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Posts Tagged ‘family’

Ends, beginnings, and halfway marks

December 15th, 2010

It would be a big white elephant in the room if I began posting again without addressing why I fell off the face of this blog. So while it means breaking a couple of my self-imposed rules, I’m going to blather on for longer than usual AND I’m going to delve deeper than my typical inane banter.

As some of you know, my Dad was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in mid-2009. He took a sudden turn for the worst this September, and he passed away in early October.

Although I had plenty of time to prepare for it, the loss of my Dad was truly overwhelming. He was one of my favourite people in the world, simple as that. The above photos of us together are particularly close to my heart; one of us when I was a wee thing, and one of our many hamming-it-up moments (to clarify, we are hovering over piles of donkey poop while on a family trip to Santorini).

I know we’re lucky to have had him in our lives as long as we did and also that we got to say everything we wanted to each other. I feel guilty wishing for more time with him when I know too many people who’ve endured much younger or more sudden losses… but I wish it anyway. I can’t begin to imagine how all-consuming the loss must feel to our Mum, having lost her partner of almost 50 years.

A week after my Dad passed away, John and I took possession of our new (-to-us) house. The following four days were the visitation, the funeral, the cremation, and the interment.

At the end of October, we moved into our new digs. I’ve definitely fallen in love with the place and have never felt so at home. There’ll probably be unpacked boxes around for a few months… but there’s already so much pride and happiness steeped into this place.

And wouldn’t you know it, just for good measure, there was one more thing going on. Throughout all this, I was in my first trimester, and feeling consistently like a useless pile of nauseous crap. I packed a few boxes, unpacked a few… but I didn’t lift a thing. Other than one day when we had a whack of friends help us move the big furniture, John single-handedly moved us out of the apartment AND cleaned it from floor-to-ceiling.

Yesterday was the halfway mark of the pregnancy — I’m at 20 weeks now. John came with me to a prenatal appointment, and we got to hear the 150-bpm ‘whirr-whirr-whirr’ of the baby’s heartbeat. It’s the most surreal, beautiful sound.

I am soaked in luck, I know it.

The loss of my Dad only feels so huge because he was such a terrific father, and he continues to inspire me to be as good a person as possible. He knew about the house, but it makes me sad that he never got to see the place in person. We also made the decision to tell my family about the baby when I was only 6 weeks along — one piece of good news when all my Dad was getting at the time was bad — so again, I’m really glad he knew, but I will have a tough time getting past the fact that he missed out on being a grandfather by just a few short months.

We are going to look back at October 2010 and wonder how we managed to make it through without imploding. One thing I learned in the process is that, in grief, I tend towards introversion… to hermit-like proportions. While there’s obviously still lingering bittersweetness and sadness, things are levelling out now.

Before you know it, I’ll be back with the everyday anecdotal banter that you’re used to. In the meantime, thanks for bearing with this novel :)

general rambling, good peeps , ,

Well-travelled wears

October 6th, 2009

So I was all stoked about my first t-shirt sale to France last month… and then last week, the photos below landed in my inbox:

I’ve mentioned my Uncle Carton here before… Well, that’s him in the red. He kindly supported my hare-brained scheme, ordered shirts for his entire family, and then did photoshoots with everyone wearing the new tees during their vacation. The first pic includes my Aunt, my cousin and his wife, and their adorable son — and was taken at the Tokyo Disneyland. The second pic is Uncle Carton with his son-in-law, in front of the Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai. How touching is that?

I also recently made my first sale to the UK. It was a particularly humbling sale because the customer is one fine and talented artist. Her name is Katriona Chapman and we met on twitter. She’s got some mad illustration skills — check out her website here. When the package landed, she kindly posted this:

It’s surreal to think about these tees being worn in other timezones. If I ever make a sale to Australia or Santorini, I’ll have to see what I can do about making it a hand-delivery…

good peeps, m chen wears , , ,

m + m = match

June 1st, 2009

I met a fellow-Ottawan named Mélanie Rebane on twitter a few weeks ago, and we got along great. Fast forward to last Tuesday when we met up in person. Four hours blew by — full of laughs, shop talk and everything in between, plus our own mini-shoot where John snapped the photo above.

And there you have it: John and I are stoked to have found a photographer for our Ottawa wedding partay! She’s just the right mix of spunk, warmth, fun and talent to capture what we’re sure will be a hoppin’ evening. (The fact that she goes by ‘m photography’ is pure coincidence, I swear — and a good omen, methinks!)

Mélanie specialises in small/boutique weddings…

family photos…

and maternity pictures…

Check out her website and blog for more.

I can picture Mélanie feeling right at home amongst our friends, engaging them to partake in some hammy posing… but then she obviously also has the eye and ability to capture some truly touching and candid moments. I can’t wait to see what she’ll come up with at our little shindig.

Even as she played with the settings on her fancy schmancy camera on the evening we met up, she took this quick shot of me:


It’s rare for me to think I look nice in a photo… but I really dig this shot. It bodes well for our wedding ‘do, doesn’t it!??

good peeps , , , , ,

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