Sunday, January 10, 2010

Of wine, cake and roses

Today, three things happened that made me feel GREAT. Renewed in spirit. Pun intended.

First I read Leah McLaren's column in the Globe and Mail from yesterday - which made me laugh out loud. I sing the praises of glasses of lovely wine- had at the end of crappy days, good ones, or even so-so mediocre days. Oh who cares, I would like a glass of wine.

We like wine. We are moderate. We are Europeans in disguise. [We also like cheese, a good long walk, a wonderful book / play / fill in your own personal cultural blank here]

Second, I went to Gabrielle's birthday party. A tradition in its infancy - its mere third year. Gabrielle, a beloved friend and mother of Heiko, now two years gone. Our first party, not a week after his passing. Her fortitude, her resilience, her love of life. Her amazing humour. Her wit. Her ability to empathize in our lives, while mourning her own.
In the car on the way home, we discuss frankly her inability to read this blog, since it speaks to things she cannot contemplate. Please, do not ask me, she says.

We the girls of Book Club - two Kates, a Catherine, an Ali, Gabrielle and a Bridget, [absent are a Mimi and an Ingrid] - sit and eat and drink, and laugh outrageously loud and long. We try, I mean REALLY try, to "think positive" about a bunch of things - a new aquarium for / in TO? What is the upside for migrant workers, or the benefits of pomegranates? We try to do some match making. We discuss books and Globe reviews of said books. We talk about second marriages. Second chances. Who likes winter or not. Where to get a cute purse that Canada Customs will allow through as carry-on. TO real estate. The right schools. Heidi's business. [ When her site is up, it is going right here!!! ]
We also discuss at length the cake I made for Gabrielle's birthday last year. Apparently, it was symbolic. It was chocolate and cinnamon, a dense confection (REID but with an extra ingredient which shall remain secret] covered in lavender icing and flower petals. Each element important. Chocolate, cinnamon, lavender, flowers. Ali said just the idea of that cake sustained her for months. My heart contracted a bit at that.
It occurs to me, sometimes we survive because people around us encourage us to; they need us.

Thirdly - I received a beautiful bouquet of flowers. From Gabrielle. While it was her birthday, she gave us gifts. Spring in a box.


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