hi friends. i know this place is usually a fun space where diy and pug-filled dreams come true, but sometimes real life gets real. real hard. real fast. just real.
i have been trying to figure out how to talk about some of the more challenging things going on in my world, and while i still don't really know how to say any of this out loud i figure i should try. i want to be honest and open with you guys - even if it's difficult.
first, a small piece of my heartache stems from this past weekend. our family dog, bayleigh, passed away on saturday and i am heartbroken. she was a golden retriever and she had the biggest heart. we got her right before i started high-school and after growing up watching full house (and their dog comet) a golden retriever was my dream dog. who wouldn't want a big snuggly teddy bear? she loved to swim in our pool and splash around, she would let you put funny glasses on her and she knew quite a few tricks. she was loyal, and loving, and would cuddle you if she thought you were having a bad day. she knew all of my secrets and i am going to miss her so much.
another piece of this heartache is much more cumbersome. in february, fresh off my alt summit high, we learned that matt's mother barbara (my quilting fairy godmother) was diagnosed with als, or lou gherig's disease. for about a year now she has thought she had carpal tunnel and her hands were slowly functioning less than they used to. rounds and rounds of tests later, she learned it was something far worse.
als is one of the worst things i can think of and i don't know how such terrible things come to happen to amazing, caring people. lately i have been questioning everything, wondering about life and my plan and our timeline for children and my goals. how will i get matt through this? what will we do without her? how many more quilts will we be able to make together?
i haven't lost a parent before, and even though she is my mother-in-law - she feels like my mom too. she is a big part of our family and i feel so blessed that our parents and families get along so well. i love our big family and i don't want any of it to change ever. i know how unrealistic i am being but when everything feels just right, how can you not wish for it to be that way always?
we don't know what barb's journey will be like and als affects each person differently and the timeline is unique for everyone. hopefully i am writing about our quilting adventures and her miracle for many many years. i hope i get to complain to you about how shes spoiling my children rotten. i know that she is worried about us and how we are handling this news - and i won't lie and say it's easy. it isn't. it feels like everything is changing around me and i feel a little out of control. but i still have hope.
honestly, this all feels really scary and the only way i feel less afraid is by staying busy. i jumped in head first into organizing an amazing, supportive group of people for the als walk last weekend and now that its over i feel like i need to keep moving. standing still makes me nervous. one of barb's friends set up a fundraiser at a local restaurant, cabo flats, on may 8th (you should come! there will be drinks!) and 100% of the proceeds will go to helping barb and her husband, ernie. i am looking forward to this and hope that the support she had at the walk only continues to grow. she deserves only good things.
i know that staying positive is really important for her and her diagnosis - so after my five minutes of admitting that i am afraid and worried i am going to go back to my smiley, happy, bright and cheery self. i just know that writing this all down will help and once i tell the world, it will feel less like a scary secret and more like a hard piece of life that we are going to tackle together. the more matt and i talk - the more i talk with anyone really - the more manageable this feels.
i don't know what is next. usually the "out of control" feeling i have comes from myself. i do it to myself. i say yes way too much and try and make everyone else's life easy peasy while mine is spiraling off a cliff. the things i usually stress about - job, car, laundry, dishes, body image - are all trivial at this point and yet i still stress about them. am i doing enough? am i becoming enough? am i creating, writing, achieving enough? is my family be proud of me? i am trying to get to a place where i feel fulfilled in my career and balanced in my life. not there yet. but working.
i hate to be down and bring the lively party to a screeching halt - but life is hard sometimes. and i am just trying to get to the next checkpoint. the next save spot. i am not giving up. on myself. or on barb. i knew i had to talk about it - and i feel better now that i have said it all out loud. and now we just go forward. together.
thanks for listening.