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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Things in My Heart.

journal
I write.  

I have always written, journaling my days from the age of about 12, upon receiving my very first diary. It was lovely, with a red faux leather cover complete with little heart shaped padlock.

“This is where you put your thoughts.”  I was told.  “This is where you can keep your secrets safe.”

“This is your life story.”

And mostly, I wrote about cute boys, and teachers I didn’t like, and teachers I did, and how awkward it was to be a 12 year old girl who had reached the height of 5’9”, wore glasses and braces on her teeth and wanted what every other gawky teenage girl wanted at that age. To have a best friend, to be included with groups of other kids, to not be singled out for being odd or weird or different.

And that pair of navy blue leather wedge shoes – I wanted those more than anything.

And I journaled it all.

And here I am 40+ years later, doing the same thing.  This blog is my journal, and to take time off from writing, it doesn’t happen often.  But over the past two days I’ve done a lot of heart searching.

First of all, I want to thank everyone for the kind thoughts and prayers and condolences.  Andy was a wonderful young man, and because my aunt and I are so close in age,  he was right in the same age group as my sons, so more THEIR cousin than mine.  They are devastated.  The last time we were together as a big extended family was the family reunion we had in Idaho about 4 years ago.  There have been many remembrances going back and forth of those white water rafting trips and how much fun they had.  Crazy antics from these boys who loved being together.  Andy will be sorely missed, and yet these memories will always have him smiling and laughing and living life to the fullest.

My own thoughts have been up and down.  So many folks  saying “Sorry for your loss….” and my heart felt guilty that these condolences were coming to ME..because the loss belongs mostly to immediate family.  Andy’s parents, Joy & Scott who I love so dearly.  And to Andy’s sister, Bethany who is heartbroken at the loss of her best friend – her little brother.  Over the past 48 hours I’ve wanted to take all of these mis-directed condolences and send them where they belonged, but I realize that it IS my loss as well.

And until I recognize that and feel it and accept that it is not only Joy and Scott and Bethany’s loss – that as an extended family, all of us together have had this blow, I can’t get past it.

I have buried a child, but I can’t imagine having to bury either of my sons.  And I know that the death of an infant is different in many ways from the death of a grown son, but it has brought to me just how fragile life is and that we do not have each other forever in this life.  Accidents happen and it is almost more devastating than any disease because there is NO CLOSURE.

I’ve been talking to Andy in my head for two days.  And the photos and messages that are coming through Facebook as everyone posts their memories and condolences both on his page, on Bethany’s page and on Joy’s page are why I just had to take a break.

Arrangements have been made.  The memorial service is October 1st.  I’ll be leaving on our Quiltville Caribbean Cruise that day, I’m actually flying to Fort Lauderdale next Friday.  I was unsure what to do, but through talking with family, and knowing Andy, he would tell me to GO ON THE CRUISE!  So I’m going.  Of course the cruise must go on.  And it will begin to heal my heart.

My mom was worried about the airfare getting her from Boise to Minneapolis on short notice and so I offered up to get her a ticket with my air miles so that we “BOTH” can be there. She will go for the both of us and I took care of the ticket.  It was a small thing, but it makes me feel better that I was able to do something that mattered.

Sometimes taking care of the things we CAN take care of and focusing on one thing at a time that you CAN do is a way to work life back to normalcy.

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There has been time for this.

Sadie and I have taken some long walks.  I enjoy the sounds of nature, the breeze through the trees, the crunch of last year’s leaves underfoot.  And I can think.  And sort out.  And refocus.

All I want to do is wrap my arms around my aunt Joy and let her know how much I love her.  I’ll plan a trip when everything has calmed down.  I know the hard part for the family will come when everything has settled and life supposedly goes back to normal.  Or the new normal.  I know that birthdays will be hard.  Anniversaries of death dates are also hard.  It’s been 34 years and believe me, it doesn’t go away.  You don’t forget.  We can be a support system when these dates come around.  I will not forget.

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Binding meditation.

Sewing helps.  The repetitive motion of needle pulling thread through fabric.  One stitch at a time, working my way slowly from corner to corner, quiet with my thoughts.  So many hopes and prayers and tears poured out into this binding.

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Color in this photo isn’t great, but the morning light was lovely.

Sunshine and the hope of a new day.

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If only these scraps could talk.

What a story they would tell of every day life and all it comes with, good and bad.

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And the back, with a stripe of “something else” because there just wasn’t enough of that floral.

Sadie and I will head down the mountain today.  And hopefully find GAS in North Carolina.  I didn’t even hear of the gas shortage situation until last night, as the news and everything as been kept off.

I had stopped at my normal half-way point on the way up here on Saturday to find all of the pumps at the Sheetz station closed.  I thought it was an isolated incident.  Having enough gas in the van to get me to the cabin, I had told myself that I would just fill up on my way home.

Now I’m hoping I can find a station that HAS gas as I have less than 1/4 tank.  There are a couple of gas cans in the shed for the motorcycle and four-wheelers so I may be topping off with that just to make sure I get home with enough gas to get me there.

By Sunday this better be cleared up because I’m on a driving trip to Delaware.

I know this was wordy.  I feel better for having written it.  It’s always sounded so glib to me to say things like “Life goes on.”  But the truth is, it does.  And it will continue to, whether we decide to join in on it, or hole ourselves away, removing ourselves from it.

9_21_2016

Quiltville Quote of the Day.

Vintage Star Quilt found in Texas.

Today I am looking for the good in the world and finding happiness in little things.

Gas shortage or no gas shortage.


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55 comments:

Andee said...

One foot in front of the other. One decision at a time. You got this. Life should not be so hard. Thinking of you and your family, hugs Bonnie.

Quilter Kathy said...

You are a beautiful writer Bonnie... well said.
Love the tumblers! And the binding stitches do "hold it all together"... both our hearts and our quilts!
Hugs

Lori said...

Sunshine and the hope of a new day. XOXO

Sheila Otte said...

Celebrating Andy's life... the wonderful, happy person he was. Thinking of you and your family.

Kathy Biggs said...

Hugs. Just hugs, that's all because no words are adequate.

Miss Carol said...

This has to be one of your most beautiful posts. I lost a brother in law on April and as sad as it is, life does go on and I believe they who have passed would want us to move on. We will always remember them and the good times shared. Love and peaceful healing to you and your family. ❤️

TheEclecticAbuela said...

You are right--sometimes taking care of what we can do in the midst of what feels chaotic and out-of-our-hands is the best thing we can do both for ourselves and for others. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Rosa Taylor said...

Thank you for sharing your feelings. I am sorry for your loss, and it is a loss to you and your immediate family. My condolences also to your aunt and her family as they begin this very hard journey without their son. I cannot imagine the pain this must bring. Prayers for peace and understanding for all of you

Brigitte said...

What a lovely written page to your "journal".You are right...life goes on ,but memories will never be forgotten...I lost both parents and a younger brother and remember them always.,even little things..like how my Mom used to fold dishtowels..I fold them the same...Take care and healing thoughts for your family..xxxx

Deanna W said...

With tears brimming on my eyes...your words are well written and from the heart.May postitive and good things find you today and a gas pump that is open and full!

When you think you have gotten to the end of your rope, tie a knot, hang on and swing for the sky!
Sending a hug.

Janice said...

Life does go on. I've buried two brothers, a mom and a dad. All my Aunts and Uncles. I have three cousins left. My sister has divorced me but speaks to me when she wants something and everyone else has gone on to the next great adventure. I am a believer in 'there is something beyond this life' and I know any one of the family that has passed is with me whenever I need their love and support. You talk to Andy in your head or out loud and he hears every word. He aches that you ache but he would tell you if he could find a way, that there is a 'next great adventure' and he is looking forward to it. Much love I send to you, Bonnie, as you find solace for the ache in your heart. I love all the words of wisdom you post with a background of lovely quilt. I want you to know there have been many days this year that the very quote you put up was the one that saw me through something very hard. Thank you.

tnquiltz said...

So sorry for your loss & that of your Aunt & Uncle & entire family. Reading today's post was difficult but I'm sure it was more difficult to write it. You did a great job! Y'all will heal; it'll just take some time. Hugs to you Bonnie! (I haven't been out yet today, but both yesterday & Monday, in my part of Tennessee, most gas stations were out of gas -- completely! I'm not taking any unnecessary trips in hopes my 1/2 tank will last till the end of this week when they claim things may get better. Fingers crossed!)

Valerie said...

Bonnie, {{{{{ HUGS }}}}}.

Sharyn Mallow Woerz said...

Hey, I got that same diary...and also have been writing ever since. I love my morning blog time. Your friend in MacTel :) Sharyn in Kalama

Elaine/Muddling Through said...

Bonnie, that's just all you can do - keep on looking for the good, and keep on pointing it out to others. We are all so blessed, even in the midst of bad things happening - and those happen to everyone. The only thing we can control in the whole situation is our attitude. I comment you on yours! Hugs and love,Elaine

Virginia Erickson said...

Hugs to you and your family.

Diana said...

Thoughts and prayers headed your way, be like a turtle slow and steady.

Mary said...

Yep, birthdays. Anniversaroes, and Remembrance days sre all hard. Remembering means they touched our lives. So nice you could get your mom to the Memorial. Your flight miles are a good thing. Welcome back. I had a diary with a heart key. I had some of those same
thoughts growing up. Glad to not worry about the awkward times anymore. My Blog is my Journal too. Praying for your family.

Andresa Strahm said...

Yes, life does go on. Not in exactly the same way, but it does go on. Cry and mourn for the hole left in your life but also smile and laugh at the good memories you can bring to the forefront.

Stephie said...

Such a heartfelt post Bonnie. Enjoy your walks and take care to heal yourself too.

Mary Kupcho said...

Well some good news for you, the temp gas line is up and running so gas should flow again shortly. I bought gas here in Georgia just before they found the broken pipe and I guess it was good timing. Safe travels to Delaware :)

barbaradougherty126 said...

One day at a time! Prayers for ALL of you. *hugs*

stitchinpenny said...

No one would offer condolences to you if you were not hurting. Joy does need condolences, but she may not be ready to hear them. I had a friend who lost her daughter unexpectedly and she didn't want people to comfort her until she could accept her loss. I called within an hour of her daughter's death and we talked, but until a week later we didn't really share anything of consequence. You have pain and sorrow and want support and to know that Andy's life was important and that everyone recognizes the loss. It is almost good that the gas crisis is a little distracting and will keep you thinking and planning for the Delaware trip.

Andy was important, his life mattered, you should feel loss and you should do all you can to share your love if not your presence with his parents and sister and your mom. He would want you to celebrate the good in his life not the bad of his death.

Jacqueline said...

Amen.

jo said...

Bless your beautiful big heart Bonnie...As you write you also heal not just yourself but others too...You are an inspiration not just to quilters but everyone who crosses your path. Through your writing I feel I know you as a best friend, I suffer badly with anxiety so don't go out yet I chat on about you as if we have just drank tea together. I'm so grateful to you for sharing your ups and downs also for being willing to be vulnerable this shows how genuine and beautiful you are inside and out....wrapping you in warm love Bonnie <3

Kimberly Duncan said...

I know most of your hurt us because of your families hurt. You want to fix it & take the pain away. That's how I feel when things happen & doing anything, anything at all to feel like your helping helps you to feel like you're helping them & it helps you heal. I know it sounds glib or flippant to say time heals but right now you're in shock and it gets a little less raw. He sounds like a lovely boy/man & you have many great memories of him to enjoy. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your whole family.

carole hill said...

Bonnie, hugs for you and your family at this difficult time. Thank you for all you've written concerning Andy, I've lost 3 people since June, and my heart is trying to heal also, your blogs and quilt cams, and my quilting efforts, have helped me through, and my heart will, heal, and all the memories will be be there when I want them to be, as it will with you, God is holding your family in his hands, and is there to help with the healing process, sincerely, Carole Hill, Las Vegas, Nv.

Suzanne Shearon said...

Bonnie, after your initial post about the motorcycle accident, I recalled two things. First, that you are from the Minneapolis area and second, that a terrible motorcycle accident with a fatality was on the news the other night. The victim's first name was Andy. I was pretty sure that this was the accident. With today's post about getting your mom to Minneapolis, I see that I was right.

I'm thinking of you so much these days. The loss of Andy affects the WHOLE family. You have permission to grieve and pine for him. Your memories are a great gift! Cherish them! I know you will. Your visit to Joy will mean so much more to her after the flurry of immediate activity has passed. Make that flight reservation and come see her when your schedule allows. I like to send my sympathy cards near the one-year anniversary of a person's loved one's death. You would be surprised how often I hear, "I was able to enjoy your card and letter so much more because I didn't get it in the heat of the moment." Expressing sorrow around grief is always appropriate. There is no timeline, in my humble opinion. Love and prayers to you and your extended family, Suzanne in Lino Lakes, MN

Kim said...

I was wondering if he was close to your boys age, thank goodness you all went to that reunion and had a great time together, that is why we have reunions......we don't know who will not be at the next one. He is gone from this earth but never from you and your families hearts. Sending your Mom is a blessing for you both. Prayers for you all.

Tracey Holzer said...

I am sending you a hug from up here in Saskatchewan. Take care.

SallyB said...

You and your Family are in our prayers.

QueenB said...

Bonnie, thankyou for sharing your thoughts with us, Take care of yourself and enjoy the nature & the precious times with family.

Myrna said...

Beautifully said! Life does go on and we do find that "new normal" after the loss of a loved one. It can be really hard to move forward, but it's also a tribute to that person to go on, one day at a time, and share the story of their life with others.

I hope you make it home safe and sound and with gas to spare!

Corina Barker said...

I wanted to give you confort with my thoughts but after reading your post I see that you already started the process of healing. Pray and pray more to feel peace. We love you.

Julie Vernon said...

HUGS BONNIE - your blog post is beautiful, and very timely.

Please let go on the cruise...smile and laugh with others, drink in the beauty around you and know...Andy is at peace. Believing in The Lord Almighty, as I do, it brings solace to realize there will be a reunion.

Truly, honestly Bonnie - All is well, I promise you it is.

Quiltie Hugs
JulieinTN

MissPat said...

There are many out here who understand your pain and grief. My brother-in-law passed suddenly three weeks ago. He was in remission from leukemia, but other health issues got in the way. I made him a 'Scrappy Mountain Majesties' quilt when he was in treatment and he loved it and showed it off whenever he could. We all need to slow down a bit, live in the moment, and appreciate what we have. Please take care.

cathy dale said...

Love and hugs to you. 🙏❤️

Linda said...

Beautiful post...You have given your family comfort with these words...Hugs and prayers...

TrulyBlessed said...

Bonnie, you are a dear friend and I know you are devastated. This is a crushing blow to your entire family. Your aunts and uncles, your mom and dad, the cousins. I pray for all of you. May God give you all courage and grace at this terrible time. May God put his hand on you all and give you some peace. I will be praying for your entire family for a long time while you begin to heal. We love you and yours, Rick and Debi Winchester.

merna said...

It helps to do a project in honor of your lost loved one, especially something that they would have liked to do or were working on but weren't able to complete before they passed on. I do this on their birthdays and at Christmas at a cost of what I would have spent on their gift.
It personally helps me to think of them as having moved to a place that has no mail service or telephone but knowing they are still there and after a time I will move there too and we will be together again, we just can't communicate at the moment.

Brenda Yankoski said...

At times like this, we all remember our "similar" life trials and heartaches...I think we all have baggage. I won't share mine, but, trust that I have sadness that I believed I could never get over...and worried more that family members could not overcome...and yet, here we are. Life does go on. This is true. "This too, shall pass" takes on a new meaning. There will be a new normal...not a forgetting, but, a getting past it...and remember all the good. Hug your family harder. Say I love you, often. I send my love to all of you. And, I read your "journaling" with a warm heart, you are so thoughtful, and helped me. Thank you.

nancy hutchison said...

So sorry.
There is SOME gas in the Atlanta area as of yesterday, so I'm sure it will be available in NC too.

Rinachiyya said...

You are a beautiful person Bonnie inside and out. There are no words to comfort you deep down. We go on and try to make this world better . You have such a beautiful heart. I look forward every day for your blog. So glad to read you was able to help your mom. Keeping you and family in my prayers.
Your tumblers quilt is beautiful. I just finished my top but it is much smaller.
G-D bless you and your family!
Shalom, Yoka Bazilewich

momto1 said...

My sympathies to you and your extended family. I cannot imagine being able to function after the loss of a child. Maybe it helps knowing that others are thinking about you and care about you.

Carole S.

Kathleen Wilson said...

Keep writing Bonnie, it opens the soul for God and peace to reside. May the Lord give you and your family the comfort of His everlasting love.

Patricia Bennett said...

Your days may have dark clouds hanging over them for now, But you are the bright spot in our lives Bonnie. Your words and thoughts give hope and faith to all of us. There will be a better tomorrow. Those we love will always be in our hearts.
God be with you as your start a new day and new phase of your wonderful life. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Loretta M. said...

Oh Boonie,

I mourn for your family's loss and the sadness and pain you all are feeling. Your love for each other is all you can rely on and it is so much yet so little.

Our family celebrates birth anniversaries for loved ones who have left us. Mom passed 16 years ago and we still have a Birthday Tea for her every year. We have all the cakes and snacks she loved, and laugh at the stories we have of her capers raising 15 children.

We miss her like it was yesterday, but somehow being together at a family party which she loved, makes it a bit easier.

I pray you can feel God's loving arms around you to bring you a bit of peace.

You all are loved and cared for. You are in my prayers.

Loretta McGinn
missmac831@aol.com

Joronda Crow said...

So sorry for your family's loss. It has been 22 years since I lost my son and you are correct you never forget and support is needed when all clams down and the new "norm" set in for those closes to the person gone on.

Pat Hanna said...

So sorry for this tragic loss to your family. God bless all of you.

Vic in NH said...

Keep healing, I'm sending hugs!

QuiltGranma said...

Thank you for sharing. I'm so sorry for the families loss. I know that a good walk in the woods, or many good walks in the woods is very helpful to healing in God's other book, His creation. And hugging and loving on a pet. They always seem to understand. When my father knew he was finally dying he told my sister, Bring me daisies, I'm going to be pushing up daisies! We were on the coast, so I went out and gathered "skipping stones"... small flatish, roundish, stones. Washed them and with acrylic craft outdoor paint, I painted daisies. When he was in his urn and put in the ground we each gently tossed one into the hole with him. There were some left over, and we put one on his mother's headstone, next to where he was put... and on my mothers and her parents where she had been put. Daddy's wife was glad to have a solution to the problem of putting daisies on his grave. He was 90 when he died seven years ago, Mother had been 48, at a time when I was 20, many decades ago. As you say, we still miss them. Love and prayers to you and yours at this time of loss.

Hedy Hahn said...

Its ok to be sad now. I have lost brothers at young ages and I still miss them so many years later. My husband passed away way too young also. Its ok to grieve and be sad, we have lovely memories of the good times. Death is a part of life.

Tina said...

Bonnie, your message was so eloquent. I am saving this post in a special folder to reread when I'm overwhelmed with thoughts of those who are no longer with me. Thank you for your words!

My immediate family and I always lived too far away from family for spur-of-the-moment visits, most of the reunions and some of the funerals. So I understand how hard it is for you to miss the comfort of your family at this time. Thoughts and prayers to you and all of your family and friends hurting from Andy's loss.

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Alice Cooksey said...

Sending you a virtual hug, Bonnie. May God bless you and keep you. Love from Texas