" by Gèneve Blue:
Stay tuned, there's more to come!
pretty pictures and artwork are now on their own page: Art
Gallery (I found my cartoons! Amazing Grace is gracing that
page now, check it out! Amsterdam Cat also has a larger version
instead of just a thumbnail.)
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