Friday, May 29, 2015

The past year has been a blur, and here's why...



Hey guys, it's Aaron…the less-pink half of Everyday is a Holiday. I suggested to Jenny that I should write this first post back from our unscheduled blogging hiatus because…actually, I’m not sure exactly why…but it just felt like the right thing to do.

  On Friday, April 24th my mom passed away. She had been diagnosed with late stage cancer a couple of years prior and pretty much from the moment of that diagnosis her days and weeks became inundated with doctors, nurses, hospitals, shots, medication, treatments, trials, experiments, and anything else she could bravely and selflessly endure for the sole purpose of possibly spending a bit more time on this planet with us, her family and loved ones. 
  Because that’s the type of girl my mom was.  I say “girl” because she remained a girl for life. She giggled and smirked like a girl. Had fantastic wit and wisdom that she managed to balance with incredible innocence and silly naiveté, just like a girl, the best kind of girl. My dad called her his “girl”.
  But I don’t want to really talk about the past two years. As many of you know…those of you who have gone through this…who have suffered through cancer…the worst thing you can do is to remember the sick version of your loved one. It’s an insult to them. Sure, my mom showed extreme strength, bravery, and positivity during her time with cancer. But if you knew my mom, that was to be expected. Also if you knew my mom, then you’d know that she wouldn’t want you to think about the sick version of her. She wouldn’t want to bother you with that. She’d feel like it would be bad manners to burden you with her illness. She hated to rain on anyone’s parade. She never wanted to be a gray cloud. She was sunshine personified in her real life.
  But as much as I can’t make this post all about my mom’s illness, I also simply cannot begin to imagine how I’d ever find enough time to write a fitting tribute for her. It would take years and hundreds of blog posts to even get close to capturing her importance, her impact on my life…and on Jenny’s life.  

  I’d love to share an anecdote or two about her, but I don’t think I can. I don’t think I’m ready. And again, I wouldn’t know how to even stop typing once I got started. So let me kinda change the subject.

  This is only a blog post. In the grand scheme of things it doesn’t and shouldn’t hold too much importance. But I’m writing this post because there is something that holds great importance to me…and of course, to Jenny. It’s you guys. You guys who read this blog. Some of you maybe showed up today for the very first time, and some have been reading since 2006. All of you are just as important. Jenny started this blog probably in a moment of great anxiety. It was back in the years just after my car crash. We were slowly and tentatively rebuilding our life. I think she put up her first post on a day when I was in NYC and she was home alone and hoping to reach out to a small slice of the internet world. She may have even typed something like: “testing- testing, 1-2-3…is this even working?” ha! Honestly, she had no idea. I think we were dial-up back then!

  Anyway, this blog has always been there for us. We’ve never been the best, most consistent bloggers, but at least we kept it going. And believe me, there were some harrowing times. But Jenny always managed to get something up here…and share some tiny sliver of our existence.

  So I wanted to write this post to pretty much apologize for disappearing for a little while. The previous post is dated April 21st  (just three days prior to my mom’s passing ), and it’s titled “Our First Saturday Night of the Season”. And it’s full of positive energy, and memories of childhood and past summers at the boardwalk and the Jersey Shore. Fun, lights, rides, pizza, fried Oreos. It captures such a seemingly carefree night out. But of course it wasn’t.
  Carefree nights out weren’t a reality for us for the past year or so. There was always deep concern, distraction, and our hearts were so very heavy. My mom was so central to our lives and every thought or feeling in the day seemed like it led right back to mom. All day every day I experienced those “let me catch my breath” moments. Literally or mentally I would have to stop and gasp for air. Something so serious was happening in our life and there was nothing I could do to stop it. 

  So we carried on. We worked, we cooked, we baked. We tried to stay connected to friends. We tried to keep ourselves in the present tense. We tried to maintain a “business as usual” existence. 
  But of course it wasn’t business as usual, and of course we couldn’t even come close to living up to that notion. We were shadow versions of ourselves. Even great things like seeing a story about us featured on the Yahoo homepage was bittersweet. There we were, sandwiched between the big headlines of the day, and it was the last thing on our minds.
So much of the past year is a blur because we were nearly putting our hands over our eyes and plugging up our ears all the way through. We had probably one of the busiest holiday seasons ever…nonstop work…insane amounts of ornaments to make…my fingers were wearing down to the bone from all of the cutting, sanding, gluing, cutting, sanding, gluing. But I can barely recall those months. Those weren’t great months. That was a very rough winter. It was the beginning of the end. In fact the only reason it wasn’t the actual end is because my mom wouldn’t dare to have her funeral on an icy snowy nightmare day in Jersey. She waited until it could be held on a day that was 72 degrees and sunny. And that’s exactly what it was. 



  So now it’s a little over a month since that day and we’re finally beginning to poke our heads out into the light. It would be so wrong to mourn forever. You have to focus on making better choices. You have to choose to feel ok. Feeling down and blue never did anybody any good. 

  Anyway, at this point I think I said all that I can say about that. I mostly wanted to get this out there in words to let you all know where we’ve been and why. And also to let you know where we’re heading. We hope it’ll be someplace great. I wouldn’t want to disappoint Barb. Oh yeah, that’s my mom, Barb. That’s what we called her. When we were very young my older brother began calling her by her first name and it stuck. And all my friends used her first name too. But it was usually said in combination with my dad’s name, Skip. It was always: “Barb & Skip” 
As in “hey Aar, I just ran into Barb & Skip.”

Everyone knows Barb & Skip.



  So ok, I’ll finish this in the best way I know how…With a very big THANK YOU to all of you guys who have always been here for me, and for Jenny. Even those random silly little interactions on Facebook definitely distracted me from some very sad moments. 

  And oh yeah, up above when I said that we’re hopefully heading someplace great…I just may have meant it literally and in the immediate present tense. After I post this we’re gonna walk up to the boardwalk, and I think there’s a bag of deep fried Oreos with my name on it.

 Xoxo, Aaron…and Jenny 

49 comments:

  1. I am a constant reader, but small time commenter. I just wanted to give you my condolences for your loss. You mother sounds like a wonderful women. I think I even understand how you can't begin to try to sum her up. peace.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My heart is with you...I've lost both my Mom & Dad & it never is easy. Know that there are those of us out there who care. Barb will always be remembered through your stories about her. Peace to you & your family.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have no words.....I hope this says it all; <3

    ReplyDelete
  4. So sorry to hear your news. Met you at CHA and never would have guessed you had anything but happy stuff going on. Be good to yourselves while you heal.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is why I love you guys. Aaron so well written. You know I feel like we have been friends for years even though we have never met. The loss of a parent is so hard. Even though we are grown it changes you. Not in a bad way though. I think you see things in a different way. (at least from my experience) thanks for sharing. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  6. Beautiful!

    Bless you Aaron (my brother's name!) and Jenny!

    Hugz,
    Cherie

    ReplyDelete
  7. My heart goes out to you both! It's so hard to lose a parent - believe me, I know! May light perpetual shine upon your beautiful mother!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Beautifully written, Aaron. Peace, comfort, love to you both.

    ReplyDelete
  9. You don't have to apologize for the hiatus one bit! If you're never make that post about your mother, I think we can see volumes about her through you. She obviously did an amazing job raising you. Glad to have you both back, but take all the time you need. Hoping your grieving can eventually turn into a celebration of the life of a woman who meant so much to you both! Hugs and love to you two!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Aar, you write beautifully. It's a lovely tribute to Barb. You and Jenny are such a sweet couple. So glad to have met you at Sweethearts. Wishing you happiness.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I was just wondering the other day what was up with you two... I am so sorry for your loss at a loss for words... may your heart mend just a bit each day ox

    ReplyDelete
  12. God bless you both and Barb and Skip. Prayers of comfort and strength. You two are adorable and I am glad I stumbled upon you two back in 2008. Lori

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm in tears...this was the most heartfelt thing I have ever read. I've been reading you blog since 2010 and have always loved it so much. I'm wishing you so much peace in the upcoming months...I know your mom is proud of you and Jenny!!!! <3 <3 <3 <3 sending you so much support and love <33

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hugs to you both. Celebrate everyday, as we never know what tomorrow will bring. I appreciate both of you for all the joy you have brought to my life since about 2006 which is when I first blogged and discovered Jenny.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you Aaron. My Mom lost her battle this morning. In desperation for something else to focus on, I saw your post about YOUR Mom, who sounds a hell of a lot like my Mom. There are so many words and not enough time.
    These words were ones I needed to hear because you GET what I am going through and am heading into. I admit it's scary. Like your Mom, mine was also an integral part of our daily lives, triumphs and failures. I wonder how it will go on without her but see that you have managed to and that gives me hope for down the road.
    I'm sorry about your Mom. I get it, I hate that we have this in common, but I am grateful to know that I am not alone in my thought and feelings. I am grateful to know that so many people care enough to put the little things out there for us to grab onto.
    Thank You

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love you guys! I can't begin to imagine this kind of loss but I know what it is like to worry about, and love, and care for an ailing loved one; it's a beautiful, anguishing, full-time job. Thank you for continuing to be an example of joy and light in the face of adversity. Thank you for honoring your mom who I'm sure is just as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside. All of our good thoughts and best wishes are headed in your direction.

    ReplyDelete
  17. So sorry for your loss and everything you've all been through. Good to hear from you again.

    Tina
    aurathentic@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. So so so sorry for your loss...never easy... Sending you and Jenny love💗💙

    ReplyDelete
  19. Can't even start to think how devasted Skip must feel *wipes of tears* at least you and Jenny, you have eachother! xoxo C.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Tons and tons of love!!! I've been there and its so hard. I can only tell you that the good memories grow brighter every day and my Mom more beautiful. Of course I miss her but she's always here too and she's always at her best and no longer in pain.The thought that she is free and happy and watching over us helps a lot❤️❤️❤️

    ReplyDelete
  21. So sorry to hear this news! I can't even imagine what you must go through... I'll hope great things will cross your path and that you will have some light in the near future. Love Fauve

    ReplyDelete
  22. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I'm glad you took some time to yourselves for reflection.. Your Mom is beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  23. As a parent, our goal is to raise happy, healthy, loving children. Your mother would be proud to see she has achieved this goal. May your memories of her comfort and sustain you. Namaste.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Such a beautiful tribute to Barb! I am so sorry for your loss! Hugs to you and Jenny!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Aaron, the precious mom Barb reflects very strongly in the wonderful man beside Jenny each and every day. Sometimes it takes many years for our sons to realize the influence mothers have on their sons. The traits, likes and dislikes are often times prevalent to on-lookers and those close, but often not visible to our sons. I had often told my son Mikie who is gone but never forgotten, "Mikie I swear you are so much like me!" He would disagree, but others seen it. And I am proud of that fact of the influence and shaping of that son so much that came from me. Aaron your Mom lives in your spirit and the intensity of your love for Jenny. Yep Aaron I see it and am sure many others do too! Sending you my deepest sympathy and love for this heart warming post! Love,Lori

    ReplyDelete
  26. Aaron and Jenny, I am so sorry for your loss. I, too, lost my Mother to cancer when I was just 21 years old. It was painful then and it is painful now, but it makes us stronger better people to have their strength within us to move forward and continue to be the best we can be. You both are lovely spirits and my wish for you is to walk through this time slowly and with care. Some day you will be able to smile and laugh again from the heart and without sadness. xo Cathy

    ReplyDelete
  27. What a beautiful heartfelt post and tribute to your mom. She sounds llike a wonderful person and such a positive and loving presence in both your lives. Hugs to you both.
    Kristen

    ReplyDelete
  28. I am just so sorry for the loss of your Mom. She must have been a remarkable woman because she sure raised a remarkable son. What a touching and beautiful tribute to Barb!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Love you guys! And I bet "Barb" is over the top proud of you and Jenny. Got a kick out of you and your siblings calling hrr by her first name. My kids call me vivian often. Or .... Viv Dog! Yeah... lol! I hope you and jenny make yourself some special ornaments in memory of honor of your mom. Maybe something christmasy to hang on your tree every year. Wonderful blg post Aaron, I'm glad you shared with us. Xoxo
    Vivian

    ReplyDelete
  30. So sorry for the passing of your Mom...
    warmly,
    deb

    ReplyDelete
  31. I'm very very sorry about the loss of your mom. I've lost my mom too (9 years ago) and I miss her every single day.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I am very sorry to hear about the passing of your mom and mother in law. She sounds like a great lady and mom and I bet you feel blessed to have had a mom like her. My mom was diagnosed last week with metastatic cancer so we are just starting this horrible cancer journey. This post was especially touching for me, so thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I'm sorry to hear of your loss. You have written beautifully about your experience.

    ReplyDelete
  34. What a great tribute to your Mom, Aaron. My heart goes out to you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I love this and I love my 2 beautiful friends. Thank you for sharing your heart. ♡

    ReplyDelete
  36. Aaron, I could just feel the emotion in this post, your love for your Mom shines through in your words about her, love you guys!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Aaron, my thoughts are with you and Jenny during this difficult time. Thank you for writing with such honesty from your heart. It's clear why you have such a loyal following and many friends near and far: you and Jenny are full of light and kindness. xoxox.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Aaron, My thought and prayers are with you and your family. This blog made me very sad because my dad died on the same day 27 years ago. It was the saddest day of my life too. The only thing I can tell you is as time goes on April 24th will bring many happy memories to you and you may even wake up with a smile on your face on that day. Remember time which we are always racing against will become your best friend. Glad to see you blogging again.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Thank you for sharing such a personal story of love and loss. May you find what you need each day forward from friends and family and the world around you. You both show such determination and strength in spite of all you have already been through. Sending positive energy your way.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I'm so sorry for your loss. Your post touched me deeply. I lost my dad 9 years ago today. Keeping you both in my prayers and sending hugs your way.

    ReplyDelete
  41. That was a beautiful tribute to your mom. And I know that she's looking down at you, on the boardwalk, eating fried Oreos, and she is happy and proud.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Aaron and Jenny--

    I'm so sorry for your loss. My father-in-law died a month before your dear "Barb" this spring. It's been a surreal spring here too, for sure.

    Much Love. You guys already know how to cherish the good in life, and that is no small thing.

    --Val ♥

    ReplyDelete
  43. I'm reading this post late, as I'm trying to catch up with my blogroll, and I'm very sorry I missed it initially. I almost considered not commenting at all, I don't think I could find enough meaningful words to say in response, but I did read every word you wrote, and what a truly beautiful memento. I feel a bit blessed just to have the opportunity to read about such a wonderful person. That portrait of her is pure sunlight <3

    ReplyDelete
  44. I love and adore you both as a person and as an artist. <3 My love and prayers and positive energy is coming your way and this article was absolutely beautiful. Almost as beautiful as your mom. xox

    ReplyDelete
  45. My sympathies to you, Jenny and your family. My beloved mother lost her final battle with cancer in January. The past year was just like what you described. I know what you are saying. Your mother had to be an amazing woman to have such a wonderful son.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Hi Aaron and Jenny. I love your blog and artwork. This post really touched my heart. I am so sorry for your loss. It is so hard to lose someone you loved so much who also loved you. It's a loss that can choke the joy out of life. But we can't let it. We must go on and try to live with the hurt of missing them. It's so hard. I know. Please accept my love and understanding and appreciation for you and this amazing heartfelt post in honor of your beautiful mother. What a tribute to her! It's so obvious that she was truly amazing because look at her son!! What a heart and talent you are. You and Jenny have so much to offer in showing us how to live a beautiful and artful life full of love and sensitivity. One day you will be able to write more about your beautiful mother Barb, until then, hold yourselves close in her loving memories. She must be amazing as we can see in just knowing you. Sending love and hugs to you and Jenny and of course your family and father. God Bless. Xoxo Desi Anne

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for reading! We absolutely love to hear from you guys...so please leave a comment if the mood strikes you, or if you have any questions for us about a recipe, project, art supply , paint color, etc. Don't panic if your comment doesn't appear right away...we moderate all comments to avoid getting tons of spam. Thanks again!!
xo Jenny & Aaron