I'm very frustrated. My arm has been throbbing all day and my fingers feel swollen and useless, they don't look swollen, but they feel like sausage links.
I didn't know whether or not I would ever post about this personal part of my life on the blog, but I think it will be okay. When I started this project to make a pillow monster a day for 30 days, it was a way for me to jump-start myself out of this dark place that I was in. About 7 months ago my mom lost her very heroic battle to brain cancer. Not only was her battle heroic, but it was also a quiet battle that was full of good humor and selflessness. As the disease goes, it gradually took away most of her abilities, but it never took away her humor. This is the same disease that my father died from when I was young. Which is just a bizarre and cruel coincidence (and probably a strong case for brain tumors being partially environmentally caused---we lived near a sub-station).
Shortly after her funeral, Joseph and I moved here to Bloomington. He had gotten accepted to grad school at IU, and after toying with the idea of just taking a year off of stuff, we decided it would be good to move away from my home-town that was full of lots of memories of difficult times. At first I was shocked at how well I was coping, I was almost embarrassed at myself for handling the loss of my mom so well. But when the paper work stopped, the moving tasks were complete and the furniture had been rearranged for the billionth time, things settled down. The weather turned gray and I really just missed her. That, and there is this very empty feeling you get inside when someone who loves you unconditionally leaves the world. What happens to that love? It feels a little bit like it just leaves too.
I decided to give myself a creative challenge. I wanted to make a quilt about my mom, using her clothes, but it felt too soon, so I thought I would be easy on myself and just do something ridiculous like make pillow monsters. I started hand sewing when my mom was very ill. I used to make little pillow creatures in her room while she slept. It helped somehow. These are what they looked like---I also used to draw in this little book while she slept too.
The Pillow Monster a day challenge was great. Instantly, I felt a little lighter. I loved it. An additional perk was the blogging community that formed. The 30 days passed and I didn't even notice. When I opened up the Etsy shop things improved even more because it felt like a communication with people. It feels so good to make stuff and have that stuff appreciated. My little shop did pretty well, and I have never felt more satisfied----I looked forward to each day when I woke up in the mornings, I kept wondering if the feeling would pass, but it never did. Joseph thought I was on fire! So that is why my arm is so frustrating. I couldn't sew at all today and it is maddening. I couldn't even draw! Arrgh. I did get some steroids for it and I know this could just be temporary, it most likely is. I have just been swimming around in a sea of bitterness all day, and I am just getting it out, because things have been in for a long time now. And also because there is a little drawing by Elsita pinned above my computer reminding me not to be a closed box.
Thanks for reading, it feels very strange to share all this, but also sort of nice. I am taking a week off of pillow monster making to recuperate. Till then, I'll be dreaming up new creatures and giving Albert an insane amount of walks.