This is my most favorite picture of my little sister, Janie. Coincidentally, Janie turned nineteen today. In this picture she was five, I think. Yes, five. This was before she started kindergarten, before she turned six, before she was diagnosed with a medullablastoma brain tumor the size of a lemon growing at the base of her cerebellum. Before everything in not only my life changed, but my whole family changed.
A family friend snapped this picture of Janie, and like all great pictures, it captures not only a moment in time I’ll never get back, but it captures my sister at the most precarious stage in her life. As she stands there on the soccer field, she is already sick, and none of us know it yet. There is literally a ticking time bomb in her head, and yet she is so peaceful. The colors are so saturated, so ethereal… the way that only film can capture and expose.
It’s so easy for me to get fixated on clarity, seeing every detail, scrutinizing all the elements in my viewfinder and showing everything in the best light… but in all honesty, a plight that intense is really a cover-up for the fact that I want to take pictures like this. I just don’t know how yet. I hope that I’m getting there, though.
I didn’t expect to talk about Janie this much, but I am feeling nostalgic tonight. This evening I officially told my inaugural blog goodbye forever. No, not my little WordPress blog. I plan on keeping it until I can get as many followers to switch over here (thank you for everyone that has added me to their RSS feed, by the way!). I’m talking about Sarah Planet, otherwise known about my first blogging child. The site that I built and had my first successes (and failures) as a blogger. The first place I wrote from the heart, and where I learned the most about myself. It’s been a dead site for months now, and with my domain renewal looming that I never planned on purchasing… it’s just all hitting me that Sarah Planet is no longer my vessel.
It used to be my only vessel–my only outlet. Now, my life is so different and I don’t put so much weight on something that should be a hobby (though I still test that theory from time to time… just ask Shelton). I have many other outlets now, and through spreading out my joys I feel that I’ve made Sweet & Savory Life a well-rounded place for everyone to enjoy (and hopefully it’s getting better all the time!).
On October 16, 2012, Sarah Planet will shut down forever. I have saved posts that I am most proud of, taken appropriate screenshots and am prepared to let the rest go. If you would like a window into my old life, I encourage you to poke around.
Spoiler alerts: I was married, I lived in a rent house, I had two really cute dogs. I was also internally miserable most of the time, though I don’t think you’d know that from my posts. I made sure to project “happy, happy, happy.” I thought that eventually, some of that happy would bounce back and stick to my real life, but guess how that turned out!
Spoiler alert: Never happened. Turns out if you want to make your life happy, you gotta fight for it.
There are so many things I don’t miss about my old life. I don’t miss my ex-husband (I say that with no bitterness or animosity, it’s just a fact), I don’t miss the way I felt in that rent house, I don’t miss what my routine used to be. The things that I do miss? Well, that’s a much shorter list. I miss the dogs. As much as I wish I could just not think about them, I do. I guess because through all the turmoil, they were sure sources of true happiness for me, on just the most basic of levels. I helped raise them, and I loved them, and they really loved me in return. I really do cherish the memories I have of them, and allow myself to think about them or look at old pictures when I know it won’t make me too sad.
But, it’s okay. Trust me, as much as I miss them, it was good for me to let them go. They are just dogs, and at the end of the day… my personal well-being was more important than fighting with my ex-husband over our animals. I am positive that they are happy and I don’t worry for them. To me, animal spirits are just as important as human spirits, and I have been blessed with both. Shelton’s dog, Spuds, is also a true source of happiness for me and even though he is his own doggy person, I adore him greatly and I feel like he is mine.
So, you know, with the bad comes the good and everything turns out fine in the end, and if you’re lucky, it turns out way better than you ever expected. That’s basically my life in a nutshell.
Today my sister said goodbye to eighteen, but hello to nineteen.
I am saying goodbye to Sarah Planet, but have said hello to Sweet & Savory Life–a vessel I am more proud of and sure of.
This time last year, I said goodbye to two sweet doggy spirits, but have had the opportunity to say hello to a new one.
One day, when the time is right, we will get another puppy to love and raise and take care of. It’s okay that I don’t know exactly when that’ll be.
For every single farewell, there is always a hello. And that is what makes goodbyes, even the really hard ones, easier to face.
Love to you all,