As a kid, I was allowed to stay up late precisely two nights of the year: the night The Wizard of Oz was on television and the night that The Sound of Music was on. To this day, I still love both movies and have incredibly fond memories of watching those movies until “late” in the night (I think that means 10pm to my 7 year old mind) and having my Dad’s attention all to my self.
So imagine my surprise when I realized that after 40 years, I had never really known what the last phrase of that chorus was.
If you hadn’t guessed it by my introduction, it is indeed time for me to say goodbye and I wanted to do it with the same love, fond memories and positivity I just depicted.
In the last year, we have been incredibly lucky to have not lost anyone we love to Covid; yet that gratitude is tempered with incredible sadness and grief for all those who have either died or lost loved ones. And as grateful as I continue to be, our lives have seemingly been one incredible struggle after another.
In June of last year, my eldest Son fell while at work, from 7 foot high scaffolding, severely damaging both hands and a wrist. While he is now “recovered”, his use of his hands will never be the same. That same 4 year old boy who used to scare me to death playing with scissors, super glue and juice boxes at 3 am is still embroiled with Workman’s Comp and now saddled with figuring out how to reinvent himself into someone who no longer works with his hands.
In December, my Mom had a stroke; which thank God, she survived. But she has never really recovered and still struggles with many aspects of life, especially socially.
I’ve had too many Doctor visits, tests, appointments, new medications and scary side effects to count; at least 3 new diagnoses and two more “we found a mass” conversations. As we wind down the year and I craved a medical vacation, a visit to my Rheumatologist has now eliminated that possibility and instead introduced whether I have Multiple Sclerosis or another equally frightening nervous system disease. Again.
My youngest Son, B, moved to Florida to continue his Mechanical Engineering degree at a very prestigious college. And while I could not be any prouder of him or happier for his achievements, I have a gaping hole in my heart which his absence has left.
In July, I lost my beloved God Mother, mentor and dearly loved friend, my Aunt Helen. Followed by the very sudden death of our also beloved 14 year old kitty, last Monday.
It has been a year in which you beg for time to catch your breath, only to have it knocked out of you again, before you even got to inhale.
So while my absence has been from one catastrophe or another, yet one more health challenge, a death or just plain not being able to get off the couch, it has also been a time of great contemplation.
I love to write and moreover, I love that my writing occasionally helps others in similar health struggles to myself. That is the reason I began to write and the reason that discontinuing my writing has been such a difficult choice. In some of Helen’s darkest days, she would call and tell me how much she loved a blog post I had sent her (via actual mail) or how well she could relate. Her pride and encouragement meant the world to me and always will.
What has kept me going, given me fight and broken my heart, all in the last year, is the same reason I have decided to step back from writing: this little family of mine. While spending pretty much four months sleeping, it was them I banked my energy for, them I fought for and them that got me through.
And now, there will be one more of us:
In the coming weeks, we are thrilled to be welcoming a Grandson; a humbling and awe inspiring Blessing that fills us with joy, excitement, worry and love. I’m not sure God could have given us any more of a silver lining. The same lining that has kept me going through the absolute best and worst times of my life; my family. Now plus one.
So while I AM sad to be leaving you, I will carry the love and support you have given me for the last three years and will remember and think of you all; often and fondly. For now though, I will be focusing any and all attention where God intended it to be; with my family. And hopefully he will give me the health and energy to stay up late, with my new Grandson (whenever he decides to make his grand entrance) and eventually watch movies that he will remember always or better yet, take him for walks!!
As always, I send you much love and appreciation <3 Stace
ps: I will be leaving my existing blog up for two more weeks, but maybe someday I will reappear under a pseudonym 😉