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Friday, January 23, 2015

...aftermath.. and a pin cushion or three...

Belated Happy New Year!!

I feel like I've been MIA for forever!!  It's been a crazy few months.



(I used the gelatin recipe found here)

My MIL's celebration of life party finally took place a couple of weekends ago.  It was beautiful and just as she wanted it. The only hiccup was that my FIL was in the HOSPITAL with a bleeding ulcer.  He is fine now.. I think it was just all of the stress. He was sorry to miss it but wanted it to go on as planned. It has been three months since she passed now. We have had the first Thanksgiving, the first Christmas and New Year, and her first birthday without her.  Although we still miss her, she is always with us.  A memory or a wink (more on that in a minute) away.  

We remembered her leading up to her celebration by making bird seed cookies as favors for her "party". (She didn't want a traditional funeral.)  Her first initial was D. So each cookie had a tag with a "d" on one side and one of these other stamps on the other side. 









A. helped with the stamping of the cards. 



It was a fun, crafty, therapeutic project for us, and we ended up being buried in birdseed for about a week and a half, as we needed to make over 120 and each batch only made about 12-14 (and needed to dry overnight). They turned out really cute though. I think we'll make some more just for fun to hang out in the spring. We made them on the red 1950's table that her parents bought new in 1951.. next to a special piece of yoyo patchwork that she had told us about for years.. how she used to make the circles with her mom and wanted us to have it. She had given it to us on one of the last occasions we saw her before she passed. So we felt her presence all around us. 




But, as life has gone on, as often seems to happen after a death in the family, esp. with a large extended family, the passing of my MIL has been followed by a certain amount of drama re: outside opinions on various things. As a result of one such instance, we no longer have the yoyo patchwork pictured above as an extended family member felt they deserved it more than we did. :( But we move on.. 

And for 2015 I've decided to resurrect this button from my archives to place in the sidebar over there on the left.. it's a good motto..



.. and to remind myself this year to do my best to steer clear of being sucked into the dramas of others, although sometimes we have no warning ahead of time and don't see it coming until we're right in the middle of it. 


However, the blinders are off in some respects and we will avoid it with all we have in 2015! (feel free to grab it and enjoy a drama free rest of the year with me!) :) 

I know my MIL wouldn't want us to be upset for too long over the actions of others. The advice she gave, somewhat prophetically when she first found out she had cancer was that should/when hurtful moments/remarks occur in the future, just picture her smiling and winking.. so that's what we do as we move on. 

We're all human after all, and I think that a certain amount of drama is probably common in most families when faced with grief. Esp. large families. Esp. when emotions are stressed and running high. Everyone handles grief differently. So we forgive, pick ourselves up, and carry on. However, I do think that we are all responsible for our own mental health, and if we need to, must establish boundaries.



Finally.. about the *winking*...

the other day, when I was feeling particularly blue and sad, I looked up and saw a little bird hovering up and down and in a circle against the glass of our sliding glass door, as though it was trying to look in or get inside. Just for a few moments, then it flitted off. It felt like a little *wink* from my MIL for sure.. We rarely see birds that small in our yard. And have NEVER seen one trying to look inside! ;) It was the strangest, sweetest thing with just the most perfect timing!! :)

This might seem like kind of a bummer post but really, it's not. Just processing what's been going on for the last couple of weeks, and the last few months.  Life is hard sometimes.  Just keepin' it real. I want every post to ooze happiness but I don't want to be "fake" happy. :) Life doesn't always ooze happiness.  I pinned this on pinterest a long time ago, and just saw it again earlier. It's so fitting! Balance, for sure!



The last few months of 2014 exploded in our face,(the month after my MIL passed away, my FIL's only living brother passed away, and the weekend of his memorial, MY uncle-my dad's youngest brother passed away) and we are now just scraping it off and finding the new normal. There has hardly been a stitch sewn on my poor sewing machine since September! But the dark cloud is dissipating and I feel my mojo coming back! I did make these pin cushions this week.. plus a couple of four inch blocks for the tiny block quilt I had started in the summer.



More on those next time! :) And some other happy sewing/newsy things ahead in 2015!

Thanks for reading and hanging in there with me for the last few months! It's been a wild ride. Happy 2015! I can't wait to get sewing again..

I love this (I think I posted it before!).. it puts it all in perspective.



Look for the winks!
xoxo

17 comments...:

Sewgirl said...

So sorry to hear about all your grieving...thanks for sharing..not a bummer post at all. Loved your quote at the end of your post...good for us to always keep in mind! Lots of hugs.

magistra said...

No, it wasn't a "bummer" post. It did make me think of my wonderful Aunt whom I lost around 15 years ago. I think about her and my father pretty much every day I guess. I don't in a teeth gnashing, feeling sorry for myself way. It just seems to be a part of my natural going about my business. I do miss them, but I was so lucky to have them. Just two sides of the same coin. I love how you remembered your MIL with the bird seed ornaments, such a great idea and I like how it involves the kids, too. Anyway, thank you for a very nice post that briefly let me see how lovely your MIL was.
Beth

charlotte said...

A very nice post, actually. You can share anything you like here, it's your blog. I am sorry for your losses. You have had it rough. Smile and wink a lot. It will help. The day after my sister passed away, December 20, It snowed these big fat snowflakes for about 30 minutes. It never snows here in NC, especially in December. I think it was her, sprinkling her love on me. The next day, she did it in Vermont where my brother lives. Just a bit, for about 30 minutes, and she was gone. I smile now to think of it. Your bird story reminded me of that. Welcome back.

Tracy said...

Thank you for your timely post. I'm having my Dads service today and going through the same things with family, though I love them all, it's difficult at times. But God is faithful through it all. Sweet with the bird!
Blessings to you.

I am so sorry that you have had such a rubbish time and that some people may not have been all that they could or should have been. It sounds as though you are taking things really positively and moving onwards and upwards in the best way that you can. I wish you all the best and hope that 2015 will be a great year for you. xx

I am so sorry you have had such a rough go of it lately. Sounds like it is time for the therapy provided by sewing! Prayers for you and your family as you deal with all the losses.

betz2u said...

Your post is a reminder how lucky we are and to appreciate each day. Maybe the extended family member who did not follow your MIL's wishes will rethink their behavior. At least you know her wishes. Families are interesting dynamics for sure. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you return to life once again without the lovely lady and others. Sometimes we sure get slammed with these things and you certainly hVe. Love the pin cushions. Love your ending thought and it is so true. A little wink for you. Thanks for sharing..

LA Paylor said...

I follow your blog thru email, and wondered what happened. Your birdseed cookies are perfect to give out, and the bird looking in story! Awesome. Love the boundaries sign. I had to set a hard boundary twice last year and am tired from it. LeeAnna at not afraid of color

Jeneta said...

What a lovely post Kelli! So tender and uplifting.

Carla said...

I'm sorry for all you have endured. You are a lovely example of grace. Emotions run very high after we lose someone. My mother in law just died of cancer in November and it was such a blessing to be with her until the end : )
Nice to see you back

Vicki said...

Thank you for being so open and raw with us. We are all human and go through not-happy things. I needed to read this!

Vicki said...

Thank you for being so open and raw with us. We are all human and go through not-happy things. I needed to read this!

Sorry about the family stuff. Not fun. Love those pin cushions, especially the mug, that looks like the British Flag. It reminds me of my trip to Europe (and Britain) almost 30 years ago.

I'm sorry to hear that your family has had such a rough few months - I hope things get better from here on in xx

jen said...

Aw, Kelli. I just want to give you a big hug. I'm sorry you've been going through so much.

The bird seed cookies are so creative and what a way to honor your MIL.

I love that saying... "Make each day a story worth telling." It sounds like your MIL was that kind of person.

sunny said...

Hi Kelli! Just popping in to see how you're doing, and let you know I'm thinking about you. Hugs...

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