Saturday, October 4, 2008

Before and After Without the Before and Before the Real After

Writing about my "studio" where I create, my Dear Mother in Law and my Mother
I am having a day of change!
Had I taken a Before photo of my design table you would have seen it piled at least a foot high in fabric, bags of stuff, quilters tools, art supplies, etc. etc. etc. Now all have been moved off the table, bagged up, put other places WAITING for their new home. I am working slowly on a neater place to create my art. Same room different storage. I have boxed up two file boxes of books: My Jewish Library, and novels. All carried upstairs to the "gym" room and put under the workout bench. A pile of old photo albums have made their way up there too. There is still an array of children's books that need a new spot. I am trying to make room for a cupboard I have at my office to bring here to use for fabric stash that can live behind closed doors. (Out of sight but on site)! In the meantime I have stuffed all the grocery bags of fabrics into the crates that passed as bookshelves a few minutes ago. So now you can see the floor under the design table once more. It's a work in progress. While I was working on clearing out my sister in law called to tell us she had made an appointment with the Cremation People to make final plans for my MIL. Then I came across a journal I had written in a few days after my mother died 14 years ago this month. Wow. How fitting was that? I sat and read what I wrote then. About my new awareness of my own immortality, the plans I had for the rest of MY life, how I wanted to be an active grandparent to my grandchildren (the ones I lived too far away from to be much more than a gift sender grandma, the others wouldn't be born for another 10 years!). My past depression, and plans for not being depressed ANY MORE!!! Hey, it's not always so easy but in my case I was able to pull off the last two in time. No more depression and an active life with young grandchildren, and the ability to pass on a legacy through my art quilts, and memory making with them NOW etc. There was more in those few pages of journal writing about mom's quality of life around the time before she died, my feelings about that, what I thought about it being "her time" but realizing I had no say in when that was, just knew I did the best I could to make the end of her life as positive as possible. (sorry, photo removed at request of DH) [This is a photo of three generations of us, me in the blue dress, my daughter around 13 years old, my mom behind us. The next photo down is my MIL as a young mom with her two children; and the last photo is my MIL with her grandson, our nephew, taken last Christmas. So the blond little girl is now the mother of the big guy in the bottom photo! All to show the circle of life!] Then my sister in law called again, this time with my MIL able and wanting to talk too. My MIL told me about a walk they had just taken (she in her wheelchair) but with her daughter outdoors, the sun was shining she said and flowers were still in bloom. She told me how beautiful it was and told me my voice sounded so like me on the phone. She sounded upbeat, happy, content. I'll save the pages of that journal to add my thoughts when her time comes. In the meantime, I hope she can have more sunny days, more upbeat days when she can enjoy the gardens where she lives, and the days of her life. And now back to cleaning up our family room/my art studio...and perhaps I'll go out back and draw something there for Day 4 of the Big Draw!

I did. Went and sat in the back patio...looking at the garden my mom used to love...she liked watching me putter in the garden. My journal reminded me of when she's tell me I had my grandmother's green thumb, her mother's.

But nature's beauty is better captured with my camera so I drew my bracelet and my shoe instead!


  1. Lots going on in this post. First - great day 4 drawing.

    I find that when there is turmoil in my life, such as your MIL's illness, I tend to organize, or try to organize, my own life. In some way it seems like I'm helping in some way - rather a remote link but at least I'm keeping busy. Cleaning and organizing your house/studio is nesting behavior; and it's the right thing to do when the outside world starts acting a bit unreliable.
    Looking forward to seeing the cleaned up version.

  2. wow.. I think Mim said it well.
    lots going on and winter is for nesting I think. Guess I have been building up for that awhile too.
    Love the story and the drawing today. Good Job! I read thru the whole thing too. :))
    Dont you sometimes wish you could be one of those homes chosen by HGTV for a make over to help organize the junk we collect? I do.
    That cabinet at your office will help alot I bet.

  3. Yes mim said it well. Your MIL seems on a threshold, one day out and about looking at the world, another day relatives making plans for the end. Thanks for sharing about your Mom's death. Something I have yet to experience. Nice you inherited the green thumb.

    My brother is doing similar to you with tidying your workspace, except with his whole house. Sanding a floor, chucking out stuff, rearranging things to his predilection. He is busy. Maybe it's that kind of busyness as Mim says, trying to control something in a situation where one has no control.

    Love the sketch of one shoe and a bracelet. Your photos don't enlarge anymore??

  4. i like the pics showing the circle of life, and wow you and your mom and daughter all have the same face in that pic.and your drawing is magnifico!


Thanks for leaving your comments as I love hearing from you. Your words of encouragement are why I continue to draw!