At the end of March 1999, just under a month of being together again, we found out I was pregnant. I booked an appointment with my GP and went for bloodwork, at the beginning of April, my GP confirmed that I was pregnant. We were happy and excited, and only shared the news with a few close friends and one family member. A few weeks later, I had an accident where I passed out and hit my head on the bathtub, I was brought to the hospital, the bloodwork taken that night didn't show that I was pregnant, a few days afterwards, I had an ultrasound that showed I was not pregnant anymore. I was heartbroken. I wanted to know what I did wrong. I still think about that time, and how her (I always believed it would have been a girl) birthday (due date was/) would have been November 29. I didn't know until more recently that many women experience miscarriages and pregnancy loss, I guess, it is still a taboo subject. I felt shame, I didn't ever tell my family or Kirk's family.
Kirk and I became a stronger couple and we knew when the time was right again that we could be expecting and we would be wonderful co-parents since we talked about how we wanted to raise our children since the beginning of our relationship.
Five years ago today, my dad suddenly passed away. This was, and is still hard on me. My dad and I had our ups and downs, and when we would not see eye to eye, we could go weeks or months (even once it was a couple years) without talking to each other. So, in early fall 2015, I became upset with my dad because of something he said to my stepmother about my eldest child wanting to visit after school then go to her after school programs; he said she wasn't allowed over and it was because he didn't want her there so he could drink alcohol. I was heartbroken and I didn't want to allow him to hurt my daughter like he had hurt me before: "That was the last straw" and I wasn't talking to him again for hurting my girl.
On November 18, my dad and stepmother called to asked if they could bring the children their Christmas gifts that night because my stepmom was leaving for Florida for the winter. I had a plans to attend a Girl Guide leader meeting and I agreed that the kids and the grandparents could get together for this occasion. When my husband came to pick me up from my meeting and he said how great the visit was and it looked like we had another chance to work on our relationship and my dad seemed like he wanted to be involved in the kids' winter activities while my stepmom was away. I was happy and excited to be with my family again.
The next morning, we got the call around 7 or 7:15 from my uncle who explained what had happened to my dad, he had died in his sleep. I was in shock. It didn't make sense. How could it be that last night, he was happy giving the children their gifts and talking about future plans. I just kept thinking to myself "what the fuck". I wanted to step up and be a support for my stepmother, I hope she is grateful that I tried but I feel I didn't do enough for her, I feel I caused more pain for both of us.
I am beyond grateful I had Kirk. I was completely lost. He made sure I was taken care of, I was eating, and resting, and we decided that my pre-planned Girl Guide trip for that upcoming weekend was a good distraction while I waited for the funeral things took place the following Monday.
This is my favorite photo (as an adult) with my dad; this was taken at my brother's wedding in August 2013.
When I got married in 2008, he didn't attend my wedding. It broke my heart then and still brings tears that he couldn't put his pride aside for his youngest daughter.
So, tonight, reflecting about our father-daughter relationship; listening to a playlist of his favorite songs and songs I like because I think of him.
I know he was such a good man, he worked damn hard for us, when we were children, taking on part time/night shift jobs to make it work.
I know something made him the way he was with me. He'd be surprised when I would say goodnight dad and give him a kiss goodbye after our visits.
I am who I was because of him and I am working on my new self but I will make sure I keep the special pieces. That made him an awesome person. Like, it was so sweet that his last night on earth was celebrating Christmas with my children and my stepmom & husband. I am so happy for their special memory they get to share together.
As I was finishing up my volunteer week at Camp Woolsey, I signed up for a month long contract to be a camp counsellor for Adelaide. I had about 33 "off" with travel to and from camp (twice) and time to clean my gear, repack, and head out to Adelaide for the rest of August. AND celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary! (we will be celebrating our 20th anniversary of being a couple in September)
Before I left for Girl Guide camp, I quit drinking pop. Cold turkey. I had my last Coke Zero on August 4 and knew I would be away for three weeks, which would be the perfect time to stop drinking pop to see if my sides stop hurting so much. I believe the pop is affecting my kidneys, and I can feel the intense pain in my lowers back & sides. I still haven't drank any pop but I do not feel better, my pains in my kidney area is still there, almost daily.
I returned home from working at Girl Guide camp and I needed several days to recover; I was not sleeping properly and was in constant pain. It hurt to wear shoes when I was working, it was too painful to wear my high-tops, I would wear my sandals or rainboots. When I got home, I cried and slept so much. I couldn't even walk downstairs to my office two floors lower from my bedroom (I barely even went one floor down to the kitchen/living room). I had a medical appointment with my family physician, and she sent me for x-rays; I felt like my feet were broken or fractured. That session at the x-ray department was so hard, I cried in every position the technician placed me into, poor thing was so apologetic during the whole process.
When I was alone at home, in bed trying to recover from camplife; I went into thinking spirals and I fell into a depression again. I felt that I wasn't able to be strong enough for my final year of my Administrative Community Leader term for Community 34. That I was letting people down. I wasn't able to make time to volunteer my ACL role while I was working from 6:45 a.m. to 11 p.m., my downtime I made sure that I did selfcare and rested for that hour and a bit I had off each day. I felt that I was unappreciated by my camp director at Adelaide. She purposely avoided me the last two days when my condition was worsening. I was falling into a very sad state of mind, I had given up precious weeks that I could have been spending with my eldest daughter who was leaving for Italy for a 10 month student exchange. I was at my saddest when I missed her Italian consulate visit in Toronto and her 16th birthday. I was grateful for the support of the Red Shirts (Staff) who had hugs and kind words to help me through and help me find strength.
My mind wasn't clear or sharp during my last few days of work: One morning when I had first session off and my sleep-in morning, I got up and I was making myself breakfast and tea, and I ended up pouring freshly boiled water over my right hand while I was holding the mug for my tea. I didn't react quickly and poured a fair amount that cause a burn more serious than I have ever done before. I went straight to first aid/wellness center for help, but I was brushed aside and told to run cold water on it. I did but it wasn't enough. By lunch time, I was becoming zombie-like because of the intense pain and lack of treatment (besides running cold water on it twice). The camp had some special guests visiting and grading the camp for their Ontario camp status, and the camp director suddenly was sincere and concerned about me, it felt like she didn't want me around the guests because I was unwell and injured; I was rushed into another section of the building, away from the dining hall with the campers and guests, and into a quiet area and was given treatment for my burn, which she said she was concerned about the severity but didn't bring me to the hospital or even wrote a incident report. I had a hard time understanding why I would work so hard, as a volunteer and then as a contract employee for them to mistreat me and not appreciate my dedication to the organization and the camp.
Wednesday afternoon, I gave my notice to the second in command in the director's office, camp director was M.I.A. whenever I needed her that day. I had 24 hours to reflect at Camp Adelaide about my wellness, my life, my roles as volunteer, etc. until the time I was scheduled to be picked up for my weekend off. I was just going home for good. I took the time to encourage the women who were tired and starting to feel the drain. I went to different places I wasn't able to explore before. I said goodbye to my camp, my home. I made peace with the idea that this was my last sunset at Adelaide.
Today, I was falling apart and it broke my heart while I wrote my letter and I gave my notice to the GGC - Ontario Council Deputy Provincial Commissioner, my ACL Advisor, and my Community Planner. I could not continue my role as ACL for C34.
In two days, I go for my CT Scan and I have my follow up with the doctor and specialist. Next month, I start a mindfulness program with a psychiatrist: The Mindfulness Solution to Pain.
Chantal \shahn~ TAHL\
A devastating beauty with a fiery personality. Part lover, part fighter.
Chantals know how to make it rain. Your life is incomplete if you lack a Chantal. A completely magical girl.
- Urban Dictionary