Friday, August 7, 2009

A small step in the recent past

There are places in my photo files that I do not visit if I don’t have to. And for good reason. I call them The Folders I Do Not Open and they all took place last summer. In June 2008, our lives began to go downhill and steadily went from a slippery slope to hell in a handbasket.

Everybody has times in their lives when that kind of thing happens, so I get the feeling that most of you know of what I speak.

I haven’t been able to bring myself to look back at any of the pictures I took back then because of all the pain that is still associated with them. There was the loss of my husband’s job of more than ten years, then the promise of a better life with what seemed like a caring new boss. It turned out to be nothing but stress for my husband, however, that had him doing his best to please someone who could never be pleased. His subsequent firing, the day after she and her husband found out that his brain tumor had returned was less than kind. But I digress.

Tonight, for some reason, I accidentally opened one of these files and instead of jumping out like I’ve touched something hot, I forced myself to stay.

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And I’m glad I did, because I’d forgotten about these pictures.

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These photographs of my husband’s parents were taken a week after we moved to that new life in Pennsylvania. They wanted to come out to visit and see that their son had landed on his feet. And I can only imagine the relief they felt knowing that he was going to be okay, after just losing his job a few weeks prior to this. It would be short-lived, as it turned out, but all seemed well at the time.

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I don’t often visit the past. Especially when it hurts. But I’m glad I forced myself this time.

I have always been blessed with the kind of in-laws that are the envy of all of my friends. They’re really great people. And right now, they are the only parents I have.

And I am grateful.

Until tomorrow, my friends . . .

There’s a lot I’m grateful for. How ‘bout you?

36 comments:

Mary said...

Oh Kate, I am humbled when I think of all the people who soldier on through lives that make my small adversities seem like a walk in the park. Yes, there are times that I prefer not to revisit, but I am forever grateful for my terrific husband and kids, and the chance to live where I do.

And for my camera. ;)

Lovely photos of your in-laws.

Shelley said...

I'm glad you have such terrific in-laws. They must provide such comfort and support to you. These photos were very peaceful.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Memories are good, even when they are bittersweet.

Leenie said...

Glad you are able to put some of that rough ride behind you. Best wishes for a smoother ride in the future.

LouDuk said...

A touching story.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Those pictures are wonderful, and I can tell your in-laws are warm, genuine people.

Although it's painful, we do have to revisit the past rather than ignore it. What a wonderful surprise to take such a visit and wind up with these pictures, which are fabulous.

Not that it will make you feel any better, but 2008 starting in March and going through July/August represent the absolute worst years of my life.

Nothing has changed since then except the way I look at the situation. Instead of letting it pull me down to below the ground, I hoist my chin up and keep plowing forward, with the help of humor, laughter and very dear friends.

Have a great time in Maine, dear friend, and come back to Virginia soon.

Meg @ Soup Is Not A Finger Food said...

Miss Kate, I think you and I should have chatted more at Blogfest. I, too, have a husband who's had a tumultuous few years in the work department, including his recent layoff... we, too, moved to PA, for his work, only to return to MD 6 months later after we discovered we didn't like living there after all... and I, too, have photos I took during a dark time in our lives, when our son was in the hospital, that I kept, not sure why, but can't really look at 'em even 3 years later.

Maybe we should call Wine One One and have a sit-down!

Joei - Alvond said...

Hi! it's been a little bit while since I last posted, it is because my 1st acct here in blogger become corrupted, it was days and nights...

now heres the new URL of my new account.
http://my-days-and-night.blogspot.com/

i hope to see you there and I followed you again... i hope you followed me again too.....

thank you very much

Jan said...

Glad to hear about your wonderful in-laws. Mine were the pits, but they're gone now, and not missed.

Char said...

yes, there are things that take us back and are painful but sometimes, like this - there are beautiful pieces. thank you for sharing them.

sweetpea_path said...

Yes, CG, I too, know of what you speak. I so admire the courage it must take, on some deep level, to voice these things from your life in such a public forum. It is the main reason I love to read your posts -- you so often strike a *universal chord* (for lack of a better term to describe it). Since I am unable to be courageous in the same way, I thank you for yours.

You have also inspired me to be braver about opening "The Folders I Do Not Open". And I am indeed grateful for that.

Bottom line: I believe that gratitude for all those things we DO HAVE (vs. living in the negative) is key to living a full & rich life, whatever it brings...

Think I might go mix up one of them ice teas now (winking!)

Georgie K. Buttons said...

I know how you feel. I have folders with pictures of my Buddy in them, and I can't open them. It hurts too much.

Riet said...

Beautiful pictures.You are so lucky to have those wonderful inlaws. Touching story.

KathyB. said...

Still there, can't look at some picture folders unless I want to hurt. I used to scrap book very artistically too, I am told. But I quit because I cannot bear to view photos that hurt so very much. Now my 3 years worth of photos sit in chronological order in boxes next to empty photo albums I cannot bear to fill.

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

I had wonderful inlaws too and I sure miss them. I love these captures Kate and thanks for sharing. Memories can be tough but they also can make us stronger.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Amazing how with time we can look back and revisit a period in our life that was devestating. It seems unimaginable as we go through it -- but time does heal, and we gain a bit of perspective. I am almost a year from a period of dread and horror and I find myself revisiting the memories in my mind . . . so grateful that we all survived . . . so grateful to have made it to the other side.

Daryl said...

Grateful for your friendship

Beyond the Nest said...

Thanks for sharing such a touching story. We all must have folders that we chose to keep closed. Isn't it wonderful that when we find the courage to open them something beautiful can be found? Good in-laws are truly a blessing. Karen

Ann Marie said...

it has taken me 38 years but I have to say that I am grateful for even the "not so great crap" because it has made me who I am today and I happen to like me. I realize that at this point in my life if i wiped out the bad I would not have my children, my husband, my house, my dog... I am sure I would have something else but this specifically would have been wiped off the map when the bad went away.. so yea I am grateful.. for it all!

Hugs sweetie.. and I LOVE the photos.

Mental P Mama said...

They really do seem to be amazing. And I'm glad things are where they are now...with that house and that garden;) Hugs to you.

Deb said...

If you did one thing with today's post, you struck a chord with many people.
Life brings you ups and downs. This we cannot deny. I cannot bear to look at the photos of the happier times, when we both worked and had a great house and nice friends. Throw a little (or a lot) of bad luck and all is gone with what seems to be one gust of wind.
Letting the past go is not an easy task. I have worked really hard to do so, but my husband cannot. Watching him dwell makes be relive all the awful things all over again.
We are not alone in our suffering. By reading the comments left here, well, it only confirms the hard times our Country is going through.
We need prosperity. We need jobs. We need healthcare. We need peace.
Amen

Kamana said...

so great to have lovely in laws!

Kerri said...

It's neat how you posted this today....on one of my most thankful days of my life! There is so much that we take for granted every day.

A wonderful post...and I hope your hubby is doing well!
And George to, of course!

Living on the Spit said...

I too, have a file marked never open and sometimes when I am down or need to be emotional, I will open it and then be grateful as to how much my life has changed for the better.

Lisa A. said...

I'm glad you decided to look at the photos! For me, doing things like that always helps me realize how strong I can be. Your in-laws look like great people. Thanks for sharing that story with us!

India said...

It is important I think that you can look back with out feeling bad. And you must be a happy one who has good in-laws. It means som much.

Audrey at Barking Mad said...

I'm glad you are blessed with such wonderful in-laws. I'm envious of that bond as I only had a few short years with my FIL and sadly, I never met my MIL as she died some time before Gareth and I met.

Sometimes a look back into the past, albeit a painful past, shows us a glimpse of something that helps us get over that pain, even if it's only a little bit at a time. I hope that's what those photos did for you.

Ellen said...

Beautiful pictures as usual. I can see where your husband gets his back of body good looks - from his father!

There is always something so peaceful about looking at farm animals.

MaggieGem said...

Good times, bad times I think everyone goes through them. But through it all you still have your family around you, and the in-laws are there too! I am truly touched by your sharing today, because I've been there and I'm grateful for those who've stuck around!

May things turn around as quickly for the better as they did in the past, but remember you've made through!

TSannie said...

You are a blessing, my friend, to many folks. I am so glad I'm one of those folks. Thank you, Kate.

TSannie said...

Oh, and I'll send that tomato recipe along as soon as Mom departs with it! It is just YUM!

Oliag said...

I can't think of a photo file I can't open but I do have a video of my mother that I have never been able to look at or listen to...she is only in it momentarily but just her voice brings me tears...right now I don't even have a working video player to watch it on if I wanted to and I keep thinking I need to transfer it to a dvd somehow...I still miss both my parents and my in-laws whom I adored...

I will be emailing you about our Maine trips!

noble pig said...

You are blessed to have their support that wraps around you. The photos were a great glimpse into that.

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

I can so relate to your thoughtful post today. Loss of spouse's job,due to the betrayal by his "friend" who was the best man at our wedding, when we had two young children and a new baby. Pain so deep you can't look at certain photos from that time.

I also had wonderful in-laws who blessed my life. They've been gone for years now, but I still miss them everyday. V.

Jo said...

Kate, I remember that period of time in your life, and I remember wondering how on earth you survived it. But things seem to have worked out for you in ways that you possibly could not have imagined at that time. Without the bitter, there would be no sweet, would there?

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