Well, if I have any readers left, I’d like to thank both of you for coming back! It’s been a long, crazy, largely unpleasant summer with a few bright spots in it, so let me settle down and tell you about it a bit. There has been a lot of knitting, because knitting has been keeping me sane, and maybe in the coming days and weeks, I’ll share some of it with you, but not right this minute. (I’ll confess – I’m writing this blog entry because I’ve been knitting most of the night, and it’s now quarter to 6 in the morning and my arms hurt!)

My no-good, rotten, awful summer got off to a bang back in late April when my dear friend Velda passed away after a long battle with cancer. Velda and I first met back in 1999 when we were both members of the iVillage ParentsPlace 1999 parents messageboard. I ended up following her over to their cross stitch board, as I took that up when Zachary was a baby. Over the years, we’ve shared a heck of a lot. From parenting advice (her Zachary was her third child, mine was my first!) to cross stitch to adoption to joy to sorrow and back again, Velda was always there for me and I miss her so much 😦 She was the den mother of an exceptional group of cross stitch ladies, a lot of whom are still very close friends. She loved to laugh and to make others laugh and had a mischievous streak a mile wide 🙂

A few weeks after that, I was told I would have to move out of my rotten apartment. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, since our new place is so perfect for us! A pipe burst in our ceiling, and rather than do any kind of repairs, our old landlord left us having to use an umbrella to go to the bathroom for several weeks. Now, the reason I lived in such a crappy apartment for ELEVEN YEARS is because I simply hate moving. Hate. HATE moving. (To that effect, we moved the last weekend of May, and I still have about 1/3 of my apartment in boxes). But we got it done, in no small part due to Rob’s help (he actually drove up two weeks before I moved to get me started with the packing, and then came back for the move!) and to my ex-husband, who generously paid for the movers and also helped me do a lot of packing.

And then, dear friends, the floor dropped out from under me. I found out that the reason I hadn’t heard from my friend Kim for several weeks was because her battle with cancer was coming to an end. She was in hospice and didn’t have much time left. I did get to visit her a couple of times, and then… I lost my job. My job, which I loved. The best boss I’d ever had. Suddenly, I was just done. After probably the worst two or three months I’d ever had, I was tossed out onto the street. The next day, Kim died.

The rest of the summer has been a blur of grief and rage and tears and swearing and this all-pervading sense of failure and hopelessness. I find myself crying at least once a day, often just because I’m tired and want this all to stop. Often, because I’m thinking about Velda or Kim, or Marwa, or Josie (two other friends who passed away this summer – Marwa, after a lifelong battle with depression and Josie, who died of pneumonia only a few weeks after getting the all-clear after being treated for lung cancer).

One of the few bright spots was the trip Rob and I took to Minnesota for our friend Steven’s wedding. I was so thrilled and humbled by the fact that Steven and his beautiful wife Sarah chose to include us in their celebrations (I’d never actually been invited to a wedding before, other than my brother’s, and they needed my kids in their wedding party LOL). I’m not sure if I had mentioned it, but I started knitting them a blanket on April 1st and finished it IN the car on the drive to Minnesota. We also got to head into Minneapolis and visit with our friend Todd and his kids, which was pretty awesome as well 🙂 Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to be at Kim’s memorial service, since it was at exactly the same time as Steven’s wedding, but I said my goodbyes in person and I feel pretty good about that decision.

I know this post is a really long downer, but I feel like my life is spiralling out of control. I feel as though I’m spinning my wheels, and in the process, people I care about are just disappearing in all directions. I feel as though I’m constantly running away from something, and at the same time, sitting still and waiting for my life to start back up again after the massive stall it’s undergone. I want to get back to work. I *need* to get back to work. But I don’t know how to get myself out of this rut. I don’t know how to climb out of the hole I’ve dug myself into. And I don’t know how to stop crying.

So now, I just keep moving forward, hoping I’ll figure out a way to make things okay again. And maybe unpack a box or two.