June Thoughts and July Updates

I have so much to say and no words to say it. Seems lately I have given so much of myself that I don’t have much leftover, including a working vernacular to express myself in a way that I might be understood. I feel like I’ve been mourning the many lives I had only just begun to build and the injustice of life’s whims. And that’s really the crux of my sorrow.
I wrote it in the sand
I saw it in the stars
I blew out the candle
The tide came in
The sun rose
The flame died
What is happiness after all? Where is it? Can I go buy it in a store or steal it from someone who has more than me? They’ll never notice. I’ve been at this spiritual crossroads for what seems like years, where I know that happiness is not a constant state and that purpose is outside of myself. I know alot about happiness. I know alot about purpose. I know alot about alot. My acceptance however is still lacking in so many ways.
Faith without works is dead.
I have yet to accept what I know to be my truth because, ultimately, acceptance means that I have to face…ME.
I wrote this over a month ago and it was the last thing I have written since. In the past month, I have wanted to write to you and apologize, I’ve wanted to write to you about canning, about love, about Alzheimer’s, treehouses, ANYTHING! But, I couldn’t. I guess it’s the closest thing I’ll ever feel to writer’s block. So much change has weighed so heavy on my heart that it didn’t feel right smooth over several tumultuous events and write sweet little pieces on lemonade when I was drowning in lemons.
These are the parts no one writes about.
Every life has it’s struggles, that’s true. I’ve openly shared that I suffer from both anxiety and depression. They can be tricky to balance and without the ease of medication, even trickier to combat when they arise. There are also life situations that require you to take a few steps back and really process them in a way that feels like a voluntary depressive state. Positivity takes energy most days and June saw me take a step backward and inward in an effort to reclaim my energy and refocus myself. I managed to get alot of thinking in over the past month and I think I’ve reached a level of acceptance that I’m ready to share part of what prompted the above passage. I’m back now and, without apologies, I’d love to share with you the happenings of the past month. I’ll start with the negative so we can end on a high note.
Quite possibly the hardest events of the last month happened back to back. My stepfather suffered a stroke and temporary paralysis. He has since regained function and strength but is still very weak and it was, needless to say, a huge scare for our family. On the same day, my oldest daughter, Skylar, broke her arm in a bike wreck while away at summer camp. She, too, is now recovering and will, fingers crossed, be cast and splint free by month’s end.

Skylar at her first orthopedic appointment

Having two loved ones in two different hospitals on the same day is kinda when I threw my hands up and said “okay, life, that’s enough funny business!” However, life wasn’t done with it’s bad jokes and while our family was still reeling from the stress of all this illness and injury, Granny had what can only be described as a violent outburst. As many of you know, Granny is usually mild-mannered, soft-spoken and always smiling. I can only assume that this outburst came from days, even weeks, of frustration with our new living arrangements or overstimulation from the influx of people in her environment. I’m not entirely sure. What I do know is that it was scary, hurtful and very tough to be the target of. However, I did take a short video of part of our interaction. After an hour or so of trying to calmly talk to her, reason, plead, cry, I realized that, while this may be controversial, this interaction might be a teaching moment for myself and others who care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s.

I’ve watched this clip several times trying to work out ways I could’ve reacted differently and it doesn’t get any easier or illicit any less emotional response than it did the night it happened. I eventually gave up and left her, alone, as she had demanded. I stayed till she turned out the lights and I came straight back at 630 the next morning. She greeted me with her usual smile as if nothing had happened and while I was relieved, my heart was and is broken.
This week she had a similar, albeit less violent episode and, after researching and reading in the wake of the first episode, I was better equipped to handle her frustration and redirect her focus. Alzheimer’s is not for the faint of heart.
Thankfully, despite the last episode, life has slowed down and what creative energy I usually reserve for writing, I have put into the homestead and our family. Granny, the kids and I have enjoyed lots of lazy days around the house along with some busier days with the 4th of July holiday. I’ve also taken some time to care for myself and leave Granny with family while the kids and I run out our energy somewhere else for a few hours. We even spent a night in our cabin this week which was so restorative to my mind, body and spirit.

Jackson and I at Freedom Fest, 4th of July, 2018
Our little cabin in the woods

Brian and I have worked on a really cool project, (which I’ll get you up to speed on soon), I’ve been taking on odd jobs during the week for extra income and I have spent weekends with Granny in the garden, making soap, having family cookouts and canning; activities that are a little less overwhelming for her.
All in all, life is good. There is promise and hope in every day and, no matter the circumstances, I am grateful for this life of mine and it’s many twists and turns. I hope you’ll stay tuned to my blog as I have so much more life to share with you. Y’all come back now, ya hear?!
Peace, Love and Cheesecake!!!

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