So here goes... I've thought about doing a blog before but wondered what do I have to say or offer. Does anyone really care about what I have to say? Let's be honest, half the time my husband or daughter aren't listening, even the dog sometimes - though she will come running if she thinks a treat is involved.
But, I realized that I need an outlet and if it helps anyone else, then that is even better.
In 2020, the world changed. We had quarantines, lock downs, people let off work, a life full of uncertainty.
In March 2020, we lost my mother in law weeks before the United States went into lockdown. I spent the Saturday before she passed in the hospital laughing with her and keeping her company. We thought they would be moving her from the ICU to a stepdown unit that afternoon, but she never got moved - the doctor wasn't happy with a respiratory infection she couldn't shake. My husband stopped by to see her on his way home from work that night, and she coded early in the morning. A few days later, we made the difficult decision to take her off life support. This started the shift in our life...
Within two weeks my father in law was placed in a nursing home by his doctors - he was a severe diabetic and after two major life threatening instances with his blood sugar, we were not given a choice. We spent the next 10 months in and out of the ER with him before he passed in January 2021.
My mother passed away two days after my father in law. She had been in the hospital since New Year's Eve 2020. She had a heart transplant in 2019 and her health declined significantly after. She never mentally recovered from all that her body went through and couldn't push herself. It was not something we were ready for.
I know this all seems depressing, and it is. My husband and I struggled mentally and physically as a result. We have a young daughter who has been amazing and accepted things in ways my husband and I can't even be able to describe. She has been a blessing with her resilience and sweet nature.
Prior to the worst year we've gone through as a family, she and I would bake A LOT. And it was always a mess. I had the worst time in the beginning letting go and letting her make her mess, letting her pay in the flour and letting her decorate the cookie/cupcake how she wanted (which meant all the sprinkles and icing it would hold). It was hard letting her knead the bread or roll out the pasta, because it wasn't perfect. But I learned to enjoy the mess. The fun was in making the mess - my daughter loved it when I broke out the stand mixer and she could pour the ingredients, crack the eggs, and stand in her "cooking tower" at the counter with Mama. I learned to let go of my need to control when she and I were baking.
I now find myself in the same place again, in the middle of the mess not wanting to let go of the control. I hold it so tight that my shoulders can feel the pressure and it's almost as if the stress radiates. Now I'm in the "New Year, New Me" mindset. Needing change for myself for the long term to let go of the need to control. Being a Christian means I know I should "let go and let God" but that is harder than we realize. I have a hard time even letting go and letting my husband fold the clothes. All of these words to say, join me in learning to let go and find the fun in our mess, let go and find the joy instead of stress.