Finally! It’s time for the wrap-up of ‘How I Transitioned from Full-time Designer to Blogger’.
September 2012- Wedding Month! It’s here!! Our first-born daughter is ready to walk down the aisle with her daddy. The wedding is beautiful and the reception is FABULOUS! We are thrilled that Mom and Dad feel well enough to be there. Again, my mom is almost as radiant as the bride! It’s another memory that we will cherish forever.
October 2012- Mother continues to receive chemo treatments, even though her health has declined significantly. Her legs and feet are greatly swollen and she is very uncomfortable. She runs a low-grade fever continually, which tells us that she is fighting infection somewhere in her body. But she is such a trooper! I admire her steadfastness so much, and tell her often that she is my hero and that I’m very proud of her.
And we have a reason to celebrate this month, too, because it is my parents’ 60th wedding anniversary! You can read more about the event here. The celebration is held in our home, and around 80 people attend. Mom and Dad LOVE it and will talk about it for months to come.
November/December 2012- The one thing that we have kept a priority during mother’s illness has been to spend as much time together as possible. The holidays are no exception, of course. This year is such a contrast to last year… in a good way! Last year, we still hadn’t adjusted to the news of her diagnosis, plus we lost my husband’s mother in December, so the mood for the holidays was somber. Ah, but this year!! Even though we know that we are dealing with terrible odds, we also know that she is still with us, that we have a close and loving family, and that God cares for us beyond what we can comprehend. So… we have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration, and several gatherings during the holiday time for immediate, as well as extended, family. These months also see the births of two additional great-grands for mom and dad. They now have 5!
On the evening of December 16th, mom and dad and our daughters and their husbands come for a short visit. One of the girls arrives and walks in pushing a baby carriage with hubby by her side! Oh, my goodness!! It doesn’t take me long to figure out what she’s trying to tell us… they brought back the most awesome souvenir from their honeymoon! We are thrilled that they are expecting a sweet little baby the following June. What joy we all feel at this news… and can’t resist a group photo:
The day after Christmas we have an appointment at Clearview. I think we all suspect it’s not going to bring good news, so we are thankful that it is after Christmas, while at the same time wish it wasn’t the day right after. Sure enough, the doctor brings bad news: the liver tumor has grown, despite the chemo. He pretty much tells us that it is pointless to continue. The doctor suggests that we call Hospice to begin helping us. Tears ensue and we leave, saying goodbye to many people we saw so often they felt like family.
January 2013- I think you can see by now that my sweet mother is not going to win her battle with cancer. But I don’t want you to think that this is the end of the story! Because of our strong faith in Jesus Christ, we are able to endure the coming days. This month is very difficult. We do call Hospice and they are invaluable to us. No family should ever go through this without calling on their help. They took care of all the required pain medicines, made sure she was always comfortable and were so very kind and caring. I’ll not go into detail about these last days, partly because they are very precious to us, and partly because there is no way to adequately or appropriately describe the unique difficulties involved. Believe it or not, up to now I am still working full time. I have had to spend more and more time away, though, and by the end of this month I have taken an official leave of absence… not knowing for how long.
February 2013- By this time, Mother is on very heavy pain meds and is really not communicating. We believe that she hears everything we are saying though, and various family members make frequent visits. The immediate family is around her 24/7. We are so thankful that Hospice has made it possible for her to remain at home. This is what she wanted. This is an excerpt from my Facebook post the night before her death:
There is something both painful and precious about sitting at the bedside of my dying mother. Painful for obvious reasons. Precious because I know that she stands at the very edge of heaven…
Several of us are at her bedside when she passes into eternity on the afternoon of February 15, 2013. Her lovely life celebration is held a few days later. We grieve, certainly. But not as those who have no hope. We know we will see her again!
March- May 2012- I return to my design job. Only it’s different this time. Well, the job isn’t different but I am. Everything has changed. Things even look different now. I have been made painfully aware of the brevity of this life, and of how I want to live like the Christ-follower I claim to be! Not waste another minute of life; love on people, help them, be remembered for doing good. Not that I couldn’t do all those things at my full-time job, just that I no longer feel that I’m supposed to be there. It has been a wonderful career for several years, but it’s as clear to me as the nose on my face that it is time to go. Oh, and lest you think we are independently wealthy or anything… we’re NOT! It is truly a step of faith to make this change!! I turn in my notice and work through the end of May.
Launching a blog has been on my mind for a while, but my daughter has also asked if I will consider keeping the baby when she returns to work. Now how can I turn down that opportunity?! (Have I mentioned what a wonderfully gifted and beautiful child he is?!)
And God has provided! We are having to carefully manage our finances, but the rewards are great! I dove right into my new writing career with gusto! It was a blessing to attend the Haven Conference for bloggers back in August, and I learned so much. I continue to learn more and more every day!
So. Just in case you haven’t been keeping up with all the events in my life the past two years, let me recap them for you quickly. Since September of 2011…
- both of our daughters got married
- my husband lost both of his parents
- my mother was diagnosed with cancer and subsequently died
I haven’t even mentioned yet that my husband also retired and we had our first grandbaby! It’s been a lot of life lived in a very short amount of time. Maybe the title of this series should have been WHY I transitioned from designer to blogger, because it became very evident to me that the things that really matter in life honestly had nothing to do with the job that I was devoting the bulk of my time and energy to. Now, I am not minimizing the importance of making a living. But I really do believe that when we get our priorities straight and focus on those things of great importance and value, that we can find work that is both meaningful and profitable. To take some advice I heard years ago: Find something you LOVE doing and find a way to make a living doing it! So that’s where I am right now. I have found something, well several things, that I love doing. Now to make a living doing them! 😉
Well, I hope you’ve caught a glimpse of my passion for life, and for blogging, in this series of posts. Thanks for reading!!