Off-Topic Checking In

Heather says:

I’m currently sitting in a hotel room in Virginia Beach, VA. This trip wasn’t for fun. You see, life changes in seconds, one moment you’re lost in your own thoughts contemplating personal, life changing decisions and the next you’re racing to comfort family.

My stepsister died unexpectedly on Mother’s Day.

I’m here in the hotel room, just sitting quietly, stuck with my own thoughts as I watch people struggle through grief. My heart breaks for my family and there is nothing I can do.

I see three small faces not understanding, coping, or not, in their own way. I can’t hug my niece enough and it tears at my heart to see her bringing boxes of tissues to people. I see a little of myself in her, we share no blood, but she is family. She is staying busy, busy being good, busy being helpful, and busy trying to be strong.

I want to make things okay and I can’t.

This is true for this, the most immediate crisis and other areas of my life.

I’ll let you in on a little secret, okay a big, sort-of not really a secret, secret. I deal with anxiety and I’ve been seeing a therapist. She’d probably fuss at me right now because I know I’ve slipped outside of myself and I am going through the motions rather than being in the moment. It’s a coping mechanism, I didn’t recognize it as such  before, I always thought it had to do with why I chose to be a writer. I observe. I always observe, my mentor calls it third person omniscient mode and that was the name I used.

I want to say thank you. To you, the readers of Home Ec 101, to my friends and supporters. This spring has brought about a season of change, some good, some terrible. I want to thank you for putting up with the inconsistencies here for the last few months. Currently, life is in a bit of limbo, my least favorite state, but I am managing, not always well, but always with the hanging in and keeping on.

There will be a new balance and a new rhythm soon. Please know that I am not leaving Home Ec 101, it is still a priority, but I want to give it the focus it deserves rather than churning out half-hearted work. Thank you for hanging in there with me. I don’t know what the new normal will look like, but I’m so glad that Michelle has stepped up to help. Many of you have made a positive impact on my life and I appreciate that, thank you for your emails and kind words.

Today there is a funeral that shouldn’t be happening. If it is what you do and what you believe, could you say a prayer for my stepsister’s family?

Thank you.

We’ll find our new normal.



  1. Amy on June 11, 2013 at 8:31 am

    So this is a little late since I’ve been pretty behind on reading blogs I follow, but I did want to tell you I said a prayer for you and your family today. I know even as life marches on, the coming months can be difficult and grief and the effects of it don’t end after the funeral or after everyone goes back to work. I’m sorry for the loss of your stepsister.

  2. Mia on May 30, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    I am glad you are working on your anxiety. I used to get that a lot too. but there are some easy way to fix it.check here to see info on what anxiety disorders are about. the blog gives a detailed account on all about anxiety and panic disorders do i have anxiety

  3. HelenGrace on May 22, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    My prayers are with your family–my deepest sympathies. You bring joy to my life through this blog, as well as support for my quest to be a better wife and mom. Take whatever time you need to get your emotional house in order and know that your readers are rooting for you!

  4. Deneicer on May 22, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    Heather ~ I will pray for your family. I am so sorry for your loss. HUGS

  5. Kelly on May 21, 2013 at 11:23 am

    You and they have my prayers. Take care of yourself first so you’re able to truly take care of others.

  6. Courtney Tucker on May 21, 2013 at 11:17 am

    So sorry, Heather.

  7. Linda on May 20, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    I am praying for you and all your family. You are missed but taking care of yourself and your loved ones is what’s important now. So glad you will be back to blogging.

  8. Patty on May 20, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. I will keep your stepsister’s family in my prayers. I am also sure that many of your readers are loyal and agree with me when I say take all the time you need, we’ll still be here when you post.

  9. Beth Anne in PA on May 20, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    I’m so very sorry for your family’s loss. I hope you can feel the love and prayers that we are sending your way and building you up. God bless you and your family.

  10. Rosebud on May 20, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Hugs and prayers to all. You are a very special person to us. Take care and take time for yourself. You deserve it.

  11. Linda on May 20, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Hugs for everyone. Take the time you need and give the time to the people who need you. May love surround you all.

  12. Jaime S on May 20, 2013 at 9:48 am

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. You and your family have all my best wishes and sympathy.

  13. heather on May 20, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Prayers of peace and comfort for you and your family.

  14. cherie on May 20, 2013 at 8:24 am

    My tremendous sympathy for your loss. Prayers for you to find calm in your heart and find the self that eludes you, and strength in your journey. Prayers for your family to feel comforted and warmed by the love that hasn’t left them but is harder to see. Prayers for all of you to find your way through grief to peace.

    Live your life. It is always changing. Kudos to you for working through what you feel impedes you.

  15. Wendy on May 20, 2013 at 7:50 am

    Yes, prayers. I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m 100% sure you’ll find your rhythm – I’m here if you need a metronome. xo

  16. Shelley on May 20, 2013 at 7:09 am

    So sorry for you and your family’s loss. Take as much time as you need to heal. My prayers are with you all. God bless.

  17. Kathy on May 20, 2013 at 6:45 am

    I’m not sure if I’ve ever left you a comment, but I’ve learned so much on this site. Thank you for all your sharing. Thank you for your transparency right now. Praying for you and your stepsister’s family.

  18. Caterina on May 20, 2013 at 5:09 am

    There is love in you, love that your stepsister’s babies will see and comprehend. In that I have the utmost faith. Absolutely you have my prayers and my sorrows for the bereaved.

    If you ever want to talk to someone about the anxiety, I’ve been dealing with it for twelve years and medicated for ten. Needless to say I’ve become quite open about it in the process, since panic disorder doesn’t lend itself to hiding.

    Much affection to you.


  19. Kristen on May 19, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    Take all the time you need – we will be waiting!

  20. Jenn on May 19, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    I’m sorry for your loss! You and your family are in my prayers and I’m sending a virtual casserole as well. I’ve been a long-time reader and am always happy when a post pops up in my feed reader. I’ve enjoyed the back to basics series, the mending series and your chicken bog and fried pork chop recipes are family favorites. Take extra good care of yourself so you can take good care of your family. I’ll be here when you’re ready to return.

  21. Kym on May 19, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Thinking of you and yours. We’ll all be here when you get back. Be gentle on yourself, friend. 🙂

  22. Courtney on May 19, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    I haven’t checked in for a while, but for “some reason” I did today. Now I know why, it is to pray for you and your family. Consider it done. I know you’ll be back with just the right new normal soon. Until then, take care.

  23. Deanna on May 19, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    Love you Heather!!

  24. Quiltin Jenny on May 19, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    I’m so so sorry. Loss of control is just another sucky gift brought to you by grief.
    Don’t worry about us. You’ve given us the tools to keep ourselves plenty busy while you tend to what’s most important.
    You and your family are in my prayers.

  25. Tammy on May 19, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss and your (completely understandable) feelings of helplessness. Wanting, no needing to help, to make it right, to take away the hurt and not being able to is a kind of torture that you are living through. I’m sorry that life is so hard for you and your family right now.

    We, your loyal readers, will wait for you to come back, for you to grieve and mentally get where you need to be.

  26. Rachel on May 19, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    So sorry for your family.

  27. Rhonda S on May 19, 2013 at 11:45 am

    I am de-lurking to express my sympathy. The words are not nearly substantial enough, I’m sure. Prayers for you and your family.

  28. Erica Mueller on May 19, 2013 at 11:00 am


    You and your family are in my heart today. I can not imagine the pain those children, and all of you, are going through or the helplessness you feel when you see them aching. I’m sorry for your loss and am sending you lots of virtual hugs and very real prayers.

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