Monday, May 14, 2012

~ this moment in time ~

For about a week or more I have had this layout sitting on my desk just waiting to be put together.  Before Mikaela's accident and death, I knew I loved this photo of my daughter and granddaughter and wanted to get the memory in the book.  After the accident, I felt like I needed to get it down now.  Even with this sense of urgency, it took me a week or more to actually get it done.

I started back to work this past week, that's part of the delay.  It's amazing to me how everyone else's life has just gone on, while mine seems to be standing still in this sad space. That being said, going back to work is probably good for me.  The stressful week, combined with the fact that I am still having a difficult time sleeping through the night, has added to my mood, though.  I feel like every little thing is more difficult than it needs to be, and my thoughts just aren't as clear as I would like.  But, I've had wine nearly every night, and taken several photos as evidence.  :-) Here's one of my favorites taken after finally getting all of my photos for my 365 project uploaded to flickr (loving all the orange here).
~ wine, flickr and Craig Ferguson ~
Lots of iPhone photos have made up my 365 lately, but slowly I'm getting back in to using the Canon.  B. has enjoyed playing in the mud in our backyard and I've gotten several good ones from that!
~ puddles ~
More on flickr, of course!  One B. story from this day:  at one point she decided that we should all take our clothes off and swim in the mud "like Shrek".  We didn' far as you know.

OK, so to the layout...Here's the lowdown!  Even knowing the photos that I wanted to use, I decided to wait until my Scrapbook Circle kit arrived!  It's always an exciting day when that pizza-box-looking package arrives!  The Story lived up to my expectations.  In fact, while combing through the items I quickly found perfect pieces to use for this layout!  Two standouts, both from Cosmo Cricket, the Twenty-thr3e Element Deck and Tiny Text Typewriter stickers were pieces that I knew I would use.  There were so many sentences in the latter that worked perfectly with these photos, which were taken the last time we went to the park as a complete family.  I chose the following (click if you want to see it bigger):
tiny text typewriter stickers
Besides the pizza-box-looking package I also got another package in the mail this week! Stamps from Elise!!  I put them to use in this project as well!  Have I mentioned lately that I adore her and her cuteness?  Her package was even cute.  There were great postage stamps, it was machine stitched shut, and had a stamped message that read "get excited"!  I got excited.
this (by elise)
today is (by elise)
I have quite a few stamps, but I hardly ever use them, so that was fun for me.  I also added more machine stitching to this layout than I have in the past.  If that weren't enough to excite you all, I was a Washi tape virgin until now (I scored the Washi tape you'll see below from Target)!  Here's the big picture:

I based this loosly on the May sketch challenge from Scrapbook Circle (design by Diana).

Doing this layout was really a type of therapy for me.  It always helps to create.  I had an interesting email conversation with my mother.  I sent her photos as I was working on this, and she responded that she had a difficult time seeing photos of M. smiling so wonderfully.  I can totally understand that.  I would say that I had quite a few tears as I attempted to finish this, for just that reason.  Looking at her beautiful face, smiling and having such a good time, makes me cry because I know that it's over.  But also, I had the privilege of being there on this day and I have that memory forever.  It was a good memory.  I did some journaling about it, but because I didn't really want to mix those sometimes sad words with the beautiful smile and I wanted the photograph to be the focus, I hid the journaling under the photograph.  
The process of creating this was cleansing for me.  It's why art therapy and music therapy exist.  Don't get me wrong, I don't really feel any better.  :-)  But still, the process was helpful and I'm glad I did it.  I finished it on Mother's Day, which was a difficult day for all of us, and I'm glad it's over.  I don't know if my daughter H. will keep this in her scrapbook, or if it will stay with my things, either way, I got the memory documented and learned a few things in the process.

Thank you for reading!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

~ grieving, but grateful ~

I cannot begin to express how unbelievably sad I am these days.  I do not want to do a damn thing.  I will likely need medication before all of this is over.  I'm worried about my oldest daughter and her husband having to deal with losing a child.  I'm worried about my youngest daughter.  She is saying and doing things that show she is beginning to put the puzzle pieces together -- and doesn't really want those that she loves out of her sight because they might not come back (those are my words, our observations).  I'm also worried about my parents and my one true love.  Somewhere in there, is me.  I should've been bringing home a new baby this week, instead I buried my granddaughter.

But I am also grateful.  My daughter and her husband have been separated since December.  Even with that, they have been so together with all of the decisions that they have had to make this week.  It's been amazing to watch.  They are so young and so brave and so wise at times.  I deeply wish that they did not have to go through this, and I am thankful that they have each other.

One thing I have learned is that my family and friends (old, new, and virtual) are wonderful people, and for that I am grateful.  We've had phone calls from friends as far away as Arizona, and daily visits from those in close proximity.  Messages left on Facebook.  Every day we receive a nice bundle of cards in the mail (post office and email).  We've had flowers and food delivered, even as recent as yesterday (with the comment, "After about a week, you need some new food.")!  People have gifted money to the family for expenses and for Mikaela's memorial fund.  It's overwhelming and beautiful.

Julie, a blogging friend that I've 'known' (virtually) for such a short time, has remembered us several times on her blog.  This first post of remembrance reminds me that Mikaela knows how much she was and still is loved.  Thank you Julie for your kind words.  Thank you for sending your readers our way.  All of their kind words have meant so much.

The ladies over at Club CK, helped me out when I was having an adhesive emergency.  :-) I've seen some of their names pop up in the comments with kind words attached as well.

My flickr friends have also embraced Mikaela's memory.  My (virtual) friend, delileh! started a flickr group in Mikaela's memory!  This group has been asked to support us by taking photographs with a "heart" in memory of Mikaela.  That group can be found here.

Thank you so much for your comments and kind words.  They mean so much at this time.  I leave you with one of my favorite pictures.  My daughter and her daughter, Mikaela, taken about two weeks before Mikaela left us.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

~ sad day ~

On Thursday, April 26, 2012, my beautiful granddaughter Mikaela was struck by a car.  She was rushed to the hospital and flown by helicopter to the University Hospital, but was not saved.  Today we lay her to rest.  It's a sad day.

Here are a few of my favorite recent photos of M., some of them with my daughter B. (only seven months older) and even one of M.'s mommy (my oldest daughter).