Wednesday, August 3, 2016

A Pink Dress Moment in 2012

Hey guys,

It's been a long time since I took to writing on my blog and I have spent the last three+ years kind of wandering around in a fog, wondering what to do with my life. About a year ago, I got into a really bad car accident and broke my back, but I'll write about that another day, if I can keep the momentum of this writing thing going.

You'll have to bear with me, as it's been so long since I did a post that I keep forgetting to save my work before exiting to retrieve something I want to use and this might be fairly jumbled.

Today, I wanted to write about hope and what I tried to do for my best friend during her ferocious fight with terminal breast cancer. If you read Jenny Lawson's blog (The Bloggess), you might remember the Traveling Red Dress Project. It was a way to drag yourself out of whatever mental illness you might be fighting at the time and feel beautiful for a day. Or empower yourself if you were feeling particularly unempowered. Or help with horrifying anxiety that makes you want to hide under your desk at home because your mind has convinced you that under your desk is the only place you feel somewhat safe You can read about that in my post here: Our Red Dress Moment.

The day before the shoot, I went to a local bridal store to try on dresses and send photos to Malea, since she was unable to come out and try them on for herself due to being sick as a dog. She and her mother planned on coming out the next day and picking one of a few dresses that I had brought along and we would have a wonderful shoot that for just one day would make her (hopefully) forget about the cancer and once again celebrate what a wonderful friendship we had. Malea is the only woman who I ever was as close to as a a sister. I wanted to have one more of those moments of feeling that close.

The evening before the shoot, I got a call from her saying that she had been taken to the hospital by ambulance because she couldn't breathe. There would be no photo shoot. No sister moment. No feeling beautiful for a day. We had even set up my hairdresser to do makeup and my hair (she was without hair at that point, but we hoped to find a pretty headband or something to complement her beautiful baldness). I had tried to cover every base I possibly could. Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be.

On October 21, 2012, Malea passed away. It was the end of a beautiful friendship, but not the end of my memories of our wonderful friendship over the past ten years, when we met at the bus stop when our sons were heading off to kindergarten. Those kids are now 19 years old and adults. It's hard to believe so much time has passed.

As some time went on, I had an idea. I was going to go ahead with the shoot. But it would be me and it would be pink. I was changing up the color to honor the fight Malea had put up against breast cancer. It took a little planning, but here are a few shots of that photo shoot:



Photo Credit: Misty Higgins (Moments by Misty - Winchester, VA)







 In the last photo, You can see a round sphere of light. Misty actually changed this picture to black and white to try to remove the sphere. The minute I saw it, I thought of the belief that orbs and spheres that show up in photos but don't show through the viewfinder are actually the spirit of someone who has passed away. I like to think that sphere represented Malea's spirit and that she knew what I was doing to honor her memory.

I don't have a good way to wrap this up, mostly because I didn't get any sleep last night, but I had an impulse to get back onto my blog and catch you up on everything that's happened since 2013. There's so much in those three+ years that it's hard to know where to start, so I thought I'd put this one out there. I hope that I can somehow show Jenny Lawson what I did and let her know that it was a direct result of her Red Dress Shoot that she did so many years ago. I just finished reading her new book Furiously Happy, and I needed to tell her that she has had so much influence on my life. I got to the last page (again) and since I didn't have anything in my nightstand I wanted to read, I turned back to the first page and started over. No pressure, Jenny, but I read everything you write. Ok, I want to read everything you write - I've had a couple of bad years, but I've read both of your books many times and I have your third on preorder. I think your third book is going to be my favorite.

Jenny, I am your number 25. I know you have a lot of them, but I am one of them.

Thanks for reading and if you have any connection to Jenny, please let her know this is dedicated to her.

Chelle

4 comments:

  1. Hi, am glad to see you back, though don't put pressure on yourself to write if you're not able. I haven't been updating my blog much over the past year or so, so totally understand it isn't always possible, especially for us Spoonies, but it's wonderful that you're trying to get back into it, and hoping I will be joining you soon in blogging again.

    Sorry for the long winding message, just wanted to say hello again reallh.

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  2. Hi, am glad to see you back, though don't put pressure on yourself to write if you're not able. I haven't been updating my blog much over the past year or so, so totally understand it isn't always possible, especially for us Spoonies, but it's wonderful that you're trying to get back into it, and hoping I will be joining you soon in blogging again.

    Sorry for the long winding message, just wanted to say hello again reallh.

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  3. Hi, I just stumbled on your blog (googling bipolar spending and then following a link on a bipolar site) and want to wave hello and send a hug of commiseration. I lost my Mum last year (at 48 like you) and have spent much of this year sleeping and hibernating. I also have major depression with an underlying very fast cycling bipolar disorder. I too write and sew, though I haven't done much of either recently. My bipolar spending is usually on new pets or sewing machines. I have four dogs and three cats, as well as some taken off mt hands by relatives. I also have numerous sewing machines. In fact, it was anxiety over my manic internet researching of a $12,000 sewing machine over the last two days that prompted me to google bipolar spending and end up at your blog. I've cried through reading much of it - I can so relate to the pain you describe. Anyway, keep writing. And thank you!

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    1. Hi! I just came back to my blog to see if I could check another blog I used to read. The only way I can find it is through this blog but it looks like she stopped writing too. It makes me sad because she has schizophrenia and was barely hanging on and now I don't know what happened to her.

      I'm so sorry I didn't respond to your comment when you wrote it. My life has been a mess since my best friend and my mom both died of cancer and I had my car accident and almost died. I was wondering if you bought the long arm machine you were looking at. My mother was a professional quilter and actually made a good living in her retirement when she became really well known for her beautiful quilting. They are only worth the money if you practice and get good enough to quilt for other people. I wish I had learned to quilt, but my cross stitch habit is bad enough. I just bought two new patterns and the material and thread for one of them. I already have several projects started and they are all huge projects by Heaven and Earth Designs. Multiple pages with every block filled in. They take years to finish and I haven't finished one yet.

      If you get this, please email me at CNewton724@gmail.com. I rarely get back here anymore. When my children's book didn't sell because I didn't have time or money to promote it, I got discouraged and stopped writing.

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