I'll admit, I've been slacking off lately. Something has been trying to get hold of me, and I've been fighting it tooth and nail, literally (I split 2 fingernails LOL). I get home from work and I am so exhausted that I sometimes don't even check email, let alone do anymore designing. I have to get moving and start making new pieces for my shop. I have so many new ideas and hopefully this weekend I will have the time and energy to start creating again. I have one custom order to complete and my buyer has been very patient with me, which is priceless.
It seems like every other weekend something comes up and there is no time to relax. Last weekend my husband and I took a short trip to a resort in Northern Illinois, right on Lake Michigan. It was a well needed rest and respite from reality, not to mention some alone time for Valentine's Day. We had a room with a lovely view of a State park, and it even included chocolate covered strawberries and a bottle of champagne on Saturday night, along with a delicious dinner in the hotel's restaurant, which had a lake view.
We got to talking to a woman who was staying there while her husband was at the Cancer Treatment Center nearby. I was very impressed with her courage and outgoing personality, considering she was alone in a strange city. I used to travel for a former job and I could never bring myself to go to a restaurant for lunch or dinner alone. I usually ended up picking something up from a fast food place and going back to my hotel. We invited our new friend to join us for whatever meal we happened to be having whenever we saw her. She spent most of the day at the treatment center visiting with her husband. I don't know how I would feel if I was in her shoes, especially since it seemed there were several set backs in the progress of his condition. I gave her my business card and asked that she keep in touch with us. Since the hotel isn't that far from our home, we told her that whenever they returned for treatments, to let us know and we would try to drive up to visit with her.
Meeting her brought back memories of my mom when my dad was in the hospital for over 3 months in Minnesota. She stayed in a boarding house across from the hospital and ate all her meals in the hospital cafeteria or at the little waffle house next to the boarding house. She was alone, but bonded with many other women who were in the same position as she was. It took a lot of courage to deal with most of the situations that arose on her own. We would take turns going up to visit for weekends, but we all had families and jobs and couldn't always go every weekend. She had her needlework for the times she was in her room at night, but I know she was wishing one or all of us could be there with her. It took a lot of courage and strength to do what she did and I really admired her for that.
Saturday will be 19 years since my dad passed away, and I still miss him. I can still remember the last time I talked to him, it was Valentine's Day 1990, the week before he died. We had been up there for 10 days and had to return home. The doctors told my mom as we were leaving that they would be sending him home the following week, on a med-jet. We knew there was nothing else that could be done and that he was going home to die. It was what he wanted..to be home with his family. Like the song..."he did it his way". I still think of the song "My Way" as his theme song, and almost asked for it to be played at the funeral mass, but didn't know if some would be offended. That is the only thing I regret, is not doing that, because I really believe he would have gotten a kick out of it.
He had the last word, again, the day of his funeral....there was a blizzard that pretty much paralyzed the city of Chicago. He worked for the city and we always used to give him grief when it snowed and the streets weren't cleaned off. Sitting in the limo outside the funeral home, we talked about that and laughed at the memory of it, and everyone walking by and looking in at us probably wondered what we were talking about. But then they knew my dad and his sense of humor and I'm sure they had their own memories that gave them a chuckle that day.
A very good friend gave us something to consider. I can't remember her exact words but it was something along the lines of:
"Don't look back and be sad, but remember all the good times and enjoy the memories over and over again."