Category Archives: Chad Warren

The change.

Hi Chad,

I’m sorry I haven’t written you in so long.

I forgot it was today. I mean, I remembered a few days ago, but forgot again last night. For the past seven years, I have started the 28th off with a run – to chat it out, let a few tears go and start the day with friends. But today, I forgot and slept in.

Part of me feels like I should apologize. I’m sorry I didn’t go to bed thinking of the day you left, and didn’t wake up remembering our last day together.

The other part of me knows an apology isn’t needed. I think I forgot because I’m happy. I didn’t forget you of course, but I did forget to remember to be sad.

It might sound confusing, but forgetting to remember to be sad, actually made me happy.

This is what you wanted for me. This is what I promised you. I am ok. I am living my life and I am happy. We both understand that is not something to appologize for.

I’ve changed this past year. I don’t think of you every day anymore. Most days I do, just not every day. But now, I cry for you more. For years, I could speak about you with such ease. Now, I remember something about you, about us, and I have to pause and collect myself as my voice trails off. I don’t understand the change, but it’s noticeable.

Maybe the change is what Karen Burroughs pointed out after the wedding. “You have all this happiness and love in your life because of Chad. He’s to thank for so much of what you have now.”

It’s true. I’m really happy Chad, and you’re attached to that. I miss you, I’m happy without you, and I’m happy because of you. I can’t explain it further, because I don’t know if I really get it. I just love you and I feel your love in return. Still.

Chad and Megan on the Seawall

Thanks for listening to me ramble. Even with the changes, my rambling remains reliable.

Later dude.

Me. xo

I’m not the only one who misses him.

In six years there hasn’t been an anniversary or birthday that I haven’t received messages from thoughtful friends who’ve sent a note to say, “Thinking of you.” or “Happy Birthday Chad!

I never expect them, yet always appreciative that people remember the big(her) dates and take time to send a considerate message. These are especially considerate, because I’m not the only one thinking of Chad on his birthday. I know this because I’m not the only one who misses him.

Thank you for your messages. I’m thinking of you too.

Happy 41st birthday Chad.

Nine photos of Chad that instil happiness

It’s that week again.  Just when I think I might not be as teary as last year, my heart squeezes a little tighter, a solid lump lands in my throat and tears push their way out  my eyes.

Sometimes it happens when I don’t even feel sad, but something inside of me knows the timing.

As I couldn’t get a sentence out after our Monday morning run, Karyn reminded me “Well, for the past six years this week is always been a hard one. It’s just tough.” She’s right.

It is tough. But since sadness hits me whenever it feels like it, I’m not going to wait up for it.  Instead, I’ve spent tonight looking through photos of Chad with his friends, photos of us, and remembering how funny, goofy and happy he was.

November 28th doesn’t pass without thinking of Chad – but then again, neither does any other day.

Here are nine photos that capture moments and friendships that have such strong memories attached to them, they take me back and I can laugh at it all again.

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After a half an hour of party plotting, Chad was scooped and tossed in to the North Shore Winter Club pool. My job was to get his cell phone before he went in…but I forgot.

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Chad and my brother at a Keith Urban concert. (I don’t know why we went, but we did.)
His loud “eeeewwwwiiieee!” cowboy noises can be heard through this photo.

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Our first (and only) camping trip. We stayed in his jeep.
The tent belonged to our friends. 

(Can you hear his hisss?)

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Laura, Chad & Matt as the leads in our Saturday night Rock Band group. 
“Wanted, Dead or Alive” was a fan Chad favourite.
Chad wore his grandfather’s fedora every. time.

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Before I went back to college, Chad and I showed up to my send-off party separately, dressed like leprechauns.  
Him, with questionable facial hair decisions.
Me, with bad hair decisions. No questions.

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On a road trip I shot a snap pea at Chads head. It landed in his ear and stuck.
It took a few minutes to be able to talk again. 

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I’d never seen a group of adults laugh so hard than when Chad and his tennis friends had a Christmas party.
I was late and walked in to a decibel of laughter I hadn’t heard before.
When I see this picture, I still can hear it.

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The affection he shared with his friends.

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And lastly, if you’ve ever watched Charles Barkley’s golf tee-off, it’s most comparable to watching Chad Warren putt.

chadgolf

(Stealthy taken by Matt on his blackberry)

 

You’re happiness here with us, made me happy tonight Chaddy.

I’ll talk to you soon. xo

A great 40

It’s your birthday today and I spent most of my spare brain time yesterday thinking of you at 40.

Some days it feels like you never left, so life with you at 40 doesn’t seem hard to picture. What we talked about, what we wanted,  what 40 year old Chad and 30 year old Megan would have been up to – that is easy-ish for me imagine.

But it’s the details about you at 40 that cause tears to glaze over my eyes.  How many tournaments would you have played and won by now? Would you have played the senior nationals with JJ?

How deep would your smile lines look and how “emphasized” would your widows peak be?

I wonder where you would be working, and what greatness would have come from your kindness and generosity.

I don’t know Chaddy. I can’t figure out the details. I’ll never know exactly what life would be like with you still here. The only thing I do know is –  you would be a damn fantastic 40.

Happy Birthday Handsome. I love you.Chad Warren 

 

Dear Chaderella

Hey Chaderella,

I’ve been sad this week. I think about my dreams when you’ve come back – and while it reassures me you know how I’ve been, I realize, I don’t know how you’ve been.

What have you been doing up there, around here, over there… how much have you seen in the five years you’ve been away?

Do you know that Matt and Laura had baby Eddie? Did you know that Beckett now has a baby brother Harrison? I think he’s going to be a lefty.

Did you ever watch the last season of Entourage or see how Californiacation ended…What about Big Love or TMZ before bed? After you left, I stopped watching some of “our shows” as debriefing with myself wasn’t as much fun as it was with you. Have you seen Breaking Bad? I hope so, you’d LOVE it. Matt likes Homeland and while I’m not crazy for it, I feel like it’s something we would  watch.

What about Australia, do you ever spend time there like you wanted? Have you met Justin and Kristi’s baby, or zoom over to Texas to see the Hawkins or Shingletons?

Do you still watch tennis and coach from the couch to the tv? What about late night peanut butter sandwiches and cereal – do you still do that?

I’ve started taking your advice….(I know it’s been over five years, but whatever)… You’d be proud – I haven’t had TCBY for dinner in a super long time, and when I’m at the gym, I try to work on my core, focusing on the muscles I’m using – just like you did.

I run as hard as I can during track workouts – because I can. I know that pushing my body to gasp for air and feel my muscles ache is a privilege, not something that all people get.  Your wheezing and aching wasn’t voluntary. You wanted run and couldn’t. I can, so I should. (Sometimes I can’t tell if it’s you I feel beside me on the seawall, whispering “Push Meggie push” or maybe it’s me thinking of what you would say.)

I’m sure you know by now, that Bryn has moved into our mini castle in the sky. He wanted the couches arranged just as you had them. While I think he’ll throw a few more parties and play less Rock Band, the drinks will be the same – rum and cokes.

Anyway, there’s so much I want to hear about, meet your new angel-ish friends, see where you hang out, and how you spend your time.

I know it’s not that realistic, the same way that reading a silly blog isn’t a real way of talking to you (because you can read my mind…obviously), but incase you like to read this, just know – today, like yesterday, and when you were still here,  we think of you. A. LOT. Tonight we’ll go to Cactus Club, have a few thai wings (well, someone will, you know how I don’t care for wings) and whether our friends are at dinner or at home, there will be tequila shots had for you. Just because.

Chad Warren, English Bay

When I saw Kelli in California this summer, she said  – “It doesn’t actually feel like Chad’s gone, it just feels like he’s Vancouver and I don’t get to see him that often; but it’s like he’s still here.”

I’d like to think she’s right about that.

See you soon loverboy.

xo Boobalina.

 

 

 

 

Weird Week

It’s a weird week. It’s been a weird week for the past five years. FIVE YEARS.

It’s almost as though I am viscerally aware of the week before I consciously recognize what it is.

I choked up in the middle of talking about the beach yesterday.

Kissing my dog’s furry head last night,  my eyes stung with tears.

And for cryingoutloud – even an episode of Sons of Anarchy got a lump in my throat last night.

I’ve been looking for change in unnecessary places. Maybe I need a short hair cut. When should I get a new car. What can I change at work. I should clean more. I need to plan a getaway.

But then I consciously arrive to what my heart has already been feeling.  What I’m really looking for,  what I really want –  is I want Chad not to be gone.

It’s a week that the last chapters of the book and our blogs pull me back to the reality that was our life five years ago.

Sitting bedside, watching Chad’s breathing, his lack of breathing, massaging his feet as Intensivists tried to slow his heart rate down, tried to shock it back into a rhythm.

Chad Warren & Megan Williams, Multiple Myeloma, VGH

It was a week that hand squeezes were some of the most intense forms of “I love you’s” that could ever be expressed and just being in a room with him would become some of my most vivid memories.

I don’t prefer to think of how bad it was; especially when we had so much great to overshadow it.

But maybe this is just a good week to check in and remember what is worth really worth fighting for and who is there to squeeze your hand when you need it most.

 

 

< Read November 25th, 2009>

Hard Work. Working Hard.

Last June, when I was sitting re-writing and re-editing the second draft of The Book, I said it would be nice if at the end of all this, 100 people read the story. Friends and family and their friends and family…100 people could learn of Chad and I, and Multiple Myeloma. And I would feel good about that.

In January of this year,  pre-sales for Our Interrupted Fairy Tale passed 100, and carried right on through to 350.

In February,  I was asked to be on CTV Morning Live to talk about Chad, The Book and Chads1Million. I was so anxious and nervous I thought I might yack in the plant bowl sitting in front of me on their set.  I never expected that four minutes on camera, would lead to more TV, more print,  and more radio.

Following that, when Chapters Metrotown invited me to do a pre-launch sale, I leaped, squealed and sweated…I could. not. believe.it. A BIG chain bookstore. Holy. For months leading up to the launch, I had continued to hear it was “impossible for a self published author” to get in to a bookstore like Indigo/Chapters/Barnes and Noble. I had also heard a lot of “No.”  Learning what a rare opportunity it was, I asked as many people to come because I was sure, this would NEVER, EVER, happen again. I didn’t think that it would only lead to more Chapters, more signings and more opportunity.

Now, here we are in June, a little less than four months since the launch, having sold nearly 1,000 copies.

So naturally, with that tidy little summary, everything seems like it’s going along great. With a summary like that, I understand why the other day, someone said to me, “Your life is so charmed with all your book stuff.”

I semi-barked out, “No it’s not.”

I think the bark was a result of five hours (or less) of sleep the night before, and five nights before that. But, from the outside looking in, I could see where she might be coming from. She hasn’t seen me up until 1am invoicing stores to make sure all copies of Our Interrupted Fairy Tale are accounted for every month. She hasn’t been with me in the middle of rush hour or at 6:45am on a Saturday morning driving an hour to Blaine, Washington to pick up more boxes of books. She hasn’t seen me teary eyed and defeated in my jammies, after two dozen cold calls and two dozen, “I don’t think so’s.”

She hasn’t seen the hard work, and the working hard to learn about an industry I didn’t know anything about six months ago.Megan Williams, Our Interrupted Fairy Tale, Chapters Broadway and Granville

I have absolutely no complaints. But it is absolutely not charmed. It’s hard work. But, I have time, and capacity to do it. So I do. And I’m happy doing it.

Last weekend “touring” Kamloops/Kelowna, it was confirmed that Our Interrupted Fairy Tale is not just a story that nearly 1,000 people have bought because they are family and friends and their family and friends. And they aren’t buying copies just because they support Vancouver authors. I’ve learned from those of you who have written, reviewed and shared, this story has pieces that people can identify with or little bits that people can learn from – regardless where they or we are from. And I like that. I like that it confirms the intentions Chad and I used to chat about while laying on our tummies on the floor of our mini-castle.

It was a weekend of confirmation and support to keep working hard,  keep sharing the story and learning the business of story sharing.

And for those of you who continue to make the extra effort to write, review, share and work to help share Our Interrupted Fairy Tale with others – thank you. We can learn together.

 

 

 

Sorry for crying at your work.

This week was Nurses Week (in Canada) and after talking to Chad’s Mom and Dad on Mother’s Day, I felt like it was time.

It was time to go back to the ward and clinic that cared for Chad, time to see the nurses who fought with him and somehow try and offer thanks. I’ve learned from my job at BC Transplant, just how much staff appreciate it when patients come back to visit after they’re “all better” and out of their care. I’ve learned that just because people are out of their nurse’s care, doesn’t meant they are out of their nurse’s thoughts.

My hesitation with this is that Chad isn’t “all better”. Going back to the ward and clinic, without Chad, just emphasizes that.

BUT, I realized that doesn’t mean they haven’t thought of him. That doesn’t mean they got the chance to hear his story, or how much he appreciated them.

So I brought them a copy of The Book.

My first stop was The BMT/Lukemia Day Clinic. I was doubtful I would recognize anyone, let alone be recognized. I hoped I would be able to just drop off a copy, with a little thank-you note at the front desk and skedaddle- avoiding any possible interruption of their work day.

Chad Warren + 6 weeks out of transplant

The first nurse I spoke to, I didn’t recognize. But further down the desk, I saw was one of Chad’s favourite nurses. She might be the only face I would have recognized, and there she was, awesome silver hair, great complexion, smiling. She was the one who let Chad cry when he was scared, literally picked him up and helped him walk and who reassured him he would be ok, when he wasn’t sure of anything.

I opened my mouth to talk, and that lump choked any articulation out of me. “Blah blah gulp tear blah swallow blah sniff, it’s just a book, I just gulp blah tear swallow shake wanted to say thank you, and swallow blah tear happy nurses week.” Smile, leave. Gasp for air. Cry in hallway.

My friend Alicia, patted my back. She confirmed when I asked, “Yes, it looks like you’ve been crying. But that’s fine. This is good.”

Next stop, Dr. Nantal’s office. Once again, I planned to leave a copy of The Book, with a little thank-you note at the front desk and skedaddle. Nantal was in between patients and was right in front of the doors when I walked in. “Oh my goodness! How are you!” he said as he offered a genuine hug.

Blah blah gulp tear blah swallow blah sniff, it’s just a book, that I told you about at the tennis tournament, I just gulp blah tear swallow shake wanted to say thank you, and, well, that’s it.” Smile, leave. Gasp for air.

Lastly, the 15th floor. The place my mind goes when I think of The Last Day. The place I think of when I’m low and remembering the details of what has been lost. The place that prevents me from re-reading the last part of The Book, because no matter how much time passes, my memories don’t forget what it looks like.

The elevator doors opened. My first glance was the place on the floor where I had crumbled. I walked through the main doors and saw the room where I had told JJ and Laura that this was the end. I didn’t recognize anyone there – but as I chatted to the nurse who greeted me, my eyes wandered to his room. I’d make eye contact and but I couldn’t keep myself from looking over her shoulder at room 1533something. Part of me wanted to go in there, some weird inclining that if I went to where he was last seen, I might catch a glimpse.

This 15th floor nurse, as well as the one I spoke to at day-clinic nurse had heard of The Book, and were appreciative to have a copy to share with their team. And I am happy to have shared. (But if it were Chad who would have dropped by, he would have generously brought flowers, tea’s, healthy snacks and a dozen books to express his thanks.) But without any real way of saying thank you, I hope my dropping by was ok – and they will have a chance to read, in Chad’s words, just what a difference they made.

Sorry for crying at your work. Thank you for caring as you do.

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*Photo of Chad, 6 months after his bone marrow transplant (May 2009), when he was under the care of the nurses in day clinic.

 

 

 

 

 

Hear you are.

Yesterday marked the date of Chads passing. November 28th, 2009 was when he left us.

To remind us of some highlights of his last year, his sister has made a video. I have watched it several times now, refreshing my brain what his voice sounds like and what his movements look like. It sure is good to hear him again.

I encourage you to take a look.

(Any other updates on Chads 1 Million/work that has been done, you can see on our Facebook Page: Chads 1 Million for Myeloma.)

Thank you for still supporting.

The Feelings of Firsts.

It’s amazing how a few hours, days or months can make such a difference in how we feel.

A few months ago, September, October-ish – I felt so shitty. The sadness I felt with the upcoming anniversary of Chad’s passing was a hurt I had never experienced before. Memories were sharp, but the pain was deep and dull.

Now, a few months after the his anniversary, I hurt less. Perhaps it’s because there aren’t as many ‘firsts’ anymore. I had already spent a Christmas without him, another Valentines Day will go by without a card from him and we will celebrate his birthday for the second time without him here. This part of the year has already happened without Chad. It doesn’t make the memories any less sharp, it just makes the pain a little more tolerable.

However, as the hurt of ‘firsts’ fades with Chad, the hurt associated with the approaching anniversary of Eva’s passing begins. Similar memories of hospital visits, blog posts, conversations, “a year ago, we were doing this” mentions – all becomes sharp again.

Similar to the events themselves, the emotions come in waves. Flashes of what happened, what was felt and what things looked like, all come washing in and out of my brain without warning.

I look at a photo Eva, Beth, Karen and I took together a year ago. We were out at Milestones, each with a Bellini in hand and talking about everything but health (and by everything, I mean boys). Eva and I shared a cab home; our poor driver must have gone deaf due to the volume, enthusiasm and speed in which she and I were speaking at.

I was the first stop. We left each other with a kiss, declaring to one another how crazy it is that she and I haven’t hung out more often. We vowed to do it again very soon.

Standing on the curb, I watched the cab pull away with her in the front seat, having reassured me she was fine to manoeuvre her oxygen and wheelchair out of the cab by herself.

Each time I look at the photos from that night, (one of which I walk by every day hung in my hallway), I can not help but look at her, look at us and shake my head with sadness. We are so young.

So with memories of last year becoming sharp again, I feel like a bit of a veteran knowing that eventually, the firsts will no-longer be firsts and that dull, deep hurt will ease up soon. One hour, day and month at a time.