Sunday, December 12, 2010

The holidays can be hard...

As wonderful and full of joy as the holidays *can* be, sometimes, too, they are so very hard. Everything about the holidays seems to be magnified. For me, the hardest part is missing those I love the most - my grand mother and my father - especially during this beautiful time that is about Christ's birth and family and love.

Considering what I do for a living, it could be considered strange that I never scrapbooked about my losses. It's not that I never scrapbooked difficult things or things that weren't "perfect" like my son's speech delay or small hole in his heart, but the loss of those I loved so much were just too painful, too raw, to put down on paper even years later. Perhaps I thought I couldn't do it justice or that writing it down would just be too traumatic for me. In any case, it never got done.

But as fate would have it, a sweet friend of mine, Suzy, somehow knew that precisely that would be exactly what I would need and so she contacted me for then-upcoming article (January 2011 Creating Keepsakes) about dealing with loss through scrapbooking. I can't tell you how many times I told her at first "No, no, no, no, NO! I just don't think that I could do that, Suzy!" All said in my very best whine. And then her patient response back, "Oh yes, you can. You need to. And you will."

I can't tell you how much I thank her for that. Because it turns out that writing that layout (and for me it was much much more about the writing than the design process) was one of the most cathartic, healing things I've ever done. Because for that layout? For that layout, I finally got true with myself and with my feelings towards my dad's death. I allowed myself right then, for this one page, to be honest and selfish and whatever else came to mind in that moment. I allowed myself to *be* in that moment. And now, I have a page I cherish - one that is not only about my pain, but about the great love I had (and have) for my father.

For Just One Day
As seen in the January, 2011 issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine. Copyright Creative Crafts Group. Posted with prior permission from the publisher.
Photobucket
Source List: Bazzill Cardstock; BasicGrey paper, lace die-cut paper, alpha stickers; BoBunny papers; Dusty Attic chipboard accent; Heidi Swapp (Advantus) chipboard alphas and paint; Sizzix die-cut; Making Memories papers, flower paper clip; Hero Arts rhinestones; Fiskars scallop border punch; Uni-ball pen; Pentel pen

The journaling reads:

I tell myself all the time that I miss you the most for the boys, for what they never knew of you. But if I’m truly honest with myself, I can be selfish and say I miss you the most for me. Because I know what I’m missing. I know all I’ve lost. I sit here and look at photos of you and I can almost hear your voice speaking to me, feel your arms around me - “almost,” but not quite. It’s been ten years already, Daddy, and it’s passed in the blink of an eye yet gone so slowly all at the same time. So much has happened yet things are strangely the same. There’s been a scab put over the raw wound that I was left with when you died, but the scab is still there and the hurt just sits below the surface, threatening to erupt at any given moment…like right now as I try and say these words. It’s the little things I miss the most, things like how you would fuss at me and Cracker Jack when we got to wrestling and being silly, how you always knew when I needed you. Always. You were my rock, my constant, my Daddy….and what I wouldn’t give for just one more day with you. No matter how much time passes, I love you always, Kelly

Thank you again, Suzy. And happy holidays to all of you!

Remember - there's still time to get in on the PageMaps/Scrapbook & Cards today calendar giveaway. Enter here!
xoxo,
k.

21 comments:

Melanie said...

i lost my dad unexpectedly just a few weeks after i turned 8. i can ditto so many of your thoughts and comments.

big hugs to you, kg.

Barb in AK said...

Kelly, That is so beautiful---not just the layout, but oh, that journalling! How touching. It must be wonderful to have loved such a man and for him to have loved, sheltered, and nurtured you.
Thank you so much for sharing this!

Cynthia B. said...

Kelly, thanks for sharing your heartfelt emotion with us. The pages I treasure most are the ones where I can tell a meaningful story. So I can imagine that this page, this love letter to your dad, will be a great keepsake for you...your journaling is some of the the most touching I've read. Thank you for sharing this with us!

Nathalie Kalbach said...

thisis so beautiful and I love your journaling. Wonderful and touching. Having lost a father and stepfather I can relate! Huge hugs my friend!

April said...

What a beautiful page with some amazing journaling. Isn't it funny how sometimes others know when we need to take a step towards healing that we haven't been able to take ourselves? I'm glad you've taken that step and that you now have a layout about your dad to treasure...
- April W

Margie H said...

Hi, Kelly.
I think this is the first time, I left comment on your blog...been a lurker for years.

I just lost my father a couple of months ago. Even though I thought I didn't have the heart to do so I did write a post on my blog...made me cry & laugh...it felt good. I think the same emotion happened to you? Your page made me re-think a tribute page about my father should be in the works for me too.

Thanks for the inspiration :)

Melissa said...

You brought me to tears this morning, Kelly. This is beautiful!
It reminded me that I have created pages with my mom in them, even mentioned that it was the last holiday with her in hidden journaling, but the truth is that I have never really journalled about losing her and what that really means to all of us.

Kim said...

Such a beautiful layout and your journaling is so very touching. I can definitely relate, it will be 9 years this Christmas since I lost my dad. The holidays are always hard and your journaling really spoke to me.

Cathy said...

What a gorgeous tribute to your dad! In art and words - this touched me. Just beautiful!

Bart said...

That's beautiful! I'm crying but it's because you helped me remember my dad! I miss him too!

Jennifer Moore said...

You've brought tears to my eyes, Kelly. What a beautiful, touching page. I recently scrapped a very difficult page about a loss too. We lost my husband's grandfather AND uncle this year, and Christmas will be so different without them there. You can see my page here: http://moore-than-words.blogspot.com/2010/12/scrapbooking-through-pain.html

Yes, it was a difficult topic to scrap, but like you...I am so glad to finally get that all down on paper. ((HUGS))

Sharon L. said...

Awww, Kelly! This is such a sweet and tender layout...it also brought tears to my eyes. You can see how much he meant to you and how he still impacts your life. I lost my daddy 9 years ago (and his birthday is in two days. Sniff.) I don't think that hole they leave ever closes, but how precious are the memories of them that we will never lose?

Linda E said...

What a beautiful, heartfelt layout, Kelly. I lost my dad almost 13 years ago and I couldn't have said it better. I turned a Basic Grey class layout from several years ago into a tribute to my dad. I titled it "Miss You" and it is one of my favorites. Glad you got your thoughts on paper.

Lynne said...

We lost our dads about the same time and you are right, the loss never heals. I miss my dad for me too! What you wrote was so touching.

*reyanna klein* said...

I have tears in my eyes, Kelly! I'm so glad you shared this with us. Thank you so much. :-) Big hugs to you!

Christi said...

I'm sitting at my desk at work blinking back tears. Your analogy of the scab over the wound is so very true. My dad passed away 19 years ago and I still feel like that. Thank you for saying it in such an eloquent way. Hugs.

Kathy (krolski) said...

This is so touching. What a beautiful tribute to your Dad.

jbuffan said...

What a beautiful layout. Your journaling was so touching, you are so lucky to have such loving memories of your dad. Glad you were able to get it all on paper :)

Jody said...

Tears are streaming down my face as I read this beautiful tribute to your Daddy.
Just lovely, Kelly :*)

Kelly Massman said...

This is such a beautiful page and such a wonderful tribute! TFS!

GabyCreates.com said...

Wonderful to have friends like Suzy. Thanks for sharing such heartfelt journaling. I was daddy's girls many years ago....
TFS - Gaby