I didn't write a new year post last year - though I seem to recall I was hoping for a better year than 2012 had been. Clearly I filed my request in the wrong box because 2013 taught me that 2012 was just a warm up to main event in my own corner of life on rocky ground. I am sure there are worse experiences than the death of someone you love fiercely but it is a pinnacle I hope never to surpass. 2013 will remain a watershed of sadness I don't think I will ever really recover from. Part of me was worn away this year and it won't grow back.
But it wasn't all grim and I do not recall ever feeling the joy of joyful times so intensely and deeply. Life, especially with children, carries it's own momentum and meaning. While my family of origin lost its centre, my own little family has been every kind of solace I could have hoped for. Major upheaval and stress can pull people apart or cement them together and D in particular has been at the top of his game in terms of being the most excellent best guy in town, sticking to me like glue even when I have had nothing to give back. He's the man alright.
It's also been a year in which my friends have really shown their true colours. I'm pretty sure I now know who I'd ask to help me bury a body should it come to that and I feel lucky and humble to have those guys on my side. From the mate who sent me a regular weekly email just to check in, the ones who came to just hang out with me and kept me from getting lost in my grief, who listened to me while I rattled on and nodded as though I made sense and was interesting, the friends and neighbours who took my kids, the craft campers who let me take time out of my horrific present for a holiday of mind as well as body, the employer who never batted an eyelid when I proved entirely unreliable - and sent flowers to boot.
There were so many acts of kindness and compassion - gifts and home cooking and kind words and a general tolerance of me not being able to be the person I wanted to be. Every time you looked the other way when I was less than reasonable and didn't let me know it was a gift. To all those who made the effort I feel enormous gratitude, not just for the things they did but also because they kept alive something that death and grief works hard to destroy, the value of that human connection, however fragile it is. Thank you friends for my sanity.
It was also a year in which my regular making was somewhat disrupted, but on reflection that shake up wasn't a bad thing. Perhaps most significantly the completion of the long suffering hexie blanket - a project I suspect would have lingered for years to come had I not had so much time and so little inspiration for new projects. I entered the Royal Melbourne Show for the first time, as did Amy. I tackled something I hadn't done before - a conscious effort to focus on something complex and outside myself just to prove yet again that making is the balm for life's hardships.
The tail end of the year - the last month and a bit - has been a positive powerhouse of making. I've perfected shirt patterns for both the kids and D - the last being a major achievement after many years. It's never been easy to find ways to make and give to the anti-stuff guy so a practical crafted everyday item he's happy to wear and I am happy to make is a joy. I've also been just loving linen - and like last years Lily dress, this year's Jac shirt and Eva dress have seen repeat garments in my 'Tessuti range'. Great designs these guys make! And a few pattern mash ups combining great pattern moments with some free-wheel styling has restored my confidence in playing with what I'm doing.