It's been nearly 6 months since I last posted (sounds like I'm at confession). I have been wanting to post but every attempt has been daunting and I go back to doing other things. I can't even tell you what those things are because to be quite honest, these last 8 months have felt like an absolute blur. When I arrived home from Italy in October of last year, my mother was sick. I spent the next few months caring for her, taking her to the ER, and because our Health Care system is less than desirable I've even waited outside a clinic at 5am to get a spot for her to be seen. By December she was sick, frail and in pain all day. On Christmas Eve she had a colonoscopy and they found a large tumor. We knew it was cancerous but even on New Years even when we had her results appointment they couldn't confirm nor deny that it was. They scheduled her for an even more invasive biopsy. Her body wasn't able to wait that long and I took her to the ER because the pain was not manageable and she wasn't able to eat. She was admitted and there we stayed for almost 10 days.
I spent my days and nights by her side and the day of her surgery was the most difficult. All of my memories of her were flooding my thoughts, even the bad ones. Even the time she cut off all my hair for disobeying her in middle school. The surgery was successful and a few days later, we went home. Since then it's been dr.s appoints, labs, chemo, and other miscellaneous visits to the LAC - USC Medical Hospital. She is half way through her Chemo treatment. This past 7th round she had a severe allergic reaction. They tried with pre meds last week and still her body is rejecting the chemo. They will try and administer the infusion once more.
Things have been difficult, crazy, sometimes unbearable. Even my business has taken a pause. I had weddings this summer in Italy that I wasn't going to be able to make but I found some amazing photographers to take my place and clients who have been incredibly understanding. My past and current clients have been patient and supportive. For all of it, I am grateful. I will be heading to Italy in the Fall for a few weddings and a much needed riposo. I have to say even with all the "bad" days, we have had some pretty great ones too. I won't preach about how we need to find the beauty in the ugly but seriously, people... living here in California where I have all the sunshine, the ocean just 30 min away, dreamy palm trees reaching to the sky, warm weather, and a golden hour that makes even the grumpiest days fade.
There are days when this all feels very out of control and even unfair. You don't really know just when you'll have to start taking care of a parent and the transition from child to caregiver is surreal. I also didn't expect to do it while I was trying to mend a broken heart... we have both been healing. My mother has been an embodiment of unconditional love, all my life. It's because of her, I'm able to love with a whole heart, to forgive, to be resilient, to evolve, and to be grateful to God.
I am currently working on summer projects, road trips, a redesign of my site , travel plans, collaborations with cool people, and I'll be sharing more frequently. Family, friends and even people I've never met have reached out via; email, instagram, facebook, and twitter. I even had a stranger send me an email giving her regards and asked if I'd like to have my prayers taken to the Western Wall. I can't tell you how even the smallest gestures to the big ones can make a shitty day better.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I'll leave you with some photos that have documented the last 6 months. They're in no particular oder and some may even seem very random but each photo has significance to me.