Monday, October 17, 2016

Back Home in New York

It was hard to leave my grand kids and daughter but she feels ready to continue (without my daily help) finding her family's new "normal" after the passing of her husband and the children's father on September 28, 2016.

Only if you have experienced loss yourself can you understand that although your grief and pain doesn't end, there is no choice but to continue on with life, step by step, day by day. 

My presence didn't "fix" anything, but I strived each day to put a smile on the faces of my grandchildren and to simply let them know that they weren't alone.  My hope was to help them know that it is okay to smile, laugh and enjoy their I know my son-in-law would want them to do...even through the tears.

We visited the local Dairy Queen for ice-cream on a frequent basis.  Sometimes we all would go, but other times it would be just me and my youngest grandson.

I had the awesome privilege of taking my oldest grandson to his ROTC Marksmanship Competition and sitting on the sidelines with pride, watching him compete less than two weeks after his father's funeral, knowing his heart was heavy because of his huge loss.  He didn't feel like he did as good as he should have, but he did get two bull's-eye shots in the prone position.  His father would have been very proud of him!!!!!

Another blessing was having my granddaughter ask me to French braid her hair one evening.  I've NEVER French braided before but I told her I was willing to give it a try if she could get me started on the right track.  The first attempt had us both laughing and me taking it all down.  The second attempt wasn't so bad!  I told her it wouldn't hurt my feelings if she took it down but no, she wore it that way the rest of the day.  The fact she has extremely thick and naturally curly hair certainly helped my feeble attempt.  The thickness and curls cover up a bunch of my mistakes.  :)

Not long before my son-in-law passed away he had converted his youngest son's bunk beds into a loft bed.  The plan was to give Liam a clubhouse underneath using the novelty "Paw's Patrol" cotton fabric they purchased for curtains.  I count it a blessing to have been able to take the fabric and make the curtain panels to go around the front (on hooks, easy to open and close) and a fixed panel on the one open end of the bed while I was with them.  I still had one yard of fabric left and have brought it home with me to make a window valence for his bedroom to match his clubhouse.  I like to think Greg is happy knowing that his project is finished for Liam to enjoy.

As well as sewing the clubhouse curtains, I went shopping and purchased yarn, borrowed crochet hooks from my mom, and found a free pattern on Ravelry for some cute beanies with beards.

First I made one for Liam, thinking it would be the only one I made......

Then much to my surprise, my oldest grandson asked if I'd make him one as well....and requested a red beanie with a black beard.  Off to Michaels I went to buy more yarn!  :)

Both of my grandsons sporting their new fashion statements.....

Another of my four daughters arrived in Tennessee this past Thursday (and brought me home yesterday).  She took the kids out to pick pumpkins and then carved them the night before we left coming back to NY.

This trip also allowed time to spend with our youngest who attends college in East Tennessee.  It was difficult saying goodbye to her again, but she will be home for winter break in mid-December.

I left Tennessee still surrounded by green....although the leaves will soon be turning there.

As we neared New York and the temperatures dropped, it was strange to see that the fall colors had already begun and was almost in it's full splendor of reds, golds, and orange color.

The view of my front yard from the porch....

My side yard....

Aren't the leaves gorgeous on this tree!!!

It's good to be home.  Show love each day and appreciate each and every morning you wake up!  Life is precious!  Family is a treasure!

Until next time!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Broken Hearts

Wednesday morning, September 28th, only five days ago.  Our home phone rang a little before 6 a.m.  No one calls that early, we were still asleep, the alarm was set to go off just a few minutes later than the ringing telephone.  I sat up on the side of the bed, fumbled for my glasses but couldn't find them, grabbed the phone and could barely make out the blurry 423 area code.  Tennessee, but could be my parents, my brothers, my oldest daughter or my youngest who is now attending college there.

My voice was probably a little sharp from my fear as I said hello.

My daughter, my eldest, screaming "Momma!  Momma!  Greg died!  At least that's what I thought she said but it couldn't be true!  I know I screamed "what did you say", and she said it again through the tears, Oh God....please NO!

Her husband, our son-in-law, father of our three grandchildren, Austin (15), Abbi (14) Liam (6) was gone!  How could that be, he's too young, only 37 years old.

Greg has suffered from chronic Pancreatitis since he  was 9 or 10, a young child. Dealing with this for so many years had been too hard on several major organs, so much damage that in the early morning hours on Wednesday September 28th, he suffered a heart attack in his sleep and never woke up.

The word heartbroken doesn't even come close to the pain, shock, unbelief and grief that our family is experiencing.

His funeral  service was yesterday. We all went through the motions of what was expected from us.

My pain, my loss, my grief doesn't begin to come close to my daughter's or my grandchildren's.

Greg and Shannon are high-school sweethearts. From the time they were 14 they have been a couple, a team.  For 23 years he has been a part of a family.  I can't remember a time when Greg wasn't there.

I'm in Tennessee, taking one step, one day at a time. I'm not sure how long I'll be here.  I'm not sure when I'll be back home in my sewing room, so I truly can't say how long it will be before I start writing regular blog posts again.

In the meantime, will you please just remember our family in your thoughts and prayers.  Especially pray for my daughter and grandchildren.

I'm going to close this post with a few pictures.  The first picture was taken only 2 years ago when I designed and made Greg his very own quilt for his 35th birthday.  For several years prior he would say "Maw, will you make me a quilt of my own so I don't have to share with anyone?"  :)  Thank you God that I didn't wait until it was too late to surprise him with HIS quilt!

Love your family!  Make them things!  Don't put off doing special  projects that you know would make them happy and feel loved.

I appreciate each and every one of you!