Many have reached out to ask where I am, if I am coming back....
I know lots of time has passed, but it really doesn't feel like it.
Here is a timeline of what my life has been like since my last video in April of 2021.
April 2021, my father in law got diagnosed with cancer. This was in the peak of Covid-19 in our part of the world and there was immense restrictions in place. This diagnosis came as a surprise and was very unexpected. This cancer hit hard and fast. I spent 3 weeks in a major city near where we live, to be his support person. During Covid-19 our hospitals did not allow people to switch out support people. You were allowed 1 family member and that was it. Once he was healed from spine surgery and it was determined that no further treatments would increase quality of life, he was transferred back to our small local hospital for about a months time. At this point, his status changed to palliative. Even in our small local hospital, visits were limited to only 2 people. Everyone else had to stand outside of the hospital (he had a room with a window, and was on ground level) and phone him and talk to him through the hospital window. This didn't work for us. Our family is large and very close. We decided to take on the challenge of bringing him home to spend his last weeks with his wife and his children and his grandchildren. This was what we needed to do, and what Covid wasn't going to rob from us. It was a very intense undertaking. It was a very difficult thing to navigate. The medication was extensive. The care was extensive. It was 4 hours of sleep a night, it was navigating your own emotions and the emotions of others. It was trying to balance work, commitments, our children and their needs. In July of 2021 he passed away at home, with all of us present.
In the fall of 2021 I geared back up to return to YouTube and start blogging again. I needed to "get back to normal" and get back on track. Get back to my happy place.
That did not last long.
In October I found out that one of my best friends, was battling cancer again. She got diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2020. Had surgery in December of 2020 and was at a "no evidence of disease" stage for about 6 months. In fact, in July while I was dealing with the loss of my father-in-law she was helping and supporting me. That same July, she found out her cancer came back, and she was in for another battle.
In October she started treatments again. Things did not go smoothly the second time. She was having reactions to chemo. There was delays in her treatment. She was put on a trial that came too late. She is a single mom to an only child. A 15-year old daughter. In late December 2021, she reached out to her core group of friends and said " I need help". She was holding on to her job as an Office Manager. She was raising her daughter on her own. She had a house and yard to take care of. She no longer could manage her illness, her responsibilities of being a provider and mother on her own. We, like any friends would do....were by her side. For her appointments, to help with her daughter, to help with her housework, help with her medications, be her support, help her with her office work. In May, 2022 she passed away.
I have been incredibly blessed to have all of you. You are all an amazing group of people. I have had so many people reach out to ask how our family is doing, if I am okay, when I will be back. Such overwhelming positivity and empathy.
I want to be back. I have a loyalty to all of you. I like the connection I have with all of you and I want that back.
But I know I am not ready. Its been a year of loss and hardship. I know others have gone through this, and others have went through way worse than I have. I am not using it as an excuse. Scrapbooking for me, is like journalling. Its an artistic, visual journal. A reflection of memories and how you interpret them and want to represent them. When I think about the state of mind I am in right now. I am not reflective. I am still grieving, still processing, still "feeling it". I need to be past this before I start this again.
This was an explanation of what the last year of my life has been like....but here is whats to come...
I am a mom to 3 kiddos. You all know that. My children will be going into Grade 12, 10 and 8. I am very very close to my children. Our family unit is very strong. I feel like not many parents talk about the emotions involved with a graduating child. Especially your first one. Maybe its because I am coming off a year of losing people, but I am struggling with my oldest graduating. I am already starting this timeline of "lasts". Last school registration. Last football season. I feel like this is my year of saying goodbye to his childhood. I am so incredibly excited for his future. He plans to go to university and study Veterinary Medicine. What more could a parent ever ask for. But right now it feels like I need to prepare for another goodbye. A goodbye to what was. A goodbye to his childhood.
Ugh, back to scrapbooking. I am very sorry for my absence. I am intending to come back. But I need to be me again before I do. I need to have the perspective and energy and be in the right head space to do that. At the beginning, it will likely look different that it was. I might just come back with some blog posts, before I start YouTube again. I do have new cutting guides already started and made, they just need proofing and some graphic design work done. Which is mindless work and I might take that on soon. My next time-sensitive project is my sons graduation album. My grad albums are always digital scrapbooks because we make multiple copies of them for grandparents, aunties and uncles, etc. I like to incorporate the concept of the cutting guides into my digital scrapbooks. They will look very similar in design to what I currently do for traditional scrapbooking. I will try and blog the progress of working on my sons graduation album.
I hope to connect with you all very soon
* I know what its like to struggle and have had mountains of support. If anyone ever needs to talk...just someone to listen...don't be scared to reach out. I am always just a quick email away.....
Simple Cut Creations