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It's been awhile!

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Hello dear Spark Friends: i hope this finds you all warm, safe, and looking forward to the holidays. I know I've been quite silent for the last 4 1/2 months. I'm afraid this Pandemic has taken quite a toll on my. I reached out to my counselor in August because I felt I was losing my perspective. She seemed to think that I was dealing with some depression. Although I asked, how can one not be depressed with all that was happening in our world even then.

My oldest daughter was mad at me because my political views didn't align with hers. My childhood neighborhoods were being destroyed by rioters and looters under the umbrella of 'peaceful protests'. My youngest daughter was struggling with now having 2 babies and I was getting regular calls about how hard it was and how little her partner (they are not married) was helping.

I was doing my best to take care of myself. I had a garden this year for the first time in about 3 years and I worked in it nearly every day. As soon as my gym reopened in June I went back to my Pilates class and met with my Personal Trainer. I felt comfortable enough to attend the larger classes in August.

For awhile I thought things were looking up. Our Covid numbers were manageable, more places were opening, and although we all had to wear masks, life was feeling a little bit like normal.

Then I got the news about my niece. Her treatment for Metastatic Breast Cancer was not working. There were no other options. They stopped treatment on November 6th and she passed away surrounded by her husband, children and step-sisters. Because Covid numbers were now so high and our state had once again locked down most things, we did not travel to attend the funeral. This is Ruby with her children about 8 years ago:

I am not sharing this with you for sympathy, but as a way of explaining my absence from Spark. I have still been sharing with friends and participating on the teams I belong to. Spark does give me a sense of familiarity. The world might be upside down these days but I can depend on Spark to be there always! I thank Chris Downie for that.

Minnesota has actually been experiencing a really mild November and December - until today. Today the snow started before noon, is still falling, and the wind is so strong that there are drifts everywhere in my yard. For awhile this afternoon it was snowing so hard that we could not see the houses across our road. Daisy went out about 6:10 p.m. and again at 6:55 p.m. - her earlier tracks were completely covered over.

So winter has come but I'm grateful to have had so many weeks of being able to take nice walks with Daisy, most days not even needing the long underwear! Our family will not be getting together for Christmas this year but I am grateful that all my children are safe. I am not able to help Lauriellen right now but am grateful that we were able to have the boys over a few Sundays so she could catch up. Jake (26 months) has been diagnosed high on the Autism scale but I am very grateful that Lauriellen has found an excellent group specializing in caring for and teaching children with Autism. There is a team of college students (in the field of child psychology) who are coming over regularly to work with Jake and there has been an amazing transformation in him in only a few months. And one more thing - my gym was closed again 11/21 but they found a way to provide one-on-one training through Microsoft Teams and virtual training with our own favorite instructors - I am taking a class every day right now because it's in my own home!

There are so many things to be grateful for even in these crazy times. I think I may have forgotten that. I am also grateful for each and every one of my wonderful Spark Friends.

Happy Holidays to all of you!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Oh Kathy, I"m so sorry to hear of your niece... my deepest condolences on your loss. I am catching up more on Spark this weekend and was saddened to read this. Sending out hugs and prayers for you and your family. emoticon
    118 days ago
    I'm getting caught up on things around here. I am so sorry for your many challenges, and as you know, I share similar sorrows with you. You are right there are still things to be grateful for. emoticon
    124 days ago
    Kathy, I agree with everything Bruni said. You're in my prayers. emoticon

    My heart goes out to you Kathy for all that you have been through. The pandemic has made everything so much worse and then losing a family member is really sad. Depression is easy to set in but good for you on taking the steps necessary. Let us pray that 2021 bring peace and joy for everyone. Hope the weather doesn’t get to bad so you can go on your walks with Daisy. Take care and know that you can count on me.


    127 days ago
    My heart goes out to you Kathy for all that you have been through. The pandemic has made everything so much worse and then losing a family member is really sad. Depression is easy to set in but good for you on taking the steps necessary. Let us pray that 2021 bring peace and joy for everyone. Hope the weather doesn’t get to bad so you can go on your walks with Daisy. Take care and know that you can count on me. emoticon emoticon
    130 days ago
    So sad about your niece. On politics, it certainly was divisive this year. Seen on a bumper sticker: “Love thy neighbor as thyself, no exceptions.” It’s been a tough year to some degree or another. Here’s to HOPE for the year to come.
    133 days ago
    I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful niece. Life is so horribly unfair. I am sorry about the issues with your adult children. It is so good they got Jake diagnosed early and he is already making so much progress. This is such a key time for intervention and they enjoy it at this age-lots of play. Thank you for sharing this post with us. Have a Merry Christmas and wishing you a much better new year.
    134 days ago
  • BJAEGER307
    My deepest sympathies on the loss of your niece. I'm sure she will be greatly missed by all. It seems this world is such a mess. I understand the break from all technology, as I have been sort of on a hiatus myself. Too much family stuff going on and it seems like it will never end.

    So welcome back, but most of all I want to wish you a Merry Christmas to you and all of your family. Blessings of joy and goodness to you.

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    134 days ago
    So sorry for the loss of your niece, such a beautiful women. She must be so missed by her family. So young.
    Yes, it has been a difficult year. And I think most of the trouble is the Media constantly stirring things up, like the rioting, if they would have stayed out of it, those rioters wouldn't have gotten the notoriety that they seek, and it wouldn't have encouraged them to riot more. And yes, so many different views on everything, and some think their way is the only way. Well, my opinion is just a good as yours, maybe just different. So glad you are back, and when I was so sick with the C19 and my internet was down, I welcomed the break, and it did take me a few days to get back in the mood for blogging. I also discovered that the world was not going to totally collapse if I didn't chase every SP point out there, and still care less about the points, just plain life is hard enough right now. Please take care, and know we all care for each other here.
    134 days ago
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    134 days ago
    Kathy, I'm so sorry about your niece. This has been a year for everyone and we're all wondering when it will end. I understand not being in the mood to do anything, that's my mom now.

    Fingers crossed things are starting to look up, but I fear the holidays will bring the highest numbers yet.

    Many blessings to you and yours this holiday season. emoticon
    134 days ago
    Hi Kathy, So nice to see your name in my email notices. It's been quite a year for sure. Politics has taken its toll on family and friends. I lost a friendship of over 30 years because I didn't agree with her thinking. Sad.

    My sincere condolences on the loss of your niece. So young. Covid has caused so many changes in the way we celebrate or grieve. No funerals for the friends who were taken by the virus. No funerals for family members who were taken due to other causes.

    Our youngest daughter and her family live in South Dakota. She sent pictures earlier today of the blizzard that struck their area. 2020 is not going without a fight and a last ditch effort to cause more misery. This morning the news was full of reports of the mutated virus that has the UK on total lock down and a third that is now coming out of Africa. Terrifying!!

    Such great news about Jake. Early intervention is the key to success. It's wonderful that he is making such good progress.

    Good, too, that you are able to get at home training with your trainers and that you can participate daily.

    The holidays are going to be so different this year. No family gatherings. But...on the other family drama of which there is never a shortage. I'm not sure if our Christmas Eve candlelight service is going to be held this year. The plan was to have it outside with the living nativity. With wind advisories and wind chills around zero, that might get canceled. They will hold services online, but it's not the same.

    It's wonderful to hear from you. I read your comments on some of the posts, I think we follow several of the same Sparkers, but your posts are always a special read.

    Wishing for you a Merry Christmas and a better New Year than this one. emoticon emoticon
    134 days ago
    You have been through a lot this past year... no wonder it's got you down. Sorry for the loss of your niece. Glad you keep Sparking, because w're all here for each other. emoticon emoticon
    134 days ago
    So sorry to hear about your niece. My sympathies. Stepping back from externals is the only real way to take care of yourself and it sounds like you needed the extra care of working in your garden and walks.

    I am surprised that winter held off for so long in MN. I lived there for a few years and we always expected (and saw) snow in October.
    134 days ago
    My deepest condolences to you Kathy for the loss of your beautiful niece. How very sad, and with all the other things going on, you still find reasons to be grateful and express gratitude. I am also very grateful for sparks and for this site----where strangers at at time can come together and share each other joy, and yes pain and sorrow too. .... i am grateful for meeting you here Kathy. Blessings and comfort to you and may 2021 be the start of better things yet to come. ((Hugs)) .... Your friend in SP and fb.
    134 days ago
    I am so sorry Kathy! These are very hard times. Let's wish for peace and pray for a blessed New Year!
    Merry Christmas!
    135 days ago
    135 days ago
    emoticon I am so sorry for the loss of your niiece. This year has been hard on so many of us.. Please know the feelings you had are shared with 100's of your friends on SP. We love and missed you. Anytime you want to reach out.. we are here

    135 days ago
    ((((HUGS)))) First of all, condolences to you and your family on the loss of your niece. Prayers and peace for her family, Such a tragedy.

    And hugs to you. Yes, this year has been beyond hard, to say the least. But trying to remain hopeful. That's about the only life preserver we have in this ordeal!

    I am glad you blogged and wish your blessings this holiday and in the new year.

    135 days ago
  • HOLLYM48
    Merry Christmas and prayers for a much better 2021! Stay safe during this crazy blizzard weather. Sending hugs and wishes for a beautiful Christmas season!
    135 days ago
    emoticon sorry for your loss Hugs
    135 days ago
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