First off, I'd like to apologize for not posting something sooner. I've actually tried to write this blog post dozens of times over the past few days, but "real life" duties have kept me from finishing it until now.
If you'd like to know what's been going on with me over the past month, and my plans for the future, please keep reading...
BEST NEWS EVER:
My dad is out of the hospital and is now recovering at home! It was an incredibly difficult few weeks while his doctors worked to determine exactly what the issues were, and he did have to have surgery, but I can report that he was released from the hospital recently and is home and doing exceptionally well. In fact, he's doing better than he was doing BEFORE going into the hospital. You have no idea how tremendously grateful we are for this, and how grateful we are to everyone involved in his care. From the first-responders to the ER team, to the nurses (NURSES ROCK), doctors, nurse's aides, and all of the wonderful people on staff at the hospital and involved with the after-care process (home-care nurses, physical therapists, etc.).
I'd also like to give a special shout-out to the people who sometimes don't get the recognition they deserve when it comes to hospital staff. There was one woman in particular who worked at the hospital cafeteria who noticed that I was eating there every day, for a long period of time. She found a way to brighten my spirits when I needed it the most, and for that I am forever grateful.
I'd also like to give thanks to someone else at the hospital.There was one day in particular that was incredibly difficult for me, and I remember needing to get away for a moment. I went to the main, downstairs lobby of the hospital and found a corner where I could sit and basically not be seen by anyone. While I was sitting there crying, I got a tap on the shoulder and I remember just seeing a hand, with a tissue. I looked up and it was a woman from the hospital clergy staff. She didn't say anything--she just handed me the tissue, touched my shoulder and then walked away. That was all I needed in that moment, and I truly believe she sensed that. I will never forget her and that small gesture of kindness and compassion.
As you can imagine, there were times when I was so scared, so confused and so helpless over the past month. My immediate family is small--it's just my dad, my mom, and my brother. We are extremely close and, as any of you who have gone through a family emergency know, it's vital to take care of one another during times like this. My parents are both in their 70s and my top priority for the past month has been taking care of BOTH of them during this time (which of course I've always done and will continue to do!). Staying informed and asking questions was a full-time job while my dad was in the hospital, but it was also crucial to make sure my mom was doing the best she could during this time.
The reason I'm telling you this is because I want to make sure that you know that if I could have posted something here or on social media before today, I would have. I didn't intend to be away this long, and I'm sorry for not responding to your messages during this time. I had not a moment to spare for several weeks. Before I began to sit down and write this post, I needed to make sure that my time could not have been better spent taking care of my family. In other words, today is one of the first days where I could't possibly be doing anything else for my family (aside from driving them crazy!). I needed to wait until this moment to blog again--if I did it any time sooner, my heart just would not have been in it.
So today I write to you to let you know that I'M BACK and ready to dive back into this little ol' blog with open arms. But before I return to my routine, I have something very important to say to you:
THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart, for your kindness, love and support during this time. I have read every single email, comment and social media message that you have sent to me over the past month, and I struggle to find the words to describe my gratitude. I'm overcome with emotion while I write this and I don't think you will ever fully know how much your gestures of love and support meant to me in my darkest moments. From longtime readers to readers who have never commented on my blog before and everyone in-between, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. The power of a simple "thinking of you" when someone feels scared and alone is tremendous and there were many times when a message like that would pop up on my phone right when I needed it the very most.
I can never repay you for your love and support, and I know this. The only thing I can do, and will do, is continue to blog and keep this little community going for as long as I possibly can. Over the 5+ years that I've been writing this blog, many of you have told me that, while you have been going through difficult times, you've used my blog as a sort of escape from the "real world". I understand first-hand what the power of a brief escape can have when it comes to mental and physical well-being, and if my blog can continue to be that for you moving forward, that's enough incentive for me to keep on blogging forever!
That said, I know through YOU and your efforts to keep me "in the loop" that I have missed a TON in the world of drugstore beauty while I've been gone! I want to give a special thanks to every one of you who has taken a moment to let me know about a new release, a new sale, etc. while I've been away. I don't think I can post about every single thing I've missed over the past month, but I definitely want to cover the "big" stuff. So my next post after this one is going to be a "What did I miss?" type of post where I'll list the major things that happened in the world of beauty while I was away, and provide an opportunity for us to fill each other in on anything else. Sound good? I hope so!
I'm so excited to be back and I hope you know how much I missed every single one of you.
All of my love,