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.
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!