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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Leaving Phoenix

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I’ve been thinking since yesterday morning how I was going to write this post.

Flipping through the random photos I’ve taken by phone, and deciding that each photo has it’s own story, and that if I just let the photos do the talking for me, to give me the prompt, the words will come.

This leaving is the hardest leaving I’ve ever had to do in my life to date.

We are trying so hard to concentrate on the joys, the positives, the wondrous, the silly, the good times.

“When life gets tough, and you feel like you have reached the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on…”

And we’ve found that if we tie our ropes together, we can also help each other hold on, and catch those that seem to be slipping due to grief and sadness, and help hold on for them.



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So happy to have even a couple of hours with my sister Joy before she had to leave.

Siblings and spouses have been slightly over-lapping arrivals and departures so there is always someone there to help Mark & Sharolyn, and we get to hug and love and hold each other up as well…Joy and her hubby Mark left a couple hours after I arrived – needing to get back to their kids as the school year is starting.

It is crazy busy in everyone’s life – and we just do what we can and understand that life doesn’t just STOP.  We have to work with and accept the variables.

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Niece time before Ashley heads to School.

She is a Sophomore this year – driver’s license is 2 months away!  OH BOY!

At this time I am still living without a suitcase – they sent it home to Greensboro instead of to Phoenix.  I told Greensboro to hold it for me, I’d pick it up last night when I arrived home.

Did they listen?  NO!  As of last night, my bag is in Phoenix.

The even stupider thing – had they called me to let me know (They had my number and were supposed to!) I could have picked up when I got to the airport yesterday and rechecked it through myself.  BUt no – it’s lost in the system.  It is supposed to be here today.  I leave for Pennsylvania tomorrow.  This is just asinine.  And another story all together.

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Phoenix from the rental car parking lot.

Things that kept us laughing – and good for the soul.  My dad arrives at the airport to pick me up at baggage claim (where I find I have no bag) and lets me know that we need to get a rental car because the a/c on his has gone out and it is 108 outside.  No problem!  Off to get a car we go.  We dropped his off at the car fix it place on our way back to his house, we have my car to see us through the next 4 days -

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My early morning walks allow me time to think, reflect, cry, and work toward acceptance.

I was out about 6am every morning – mostly because I was already awake very early due to time change issues.  It’s an 8 hour difference between London and Phoenix.  I’ve been totally upside down so sleep patterns have been crazy as well.  I love this photo – it’s monsoon season in Arizona – take a look at that sky.

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I sew when I can in the wee small hours -
Trying not to wake anyone else up.

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Another morning walk, reflecting the silos – a Gilbert AZ icon.

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And another walk.

Life is such a delicate balance. I just loved watching this bird take flight with such grace, almost no effort, no worry. It just spread its wings and soared.

Maybe when we leave this life, we do the same thing – our spirit just rises from this earthly existence and just soars away.

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Niece girly girl time, and pedicures!

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There is more than one way to get your homework done!

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Can you tell we are related by our toes?

I felt the girls needed a break.  A bit of pampering.  Some girl time.  I love these girls so much!

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I wonder what he is dreaming while he sleeps.

May his dreams be filled with all of our times together, our shared memories of our growing up years – we talked of many of them while we were together.

His voice is barely a whisper now, I put my ear to his mouth to capture and save every word he sends my way.

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Mark, you are so much more than my brother -

You were my first best friend.

We share the same DNA – you will always be running through my veins, as long as I live. There is so much left to say.  It was so very hard to leave.

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Saying goodbye for what might be the last time in this life is so very hard, no matter what your belief or faith system is. The longing for more time, more hugs, more smiles, more memories is universal to all.

I will be back in 3 weeks and yet so much can happen in that span of time it already feels like an eternity.

Watching my elderly parents (though they would deny that they are at that stage yet!) go through the process of losing their very vibrant son is excruciating.


I fight feelings in waves, minute by minute, hour by hour.

Helplessness is replaced by hope rushing in. Fear of loss replaced by moments of love and joy and deep connection. Regret replaced by the knowledge that love and forgiveness and acceptance are what we all need as human beings to bind so many wounds.

"Thank you for coming. I love you so much. " he softly whispers into my ear, the loudest he can muster.

Tucking him in to say goodnight I whisper back, "Sleep sweet little brother, I love you more. I will be back in three weeks. "

"I love YOU more...." he says, the game from childhood bringing a smile to us both.


Mark hasn't left us yet, but I am feeling deep pain at having to leave him and I don't know if I will be seeing him again.

Still - as of this minute he is still with us. I am just grieving his imminent loss.


August 21, 2018 at 12_34PM
Yesterday morning’s walk.

I was numb flying home.

I feel fairly numb this morning – and the truth is, I barely care that my suitcase is in Phoenix, or partway back, or the fact that I have an appointment to have my car maintenance done so I can drive to Pennsylvania tomorrow.

Jeff met me at the airport and helped me through the meltdown at the baggage claim office.

He took me to breakfast.

I have a Chiropractor appointment this morning.

Jeff said he’d take the car in for me this afternoon so I can pack for tomorrow.

I’m at the point of just DO THE NEXT THING.

I wait for the phone to ring, for a report of how today is going.


August 22, 2018 at 08_15AM

Quiltville Quote of the Day.

Vintage quilt from the American Museum in Bath, UK.

Right now my home is with Mark – in my heart.


85 comments:

  1. Praying for strength for the whole family.

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  2. Sharing your tears. We can only live each day and hope, pray that our memories will keep us close when we cannot be. I believe that wings will let us soar until we meet again. Holding you and yours close in thoughts and prayers.

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  3. What a blessing that you have your son Jeff there to help you as you process the eminent loss of your brother. There stands another blessing in your life! May you be filled with peace and the love of your family.

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  4. Prayers through my tears for you.

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  5. Crying with you this morning as my heart is hurting for you. Isn't it wonderful when we survive the teenage years with our kids and see what amazing adults they turn into? So glad he is there to help you today! Sending lots of hugs your way!

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  6. So sad. Sending hugs and warm fuzzies. Losing someone is so hard. Praying for you all

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  7. Hugs, thoughts and prayers being sent your way.

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  8. My heart hurts for you, Bonnie. Sending hugs and prayers.

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  9. Your post brought me to tears.I know what your family is going through. We went through it with my husband's mother, sister and brother. Now one of my cousin's twin daughters is battling a very rare form of brain cancer. Right now we are hopeful, but who knows what the future holds. Hugs & strength to you.

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  10. Prayers for peace for you and your family, as you go through this sad time in your life.

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  11. I too made a trip across country to see my dying brother, my bff. He elected to have me come when he was told he had 4 months so we could talk and do a few things together. Certain tv shows I still cannot see without weeping. To the end he was an example to this big sis. He said he never in his life had trouble getting to sleep because of worry. He said he did all he could during the day and at night accepted that he had left nothing possible undone..and went to sleep. He had bouts of anxiety during the day but called family and friends who gave him his favorite medicine...humor. We used to email every night before I went to be due to the time difference. It has been 7 years and I still find myself starting to email him at times..how he would laugh at me. He will always bee in you, available whenever you need him if you listen very hard
    Marianne

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  12. Praying for strength and comfort for you and your whole family. My heart hearts for all of you.

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  13. I was crying through your message and then I read the comments and I could feel all of our quilt friends loving arms around you & me. It has brought back so many feelings from losing my hubby, thankfully no siblings as of yet.,and those arms of ours are around you and your brother. Strength in Your Love

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  14. sorry you are going through all of this Bonnie - been there and done that several times - your travel problems have made it worse I think, you must be totally exhausted and the bag problem - well if it is mainly clothes that can be handled, one can always buy a few new things to get you through

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  15. Bonnie,
    Your heartfelt comments about your brother and family are so dear to my heart. When my parents, aunt and husband went into hospice, our family gathered for those transitions. They all knew we were there for them, they were loved, prayed for and they were not alone. Praying for peace
    and strength for you and your family.

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  16. Saying lots of prayers for your brother and your family. I wish I could give you a huge hug.

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  17. I cried through this post as well, but thank you for sharing. Praying that Mark, you and all of your family will find strength comfort and peace.

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  18. I am praying for you, your brother and your family.

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  19. You are blessed to have Jeff close to help. Sorry about the snafu with your luggage again! I pray for you, and for the family. Reading through my tears.

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  20. Your post brings tears...tears because I've been where you are and remember the pain...tears because I sense your love for your brother in your words...and tears because there's nothing I can do for you other than join in the prayers for strength and comfort for Mark and all of you in the days ahead. You are surrounded by the caring thoughts of so many.

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  21. May your memories of your brother get you through this difficult time and into the future.

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  22. God Bless you and your family! As always, my prayers are with you...(((hugs)))

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  23. May our Heavenly Father wrap His arms around you give you peace & comfort at this time.

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  24. I don't envy materialistic things but I do envy relationships. Even at this sad time, you're very lucky to have such a close, loving family. All the money in the world can't buy that. Be good to yourself during these difficult days.

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  25. Many of us truly do understand the pain you are going through. There are just no words to make it better right now. But Mark knows this and understands the love that you all share--and that is very special. My heart and prayers are with you and your family.

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  26. Sending you (((hugs))) Bonnie.

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  27. I read this with tears in my eyes. My heart is breaking for you and your family.

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  28. Bonnie, I am so sorry you and your family is going through this. I will be praying for all of you. You do seem to have a very special relationship with all of your siblings even though you all live so far away. I am so glad you got to go back and visit. Praying for you.

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  29. I knew I was going to cry the minute I saw your post. I guess I am a bit more weepy because we lost my hubby's brother in April. He was like a brother to me, and we miss him so much. You are still in my prayers for peace and comfort. This life is but a vapor, and we must cherish the moments we have.

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  30. Your post brought tears to my eyes.It is sad, heartwarming and raw all at the same time. May you find peace somehow, it is never easy to say good bye. Sending reassuring hugs your way.

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  31. So sorry Bonnie. I’m crying with you and praying for you and your family. God Bless You.

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  32. I have been reading your notes...how well you have thought about your brother and family for support too. You are right that ropes can hold us together at tough times. I'm deeply sadness for the pain you are all going through, but you are right to give each other a little happy moment when/if possible. Hugs and prayers from Marietta, Brisbane Australia

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  33. Wish you much strength Bonnie and ty for sharing with us, you say it so well.
    Love and peace to you and your brother...…
    Elly.

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  34. So sad for you and family. I too lost my brother. It has been 5 years and he will always be in my heart as will your brother be in your heart. Prayers for you and family

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  35. You are truly blessed. Not only do you have a close-knit family, old friends but also thousand of followers that pray for you and your brother. These prayers come from our hearts to embrace you with love.

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  36. I am crying as I read this. I am so glad you got this time with your brother. All you can do is carry on and take comfort from your family and friends. Prayers for all of the family.

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  37. I was just in your shoes last week. My father has been on Hospice since Dec with congestive heart failure. He has spiked a fever even with antibiotics so we all went to see him on Sunday. He had a good day on Monday and passed in his sleep Tuesday morning. The last thing he said to us was I love you. He has been sick for 2 1/2 years. We have been mourning him for that long too. We are at peace knowing that he is too. Many prayers coming your way. I am glad you are taking time for you and reflecting on all of the happy times. Many blessings to you and your family.

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  38. May God bless you and your family as you go through this difficult time. Please know you have the love, hugs and prayers of all your quilting friends.

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  39. I want to thank you for continuing to blog in spite of a broken heart. I am in a similar situation with my sweet brother and your notes helps me to organize my own thoughts and set priorities. You, Mark and all of your family are in my heart and prayers.

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  40. Bonnie, you have a gift of putting into words what all of us have or will feel at the loss of a loved one.
    It’s overwhelming for any of us to go through what you are experiencing, and I’m amazed at your fortitude. My heart goes out to you and your family.

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  41. Well written. Moving. I hope it helps to know you're not alone as many of us have been through what you're going through, really understand the feelings and are praying for you. My MIL died in 2010 from the same cancer and both sides of my family have experienced several deaths since. I guess I've reached "that age" but it is difficult each time. On a "lighter" note: I'm thankful that it is a suitcase of clothes (probably your favorites) and not a bag of quilts!

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  42. Oh Bonnie, my heart is just breaking into tiny bits for you. The hardest part of someone being so sick and the awareness of what is around the corner is one of the hardest things asked of us. We have questions but no answers; hurts but no healing.
    I am so so very sorry you and your family; especially Mark, are going through this. Bless your hearts. Know that so many of us who feel we know you through your daily joys and challenges, care about you and feel your pain.
    God be with you.

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  43. My heart is heavy for you and your family. Sending hugs to you and your family.

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  44. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I understand!

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  45. Thoughts and prayers headed your way, embrace all the time you had together and put the memories in your heart. ((((๐Ÿ˜))))๐Ÿ™

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  46. Every moment is precious and the two of you have collected many during your visit and hopefully you get to have more time with your brother Mark. We all love you and stand along side you during this difficult time with ready hugs and prayers.

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  47. Hugs and prayer for you and your family.

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  48. Prayers for you & your family Bonnie.

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  49. Sending more hugs. Please bE very, very careful (present) while driving to PA. Better yet, could someone go with you?

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  50. I believe you took a photo of that bird taking flight for a special reason. Keep it at hand and take strength in that image. Hugs.

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  51. Replies
    1. I came with the exact same message.
      <3

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  52. Bonnie- thank you for sharing this difficult time with us. Your words are special and your time with Mark was special to him and the family. You love him and he knows that. Dear Bonnie, be at peace and know we love you and care about your family very much. Praying for you to have strength and peace. K- lkw2x6-apq@yahoo.com

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  53. no words, only caring........

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  54. My prayers are with you and the family at this point. I hope you finally catch up with your luggage. Just concentrate on the memories and doing the next thing. Prayers Bonnie God is with you and Mark.

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  55. BONNIE,You have such strength. Your words are beautiful. We all Love you and we are holding you up.

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  56. Sending prayers love and quilty hugs
    Anne xxx

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  57. I was thinking of you, and the goodbye you would be saying. Having done that, I know something of what it's like to feel it is impossible to leave, and then have to go. So thankful you were able to spend time with Mark, and be with the rest of the family. Hope you feel the love and support coming your way. xxx

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  58. Prayers for your family. Your writings make a person feel like they know your family. I Had the pleasure of meeting you this year and I am truly sorry for what your family is going thru.

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  59. I feel your pain. I just lost my sister two weeks ago to a long battle with cancer. It's heartbreaking! That makes 4 deaths in my family in less than 2 years. :-(

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  60. Hugs to you, Bonnie, and a cyber rope--complete with a knot at the end--for you to grab as you cope with the reality you so desperately want not to be true. My heart is aching for you and Mark and all who love him.

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  61. As I read your blog today, the tears just stream down my face. I can not know what you are truly feeling, your words are so full of sadness/happiness at the same time. I only want you know that you have many people who are on journey with you in spirit. I wait each day to hear from you and search for your words of how you are doing. My prayers are with you and your whole family.

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  62. ❤️๐Ÿงก๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿ’“๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’–

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  63. hugs and prayers... and a lot of tears

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  64. Bonnie, I feel your pain of loss but also your immense love for your brother. My heart breaks for you and your entire family as you go through this. Thanks for sharing your words of encouragement and hope.

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  65. I'm praying for you and your family. Your honesty and authenticity are going to help someone else. In the meantime, just know you are not alone. God Bless.

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  66. My hearts breaks with yours....cling to God. He cares for you.

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  67. Sharing your tears and your pain.....I'm so very sorry you and your family are going through this difficult time. You are certainly surrounded by love-such a blessing.

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  68. Sorry you are going through this. Not easy to lose someone close. Will keep you and family in my prayers.

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  69. Bonnie, although I've never met you, your posts about your brother have deeply touched me. No words seem adequate to tell you how sorry I am that you are going through this heartbreaking time. You are so lucky that you have a close family and that your brother knows you love him. Not all of us are so blessed, so in this be thankful. I've heard it said many times that with every end, there is a new beginning. I don't know that if that holds true in this case, but with faith, I know all things are possible. God bless you and comfort you always.

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  70. It is so hard to read this post and I know that it was even harder for you to write it. You are such a wonderful person, I think it is not fair that you should have to feel this way. The pictures of you and your family are precious. Only you could bring that joy to them. (I know others could bring joy as well, but you have a special way about you) May you and your family find peace and strength in the coming weeks and months ahead.

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  71. So sorry, Bonnie, for what your family is going through as I know it all too well. My DH left 6 yrs ago after battling a glioblastoma for a year. I had him home for his final 3 weeks..such a horrible disease. Prayers for all.

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  72. Bonnie, I’ve never met you in person, but I read your blog daily. As I read this I grieve for you and your family with tears rolling down my cheeks. I’m glad you have Jeff to help you right now.

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  73. Prayers for you all. Very sad.

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  74. Sending hugs and prayers for you and your family during this heartbreaking time.

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  75. I keep you all in my daily prayers. Sending hugs and love between tear drops.

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  76. You are remembered in my prayers each day. You are a strong woman, and your brother knows that you are there for him, if not physically, you are there emotionally and in spirit. I pray God gives you peace as you face this time and in the time to come!

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  77. A big hug at this difficult time! You and Mark are in our thoughts.

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  78. May God bless your family and give you strength and loving peace!

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  79. My heart is broken for you and your family. Sending you love and praying for strength for ALL of you.

    alice

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  80. Love, Hugs and Prayers Bonnie!

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