I’M BACK! But where have I been…?

Hello there! It has been a really, really long time since you heard from me. I haven’t abandoned the blog, I was following my own advice.

2019 has been an unusual year.  It started off innocuously enough. Christmas in Virginia and Pittsburgh, getting prepped for the spring semester of teaching, putting away the decorations, beginning the new year.

The week before school started I had trouble reaching my father in Virginia. It is unusual for him not to call me back if I leave a message…or even if I don’t (with caller ID he checks to see who called and then calls me back if he just missed the call).  I tried for just over 24 hours but he never picked up and didn’t call me back. I even had the local police do a welfare check on him at his apartment. The independent living place he lived in doesn’t have particularly great security measures in place. There is no one there after hours who can help, say, the police when they want to get into someone apartment to see if the resident is okay. There is no person on-call who can answer a phone and check on the resident in the event of an emergency. They also don’t have any protocols to do a daily check on residents to make sure everyone came out of the their  room that day. In short, the system at this particular independent living facility is broken.

Eventually, I asked my cousin go check on him. Thankfully I have given him a spare key at Christmas (as a result of my father locking himself out of his apartment on Christmas Day).

The good news was that my father was alive, the bad news was that he had fallen in the shower and been stuck on the floor of his bathroom for 36 hours. I will sidestep my feelings of guilt about not being more diligent about calling the independent living facility during their operational hours and asking them check on my dad the day after I couldn’t get in touch with him only because there is no point in rehashing everything I wish I had done better.

The long and the short of it is that my father went the to ER then to respite care for physical therapy. I went into overdrive making arrangements for him to move up to Vermont to live near me. We had already found a place for him to live, we just hadn’t gone through the motions of getting him an apartment there.

Six weeks later, after no change in his condition (his legs were severely swollen and he couldn’t walk), the doctor at the respite facility discovered that his left leg was broken. He had surgery to repair it, and after a series of unfortunate vascular events, he ended up losing his leg at the knee.

The accident occurred in mid-January and he was finally able to move up here on April 30. The three and a half month ordeal was exhausting and quite traumatizing (obviously more for him than me).

I followed my own advice, and took a step back from everything, including this blog, to just focus on getting him better in VA, then settled in VT, while maintaining my health and sanity. I gave the most lackluster teaching performance ever during the spring semester. I had very forgiving students who swear the classes weren’t as bad a I believed…I cancelled quite a few so I’m sure they didn’t mind.

In the midst of all of this, I was supposed to be writing a book.

I December 2018, I won second prize in a publication contest held by Hay House Publishers. I put off writing it until after my father was here. So from May until the end of September I was busily finishing my book, Untangling Life After Loss: A Griever’s Guide to Creating a Self-Care Plan. Stay tuned for more information about the book’s publication date, giveaways, etc.

As if that weren’t enough to keep me busy, two weeks after my father’s accident and one week after school started I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. I gave birth in September and now literally have my hands full with this amazing little human (who is sleeping on my chest right now). If it weren’t for her, my stress level might have been off the charts. She gave me a reason to be extra diligent about self-care this year.

So, with about six weeks left in the year, I am back to blogging. Thanks so much for your patience!



Published by ancarroll

Alexandra N. Carroll is an author, grief advocate, crafter, mother, and partner. She writes on grief and self-care from her home in Vermont. Her forthcoming book concerns how to untangle life-after-loss through the creation of a strong self-care plan.

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