How to start? I've been wanting to write again, but I've been finding it hard to get back.
The last time I wrote I had been away for a while because I lost my father. I took his loss much harder than I expected. In an effort to pull myself out of my grief I joined the first ever annual "Bead Peeps Swap n' Hop". I was looking forward to it and enjoyed putting together a package for my partner Natalie of North Shore Days. It was fun to make up her package and send it out to her. I think that might be the most fun part of any Swap. I want my partner to love their package and have fun creating with it so I really put a lot of thought and care in putting everything together and hand make at least one of the components as I'm sure most participants do. Then I sit on pins and needles and start second guessing my choices for them and hoping they like it. I'm not sure if many others feel that way but I was glad when Natalie told me she did.
Between the time Natalie and I exchanged our packages and the actual Hop came around a lot was going on in my life.
My father in law passed away; shortly after that my Mom got sick and ended up in the hospital so I took an emergency flight and headed back "home" to be with her and my family. She pulled through but I managed to get pneumonia while visiting and missed the Hop. I made sure to let Natalie know why the delay and she was very gracious. I had planned to get the "Big Reveal" posted but before I could pull myself together enough to get it done I got another call and had to go back home. This time to say goodbye to my Mom. I was fortunate to make it there before she passed. My brother and sister and I never left her side until she passed away peacefully in her sleep. In less than a year we lost both my parents and my father in law. It's been a long hard haul finding my way back from it all. I've been doing better lately and was almost surprised to realize Christmas was hard this year because so much has changed.
This was my first Christmas without them. Everything seems strange now, and just a little "off". One day while out Christmas shopping, I caught myself saying to my husband that I didn't know what to get for Dad B. this year. Then it hit me we wouldn't be getting anything at all. The tears come at the most inopportune times. I don't why I keep being surprised at the depth of my grief. I keep telling myself what I would tell a friend. "It's OK. We need to process in our own time, not someone else's timeline." Some days I even believe myself. When I think of how deep my grief touches me, I can become overwhelmed with how deep my sister's grief must be. I don't know how it hasn't crippled her. She has always been very close to both our parents and was their full time caregiver, friend and confidante for the last decade. She still lives in their house. Char, you are an amazing woman and I love you. I hope you find peace.
I'm coming to realize there will always be a piece of me missing and I now have to find my new normal. I'm slowly finding my way.
I wasn't going to share about all this but I promised someone I would post something this week and felt frozen, I couldn't be glib and sail into the "jewelry talk". I felt like I was going to fail and not do it. . . again. So here I am. Hopefully this post has broken the barrier. Today is my Dad's birthday. This is the day. Happy Birthday Dad. I love you.