Sunday, November 25, 2007

S3 is thinking of you very much

Greetings you adventurers! I thank you sincerely for the previous lovely posts! gorgeous pictures! Am glad the aunty qualities are being put to good use, I am preparing myself to do the same as it is my turn now to come and visit you s1. I am already saving up for it and guess what is on my christmas list this year ? Well parents, a little helpful donation to ticket would be great! I promise to be good!
In the meantime i am preparing a suprise package for you s1 that i will send in the post, the real post consisting of paper, envelopes and stamps! yes im old fashioned but i like it and i will be sending you pictures of my face and life here in Prague , so prepare yourself for that. A little prechristmas present, lets say its for Sinterklaas.
Here it is getting colder and darker by the minute, its only five oclock in the evening and already it is pitch black outside. So i am mainly keeping snuggly buggly warm with green woollen magic finnish socks on my feet and wooly longjohns and a yorkshire woolly jumper and a balaclaver on me head. No its not very sexy but its warm and i am happy.
All is well at school , am printing away ! and here are some old photos just to say i am thinking of you all the time and i send you all my love and strength!
will write soon and send you some fresher pictures as soon as my downstair neighbour lends me the photo transporter!
big hugs

Saturday, November 24, 2007

back on the blog

Where to begin in my account of San Francisco, family style big time, and New York, held tightly in the bosom of old friends?

I really enjoyed being so maximally integrated into the family, and the unconditional love is really great!! I so wanted to help you S1 and in doing so I think I overdid it a bit, in being hard on myself...I just wanted you to feel okay, but the weird thing is that medicine is objective and just doing its job and making you feel bad (not that you show it); and we are standing on the outside unable to fathom what's going on inside of you, so all I could do is give you a foot massage or get on your nerves by telling you to eat up your vegetables. Must be the last thing you need. I don't know if I was of any use to you, but I can tell you the visit did me a world of good.

You never told me about the in-sink-erator.

As you indicated, my trip was somewhat haphazard as far as remembering goes. I just remember all these really amazing things happening to me. Like, having my feet squished by "David" the Chinese reflexologist at U2 (going way beyond the pain barrier, I thought it was cultural!)70 minutes long, and laughing because he made my toes dance; being awoken by these two fairy children (time does take on a different dimension) at hours which quite corresponded to European daytime, watching the daylight progress in patches, going up and down some really steep hills, bookstores, LATTES! Being thoroughly spoiled by you and A. in the shape of a very dinky and desirable newly released piece of local engineering to help me out with my mobile musical enjoyment at the touch of a fingertip, and then taking me out to lunch on top of a skyscraper. Despite your condition, dear Sister Uno, you managed to convey to me some of the exhileration you must be feeling whilst living in CA. I see you all as true adventurers; and you are doing it your way. I have always been amazed by the way you manage to pick the comfiest neighbourhoods to live in. I am also relieved to know you are surrounded by such kind people who are helping you get through this. They have hearts made of pure gold and they shall go straight to heaven. Just so you know this, Isabelle!

The night I arrived there was a really big oilspill and Jip and I would scour the newspapers every day for more news about the oil-covered birds. This during his chocolate milk after school. I didn't realise he couldn't have it with cream. He didn't tell me either. The oilslick was kind of like me arriving in Italy in February and the government falling the same day. I decided not to take that personally, either.

I didn't expect to be reading the newspaper to a 5,5 yearold but then I didn't expect to be explaining gravity to him either. And yes, the buttock joke was a huge success. I only said the word and he started laughing. When I told him bottoms are composed of two buttocks there was no holding him. And I even hadn't told him the joke yet. ("says one buttock to the other: it's quite windy down here....") I think there is still some mileage in that.. I am sure he is destined for greatness, though, because he started inventing his own:

"Two sailors are sitting on a boat. One of them says: hey, look, a frog! and the other one answers: There must be a horse in the water."

Sheer mastery. Your son has a real surreal streak in him.

I have some very beautiful images of the visit, I think. As soon as I get my car moving again I will write to you some more. In the meantime, much love.

keep it clean!

Yes, well, what can I say? It was a labour of love. As you should know by now, I gave up on voluntary slavery sometime ago...although perhaps I was a little hard on myself in my expectations of being an instant superauntie, overnight. I am still reeling from the crash course in instantaneous parenting, I honestly don't know how you're doing it and you're having chemo, the mind boggles; I don't think I passed the test, but it is great to be so accepted. Such unconditional love, I'll have some more of that, please! As you accurately guessed, S1, I am resting somewhere quiet, and now my car has broken down, so I think I'll rest some more in the safe haven of parents' house in Brussels. I will do my overdue translations here on the laptop you so kindly sent after me at great expense via UPS to New York. I'll pay you back for that. And I am sure the universe is really excited to read about the underwear. Pity you didn't put them in the UPS package.

So how did all that last-minute forgetting happen? I put it all down to sleeping patterns. I am still on SF time. More soon, much love! Watch this space for revealing pictures and untold secrets about S1.

Monday, November 19, 2007

S2 has left, leaving behind a laptop and a few bits of underwear

Dear sister 3,

Well, S2 was put to slave labour while she was here, or that's what it must have felt like to S2 at times; getting up REALLY early, entertaining the kids, emptying the dish washer, cooking, folding the washing. S2 held well.

I think she might be relaxing now somewhere very quiet or at least somewhere that is child unfriendly. But it must be said, Jip and S2' sense of humour was suspiciously alike. The word "buttock" did send them both off into an equal fit of giggles.

On Wedenesday I started to feel beter and managed to take S2 out.

We got a parking ticket, but what can one do when there is a one-hour parking limit and a 70 minute foot massage? Afterwards, we left the car with the ticket under the window to have lunch at the "Burmese Superstar" on Clement Street. And we got a crepe to go as desert. That is a good day spent, chemo or no chemo.

On another day, we had a picnic and an old fashioned milk shake.

We got let into the rehearsals at the Opera house by S2's friend, who was working there.

We saw the retrospective of Jeff Wall in the Moma, and agreed this picture looked a bit like S2's room, in THE OLD DAYS. Not anymore.

And finally we found some logs for you S3, from San Francisco, really big ones.

With love,


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sister #2 has arrived, it rained for two days

Dear sister 3,

Thank you for your pictures. Very pretty in Prague. It sounds very practical, giving branches. They probably last longer than a dozen roses.

Here, sister 2 has arrived. She says she LOVES San Francisco. And that was only after seeing our street and Highway 101 (in the dark and in the rain). She is such an optimist.

But it must be said, after having to keep her in for two days, the sun did shine brilliantly today. We took her out in the car and she whooped with glee (fear?) as we went up and over the hill at Diamond @ 20th. S2 really IS going to like it here.

I am also feeling a little better. I have got through BLACK THURSDAY, bad-movied my way through DARK GREY FRIDAY and found on Saturday that a walk to the post-office was an achievement, needing a few hours rest. Luckily S2, Jip and Rosie found each other on a level that included a lot of shrieking, giggling and scuffling downstairs, leaving me be. I did not even think to ask. I believe S2 should pace herself, otherwise she will not last the week. And I want her to last the week.

The friend I mentioned before, the one who shall remain anonymous, came up with the goods. That is to say I underwent my medical experiment. I took a few puffs of the best medical marijuana in town and ended up sitting in a corner trying very hard not to grin incessantly like a horse, baring my teeth, lips upturned, and speaking very loudly. I decided I had better lie this one out. When the first effects wore off, I demanded two bowls of ice cream to counter my very dry mouth. So yes, it temporarily relieves the symptoms of chemotherapy and is definitely more pleasant than all the chemical stuff they give me, but I cannot recommend driving or conversing with another human being while doing it.

Undoubtedly you will hear more from us as the week progresses. S2 might even have a take of her own.

Love, S1

a bouquet of logs for you

when someone loves you in Czech Republic they give you a log instead of flowers...
When i was in The high Tatras i was given a huge branch of a tree by Yetti
and he has repeatedly brought me and squashed me with huge logs
I put it down to culture diffrence and just accept it
its these little differences that makes it so interesting living here
So here i send you all a forest of love

Monday, November 5, 2007

Awaiting treatment #3

(who said chemotherapy kills narcissm? )

Dear sisters,

It has been silent on your side of the ocean. Is it raining? Are you all preparing for a trip abroad again? We might mention S2's birthday last Friday, which we all celebrated in our own special way. Happy Birthday S2, we will celebrate again when you arrive in San Francisco this week. I will buy you a cake. How many candles? Oh, that many.

Actually it hasn't been such a great week for me. I start each morning fine and get taken over round the hour of two, by a fluish kind of nausea and body pain, my eyes streaming non stop, all of which requires a certain amount of attention I do not always give. So my word count for the book challenge is dismal so far and I am starting to get the feeling this chemotherapy thing is not finished with me yet. And treatment # 3 is already on us.

In between we did survive Halloween with minimal damage, a ninja warrior, a pirate, and four boxes of sweets to be managed for the coming months. I also went to church on Sunday, which you might find interesting. Jip's class was sponsoring the Mass. We brought donuts for after. A little girl stared at me and asked her mother if I really didn't have any hair underneath my bright purple chemoturban. Her mother said "sshhhhh". I was also included in the school prayers this morning at assembly. So all is well on that front.

See you on the othere side of #3,

Love S3