Fat Girl Wearing Thin

Life beyond the loss.

   Jul 20


Do I hear crickets chirping yet? 

It feels like it’s been ages since I’ve posted anything relatively interesting on this blog and sometimes that thought makes me wonder if it’s still worth reading.  My slow recovery has made me feel like the leader of Dullsville.  All Hail, Queen Boring!!   But here you are reading and keeping me company, and I thank you for that.  The fact is, I don’t have anything happening in my life right now, yet I have a LOT happening in my life right now.  It just feels as though I’m in a waiting period, somewhere between Come and Go

When Patty died, I wondered what would become of me.  My career as her caregiver fell into my lap, and 12 years later here I was, grieving and on the cusp of my first major surgery.  Not having a job to return to these past six weeks has provided me with both pangs of worry and feelings of extreme relief.  I still think of Patty every day and I miss her terribly; but I’ve also given plenty of thought about me.  About what my new purpose is going to be. 

I received a phone call yesterday evening from a friend of Patty’s.   Judy was her masseuse. She and I crossed paths on many occasions over at Patty’s house and eventually we became friends as well. A few years ago Judy moved away, yet whenever she came back into town she always came over for a visit or the three of us would have lunch together. When Patty died in May I tried contacting Judy but couldn’t reach her. Then out of the blue, she called last night and said that she had recently moved and tried calling Patty’s house, receiving a message that the line had been disconnected. I had the unfortunate task of breaking the news to Judy but she took it well and we shared some memories together.

But then, Judy said something that I didn’t expect. She asked if Patty knew about my plans to have surgery before she died. I told her that yes, she was aware, and it was strange the way everything unfolded. I’d postponed my surgery for years, partly because I knew that it would disrupt my job of taking care of Patty. Then, when my body forced me into making the decision to have surgery, she abruptly died a few weeks before. Judy said she felt that Patty died because she didn’t want to be without me; that maybe, somehow, she knew my recovery would be longer than expected and felt it was her time to go. I told Judy that Patty died from complications by acquiring the MRSA virus, but that didn’t seem to waver her opinion.  I don’t necessarily share Judy’s view, but I haven’t been able to get that conversation out of my mind.


I used to be a working artist in a previous life.  My first paid freelance job was given to me by a local child’s advocacy program.  I was hired to illustrate a coloring book which would be used as an aid in teaching children how to prepare to testify in court.  From there I was commissioned to paint murals, and then had my own furniture painting business for a while.  When I decided to work one-on-one for families who needed me, I kept my foot in the painting pool but it took a backseat as I devoted more and more time to my new career.   

In the weeks before my surgery I started thinking about what I was going to do with my free time.  I’d been working since I was 16 years old, and exercising almost daily for the last decade of my life.  I needed a plan to stimulate my mind while waiting for my body to heal.  Time is precious I would suddenly have plenty of it.  I didn’t want to squander it away.   Then, it hit me.  I could stop dangling the foot and throw my whole body into the painting pool.   Per my usual Ellen Style, I worried and fretted.  It’s been so long since I’ve worked on my art full-time.  I don’t know if I can pull this off.  I’m too rusty.  I no longer have the knowledge about what it takes to succeed.

And it was right around that time when Kyra began reading my blog and made her first comment. Imagine my surprise when I found out that Kyra is a very talented and highly regarded artist (you can check out her art at Kyra Wilson Studio).  Her kindness and the knowledge she’s shared by virtually holding my hand these past several weeks has been invaluable.  Kismet, maybe?   Even my husband who can be a bit of a skeptic agrees that the word coincidence doesn’t quite describe the events of the past couple of months. 

So, what have I been doing these past few weeks?   I’ve launched a shop on Zazzle that features my work for sale. I’ve created a Facebook Page featuring my artwork. I am building my own shop on Etsy and hope to have it open by the end of next week.  All of this information will be accessible from a new tab that’s located at the top of my blog. 

Also, this week my domain name came up for renewal once again.  That was one decision I didn’t have to sweat over.  I happily renewed and in September this blog will be celebrating its second anniversary. 

You all know how I feel about labels, but right now I’m pretty comfortable in labeling myself. 

I am a health conscious blogger.  I am an artist.  And I’m going to be okay.

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  1. Beth says:

    You go girl…you have it in you, and you have ALWAYS had it in you! You are SO talented Ellen…I wish I had an inkling of your talent! I would LOVE to have you come to my house and just paint stuff and design stuff and make my house cool, cuz I just do not have an eye for that kind of stuff like you do! Have as much faith in yourself as other people have in you, and you will succeed!

  2. Roxie says:

    What a beautiful, affirming, and inspiring post! I won’t go into my own life philosophy here, but let’s just say that’s what happening in your life is certainly in tune.

    I am so happy for you and I look forward to seeing all your great creative works.

  3. Hanlie says:

    Queen Boring? I beg to differ!

    I had such a rush of emotion reading this post, I didn’t know whether to cry with joy or do a jig. I’m kind of doing both – not a good look for me, but this is awesome news! The best part is that you sound confident and at peace. I wish you all the best in your new venture.

    Things work out like they should. I really believe that.

  4. Caron says:

    Not boring in any way! Love this post. :)

  5. You have SUCH a gift…and I am so glad you’re sharing it. And yes you are all of those things and more :-)

    As for the timing of Patty’s death, yes, it would appear that on some cosmic level it was time, for both her and you. I’ve often felt that way about my Dad’s death. At the time, it sure didn’t feel good, but there were so many things that happened around that time, and now since, that sure do make me wonder…

  6. Sharon says:

    I am so lucky to have met Kyra in person and she is every bit as beautiful IRL as is evidenced in her writing. One of her prints hangs in my kitchen where I’m reminded of her often. Maybe one of your will grace another spot in my home!! I’ve been waiting for this post – I knew it would come!!!

  7. Jenn @ Cooking Aweigh the Pounds says:

    You as Queen Boring? Never. Princess maybe. You’re going to have to leave the queen title to me! :)

    So glad that you’re getting all of your artwork out there to the public. Your work needs to be shared with the world.

    Have a fantastic weekend, Ellen!

  8. Kyra says:

    You’re not boring! :) Sheesh!

    I’ve been so lucky to make an art-friend through our blogs, and then emailing! :) You’re going to do fabulous things with your art!

  9. Jan says:

    I cannot begin to express how excited I am for you! God has given you so much talent and I’m so excited that you’re wading through the fears and insecurities and just going for it. I love that you’re jumping in with both feet! Your work is just incredible! I can’t wait to own a piece of “Queen Ellen’s” work. All hail the Queen!!! :)

  10. Cindy says:

    This is wonderful news. I’m so very happy for you. And, no, never boring!

  11. What’s that saying? ‘To get from caterpillar to butterfly, you first have to go through a yellow, gooey mess phase.’ I’m so happy you’ve made it through to the butterfly phase!

    How’s that for eloquent? :)

  12. munchberry says:

    Yep. Leaping into the great beyond. Yawn – OH!

    I nearly croaked when I saw my beloved “Dances of Light”. Will it be on Etsy?

    OK now back to the post: Masseuse can connect whatever invisible dots she wants, but Patty died because she was elderly and overtaken by a terrible bacteria. If there was any person on this planet who would have wanted to see you believe in yourself more than Patty that is not related to you – please show us. Tell us! There is no one.

    Kyra, on the other hand, was kismet. Planets align sometimes.

    You are beautiful inside and out, blessed with talent and are a loving friend and crazy brave. If that is boring – two scoops of boring for me please!

  13. Goodnuff says:

    You are awesome is what you are. Not boring! I love your art, I’m digging the idea of magnets because the frequent moving I’ll be doing. Will you be having more magnets available?
    I’m glad that you are sounding better. You’ve had so much going on and I do believe everything happens for a reason and that it all works out for the best in the end but gosh, it’s hard to remember that when life seems so overwhelming.

  14. E. Jane says:

    It sounds like you are moving on with your life and have some wonderful adventures ahead of you. You are a very talented person, and the opportunities that you have before you are so exciting!

    As for Patty, MRSA is a virulent strain of bacteria, and even a healthier, youngeer person may not have survived it. It seems that some people like to put a mystical, non-reality based spin on death, for whatever reason. In any case, you were a wonderful caretaker and friend. She was so lucky to have had you for so long. Take care…

  15. Lynn Bonelli says:

    Personally, I agree with munchberry on the Patty issue. And, like everyone else…you aren’t boring (unless you haven’t written anything and I have to stalk you through old posts). Maybe you have moments of boredom but you are never boring. Luckily, what some people call boredom I call an opportunity of self-realization, which it looks like you found too. Paint, draw, photograph, make beautiful things and your heart will be full (and so will ours). Simply beautiful!

  16. Norma says:

    Things have a way of falling into place sometimes. :)

  17. New to your blog and wanted to say that I don’t find it boring at all. Inspiring and thought-provoking, but not boring.

  18. Tim says:

    and we label you ‘fantastic!’

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