This is Not the Life I Ordered

It has been way too long since I posted last. Life sometimes has a way of sneaking up on you and biting you in the butt, and in the last 2 years it has done that way too many times.

When I started this blog it was just my youngest daughter and I that were running the farm. My oldest child had moved out with his girlfriend, my middle child was studying abroad in Paris, My boyfriend was staying with his parents, helping his mom take care of his dad after a major stroke. I was looking for a job, which in this area can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you need something that actually pays a living wage.

First the good news – I got a job (which I am still at). It is stressful, but the pay is decent, and I have benefits. So even on a bad day, I am thankful.

The bad news, however, has been rather overwhelming.  July of ’07, my boyfriend’s father passed on. It was not unexpected, and he went peacefully at home, but it was still a major loss. Then, a few months later his mom died also. Again, not unexpected but I still miss her horribly. She accepted and loved me unconditionally, and I loved dropping in unannounced, just to see how she lit up when she saw it was me.

My boyfriend moved back home, and that was a hard adjustment to make. I have always been self sufficient and set in my ways, and several years of doing things my way had not made me more open to unrequested suggestions on how to manage my sheep or my life.

April 25 2008 was the worst day of my life. At approximately 9 pm there was a knock on the door. I answered it, to find a state trooper there. He asked if he could come in. I said no. He told me that my daughter had been in an accident. Both of my daughters were on trips that day, so I needed more information. My older daughter, Jo, her boyfriend Brady, and Brady’s twin brother had been driving to visit the boys parents for the weekend. Brady was driving, with his brother in the passenger seat. Jo was in the back. Apparently, Brady drifted into oncoming traffic but pulled back to the right at the last second. That move saved his brother’s life, but both Jo and Brady were killed. I am still in shock, and it hurts so much to think about it and to write this.

Shortly after Jo’s accident, my boyfriend went to the doctor to get a swelling on his knee drained. In June ’08 he was diagnosed with fibrosarcoma, a rare cancer. His proved to be very aggressive, and despite chemo, radiation and multiple surgeries he passed away on May 14 2009

In all of this I still find things to be thankful for. The outpouring of love and support that washed over me after Jo’s death was amazing. Her memorial was actually a joyful thing, a true celebration of her life and all she stood for. Her friends have adopted me as an extra mom, and continue to stay in touch with me. I am amazed at the number of people who my daughter knew and influenced and who loved her. I am thankful that she went quickly, on her way to have fun with a man she loved, and that there was no fear or hate or violence involved in her death. I know where she is (she was cremated, and her remains are mostly in my craft room, but I also created wire wrapped vials, and when I need her close I can take her to work with me, as can others). I was with my boyfriend when he passed, and he too went peacefully.

My youngest has had a hard time with all of this too. She had been accepted to the same college that her sister went to, and managed to do her freshman year there. But there were too many reminders, and she finally admitted it was too hard being there. “But I promised Jo I’d go there” were her exact words to me. I informed her that Jo had extracted that promise from her because she wanted her little sister there with her, and obviously Jo was not living up to her end of the bargain. So she has transferred to a closer school, where hopefully she will have smoother sailing.

At one point while we were dealing with multiple journeys over the mountains for cancer treatments,  my mother suggested that I get rid of all the sheep “since they are so much work”. I informed her that there are days that the beasties are the only thing that get me out of bed in the morning. I can wake up wanting nothing more than to curl up in a ball, but the sheep are outside hollering for breakfast. I get up and feed and water them, and then I go on with the rest of my day. Maybe not willing, but at least outwardly functional.

There are many things I need and want to do.

  • I have to find a way to get the beasties to pay for themselves, so I need to figure out a better way to market them and their wool. I can no longer afford to keep them as an expensive hobby. I have cut back the number of sheep I have, but I have some more hard decisions to make in regards to them. I love having them, but they have to pay for themselves.
  • I want to post more frequently (I could hardly do it less frequently)
  • I need to work harder at staying in touch with the people who matter to me. I tend to isolate myself and wait for others to reach out to me, and get hurt feelings when they don’t
  • I need to get the house organized so that I can find the things I want and need, so I have time to weave and spin and knit like I need to

Stay tuned for the new and improved me!

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