When life throws you a curve ball…

Inukshuk-look-for-gratitude | Vin'yet Etc.

Actually when it throws you more than just ONE curve ball, try like 12 all at once, super fast and HARD. That title may give the impression that this is a game, I can assure you it is far from a game. Seven months ago I lost my Dad, my hero, a little girl’s first love… I posted about some of my feelings here. That post was about how much life can really suck at times and how I try to always find gratitude, in a moment, in a colour in anything really, anything that makes you feel a touch of peace in your heart and soul.

You know when you have a horrible dream… that feeling of waking up in such dread and sadness, a real nightmare? Once you get your bearings of being awake that overwhelming feeling that washes over you, relief, fear (why would I dream something like that) the realness of your cozy bed provides comfort as you lay back down to think on why your brain would even go there? Quickly though as the day takes over, that bad, horrific dream fades into the others that came before it.

I wish with all of my might that this was only a bad dream.

The last 7 months have been a struggle, one of grief and trying very hard to center my life, searching for balance and gratitude. Life is HUGE and doesn’t always leave room for gratitude, not unless you look for it, search it out, dig for it and fight for it through the fog that is life.

Gratitude-quote-grief | Vin'yet Etc.

And then, life strikes again, one month ago, I lost… correction, WE lost our family’s matriarch. My best friend, the lady who sacrificed everything so her family would never do without… my Mom passed away in her sleep on July 5th. How could that be? She was just at our home for a lengthy and a wonderful memory filled visit. She was on her way back to Newfoundland when she left this earth. She celebrated her 72nd birthday with us and carefully took her candles off of her cake to save, how could THAT have been her last birthday? When my brother called me to tell me Mom was gone, all air left my body. I could not (still can not) believe she is gone, the last month of my life has been a blur, sometimes surfacing to feel that grief, but mostly I can’t really remember all of the details of the past month, I’ve been on auto pilot.

Newfoundland-EmptyBoat-quote-grief| Vin'yet Etc.

Everyone’s Mom is special, that is a true statement!Β  My Mother though was like no other person I have ever known. She was the guiding light for our family, she NEVER put herself before anyone, she was a special, giving and kind soul. I believe my Mom died of a broken heart, her and my Father were truly one. We laid her to rest on July 16th, exactly 6 months to the day that Dad passed. And now I am having to fight harder to find my grateful moments… but I am finding them.

Blue-sky-wharf | Vin'yet Etc.

We had 2 celebrations of Mom’s life, one where she passed in NB at her sister’s home… all of her brothers and sisters were able to attend, I have gratitude for that because they would not all be able to have come to Newfoundland. Even in death my Mother somehow is making it so no one is put out and their needs are met first. My brother and I then took Mom back to the island, Newfoundland to be with her love, our Dad.

Find-the-happiness | Vin'yet Etc.

If you choose to look for peace, you will find it. The scenery in Newfoundland was breathtaking, comforting, awe inspiring, it was my therapy…

Leading-Tickles-Newfoundland | Vin'yet Etc.

My brother and I were so touched by the outpouring of support and love from our parent’s wonderful community of Botwood, Newfoundland, it was overwhelming and very comforting! Gratitude… while exploring this stunning place I found comfort and peace and I found my parents everywhere.

LeadingTicklesNLWharf | Vin'yet Etc.

The rugged beauty of this beautiful place.

LeadingTicklesNLWharf | Vin'yet Etc.

The moody weather and the patina on this building had me obsessed… my brain stopped thinking and I was just in the moment. If you choose to look for peace, you will find it.

Leading-Tickles-Newfoundland | Vin'yet Etc.

Orange-Shed-Newfoundland | Vin'yet Etc.

There were brighter days too… but one thing was always the same, beauty, contrast and peace, much needed peace.

Inukshuk-look-for-gratitude | Vin'yet Etc.

Β I am home now, with my own family, every day is a reminder of what we’ve lost in the last year, but it is also a reminder of what we have, today. I am so very grateful that my parents are now together and have left me filled with pride, of the people they were, they have left me with so many wonderful memories and this will provide comfort in the days when it’s harder to find that gratitude. The Inukshuk pictured above… reminded me yet again, if I just open my mind and heart I will see my parents everywhere and know in my soul that they go before me, to show me the way.Signature


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  • Reply Jeanette @ Snazzy Little Things August 6, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    What a stunningly beautiful tribute to your parents in spite of your grief. I am so sorry for your loss. May you find comfort in the beauty and love all around you. Xo

    • Reply Laurie August 8, 2014 at 3:18 pm

      Thank-you Jeanette! My goal is to honor my wonderful parents with gratitude… it still feels so surreal but I know that this will be a life long journey. xo

  • Reply Adelle Densham August 6, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    I am very touched by your honesty and vulnerability. Keeping you in my prayers. xo

    • Reply Laurie August 8, 2014 at 3:20 pm

      Thank-you Adelle, I really and truly appreciate my friends holding me and my family in their thoughts and prayers, this so helps with inner strength! xo

  • Reply Christette August 6, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    Hi Laurie, I am so sorry that you lost both of your parents within a very short time. I am from Newfoundland and have lost loved ones there too. How wonderful that you were able to travel back to Newfoundland to honor your parents.

    Much love to you, xo

    • Reply Laurie August 8, 2014 at 3:25 pm

      Thanks Christette! A fellow Newf! Actually I am only partially Newfie, my Mom was from Quebec, her and my Dad retired to his home town in Newfoundland. Mom, a French Canadian girl in Newfoundland… those awesome people accepted her and loved her like one of their own. Isn’t that the way though, that place is so special to myself, my family and anyone that is from there! As you know. πŸ˜‰ xo

  • Reply Cynthia @ A Button Tufted Life... August 6, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Oh Laurie… what a heart wrenching post. I have been thinking of you so often over the last few weeks since hearing of your moms’ passing. I can’t imagine the grief you have endured losing both your parents so close together. The physical and emotional journey you have been on must be exhausting.
    I hope you can rest and reflect a bit now that you are home.

    • Reply Laurie August 8, 2014 at 3:28 pm

      My friend, you are so sweet and kind! Thank-you so much for your thoughts and for your support through this difficult time, it’s been so heart warming to have you in my corner! The glow of wonderful energy that comes from you is so humbling, although we have never met face to face, I truly feel you are a friend of my heart! I am so happy to be home and surrounded by my boys, they are so protective and wonderful! I am well loved! xo

  • Reply Marijean August 6, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    So terribly sorry for your loss. I can’t even begin to imagine how hard this year has been for you. I hope you find comfort in your memories.

    • Reply Laurie August 8, 2014 at 3:29 pm

      I am finding great comfort in my memories and in my search to see my parents everywhere. Thank-you so much for stopping in and leaving your condolences, I really do appreciate it! xo

  • Reply Steph August 6, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    Laurie…what beautiful words. Thanks for sharing. I love your soul and the way you look at life. You are an inspiration to me. That’s why I love you so much xo.

    • Reply Laurie August 8, 2014 at 3:30 pm

      I love you too my wonderful friend… I need some belly laughs with you! Miss you BIG time!!!! xo

  • Reply Bliss August 6, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    There is never a good time to say goodbye to the people we love. You always want one.more.time.

    • Reply Laurie August 8, 2014 at 3:32 pm

      So very true, life is so weird sometimes… goodbye is so final, I am grateful that I can find my parents on a daily basis to say hello to, a little visit and a tender memory means we never have to really say goodbye. xo

  • Reply heather meads August 6, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    Oh Laurie! What a post – so sad and such beautiful photos. Hang in there girl, you are home and you can rest from your travels. Take care.

    • Reply Laurie August 8, 2014 at 3:33 pm

      Thank-you Heather, I will… I am in healing mode as we speak. xo

  • Reply Jen August 7, 2014 at 1:59 am

    I am so very sorry for your loss…what a difficult year you have had. Your strength clearly comes from your loving parents. I hope the days ahead become a little easier.

    • Reply Laurie August 8, 2014 at 3:35 pm

      Jen, you are so right, I had no idea what a gift of strength they bestowed… I am truly blessed and am grateful every day they were my parents. xo

  • Reply Jessica August 7, 2014 at 3:07 am

    So beautiful. So open. So honest. So real. Bless you and your family, it’s obvious your parents were incredible people! Prayers for all of you!

    • Reply Laurie August 8, 2014 at 3:36 pm

      They were wonderful Jessica, so down to earth, real and giving! Everything I strive to be. xo

  • Reply Anne@DesignDreams August 7, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    Beautiful post. xox

    • Reply Laurie August 8, 2014 at 3:36 pm

      Thank-you friend! xoxo

  • Reply Personally Andrea August 7, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Oh Laurie <3 This is beautifully and bravely written. I love that you were able to take photos that reflect your soul…they're gorgeous… xxx

    • Reply Laurie August 8, 2014 at 3:37 pm

      Thank-you Andrea! It was a very surreal process… taking those pictures truly reflected my inner feelings, it’s been a journey and will continue to be. xo

  • Reply Dani @ lifeovereasy August 8, 2014 at 2:54 am

    Honey. This is such a beautiful tribute. Your photography says so much. I hope being home will help you heal, and you find the comfort you need. Gorgeous words, Laurie. xo.

    • Reply Laurie August 8, 2014 at 3:42 pm

      Thanks Dani!!! xo Being home has been such a gift! I will continue to heal and gain strength, no other choice really. Thank-you for your support and thoughts, they provide me with much needed boosts! <3

  • Reply Sheila Zeller August 8, 2014 at 6:11 am

    Oh Laurie, I was stunned and shocked when you first shared this inconceivable curve ball life threw at you. I felt numb and full of disbelief, and reading this post, I feel that again in spades. I marvel at your courage to look for the positive, to find gratitude and beauty in the everyday. I think you are amazing, and beyond inspiring. Big hugs! xoxo Sheila

    • Reply Laurie August 8, 2014 at 3:53 pm

      Thanks so much Sheila! What a wonderful thing to say, that just touched my heart! xox Funny you also nailed exactly how I feel, numb and full of disbelief… little bits of reality are coming in daily and they sting, but my will to honor my wonderful parents is stronger… I know they wanted me to live, happy and grateful! I am trying.

  • Reply Valerie August 8, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    Laurie, that was beautiful. I shed a tear with every word. My Mom is so special to me, as your Mom is to you, and I cannot imagine the pain of losing someone so integral in life. I share in your grief and I hope your photos and blog bring you a sense of peace. You’re Mom must be so proud of you and she will forever be by your side. Xoxo

    • Reply Laurie August 8, 2014 at 3:55 pm

      My photos are providing such relief, I had no idea… the whole world and all thinking stops, I just react and do. It’s been a crazy journey but I can feel them both by my side, every day! xo

  • Reply Barb August 8, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Your incredible strength never ceases amazes me. Letting others look into your heart, through your beautiful words is inspiring. It ‘s not always easy to look to the positive. You remind all of us, that even on the darkest days, that it can be done. I’m truly blessed to call you friend and sister! XO

    • Reply Laurie August 8, 2014 at 3:59 pm

      Thank-you sweet lady! It may seem strange to some, why would I write about such personal feelings… these feelings churn in my head until I put them out there, not sure why… really it doesn’t matter why, it works and makes me feel better, like a release. And the bonus part, people like you treat my heart with kindness and love and that is yet another reason to feel gratitude! I love you and it is I who is blessed to have someone who knows my soul like you do… thank-you! <3

  • Reply Donna August 8, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    What a wonderful post Laurie – filled with raw emotion and stunning photos. Very therapeutic I am sure! The love you have for your parents comes through loud and clear. Hugs to you and your family as you work your way through this difficult time.

    • Reply Laurie August 9, 2014 at 4:31 pm

      Thank-you so much Donna, your continued friendship and support mean so much! xo

  • Reply Shannon Acheson | AKA Design, Bloggers & Brands October 10, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    I’m sorry, Laurie. I’m just reading this now. I’m so sorry for all that you’ve lost this year. It’s inspiring to hear you talk of finding the gratitude in all of the events of this year.


  • Reply Linda October 16, 2014 at 12:31 am

    Laurie, I am so sorry that you have been going through all this in one year. It’s heart breaking. What a beautiful post you wrote. Linda

    • Reply Laurie October 21, 2014 at 11:52 am

      Thank-you so much Linda, it’s been a very rough year, taking it one day at a time.

  • Reply lynne February 17, 2015 at 4:57 am

    Hi, a very nice and touching post for your mom and dad. I know how it feels when you say goodbye to someone that is really close to your heart, I lost my dad a couple of years ago and I still miss him until now. I know he is in a much better place and looking after me. I’ll be sharing your post with my friends. Thanks so much. Great post.

    • Reply Laurie February 17, 2015 at 3:14 pm

      Thank-you very much Lynne, it’s so true I miss them every single day and it’s become my new “normal”… I comfort myself knowing in some way, somewhere they are together, happy and pain free. Thanks for leaving your comment and for sharing! xoxo

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