August 15, 2019

Losing


Loss is a strange thing. You can mourn the life that someone has lost, is losing, will lose.


With cancer there is hope. With most things there is hope.


With ALS there is no cure. No real treatment. Just a diagnosis and whatever time you have left as your body slowly, but never slowly enough, shuts down. And then it's in this state of almost shut down, but still there.


Some cancer doesn't give a lot of hope. But it's still there, even just a little. Until it's not.


With everything we can pray for a miracle, but do we always believe it's going to come?


With faith, you look at death as an opportunity. It's not an end. There is that hope of eternal life, in a new, better, healed body. A perfect ending to an imperfect illness.


But without faith...


It's hard to know how to feel. It's heartbreaking.


Emotions are complex. You never know how exhausting they are until that grief and loss is weighing down everything. It colours ever day.


Right now, we're in a season of preparing. Getting ready. I don't know if the waiting for the end will be worse than the end.


For ALS we've mourned. I think. I haven't been this close to loss before. I don't know what I'll feel. We've done our mourning. We've talked through it all. We've made our peace. But I'm not sure what it will actually look like on the other side for those of us left behind. But when ALS finally wins, I know what's on the other side for her and it will be worth the battle.


With cancer it's different. It's at arm's length. I am not at peace with this. And it's coming imminently.


Illness is not fair. Death is not discerning. It comes to us all, but that doesn't mean it isn't heavy. Watching loved ones suffer is excruciating. And what about everyone they leave behind? It's not going to go away for them.


Oh me of little faith, I find it hard to pray for healing when there is no known cure. But I pray for salvation. For everyone. And, if anything, that is what breaks my heart the hardest.

May 06, 2019

Blog's not dead

You can try and make the argument that the heyday of blogging is over. You can say that Instagram killed blogging and that Facebook and Twitter ruined all of our lives. Just because you say something, doesn't means it's true, but I am pretty sure that Twitter did make at least a couple attempts at destroying all of us. It's fine. I finally deactivated my long-abandoned Twitter account a couple weeks ago. We'll call it a failed social experiment.

Instagram did not kill blogging, it just stole its lunch money. The Instagram story (yet another potentially harmful social experiment) was probably the biggest culprit in all of that, but the long caption is a big offender as well. Remember when everyone was so offended by the long Instagram caption that you felt self conscious putting anything longer than half a sentence? Don't pretend you didn't care.

In a season of life where there is such limited capacity to get the basic things done (I have yet to clean the windows that are so dirty we can barely see through them in our new house that we've been living in for five months) prioritizing is key. Blogging is not what I need right now. I can't put proper words to everything that's going on right now. How do I talk about a terminally ill family member while respecting their dignity and not over sharing? I don't. I hint at it on Instagram. If you know me, you know what's going on. It's not a secret, but it's not up to me to spread it on the internet right now.

So I Instagram. I don't have the capacity to spend an hour at the computer writing right now in the evenings or on the weekends. It will never be like it once was, but I will probably always come back here. There are other things I need to focus on right now. But Instagram isn't the time sucker that blogging is.

I love to write and someday when we're not deep in the think of it I will do it more. But right now, if you want to know where I'm at, I'm probably sharing a picture of my coffee or kids on the IG.

I've had to deal with some of the strange dynamics of internet friends this year and it hurt a lot more than I expected. So I unfollowed a lot of accounts. I don't read as many blogs. Time is precious, I just can't spend it on things that hurt or don't bring as much joy. I think the same goes with what I post. Sometimes I rethink it, and sometimes I need to realize that my identity has exactly nothing to do with what people think of my pictures.

I want to encourage and care for people. I want to be myself. I want to bring levity to life. I want to leave long captions on my pictures. I want to accept that we're all different and love each other through that. I don't want to waste energy on pursuing things that don't matter, but I want to continue to work on relationships, whatever that looks like. We don't always have to agree, but shared history is what makes us connected. I never want to discount that.

So you're still here (maybe). I'm still around. I'm in other places, but this place still matters.

Blogging's not dead, it just lost its lunch money to Instagram. Beaten, but not defeated. You have to evolve to survive, and it's not going anywhere. It just might be a little dormant.

December 31, 2018

Merry Christmas (letter)

Dear friends,
What a year it’s been. Welcome to the first (and possibly only) edition of our annual Christmas letter. It’s been such a big year for us, full of so many changes, we thought it would be prudent to try to sum it up for those of you that haven’t been able to keep track.
As you’re likely aware, we sold our sweet little house in Regina and moved back to Victoria at the end of March. We always knew Saskatchewan was a 3-5 year plan for us, but that didn’t make the transition any less difficult. We left behind incredible friends, a greater community than we could have ever dreamed of, and the best coffee shop. We were back in April to see Jeff and Kim get married, and are hoping to make it back for a visit in 2019.
My mom graciously let us stay with her for 8 long months while we got settled and looked for a place of our own. With three adults and one bathroom, it was hard, but we persevered and are the stronger for it.
When we sold our house in Regina the only thing we knew for certain was that my mom would take us in. We had no jobs or childcare lined up, just the faith that Victoria was our next destination and the hope that God would provide so we could hit the ground running. And that we did. We had childcare and jobs lined up before the UHaul was even loaded.
Karl and I each have good jobs. We’re lucky enough to have dear friends watching our kids during the week.
If you’re a little behind, you might not know that we recently bought a home with my dad. We are now the proud owners of half a pink duplex in beautiful Sidney by the sea. Dad is living in the main level suite, while us Mortons mostly occupy the upper level. The house needed some work done to make it livable and hygienic, but the bulk of it is scheduled for completion right before Christmas. As you read this (likely in the new year, let’s be honest) we will be done all the renovations that I naively thought could be completed in two weeks.
The kids are doing great. Parker never stops talking and is so curious about the world around him. He wants to know everything, and has a great imagination. Molly is incredibly sweet, but also becoming very strong willed. They have both done so well with all the changes of the last year and totally exceeded our expectations of them.
We’ve settled back into life in Victoria and have found a new church, new community, and reconnected with old friends. It’s so good being close to family again, and the kids absolutely adore seeing their grandparents regularly.
We accomplished a lot this year. Moving, starting new jobs, putting the kids in daycare, and doing a renovation are all big things. We’re also currently navigating through some serious health issues in the family. While I’m not sure we’ll be sorry to see the other side of 2018, it was a big year for us. We grew, we stretched, and Karl and I got our first ever night away from our kids.
We did not do a great job at keeping in touch this year. We’re sorry. You’re important to us, we just got overextended.
Please consider this your formal invitation to come over for dinner in 2019. If you’re from out of town, bring your pajamas and spend the night. We don’t have a proper guest room anymore, but our laundry room fits an air mattress quite nicely and we promise to make it cozy for you. You’re also welcome to bunk with Parker, who transitioned into a double bed this year and would love to tell you about dump trucks as you fall asleep next to him.
Merry Christmas, friends. We hope 2019 brings you much joy and happiness. Thank you for all you’ve done for us. We’d be nothing without you.
Anna

If you're still here, as always, thanks for sticking around.
My kids are currently eating popcorn and I'm introducing Parker to The Santa Clause. My tree may be coming down tonight as part of our roaring New Year's party, (I also plan on binge watching Travelers and eating Oreos in my sweat pants) but we'll finish the season strong with Tim Allen in a fat suit, just like Jesus always liked to.