On Wednesday, January 25, I joined my last BikeBrampton Zoom meeting. I said my goodbyes to colleagues and friends that I’ve spent many hours within the trenches of City Hall, trying to make the city experience a little better outside the automobile. Many of them were supportive when Toby was diagnosed with cancer. I’m going to miss them dearly.
I’ll try to make it back to Brampton when I’m able. But it could be a while before the twins are big enough to hold themselves upright and can sit in a bicycle trailer or cargo bike.
My first update post of the year — So, Happy New Year, everyone!
Last Christmas, we were still feeling a little raw at our first Christmas without Toby. We didn’t do much. But with newborn infants this year, we didn’t want to let “doing nothing” become a habit. We had recently purchased Costco memberships in anticipation of our move north and decided that our first purchases were going to be movie theatre confections.
Christmas Eve was kicked off with decorating cookies and watching a holiday classic: Die Hard
On Christmas Day, we were going to watch the Marvel cinematic universe in chronological order — Toby’s favourite — but chickened out for Star Wars instead.
I’ve been taking parental leave since the twins were born in November. January is my last month off before returning to work. In that time, my goal is to get our house ready for sale and move so that our primary residence Mattawa, Ontario with Emily’s parents, before returning to work in February — no pressure!
We’ve already started moving some of our non-essential stuff, and it’s definitely looking like winter up there, compared to the dry ground of Brampton (as of this writing).
This move, when finished, will mean that everyone in the Papineau Homes project will be located close to where we will be building. I expect updates will come more readily at that time, and I already have topics I want to record content for. I’m hoping it’ll be easier to provide context by recording on location.
We’re excited to feel like our move is picking up momentum again.
A lot has happened since November 3, 2022, when we welcomed Enid and Asher into the world. We’re preparing to move north to continue the next steps of Papineau Homes. I’m overdue to write a mega-post, but that’s not happening right now.
Right now, I’m taking a few minutes to honour Toby on the second anniversary of his death on January 2, 2021.
We still feel the weight of his absence and how it continues to resonate in our lives, influencing nearly every decision we make.
We love you, Toby.
We recently had family photos taken with Adela and Sebastian welcoming their new siblings. Here are photos of when they greeted Toby.
Perhaps it would help to first understand something about me: I’m satisfied to contemplate the existence of some higher or greater being or beings as a possible hypothesis until such time science is able to confirm or deny any such thing. Otherwise, I’m agnostic.
Since Toby died, I’ve observed many unexplainable things. I’ve come to learn that grieving parents often refer to such events as synchronicities, mostly in the context of evidence of higher spiritual events taking place. I’m aware that the things I’ve observed can simply be the result of my traumatized mind trying to make sense of a tragic thing that has occurred. That may be so.
Or maybe, in trying to make sense of things, I’m observing things I wouldn’t have otherwise. Things I would normally have taken for granted.
It’s taken me nearly 2 years to build enough strength to share this particular synchronicity. It left me with questions that I’ll never know the answer to.
Around November 17, 2020, Toby shared a bad dream that he had with me. He described having to take off a medical mask because it was drenched in tears from him feeling so sad. This was around the time that he was just starting his Cancer treatment.
Within a few weeks of Toby’s dream, at an appointment for Toby at Sick Kids, we learned that Toby’s treatment was not working, and he did not have any viable treatment options for his cancer.
After receiving that news at the hospital, while heading downstairs to get a coffee, I suddenly had a panic attack. I had to pull down my mask to cry as I was hyperventilating and it was soaked with tears.
Just like in Toby’s dream.
I can’t help but wonder if Toby experienced synchronicities in dreams.
In July 2021 (hence the awesome COVID haircut), as we were cleaning out Toby’s room, I was reminded of that moment in Sick Kids. I decided to take these photos. I’m not sure why. I guess I felt that it was my way of contemplating this question without an answer. A way to remember Toby, his impact on my life, and how his bad dream became my very real nightmare.