Thursday, December 6, 2012

Swings and Roundabouts

You ever have one of those months? You know the one where every where you turn it just seems there is one more obstacle in your path? Well that was my November, starting with the work in the studio.

My hands hurt. My whole body hurts. I haven't been able to do anything for weeks. It seems I'm not tolerating one of the cancer drugs very well.  But life is all swings and roundabouts.

While it's been just one more thing in the month of November that has made me sad, it has given me an opportunity to pause and decide what I want to do. Not a bad thing, really. I find myself moving to a more experimental direction with new forms, new ideas. When I can work, it's like playing. It's exciting.

My old dog Bob has entered his twilight years. Diagnostic tests in November came back showing that he has heart disease and tumors all over his body. He has problems walking and can no longer get himself up the stairs at night. But we help him, sometimes Peter carries him, all 62 pounds of him.

He is resting comfortably. We're seeing to it. He gets extra treats like peanut butter with his tablets. We've had him since he was 8 weeks old. He is an amazing dog who has brought us so much joy. We brought him back with us from Australia. (His ticket cost more than mine). My children grew through their teens and became adults with him. He'll be 13 in April and he's had a good life. He's getting pampered. Secretly, I think he's saying to himself it's about time I get extra treats and cuddles. But it still breaks my heart to have to acknowledge that Bob is not immortal.

 My son deployed for Afghanistan on the 12th of November. It's his third deployment and this time it has hit me hard. The hardest of all the times he's been away. He missed Thanksgiving with us, his favorite holiday. He'll be gone again for Christmas, the fourth Christmas in 6 years. But most of all it has hit me so hard that he'll be missing 9 months of his new son's life. So many mile stones.

But this time we've pulled together as a family in a way that is even deeper and stronger than before. Another opportunity. A time to be grateful that we have each other. And thanks to the magic of skype, my son got to see one of those mile stones. Brody laughs and coos at Daddy and even picked up his bottle with his own two hands for the first time just for Daddy.

It is hard to be sad when you have grand babies to love. Look at them! All full of giggles and smiles. Learning new things all of the time. Teaching me new things all of the time. We'll be seeing them again at Christmas. Decorating cookies and leaving a plate for Santa. There may even be a bowling outing in the future. There is nothing in life more entertaining than bowling with a 5 year old. Truly. You should try it. If you don't have a 5 year old of your own, you should seriously think about borrowing one.

And there will be Christmas in Afghanistan, with maybe not all of the trimmings, but stockings, teddy bears, candy canes, and even a Christmas tree.


Courtney said...

What a nice post. I both laughed and cried.

I am sending you peace and hugs.

Marie Cramp said...

I feel your pain of course. I really thought it was all done for you though. What is it that is making you hurt so much? I am hoping that my pain will be done soon, but surgery is on the 24th, so it will be a somewhat hard Christmas here too.
I hope your family is joined by much love through all that distance. May your son be safe and come home to all of you soon <3
I look forward to seeing what you create, it is just so good for the soul to let the hands do the work. Your work is inspiring as always.

Love you

Cynthia@Ornamental Style said...

I'm so sorry that you are still having to deal with the repercussions of having had cancer. Hopefully the medication can be changed to something you can tolerate.

I'm so sorry about Bob, too. It sounds like he is a beloved pet.

And wishing for your son's safe return from his latest deployment. The grandchildren are a nice reminder about the positive things.

Sylvia said...

Despite your tribulations, you have such a wonderful outlook. Wishing you your heart’s desires, sending you a big hug from Melbourne, Australia. xx

Patti Van said...

Oh, I am so sorry that life is throwing all of these curve balls at once. I can only relate to Bob...and my heart aches for you! I hope you are feeling better soon, as I do know how important creating can be for the soul. And yes...thank goodness for Skype...I am keeping you and your family in my prayers! Thanks for sharing such beautiful pictures! PS. That bundle of joy looks just like your husband!

Michelle said...

Oh LeAnn,

Sorry to hear that you had such a trying November. You have such a great attitude and I love your phrase about swings and roundabouts.

You and your family will be in my thoughts...


Joan Tucker said...

LeAnn, sending safety wishes to your son and joyful grandbaby wishes to you and children, sending peace and lack of pain to Bob, and to you wishes for strength and hope and respect for living fully even in hard times, may your body adjust to meds and stop hurting.

Hugs and continued creativity to you. Joan T

vicki said...

LeAnn-- I hardly know where to start----
I'm sorry you aren't feeling well-- it must be miserable to know that you so desperately need a medication and yet feel so poorly when you take it. I'm praying your body can adjust and start to feel better--

My heart breaks after reading the story of your precious dog. People that don't have pets-- often just don't understand- but we do... We just lost a precious kitty last week-- so much a part of our lives for so many years. I'm truly sorry that you will soon have to say your goodbyes-- we've had a tearful week-- we truly understand.

How can you thank someone for the commitment and sacrifice that your son is making. As a patent-- I can't imagine your anguish-- as a citizen, I'm so proud and grateful for his dedication. I'll be praying for you my friend as you accept this separation-- and for his safe return to your family. The photo of Dad and babe are precious.

Your grandchildren are so beautiful-- you are very blessed. I know that you must have such mixed emotions in your heart right now about so many things--


windrock studio said...

As beautiful as life is, sometimes it still just sucks. Love this image of Bob, I'm glad he's been part of your family for so long. I really hate to hear that you're dealing with his aging and the pain in your hands and mostly about your son having to go, again ... that's just so not right.

Hang in there, LeAnn, please keep knowing that good changes are certainly on the way and be happy that you have that 5 year old to bowl with and that sweet baby to cuddle.

Wishing you & your lovely family all the best this Christmas season :))

lunedreams said...

I'm so sorry to hear you're doing the goodbye-for-now dance again, I can't imagine how difficult that must be for all of you to be apart over and over again! Skype is indeed a great thing, much better than a simple telephone. I hope the time flies for you all until he returns.

And so sorry you're feeling so cruddy, I hope you will be finishing these drugs soon! Pain is so very tiring. Sounds like your poor creaky old pup is right there with you! I'm sure his people are his greatest comfort (but a treat never hurts!)

I am looking forward to your experimental forms!

Cindy said...

Just checking in with you to say hello. I hope you had a nice birthday and you're up to celebrating. I hope all of your birthday wishes come true this year. You've been going through so much with your health, your pup, and your son being deployed. I truly feel for you and wish there was some way to lighten the load for you. Please know I'm thinking of you and sending you my best.

Lynn said...

LeAnn, I'm so sorry you're not feeling well and hope it's getting a bit better. You have had many things going on in your life---a lot to handle. I love seeing the pictures of your beautiful grandchildren and they must bring you great joy. I wish you all the best---let me know how you're doing. :)