Sunday, December 31, 2017

Good Bye, or Hello, 2017... depends on perspective.

I am starting this now as 2017 slides into the history files.  I suspect this blog will take a while, so I doubt I'll be surprised if it doesn't get posted at all.  It's hard to stay focused on a thought when there are so many distractions.  That could be one of my resolutions, keep working through the distractions.. uh huh, is that possible?  I don't think so, but we try.  You know, I have been doing one of my own personal studies on human nature, and this thing called "multi-tasking".  I'm not sure if people are aware of this or not, but it's impossible for the brain to comprehend more than one thing at one time.  I know this well.  It may be possible to engage in more than one thing at a time, keep things on the burners cooking while we stir one thing at a time.  But to actually DO the thinking about more than one thing at a time??  Impossible.  I can't read the news strip of words on the television and listen to what they are saying, along with the shared words beside me from my husband's newscast, all at the same time, and come out of it knowing what anyone just told me.  Nothing.  My brain just sheds it all, and I sit there like a dummy saying.. "what??"  with a screwed up look of confusion on my face.  So, why ever I had to waste a full sentence on that, I have no idea, just sayin...

I look back on this past year, like they do on the television, and have my own life recap to ponder today.  I'd say the best thing to happen over 2017 was a new member of our family being born.  Logan Cameron Laing made his grand entrance last January 27th, and with him came immense joy and love.  His parents, Mike(son) and Adrienne(daughter in common law), have proved to be the most wonderful and adoring parents, which makes me conclude why Logan is so perfect.  He brings the light of wonder and joy with him where ever he is.  I cry with delight just thinking about him.  He is a true blessing from God, Universe, Love, and Living.

What else happened last year, besides Logan and my discovering we can't multi task, let me see.  It's a blur, it's clarity, where do I begin?  After many many months, maybe years, we finally got a clear diagnosis for my husband, Gerry.  Parkinson's.  I must admit, when we finally saw a specialist who confirmed it, I responded with I KNEW IT!!  My goodness gracious, such a shock to learn over a span of years, that medical professionals don't recognize the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease.  I kept telling his family doctor what was going on, Gerry kept telling him of his symptoms, losing strength, and this had been happening for at least 3 years.  Friends of ours kept asking what's wrong with Gerry, and since we hadn't been given a proper diagnosis, we apparently weren't giving them a good enough answer.  I still struggle with being told by someone who is/was actually a family member, that I was so self focused, I hadn't noticed my husband's declining health.  People have no idea what goes on in our own lives, how do they get to decide?  They don't know about our desperation and fear.  They don't know about my tear soaked pillow from watching our life slip into another reality of unknown.  I know I have to check my own thinking, and stop myself from assuming anything about what other people think or do.  I remember thinking my mom was way too off hand some days when Dad was so ill with cancer.  Now I so get that thing called "bravery" that Moms must tap into when they must.  It is so important to keep life as close to normal as possible.  If that appears to be self focused and uncaring, well who cares what appearances say, if people want to hate me, fine, I can live with it.

Change.  Some days it's all I can do to keep the changes feeling like nothing really has changed.  I know the best thing to do is not compare today to days of 20 years ago.  The most unchanged thing about Gerry is his will and spirit.  And the most unchanged thing about me is my need to know he feels okay.  We are still a married couple.  We bicker now and then, he rolls his eyes at me when I walk out of a room, or makes me laugh when I get frustrated and tired over trivial thing.  We are husband and wife. I am not a caregiver, I am his life partner, and if I am stricken with anything disabling, he will take care of me(he better anyways), that's just part of who and what we are.  He is determined to stay well, and that too is so encouraging.  He still loves Big Bad John's, the place he worked for almost 50 years, and even with his loss of physical strength, he does random shifts there. The clientele and staff at the Strath love Gerry, and he loves them.  I am thankful for all of them.  No one deserves that kind of love more than Gerry.

Let's see, what else happened in 2017?  Oh, oh right, after a year and a half of all it took to finalize Mom's estate, it is done, I think, well... maybe one day I'll feel like it's all done.  I trip over boxes of her things I brought here, thinking once the bitter dusts of time settled, someone might want things. No one wants any of it, I guess I should get rid of some of it.  I'm still grieving, and not quite in that infamous grand quoted "let go" state.  I am still digesting it all.  Perhaps one day, my stomach will settle, and there will be a grand dump of it all, big pun intended.  Life is not particularly fair to any of us.  It whips us sideways without warning, or enwraps us in beauty and love.  I keep learning the answers to all the questions I couldn't figure out over the years.  I guess we are supposed to at least try to do that.  Even if not, I can't stop my brain for going where it does, so not trying to anymore.

So now we putter into a new year, 2018.  I have been confirmed to do a solo show in April.  A solo show of artwork that is.  While in choir last month, I made the comment to a friend that I am having a solo show in April, and my fellow chorister said... OH WOW... SINGING BY YOURSELF???  if anyone knows me in choir, they'd understand why I gasped with laughter at her enthusiastic response.  Uh, no, not singing in a solo show, not on stage anyways, maybe in the shower, but not even there, I mean singing, I do shower solo.  The singing is my spirit school, I love it, but goodness knows I'm not striving to become the next female version of Pavarotti.  I digress, where was I?  painting, oh right, I have to paint 20 or so new works by April, well... maybe 15 or so, more than 2 anyways.  That's a lot of work, and considering how many paintings I did in 2017, I know I will really have to button down and be the Nike slogan.  Of course, when asked, I turned to Gerry and asked if he thought I should commit to it.  And he, of course(cha ching cha ching) said well..yeeAAAH!  So that no doubt means he will take over all the cooking and cleaning while I'm in there painting to the tune of Bach's Mass In B Minor.  Never hurts to do some positive visualization, even if it's pretty far off base.

I can't believe I haven't been properly distracted while I typed away here.  I think I have finished my first blog of 2018.  And there will be more to come.  I just finished Jann Arden's book that was given to me as a Christmas present, and it brought me back to how much I love the written word.  I love doing it, I love reading it.  I hope to write more.  I hope if anyone doesn't like what I write, they won't read it.  Thank you for all who do take time to read me, tho, part of being an artist is that ever relentless desire to communicate.  Be it 2 dimensional, 3 dimensional, sound dimensional, whatever dimension we create in, we need to communicate, so we will because we must.

Happy New Year to all, and to all a good night. 

Mary Ann


  1. Good writing MaryAnn ... Happy New Year 2018! I wish you and Gerry much success ... keep up your indomitableness, don't know if that's a word but it sounds okay. Cheers, J.

  2. Thanks, Jackie!! Happy New Year to you and Mark!!