Wow. Where to start? This blog has been collecting dust over these last few months, and while I’ve been active on social media, I’ve neglected my little space on the web. This past year of my life has been tumultuous to say the least. Within a 9 month period of time, I lost 3 family members. One of those losses was a tragic freak accident. (If you dig through my Instagram account, I’ve shared a lot more there.) I wanted to write this post to share why I’ve been M.I.A. from the blog and to discuss grief in general just a bit.
Almost a year ago, my uncle (my dad’s only brother) had an accident and I rushed home to Indiana to be with my family. That side of my family is very small and tight-knit, and I grew up living across the street from him, so we saw him every day. After the accident, we all gathered at the hospital and made the impossible decision to take him off of life support. He was surrounded by family that entire week. I slept there so he wouldn’t ever have to be alone. He was the voice of reason and sort of the rock of our family, so losing him was a shock. He had two grown sons and an 11 year-old daughter, whom I had previously been asked to be the guardian of if anything should ever happen to my uncle and his wife. Of course, none of us ever thought that would be a real possibility. No child should have to lose a parent at such a young age. It was devastating. He was a small local business owner and was so beloved in my hometown that there was a constant stream of people who literally waited hours to pay their respects at his calling hours. The line of people did not stop from the beginning until the end, hours later. People stood in line for 2+ hours. Even when we met with the doctor to make the decision about taking him off life support, the doctor cried because he was a friend. That’s just the kind of man he was. Everyone knew him and loved him. You wouldn’t be able to find a person on this earth who could say a negative word about him. He was the kindest, most gracious person in the world. We were lucky to know him and have him in our lives.
Just a few short months later, my otherwise healthy grandfather (my dad’s dad, who had just lost his youngest son) caught West Nile Virus from a mosquito, of all things. Another shock to our family. I rushed home again, to Indiana, where I would end up traveling back and forth to 7 times in one year, to be by his side. We lost him shortly thereafter. A month later, my grandmother on the other side of my family, my mom’s mother, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and we lost her about 2 months later. I rushed home, again, to be with her during her chemo, and then again a month later to say our goodbyes.
Losing two grandparents at this stage of life certainly isn’t shocking, but the timeframe and circumstances were tough. It’s just been a lot to process, and with some other stressful things going on in my life at the same time, my productivity and motivation took a nosedive. Plus, my priorities shifted a bit and I had to put my blog on the back burner for a while. I’m certainly not telling you all of this for any pity. We all go through hard times in our lives, and love and loss are all a part of the human experience.
I am not unique in having to deal with grief. I’m also not ashamed to say that I am in therapy to help process everything, and also to deal with some other “life stuff” going on. I think it’s important to take care of ourselves by any means necessary, and I don’t think there should ever be any shame in that. I remember a few years ago when I was going through all of our miscarriage stuff, a friend said to me, “It’s ok to not be ok.” And I truly believe that. There are going to be times in our lives when things just aren’t ok … times when we aren’t ok. But you just take life one day at a time and keep putting one foot in front of the other and try your best to survive. I’m happy to say that my inspiration has returned and I am back to work now though.
I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you who have supported me, whether it’s by reading my blog or following me on social media, or sharing your kind words with me via comments or privately. I appreciate each and every one of you, and it’s because of you that I’m able to continue doing what I love to do.
In fact, I’d like to copy the caption from one of my recent Instagram posts in case you didn’t see it there, because I summarized my gratitude for all of you, my blog readers:
“Time for some reflecting. You guys know I do this sometimes, so thank you for humoring me and listening when I vent/overshare/invite you into my life. You all know it’s been a hard year. The hardest of my life, for many reasons. Because of that, my blog and business ended up being put on the back burner more often than I would’ve liked. But because of all of your support, and folks who visit my blog, I still managed to make a decent living despite thinking I probably wouldn’t. And today I’m just feeling really thankful. This blog and business was a dream I didn’t even know I had. I fell into it by accident, and now it’s a part of who I am and I can’t imagine doing anything else. I was just a stay at home mom dying for a creative outlet and an identity other than “mommy,” because while being mommy is part of me, I needed to be more. Through learning new skills and following this passion of mine, I have connected with so many people I never would have otherwise known. I’ve been able to help support my family financially while also being home with my kids, which is something I prayed to be able to do for a very long time. I’ve met lifelong friends through this business, and likeminded people who share the same passion for making and creating. I am thankful for you. I’m thankful for every single one of you for being a part of my life, however big or small. Whether we’ve met in person or you just follow along with my life online. Thank you. ❤️
I think @elizabeth_gilbert_writer said it perfectly: “A creative life is an amplified life. It’s a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life. Living in this manner–continually and stubbornly bringing forth the jewels that are hidden within you–IS a fine art, in and of itself.” ❤️
So thank you for being a little part of my world and for allowing me to live this life and do what I love. It means more to me than you know.”
The good news is, I’m feeling inspired again and I have a lot of fun projects and partnerships lined up. So I’m back! Thanks so much for sticking with me.
P.S. Be sure to subscribe to the North South Makers Podcast to hear all about the shenanigans my littlest guy is up to. (And also for plenty of DIY and decorating talk.)
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