Thursday, October 11, 2012


Autumn is truly here; a season of change and transition.

The days are getting darker, the nights colder. Every day we are leaving the warmth and bright days of summer behind just a little bit more.

Note: This isn't going to be a particularly crafty post (though those will return hopefully soon). so I understand if you'd just like to skim on by.

After the big changes and stress associated with our recent move and the mobility issues I had because of my injury, I was ready to greet the new season with open arms. September is my favorite month, after all.

However, in the second week of September, just when I was starting to feel like I was getting my sanity, mojo, and life balance back, I had my feet knocked out from under me, emotionally speaking. My non-Greg family life is pretty complicated, and I've kept it pretty private here on the blog, but I wanted to share this story though, so here it is.

I got the news that my father had been diagnosed with cancer, and given his medical history, the prognosis wasn't great. He got some really excellent care and treatment, and things were looking pretty hopeful. My sister and I made some loose plans to go down and visit him (we are both out of state) towards the end of October. All seemed pretty okay, considering. Stressful and worrisome, but okay, because we had a plan.

And then a few days later I went into work and checked my email. My sister had sent me an email marked only "call me right now." I did, and got the news that our father had unexpectedly passed away in the night.

I think, when you lose someone from your life, for whatever reason, it's important to really feel through the experience, and think about why you feel what you do. Sometimes it's a little grief, sometimes relief, sometimes regret. Losing a parent is in a whole 'nother league of emotional experience though. I don't even necessarily have the words to describe how I felt and what I experienced that day.To paraphrase pop culture, "when it happens [to you] you'll know."

It changes you. It changes your whole world.

Of course my sister drove out immediately, and I made arrangements to fly down. The next week was a  complete blur of heartache, grief, happiness (of being with my sister and her family and my aunt and cousin), and I guess, mourning. There were a lot of things that happened, little stories that are too personal to blog about. But I will say that the thing that makes me the most sad is that it happened so suddenly, I never even got to say good-bye.

The week my sister and I spent wrapping up the loose ends of my father's life is something I won't ever forget. Despite the emotional rollercoaster of mourning and dealing with the mundate trappings of closing out his estate, and all the challenges we went through, I am still grateful for the experience. I learned so much about the man my father was, and the woman my sister had become. I am still thankful, and sad.

I have always, somewhat jokingly, claimed that scrapping, for me, was cheaper than therapy. I actually took some journaling supplies with me on my trip, for the nights when I was alone in my hotel room. I am grateful for the memories I captured while I was there. For the things we did to honor his memory.

I found out my father kept some scrapbooks too. I get to be responsible for all his photos, and after I've gotten them all cleaned up, I'll be making a photo book of his life, for my sister, and his sister. My family.

So, that's my very personal story. Thank you for reading through it. And to be utterly sappy, I just want to say the other advice I would give, from what I learned through all this is, make sure you hold your love ones close and cherish whatever time you have with them. Listen to their stories. Let them know you are grateful for them. Make sure they know who you are, and where you came from.

Also, it would be really nice if you get all your paperwork together for the ones who will take care of your affairs when you are gone. It's a good gift to give them. And it's not creepy. Really. They will thank you for it. A lot.

And me? I'm doing okay.

I'm still going to tell my stories, and documenting life as I live it. Maybe in a different way, a different perspective. I've changed, and am still changing. But I still love making art. And photos. And iced coffee beverages. And I'm going to pick up the pieces and get myself back in the game.

Seems the right time for it. According to my new desktop, I'm exactly where I need to be. ;)

Thank you.

All my love, until next time.


Christina said...

((((hugs)))) thank you for sharing what you are going through. such a difficult time but it sounds like you are learning & growing through it all. what a wonderful idea bout a photo book for your family.
"make sure you hold your love ones close and cherish whatever time you have with them. Listen to their stories. Let them know you are grateful for them. Make sure they know who you are, and where you came from." this is SO true! i think this is the root of scrapbooking really that alot of people do not get & that's unfortunate.

Stephanie said...

I love you, lady. You know where I am if you need me.

Rebecca Lovell said...

Oh, honey. I'm so sorry to read this! But what a great reminder to many of us to hold those we dearly love closely!! (((hugs)))

Melissa Mann said...


Anonymous said...

Hello, I'm so sorry for your loss and send prays to you and your family. I loss my last parent quiet awhile back now but since Im the only child I have no family.Im so happy you have family during this hard time and will carry in in my heart softly.

themathchick said...

Thank you for sharing your beautifully worded, heartfelt post. I've experienced sudden loss myself, and your words of wisdom certainly do ring true. I wish you much peace during this time of change. Take care.

tnt521 said...

I am so sorry for your sudden loss. What a beautiful post, and I hope that scrapbooking can be a balm to your soul.


Penny Lane said...

I'm very sorry for your loss. I wish you all the strength you need.


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