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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Eating Through Travel, Trauma, Tragedy and Triumph Part One

Hello my dear friends,

It has taken me what feels like forever to harness the time to sit down and write about why this little piggie went to the market and didn't come home for seven months... SEVEN MONTHS??? Yes, that's what I said.

Here's what happened since we last saw each other:

After returning to Calgary on the first day of February, I thought that I would enjoy a short respite from my travels to my co-piggie, Irene's; after all, February IS the shortest month of the year. Let's make the most of it. I enjoyed a full month of activity doing my regular volunteer work, and spent the month catching up on hugging all my friends. I was successful in continuing my diet (after I devoured my cookies and chips) and managed to lose almost 35 pounds when the first in a series of events would thrust all of my hard work into a downward spiral, flushing my great achievement down the toilet with my hand on the lever.

Like most everyone, I have little control over the events in the world around me that occur from day to day. These are the incidences that I am not immediately related to, I having more or less, no influence on them and in turn they remain oblivious to me. At least, that's what I thought up until that email from Jan. I contemptuously refer to it as The "C" mail. 

This is a story about how our journey in life is not ours alone. No matter who we are, what we do or what happens to us along the way, our life makes a distinct impression - whether visible or unconscious - upon the lives of others. This mark can affect how we think, speak, act and react and links us all together in the marathon that is the human race. 

Flashing back four weeks when Irene and I were in Grande Prairie visiting Tara and her family, we had the opportunity to talk to Tara's mom Jan, in Victoria, BC. Jan was not well; she was very weak and tired and was taking time off of work, something that never happens. Flash forward four weeks. It was the evening of Monday, February 27. In the "C" mail Janet told me that she had cancer, uterine cancer. I was stunned and in obvious disbelief. I called Jan with a flurry of frenzy in my head, but a wave of peace over my speech as we talked about her diagnosis, treatment options and recovery. She was optimistic and sporting a courageous front over the telephone. However under her fragile exterior I knew her body was retching in toxic disease. 

By the time we exchanged encouragement, it was too late to call Tara and see what her plans were for her and her brother to leave GP and see their mother. So the following morning I sent her a text message after the boys left for school and she got back to me after the boys were home from school. I called immediately. Tara was obviously upset, but more concerned with how she and Aaron were going to see their mother through an up coming surgery over 1,200 km away. 

Tara's husband George was working and the boys were in school. I offered my services. Family is family, whether in times of rejoicing or adversity, we need to be there for our family. Tara was surprised and even admitted that she never thought to ask me to take care of the boys. I said, don't worry about it, I am on my way tonight. And so was the beginning of my next adventure into the world of weight gain.

  • ordered a pizza for the 8 hour road trip (actually it was 2 for 1)
  • drank copious amounts of vodka with Tara and George, well maybe not copious, I just hadn't had any alcohol in a while, so it seemed like a lot
  • spent two weeks with the boys making and EATING "fun" meals like taco's, pizza, eating at McDonald's and Blizzard's from the DQ
  • bought candy and chocolate, ate it -  not to mention every salty snack in the world and ate them too
Basically I was soaking up all of the family's un emoted grief and pouring out processed food. What made me stop caring about my diet and my health after such diligent and constructive work in losing weight and changing my eating habits? Had I really adopted a new and healthy lifestyle, or was it a fa├žade? Or, was I temporarily reverting to my old comforts in order to bear up under the pressure of my cousin's fresh wound of a cancer diagnosis?

More to come in part two of  my series on "Eating Through Travel, Trauma, Tragedy and Triumph". 

Lot's Of Love...M

Read Tomorrow's Blog Here! Eating Through Travel, Trauma, Tragedy and Triumph Part Two
Read Yesterday's Blog Here! Newsflash! Messa's Back In Calgary

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