Thursday, March 17, 2011

My lengthy absence...

I log on to my blog from time to time to add new blogs I want to follow, but it wasn't until today that I realized just how long it's been since I wrote a new post.  I apologize profusely to those of you who were eagerly awaiting new content. 

Life has a way of taking over at times.  While there's always the daily chores that demand my attention, not the least of which is raising my two boys, the past few months there have been additional wrenches thrown into the clockwork of my life.

In the midst of working on a major creative project that has occupied the majority of my time (hopefully I can share news about this soon), my immediate family and I have been dealing with the fact that both my in-laws had cancer.  Needless to say, this has been especially difficult for my husband, who is an only child, and for my boys who were able to see them every day of their lives since we live only two doors away from them.

Since my father-in-law's initial diagnosis, over a year before my mother-in-law discovered that she had stomach cancer, we'd been hoping for the best.  Unfortunately, shortly before this past Christmas optimism became increasingly difficult as my mother-in-law was hospitalized due to a sudden inability to walk.  She was never able to return home, was transferred to hospice care, and passed away on January 13th. 

Now my father-in-law's cancer has progressed to the point where he is in hospice care, confined to a bed, on oxygen, with limited time remaining.

Understandably, the above events have absorbed a substantial portion of my time over the past several months.

This isn't intended to cause anyone to feel pity for me, but rather to help you understand the events in my life that have diverted my attention elsewhere.

My husband is fond of saying, "It is what it is."  While it's true, there's nothing we can do to change the course of these events, we do control how we react to them.  We've chosen to focus on spending as much time as we possibly can with them while they were, and are, still here so that we don't later look back on their last few days with any regrets over courses of action not taken.  Our boys have sadly had to learn about loss at a far younger age than I would have chosen, but hopefully they'll end up stronger because of it.  I've been making an effort to hug all three of my boys a little more as it's one of the few things I can do to make things easier.

This journey has taught me an important lesson, however:  not to take my loved ones for granted and to make the most of each day I have with them.  Hopefully this blog post will help you learn the same lesson, if you hadn't learned it already.

6 comments:

Shirley said...

Glad to see you are back with a post. I knew that you would be sooner of later. It takes something like what you have been through and what I have been through with my hubby to make us realize that we take every day we are given and make the most of it because we don't know what tomorrow will bring. I am sorry about all of the health issues. We lost my husband's mom to stomach cancer so I can relate to that he was an only child. Take care and I will say a prayer for you and your family. Take care. Your Missouri Friend.

BarkerBell Herbs and Heirlooms said...

Shirley,

Thanks so much for leaving me such a thoughtful comment! I've really missed interacting with people like you on here. Thanks for the thoughts and prayers. They are greatly appreciated. *Hugs* to you too!

Tam

joon said...

Hi Tam... I just found you on my blog followers and visited your blog and shop. I am so sorry about your recent journeys. My husband and I met when a close friend of mine was diagnosed with terminal cancer. It was a rough time, of course, for many reasons, but he and I shared such a unique experience that we bonded quickly and share an unusual perspective - And have been together ever since (now almost 19 years). I will keep you and your family in my thoughts. It is nice to meet you and I know we'll cross paths often. ox from Texas :)

BarkerBell Herbs and Heirlooms said...

Joon,

Thanks so much for your comment! I'm happy to hear that some good came out of your situation though! I appreciate your kind thoughts and look forward to crossing paths with you again soon.

Tam

Make It So said...

I'm really glad I had a chance to read this. My Dad was just diagnosed this month with aggressive cancer of the thymus. He's going to begin chemo this week. I'm so scared and sad for him. I don't think I've ever wished so much that take a portion of someone's pain to make it easier on them. I am so sorry to hear about your in-laws. It's so hard to see people go through these things. Thank you for sharing your world and I will be thinking of you and your family.

BarkerBell Herbs and Heirlooms said...

Make it so,

Thanks so much for leaving a comment, and I hope my experience helped you in some small way. We had many more years with my father in law than we initially thought following his diagnosis. In my experience, the best thing you can do is be there to help with rides to chemo, spend time with them, and just be there in general. I often wish that I could take on some of the pain and suffering myself, even where my husband is concerned. Hang in there and feel free to email me if you ever need to chat/vent.

Tam

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