Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Just Like That

And just like that, our life has changed. In mid July my super awesome husband of 23 years was diagnosed with cancer... "HTE"cancer as he calls it,  Here, There and Everywhere. What a game changer. We were blindsided. Ted has always taken pretty good care of himself and always had yearly physicals, routine colonoscopies, you know all the preventive stuff. So we were pretty shocked, I felt like someone kicked me in the stomach..literally could not catch my breath.  I am sitting with him right now in the Chemo room. This is his 3rd treatment... it took us a while to get here...after his first treatment, we discovered Ted was the know, the side effects/reactions that rarely happen and only happen to a small group...Ted happens to be in that group!  
He has faced so much in the past few months...many, many weeks in the hospital, many hurdles to get to this point. He finally came home, where he could heal better and each week he has been getting stronger. He is back at chemo, and although it beats him up, he continues to be positive, cheerful and calm. As a family we have circled he wagons...our children are amazing, we are lucky. We are forever grateful and  in awe of the unbelievable kindness and love we have received from   our community. All the kind words, well wishes, acts of kindness really give us strength. Ted feels the love and it gives him the strength to fight on! 
Which brings me to the purpose of this post. I had a full show schedule thru the holidays, but as you now know, for personal reasons I have withdrawn from them all.  I am so sorry if you came to find me and I was not there. I am so grateful for all my loyal clients, friends and fans. I hope to be back at it once Ted is on the mend. I do have some things in select shops and galleries in Maine. And have continually been sketching and designing new products...When Ted is stronger, and he begins to heal after his chemo is done, I look forward to getting back to making! 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

For all the mothers I admire & adore

Happy Mother's Day!
 I LOVE being a mom! It has been the most rewarding, scary, challenging, and awsome experience.
I love this wild ride! I was lucky to have some shining examples of fantastic, loving, caring, nurturing, silly, strict, forgiving, accepting, patient mothers in my life. My mom recently passed away and I miss her dearly. When I was in my 20's I sought her sage advice (she was all of 40 something and I thought she knew all) As she became ill, I still sought her wisdom and though sometimes the advice was jumbled and a little off mark, I still loved that she tried her best to lead me through the storm. With my own 2 children I have tried to incorporate a little of all my mom idols, into who I am as a mom...I am by no means the perfect mother...but neither are the moms I love most. And for that I am grateful, they showed me that we are human, we make mistakes, we love, we nurture and do our very best and yes that at the end of the day if we teach our children Love, Kindness, and Acceptance they soon grow into the most amazing people, people that I want to be around and be like! So Good job all my know who you are and I love you, respect you  and I am so thankful for your love, friendship and help along the motherhood path.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

I love a holiday that celebrates LOVE.
Hope you and your Honey Pies enjoy each other today!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Joan Gloria Angello Delsandro Leone....My Mom

That's my mom on the left and her BFF Connie

I am just returning home from a long week in NJ. My lovely mother passed away the day after Christmas. It was expected, she had been sick for a long 16 years and  this past year was extremely difficult for her. What was not expected was the discovery of lost memories.
Let me start by saying that after my mothers first craniotomy in 1995, a 9 hour surgery to remove a tumor the size of a man's fist, she had a long 3 year recovery, many hurdles to over come and because of the size  of this tumor it was difficult to extract it without damaging some of her brain tissue. She was a different mom. The mom I grew up with was gone and I was sad. Don't get me wrong I was so thankful that she was still with us, my children got to know their grandmother, I just had not expected  a whole new person. With a heavy heart I  grieved  the loss of my mom. Over the next 16 years she would under go  8 more craniotomy's and radiation treatments to keep the benign tumors at bay. Each time a little more of her would slip away. She would work hard to recover and soldier on...always with a smile. In 16 years I never heard my mom complain, seriously never once.  I was so proud of her, awed by her strength and courage...her desire to fight so hard to stay here with us. The last 2 surgeries left her paralyzed on her right side and unable to speak more then 3 words. We expected the "slowing of her brain", but expecting it and watching it were 2 different things. It was heart breaking for all who knew my mother pre tumors and frustrating to her. I had the gift of being able to sit with her for 5 days about a week before her death. I was there when she opened her eyes for the first time in 2 days, and when she saw me we sobbed.  I was there when the doctor said there was nothing more to do. I was there when the decision was made not to feed the tumors any more. I was there when she tried to sing one of her favorite Harry Chapin songs. I was there when she opened her eyes for one of the last times and for this I will be forever grateful. I returned home for  Christmas with my family and on our way back down early on the  morning of the 26th, my Saint of a brother Peter called me to let me know that she had died early that morning. That call was followed by another from my other brother Chris, telling me the same.
We turned our car around in Massachusetts, headed back to Maine to gather my husband then headed back down to NJ. Where at my mothers wake I was given the gift of memories, beautiful memories of my mom. Friends from the neighborhood where I grew up, friends from High School, College, Maine, from my mother's childhood, from her 26 years  with  my dad ( who pre-deceased her by 27 years) My aunts and uncles and cousins from far and near... came in force and shared stories about "Joan" and "Mrs. Delsandro" & "Aunt Joanie" Stories about how she welcomed them into our family, how they lived at our house, her contagious giggle, sweet smile, kind spirit, giving soul and on and on.  I was so thankful for all the sharing of memories, because in all honesty, these past 16 years somewhere I had put all those memories away. I was touched deeply and more than words can ever describe by all the love I have felt the past week. From people who are a part of who I am...they are forever woven into the fiber of  my being.  I am blessed to have been born into such a family who raised me to be the person I am. They taught us love and kindness, to treat others they way you wish to be treated...who knew such simple words really go a long, long way. Because at the end of the mother treated everyone kindly and with love and she was sent off that way a thousand fold.