(not) black & white
I'm trying not to be too critical of self in bikini and reading glasses, which I must wear otherwise I can't see what I'm photographing
this has got to have been the weirdest year in my life so far; first I collapsed August 2018 (if you are interested read more about my burn out here) within that same month my then 87 year old dad had a heart attack, was in hospital and nursing home for almost 2 months; came back home where my then 84 year old mother took it upon herself to look after them both, with a lot of help from my younger sister and brother and myself! None of us lives close to them, as they live 'down south' in Maastricht, we've settled in Heukelum, Rotterdam and Amsterdam, that's at least 2,5 hours away......so in the midst of my personal crash, trying to heal I found self travelling back and forth dealing with the parents (every visit was an exercise in placing buckets under proverbial roof leaks, mini-crisis management, as well as patiently deflecting personal frustration at their stubborn resistance to 'outside' help)
We siblings each faced the task of juggling two households relying on our spouses/girl friend to hold our own forts in our absence; fortunately, we get on really well together and make a great team!
Still it was a lot to deal with. We celebrated our dad's 88th birthday in April of this year and things seemed stable, albeit a very fragile balance. Unfortunately our dad tripped on the street, fell on his face (arghhh!) lost several teeth, having managed to keep most of them for 88 years....that was yet another crack in the foundation, but still we all marched on. Our mother was determined to celebrate her 85th birthday in June and she did, the 5 of us and 35 of her girlfriends, yes she has many friends and despite everything the two of them were pretty active in many ways (theatre/museum visits, book clubs, bridge, the 5 of us being together an enjoying that!, at the same time the seemingly endless bickering, nagging, guilt trips, forgetfulness, anger, frustration, sadness, tears, stress about everything and anything, growing old isn't easy, having aging parents isn't either)
But, then a couple of days after her birthday party she finally crashed full stop, ending up in hospital, where she spent almost 2 weeks.....Suddenly our dad had to be the brains again, ha! And of course, we kids were there full-time, one after the other, but this time we said: enough's enough! now we are going to get more professional folks involved in keeping things going; you want to remain living in the house you've lived in for 48 years, something's gotta give.
They agreed. Of course they did. We are finding our footing, getting used to a the new circumstances.
The reason I have been so absent here and elsewhere online is due to the above, my mind has literally been too pre-occupied..........
hopefully there will now be more time, space and peace for me to get better and be here and in my studio once more