This time last year

This time last year, we were just about to the top of the highest roller coaster hill. The many months preceding had been the long drag to the top. Crazy outpatient surgery, major surgery, brief grace period, followed by monthly trips to Philadelphia for treatments, weekly blood tests, bad news, bad news, bad news. Click, click, click, click. Endured, adjusted to because to do otherwise would have seemed pessimistic.

Something of a last-ditch new treatment would start just after July 4. That was the very tippy-top of the hill. Who knew?

Who knew how fast the trip to the bottom would be? This time last year is vivid and a blur. Everything stands out. I don’t like to wear the clothes I wore last summer because they remind me of the hospital days.

We nursed optimism then to keep disbelief and panic at bay.  We were surrounded by love and support.

At some point realism surfaced and I had to imagine some part of the future just to somehow prepare myself. I am somewhere in the middle of how I thought this would be. It’s kind of a badness scale. I made a good run at all of it early on. I had some momentum.

The kiddo had a good and calm school year, active and engaged. We did it.

Only in the last few months have I kind of lost my creative energy and sense of direction, feeling that important part of me grinding to a halt.

I think that going through some creative motions will help.

It can’t hurt.

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34 Comments »

  1. Sally said

    Near as I can tell it doesn’t get better, but it does get less hard. You’ll find direction eventually, don’t push it; it will happen when you’re ready. You’re off to a good start with the denim, it looks terrific.

  2. Jo Major Ciolino said

    It’s absolutely normal. It’s the one-year flashback thingie and can really level you. Go easy. Be sweet to yourself, too. No pushing, no demands – just put it in neutral for a while – do what you love.

  3. Thinking of you guys all the time. Wish we were neighbors.xo

  4. marybeth megel said

    Bless you, bless you, bless you and your daughter. Sending wishes for a peaceful heart…….

  5. My heart is with you Amy.

  6. Tamie said

    Thinking of you and your daughter in my thoughts and prayers. There is really nothing else I can say. It’s a difficult journey. May it be a gentle one.

  7. Doris said

    Oh, Amy, this is such a beautiful post, though heart wrenching. Sending you hugs and prayers… Take care of yourselves.

  8. The first year is the hardest because everything reminds you of the year before. You are so strong and sweet–keep going, you’ll find your direction. My prayers are with you too.

  9. Thank you for your honesty. You are treading a journey none of us would wish on anyone. You are not alone. Your quilting family sends you our strength when yours is waning, our faith when yours is fading, our warmth when you need holding, our creative energy and enthusiasm when yours needs topping up. You’re doing great. Be kind to yourself. x

  10. Penny G said

    The pain is there to prompt us to think of the good times and maybe shed a tear or two.

  11. Anita said

    Big hugs, my friend! Sometimes it’s when the dust starts to settle that is the hardest. Keep stitching. Moving hands often sooth the heart. You are in my prayers.

  12. Teep said

    I have a vague recollection of that fireworks photo, I’m almost sure I’ve seen it before. I have a far more succinct memory of the hope captured along with it. Making plans for what we had to do now, to be able to do what we wanted to do next. Using the sharp edges of humor and sarcasm to out wit that “panic and disbelief.”

    I can imagine that “important part of you” may be asking you to take a moment, and reset, refresh, refocus. Take it, without worry or concern, you’ve earned that much and your skills and talents will not fade so quickly. True inspiration is a very fickle thing and when the world turns you upside down it’s no wonder that stuff falls out of your pockets, despite best efforts to hold onto everything.

    Consider turning the world on it’s own head this time around, shake it with vigor, stretch it to it’s limits and send it up with a roman candle… and those old summer clothes. Spy on it with your most critical eye and observe just how it looks from an equally disheveled perspective.

    In the least you may find it leads you back to those comforts of familiarity, a rediscovery of what you’re made up of… of what makes you tick. Then stitch together your future the best you know how.

    Thank you for sharing here and more, for affording me my own moment to stop and remember my dear friend.

  13. Susan said

    Beautiful, heartfelt sentiments. May your inner strength continue to carry you along on this journey. Lean on the strength of others who deeply care for you, even if it is just a mental hug, the hugs and support are always around you. Dan would be so pleased about how you have continued to live and how you continue to make positive decisions aout your future and Anabels future. Take joy in the small creative accomplishments, the big accomplishments will follow along in due time.

  14. Sherrill said

    I’m sorta where you are though my DH has not yet departed. Most of him is gone now–he can’t speak, he’s bedridden and I am here to care for him. He was diagnosed with brain cancer end of July last year and is nearing the end of his journey. I was reminiscing just the other day about where we were last July..in Colorado without a clue that a tumor was growing in his brain. Incredible how different life can be in such a short period of time!! I cry to him about the loss of interaction, the palpable love he had for me, adventures we’ll never be able to experience now. Very, very hard. Prayers for you & your daughter.

    • BJ said

      Oh, Sherrill…and Amy…and others who have responded…hugs to you. I hear the pain only because I’m in the thick of it myself. Every holiday, even the 13th of every month, serves as a reminder of what happened just a short year ago. I know time is my ally, but the journey is truly painful.

  15. AnnieO said

    These painful memories must be so difficult to endure, each one as it hits you, and you relive the awful journey and it’s devastating conclusion. I do hope that some creativity will help you pass through them and that time will lessen the raw feeling of loss that is with you daily, bit by bit. There is no timetable for this train you are on with your beautiful girl. Know that lots of hearts are feeling for you along the way, including mine.

  16. Mary ann said

    Just know we are thinking of you and your daughter, keep on moving with such grace and love. You will find your way.

  17. susana said

    Es usted muy fuerte, si llego usted a este momento es porque indudablemente lo es.Me gusta que sea usted tan sincera ,compartir también me hace aprender a mi que la leo.Usted esta rodeada de amor.Tarde o temprano ya vera usted lo que necesita.Mis cariños siempre.

  18. Carla said

    Dear Amy, I think of you often and wonder how you are doing. It is good to share your heart sometimes, I think. Part of the healing. You are making it! Keep camping on your blessings.

  19. Susannah said

    What a moving post… I have no words but send you both lots of long distance hugs. You will find your new self… xox

  20. Nedra said

    My heart and prayers continue with you Amy. you is kind. you is smart. you is important :)

  21. Cathy said

    I love you Amy. xo

    • Kelly said

      Your post moved me to tears. I takes as long as it takes.

  22. Jo said

    Big hugs from Rainy Devon. Sat watching the tennis, eating home made lemon drizzle. Thinking of you, Jo x

  23. Lynette said

    Bless you and your daughter, Amy, as well as Sherrill, BJ, and everyone else going through this trauma. Amy, the denim pieces look terrific. I love the colored threads handstitched around the shredded part. How did you do that?

  24. Pamela said

    Thank you for sharing your journey. Grieving is a process that takes a long time and has many twists and turns. The first year is certainly the hardest but things do gradually get easier. Be gentle with yourself.

  25. Healing was never a quick or easy process, and never has an exact recipe, but I wish you the best with your journey through it.

    The denim is great. I love the transition it makes from clothing to quilt, how the holes that made a pair of jeans less useful as such, makes a quilt more artful and beautiful.

  26. karen said

    I echo the sentiments of all others and quite simply, you amaze me really, beautiful and heartfelt but likely a hard post. I cannot wait to see your project.

  27. Sharon said

    There is no handbook on grieving. I think someone said, it doesn’t get better, but it does get easier. I believe it does get better, i’m on year 5 on my own, there are still lots of memories, things that will trigger thoughts, but it’s a journey, each of us takes it in our own way and the year of firsts was very difficult for me. Big hugs to you for sharing your journey, you’ve got a great start with the denims. As for your earlier post about thank you, that is enough.

  28. Jean C. said

    Just know that you have many who love you and have you and your sweet family in our prayers. Service to others can help some…

  29. Vicki H. said

    Creative motions, good way to put it. I did the same after I had cancer. I don’t like those projects much that I made during that time, but they were quite therapeutic for me. BUT it has been 4 years and I just finished those quilts. I was going to throw them out. I dislike everything that reminds me of that time but I decided to keep them as they are a part of my healing. I wish that sorrow was an easier thing to process, keep looking forward beacuase the burden gradually gets a bit lighter.

  30. Sally said

    I’ve reread your post several times now. It’s an almost impossible journey at times, but there’s no way around it. I lost my dad many, many years ago now when I was 10 and wish I had known other kids then who went through that. But the best thing my mom did was to keep my dad part of our lives by talking about him and sharing how much she missed him too. I wish both you and your daughter love, peace and healing.

  31. Jean C. said

    Checked out your blog to see if/when you might be back…. we miss you!
    Dwell on the memories and make sure and make lots more with your daughter!

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