À la Scarlett O'Connor

This outfit reminds me of something Scarlett O'Conor from Nashville would wear. Except she would wear a messier braid, or her signature careless curls. By the way, if you're a fan of the show/her style, here is a link for you. The outrage!

The Industrial Red Country Barn

Breaking my break from blogging with this post. These pictures are from my cousin's birthday BBQ in August, one of the last totally happy family moments we had before my grandfather died. My cousin's dad built this pseudo barn in the backyard years ago and we thought it made such a cute backdrop for our outfits.

A Break from Blogging

In this post I was going to do my usual outfit recap and tell you about how busy my September was, and how demanding my practicum year is. I was also going to tell you that in a very sudden, heartbreaking chain of events, my grandfather entered the 7th stage of Alzheimer's disease.

Instead I'm going to tell you that he died on Sunday night, September 29, 2013. I confused the signs of dying for the signs of stage 7.

My grandparents holding hands. Picture taken earlier this year. They were married for 64 years! Met at 17, married at 23.
So I will be taking a break from blogging. Probably not a very long break, since I heal best when I'm involved in work that I love. But for now my world is upside down and I need all the time I can get for deep reflection and remembrance.

Before I go, I need to make sure that I put this out there.
I've rediscovered this very powerful quote that I keep turning to:
"We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Sahara. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively outnumbers the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here." - Richard Dawkins
As you might have guessed from reading this quote, I am an atheist. I'm so thankful to everyone who's supported me and my family with their kind words and actions as we mourn this incredible loss, but many people have tried to comfort me with the standard "He's in a better place" or "I will keep you and your family in my prayers." I truly appreciate where these people are coming from, but I also feel rather lonely when I hear these kinds of phrases

For any atheist, agnostic, humanist, or skeptic readers out there: There is this fantastic page on Facebook called "Grief Beyond Belief." I discovered them around 2 years ago, when my grandpa's dementia was beginning to really take its toll. There I have found much comfort in the wise words and grief experiences of other like-minded folks. I highly recommend that you visit this page if you're also nonreligious or if you'd like to learn more about what it's like for nonbelievers to grieve and mourn within a religious society.

So although I appreciate anyone's inclination to include me in their prayers, please know that nothing would bring me more comfort than even the tiniest of donations to the Alzheimer's Association, which does wonderful work funding not only research efforts but also care and support initiatives. Their website is a fantastic place for anyone who would like to learn more about the disease and related dementias. Back in August I organized a team called "Walking to Remember" for the upcoming Alzheimer's walk at Marlins Park in Miami. If you'd like to donate on behalf of my team, or even join it and walk with me on October 12th, please follow these steps:
    • Click here.
    • Select "donate" or "join my team".
    • Give as little or as much as you'd like.
Thank you to anyone who takes the time to donate/learn more about Alzheimer's/ browse the Grief Beyond Belief site. Your support means so much to me.

And thank you to those of you who just learned of my atheism and will not be forever turned away from here because of it.