Monday, January 24, 2022

2020-2021 in Review and looking ahead...

In June of 2020, my my world fell apart. My husband of 27 years, announced that he was leaving and starting a new life. There had been no arguing, no discussions, no attempt to address any issues, just... goodbye. He simply walked out the door. In the following months, he filed for divorce and left us in shock and disbelief. 

Not long afterwards, I was diagnosed with multiple heath issues that resulted in a complete hysterectomy in December of 2020. While my physical recovery has been swift and complete, my heart has not recovered so quickly. 

The day after Christmas 2020, our sweet little Buddy, a 14 year old Lhasa Apso, was diagnosed with advanced liver cancer. We said goodbye to him in September after a long brave battle. He grew up with our kids and we miss his feisty attitude and stubborn spirit more than words can say.

In January of 2021, our 6 year old Golden Retriever was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that involved a tumor on his spine. It was untreatable and terminal. He has responded well to meds but even after diapering him daily for 8 months, as he had no use of his tail or function of his bladder or bowels, he crossed the rainbow bridge in my arms on August 13th.

In February of 2021, our third dog, Bailey, a 12 year old black lab was also diagnosed with cancer. She had been struggling with her back legs because as a rescue, she came to us with injuries that could not be fixed. She was a healthy and active dog for all of her life, but old age has not been kind to her with arthritis. We are medicating her as well and her spirits are high even though her body is failing her. I fear her days are numbered.

Meanwhile, my mother had fallen and broken her back and was in immense pain. She is slowly recovering but her health is not great and she very limited physically. My sister has been an amazing support and coordinated her at home care as we are both too far to away to visit as often as we would like.  

In the meantime....

I've been comforted by having my kids home, and we went on weekend hiking adventures, ate together every night and enjoyed walking the dogs every evening. The boys each moved out after graduation and are now embracing professional life with great enthusiasm. Their success brings me so much pride and joy. Kelly is now halfway through her second year of Vet School at UGA and comes home every weekend. Her love and support and new puppy, Koda are the best medicine for my ragged soul.

I've learned that my friends are amazing and they really showed up with meals after surgery, support at every turn and an endless supply of tissues while I cried and processed all the sadness. 

I have found a therapist that has been incredibly helpful. Learning to sort through all of these emotions at one time has been so challenging, and while my heart is still mending, I am learning to take things one day at a time.

In November, after much encouragement from my kids, I went on my first "first date" in 30 years! It was terrifying and surprisingly fun. I am now spending time almost every day with a very kind man who makes me smile and laugh more than I thought possible. We are enjoying hiking and lots of other adventures while we get to know one another. However, the day after Christmas, we were in a very serious car crash. His truck was totaled and we both suffered airbag burns and seatbelt bruises, mine being quite significant. I also have at least one cracked rib which is causing great discomfort. His truck has been replaced and we are mending. We are both so very grateful that we walked away from the whole terrifying experience. 

Moving forward...

I'm considering retiring from this little gig as a professional quilt teacher. I hardly have any bookings for teaching (thanks Covid!). If your guild or group would like to have a presentation or program, please contact me ASAP! My longarm quilting is the only thing that seems to be surviving. Bless each of you who trust me with your quilts, I am honored to quilt for you!

I am having fun playing with my new fabric line and will have some sew along announcements soon! I'm also doing a bit of designing in hopes of future publication features.

If you follow me on social media, you know that the joy in my life has returned in the form of a new golden retriever puppy named Rumi. He is perfectly delightful and funny and entertaining and total fur ball of love.

My heart has not been able to share much on this blog or connect through social media as the feelings have been too raw. Perhaps, I just needed to step away for a while and think about what I wanted my life to look like now that it's been totally turned upside down. The fact that I'm actually able to share this, means I have made loads of progress! 

Saying this past year (plus) has been the hardest and worst of my life is such an understatement. I've been through so much and still feel as though I've just barely come up for air. All I can do is try each day to face what I can and embrace the sweet blessings found amidst the chaos. While millions of people have lost their lives over the past year, I know that my problems cannot be compared to a global pandemic.

If you are still reading this, know that your support and friendship has helped me through the worst of this. My life will never be what I had thought it would be, but I'm surrounded by a support system that is truly amazing. I've always been a 'glass half full' kind of person, but right now I'm looking at a whole new glass and wondering how I should try to fill it...

May 2022 be filled with love and blessings and courage and hope for all of us! 

Diane

26 comments:

  1. What a rough time you've had, Diane! I'm so sorry. I'm glad you've had supportive friends and your children. Take care.

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  2. OMG! We have all suffered loss in the last 2 years but my heart goes out to you. I’m SO terribly sorry for all your losses. I’m glad you have a nice companion and tge support of your kids. Best wishes!

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  3. What a rough your the last 18 months had been...... But sounds like you are picking up the pieces and building a new you... . Goodluck..... Hope your are healing ok after the accident...
    Goodluck on your new quilting projects and ideas..

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  4. Grace and peace , dear Diane. Hazel

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  5. Grace, peace and happiness this year, dear Quikter friend. Hazel

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  6. Thank you for trusting us enough to share this mammoth life experience with us. It took a lot of courage to open up and you are a great example of integrity and perseverance.
    I hope you find a lot of joy in the coming months.

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  7. I love you sweet friend. I know it took a lot to share and bare your heart! It has been a tough couple of years and I am glad things are turning around for you.

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  8. Sorry to hear all of your Past and present accounts. I do enjoy your Blog and patterns. Blessings and Hugs for a speedy recovery and may 2022 bring you happiness and joys.

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  9. Don't let how you might feel on certain days dictate on what you deserve. The best is yet to come.

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  10. So, so sorry for your troubles. Luckily we are strong women who can survive and thrive. Only the best from now on! You can do it! Just take one minute at a time. I know most people say a day at a time, but minutes are shorter and they do add up. Take care, Sharon

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  11. Sending you hugs as I sit under Sparkle, the quilt I was fortunate enough to purchase from you. What a perfectly awful year and yet there was still some bright spots.. Life is quite a ride and I hope you heal fast from your accident and find peace for everything else. Thank goodness for Rumi to need and love you. Hugs, Cherie

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  12. Oh my goodness, I had wondered what happened, but I would be like you, I would have been unable to share the grief.
    You are truly a wonder, there are more wonderful things to happen.
    take care.

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  13. I could tell something was going on and understand how hard it is to share so much heart break. I really can feel for you, having gone through some similar things. Thank you so much for keeping us informed as much as you can. I live in Georgia and will definitely remember you for long arm quilting. I wish all the best for you in the coming days!

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  14. Diane, I am so, so sorry for all you have been through. I know everything that happened must have been devastating but things will get better for you. I hope you have peace in your heart and find comfort in the things around you. I will keep you in my prayers. May God Bless you.

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  15. It’s heartening to read your post, knowing how much hurt and loss you’ve suffered for the last almost-two years. I send continued healing wishes for you (and your mom!). You are special, beautiful and such a wonderful person. You deserve all the best! xo

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  16. I can't imagine going through all of that during Covid...it made it all so much harder. So happy you are coming through the other side and have made a new male friend...I hope 2022 will be a year of complete recovery and happiness for you!

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  17. sending prayers and support for a wonderful new chapter in life. stay strong and allow today to be good.

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  18. I wish you a calm and recomforting year! You are a wonder woman!! big hugs from France

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  19. I am so sorry to read of your very difficult time. I hope that 2022 will find you on a journey of health and healing.

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  20. Thank you for being brave enough to share your story with us, Diane. I hope you find comfort in knowing there are people all over who care about you. My own world was turned upside down in October when my husband of 34 years died suddenly of a heart attack. I'm still finding my way and know how important the love and support of family and friends is at times like these. Be well. It's okay to take time out for yourself.
    Pat

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  21. Diane, thanks for sharing your painful losses and health issues you’ve endured over the past two years. You are a wonderful, talented woman, and I pray God’s blessings upon you as you continue to heal. Hugs from our new home in TN.

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  22. You did well to consult a professional who can help you because so many dramas in your life these last 2 years... I wish you the best from 2022.
    Huge hugs my friend !!

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  23. Words seem pretty inadequate as I'd rather just give you a hug.:) Cheers to finding your way and having such amazing kids to help support you through the hard times. That says A LOT about what kind of person you are. Every day we don't give up is another day closer to life getting better.

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  24. Diane - I'm so glad you are able to start moving forward and starting to find joy again. I'm dealing with similar issues but a bit different - still feel like I'm drowning at times. Here's to hoping 2022 is much kinder to both of us.

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  25. You are not kidding! That is just rough - all of it!! but! I am proud to follow your blog and say - you are so positive and send good things out there. You can still see your blessings in your pain - that is rare!!! Hugs to you - well gentle ones - don't want to hurt that rib!!

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