Goodbye January 24th..see you next year

It’s easy to get a little down now and then.  January 24th of 2019 is the day we found out Kramer, my husband of 32 years, had cancer…so you can imagine, it’s a harder day around here.  Kramer died 129 days later.

For some people dealing with death, hard days are days like Christmas or their anniversary.  For me, those aren’t hard.  For me, it’s January 24th and the last weekend in April.  Both of those are cancer anniversaries.

I’ll admit that I do better and better and better all of the time on the dealing with grief scale.  I know what to expect from myself.  I know what to expect from the family.  I’ve learned to accept that it’s okay to be sad for a day or two.  I’ve learned some coping methods that help…and for me, the biggest coping method is to focus on what is in front of me and not what is behind.  That doesn’t mean for a minute that I forget about Kramer…just try not to focus on it during that time frame.

So, I throw myself into what is in front of me.  For me, the 25th is Kelli’s birthday and she requested a “big family supper”.  Our grandson Carver came up with that phrase.  In general, it means our family that lives close comes to my house for supper.  So my focus turned to that instead.

So we needed a cake.  Gannon and I worked on that.

It’s so nice to have Gannon without… Carver as Carver’s personality is so big that sometimes I feel like Gannon is in his shadow.  We made brownies for the childcare kids too.


We had a table full to celebrate Kelli’s last birthday with one kiddo.  By the time her next birthday comes around, she’ll have two more babies.


Being Kelli was the birthday girl she got to pick the meal.  She picked fajitas.  That was fine with everyone.  We all like them.

It was wild and chaotic.  Just what I needed…focusing on what was in front of me.

After everyone went home, I had dishes to do.  The dishwasher was full and running but everything didn’t fit.  So I washed dishes and thought it was a good night.  There is so much in front of me and the family.  There is so much to look forward to.  We still take little pieces of Kramer forward with us.  Craig did a Kramer imitation at the table…Karl drank a “Kramer beer”.  Talking about him has become part of our family time together.  No one gets upset by it anymore.  I appreciate that we’ve come that far.

After the dishes were done I sat down at the computer and this picture popped up on Facebook.  Kayla had updated this photo on her page.  This is is our family.  Although the picture is really blurry it’s a very favorite picture of mine.  It was taken the day we moved into this house, January 24th, 2015…six years ago.  Friends of ours took us up to the bar to eat after we had moved.  It was a casual snapshot of the day.  It was before grandkids and cancer diagnosis’.  We were all so happy.  Kramer and I were so excited to finally be in the house we had worked so hard for.


It was great to look back and see us all so happy.  If I let myself, it would be easy to fall into the trap of only looking behind and only seeing what I miss, knowing that we’ll never have that moment again…but I can’t.  Instead, I’m appreciating that day and taking it as a reminder that good things happened on January 24th too.

It’s good to look back, remember, and appreciate.  I love doing that.  I love seeing old pictures.  I love remembering a time and a place…

but…I’m also loving the future and where it is taking me and our family…so January 24th, 2021, it was nice to visit you but, I’m moving on…I’m sure we’ll visit again next year but then, thanks to Kayla, I’ll have a happy memory to associate with you too.

17 thoughts on “Goodbye January 24th..see you next year

  1. Kate

    So fun to see and hear about your “big family suppers!” You have such a good attitude about the dates as they come year after year. It sure helps having something to see in front of you, like celebrating a birthday, enjoying those grands. You are also fortunate to have many good memories when you do look behind. Just keep doing what you do – enjoying life and giving us encouragement through your thoughts and writings.

    Reply
  2. Mary Jane michels

    I was looking over your quilt list and saw the
    Sunbonnet sue dish towel and would love to make some for granddaughter but couldn’t find the tutorial regarding

    Reply
  3. brenda

    not to be political but I just cannot help wishing there were more serious things happening by the people we hired to go to DC like the speedy rollout of vaccine for something to help with cancers. I know vaccines and cancer cures are not the same but the amount of time we have been struggling with cancer…. From cousins of my parents, greatgrandparent, parent, my generations cousins, schoolday friends and their spouses, son in law. that is just my family. you lost a spouse and a niece. wouldnt that be so nice to see some of those folks who have the power of the governments purse focused on something really worthwhile.????
    I so appreciate your bringing sensitive matters out for discussion.
    Gannon is a treasure and how wise of you to keep him in a position to blossom. Of course Carver is his uncles sidekick whose personality will always shine.

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  4. Robi

    Dates are so very hard at times. I’ve never really cared about my birthday but it was the day the dr came in and gave us the news that there was nothing left that they could do for John. They told him to go home and enjoy his family He died on may 20th. It’s been hard but I’m getting through it slowly
    Robin

    Reply
    1. Jo Post author

      Dates are hard…I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this too Robin. Prayers to you that your May 20th can find some happy memories to associate with it too.

      Reply
  5. Barbara A Wegner

    I just want to share with you, I also lost my husband of 32 years in 1994, due to cancer. He was diagnosed in July & passed that October. We were both 53 years old. It was a daunting journey. I still think of him every day. Your comment about flawed people is so true. As I age I think of some failures that I need to forgive myself for.

    I learned of your blog from a friend & I have enjoyed every message you have sent. I think of how much you are able to accomplish every day and I admire how you always put family first! I have forwarded a few of your blogs, as you hit the nail on the head on how to live a good life! You are an inspiration!

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  6. Janet Rice

    I like your old family picture. It’s nice to look back on happy times. I’m glad Kelli’s birthday turned your hard day into a happier one. What a blessing to have “big family suppers”.

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  7. RuthW in MD

    It is so important to keep journals of the events in our lives. Sometimes it is hard to know what to write about. For years I wrote mainly about my feelings. Then when I needed to know when our family went to such-and-such-a-place, I found I had no record of it. I had pictures…but couldn’t remember the dates.
    Then too, at times grief can feel like that is all we ever experience, and a journal or diary can help us remember the good things too, IF we have written about them.
    Thanks for your post, Jo. Hmm, “Thanks to Kayla, I’ll have a happy memory to associate with you too” on January 24, 2022??? Well that is a real teaser!! Hurray for whatever future event that is!!

    Reply
  8. Kim J LeMere

    Gannon is a real trooper in the kitchen, making cupcakes and the cake, yum. My husbands family always got together on Sunday after church and we called it circling the wagons, y’all come. He comes from a family of 6, all married, all with lots of kids. Sometime we would be 20 plus for dinner at the homestead. So I really appreciate the big family suppers that you gladly put on and everyone comes and Carver really enjoys. I’m glad that Kelli gives you a happy reason to celebrate the 24th and that Kramer is talked about and remembered by all. You are so wise to be willing to look back but also move forward, don’t get stuck there. Kramer Strong, Jo

    Reply
  9. Kimberly

    I just lost my husband January 8th very unexpectedly. I am so lost! I miss him so much! I cry at the weirdest times! Thank you for the post, I need to know it will get better!

    Reply
    1. Jo Post author

      Kimberly I am so sorry. The inability to hold emotions was exactly like I was too. It’s slow but it will get better. One day, or even one minute at a time is a good way to move forward.

      Reply
  10. Becky Gilliam

    Love seeing the posts of your entire family and how it has grown. Were any of your children married when you moved into your house? It’s hard to imagine how quickly your family has ‘expanded’ with their spouses and grands! Thank you for sharing how you deal with your ‘harder’ days. Sewing is a wonderful way of working thru any issue. It is so rewarding to ‘create’ something as beautiful as a quilt during days of chaos and turmoil. And thank you for sharing so many of your patterns and inspiration with your readers.

    Reply
    1. Jo Post author

      Kayla was the first to get married in 2012. We had a 2013, 2014 and 2015 wedding. Then Carver was born in 2016. The last and youngest of the bunch had the first kid.

      Reply

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