Ok, so here’s the deal. I’ve written this blog post twice. Maybe three times if you count the insane ramblings on my phone at 4am. And I really need to just stop fighting the truth and write what needs to be written, #truthcation style:
Sometimes I HATE writing.
Like want to break up with my blog, change my name, and look at people like they’re insane when they mention it, “Huh? WHAT blog? Huskies? No, that’s not me.”
When I don’t want to write and I force myself to, my blog sounds like a standard, crappy vacation blog and it infuriates me:
And then we did this.
And then we did that.
And then we went here.
And then we went there.
So I push harder to write something interesting, which self-perpetuates more crappy writing. I start writing in cliches, talking about Carpe Diem and sounding like if Yoda and a Greenpeace banner had a baby.
And if it gets REALLY bad and I get REALLY manic, I start rhyming like Dr. Seuss:
I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them Sam I am.
So, before I go postal and throw my computer out a window, lets just agree that this post is going to one part form letter, one part motivational quote, and one part children book. K?
You’ll get to hear what happened after we woke up in a pool of water in a remote forest in Eastern Quebec (click here for a refresher). And my computer will live to see another day.
THE CONCLUSION TO HOMEWARD BOUND:
Six minutes later, I got a message from Jenn our Airbnb host in Trois-Pistoles. We could come early, the house was open and any talk of money was to be dealt with later.
I started to cry again.
(For those of you who know me in “real life”, I NEVER cry.)
I don’t think I’ve EVER felt more grateful in my life. In 5 hours we would be in a warm, dry house. But for now… damp, lukewarm and blanketed in miscellaneous car junk would have to do.
We grabbed some tea (Tim Hortons was our only friend that day) and began snaking our way along the coast of Quebec towards the Gaspesie.
On our way to Trois-Pistoles, we had one scheduled stop. Dustin’s mentor growing up was his French Immersion teacher “JAL”. When he passed in 2013, he was buried in a small town along the coast called Capucins. We had been asked by a mutual friend to bring some beer and “have one with him” in the little seaside town.
(More about Jacques-André Larrivée can be found here.)
That afternoon, we wandered through the tiny cemetery and found his tombstone, emblazoned with the most perfect quote:
Who are you to think that you could change the world?
Who are you to think that you could change?
Who are you to think?
Who are you?
And as we stood – still damp – reading it under the miserable grey sky, drinking Budweiser ….it put everything into perspective.
Dustin decided to become a teacher that day. And I, well, I’d been toying around with the idea of becoming a lawyer for months, but that day…well, that day I became resolute. We needed to do things with our lives. Big things. World changing things.
But for now we needed to be dry.
I think for the rest of my life I’ll remember the feeling of stepping into the little red beach house that was our next Airbnb stop: the panel of windows at the front that looked out over the ocean, the easy-going, comfortable way the furniture was placed around the fireplace…. the roof that sat atop the four walls that kept rain out.
So, when Jenn showed up to welcome us and give us the lay of the land, I did the unthinkable. She had just finished telling us that she would only accept payment for one of our two extra nights and I literally reached out and hugged her.
A stranger… without the normal social cues to do so.
And not just a normal hug, a full-force bear hug like you give your grandpa at Christmas. To say it was awkward would have been an understatement, but much like my Quebec City supermarket experience, she was so gracious in shrugging off my invasion of her personal space, it was soon forgotten.
I barely held it together until she left (more hugs??). And when she did I could literally feel all of the built up tension leaving my body only to be replaced by sheer exhaustion. There was NOTHING left.
Dustin volunteered to walk dogs and grab dinner (shockingly it was poutine) while I had what could easily be described as THE best shower of my life in the cottages rain shower and climbed into THE most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept in. That night as we were lulled asleep by the sound of the ocean through the open window beside our bed, I felt like Goldilocks.
I didn’t get up for 2 days.
When I did, I ended up in hospital.
For those of you not in the know, last year I went from being a completely healthy 34 year old, to being bed-ridden for 5 months with a list of complicated neurological symptoms including not being able to speak or walk. Despite most of my symptoms resolving themselves over time, I am still undiagnosed, with little evidence to help determine it it would ever come back.
But somehow in a hospital in the middle of BF nowhere in rural Quebec, they at least managed to treat me. The solution seemed so simple to my siblings:
I want you to imagine for a second what its like to not be able to speak. Then I want you to imagine what its like to not be able to speak in a town where no one speaks English.
And they keep saying “antipsychotique”…
I’m sorry, what??
The problem is that when I’m experiencing whatever neurological condition I have, I’m not always the most with it, so as long as they’re not trying to stab me with something, or put in an IV, or give me another lumbar puncture, I’m pretty good with it.
I took my crazy pills and within an hour, I was speaking and walking. It still doesn’t definitively say migraine disorder or central nervous system disorder (the two front runners), but we’re closer. And the fact that I was able to walk out of the hospital feeling 75% within an hour and wake up feeling half normal, is pretty much a win in my books.
Because we’re horrible dog parents – really, have I said more than two words about them this entire post?? – we spent our last two days in Trois Pistole on the beach, catering to the dogs (who had been supremely neglected with all of my health stuff) and attempting to dry out our tent, which was DIS-GUS-TING from Forillon.
And when we left on the 5th day it was with so much sadness. Despite all of the craziness, Trois Pistole was one of our favourite places on the entire trip and one we’d love to go back to.
It had all of the makings of a great stop:
And then we went to the cemetery.
And then we hugged strangers.
And then we ate poutine.
And then we went to the hospital.
Carpe Diem. Save the whales.
You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
See you (back) in Montreal