Long weekend

Long weekends are wonderful! Now that the girls are sleeping through the night and not on diapers anymore I actually found the time to put on make up – which I swear I hadn’t in YEARS – and smell the rain… I’m telling you, it’s amazing.

We were supposed to visit Quebec city this weekend and boy, was I excited. Except, we ended up not going ’cause my husband’s dad had a change of heart – to make a long story short.

Yeah, I was disappointed. VERY disappointed.

Fine! I was sobbing at one point!

I feel like Quebec city is gonna be our final destination here in Canada. I feel like it’s gonna be home! I can’t wait to go home. I am desperate to go home…

At one point my husband looked at me and said “we should get you your camera”. Which made very little sense through all the sobbing but I knew I had to say “yes”. I mean, I had been waiting to get the stupid camera for at least 17 years.

So, we did and quickly I was “kinda-ok” with postponing our trip indefinitely.

For the rest of the weekend, the 4 of us were trapped in the house, but I didn’t mind.

I studied French as much as I could (I still suck at it) and later I played with my camera as my girls played with their little trains….

minhas-meninas

Outside there were beautiful thunders and the bluest skies.

chuva

And then, just like that, Tuesday came and I found myself longing for the next long weekend.

eu-768x513

Organizing and the playroom

I am not as perceptive as I’d like to be. For instance, sometimes I know I shouldn’t be doing what I do – work-wise – but I still can’t put my finger on what it is that I SHOULD, in fact, be doing.

That’s why I was so surprised this morning when my boss assigned me something different to do. I’ll basically be organizing a bit more and drawing a bit less.

He said he noticed how much I enjoyed organizing things and, since I was pretty much the only one with excel abilities in the drawing office, I was the person for the job.

He noticed how everyone else’s desk is a mess and everything on mine was perpendicular, separated by color and alphabetized. 

The coolest part is, when he actually said I’d be doing that, I was excited! I hadn’t been excited about work in a while. I mean, I don’t mind it at all, it can be interesting (kinda)… but I do get bored quite easily. Bored, sleepy and hungry actually.

So, yeah, it took a total stranger to suggest something completely obvious.

I am an organizer.

I should know this, since last Monday was a holiday and I deliberately chose to separate my kids’s toys in categories and line them up – which lasted for about a second ’cause… well, they are kids.

Now, people, is THIS a job?

Probably not, but it’s definitely a clue.

Did I create the best, most organized playroom ever? Of course not. But I absolutely liked the way it felt… even though I never finished it! =)

I still have a long way to go and I don’t have the money to do anything fancy , but the girls enjoyed it so much! And OMG so did I!

These little things make me so happy… they make me feel at home! I feel really blessed right now and actually happy. Let’s all hope my stupid grandmother’s spirit doesn’t curse me with bad news just ’cause I actually said the H word…

Let’s review my check list for 2017:

  • everyone is healthy – good.
  • the house is good.
  • work is good.
  • the city NEEDS ADJUSTMENTS! But I’ll get there!

We need to allow ourselves to be happy.

No pressure, I’m learning it myself.

heart

A year in the life

A lot’s happened last year. Not to me, though. Still, I sat here and observed as my friend’s lives collapsed.

I panicked.

It took me a long time to realize we were ok, because the things I watched happening around me made me terrified of life. It was like a big fire and I could not predict the wind… I couldn’t tell whether the flames would hit my lands or not.

I wanted to protect me and my family and I didn’t know where to start.

I didn’t know what had killed Stella in a week. I didn’t know why my cousin’s baby had been born with microcephaly … I didn’t know why my friend’s baby had cancer.

I researched and researched.

I was so scared of not finding any answers. So afraid of that fire.

Amongst all things that involved science, religion and the unpredictable there was always one common denominator: happiness.

It’s not that bad things are not going to happen to you if you are happy. But there’s actually a chance some of them can be prevented by it.

Is that the gratitude thing everyone talks about? – I wondered.

And so, the year went by.

Stella came to me in a dream, which brought peace to my heart.

My cousin is pregnant again and her little boy just turned one. He is responding fine to treatment.

My friend’s baby is cured.

So, last weekend, I set on the floor, watched cartoons with my girls and gave up the medicine I had been taking for 10 days.

I realized I didn’t have an unbalanced brain that could be fixed by a pill. I actually had been through a lot last year and I needed the time to process all that. In fact, I would probably need a pill if those things HADN’T affected me!

But most of all, I realized we were fine. Not threaten by life. Just fine. And, as I walked to the parking lot to grab something from the car, I took a deep breath. At that moment I was transported right back to a day at the beach when I was 12…

No worries, just happiness. Because we are all allowed.

A story for Riley

Riley asked to hear a story about Brazil. I’m not sure this is a story, but it’s a start…

Countless nights, we would be up at 3a.m. and would all decide to get together so the boys would go kayaking on this lake, or just talk…. maybe fish. I rarely ever made it home before the sun was out. I had no reason, really.

Some other times we’d drive to this very spot just to make fun of the couples who apparently had no private place to go and be “intimate”. You could totally tell what was going on on those shaky and foggy cars.

rio-grande-porto-velho

Now that I think about it, most of the nights, I was the only girl in the group. No wonder today, I’m the only woman in the office. I’ve been around the guys so much I sometimes forget I am, technically, not really one of them.

My best memories are at night. Me and my friends are all night owls, I’d say.

While all the surfers and the pretty girls would spend the day at the beach, we’d reach it in the middle of the night and watch the sunrise above the rocks. Just a bunch of nerds.

Except for Serginho, the life-guard. Kindest person you’ll meet in this lifetime.

66_big

To this day I am not sure if I was part of the group or if I just tagged along with them randomly from time to time. I know Penna didn’t even like me at all at first, but he was just so unique and cool and admired by the whole group that I wanted to write a book about it. He is the reason why I have a hard time acknowledging that I was as much a part of their lives as they were of mine, since they are the coolest people I have ever met.

This kind of shit makes me miss the old days and it makes me sad that, no matter what I do, I don’t get to go home.

The reason why I can’t go home, even to visit, is because “home” is not there anymore.

The greatest people I’ve ever met, the best group of friends anyone could ask for, they are not down the street like they used to be.

We have all grown up and moved away. All of us. We have become a little buzz on each other’s phones… and boy, how happy that little buzz makes me.

Sometimes I get a little heart from Leandro… ’cause there’s nothing left to say. We have been talking for over 20 years and could talk for a billion more. I’ll tell you a secret, I miss him every day.

Sometimes Guilherme will send me a song, like he did today and make my day. He’ll make my day ’cause his voice feels like home wherever I am. We have been friends since I was 9 years old. He’s the soundtrack of my life. Whenever I feel alone or scared, I look for his voice again and I feel like he’s there, growing, changing, becoming a parent and facing the world with me. And again, I am ready for anything.

There is a chance I’ll see Serginho again. A good chance. A very good chance! He’s the kindest soul I’ve ever met. He’s made me a better person just by being who he is.

And then, there’s Diego. He’s the little piece of me that’s missing right now. I am having a hard time enjoying all these great things without him.

I wish they’d all live down the street again one day…

Ok… but there’s still a lot to go, and this story is quite short. So, I’m gonna show you some pictures now.

This is what the beach looks like during the day, Riley:

zoom_509d615265e06

Yes, you can actually drive your car there, which I notice most people find very weird. I was never your beach-girl, but yes, I could walk there for 4 or 5 hours. I’d normally stop because whoever was with me couldn’t keep up. I was a different person. I absolutely miss that person and I wish my girls could play on this sand some day, but the news we get from there are scarier and scarier every day.

And this, Riley, is a ship. It got stuck there (I’m sure there’s a term for this) in the 70’s I think.

30_big

This is what the ship looks like today:

Ver‹o Numa Boa

This is a little bit of home. I have more stories to tell. Too bad it’s such a different place now…

Good night, Riley.

The scar

Ever since I quit my job, which was not even a week ago, I have been marathoning “My so-called life” yet again. Needless to say I was immediately transported to a parallel universe where emotions are very real and intense.

I remember watching Angela fall for the emotionally confused and not-that-bright (yet perfect) Jordan Catalano when I was 13 years old and having my life revolve around the live versions of that character I found along the way.

Jordan-Catalano-When-sh-ts-about-to-go-down-1440550108

Long pause after visual effect.

I remember vividly new year’s eve 1995 as I wore my pink skirt and wished myself a happy new year since I was sure that’d be the year I’d have my very first kiss. I was happy… excited and hopeful. I was a teenager with typical teenage girl dreams.

yeah, I was an idiot.

At one point I stopped wishing my Jordan Catalano on new year’s eve. Apparently, I wasn’t Angela Chase after all and my story would be different.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a romantic (That’s what my best friend has been telling me forever at least) but I did wish for it for years. It’s the power of the movies in your head.

When wait was really hurting I did what every reasonable emotional young adult would do: I got a tattoo to remind me of how much that moment hurt.

The tattoo was a scar with stitches and a little button shaped like a heart attached to it.

I vowed that I would never take those years for granted or forget about how much it hurt to wait for true love.

I know, it’s not world poverty or a terrible disease… but being loved mattered to me, for as shallow as it might sound compared to the terrible, terrible things we see every day on the news.

The tattoo came out ridiculous. The guy just couldn’t…anything. He should have been a janitor judging by his ability to draw. But it was there. That terrible thing on my arm.

Being life this ironic little thing, when we moved to Canada I had to get the tattoo surgically removed, for it was too visible for certain jobs and the result was a scar. A real one. Like the one I have inside.

Now, my husband asks me if I ever regret getting that ugly tattoo I had to remove and if I’m sorry I ended up with this huge scar on my right arm.

I always tell him that actually no, am not. I love it. It’s a big part of me. If it wasn’t for the scar, I’d be a different person and maybe he wouldn’t even love me.

I can take next to nothing.

Even though I am and always have been panicking for all sorts of reasons, I am still conscious enough to realize my reasons are small.

There’s a saying in Portuguese that says God will only give you as much as you can take. If there is in fact a God up there, I’m happy He realizes I can handle next to nothing and that’s fine by me.

At the end of the day, we are finally living in Canada, I finally got a decent job, and my girls are perfect. On top of that, we all love each other.

Today, I came home with chest pains.

I called my cousin during lunch and she told me that not only her 14 days old baby probably had a syndrome , it’s possible that he’ll need brain surgery. As in, his soft spot is not soft, leaving his brain no room to grow, as the skull is not flexible as it should be at that age. Hopefully, the x-ray will show that the skull is just overlapped. I mean, that’s what I am hoping for after trying to google some good news.

She was desperate. She hasn’t slept ever since he was born. She is afraid of looking away. There’s absolutely nothing she can do to help her child and that killed me.

I pray to this God I believe from time to time that things always work out for me. I am not strong at all. I’m afraid of birds. Tiny birds. That’s how much I can’t handle problems. I am just not prepared for this world.

Our kids are a handful. I sleep with one eye open. I haven’t felt rested in about 3 years. I am exhausted and I miss tons of things. that can only mean one thing: We are the lucky ones.

 

 

 

Goodbye from beyond

I could try to begin to explain what Stella was like, but that’s just too hard. The creature (and I say that with love) came straight out of a comedy movie into real life.

She didn’t study much, she never left the city, she could barely understand how her cel phone worked but she always made us laugh.

She’d tell my mom stuff like “I’ve done the dishes and it took me forever you BETTER NOT leave any dirty dishes for me to wash tomorrow morning!”

Oh, and technically… she was our made.

Technically.

She’s been with the family (back and forth) for 40 years. And she’s the reason I started taking showers longer than 2 minutes after a while (like, when the girls were around 10 months old).

She played with them and taught them how to samba while watching the movie ‘Rio’ every single day.

I’ll always remember our last day in Brazil when she held their 2 bottles in her hands, close to her chest and said with all the feelings in the world mixed together “These are the very last bottles I’ll ever make for them”.

She stared at the bottles for a second and handed them to me.

I chocked.

I wanted to hug her, I wanted to cry. I wanted to tell her that it wasn’t true… but it was. We both knew it was.

So, she took her things and never said goodbye properly. She was trying so hard not to cry -much- in front of me and the girls.

I was trying not to cry too.

The stupid decisions I make in life. Not to make a scene, instead of holding the ones I love for the last time.

Last week my mom called me and said that Stella had a terrible cold, but she wouldn’t stay home. – She was being stubborn , like always.

Until the day she did stay home and they had to run with her to the hospital because she couldn’t breathe.

Just like that.

She had a cold, she couldn’t breathe. I knew she was in the hospital on Saturday… and on mother’s day she was gone.

I was alone with the girls. My mom was on Skype with me all day. It was a sucky day. I couldn’t understand it or believe it and I kept thinking about how she was so excited about visiting the girls she missed so much here in Canada.

So many things were just not going to happen. Did I say goodbye? Did she know we loved her?

So, I went to bed and everything changed.

She came back and said goodbye.

She said that she was dead and that she had to go, but she wanted us to know that she loved us very much and blew us all a kiss as she waved goodbye and left to the other world.

When I called my mom this morning… I found out she had stopped to say goodbye to her too.

I really wanna believe it was her… she was smiling and she had the same big heart as always.

And today, at work, the office smelled like her food for a bit.

13139175_274968642836052_6244633621617425378_n