Things I’ve learned in a month….

  • The things I have learned in a month….
  • 1.   Life moves on 
  • 2.    time flies
  • 3.    When moving into your old room after 30+ years, you need new furniture.  
  • 4.    It’s hard watching your father grow old.
  • 5.    Even though Mom doesn’t live here any more, she does!  
  • 6.    I’ve been drawing a real long time…..  ( These hang in Mom’s cabin)

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 I’m sorry some of these are hard to see.  I drew them all in the 80 and 90’s.  They all hang in a room with little light, even in the day time.

DSCN0709This is what “Nanny’s cabin” looked like when Mom bought it in 1978.  I drew this after my children were born.  

DSCN0717This is what it looks like now.  Well, give or take a bush or two.  I drew this about 5 to 10 years ago.  Forgive me but time flies and I just can’t keep up!

  • 7.  my creative juices still flow, and I can learn new things.  
  • Mom Gelli

    Bought a gelli plate. Bought a book on transfers and another on gelli printing and “Voila” Named it “On her way to the ball”.

    8.  Did I say that “life goes on”?  

  • 9.  I feel her here with us.  Almost like she is in the next room.  

      10. The grass is still green

     11.  Everyone else are going about their days just as before. 

    12..  Life goes on and so will we……  

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getting started is half the battle

getting started…. Where do I start?

Some of you may already know this, but just in case…. I moved in with my Dad  July 1st after my Mom passed away.

I came back to Georgia after living in Nashville, TN for 27 years.  Leaving behind not only dear, dear friends but also my grown children.  Both of my children consider Nashville their home town even though neither was born there. 

It has taken me 3 1/2 weeks to get my art studio the way I want it.  Well, everything but artwork on the walls.  I’m still waiting to hang stuff. It has been months since my creative juices flowed.  I don’t  remember what month I completed my last piece of art work.  It was probably April, or maybe March.  No, I’m pretty sure it was April.

It is true that I have been in a state of some depression, which always causes problems with creativity.  But, in light of the fact that I have worked diligently to turn my art into a career, I have been concerned that I needed to get down here in this new studio and be creative.  I may not be able to create anything that I feel is sales worthy, but it is important to start creating.

OMG!

My daughter was recently in Chicago and took a photo of the sunrise over the Great Lakes.  I decided this photo would be an excellent one to start with. There wasn’t an enormous amount of articulate detail work, so this would be great.  Ha!  There it sits on my painting table.

 

Then, when I realized that this was not going to be something I wanted to work on at this point, I found the garden apron I made back in the fall.  This apron was humongous.  I thought a family of clowns would fit comfortably into my apron.  Garden apron

See, I told you it was ginormous!

I started altering the seams on the side to make it a better fit.  I worked on it for a couple of days.  Once I felt it was of a more appropriate size, I decided to tie-dye it.  I thought it would make a aesthetically more appealing appearance. my disclaimer… I have tie-dyed before very successfully.

shattered dreams splitting seams

 

OH LOrd!  Look what I did!

ruined!  RUINED!

all that work I put into this apron, and it’s “Ruined!”

( the tie-dye was a complete failure)

UGH!

So, I got this bright idea that I would find something to draw!  Draw, I can do that!  Well, I found another seascape, and I started working on it.  Ugh! barely started

I don’t know how this got so messy, but it did and then I got frustrated. I just really don’t know what I’m gonna do?

I guess I’m gonna go back to my studio tomorrow and I’m going to pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again!

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EFPJL1uQbs

 

 

Is life a bowl of cherries?

I woke up this morning with a migraine.  I do this from time to time…..  I took a couple of over the counter head ache pills, drank lots of coffee and the migraine became tolerable.  It’s been raining since last night, so I didn’t do much of anything but goof off all day hoping the headache would go away. It’s midnight and I’ve been unsuccessfully trying to go to sleep  I don’t know if you do this or not, but whenever I can’t sleep I start immediately thinking about the things that have been going on in my life lately.  You know, the things you want to forget, or at least not think about…. but then here I am rewriting all these scenario’s in my head over and over again. About three years ago I divorced my high school sweetheart after 32 years of marriage.  Don’t ask, it’s too much information to dissolve at midnight. Well, just a little, If I want to be honest, I must say that my marriage was not ever what you would consider “Happily ever after”, but we had our great moments.  Happy memories were made.  But toward the end, it was “Hell on Earth!”  Any hoot, after coming home last month and spending a lot of time discussing life with my father I have realized lately that I’m running men off.  Literally running them off!  I don’t seem to be able to stop myself.  I told my father today, that I think I’m just gun shy.  The initial interest is alluring, then if the male starts acting interested, I grow cold.  Like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde  Hell, they must think I’m off my rocker.  It probably makes them quite confused. After I took one of my prescription strength migrain pills earlier, I ended up having to eat something to keep my stomach from attacking me, so I started eating cherries.  Ranier cherries, are the best in the world.  I’m  sitting there eating one cherry right after the other and I realized something. You know that feeling that you get right about the time your finishing your last bite of that food that you love.  That sense of disappointment that it’s over. It’s that disappointment that I’m trying to avoid. It’s hard to admit, but I’m doing that very thing in my relationships.  I am afraid of the disappointment that “may never come”.  My mind can’t consider a relationship without an unhappy ending. Now, what to do?  I am screwing my life up!  Me, all by myself…..  What is that saying, figuring out what the problem is, is the first step to correcting the problem.  Step 1 is done, now on I go.

Friday morning….

I woke up at 5am this morning…. I don’t know if I woke up because I have a job interview this afternoon, or I woke up because I can’t breathe.  Or, maybe both….

I have been sitting here in bed drinking coffee for an hour, I can’t help but think of Mom, in th early hours all alone, that’s always the only thing on my mind. After my first cup of coffee I went back into the kitchen to get another and I looked across the den to the big red chair where Mom had her morning devotional…. Sometimes, it’s more than I can handle.

Mom was diagnosed with cancer over 3 years ago.  ( give or take a month).  She went into remission after a year of chemotherapy.  That alone spoiled me into thinking we were done with cancer.  Then it reappeared in her kidneys, and I thought, ” She beat it once, she will beat it again.” She was in pain this past Christmas, it just got worse.  ( but I keep thinking that everything is going to be ok)  My left brain knew that Mom’s body was failing, but my right brain was in such denial that it would not allow me to fulling understand.  I didn’t want to loose my Mom, I didn’t think I could live without her,  So, I immaturely “believed” that she was going to beat this thing.

My Mom’s mother, ( my Nan-Lu ) lived to be 99.  Mom’s grandmother, ( Momma Dorough) lived to be 111.  So, you can probably see why somewhere inside I would talk myself into believing she would be ok.  I just knew she had at least another 20 years with us.

I have come to believe that denial is a bitter enemy.  I understand that it doesn’t matter if someone goes suddenly or it takes a good long while.  The pain of a loved one dying is traumatically devistating.  I know and have talked to many that have lost their mothers in years past.  No matter how long ago it happened, they talk about the death painfully and sad.  I realize that I must get to a place where I can live with it tolerably, but maybe I will always have to live with the sadness.  I’m trying to figure out a way of making it a little more tolerable.

I have so many happy, wonderful memories.   Ha!  I have a lifetime of them.  Except for the years between 13 – 18 I had the most wonderful and loving relationship with my Mom.  I will focus on remembering the love, the compassion.  I will remember all the advice, all the prayers.  I will try to understand.  I did say “try”.184426_10200629146204342_1181309056_n

 

does she walk these halls?

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      I’ve recently moved home after my Mother’s passing to stay with Dad…. 

I have very mixed emotions about moving home, to this place I grew up.  So many memories and Mother a part of every one of them.  

I’m staying in my old room, the furniture isn’t the same, but I left my curtains up.  The curtains that Mom bought when she renovated my bedroom with a new canopy bed when I was twelve.  To say it doesn’t match my bedroom suite now is an understatement, but they will remain up.  My re done bedroom from my past was more than just a good memory, it is one of the best.  Every time I look at them, I remember how much Mom meant to me.  How much I miss her.  

Mom bought a cabin in the woods when I was beginning college, it has been “Nanny’s Cabin” ever since.  Dad and I have begun going up on weekends again.  I sit in the chair Mom sat in,  I use her computer, cook in her kitchen.  Remembering just how she liked everything, I procede through my day.  

Dad and I watched her favorite British comedy on PBS Saturday night.  I had to go to bed after it was over.  Almost couldn’t handle it.  

I learned the hard way a few years back how important it is to go through all these stages of grief.  I somehow got lost through my grief on another occasion in my past, and it almost cost me my sanity.  But, it is so hard.  I sometimes think that no more tears could possibly come, but then they do.  

I hear her voice, I feel her beside me.  I know that if God were willing, not only he could truly separate Mom & Dad, ever.  I have never met two people who were as in love.  They couldn’t bare to be apart.  The perfect couple!  I have sometimes wondered why I didn’t look for that kind of relationship when I was young.  Another lesson from the past, not to take love for granted.  I grew so use to two parents that adored each other, I didn’t realize others didn’t have the same thing.  

I will be strong, because that is what Mom would expect.  I will, for my own sake walk patiently through these stages of grief.  I will hold on to my sanity with my entire heart.  But, I will never quit missing Mom!  And, I will never believe that my Mother has gone completely.  I will never believe that she is never to be here again, that her spirit is not still among us.  

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Change is constant…

Mom0001You know how it goes….. just about the time you get real use to the way things are…. something changes.

You have to stop and rearrange your thoughts, your attitudes, your visions, dreams, wishes…..  home, possessions.

 In 2010 my Mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.  It was a very traumatic experience for us all.  I watched as my Mom courageously accepted her chemo as a way of life.  She held her head high,  smiling and being as lovely as she ever was, and she always was very lovely!  Once the diagnosis of remission occurred we all celebrated.  Every month that she went in to have her status checked, and they reported more remission, we were ecstatic!

These great reports continued for a good long while, then around November Mom started to complain about how bad she felt.  The bad feelings grew and by Christmas she was saying that she knew something bad was happening.  I just thought, that no, it couldn’t be…..  She had been given a clean bill of health…..

There must come a time in one’s life that they admit to themselves that they are too old for fairy tales.  Too old to not understand that life happens, times change.  Well, there should be that time, but it never happens until something else happens first.

After many different doctors visits, and many visits to the emergency room…. Mom & Dad were finally told that Mom had cancer cells in her kidneys.

How could this be?  There was great sadness.

I spent Spring break in Georgia with my parents.  It was obvious that Mom was not feeling well.  She wasn’t eating and I didn’t think Dad was either.  Everyone cried so hard when I left that I felt so guilty  going back to Tennessee, I thought hard about staying with my parents.

I guess I could be more detailed with dates and times, but I just can’t remember and after all in the final analysis, what does it really matter, I mean it happened!  What else matters!

My family in Georgia, me in Tennessee.  I had so many stories, from different people, different angles, different attitudes, hopes and realizations…. I wasn’t truly sure what to think.  I decided I must go home.  But, school would not be over for another month.  So, I told everyone that I would go home on June 1st for a time.  A time to spend with Mom, and help my sister and father.  ( Yes, I thought I had all the time in the world)

I got a call from my Dad the last week of April.  Mom was not benefiting from the chemo that she had taken twice after discovery of the cancer cells.  The doctor was discontinuing any further treatments.  She had been sent home.  The doctor told Dad and my sister that hospice had been called.

“Hospice!” “NO!”  OMG!

Needless to say, I went home to Georgia.  As, immediately as possible.

I got home on April 29th, Mom was sitting in her recliner with a blanket that I had given her from Christmas around her body.  My sister told me before I even left TN that she didn’t even look the same.

I walked over to Mother and knelt by her chair.  The very first thing she said, “Becky, I’m dying.”  I swallowed a sob, and said “I know,  Mom.” ” I Love You, so much!”  She said she loved me too.  I continued to stay with her for a time.  Then I went into the kitchen and made a grocery list and went to the store.  When I went to the end of Mom’s  chair, she said she was glad I was going to the store.  That is the last lucid conversation we had.

My Mom passed away on May 4th.

I guess even as an adult, I still could not accept the inevitability of my parents mortality.  I was the baby, did I mention that?  Mom referred to me to the end as her baby.  Well, when she talked to me she did.

The following Monday I went back to Tennessee.  I went to school the next day, and it wasn’t too hard to see that wasn’t going to work.  I luckily had enough vacation time left to take the last 3 weeks of school off.

At the onset of Mom’s kidney failure the one thing that I had discussed with Mom & Dad was the chance that I could come back to Georgia to be with them permanently.  I had said that I thought that would be a good idea, especially since I didn’t think that Dad was taking care of himself, even though he was taking very good care of Mom. There was just a part of me that never truly thought rationally about Mother dying, just kept telling myself that it would happen later.  After Mom’s passing, Dad asked me when I would come home to be with him.  I packed up and moved as soon as I could.   I don’t think I could live with myself if I didn’t.

As of July 1st, I am back in Georgia with Dad.  I will miss everything I left behind in Tennessee, my kids, my friends.  But, I am glad to be home with Dad.

I am working on setting up my studio downstairs, and as soon as that is done…. well, I’m gonna try to get back in the swing of being creative as creative as possible.  I am in a bit of a slump, but I think just the act of doing will get me back in the spirit to creative expression.

Mom has a plaque hanging in the kitchen.  It says, ” Life is what happens, while you are making other plans.”  It is true, the only constant in life is change.  And, that’s not always good changes.

disclaimer:    I am terribly sorry if there are typo’s or askew’d  grammar malfunctions.  I wrote this mainly as therapy and so I don’t want to have to read this again.  Forgive me!  And Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Becky