I've been absent from my blog, with the exception of photos for some time now.
It isn't that I haven't wanted to write, in fact, I desperately needed to put thoughts on a page, but I just couldn't. I'd sit down at the keyboard and I'd just choke. So I would write lists. Things I needed to do that I could check off on any given day as proof that I had, in fact, accomplished something. Dishes, laundry, homeschool stuff, errands, minutia. It wasn't much but it was something.
I am not a big thinker and I'm not a great writer but I do feel things, deeply. And the things I was feeling were just too big to narrow down to a single focus, a coherent narrative, because it was chaos in my head and tumult in my heart. Even now I hesitate to write and I've edited this for hours, not wanting to cause grief to the family I know will be reading this. But in the end, the grief will be there and I believe that memories help, because we were and remain in it together. I love you all so very, very much.
In September, we lost my beloved sister-in-law to cancer. It was a long, grueling, ugly battle but she was and remained one of the most beautiful women I've ever known. Jenna's 12th birthday passed in the midst of her final days.
I made a video of her with her birthday doughnut and Rowan and I singing "Happy Birthday" and we sent it up via YouTube to include our family in as best we were able. They called on speaker phone and Becky's voice could be heard, "Happy Birthday Jenna, I love you". Those were the last words the girls and I were to hear her speak.
In the following days, she went home both literally and figuratively and we were left to deal without her and do all the things that must be done. We were together and people were amazing but the pain in our hearts was immense, overwhelming at times and utterly earth shattering at others. And then we came home and life went on and we slowly passed many of the "firsts" one marks when someone you love is gone. Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays and now it's Spring, her favorite time of the year. The time when she would have been at her job at Old Sturbridge Village working on the gardens she loved so much. And I miss her.
Our men and the kids held down the home front for each of us. I've really no words at all for how much I love my family and how proud I am to be part of it.
As of now, she still has pleurisy and is weaker than a kitten, but as far as anyone can tell, she is out of danger. Thank God. And she has been out, a little bit here and there, working in her beloved gardens again.
I am carrying on. Maybe now, with the big things out, I can write about the little things again. There are upcoming birthdays and family gatherings, big events and small ones we are looking forward to in the coming months. Perhaps I can write again, sharing those small moments that together make up my life and make it blessed beyond reason.
“A bolt of warmth, fierce with joy and pride and gratitude, flashed through me like sudden lightning. I don’t care about whose DNA has recombined with whose. When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching—they are your family. And they were my heroes.” ― Jim Butcher