silver lining

I go back and forth on what I want The Dainty Squid to be these days. There’s a big part of me that wants to back away from sharing personal things on the internet. It’s not always the friendliest place. There’s also a huge part of me that misses when my blog was just a mish-mash of anything and everything that was going on. I could talk for days about this and it’s definitely something I’ve wanted to address for a while. Maybe another day.

I started writing this in an Instagram caption then decided nope, I want this on my blog. So, here we are! Let’s get personal!

2019 has sucked. I mean royally sucked. My mom died. I say it to myself about a million times a day because it still doesn’t seem real. How can you start to heal when you still feel like maybe someday she might come home? First time I’ve said that aloud. It kind of feels like whatever nice thing happens theres always a black cloud over it because deep down (or maybe not so deep down) I’m really struggling with the loss of my mom.

I was trying to explain to Jeff yesterday evening that although the year has sucked and I really just want my mom back, some positive things have come out of the whole experience. I’ve become better in the kitchen, my dad (aka most picky eater in the entire world) has opened himself up to new foods, and most importantly – putting those other two things on the list to shame – is that we spend way more time together as a family.

At least once per week we get together, eat food and just hang out. Sometimes it’s working on the bus, ziplining or dump digging. Other times it’s just sitting around watching old home movies or helping straighten up the house. It doesn’t matter what we’re doing, it just feels good to be together.

Yesterday my family came to Cleveland for the day. We watched fail videos (something you’ll inevitably end up doing at some point if you come to our house!), ate chili, went to the beach, got hot chocolate, went downtown to see the Christmas lights and took lots of photos together. It was a blast. It felt so… refreshing? I don’t know. I can’t find the perfect words for how I feel but I just feel good.

I think that in the past I may have rushed experiences like these ones or just been ready to call it a day after only a couple hours together but these last few months, I can’t get enough family time! Even this morning I feel so tickled about what a nice time yesterday was.

Sharing the places I love with the people I love is so wonderful. Spending time with my nieces and talking in valley girl accents fills my heart with joy. These past few months have been hard as hell on all of us but together we’re building bonds that make us so much stronger. In the beginning, it kind of felt like we were doing this for my dad, to really show support for him, but now getting together every week is something I look forward to big time.

Oh gosh, this is so cheesy. For real, I can totally see it. Buuuut, it’s true and being able to look at it, acknowledge it and write about it makes me feel so thankful. I love this group of gassy weirdos.

I’m already looking forward to seeing my family again even though it just yesterday we were together. I’m also very much looking forward to lots more silly family photos but with the bus in them!!!

I guess every cloud does have a silver lining.

Author: Kaylah Stroup

A collector of weird things. Plant Enthusiast. Wanderer. Beachcomber. Forever longing for the desert.

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  • I’m so sorry you lost your mother. I lost my parents when I was 24, so I understand how hard it is. It’s so good that you are spending time with your family and really enjoying it, and I’m sure your mom would be happy that you’re finding a silver lining. No one can ever replace her or your relationship you had with her, but please trust that it’s ok to feel broken right now, and it’s ok to feel happy, and it will get easier, eventually. Wishing you lots of love and healing.

  • Kaylah, hi. I’ve only recently started following your blog so I wasn’t aware of what had happened to you and your family. Thank you for sharing (and especially on the blog, as reading blogs is my favourite medium …) I know what it’s like losing someone you love (I lost my father some years ago) …. Wishing you and your family, happy Christmas.

  • I would be lost if you quit posting about your mom and the rest of the family. it is why I come here regularly. Why, you may ask? Well, I have no family left. I lost my mom and dad and my brother. It is just me left to travel this very scary world. I am married, but I have no blood left……………I understand all the feelings you have described but I have gotten to a place where I realize they live in my heart and I do believe my daddy’s personality has taken me over. Some of the things I catch myself saying….sounds like what my daddy would say and it just feels like he is right alongside me once again. 🙂

  • I am so glad that you have been able to find some silver linings in the loss of your mom, and that your family has really come together during this time. ❤️ Your family looks like a fun and sweet group of folks!

  • I’m so happy you shared this! I have followed your blog for such a long time (10+ years for sure) & I missed your personal side in your posts. I’m happy that your family has come together while grieving. Good to have eachother. Big hugs to you.