Monday, November 28, 2011

Grief Changes You

My dad died on a Tuesday. He died four Tuesdays ago tomorrow. I suppose Tuesday will always have an edginess to it from this point forward.

I remember participating in a grief class just before my Grandma's death six years ago. The facilitator told us that grief changes you. I heard the words. I knew what they meant. I had experienced grief. I had lost a job. I wasn't all that crazy about the job, so that loss was not a painful loss. I'd been divorced. That was extremely painful. I still feel that pain. I could see how there was some truth in that little string of words. I could see that I had felt the pains and that I had changed as a result of those pains.

When my Grandma passed away that following April, I remember waking up the next morning and feeling like she'd left without me. My heart ached. I rolled over, buried my face in the feather pillow and cried. I wanted to hold her hand. I wanted to sit with her. I wanted to make tea for her and tuck her into her chair. I felt then that grief really does change you.

I think for me, the horror of my dad's cancer hit me like a two-by-four across the kidneys when I heard the diagnosis this July. I knew my dad was dying. I knew there was nothing I could do to change that he was "leaving". Don't get me wrong, there were definitely times I would hope that he would call and tell me the cancer was gone and I could count on another twenty-five years of having my dad in my life. But then my cynical voice would whisper those cruel things like, "But Kelly! He has LUNG CANCER! It's LATE STAGE 4 lung cancer! The cancer is already in his lymph system, and his adrenal system and his bones, and his brain." Then, my heart would sink again.

Thanksgiving was the first big holiday without my dad. I dreaded Thanksgiving. I saw on so many people's Facebook pages and blogs how they were thinking of gratitude every day in November. I could barely even think let alone focus on gratitude. I tried. I tried by creating my lists of five. That was a very uncomfortable challenge. I felt like there really wasn't much for which I could express Thanksgiving.

Sometimes, I try to engage with friends who have not endured this horror. I know they mean well. But I really need them to know that this isn't something you feel sad about for a few days and then just jump back up and are ready to go forward. I felt like some of my friends think it is like when your goldfish dies, you just flush his body down the toilet, wash your hands and then go buy another goldfish! This is NOT like that at all! Another friend when I told her I wished there was something I could do or say to help her prepare for this deep ache. She told me she is not afraid of death. Grief is not a fear of death. It is loss. It is mourning. It is a time of deep, intense sorrow. It is grief. Those two concepts are completely unrelated. Grief is ugly. Grief is painful. Grief is life-changing.

My dad's life is over and my life is forever different. There is no delete key on this one. There is no second chance.

I need my friends to understand I need a lot of love and tenderness right now. In all honesty, I don't feel like I can ask for understanding because it is a space that unless you've lost a simply cannot understand.

My sister sent me a text message this weekend that read: "I have cried so many tears I think I look like a different person!" I knew what she meant. I looked in the mirror last weekend and these dark circles under my eyes almost seem to suggest a facial structure change...and not a good one, either! I wrote back and told her I felt like I had aged a lot since November 1st. I feel it in my physical self, and my psyche.

I concur! Grief does change you. I feel like everything has been rewritten. I absolutely hate that my life stories have a point of "before dad died" and a point of "after dad died".... Really! I hate that I can't still have the innocence that my friends have that you think it is so easy to "just snap out of it!" or just decide to be happy!


If only it were that easy.

On a different subject:  There was a small window when I didn't mind utilizing the art of self portraiture. That window happened when I was younger, happier and a whole lot more confident. I knew self-portraits were helpful when my kids were younger and I didn't have very many photos of myself. But then one day, I noticed how I have more wrinkles and I looked older. I suddenly felt shy again about photos of myself. I didn't want anymore photos of me.

I read a blog somewhere...for the life of me, I can't remember which one...but I have seen a few different blogkeepers out there who suggest harnessing the power of self-portraiture. I think I have seen projects called 52 Fridays. I decided that Tuesday would be my self-portraiture day. I named my project 52 Tuesdays. I don't know if there is really anything to be gained from a project like this. Maybe there is? For now, I see a sad, 41-year-old woman who is trying to adjust to her new normal. Hopefully, that sad woman will re-emerge soon with a smile on her face. She will be changed, but I hope she will smile again. Hopefully, in the span of 52 Tuesdays, I will see that change.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


It might be time for another short list of five things for which I feel grateful:

computers and gadgets with which to "Geek out"
holiday music
sweet, little snow flurries that set my heart a-flutter!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

In this moment, I am grateful for:

Music - and the power it possess to allow us to be, do, feel everything we need to be, do or feel in the moment.

The smell - of dinner cooking. Hubby is cooking ribs for dinner. I can hardly wait.

41 years - with my dad.

Internet - friends and communities

Photoshop - and being able to create art without getting out from under the covers of my bed messy clean-up, either!

Purring - orange kitties

Down Comforters - Just nothing like 'em!

candles - their warm glow and aromas...are so soothing

quiet moments - to allow for restful periods for my frazzled brain.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Will I Ever Recover From This?

I thought that I was going to be okay. But I wasn't.

I helped with the printing of the programs. Helping felt good. It was sad, but feeling useful was good for me.

Yesterday was my dad's memorial service in South Carolina. There were a lot of eleven's yesterday that will forever remain significant to me. The memorial service started at the beginning of the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the year 2011. I wanted to go, but our financial situation is not favorable for lots of travel. I decided that I would travel later to the Inurnment. That way, my kids could join us, too.

I counted down the hours to the service; then counted down the minutes. I was a scatterbrained mess. Focusing on any task was next to impossible. I just couldn't do it. I tried shopping for a few things, but I ended up putting the items back on the shelves and walking out of the store without spending a penny. I   cried so many tears. This makes me worry about the final piece...the burial. I hope I can keep it together.

I listened to Avril Lavigne's Slipped Away about ten times. I spent a significant amount of time watching Muppets snippets on YouTube. (My dad LOVED The Muppet Show and Fraggle Rock!) I listened to "The Point" by Harry Nilsson twice. I cried. I sobbed. I miss my dad. I think I had three mini panic attacks throughout the day. My throat felt tight! The room started to spin! I couldn't breathe! I could feel my heart pounding in my chest. I close my eyes tight and and the tears came easily. Crying was the only thing that helped relieve the heartache....and it didn't really even take the hurt away.

I have been showered with a lot of love. That has been wonderful. I have had so many of my friends whom I have never met in person reach out in such loving support. It truly makes up for the cold shoulder others have given since I received the diagnosis in July. Cancer isn't contagious!  Why did some of my friends desert me in my hour of need? I couldn't believe some of the insensitivity I witnessed! I know that each human being precesses death and grief differently. I am so thankful for the friends who have stood by me asking for Skype sessions even though my eyelids are purple and blistered from the copious amounts of salty tears that have washed over them and been wiped away. And the friends who have offered me such loving advice for coping with this pain. And for the encouragement to use this experience to grow. I am not able to accept it as that just yet. Maybe soon?

My guess is that this is only the beginning...I can see that this grief journey is going to be a long one. For now, I need to feel it. I need to cry. I need to move through this at my own pace. My mom tells me this painful sting never goes away. Never?!?! This is the most excruciating thing I have ever endured. The grief I felt with my divorce was painful. The grief I felt from the death of my grandmother was painful. This grief is beyond comprehension. I wonder if I will ever recover!

I could feel it. In July, when my dad got the diagnosis, I could feel that everything was being completely rewritten. My stories, my identity, my history, my future....EVERYTHING! This experience has truly been life changing. I don't like it! I don't want to accept it.

I don't have a choice!

Grief hurts.

Now, I face a year of firsts! First Thanksgiving (without Dad), First Christmas (without Dad).

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Violent Thunder

It's quiet.
It's dark.
I feel alone
...and deeply sad.
The words: "He's gone." boom through my heart and head violent thunder.
I feel those rumblings all throughout my body...this is excruciating.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

What is Dada?

This was not intended to be "pretty art." During my thought process, this painting was supposed to be "ugly." I tried really hard to create something using Surrealistic characteristics. At this time, I just can't seem to wrap my brain around it. It was taking a lot of brain power. I decided to explore a bit of Dadaism. In my research, I discovered that Dada was kind of a "Anti-everything" movement...perhaps even "anti-art"?

My dad is dying of lung cancer and last night, I realized, I may never talk with my dad again. My day was filled with tears and sadness. All I could think of was, "Cancer? HOW DARE YOU!?"

This piece started of with a child-like mixed media composition. The sky was painted red because red is the color of love. I love my dad. Red is also a color for grabbing attention. I painted the sun and hills in typically symbolic colors. I used a magic marker to draw in stick figures. One larger was to be the daddy and the smaller figure a girl child. The figures were flying a kite. This was a memory I recalled while working on this piece. When I had that picture the way I wanted it, I ruined it by slopping black randomly over the picture. Black represents cancer. I had to use a hair dryer for this piece. The paint was thick. When it was as dry as I could get it without spending the entire day drying the painting, I painted the words. The mis-spelling of the word cancer serves a dual purpose: One purpose is this entire painting was to have a child's perspective as I feel quite small, helpless and powerless (like a child) today. A small child might spell this word phonetically. The second purpose is  I want to insult cancer with this art.I know that when my daughter finds her name spelled incorrectly, she is insulted.

I see this mixed media art as a bit of a cross of Dadaism with the offensive language and Expressionism with the intense emotional messages both verbal and non-verbal.

**When I first created this blog, I wanted it to only be for happy and positive things. Well, it just so happens that I am a divine being having a human experience. Humans were graced with a full range of emotions. I happen to be the lucky owner of just such a set. This process of my dad's cancer diagnosis and losing my dad has shed a very different light on so many aspects in my life. I think differently about so much. I like this new light. I just wish it hadn't come with such a hefty price tag.

Monday, October 24, 2011

I Wish

I wish....

I wish I had a magic wand.
I wish there was a cure for cancer.
I wish my dad wasn't dying.
I wish he didn't have so much pain.
I wish I could make it better.
I wish I could understand it all.

I wish I could know why God thinks He needs my dad more than I do.

I wish I wouldn't have to fear what it will be like without him when the time comes.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Beginning

Kelly Mitchell
"The Beginning" 2011
11" x 14"
acrylic on canvas

I don't know what it is. I started out with a poem here. I wanted it to accompany this painting. I saw the and beautiful swimming in the sea of white and the cursor blinked....begging for more words. "Blink! Blink!" In my mind it equaled "More! More!" 

I froze. 

I reminded myself: I can do this. 

I am not afraid of stringing words together with words to express my thoughts. Nevertheless, I pulled my paper journal out from under my keyboard. I opened the covers to a blank page and transferred the words from the screen onto a blue-lined page in my current composition notebook journal. 

My mind is tired. 

I liked where I was headed with that string of words and I want to refine them more before I share them. 

Is that really it? Or am I dealing with a piece of self-doubt? Maybe it is both. Whatever the case, I am going to be a deleter for now and I will share the words soon.

This painting! When I look at it, I feel so happy. I couldn't wait to share it with my loved ones. Right now, it hangs in my dining room. 

Attitude of Gratitude:
  • the smell of fresh-brewed coffee in the morning
  • the howling wind outside my window as I type
  • my health
  • inspirational music
  • sketchbooks

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I'll Take Manhattan....Kansas, That Is!

I have been extremely blessed to have witnessed some very awe-inspiring sunrises. My kids attend schools that require us to drive a short distance from our home and each morning, the sky looks so markedly different from the day before.

On my birthday, the sunrise was the most beautiful pink. When the sight first came into view, I was speechless. I just gasped. Kaitlyn smiled and said, "You see that Mom? That is for you." I couldn't help believing she was was my birthday after all and a sunrise like that really set the day off on the right foot. I went to reach for my camera, but I had left it at home. I was so disappointed. 

I love how in the light similar to the photo I have shared here, any object is perfectly silhouetted. 

I was apprehensive about living in Kansas. People tend to stereotype it. I will say that a lot of Kansas is flat, but where I live, there are rolling hills and rivers and .... really beautiful sunrises.

Ten Things I Love:

  1. sunrises shared with people I love
  2. jingle bells in Kitties' collars
  3. spiced chai lattes
  4. bamboo knitting needles
  5. red pears
  6. seat warmers
  7. amber sunlight
  8. mint
  9. hubby's sweet iced tea
  10. soft, clean sheets
What are you loving .... right this minute?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

...a little graphic, poetry....and a new list of five things for which I am grateful...

  • God's beautiful artistry in Autumn
  • poetry
  • t-shirts
  • quiet time
  • ball point pens

Do you have a list of five things for which you feel grateful?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A New List of Five

  • A walk in the park with Kaitlyn this morning ... Starbucks in hand. The leaves were so beautiful.
  • short afternoon naps
  • my camera
  • Hubby is cooking dinner tonight
  • text messages

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I haven't been here in quite a while. I miss it. I crave it. I hear it calling my name...inviting me to come here to reconnect while I disconnect. I have barely taken photos. I have snapped many with my camera phone, but my brain has been so clouded by sadness, busy-ness and depression that I think I almost forgot that I love to capture lovely beautiful of the world around me.

I decided that today would be a great day to start back into a pattern here with a list of five. I used to create these on a daily basis to keep my spirits high. I would look around me and feel grateful for just five little things. It worked like magic.

In this moment, I feel an attitude of gratitude for:

  • watercolors
  • School - I am truly excited about my education. I love what I am investing my time in learning.
  • My children - my wonderful teachers have taught me so very much about life.
  • The recent visit I got to have with my mother. Our time together was beautiful...and the pie I baked was freaking amazing!
  • - I love that I can order a book and get it in a few days.
Thank you FishyFishyFishy for your patience and gentle reminders to come back to the blogosphere. I cannot wait to get to meet your precious little boy!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

In the Eye of the Beholder

Art. It's a funny thing isn't it?

When we drove through Nashville a couple of weeks ago, we went inside a Starbucks in Downtown Nashville. I'm not certain, but I think ti was definitely the historic part of Nashville....but each of us picked our poison and then climbed the stairs to the sitting area where we found some really neat displays of art from local artists. One piece was on a vertically oriented rectangular canvas. The background was gray and on that gray background were painted three squares. Kaitlyn and I stood there looking at the piece. She looked at me and said, "Really? It's just squares! I could do THAT!" I recall thinking the same thing .... that I could do it, too! Then we looked at the four-digit price tag.

I stood there looking at it some more and realized that when I create my own art, there is usually some reason. A reason for the alignments, a reason for the colors, a reason for the texture... In my own art, I like to include the number five somehow. My children all know why five is significant. I asked myself if there was some kind of hidden communication in this piece that included three squares. Kaitlyn was certain the whole piece was "just random" but I was sure there was a bit of color theory blended into the piece and the squares were aligned neatly within one another....but not so perfectly placed on the canvas.

To some who view art, it probably is just random and crazy. For others, there is a communication. I hope for that artist someone understands the message that was being communicated and is willing to hand over their plastic money for it to hang it in their office. I hope that because I like to hear of successful artists.

I plan to be one soon!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Juliette Avenue

On a lark, I convinced hubby that I needed to go to Manhattan to complete a photography assignment. He agreed to drive.

I spied this neat church and asked him to loop the block so I could use it for the background of my photo. I knew I wanted an intersection, too, so I could record some motion. I am pretty happy with this photo.

Today was a lovely day. I think I have decided that I ADORE cloud cover. I heard Alex remark from the back seat, "I don't think it has been less than 80 degrees since we got here!" It showed 75 very comfortable degrees on the bank thermometer next to us.

Slowly, I am getting the last few boxes unpacked and pretties hung upon the walls. It is amazing how hanging a few family photos and some art on the walls has made such a difference for me. It truly has uplifted my spirits.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hooooo, Doh-gie! It's HOT!

Gosh! It was really hot today! With the heat index, it was 114 degrees. I never knew what a heat index was....until I moved here. I learned quickly. We had a lovely thunderstorm roll through a couple of hours ago. Okay, it was maybe a little more turbulent than lovely. The wind blew over trash cans and a cast iron bistro chair! I loved the rain that accompanied the storm. I have always loved rain. It is always so cooling and soothing. The lightning and thunder sure made things more exciting.

I have a deep desire to draw or paint something....I feel blocked though. There is a part of me that feels like this isn't a place where I am supposed to spread out some art supplies and make a mess. It is a comfortable home, but it doesn't feel like my home yet. I wondered if I needed to paint some walls or something. Well, that is a definite thing! There will have to be some paint in here somewhere. These white walls are making me a little crazy. I have several pieces of art hanging on the walls and that helps. I still have boxes to unpack and before I can do that, I have to get more shelves. Sigh! Oh the joys of moving into a new home.

I just need to settle and get comfy here, I think. I used to love to sit out in my garden in the mornings to enjoy my coffee, but it is so blasted hot when I wake up, I never want to sit outside. I find myself longing for Fall.

For now, hubby and I are trying to adjust to living together. He is an early riser....and I am a night owl. I like having my computer in the bedroom so I can come in here and close the door to escape the chaos of a large family if needed. And, as always, I just seem to work better everyone in the house is quietly resting. Makes sense, eh?

I just want to find a comfortable groove .... into which I can settle and be productive.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Twists and Turns

It's been a week since I learned how sick my dad is.

Stage 4 lung cancer. Ruthless, unforgiving and most certainly unforgivable.

My emotions have been all over the board through the past week. In some moments, I feel like I want to laugh again. The next moment, I start crying. So many memories have flooded my brain, too. Like all the jack-o-lanterns my dad carved because I didn't want to touch the slimy pumpkin guts and the time Dad took me to the father-daughter ice cream social for the girl scouts troop I was in and all the beautiful decorations for my wedding that he hauled across the country for three days from South Carolina to Colorado for my wedding last September....and how he knew I needed a new car ... so he searched eBay and found my PT Cruiser in

My dad has been my go-to guy. I knew that if I had an issue, I could talk with him and he would listen and usually had some good advice for me to work through the "stuff".... now, I am here in his house....and between his naps, I try to make the most of every little bit I can get.

I told him how much I am going to miss him. He told me I am going to be all right. I told him, maybe so, but this is just too soon. I am not ready for him to go anywhere. He reminded me that sometimes we can't choose these things. I told him I sure didn't think it's fair. He told me that we all have lessons to learn and teach and I said to him the thing that crossed my mind on Monday night. I told him how I was yelling at Rob that night and I told Rob that I thought it was the dumbest thing I had heard of .... learning a lesson by losing your dad.

That Monday night, Rob asked me if I thought I wanted to meet with and talk with the Chaplain. I looked at him. My expression on my face was one of disbelief. I asked him, "Why would I want to talk to her??!!" he suggested . "Grief counseling....?" I was irritated by that. I said, "No! No, I don't want to go talk to the chaplain. I don't want to talk to her about grief counseling....DAMMIT! I don't want to grieve my dad! My dad is too young and he should not be sick enough to have a short prognosis and NO! I don't want grief counseling because I don't want GRIEF!" Rob sat and looked at me. I know he was worried about me.

I was so angry that night. I was starting new classes in school. I sat down at my computer and reviewed the classes' requirements. I learned that the art course was mostly about learning to draw a human figure. I sat at my desk and started at the computer screen as the cursor blinked in perfect rhythm. It crossed my mind that I am not going to live forever and why the hell should I challenge myself to learn how to draw a human figure if someday I am just going to die, too? This whole life concept just suddenly made no sense to me at all! I mean sure if someone challenged me, I could produce a logical answer, but really, why do we have to live if we just end up dying?

I am a mother and I love my children with every fiber of my being.  I thought about how some day, my children and I will go through this. It broke my heart a little more.

I thought of my very dear friend, Susan. Susan's first-born drowned. She had to bury her own child. I could not fathom that pain. I thought about what it was like to see my Grandmother go through the dying process for the same diagnosis that my dad was given. It was so painful to witness. She was my grandmother and somewhere in my heart, I managed to work through it and accept. For whatever reason, I felt like we as people find it easier to embrace when it is a grandparent. But now, I am losing a parent and this hurts like hell. I hate that it is cancer. I hate seeing how weak and pale he has become. I hate knowing that when he eats food for his own hunger, he is feeding that damned tumor that is crushing his ability to breathe. I hate that when he is so sleepy it is because of the tumor stealing him away from us a little bit at a time. I hate all of that so much.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

No, Thank You.

I waited to hear back from Karen. She was going to tell me what the doctors told her. I hadn't heard anything. I sent her a text message asking how things were looking. She called me right away. I answered. She said, "It doesn't look good, Kelly." I asked, "What are they saying?"

The day before, Karen called me to tell me she had taken my dad to the emergency room at the hospital because of a cough he couldn't get rid of and she told me his hematocrit numbers were in the single digits. She also told me he'd lost 35 pounds in six weeks' time. I knew it was cancer. I knew it was lung cancer. I tried to not think about it.

When I asked her what the doctors told me, she confirmed it. My dad has lung cancer.

I fell into a heap on the floor in the hospital where I was. I was there with my children having routine asthma check ups. Suddenly, the world faded away and it was just Karen on the phone...and myself. I was sobbing.

I pulled myself together enough to ask, "How big is it? Has it spread? Are they saying anything about whether or not it is treatable? I mean....what now!??"

She cried softly and said, "We just don't know yet. He is having the biopsy done now. We will know more when they are finished."

I couldn't believe it. The news was just too much. I felt like I could never believe it. I talked with Karen for a short while. When I felt I had enough information, I told her, "I need to call my sister. I will call you in a while." We hung up.

I dialed my sister's phone number. She answered. I tried to be calm. I asked her to call our mother with the three-way dialing feature. She did. When I knew that we were all three on the phone, I told them, "I am calling with sad news. Dad has cancer."

There was a quiet pause. Danielle sounded calm and collected. I listened to my mom and sister talk a little bit back forth about how maybe it was treatable and maybe my dad would pull out of this one like he has so many other scary things. Somehow, in my bones I just knew "This is it! I am losing my dad. This is going to take my dad from me." Eventually, all three of us were crying and reminiscing and checking plane fare prices and laughing and then crying again." The three-way phone call ended and my children and husband sat on the tile floor around me. I stared off into space trying to make sense of it. I remembered that when I packed my boxes to move, I knew that as soon as I got here, I was going to deal with cancer. I didn't know who, I didn't know when, I didn't know any of that, I just knew that someone had cancer and I would find out after I got here.....and I did...and now I am mad! I even said, "I'm losing my dad." Ryan scolded me and said, "Don't say that!" I think he was holding on to any shred of possibility.

When I called Karen again later, she told me she'd seen the x-rays and the tumor was quite large. Later, I was told there are tumors in both of his lungs and it has spread to other areas.

I cried a lot of tears yesterday. I thought I had cried so much that I couldn't cry any more. And then I would cry some more.

When I woke up this morning, my house was quiet. My head hurt. The pain was a textbook migraine headache. I wanted to sleep some more. My eyelids felt stuck closed, but after more-than-usual effort, they opened. They hurt, but they opened. I sat up in my bed and felt mad. Just. Plain. Angry. I thought: "Um...NO! This was not the storyline I chose or planned! I will take my money back and we can try this again!" I sat in the quiet room and relived all the horror of news I'd received the day before. I think part of my mind was trying to make sure I understood it all again. I was sure I wasn't asleep. I was sure it was real and true.

I got up out of bed and shuffled across the room to the bathroom. I knew my eyes and face were so swollen from all the crying. I looked at my reflection and felt so sad for me. My eyes were red and puffy. They looked like they were literally blistered. There were big, black circles under my eyes. I touched my ring fingers to them. They hurt. I thought, "My GOD! I seriously don't think my eyes have EVER been like this from crying....." I shuffled my way back to my bed. I didn't want to be anywhere but there. I laid my head back on my pillow and thought of my dad. I wondered how much more time I would have to be able to call him and talk to him whenever I want to. The hot, salty tears welled in my eyes and spilled out onto my face. Now, my eyes felt like they were burning. I wondered if anyone had ever cried so much as I had.

I pulled myself together again and I called my dad. He answered.
I said, "Good morning!"
He sounded a little winded, but said, "Good morning!"
I asked, "Did you get any sleep last night?"
He said, "Yeah! I did! Did you?"
I said, "No, Dad.  No, I didn't. I think I am just too sad."
He said, "I think we all are."
More tears came. My throat felt like it was closing off. I fought for a breath and blurted out, "I am not ready for you to go anywhere! Who am I supposed to call when I feel sad? Who will be my cheerleader, Dad?"
He tried to remind me that I could turn to God. I said, "But when I need to hear you tell me you're proud of me or that I am doing a good job...." He cut me off and reminded me again that God is in my corner. I sighed and angrily shouted, "That's all well and good, but dammit it isn't the same, Dad! I still need to physically hear you say those things to me!"
He said, "I know. I know. You're right. It isn't the same."

My heart hurts too much to remember how the conversation ended.

My dad has made a choice for comfort ... not treatment.

My heart is broken.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Walking on Sunshine

We went for a walk last night and heard the cicadas in the trees. Someone once told me they warn of hot weather to come. Today, our weather advisory read simply "VERY HOT" ... and it is. It is 103 degrees very hot. And today, I am quite thankful for air conditioners to keep us cool and happy.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Java Venus Is Alive!

Poor Ryan! He had a minor surgery on his hand today. While we were in Castle Rock, I convinced him that I needed to make a quick pass through The Barn. There is always soooo much eye-candy there. I was sure I could go through and window shop in less than....well....a certain increment of time. I strolled through at a much quicker than usual pace. I really was trying to be mindful of my son who waited in the car for me.

I made a quick and small purchase of a vintage book and had a quick conversation with the cashier about my purse and how she thinks I look like a celebrity she remembered from her youth. I giggled and walked out the door.

Tonight when I was scanning through the cell phone snaps I had collected during my perusing all those lovely booths, I held my phone out so Ryan could see the screen displaying the lovely chandelier. I knew he would have no interest in the photograph. I said, "See what you missed, Ryan?" He said in a sarcastic tone, "Oh sure! I sure missed out....on....a....lot."

He had a pain in his hand and missed out on all the lovely pretties......poor fella!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

One World One Heart


Hello! I have decided to participate in this fun, worldwide blogging event again. This will be my third year and I understand the event hostess has declared this will be the last one she will have. It's a lot of fun to have visitors from all over the world come to visit my blog. So, whether you're from my own little country of the US of A or from far, far away, I am so glad you're here. It's nice to meet you.

Want to play along with us? Click on the lovely graphic at the beginning of the post or click HERE and you will be able to read all about how to play, too!

I have two door prizes for you to win.

The first door prize is this photograph! It is a 5 x 7 original photo by me, signed by me. It will be just the photograph as I believe framing is a personal choice
The other prize is this adorable, spiral bound Queen Bee Journal with artwork by one of my favorite artists: Mary Engelbreit!

Just leave me a comment in the comments box so I know you're interested and on February 17th, I will choose a name and when I do, I will post the name of the winner and then I will ask that you send me your mailing address so your prize can be mailed to you. This is open to anyone with a blog!

Bonne chance!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Scenes From a Coffee Shop

We've decided this is a neat little place. They offer a warm, safe, cozy environment to have a cup of coffee, meet a client, treat a friend, or just linger. Kait does quite well with our weekly visits here. She listens to her headphones and get her assignments done. Me? Well, I play with photos and various softwares, I send text messages, I check my email, I visit with the baristas or the patrons. I need to focus! Ha!

I just love the little cardstock cutouts of little jovial mice on the walls. The touch of whimsy is fun. See ya next week at Grumpy's!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Grateful Five

I don't usually like to use the same photos on both of my blogs, but this one turned out so beautifully, I just had to post it here, too. I have a 365 Project going on over at Under a Java Moon. I am really happy with it so far. I definitely do enjoy having the challenge of taking a photograph every single day. I love the visual record we end up with when the project is done.

I haven't made a list of five lately. I thought I might get something good from here it goes! In this moment, I am thankful for:

  • Technology providing us when text messages.
  • My family...every single member.
  • pain relieving medications...I suffered a minor back injury yesterday, but it felt MAJOR!
  • pencils, paper and drawing
  • plants

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Coffee Date

Tuesday coffee with mom got moved to Grumpy's. She was running late, my car wouldn't start. It seemed the entire morning was a comedy of errors. She suggested and treated the coffee and the muffins.

Grumpy's is a blend of corporate mandated standards for consistently good coffee and original coffee house atmosphere with some original art. I enjoyed it!

I guess you could say I'm a new fan of Grumpy's!

A Big Wheel

I feel so badly that I haven't been a faithful blogger as I used to be. My schedule has become a little heavier than it was before, but I love to come here and catch up on my friends' blogs, etc. One of my friends and I have decided to work on 365 projects. Not the same project, but our own projects simultaneously. I am grateful to have a companion who helps keep me motivated. I was doing really well with keeping it updated, then as my wedding date approached, things kind of fizzled out. Jeanette approached me with the idea of starting it again. We decided the start of the new year would be a good time to get them going.

Kaitlyn started online high school at the start of the new year as well. She's worked on her studies for a week now and already feels like it's been a good move for her as she is enjoying the independent, self-paced study and believes that she is getting so much more out of her education. The day that we met the administrators for the online high school, we decided to spend a little time downtown denver. This was one of the fun scenes. It was a cold day. Kaitlyn and I walked a short distance and we began to talk about what we wanted for lunch. Kaitlyn started giggling. I followed her gaze and saw this old bicycle. I had to laugh, too, because I saw the antique-style bike with a modern bike helmet hanging from the handlebar parked outside the cell phone store...the modern mixed with the antiquity was an interesting blend. And look at how the lady is craning her neck to check out the old bicycle! She was captivated, too. I wonder if she was wondering the same thing we were...."Did someone REALLY ride that to the cellphone store?"

I love this shot.