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I knew something was wrong; it was that little niggle in the back of my mind that prompted me to stop what I was doing and call Mum’s doctor. Sure enough Mum had just been admitted to hospital for the second time in a few weeks.

That was late September and from that point on my life became a surreal blur of hospitals, medical jargon and an emotional roller coaster that is impossible to describe in words but many of you sadly will understand all too well.

Mum passed away on October 27th as I sat by her bedside and held her hand. Barely allowing myself time to grasp the reality of what had just happened I went into full ‘organization’ mode, planning the funeral, completing the mountains of legal paperwork and clearing my childhood home for sale. With support from amazing neighbors, friends and my family I managed to get through it all and made it back home just before Thanksgiving.

Rock cairns are often used to mark the pathway along a journey

Rock cairns are often used to mark the pathway along a journey

I’m a list maker at heart and so far I was checking off the various ‘to do’ items at a good pace. The plan was that I’d take a few days to recover then get straight back to work, writing blog posts, designing gardens and more. You may have noticed that hasn’t gone so well; my last blog post was over two months ago and whereas I have continued to draw up designs it is taking me three times as long as I struggle to focus. Imagine yourself swimming through molasses (aka treacle) – that’s what my head feels like. I thought it was just me but now realize that this is a very common form of ’emotional jet lag’ associated with grief.

It’s the little things that throw me; looking at a purse full of coins and not having a clue what they are, forgetting the PIN for my debit card that has been the same for 20 years, turning up for a medical appointment – exactly one day late, going to buy Christmas cards for the family and realizing with a jolt that there is another whole section of cards that I won’t be shopping from any more…. and being convinced there are more cards for Mom, Mum and Mother this year than ever before.

A carved 'eye' in the top river rock focuses our attention

A carved ‘eye’ in the top river rock focuses our attention

So this short post is both apology and explanation as well as a promise to myself and readers that I will find my focus again shortly. I have some wonderful garden design ideas to share with you as well as some inspiring ‘before and after’ images from my own work. I’ll have ideas for every size of garden, budget and style and will continue to seek out the best of the new plants that hit the nurseries.

Meanwhile I’m going to focus on gratitude;  for treasured memories of those no longer with us, for friends and family near and far, for dog snuggles, for the blessing of a garden I can call my own.

Thank you to a group of precious friends who commissioned artist Like DeLatour to make this cairn for me, and had it installed in my garden for when I returned.

Thank you to a group of special friends who commissioned artist Luke DeLatour to make this beautiful cairn for me, and had it installed in my garden for when I returned. Your thoughtfulness and support means the world to me.

Wishing you all peace in your hearts, even where there may be sadness. Tomorrow is a new day.

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