I feel like I've been MIA for forever!! It's been a crazy few months.
(I used the gelatin recipe found here)
My MIL's celebration of life party finally took place a couple of weekends ago. It was beautiful and just as she wanted it. The only hiccup was that my FIL was in the HOSPITAL with a bleeding ulcer. He is fine now.. I think it was just all of the stress. He was sorry to miss it but wanted it to go on as planned. It has been three months since she passed now. We have had the first Thanksgiving, the first Christmas and New Year, and her first birthday without her. Although we still miss her, she is always with us. A memory or a wink (more on that in a minute) away.
We remembered her leading up to her celebration by making bird seed cookies as favors for her "party". (She didn't want a traditional funeral.) Her first initial was D. So each cookie had a tag with a "d" on one side and one of these other stamps on the other side.
A. helped with the stamping of the cards.
It was a fun, crafty, therapeutic project for us, and we ended up being buried in birdseed for about a week and a half, as we needed to make over 120 and each batch only made about 12-14 (and needed to dry overnight). They turned out really cute though. I think we'll make some more just for fun to hang out in the spring. We made them on the red 1950's table that her parents bought new in 1951.. next to a special piece of yoyo patchwork that she had told us about for years.. how she used to make the circles with her mom and wanted us to have it. She had given it to us on one of the last occasions we saw her before she passed. So we felt her presence all around us.
But, as life has gone on, as often seems to happen after a death in the family, esp. with a large extended family, the passing of my MIL has been followed by a certain amount of drama re: outside opinions on various things. As a result of one such instance, we no longer have the yoyo patchwork pictured above as an extended family member felt they deserved it more than we did. :( But we move on..
And for 2015 I've decided to resurrect this button from my archives to place in the sidebar over there on the left.. it's a good motto..
.. and to remind myself this year to do my best to steer clear of being sucked into the dramas of others, although sometimes we have no warning ahead of time and don't see it coming until we're right in the middle of it.
However, the blinders are off in some respects and we will avoid it with all we have in 2015! (feel free to grab it and enjoy a drama free rest of the year with me!) :)
I know my MIL wouldn't want us to be upset for too long over the actions of others. The advice she gave, somewhat prophetically when she first found out she had cancer was that should/when hurtful moments/remarks occur in the future, just picture her smiling and winking.. so that's what we do as we move on.
We're all human after all, and I think that a certain amount of drama is probably common in most families when faced with grief. Esp. large families. Esp. when emotions are stressed and running high. Everyone handles grief differently. So we forgive, pick ourselves up, and carry on. However, I do think that we are all responsible for our own mental health, and if we need to, must establish boundaries.
Finally.. about the *winking*...
the other day, when I was feeling particularly blue and sad, I looked up and saw a little bird hovering up and down and in a circle against the glass of our sliding glass door, as though it was trying to look in or get inside. Just for a few moments, then it flitted off. It felt like a little *wink* from my MIL for sure.. We rarely see birds that small in our yard. And have NEVER seen one trying to look inside! ;) It was the strangest, sweetest thing with just the most perfect timing!! :)
This might seem like kind of a bummer post but really, it's not. Just processing what's been going on for the last couple of weeks, and the last few months. Life is hard sometimes. Just keepin' it real. I want every post to ooze happiness but I don't want to be "fake" happy. :) Life doesn't always ooze happiness. I pinned this on pinterest a long time ago, and just saw it again earlier. It's so fitting! Balance, for sure!
The last few months of 2014 exploded in our face,(the month after my MIL passed away, my FIL's only living brother passed away, and the weekend of his memorial, MY uncle-my dad's youngest brother passed away) and we are now just scraping it off and finding the new normal. There has hardly been a stitch sewn on my poor sewing machine since September! But the dark cloud is dissipating and I feel my mojo coming back! I did make these pin cushions this week.. plus a couple of four inch blocks for the tiny block quilt I had started in the summer.
More on those next time! :) And some other happy sewing/newsy things ahead in 2015!
Thanks for reading and hanging in there with me for the last few months! It's been a wild ride. Happy 2015! I can't wait to get sewing again..
I love this (I think I posted it before!).. it puts it all in perspective.
Look for the winks!