I have been away from the site for a long time and I am glad to be back!
The year 2018 brought on many different life events. My husband and I rang in the new year only to find that we were bitten by the flu & pneumonia bug and ended up in the hospital for 5 days each. This was one of the hardest things I had experienced up to this time. I went in first and then my husband was admitted two days later. We were in separate wings of the hospital which began the longest time we had ever been away from each other. My brother was such a blessing during this time because he drove us and helped us check in and then stayed at the hospital during that time and kept going between both wings to make sure we were alright. We were blessed to have made it through such a difficult illness and to return home only to face a long road ahead in 2018.
At home, we were being taken care of by my mother. She was such a wonderful nurse and on one of the mornings in February she slipped on the steps leading out of our house and broke both bones below her left knee. This lead to surgery and rehab as well as a whole new episode in our family adventure. Since my mother is a college professor with 5 active classes during this time I was given permission to wheel her from class to class and help out so that she could continue with all her normal class activities. Mother and I relocated to an extra bedroom at my brother’s home so that we could have easy access with getting her around in the wheelchair due to not being allowed to place any pressure on the healing leg. This gave me quality bonding time with my mother but it increased the time away from my husband. He eventually wrote a song about it!
Is that you upon the steps
Is your hand upon the door
Have you brought back the love
That I long for
For the hours have no name
Each one is just the same
Until I know you’ve come back to me
While mother was healing and teaching I had a few hours here and there so I would be in the art department and was allowed to assist while the glass blowing class was in progress during the two-week mini-semester at UMHB. This was such an eye-opener and I learned that I am stronger than I thought. The rods used with the amount of glass can get rather heavy and the heat is tremendous but I so LOVED working with glass.
It finally came the time when mother was able to slowly start putting pressure on her healing leg and to learn to walk again. She is such an inspiration and I love her so much! She is our rock and it was rather difficult for me to see her in such a vulnerable state, but she is so driven that I knew she could overcome this obstacle.
Meanwhile, I had put my life on hold. I had been away from my husband, my home and life as I had known it, and this made me feel very lost. I didn't have a smartphone during this time to keep up with my newly started jewelry business, so I just let everything go and place it on the back burner.
On returning to my life I had an email stating that the time limit for my alternative teaching certificate was coming to an end so I dove right in and completed the online course. I had seen all the hard work my mother had gone through to get back on her feet so that she could continue teaching as an inspiration and that maybe this break from the creative side of my life was a message that I needed to complete my course and become a teacher, so that I could help others tap into their creative side and find the pleasure that I had found in the art.
I was blessed with my an opportunity to go to work as an art teacher in a local high school that had a teacher depart during the first few weeks of class. The students had been with a substitute for six weeks in which they were able to do what they wanted. It was a very hard challenge because the students were accustomed to being able to play cards, be on their phones or whatever they wanted. This atmosphere was a challenge and the lack of supplies was really hard for a first-time teacher but I kept trying the best that I could with this challenge. I learned a great deal about myself in this process. I was able to connect with most of the students and started to make headway when I became ill with pneumonia again and kept trying to work. I put a great deal of stress on myself with trying to be all things to everyone and it was just a little too much and it affected my health. The school nurse kept advising that I had to leave and go to the emergency room to be checked out due to my blood pressure and after four different trips to doctors I was advised that if I didn't resign I would have a stroke or a heart attack.
After many prayers and discussions with my family, I resigned on January 15th, 2019. I kept thinking of different ways that if I had done this or done that, that I might still be teaching. I was advised by my mentor with Texas Teachers that by resigning due to health I wouldn't lose the time that I had completed; it would just be placed on hold and when I was ready, and better, to apply for another teaching position and we would at that time move forward in the completion of my certificate. This information was very helpful and I didn't have to feel so bad about how my body was reacting to all the stress. The one thing that I hope my short time as an art teacher accomplished is that my time there helped transition the students from doing nothing to being receptive in the learning environment for the next teacher.
So here we go, after a month of rest and trying to come to terms with 2018, I am ready to move forward and return to what makes me happy and that is creating and working with my hands. I find it very relaxing and cathartic to be creating something that I can hold and an object that can bring pleasure to others.
So here is to 2019, and the adventure that is ahead of us all!