Monday, July 16, 2018

The State of Things...


Some of you may have noticed that I haven't been on top of things lately - my posts are rather sporadic and even keeping up with blog reading has been a challenge.  I've been feeling a bit guilty and decided that, instead of stressing out and trying (unsuccessfully) to keep up, I'll give myself an emotional break and fill everyone in.  I'll still be blogging, I'll still be reading & commenting, but the sporadic nature of both will likely continue for the rest of the season.  And this is why.

When my dad passed away just over a year ago, I contemplated not posting about it.  My blog - and my garden - are my happy place.  Even when things go wrong - pests (dang rabbits!), diseases and the unpredictability of Mother Nature - these types of "problems" are minor in the grand scheme of things.  And there is always something to be thankful for in the garden, something that makes me smile and forget, at least for a short time, the trials that life throws our way.

So when my mother-in-law became ill in January and then passed away a few weeks later, I decided not to post about it.  I wanted to keep the sadness out of the blog, especially since it was so soon after my own dad's passing which had a significant affect on both my life and the blog last year.

The passing of a parent takes a toll on the whole family - not only with regards to the passing itself, but also when it comes to helping the surviving spouse adjust to life after the fact.  This was especially difficult with my father-in-law since he was afflicted with advanced Parkinson's.

We knew the adjustment would not be easy, but it ended up being much more tragic than anyone anticipated.  None of us were aware of how far the Parkinson's had progressed until my mother-in-law, who had been the primary caregiver, was no longer around.  It was heartbreaking.  And then the final blow - my father-in-law suffered an episode which lead to brain damage.  He survived for a few weeks, but then peacefully passed away with both his children by his side.  Two parents, two funerals.  Both a total shock and all within a 4 month period. It's been an emotionally grueling time.

The funeral was the weekend before we went to Vancouver.  The main reason behind this trip was to attend a wedding and, quite frankly, had it not been for the fact that we were 4 of only 5 people representing the grooms side of the family, we would have cancelled it.  The trip, however, did end up doing us good - it was a respite from the heaviness of the events back home.  A time to set aside thoughts of what was lost and enjoy what we still had.

So this has been the state of things over the past few months.  I'm still managing to get out into the garden but the heat is making gardening more of a pain than a joy this year.  Or perhaps it's not just the heat, but my overall emotional state.  Sometimes it's hard to tell.  Unlike when my dad passed away, I've decided not to take a specific break from blogging.  For the rest of the season, however, I'll likely not be as active in the blogosphere as I normally am.

I wanted to end this post on a more positive note so let me tell you what we did the day after we returned from Vancouver.  We decided to add to our family:

This is Blossom - a now 3 month old kitty from the Humane Society.
Everyone assumes I named her, but that was her name when we got her.  I say it's fate 💗

We've been meaning to get a pet for a while, after a self-imposed hiatus once the kids were born, and the timing just seemed right.  Blossom is the most adorable, purry bundle of fur ever.  In an otherwise overcast year, she has brought a much needed ray of sunshine into our home.

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things” ~~ Robert Brault

37 comments:

  1. Gosh, my heartfelt thoughts go out to you and your family Margaret. Losing a parent is always tough under any circumstance, but losing two in such a short time period is truly hard to imagine. And Blossom come into the world in the midst of all that. With a name and a sweet face like that I would have taken her home myself! I always struggle with how much to share on my blog too. Please don't feel guilty though - life always takes priority over the blogosphere for sure. Your readers will be there whenever you feel like blogging. And now we won't be worrying about you!

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    1. Thank you so much Dave. Yes, as soon as I saw Blossom and picked her up, I knew she was for us. And you are right, life does take priority & I think that we sometimes forget that in this screen-laden world.

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  2. You have had sorrow upon sorrow. May your heart heal as you continue to love your family (which is now Blossoming!) and enjoy those moments of respite in the garden. Thanks for sharing your burdens. It's good to share as we all have need of the love and care of others.

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    1. Oh, thank you Lorraine for the kinds words. Today was a wonderful, mild day & I spent several quite hours in the garden - it was just lovely.

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  3. I am so sorry Margaret. I hope your heart starts healing. May God comfort you. Furbabies always seem to help it seems too. Nancy

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    1. Thank you Nancy - yes, furriness definitely helps.

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  4. I am so sorry you're going through this. Both my parents are dead and I know how tough this is. Grieving is a long process. Be kind to yourself and pull the people you love close. None of us are ever here long enough.

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    1. Oh, thank you Tammy - it never is long enough is it? Hugs XO

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  5. I am so sorry for your heartbreaking losses. I am sure your readers will understand that you have so much on your mind and on your heart right now. I hope you can find some peace in gardening as you grieve.

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    1. Thank you, Rachel - Gardening has been challenging with the heat, but when the weather co-operates like it did today, it's so peaceful & soul-soothing.

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  6. I'm sorry for your losses, Margaret. I hope Blossom brings you all comfort and joy.

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    1. Thank you, Pam - Blossom is so sweet, she can't help but brighten our days.

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  7. Hi,I am New to your blog,but my heartfelt Hugs to you all.What a dear little Moggy,she is so pretty and will bring you Joy and laughter when the days are hard to cope with.xx

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    1. Thank you for reaching out Lee & your kind words - I really appreciate it.

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  8. Oh Margaret, I wish I could just give you a big hug, words are just so inadequate. My deepest sympathy to you and your family for your losses. And joy for your new furry friend. One of my old kitties is sitting on my lap now as I sip my tea and try to catch up on blog reading. It's a nice feeling. It must have been very difficult to write this post but thank you for letting us know what's going on. I feel like I connect in some way with the the people who blog, not just their blog, so it's always disturbing when they just disappear from the blogosphere. Write when you feel like it, comment when you feel up to it, or not. Take time to heal. Wishing you good things!

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    1. Thank you so much, Michelle - I kept putting off writing this post as I didn't want to spread the sadness, but then again, everyone's support does my heart good. I also realized that if one of my blogging friends were in the same situation, I would want to know and lend my support to them. Isn't it odd how we tend to not want to "bother" others with our problems, yet if the situation were reversed we would want them to "bother" us so that we could help?

      I can just see you sitting there with your tea and cuddly kitty. Our furry friends do have the capacity to simply melt stress and tension practically instantaneously (isn't that scientifically proven?). Blossom never fails to put a smile on our face XO

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  9. Oh my goodness, Margaret, what a sad time. I think it's at times like these when a hobby such as gardening, being out in nature, really can help the healing process. I should imagine that your trip to Vancouver was just what you needed too, it's often not until you actually get away from things that you realise just how much it was needed. I'm sure Blossom will bring a lot of joy to your family, it doesn't take long until they worm their way right into your heart and looking at the photo of her with your lovely daughter, it looks like she already has. Great name too. Sending you hugs xx

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    1. Thank you so much, Jo. I totally agree - hobbies that we can get fully immersed in are so soothing to the soul - not only when it comes to loss, but even for those everyday stresses we all have.

      Going away so soon after our loss is not something I ever would have considered healing, but it certainly was. And Blossom was quick to worm her way into our hearts - everyone is vying for time with her, even my husband, which makes me smile. He was the biggest staller when it came to getting a cat but now he is smitten.

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  10. So sorry that you have had such a hard time. I can empathise with your feelings. Like you I tend not to write about the sad things in my life so I understand what you are saying.

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    1. Thank you Sue - Gardening, for all it's problems, is a source of joy for us garden bloggers, so sad news is not generally something I would want to share. I must say, however, that the support eveyone has shown is soothing to the heart.

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  11. So sorry to hear this Margaret, what an incredibly difficult time. I hope you have lots of happy memories to think back on.
    It's just coming up to the anniversary that my dad passed away (two years), and it doesn't seem possible that so long has gone by. During that initial time I found continuing to write my blog helped me think about something else for a while. I've had a completely unplanned blog break now for several months but just due to 'other stuff' going on and feeling stressed about some things, which have eased off now. So am now trying to catch up with everyone - it's lovely to find you on Instagram and am looking forward to seeing more photos of your fine new furry family member and hearing about your gardening exploits when you are able to post. I've finally started taking photos a bit more ...so maybe will get blogging again next week?!! Anyway, I hope the weather eases off for you so you can enjoy more time in your happy place...but in the meantime its a good reason to spend time in the shade getting plenty of kitty cuddles xx

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    1. Thank you Lou - I know what you mean about your dad's passing - it seems so long ago and, at the same time, like it just happened yesterday. My mom will often still say "we are fine" when I call and ask her how it's going.

      I missed you in blogland! Blogging is hard work and I think we all need a break once in a while, especially when life throws us a curve ball or two. The great thing about the garden blogging community is that they are some of the warmest, most understanding & supportive people in the blogosphere. And I'm really enjoying Instagram - I'm so glad you are on there! It's so easy, isn't it? Post a pic, write a sentence or two and done. It's a great accompaniment to the more detailed posts of a blog.

      Oh yes, we are getting LOTS of furry kitty cuddles - nothing puts a smile on our face quicker :)

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  12. Hello Margaret, I think this is only my second visit to your blog.
    I am so sorry that you have been experiencing such a difficult time recently, sending positive thoughts to you.
    Your new cat Blossom looks adorable.

    Take care, my good wishes

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thank you for dropping by and the positive thoughts, Jan - I do appreciate it.

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  13. That is a lot to deal with in a short time. My condolences to you. I hope things do get easier, with the help of your new family member.

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  14. Margaret I am so sorry for your loss .. it is an extreme emotional over load with what you and your family have gone through. I know many people will say time will help heal .. and it will, it is just such a long process of actually getting through that time.
    Yes ! .. this adorable new little life will bring you such happiness, it is hard to understand how much of an impact these little furry souls can have on our lives but they do and you will find comfort in Blossom.
    Thanks for visiting my blog : ) and yes bee houses are amazing, now finally getting put up would be another amazement ! LOL

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    1. Thank you so much, Joy. You're right, of course - time will heal, but likely take it's "sweet time" doing so. Blossom is so precious and a snuggle can easily melt our stresses - we had been waiting a long time to let a furry bundle into our family once again, and I think the timing was perfect. Oh yes, the bee houses! I can relate to the "I have it but it's not up yet" syndrome - I'm actually wondering if it's too late to put one up now and may wait until next year.

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    2. Hi again Margaret .. yes , I think you are right about waiting until next year to put up the bee hotel (hotel makes me giggle) .. but it will be on top of the to DO list for sure .. now all I have to do is get through the rest of the season without melting ? haha

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  15. I did wonder why you've been quiet, and speculated that something was up. Now I know. I'm so sorry for your losses. But you seem to have a resilient spirit, and that accomplishes a lot. When you've healed, come back to regular posting. We'll be waiting.

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    1. Thanks so much Will - I'm hopeful that my emotional energy will slowly recharge in the months to come.

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  16. Blessings to you Margaret. There are no words for this kind of heart ache.

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    1. Thank you so much Shawn - your thoughts are much appreciated.

      P.S. Sorry about the late posting/reply - For some reason, I wasn't receiving notifications on comments that were waiting for moderation (see my recent post "Apologies to all")

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  17. I've only just read this post, Margaret, so I'm sorry for the belated comment. First, my condolences for the terrible events affecting you and your family, one shock after another. It must have been so hard to see your father-in-law deteriorate so quickly. I lost my mum last year and my dad the year before that so I know how these events can leave you with a heavy heart. Be prepared for sadness to sneak up on you unawares in the months ahead. I'm so pleased that you still have your mum and now your kitty - and I hope that your garden continues to bring you happiness, even in this summer's heat. xx

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    1. Thank you so much for your thoughts, Caro - yes, the sadness does sneak up on you at the most unexpected (or sometimes expected) times. Sometimes things seem "normal" and then, not so much. I am so thankful to still have my mum - but also a bit paranoid. If I can't get a hold of her for an extended period of time because she's delayed somewhere or didn't tell me she was out of the day, etc., I start getting a bit panicky.

      P.S. I'm the one that's sorry for the late posting/reply! For some reason, I wasn't receiving notifications on comments that were waiting for moderation (see my recent post "Apologies to all")

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  18. I am late to seeing this post, but I hope you and your family are doing better and that the heartache and turmoil is at least lessening by degrees. Be patient with yourselves. You are in my thoughts.

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    1. Thank you so much Phuong - We are slowly healing and getting used to the "new normal" - I truly appreciate your thoughts.

      P.S. I'm the one that's sorry for the late posting/reply. For some reason, I wasn't receiving notifications on comments that were waiting for moderation (see my recent post "Apologies to all")

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