Let's be honest. My 2012 sucked. Even before Paul was diagnosed with lymphoblastic lymphoma while we were half way around the world, our daughter Clara had decided it would be the year she would test her independence and our limits. So, there were fewer happy family photos from the start of the year. Off we went to Ireland, and I did take a bunch of photos of our trip there. Then it was off to Barcelona and one of the worst days of my life (sitting on the curb in the ambulance bay, crying because I had just put my two teenagers on an international flight alone, hoping they would make it home, and praying because Paul was starting chemotherapy upstairs with doctors who didn't speak the same language I did). Sigh. I did wander about Barcelona a bit, taking photos to pass the time in-between visiting hours at the hospital. Three weeks later we flew home. Photographs from the rest of the year were few and far between; somehow I just couldn't take many photos of my poor bald, eyebrow-less husband.
So, from a scrapbooking perspective, at the end of 2012, I had photos for about a dozen layouts for a family album, a bunch of travel photos of Ireland, and some photos from Barcelona which were rife with memories of a very, very tough time in my life. The photos sat for quite a while. In 2013, I did make a nice photo book of our Ireland photos (you can read about it here). And recently, I made a photo book of the Barcelona photos (8x8 soft cover from Shutterfly) and completed 12 layouts with my 2012 photos.
On the whole, I got through the journaling by keeping it very neutral and objective. The cover page reads "In the summer of 2012, we planned a week long trip to Barcelona, Spain after I taught a summer class in Dublin, Ireland. Our plans changed quickly when Paul got sick and was hospitalized. The children went home early. I still captured some of the sights of this amazing city." I have two pages of photos of the Plaza Espana; one with the kids and one with just scenery. On the first I journaled, "The kids enjoyed Barcelona before they left. They enjoyed eating outside; shopping; sleeping and eating late; and the warm air." On the second page, I wrote "After Paul went into the hospital and the kids left, I rented a room at a hotel just off the Plaza Espana. The room was very small but relatively inexpensive with a great location." Most other entries don't mention the unusual circumstances of the trip.
In the scrapbook, the only mention I make of Paul's illness is in the Christmas layout where I say how happy we were that he was home instead of in the hospital for the holiday.
I'm glad that year is behind us. I'm glad that scrapbooking task is behind me.
And I'm really glad to report that Paul's cancer has now been in remission for two years! He finished chemotherapy about a year ago, and the Doctor still does a "Pet Scan" every six months or so. He had one this week, and it turned out all clear. I'm not sure they will ever say he is cured or stop doing semi-annual checks, but for now, I will wallow in this good news.
And keep taking photographs.
Because 2015 is a much happier year to scrap.