There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace. - Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NIV)
2015 really kicked my ass. We felt a tremendous amount of loss last year, from our car getting totaled to the death of several of our loved ones - the year left us spinning. Grief and loss overwhelmed us and we needed time to process everything, yet it kept coming. While trying to care for our own broken hearts, we were also trying to care for Mom K. as she was adapting to her new reality of being in a wheelchair, losing her brother to Alzheimer’s and watching her daughter grieve the loss of her husband unexpectedly.
We’ve spent time traveling back and forth to Texas to help Mike’s sister adjust to her new reality and to try to help with all the maintenance a house needs. Fortunately (sort of) I’ve been laid off from my part time job and have time to do all this. I confess, I've felt dazed and numb for several months.
However, I refuse to be defined by loss and I refuse to be a victim. It’s time to get moving again, even if it’s only in baby steps. Painting is once again happening in my studio. I can’t say I’m setting the world on fire, but one of the paintings for the Freedom 58 project seems to be done. I hope. It’s been put aside to look at it again once the second one is completed but it’s movement in the right direction.
Last night we went over to Mike’s parents’ apartment and helped Mom call her youngest (and now only) brother for his birthday. There are still things to celebrate and that is our focus.
It is the season to move forward. Like posting this blog.
Donna Kemper put aside her art career to care for a mother she hadn't seen in over a decade. For seven years she followed her mother's journey into dementia, caring for her and putting forgiveness into action.