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World Watercolor Month Linky Party - ends 7/31

Thursday, May 30, 2019

STAMPlorations turns 6 in June -- here's why we aren't having a birthday blog hop to celebrate

Hey, STAMPlorations friends. So around this time for the past few years, I would normally give you guys a heads up about STAMPlorations' birthday in June. Last year, our birthday celebration was preceded by a wishlist linky party and we celebrated all month.

Our little company is turning 6 years (on June 29 to be exact), and I had every intention of celebrating it with the STAMPgirls with a week-long blog hop and linky party. But life has a way of throwing us off...and our plans.

Last May 12, the morning of Mother's Day, my dad had a stroke. Three hours after he was rushed to the hospital, he slipped into a coma, but not before he made it clear to my family that he didn't want any life-saving measures done that would simply let him live the rest of his life as a vegetable. His scans showed he had a massive brain stem stroke and the doctors didn't sugarcoat or give my mom and siblings hope: there was nothing that could be done except make my dad comfortable.

The doctors estimated he wouldn't live past Tuesday. He didn't wait that long. He was all about efficiency. And being the boss. And not prolonging any suffering. So 24 hours later, on May 13, he died. He was 65. We were assured that he was never in any pain or discomfort. We barely had time to process everything.

All this happened with me 7,000 miles away. I was glued to my phone and computer the entire time, keeping in touch with my family mainly via video calls. I have never felt so helpless in my life -- seeing my dad on the hospital bed, knowing that any moment he would die, and not being able to touch and kiss him one last time. I am so thankful we have the technology today that enabled me to see my dad from thousands of miles away. But no advancement in technology could ever lessen my pain of losing him.

I was in the middle of planning our birthday celebration when my dad died, but I found I couldn't continue with it...at least not in the foreseeable future. Here I am two and a half weeks later and I am still a mess, barely able to get more than the basic/minimum of tasks done. I still can't bring myself to think about celebrating anything, not when my heart is broken and I have more bad days than good days. I never know when I'd break down and cry. I just know that I hurt and find myself desperately wishing I'd wake up from a really bad dream and be back in a world where my daddy is alive and well.

I'm blessed to have a design team -- I consider them my second family -- who embraced me, is giving me the space and time to grieve, and understands why I couldn't push through with any of the stuff I originally planned for June.

My dad and me in 1980. I was 4 years old.
In December 2017, a few days before Winter was born, my dad stood by my work table and watched me package orders. He stood silent for a few minutes and then asked, "Do you still do any writing?" I remember telling him I did, but that I had scaled back and accepted work only from a few long-time clients. "Are you happier doing this?" I gave him a smile and said, "Yes, I am." Then I explained that the people in this community were kinder, customers were more understanding. I could set my own deadlines and be flexible with them; I loved being in the company of extremely talented designers, and I enjoyed drawing and designing more than writing and editing.

Years ago, he would have told me that I'd be better off having a regular job. But on that day, he said, "That's good. I'm glad you're happy with what you're doing. That's the most important thing." That day, I felt he finally understood why I do what I do. (He and I were so much alike that we often butted heads when I was young and thought I knew everything.)

I don't want to end this post on a sad note. We will still celebrate...just not in June. I am hoping and praying for more good days than bad days, and that in time I will be back in my usual gear and work/do more. But for now, I am taking it one day at a time. Thank you for reading this far.

54 comments:

  1. I think you're standing courageous in the passing of your father. Not an easy time and being so far away made it more difficult as you did not have the opportunity to bond with your family by being there in person. Your days/nights will be like this for awhile and then you'll be able to smile at the memories without the tears. Keep telling your story about your dad passing as that is part of the healing. I imagine just writing the post brought you to tears. I love that you were a lot alike. Keeping you in prayer. 

[Bunny]`

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  2. Take the time you need for yourself and your family! So sorry to hear of the loss of your Dad. Sending hugs and good thoughts!

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  3. Sorry for your loss, Sheri. Sending hugs and prayers during this difficult time. Stay strong. x

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  4. Take a;; the time to grief for your father there is set time to stop, he was as important person in your life...do not rush.
    I lost my brother 11 years ago and I still miss him and still have my moments of sadness and great memories of hum...Hang in there.

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  5. So sorry for your loss and he was so young. We have had several family members die in their 60s and it is so hard for the remaining family members. Take care.

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  6. You have my deepest sympathy and I fully understand how one feels at the loss of a parent. So take the time you need to grieve and when you are ready we will be here for you then.

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    1. My dad at age 65 too. I was expecting my first child and he had big plans to be my babysitter. That was tough when he died of a stroke too. So I do really understand.

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  7. So sorry for your loss Shery.
    Sending hugs and prayers.
    Valerija xx

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  8. Hugs to you, Shery. Do what you intuitively feel you should. I lost my 91-yr-old Dad on March 8 and have just been making cards like in my sleep. I know he's in a better place and lived a very long happy life. I did not anticipate how numb and disinterested I would feel, and it just needs to pass. You need to do what is right for you. My heartfelt condolences to you and your family. <3 xoxoxo

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  9. Sending lots of love and hugs at this extremely difficult time. Take time and hold on to the memories x I am so very sorry x

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  10. Sheri, so sorry for your loss but what a touching story! I love what he said about doing what you love!!!! That is so sweet! Thinking of you at this hard time!!!!

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  11. Shery, family comes FIRST. Take time to reflect, remember, cry, laugh, whatever emotions carry you for the moment. That's what grieving is all about. Having lost my dad in December, I still have days (just today, with my sister), that I break down and cry. It's OKAY. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and memories about him...we'll all be here when you "return". God bless.

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  12. So sorry to hear about your father.
    My dad has been gone over 30 years and
    I still miss him. We had a special
    bond and he would have loved to see
    my crafting. Not being able to be
    there at the end made it worse, but
    believe that he knew you were there
    in spirit. He'll be watching out
    for you from now on. Take your
    time to grieve and make peace with
    his loss. Hugs.

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  13. So sorry for your loss, Shery. Do take the time to grieve, and I hope that your fond memories will get you through any difficult days. Sending hugs.
    Marianne x

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  14. I'm so sorry for your loss, Shery. There aren't enough words to express my sympathy... thinking of you and and your family, and wishing you peace during this difficult time.
    Hugs,
    Cris

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  15. Blessings & love to you as you process your grief ~ ((hugs))

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  16. So sorry for your loss, Shery.
    Take your time.
    Sending hugs and prayers.

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  17. Simply sending you a huge hug, you have wonderful memories Shery

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  18. So sorry to hear of your dad's passing, Shery! I know I don't blog anymore and I rarely comment, but I wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you. My dad died at the age of 52 in a car accident and it was such a difficult time for me. Big hugs!

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  19. I’m sorry to hear of your dad’s passing. That had to have been so hard to be that far away. I was only a few hundred miles from my parents, and that seemed far. Take time to mourn. You will heal a little more each week. Find some thing or things that you can pass down about your dad to you daughters. Maybe a story or tradition. It may help you if you can keep part of him alive through stories. Hugs to you, Shery. Don’t worry about the celebration. Keep things simple for a while.

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  20. Oh Shery, I'm so sorry to hear this. Words are cheap at time like this, but I hope you feel the love and virtual hugs from all of us in blog land. You'll be in my prayers.

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  21. So sad and hope you
    are feeling better
    and having good memories.
    Carla from Utah

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  22. I am so sorry to hear of your loss, take one day at a time and take the time to grieve and soon you will be looking back with fondness more than sadness. sending love and light to you and your family

    Alicia

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  23. So very sorry to hear about your beloved dad, Shery! I know from experience what a difficult time it is and how much it impacts your every day life. Please be kind to yourself and take the time to cry and grieve. Remember all the good times and special memories. Sadly it is something we all have to face. Take care. So wonderful your Dad understood your choices. Congratulations on 6 years! Sending hugs.

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  24. Oh Shery, I am so sorry to hear about your Dad's passing. It is a wonderful blessing that you could stay in touch with technology due to your distance away. I just lost my Dad too, so I understand the tumultuous feelings and moments you are going through. Sending hugs, Cathy x

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  25. I'm so sorry for your loss, dear Sheri. Sending hugs and prayers! Lots of love, Arianna

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  26. So sorry for your loss, Sheri. But I am glad that you are finding strength and remembering the happy memories that you shared with your dad. Sending prayers and hugs.

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  27. Shery, so sorry to hear of your enormous loss - my prayers are with you:)

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  28. Hi, Shery. Thank you for sharing not only what you are feeling just now, but also, the many emotional thoughts and memories that have come to your heart these past few weeks. What a special man, to see that he continued growing personally, as well as, his great love for you as an individual. LOVE LOVE LOVE your dear 1980 photograph! Shery, my deepest condolences, and a heart full of gentle hugs, and gratitude, for what your dad left behind - the beauty of Shery Russ - her kindness, creativity, and love, which is lavished on us all. xx

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  29. Sending you lots of love and healing hugs!

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  30. Thank you for sharing this info. Congrats on reaching 6 years! Because there is a person behind this company I will continue to support with purchases! :) LOVE my new stuff too BTW

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  31. I feel for you and your loss...so hard to lose someone you love so much. You just do what you need to do to feel a little better. Your successful 6 year anniversary isn't going anywhere. You are so loved by the crafting community and we're behind you 100%.

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  32. I know what it's like to lose a parent so my heart goes out to you! Hang in there and don't worry about the birthday celebration. It'll wait. Take care of yourself and do what you need to do to get through each day. Sanding you lots of hugs!!!

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  33. Shery, I am so sorry you couldn't be there with your family and can only imagine how frustrating that is. I'm so glad to be part of your e-family and the design team you've poured yourself into. Sending you all the love.

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  34. Oh Shery - I am so sorry for your loss - it is hard enough losing a parent unexpectedly - and I can imagine how much worse it is when you are so far away. At least you know he was in control and wanted what happened to happen - and he didn't suffer by lasting a long time in a bad state of being. Only time will ease the pain - and it will although I'm sure you don't think that yet. He will move into a special place in your heart and your memories as the pain eases - where you will remember him forever.... Julia xx

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  35. I am so very sorry. My husband just passed away suddenly March 11. He was so strong and healthy, we knew he would live into his 80's maybe 90's. It was quite a shock.
    I know all about barely getting through the necessary tasks. This is actually the first time I've read anything from my blogger reading list. Crafting desires are still completely gone. But we are told time will help ease the pain. Give yourself time to grieve. I'm hurting with you and praying for you.

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  36. Sharing your story about your beloved father and how you have been grieving these last 2 1/2 week, Shery is a very important part of your grieving. Giving your many friends a chance to send you their love, prayers and support is also healthy. May all your treasured memories and knowing your father got to control his life to the end will hopefully bring you peace. Missing our parents never ends, but our memories can bring us joy in the most unexpected times. With much love to you Shery and all your family here and afar. Hugs....Nancy

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  37. My heart breaks for you, Shery. I've been through it & I can only say that you will eventually have more good days than bad. Fond memories can bring joy & peace. I miss my dad every single day & am forever grateful he was my dad. Take care of yourself--you & your family are what matter. Sending love & hugs, Greta

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    1. Forgot to say thank you for sharing that sweet picture--such a treasure.

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  38. Thank you for sharing. Hugs and prayers for you. On a upbeat not. I just say a huge congrats on six years. What an achievement in this time when there are so many small business owners out there. Nice work!

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  39. Dearest Shery -there is no time limit on grieving - I am so very sorry for the lost of your father - I lost my father when he was 52 - the day I was driving north to visit him only to get a call that he died in his sleep. It truly is a difficult journey. I am so happy to read of your fathers encouragement of you doing what you like best. That is a valuable memory of your daddy that will bring a smile to your heart - even as the tears flow down your cheek. I wish you the best in your mourning journey as you continue raising your girls and enjoying your family, friends and business adventure as well - blessings today and always.

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  40. Ohh dear sorry for your loss but you think always your dad with you...you did superb job and your family friends all are with you....happy birthday for your Stamploration 6years completed,it's a big day and don't be sad....stay happy blessed

    Hugs
    Rituparna

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  41. Oh honey!! Grieving takes LOTS of time. And you do it your own way. I am so sorry for the loss of your father. I lost my mother when I was 23 and am now 50 but sometimes I still grieve for her when situations come up. Big hugs!!!

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  42. Oh, Shery, my heart breaks for you. I am so sorry you lost your Dad. I teared up as I read what you wrote about him. Thank you for sharing the beautiful photo of the two of you. You were so blessed to have such a kind and loving father and you have a lot of wonderful memories. Take time to grieve; it is important and necessary. I think you made the right decision about postponing the celebration. I am happy for your 6th birthday and wish you continued success with your business. Your Dad is proud of you and you're doing what you love. Please know I am thinking about you and sending my deepest sympathies to you and your family.

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  43. Sorry for your loss, sending you cyber hugs, take care!

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  44. Im so sorry for your loss. Im even more sorry for the pain your feeling. I fully understand losing someone and being so far away and feeling helpless. My dad past 2 years ago. I was 2300 miles away. There was nothing I could do. There were no goodbyes. Just a phone call that he was gone. I was devastated. You need your grieving time. And it will take time. Heck. Im still grieving. Some days its rough. Other days we get thru. Its not a time will heal your pain thing. Because we still have that pain. We just eventually in time learn how to keep living each day with it. Do what you must to keep going. And dont forget to grieve. You will get thru this. You have tons of support here in the crafting community. Sending you the biggest hugs!!!

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  45. So Sorry for your loss. Sending prayers and hugs!

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  46. A deeply touching post, Shery. I well know the impact of losing my day and your grief is certainly one I have shared. You will always miss your day, but days of tears will be replaced by smiles as fond memories resurrect. Right now, your focus is on loss and that's completely normal. Your dad's spirit is with you...this I know.
    Hugs, love and prayers,
    ~c

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  47. So sorry to read about your dad, Shery. But what a wonderful post to celebrate him.

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  48. Shery, my heart breaks for you and I am so very sorry for your loss. Your Father will always be with you sweetie. In your heart, your spirit, and in time you will heal. You will always miss him, but remember you are a part of him. I am sorry he is gone, but glad he did not suffer long. Your in my prayers hun!

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  49. Sorry for your loss Shery! I know exactly how it feels to be thousands of miles away from your family. May it comfort you as you realize he is comfortable & in a much better place than us. May he rest in peace.

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  50. I'm so sorry for your loss Shery. I cant relate but I do understand. I almost loss my dad in 2017. I had to do CPR on him because his heart had given out. It was one of my worst day of my life. I'm a daddy's girl and I just could see him go. I cried and asked God to give me more time. I'm truly thankful and blessed God heard my cry. I'm so sorry for your loss and will keep you in pray. It cant be easy at all. I know he is truly loved and missed. You have touched my heart. Much love and peace friend.

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