Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 In Review

I sort of vanished for the latter part of 2013. My last post was on November 16, when I shared the Gatsby printable I created. I'm glad for those of you who enjoyed and for all the shares it has received on Pinterest

The year 2013 was a hard year. It began with me abandoning all control, putting all of my faith in God, and moving to Boone. I had never set foot on Boone soil. I hadn't been to NC since I last lived here when I was six years old. But God brought me here, and boy do I love it! God is great that way. The day I left I cried on my mothers shoulder, terrified to leave. Who would of thought I would find such an amazing, gracious and loving home here.

But that was hardly difficult. Between October and November I lost three members of my family. Two were somewhat expected, so while disheartening, easy to cope with. It was the last one, my Aunt Shari. She died Thanksgiving morning. She died in her sleep. She was but 50 years old.

I was walking out the door the morning of Thanksgiving. My purse was in hand, the kids were headed downstairs to the car, when my phone rang. I realized it was coming from my bedroom and that I did not have it on hand. I went to get it real fast, saw that it was my dad calling. For a fraction of a second I thought, Oh, I'll call him back later. We were just walking out, headed to spend the holiday with family and friends. We had hours of driving to do. But then I decided to answer since it was Thanksgiving. My parents had relocated back to Phoenix, so the least I could was wish my family a Happy Thanksgiving.
In that same moment it occurred to me that it was 9 AM my time, 6 AM theirs. How odd they would be calling me so early.

"Hello," I answered.
"Hey, Sis," came my dad's voice. "I've got bad news."
"What? Is everything okay?"
"Shari died."

My reply was bleak. I plopped down onto my bed and stuttered over my words. What words I could get out, that is. I hung up the phone and wept. I wept all the way to Morganton, then on the drive to Rockingham, then while I was there at my best friends house. 

I haven't quite gotten passed it yet. Each time I think of it, my mind doesn't seem to want to comprehend it. She was only fifty! Far too young to die! But just like that, my mothers baby sister was gone. 

My aunt didn't have children of her own, but spoiled us tremendously. I always had a very close relationship to her. She bought me my first pair of dangly earrings and took me to my first R-rated movie. She once took me to see the Beauty and the Beast ballet at the theater, and even brought a pair of theater binoculars. Between that and the dress my mother bought me, I remember feeling so fancy that day.

Each time I think of these things, I just feel ... sad. Is there another word for it? Something not quite so morose, but equal in feeling? 

That is why I have not been around much. I haven't quite gotten over the sadness. And beginning a new year doesn't make it easier to do so. I feel this need to begin a new year, leave the old in the past, and embrace the present. There's a whole future in front of me. But how do you just let someone go so cavalier-like? I don't think you do. 

So, no, I don't believe I will be embracing 2014, but rather plugging on through another day. I know that time heals and just because it is a new year, that doesn't mean it's time yet.

On a more delightful note: I did get to spend a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with my best friend of nearly 20 years. We had a marvelous time together! We even stole a moment to take some family portraits. So enjoy these final mementos for this post. Till next time ...

Hinson Lake, Rockingham, NC

If you're interested in how I edited any of these, please let me know in the comments. All the actions I used are freebies, and I would love to share the techniques I'm learning in Photoshop.

Happy New Year to all,

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