The "Whiz-ard" That Is Dr. Oz

And Other Stories


2 Comments

Happy Birthday to You…

P1020552.JPG

(Photo courtesy of Michele’s birthday in 2015)

…Mummy!  I know that it may be awhile before you read this, but the sentiment will keep.  If I ever had any doubt about the type of person that you are (which I never have), the outpouring of love and affection from your family, friends, doctors (who else can charm the uncharmable into loading them up with pastries) and even the people who work in your building are a lesson to me on how to live a good life.  Whenever people talk about you to me, it’s always about how wonderful you are, what an inspiration you are, how sweet, and how you never complain.  It’s all true (except you, sweet?  Please.).

I’ve seen first hand your triumphs and your challenges.  Your triumphs are usually winning a bet with me like our Super Bowl bet.  In my defence, I know nothing about football, but at least I never welch when it’s time to pay up like some people that I know.   Nothing makes you happier than beating me – luckily for me, I don’t lose often.  Although you may lose the odd bet, you are one of the sharpest people that I know.  You are also quite a little socialite.  Your phone never stops ringing – another testament to how much you are loved by your family and friends.

I admire you for so many reasons, too numerous to count really, but watching you face adversity this last while has really shown me what you are made of.  You never quit, you never give up, and I’ve never been prouder of you.  Whenever I was sick as a child, you would come into my room as I lay in bed, checking on me, taking my temperature, or just trying to comfort me.  You looked down at me, and I looked up at you, reassured that I would feel better soon because you were there to take care of me.  I know that it’s frustrating to now be in a position where the roles are reversed, but I still look up to you.  That won’t change.

You are still the strongest, smartest, funniest woman that I know.  You have a curiosity and interest in so many different things.  You have the best sense of humour.  I’m glad that we still have moments where we can laugh.  I’m grateful to be your daughter, and I’m so grateful to get to celebrate another birthday with you.

 


2 Comments

My Fearless Challenge AKA The Niagara Falls Nightmare

butterfly-02

Image courtesy of niagaraparks.com

Dr. Oz recently did an episode of his show on conquering fears, which, if you were paying attention, I wrote about a few weeks ago.  This year has been all about conquering fears for me. I’ve gotten my driver’s licence, signed up for driving lessons (starting next month), I’ve confronted the past and made my own type of peace with it, and I’ve decided to take the Canadian Cancer Society’s Fearless Challenge.  I’d like to say that my inspiration for doing this is to help prevent cancer for our future generations, but I’ve had to face another fear this year – my mother’s breast cancer, that had been in remission, had spread to her bones.  The very definition of fearless, my mother delivered the news to me casually over the phone several weeks after she found out.  As I started to cry, she reminded me that she had no intentions of going anywhere.  Then she told me that she had an appointment with an oncologist.  The only fear that she showed was when I decided to tag along with because she knew that it was then that I would find out that she slept through her appointment time the week before.   She thought it was hilarious – me – not so much.

My mother’s sense of humour through all of this has been amazing.  She reminds me daily that she doesn’t just have cancer – she has a life too.  She makes the best of her situation which means having friends over more and going out less.  Cancer is a bit of a roller coaster to say the least, and there have been good days, and bad.  Lately it has been Cancer Schmancer.   It’s there, but it’s not the be all and end all that it would like to be.

Watching the bravest person alive (yes Mummy that’s you) go through this battle inspired me to face my own fears.  Doing the Canadian Cancer Society’s (CCS) Fearless Challenge is my most important project.  When my mother was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012, I stayed up nights pouring over websites and getting so much scary information that I didn’t know how to process it all.  I decided to streamline my research to only a couple of sites that I knew to be reputable.  One was the CCS’s cancer.ca.  It had great information and gave me a complete picture of the resources available.  When I went to oncology appointments, I’d pick up CCS booklets.  The more I read, the less scary the disease became and I was finally able to calm myself down enough to sleep at night and to stop pouring over websites.

I did the same thing back in March when I found out that my mother’s cancer had spread.  I read all of the research and resources, but used cancer.ca as my go to.  I picked up more booklets at the hospital and once again, they brought me some semblance of comfort along with my very supportive friends and family.  I’m so grateful to the CCS for having this information available.  They also became a client and that’s when I found out about the Fearless Challenge.  I want to give back by helping raise money for this very worthy charity so here is what I’m committing to.  I’m going to do all of the things that I’ve ever chickened out on in Niagara Falls.  I’m going to (in order of least afraid to most afraid):

  • Go on the Whirlpool Aero Car – I chickened out on this years ago, even though this doesn’t scare me at all now
  • Take a ride on the SkyWheel helping me face my fear of throwing up and getting dizzy.  I have terrible motion sickness – everyone else is afraid of heights, I’m just afraid of barfing at 175 feet above the ground in a closed car
  • Meander through the Butterfly Conservatory – this is the absolute worst thing ever for me!!!!  I hate insects and you can tell me that a Butterfly is beautiful – but it’s just a bug with huge wings that flits everywhere willy nilly.  I’m going to see if Hazmat suit is available for the day.  At the very least, I’m covering myself in black clothing from head to toe and wearing leather gloves even if I have to go on the hottest day of the year.

This is where I do my schlocky sales pitch – please check out and support my Fearless Challenge or sign up for one of your own.  Check out my page and the site for inspiration http://convio.cancer.ca/site/TR?fr_id=19672&px=6422179&pg=personal&fb_ref=Default  Help me make cancer a little less scary for others.

Thank you!!!!


Leave a comment

Happy Birthday Mummy! Welcome Back to Ottawa!

1379968_673669722674794_1312814964_n

Mummy – age 5

Mummy – I wanted to do something a little more special than just the usual “you are wonderful” blog (although you are) to help you celebrate your birthday.  I did a little digging, and here are some pictures of you, your family and some memories from Ottawa.  The little girl in the front row of the picture above to the far left is you!  You are still a brat : )

10347395_732199076821858_6839118307908075413_n

Your Uncle Morris’s wedding invitation

When you said Uncle Morris was the oldest – you weren’t kidding!  Here is his wedding invitation…from 1912.  Zaidie was still in the Shtetl then.

10471001_725033910871708_8585787891115839104_n

Auntie Irene on her wedding day to Uncle Wally.

I thought this was interesting!

1234047_582072725167828_8163906_n

Your favourite place for Challah, Rye Bread, Cinnamon Buns, and everyone’s favourite – Seven Layer Cake.

1392080_611080985600335_1708811330_n

Zelikovitz Bros. and their wives circa 1936

If you look carefully, you’ll see our favourite Zelikovitz’s – Bobbi, Zaidie, Auntie Becky, Uncle Dave, Uncle Max – only Auntie Tessie seems to be missing!

995980_582499388458495_2002275083_n

Remember how Bobbi used to have crates of Pure Spring in the basement?

1c3dce40-c0c9-4b12-961f-154b611a21c5_570

Painting of Zelikovitz Bros.

A painting of Zelikovitz Bros.  You must be so proud of your father!

10857779_819591648082600_309610289721426196_n

Mummy and her cousins – Purim

Whose the little princess, or should I say Queen, in the front row?  Why, that’s you!

Mummy – I hope that you liked your little photo tribute.  Dr. Oz always says family is so important and that you should tell them how you feel.  You are the best mother in the world.  You have handled all of life’s challenges with a sense of humour and more bravery than someone of your little stature should. Lately, especially, you have been the epitome of grace under pressure.  There is nobody that I admire more.

Love to you on your birthday and always,

Your very proud daughter xoxo


Leave a comment

A Dose of Holiday Gratitude

036

My “reflective” photo

The holidays make people reflect about what they are grateful for and Dr. Oz and Deepak Chopra, my homeboys, buds, brothers from other mothers, etc. recommend you state what tickles you to remind yourself of all of the good in the world.  I do this quite often in my blog, while others, I’m not naming names (Shoe) keep a journal.  I’d like to give you a dose of what I feel grateful for at this moment in time:

  • I found this Sesame Street video on my cousin’s Facebook page.  If you can’t feel grateful for the Yippers, well, I don’t know what you can be grateful for
  • There was a huge snow storm in Toronto, and unlike previous years, we didn’t have to call out the army to dig us out #torontostrong
  • I was grateful that although I cancelled plans on a friend who lives just too far away, I ended up getting a dinner invitation to my mother’s – timing is everything
  • I’m grateful that I got to see my Mommy AND she was finally able to sew a button on my winter coat for me – it’s been hanging over my head for months
  • I’m grateful that I got to see my niece AND I found out that she too can sew a button – it’s always good to have a back up
  • I’m grateful that I got to see my oldest sister today AND I know that she can sew a button.  It’s all about connections
  • I’m grateful that I got to speak to my middle sister AND I suspect that she can sew a button.  I need to know that I’m surrounded by domestic goddesses since I’ll never be one
  • I’m grateful that I got a seat on the subway, and my coat was so thick, it didn’t matter if it was warm or not
  • I’m grateful that I got another gift off of my list – wasn’t that a Hall and Oates’ song?  “Because your gift, your gift is on my list” – oh it’s “Your Kiss is On My List” – silly me
  • I’m grateful that I had the time to blog today
  • I’m grateful that today, one person got exactly what I was saying
  • I’m grateful that I got to see “The Mindy Project” last night and that it was basically picked up for a full season
  • I’m grateful that in 6 business days, I’ll have two weeks off!!!!
  • I’m grateful that I got to shop my mother’s pantry because it saved me a trip to the store.  I’m also grateful that I have a mother who is generous enough to let me shop the pantry, although, if she would let me organize each shelf alphabetically by product, it would make me so happy.  She won’t – weird – because she’s type A too
  • I’m grateful that I’ve committed to getting my Christmas cards written over the weekend – I’d be even more grateful if I had someone to write them for me – everyone always calls me to translate my chicken scratch.  I’m also grateful that I buy my cards on Boxing Day so that I never need to worry about having enough for the holidays

That’s about all that I’m grateful for – but not so bad, since it covers off only one day.  Until next time, I remain

Gratefully yours,

Jill


2 Comments

A Birthday Tribute

Image

Image is courtesy of my blackberry – that’s why it’s fuzzy!

According to Dr. Oz’s “You Being Beautiful”, one of the things that can lead you on a path to happiness is simply expressing gratitude to someone.  His exact words are to “…think of someone that has had an effect on your life-big or small – and write that person a note of gratitude.”  Today, in honour of my mother’s bleep-ity-fifth birthday (c’mon a girl has got to keep a few secrets), I have chosen to write her that note to tell her how grateful that I am to her.

Mummy,

You have never been a typical mother.  Sure, you cook for me (I love taking tupperware home when I visit you) and I bring you clothes to sew for me, but you have always had a way of doing things that is completely your own.  You have a way of thinking that is modern for someone of your few years – you little spring chicken, while still maintaining the morals that you were brought up with.  You embrace things in a way that works for you including technology (no one loves a game of Scrabble on the computer more than my mother).

You taught me the most important lessons in life. Respect has to be earned, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, not to cut off my nose to spite my face and to always dress appropriately for the weather.  Dear readers, if you don’t understand the cliches basically, people want to be around you if you are nice and pride really is a wasted emotion (at times).  You always want my life to be easier but you never let me take the easy way out.  You taught me through your actions, particularly after these last few difficult years, that attitude is everything and that having a sense of humour will get your through life’s toughest challenges.  You make me laugh Mummy, sometimes, even when I’d rather cry and for that I am grateful.  One time, when I said you were being naughty, your words to me were that at your age, you’ve earned the right to speak your mind and you know what?  You have – so speak away – it’s not like I can stop you anyway (kidding).

Mummy, I know that you think that I don’t listen to your advice, but I do.  You are my financial advisor, my cuisine advisor, my medical advisor and my reality check all rolled into one little not quite 5 foot package. I may not say it at the time, but I always check into what you tell me, and even though it pains me to admit it, most of the time you are right.  You know so many things, like how to get a stain out, how to make soup in a microwave taste like you’ve cooked it for hours on a stove top, how to create pottery with your own little hands and how to make a bed with hospital corners.  That is just a small sampling of your talent – I could write an entire month of my blog just based on things that you know and still only sratch the surface.

I want you to know how proud I am to be your daughter.  I see you in me through my determination (some may say stubbornness, but we now what it really is) and my desire for excellence in my life, but, you taught me that I have to be ok with failure sometimes too.  You taught me how to be independent, but still know that I’m not an island.  When I hear someone tell me how wonderful you are, I always answer that I know how lucky I am.  You have been a constant in my life.  I don’t know where I would be without you.  I only hope that I can make you as proud of me as I am of you.

Today and everyday, I am grateful to be,

Your Daughter