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Thursday, September 20, 2018

First Things First.

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This girl says it all.

She velcroed herself to my side the moment we walked in the door last night.

It’s like she “KNOWS.”  You know?

She also snores, but I didn’t mind.

I was amazed at the amount of debris and limbs, leaves, and STUFF in my neighborhood as we took a walk to clear my head this morning.

Leaves and limbs and small branches clog the driveway, walkway, yard and even the back porch.  (It’s a covered porch, so that wind must have been blowing everything sideways.)

It will take a while to put things back together.  And we were lucky.

I live on a hill, so no flooding happened here, but I know folks not more than a couple of miles away who have been dealing with flooded basements and more.

The physical hurricane may have passed, but the emotional one still rages from time to time within my heart.

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These 4 brothers mean the world to me.

I needed their strength.

Mike, David, Rick and Scott.

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7 sibling hug – this photo says it all.

I wasn’t going to post these photos at all – but this blog is my journal.  It would not be complete without recording these last very hard days.

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He ain’t heavy – He’s my brother.

My four brothers were joined by Mark’s son Spencer, and his sons-in-law David and Hunter.

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My Dad, singing “Eidelweiss” at the graveside service -

Our family “sing-along” song since we were little.

We all joined in on the second verse.

The days since Mark’s funeral are a blur, filled with much family hugging and an abundance of food and new happy (even weird) memories added to the old ones.

Saturday night's round of family fun and togetherness: Scorpion hunting by black light headed up by my sister-in-law Sharolyn now nicknamed "The Scorpion Whisperer" or "The Hammer!"

September 16, 2018 at 08_05PM

Glow-in-the-Dark Scorpions!  

Who knew that scorpions glow under black light? We guffawed laughing when my uncle Scott, father of my cousin Bethany exclaimed "Amazing! We've only ever used black light to find cat pee!" (The Minnesota Contingency has no scorpion experience!)

Sharolyn brought the hammer down and her yard is now minus three of the little desert devils.


There were family dinners, and group breakfasts – there were sad goodbyes as family started to depart – Some on Sunday, Some on Monday – Rick left on Tuesday, and me on Wednesday – Yesterday.

My thoughts are with those family members residing in Arizona where everyday memories of Mark are present and plentiful.

We’ve all experienced a shift in our realities. We KNOW the fragility of life, and priorities are adjusting into a new order of things as we also adjust our paces to our new normal.

Things will never be the same.


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But Mark is still with us in spirit, and in our hearts.

One of the items on display for Mark’s life sketch in the foyer of the church was a saying he loved, and I am adopting it for myself. 

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I believe this.

To all those who have said to me “God only gives you what you can handle” – a gentle rephrase to the above makes all the difference, from a trial of punishment to a loving hand-up out of despair.

Other things I’ve also learned – comments that go “I’m sorry for your loss, I went through the same thing (add various ailments, diseases and family deaths here)” add more pain to the one already grieving.  It makes it about the person commenting, not the one who is currently suffering a new loss.  

I learned this by watching my sister-in-law add other people’s grief to her own. The next time I give condolences to someone – it won’t include details about my own loss.  I will just express my honest love and concern and ask if there is anything I can do, and do it. 

I will LISTEN and love, not speak about my own experience.

Any condolence that starts with or includes “At least he….” is not a comfort.  It minimizes the loss.

I realize through watching all of these things happen, through the evening visitation on Friday night, through the funeral on Saturday and visits with people later, that there are many things I have maybe said in the past to those who were grieving that were meant to help, but perhaps didn’t.

There is learning and growing in everything – even this. I am more aware of how to handle others' grief through my own experience.

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I got the little string star quilt 3/4  bound – but forgot to attach the hanging sleeve – I MADE the sleeve, I knew I did.

I found it still on the ironing board this morning and sewed it on..

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Perhaps tonight will find me finishing it up?

As I get my bearings back under me, things may be a bit off schedule here.  I’m home until Oct 7th.  I plan to take things easy. 

I know I’ll get back to regular blogging, but for now it may be at odd times. 

As it was, I had to laugh at myself this morning that I screwed up my Microsoft password enough times to have to do an email verification and start a new password.  Drat.  I hate that.

I have a massage at noon, followed by chiropractor, and then some mail order.

I want to do normal things like grocery shopping, and some simple house straightening.  It needs it.

I may head to Virginia for the weekend and finish painting those kitchen cabinets.

I just need to breathe and settle, and prioritize -

I’ll find myself again through all of this.

September 20, 2018 at 08_37AM

Quiltville Quote of the Day!

This may be my mantra for the next several days, or as long as it takes.

It feels good to be home.




65 comments:

  1. No place like Home! Whether it be your Cabin, Quiltville Inn or where the Hurricane hit. Sadie knows, take each day you can. Rest and renew. Hugs!

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  2. My heart is breaking for you and your family. Hugs and prayers for you all.

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  3. Oh---- do take this Quote of the Day to your heart. It does say a lot. Thank you.

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  4. May God be your fortress, your strength, your guide and your comfort.

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  5. Read the statement from Mark's funeral over and over. He believed it and that makes a difference.

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  6. Being kind to yourself is great advice. Nothing like home to help with that renewal process.

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  7. Bonnie we love you! Take care of yourself and then you can get back to your regular routine.

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  8. Hugs and continued prayers Bonnie! Your only job right now is to rest and to do whatever feels right at the moment. And as you said, be gentle with yourself through all of it :-).

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  9. Sending much love and sympathy from Colorado

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  10. I love Mark's sign and am going to try to remember it. You are in a lot of peoples prayers. Like the quote of the day says, be kind to your self.

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  11. Do what helps you to go on with life in the new reality. When you are ready, your friends will still be here to be part of your world. You are loved by many people who may not always have the right words to say, but have you in their thoughts and prayers.

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  12. Isn't it amazing how the fur babies know when we need an extra nuzzle! It is obvious that Sadie missed you and she knows you need her extra attention! Now, the cats - they know you are suffering, but they are probably letting Sadie handle all those needs!

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  13. Thank you for helping us know what to say (and not to say) to those grieving around us. I am truly sorry for your loss.

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  14. Bonnie, I am so sorry for your loss and sending you and your family hugs and prayers on an Angel's wings!!!!

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  15. Hugs sent up from florida. Take whatever time you need to start your own healing. Your fabric sisters will always be here for you!

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  16. All I can say is I'm sorry for your lost. God will help you find a way.

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  17. I remember when my mom passed away, the words people said really didn't help. I was only in my 20's, and she was gone too soon. People just assume your life will go on as it did before. But it changed. A part of my heart was empty. Yet I put on a smile, and tried to let people say words that gave THEM comfort. In the end, that empty place, like a wound, covers over, yet you always know the scar is still there.
    Love you Bonnie. Treasure the sweet memories and love those that are still here.

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  18. Thank you for sharing these photos, Bonnie. Take care.

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  19. Most of us never know what to say to someone who has suffered the loss of a loved one. Sometimes we say more than that person wants to hear, but we do mean well. I hope you make the most of your time at home and those Nebraska ladies will be waiting to welcome you with open arms.

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  20. Thank you for sharing your family's most tender moments, this is why we love and admire you.
    Take time to remember, love yourself and find the new normal. Xx

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  21. Love, hugs and prayers, Bonnie. Do what is best for you at the moment. We love you and are here for you.
    Meg

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  22. Hugs and prayers to you Bonnie. God will lead you to where you need to be. Take care of you right now.

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  23. Be good to yourself. These are trying times.

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  24. That care of YOU ... the rest will take care of itself. Thoughts and prayers are with you on this hard journey. God bless. Linda

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  25. Your insight of grief and the ability to put it to words is helpful. All the things that we just can't know until we walk there. I'm going to follow your lead for my own. Thank you. Rest well.

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  26. Sending virtual hugs!

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  27. Thinking and praying for you and your family. Sending lots of love and hugs to you all.

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  28. Glad you made it safe and there was minimal damage to the property. Take time for yourself, we all understand.

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  29. Bonnie your comments are so true. More and more lately I notice that people seem to only want to talk about themselves and are not hearing what the other one is saying or going through. May God bless you and your family every day and may each day seem a little brighter.

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  30. Bonnie, you're right, back to work is good medicine, I think even Mark would agree with you. Anything I can do for you besides pray, just email me. God keep watch over you and yours.

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  31. I'm glad you're home. It's where you need to be to try and get centered. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

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  32. The giant hurricane size waves of grief do eventually come less and less often, and then in smaller sizes. Eventually it will be pacific in your sea of grief, but it will be there, and you will remember, and you will always love and be loved by your brother. Much peace to you while you ride the waves.

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  33. Please take care of yourself and remember all of the good times you had with your dear brother. Losing someone is always hard, no matter the circumstances. You and your family will be in my prayers.

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  34. Grief rearranges you, inside and out. Let the grief have its way, it is essential to your being. Your dear Brother will always be in your heart.

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  35. Thank you for helping me to deal with loss.

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  36. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. That is how you get through this, one bite at a time.

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  37. our quote says it all, be gentle with yourself, the hole never goes away, but in time, you may learn to stop falling in.

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  38. One day at a time or, when that is too much, one breath at a time.

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  39. I have missed your wise words, thought of you, sad of what you are going through. It is something most of us will face, and something that is hard to prepare for. Something I feel there is nothing that will help except to be kind to others.

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  40. Take the time you need for yourself, I admire all the stuff you do for others but now it’s your time.
    Your saying is perfect and true and think I may borrow it onto a wall plaque of my own.
    Take care of yourself and your beautiful family and that absolutely adorable Sadie
    Love prayers and quilty hugs
    Anne xxx

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  41. So sorry for so many losses you are experiencing, the loss of your brother, the things not said, the trashed yard/street/porch due to the weather, and what damage you may find at your other places as well... Concern for you and yours, and so glad you made it home safe! Go make some happy memories!

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  42. Something someone said to me that has helped is "it's not goodbye. It's see ya' later." God bless you and your family as you start your healing journey. Grief is so personal but don't hesitate to ask for help when you need it. You are loved by so many people.

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  43. Bonnie - thank you for sharing your insight on things "not to say". I realize how true all of your statements are, but had never thought of the impact they had. Even through your grief you are helping others - amazing. Please try to take some gentle time for your self, be kind to yourself and put yourself first. I believe that helps, although it may not for you. Know that there are a tremendous number of people who care about you and your well being. Hugs, Deborah

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  44. Sending you love and prayers, Bonnie. Take care of you...

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  45. Thinking of you. May God comfort you.

    Lisa

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  46. Take care of yourself Bonnie! I’m glad to hear you are taking it easy and doing the simple, everyday stuff for a while. Continuing to lift you up in prayers for comfort every time you come to mind - which is quite often lately because I have been finishing up my On Ringo Lake quilt top (finished!!!!) this past week. Thank you for posting the saying that corrects “God only gives us....”. I’ve always cringed when someone says that - seriously - do we not have enough evidence around us that makes it clear that we all suffer more than we can handle at times in our lives? But truly God does help us handle all that comes our way, and I’m happy knowing that He is there with you, helping you and your family in every way. HUGS!!!!!

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  47. Sending prayers and (virtual) hugs....it's hard.

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  48. May peace, joy and happiness be yours as you come through this tunnel of remembrances and heartstrings.The Lord does help us handle what we are given both to sorrow and find joy in everyday chores. Peace comes.
    Blessings!!

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  49. Thank you so much Bonnie--you always leave your readers with such gifts. It's helpful to know some of the thoughts you shared about grieving--the unhelpful things we sometimes say to each other even with the best intentions. And I really love the rephrasing of the quote about God helping us to handle whatever comes our way. You are such a light--thank you.

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  50. This should be our mantra always. Thank you for everything that you do, you are an inspiration and blessing to us all.

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  51. Thank you for sharing this post with us Bonnie. You and I have never met but I feel like you are an old friend....take care of yourself and may God bless you and your family.

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  52. Glad you are back home, Bonnie. I've missed your wonderful words each morning. One step at time. You've got folks who will help when you falter. xoxox

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  53. Welcome home Bonnie. Be kind to yourself. And thank you for helping us to learn how to handle other's grief. I too will be more mindful in the future. I am so sorry for your loss and I wish you peace, and love.

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  54. Bonnie--I don't really know what to say after reading your blog, except hug your dog! She missed you so. Pets can bring great comfort regardless of the situation. I'm looking forward to seeing you in Mineola, TX next year!

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  55. So nice that you have family to lean on. Family is amazing... Hang on... tie another knot in the rope if you need too... but know that you are loved.

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  56. I am so glad you are taking care of you. Thank you for all you share. Please know you are loved.

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  57. You are the best teacher I have ever had, sending hugs.

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  58. By the loss of a loved one, I have found the strength they left to go on. I pray you find that strength.

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  59. ((Hugs)) and prayers for you at this very difficult time

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  60. May God comfort and strengthen you and your family.

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  61. Thank you, Bonnie. I appreciate your sharing of both joys and grief. It gives a connection, a shared experience, another view, a gentle holding of hands....and I appreciate it very much. Thank you and I send you love.

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  62. I appreciate all you've said Bonnie, my thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Keep on keeping on, at your pace.

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  63. A heartfelt hug sent your way.

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