Man oh man, 2021… did you kick my butt! This time of year, I like to look back and recap the previous 12 months, share some stats, let you know where my head is at professionally and personally, and share some of my favorite content, so that’s what we’re going to get into in this look back at 2021.
Let’s start with the present and see where we end up… 2021 was a great year for Oui In France. I stayed busy and worked hard. But it was a disaster for my personal life and my hardest year yet.
This Christmas season marks a decade of living in France. WOW, TEN YEARS! This year was also the first year where I spent more than two weeks in the U.S. but for reasons I wish weren’t the reality. Since I moved abroad, Tom and I would visit family in the U.S. for a max of two weeks because we had to get back to work and Dagny and that’s how it was.
But this year, my mom’s cancer got progressively worse (as did another relative’s) and I wanted to be there for them and my family. I spent a month and a half in Florida in early summer and then again in early fall. Both relatives unfortunately passed away, my mom in October. I wouldn’t wish cancer on my worst enemy.
This whole time has been a whirlwind. The fog of grief is making it hard for me to think back before October when my whole world came crashing down. It’s like nothing else matters and nothing ever will.
Looking back on my time in Florida, I am so incredibly grateful my job and life situation allowed me to just pick up and leave. Twice. I’m devastated by the losses I’ve suffered this year but at the same time, it has brought me peace knowing I was able to be there when it mattered most. That was a gift I’ll never take for granted and a regret I’d probably never get over if I hadn’t been able to go.
My mom’s birthday is December 23. Was. I’m still celebrating it. Mine is New Year’s Eve. Christmas is in the middle and it’s going to be a difficult one. That’s how life goes…
I’m putting this stuff out in the open because I want to be real with you about what I’m going through. It also helps me heal to get my thoughts out of my physical body and into the universe, like a burden that’s lifted. But it’s scary to open up at the lowest, most difficult moment of my life. Regardless, grief is a real part of life and I hope you can’t relate — but maybe you can.
The side effects of grief have been surprising in some ways (I stupidly didn’t anticipate the physical ones!) and uncharted territory. I’m still discovering the way forward one day at a time and can’t do much beyond that. Still.
My grief is something I can’t expect anyone to understand unless they’ve gone through it themselves. Even if you’ve lost a parent, our relationships and experiences are still very different and unique to us. So no one really “gets” it and that’s isolating and frustrating.
I don’t feel like a victim. I don’t feel like, “Why me?” I don’t feel woe is me either. I feel sad and know I will for a while. No one should lose their mom in their 30s. I needed her here longer. I need her still. That said, I know I’m incredibly fortunate so I try to let that guide me even though the “now” is terrible.
A well-intentioned comment that I can’t fault anyone for making is, “So glad you’re doing better!” I’ve seen it a few times now in the comments of a video where I’m smiling and acting normal. I’m not going to show up crying my eyes out and baring my soul on video. No one signed up for that. But I understand the comment. You seem fine, so you are, right?
The truth is I’m not doing “better.” I put the word in quotes because I don’t even know what it means. I can get up, sure, get dressed, do my job, run my errands and act normal. But appearances can be deceiving. I can take an hour to film an upbeat YouTube video and forget about my grief for a bit, no problem.
But am I “better?” No way.
My mom is dead and will be for the rest of my life. You don’t get past that. You don’t move on or go back to normal. I’ve learned that you don’t move on from grief; you move forward with it. It’s a part of me now as I navigate whatever the rest of my life has in store for me. A life I’ll live without my mom. It’s devastating to me to think of that and it hits me all different ways about 10 times every. single. day.
A handful of friends I used to talk to regularly have been silent. Hurtfully so. “Busy” I guess. People I talk to regularly tiptoe around the elephant in the room. People don’t know what to say. Or if they should say anything. They say the wrong things. They say the right things. They have given me space although I haven’t asked for it and space is probably the least helpful thing.
Here’s a funny one. Someone my mom used to know saw something on FB after my mom died that made her think maybe my mom wasn’t doing well, so she left my mom a voice message “just checking in,” although they hadn’t connected in 6 years. I let her know my mom passed away via a text back, and despite seeing the read receipt on her iPhone, she never even replied or said anything at all after I confirmed the news. What in the actual f.
Other people said weird things. I’ve given them all the benefit of the doubt but in the days just after my mom passed, none of them felt good on the receiving end. Telling me I’m an orphan (uhm my dad is thankfully still here). That the grief never gets better. That it will always hurt. That at least I got to say goodbye.
I have so many emotions. I have so much to say. I have nothing left.
The most relatable and helpful book I’ve read, which I have mentioned before, is It’s OK that you’re not OK (thank you again, Kristin, for the rec). Author Megan Devine gets the whole grief thing in a way that makes me feel, dare I say it… better? I feel seen. Get it if you’re grieving or if someone close to you is. Really, it’s that on point.
Doom and gloom aside, what has helped me? Your support and kind words. It means so much to know that people out there care. Even if I couldn’t reply to your comment, know they were all seen and appreciated.
Also, my daily red light therapy has been amazing. I’m going to write more about that in the coming months but red light devices are SO good for improved sleep, skin health, inflammation, muscle soreness, and so much more. Game changer, I tell ya. I hard about it from my mom actually. This is a brand I recommend (5% off w/code Ouiinfrance if you’ve been in the market for one).
Despite it all, I’m hanging on. Things could of course be worse. But knowing that doesn’t make anything feel lighter. My fully vaccinated father got Covid just before Thanksgiving and spent Thanksgiving alone. I had moments of panic and extreme anxiety scared to death he would end up on a vent and die. Thank goodness that didn’t happen and he is ok, aside from still not being able to taste or smell.
Tom and I have not had Covid (yet) but it’s probably just a matter of time, as cases are on the rise in France. I got my booster last week and am crossing my fingers.
I find things to smile at. I smile at the good memories. Tom and Dagny make me happy. Talking to people I trust helps. I find solace in my workouts, as I always have. I’ll get through this. I have to believe that.
Anyway, enough about that. This isn’t turning into a grief blog, but my grief is a part of me and this is my personal blog. We’ll see what I feel like writing about as time goes on.
I honestly don’t remember what I did earlier this year. I’m going to keep writing and will check my phone for what I did before May and continue below.
Let’s shift gears.
On the blog
Normally, I do a recap of the top 10 most-read posts I published along with some stats, so since I’m a creature of habit, let’s stick to the plan.
This year, I published 37 posts. 51% of my readers were in the U.S. 66% of you are female. 28% of you are between 25 and 34 years old.
Here are the most-read posts on Oui In France published in 2021 (with 1 being the most popular):
10. 5 Tips for being vegetarian in France & what it’s taught me about French culture (guest post)
9. Things NOT to pack when moving to France
8. It’s been 1 week since my mom died
7. Paris hotels with an Eiffel Tower view
6. Top France tips for first-time travelers
4. Galeries Lafayette rooftop: Best view in Paris?
3. Pros and cons of living in France that matter most to me
2. Coucou meaning in English: What to know about this informal hello
1. What do French people eat for breakfast?
Then I put out some other posts that weren’t quite as popular but that were meaningful to me:
Why I’m turning my mom’s ashes into a diamond: No explanation needed why this one is at the top of my list.
The problematic “If you hate France, go home!” attitude: Feeling like I’m not alone is one of the best feelings I can have if I’m struggling. In this post, so many of you said you identified with what I wrote about and it’s something that felt good to write.
Are you a highly sensitive person too?: Many of you reached out to me privately to tell me how interesting you found this post. Some of you were even fellow HSPs who didn’t realize there was a term for those of us who feel deeply.
Don’t move to France if…: A real-talk post with practical advice and things to think about before making the big move.
Another thing I did this year was put out two eBooks. My first is all about lifestyle blogging for beginners and the second is 75 Beginner France travel tips for a standout trip.
I hope you’ll take a look at them both!
What does 2022 hold for the blog? More of sharing and connecting with you in the way the feels right to me. I’ll share a mix of personal posts with practical advice about life in France and visiting France and everything else that feels good to share.
Blogging has always felt right and is something I have always loved, so nothing has changed there.
This year was my busiest yet. My channel is at nearly 70k subscribers and I published 69 videos (including shorts) in 2021. Typing that feels crazy because until I actually counted, I didn’t realize it was that many.
As a creator, I’m super happy with the content I’ve put out this year. That said, YouTube is a hustle and a grind and I hate that aspect of it. I put a lot of pressure on myself to constantly create and it’s extremely stressful.
Unfortunately, the content I was the most proud of was not the content that performed well. It’s a mystery why certain videos do well and others don’t. Some of my content performed miserably, and sadly two of the videos I put the most time, effort, and money into were a flop.
I think the average YouTube consumer vastly underestimates the time that goes into producing videos. They see the 8-minute finished product and don’t realize all the work that goes on behind the scenes — even for simple-seeming videos. Especially when you do everything yourself for the most part and don’t have a team behind you.
To give you an idea of a “simple” talking head video workflow, there’s brainstorming, scripting, setting up the shot, filming the video, editing the video, creating the thumbnail and description, promotion and more.
In terms of volume, I put out a video a week (plus shorts) every single week this year, not even taking a break when my mom passed away. It’s been… exhausting. So come January, I‘m taking a vacation from YouTube to regroup and recharge. But I won’t be away for long I don’t think. 😉 I plan on taking a more relaxed approach to content creation in 2022. Spinning my wheels is not synonymous with working smart and I am not putting pressure on myself to create, especially when videos don’t perform like you’d hoped.
Top-performing videos in terms of views that I put out in 2021:
6. American habits I lost after moving abroad // 45k views
5. French language basics that don’t exist in English // 45k views
4. 23 Little things that are different in France // 58k views
3. Very normal French things that would never work in the USA // 105k views
2. 9 France faux pas to avoid! // 125k views
1. Culture shock: Going to the doctor in France // 950k views
Videos that I’m the most proud of as a creator:
My Beillevaire series: Although neither one performed very well, I’m so proud of the work I did here showing hard-working French folks who take pride in their jobs. It’s videos like these that make me feel fulfilled as a creator (let’s be real, I love busting out the drone too, come on). It’s content like this where I show French people doing their thing that feels authentically me and that I’m on the right path and keeps me going and energized.
But truth be told, when videos don’t perform well, it makes it harder for me to make content like that for you because it’s just too expensive, in terms of actual money and also my energy and time. I made a whopping $19 from the first video in this series and that wouldn’t even cover the gas for me to drive there. I realize that I’m preaching to the choir because if you’re reading this, you’re probably someone who watched the videos and is a fan of what I do, so just know I appreciate it.
French pharmacy behind-the-scenes: This video also didn’t perform super well but I am so happy with it. I love the interviews, the products, everything. It was fulfilling as a creator to make something that shows French pharmacy culture in a way the average consumer doesn’t often see.
Fun fact: Do you notice that my faves here aren’t just me talking to the camera and were videos where you don’t see much of me at all? That’s not a coincidence. Despite the fact that I’ve been on YouTube awhile, I still am super uncomfortable talking to the camera for talking head style videos. I think I always will be. It gets easier but it’s hard to put yourself out there in video form, making yourself vulnerable and opening yourself up to criticism from all angles. What’s funny is that my top 6 best-performing videos this year (except for 1), were all talking head videos where it was me talking to the camera.
If you’ve enjoyed any of the content I’ve put out, it would mean everything to me if you shared it with someone who might love it too. Emailing or texting the link to a friend, hitting the share button on social media really does help me. So as an early birthday present to me, would you help me out in that department? Here’s more on why your support is so important and ways to support bloggers you love without spending a cent.
The earlier part of 2021
As I write this, I’m looking back at my Instagram feed to see how the year started off. Seriously could not recall.
Okkkkk, now I remember.
I did a virtual photo shoot with one of my closest friends who is also a fabulous photographer. Carolina photographed our wedding too. Anyway, from your smartphone, she can shoot amazing shots at a distance anywhere in the world. It makes an awesome and affordable last-minute gift as well. She does singles, couples, families, whatever and will direct you every step of the way.
Then Tom, Dagny, and I went to Pornic on the Atlantic Coast for a weekend away. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. 😉
Later in the year, in between my two trips to Florida, we got away to Brittany, stopping first in Vannes and heading up Dinard, one of my favorite places.
Midyear, I started experimenting with reels on Instagram. The jury is still out. Do you like them? Not sure if they’re cool or a waste of time.
And one of the best memories I have, although I celebrated from afar, was Dagny’s 10th birthday party. She had a “pawty” and was thoroughly spoiled with a meat and vegetable “cake” that my father-in-law lovingly prepared.
What does the last part of 2021 hold? I’m staying put and just trying to take it day by day. Thinking of what I’m doing even past just tomorrow seems overwhelming.
Here’s something totally random. This stuff makes me happy so I’m sharing. I’ve been meaning to tell you about this (and plan to do a full review in January) but life has gotten in the way. Anyway, let me introduce you to these indestructible tights from Sheertex. I got my first pair last year and just wore them the other day in an upcoming video (it’s a sweet video that I hope you love).
Basically, Sheertex hosiery will not run, rip, or become unwearable in any way. Really. You can pull them up with superhuman force and thy won’t rip. No, they aren’t cheap, but costs add up when you get two wears out of cheaper tights that end up in the trash a few times each season. I would go through 5 or 6 pairs or regular tights every season due to my nails going through them or snagging them on something. If you wear tights or hosiery of any kind more than once a month, you need these in your wardrobe.
Sheertex tights come in an extensive range of sizes and styles to suit every body and taste. Sheertex for the win, ladies. You get a $20 discount with my link here. They’re based in Montreal but offer free worldwide shipping.
Also, do any of you out there save your nice things for a special occasion or refuse to wear your nice clothes/shoes/jewelry because you’re afraid to mess them up?
So they stay in your closet or in a drawer, never seeing the light of day? I have this problem and my dad is the same way so I probably learned it over the years. I have beautiful clothes and boots and other things I don’t wear or haven’t even taken the tags off of because I’m too afraid I’ll drop some oily food on that nice sweater, or step in dog poop, or mess up in some way.
With you as my witness, I’m making an honest effort to change that this year. Life is meant to be lived and I’m going to bust out my nice things. The hell with oily food and dog poop. And I plan on wearing more jewelry, like my mom did, to be more like her. My neighbors aren’t going to recognize me hahaha.
OK, this 2021 recap is coming in at over 3,000 words, so let me leave it there. If you made it this far, thank you. I’m wishing you and your loved ones the very best this holiday season and always. Whether you’re a longtime reader or this is the first post of mine you’ve read, I appreciate you being here. Merci!
Previous year-end wrap-ups:
Just a hug, Diane, from someone who’s been there, gone through it and has the scars. We all do this grief thing differently, and I’m glad that you’re doing this thing in your own way. Give Dagny a cuddle from me, and Tom, a bise, for being there with you through this.
Thank you, Barney! Happy Holidays to you!
Hi Diane. I wish you the best this holiday season and look forward to your content next year. My birthday is December 30th (I’ll be 28), so happy early birthday! I think it’s awesome that you’ll be celebrating your mom’s birthday every though she’s gone.
Have a merry Christmas.
Thanks so much, Avery. I appreciate you and am sending you an early HAPPY BIRTHDAY from afar 😉
Thank you for your heartfelt sharing. I am sorry you lost your mom and other family this year. I hope that 2022 is restorative for you as you continue to grieve and remember.
Thank you so much! Looking forward to 2022. Hope it’s a good year
Birgitta Qvarnström Frykner says
God Jul from Sweden and a Happier new Year.
I lost both my parents still miss them, The way you think “this i had to tell them, and I do just quiet. I know they are here for me still, and so are your mom. Hugs Birgitta
Sending you hugs as well xx
You are a blessing to me.
40 years ago, I lived in Germany for 4 years, so I LOVE your “take” on living and working abroad. Some things don’t change.
I simply LOVED your Bellevaire and Pharmacy videos. They were wonderfully interesting. I would think anyone traveling to France ( soon, please, the powers that be) would find both helpful! And when you dive into the grocery stores and farmers’ markets—-HEAVEN!
Be kind to yourself. You are learning to live without your mom. My mom’s been gone for 4 years, and I still find myself saying “I’ve got to tell Mama about that”….
Something that brought me great comfort when my brother died six years ago is the concept that, as long as someone speaks his name, he lives.
Everyone’s grief is individual and personal. You do you. And when you feel up to it, tell us about her. Share your beautiful France through HER eyes..the things that made her smile.
You are her daughter…so she is with you always.
It will get easier.
Here’s to 2022!
Hi Elizabeth, I really appreciate that. I’m so glad you enjoyed my videos this year. And thank you for your kind words.
Regarding my mom, I’ve spoken a lot about her in the linked posts about how I’m honoring her with the diamond and the original post when I let everyone know she passed away. I shared some nice stories in case maybe you missed those posts and wanted to learn more 🙂
Thank you again for your support and happy holidays!
You’re such a lovely person. So honest, open, creative, et j’en passe. I’m really happy to have “met” you virtually and follow your life in France.
I lost my mom 21 years ago. It seems like yesterday, though at least for me, the horrible pain has subsided into just thinking about her and often wishing she were still here. I dream about her regularly. Grief is such a personal thing. I can just honour your journey and wish you well.
I wish you, Tom and Dagny un très joyeux Noël et une bonne et heureuse année 2022.
You’re too kind, Wendy. Thank you for your comment and for being here. 😉 All the best this holiday season and in 2022 as well!
Aussie Jo says
What a year
Hey hey, sending love and encouragement. I’ve got a tattoo that says, “it’s okay” and I finish the phrase in my head… “to not be okay”. I can’t imagine your loss or the pain that you feel.
I’m in France now but back when I was in Trinidad and stuck there because of their borders being closed, I used to listen to your videos like the supermarket ones while driving. They helped me so much to get through that time. Now I’m back in my little town in Central France with my love and it feels so much better.
Once again, thanks for the work you do and sending love!
Diane the firsts are always the hardest and you are going to get through the holiday season your way, whatever that is If you feel like staying in bed, going for a walk or just reminiscing about your dear Mom. Her birthday is so close to Xmas and that makes it so difficult. We all grieve differently and while I know how you feel because I lost my Mom a few years ago. I still miss her every day, but we have conversations as though she was still around. I even named my daughter after her. So in a way she is still here My experience will be completely different to yours. But our lives change when we experience grief and it becomes part of us. It makes us who we are. So just be you. IEnjoyed all your videos especially the one in Pornic Just love it there). La Bretagne est belle. I hope you , Dagny and Tom share some special moments over the holidays.
Jack Brown says
I was posted in Heidelberg in the early 70’s (50 years ago!) and took occasional weekend trips to the Alsace in those pre cell phone/internet days. Part of the adventure was looking for a bed as the sun was going down. Driving around a small village in search of a B&B sign tended to focus the mind. But I never had to spend a night in the car!
I miss those days like I miss my parents, but you can’t go back again. The empty place in your heart never goes away but it will get easier to live with. The best commercial ever made was the one for the old South Central Bell made by Coach Bear Bryant. Look it up on YouTube if you haven’t seen it. He asks “Have you called your mama today? I sure wish I could call mine.”
Hi Diane, firstly I am sending you hugs from afar (Australia). With grief, each person has to find their own way through it, and the first year is so very raw with emotion and that hollow, empty feeling in your core. Keep your memories of your mother in your heart. This Christmas will be a tough one for sure, but you will get through it somehow. Thank you for ALL your videos, they are very much appreciated & always offer some insightful aspect on France & life there. I loved the farm one! Your production values are so very high and you let the people’s love for what they do shine through. Please keep making your videos, but only when you feel like it & on what topic gives you creative joy in making. Take care & best wishes.
Hi Diane, I really can’t say anything about your grief that isn’t trite or obvious. All I can say is that I hope that eventually you will be able to remember the aspects of your mother that you loved and admired without the worst pain of remembering your loss.
As to your videos, the Bellevaire and Pharmacy videos were your best, especially the Bellevaire ones. Those are truly professional quality videos, as good as anything I’ve seen from TV production crews. Some people will not watch anything with subtitles, so I guess anything in French will underperform. I hope you will continue to do videos like that anyway.
Enjoy your break as much as you can.
Thank you David. I really appreciate that.
Regarding the subtitles, i used to think that as well but my bakery series, all subtitled, did really well as did the chocolate shop video. So I figured maybe food stuff performs well but then I did a video making chocolate mousse with my dad all in English and other food videos that didn’t perform as well. Sometimes there’s just no rhyme or reason. I’ll continue to do what I enjoy and that will have to be the way forward. 🙂 Thank you again for your kind words and support
I’ve been following you for a year or so now. Love your take on French life and I’m one of those that love your interview/behind the scenes videos. Especially the boulangerie. I have a ridiculous love of France. Went there every year as a kid. I aim to move there eventually. I’m taking the long way round!
I lost my mum at 16. I’m 50 now (nearly!). The reality is there are no words. I know that. There’s only 1 thing you really want, and no one can make that happen.
I remember I got to a point that I would have cheerfully punched the next person who said how sorry for my loss they were. For me, it’s like living with a wound. After some time it heals over. And mostly it’s fine. It itches perhaps, but it’s ok. Then, without warning it opens up again. The good news, and I think this is common, is that it doesn’t open up as badly. And it heals quicker. Although I don’t know you, but I do know you feel deeply, I do want you to know, you’ll be ok. You will be ok. How do I know this? Because grief is a process. It’s not a new normal. At some point you get out the other end.
Lots of virtual hugs (and get as many real ones as you can/like!).
Here’s to 2022, I’ll be tuning in when you have the energy and desire to post!
I appreciate your openness about your feelings. I only read your blog and one other one where the lady always does talking head videos. I love those because they allow us to know the blogger better and feel closer to them and actually feel like friends. So, I love it when I get to see you talking. About grief…I guess people either say the wrong thing because they want to say something that will be enlightening and make you feel better, or they say nothing at all and avoid you because they think you need time and nothing they say will help. It seems like sharing memories with others is usually comforting and makes people feel less alone in their grief. It’s nice to hear what memories other people hold of your loved one. May God bless you and comfort you.
Oh man, what a year… Thanks for sharing, and thanks for being real…
Jan W. says
I’ve already offered my sincerest condolences on your heartbreaking losses. As others have said, everyone grieves I their own way and all we can do is support them. And as you mentioned, many of us have offered our support in hopes every little bit helps. You’re an amazing person and it shows in your vlogs and blogs which is why so many of us care about you and hope that’s of some comfort.
Along with my thoughts and best wishes to you as you live through your grief come my sincerest wishes for a Happy New Year. We don’t always make the best choices in expressing support, but know the thought is there and from the heart.
I really appreciate that, Jan. Everyone’s words help so incredibly much. Thank you
I’m so so sorry for your loss, hun. I have so much empathy. My 2021 was (is) still the worst year thus far. I experienced such losses and shocks, and anxiety. Not to make it about me, just to say that my hard experiences help me relate and have empathy for a fellow friend.
Grief comes and goes in waves, and (I learned) there is something almost holy letting yourself feel it, and not numb it. I honestly have nothing that profound to say but that I’m right here, feeling this, going through a similar experience and that I am with you (in spirit)
I miss my mom just something I can’t describe with words. I miss who my mom was. I miss who my mom never was. I miss someone who used to be my only family member, just like mom, but it doesn’t look good.
When people go through these situations, lots of other people feel under a lot of pressure because they think they have to say something perfect. Sometimes, though, it’s just good to say (write) “I’m here for you and I understand, and I’m thinking of you x”
And I don’t know if this helps at all, I just figured that if I try to block my grief, I suffer even more, and that it’s something very human just to be sad, and embrace that.
You’ve been such a good influence, Diane. You try and contribute and put a lot out into the world, even though life’s not easy for you. But you still try and contribute and make this world a better place. I feel like you’re this down to earth person one can trust.
You know, just allow yourself to be. Cry, take a shower, go out for a walk, read a book. Lows are important because highs and healing can happen. It’s all good. I’m here and I’m sending you my love x
I really appreciate it. Thank you. I read every word even if things are really hard right now and I’m not able to write a long reply. Thank you again
Nicole Fiore says
I know what you mean about the crazy comments of condolence or the ones that avoid you and don’t say anything. I lost a parent in my 30’s too. The pain of loss had me realizing how innocently I was living before it not knowing or ever being able to imagine when someone you love so much is gone. Don’t worry about what people say—you know what’s going on and that’s all that matters.
Ashley @ A Lady Goes West says
Hi Diane. I’m so behind on reading this incredible post. First of all, you are an amazing content creator, and you should be so proud of your work. You have done SO much this year. And you’ve had a terribly hard year. I literally couldn’t imagine the pain and darkness you must be feeling without your mom. I’m wishing you more moments of peace than moments of hurt moving forward in 2022, but I know that’s easier said than done. Keep being amazing, keep showing up, and keep keeping it real with us. 🙂 Thank you!
Thank you so much, Ashley. Your kind words mean a lot. I know you are no stranger to the pain and darkness, having lost your dad a year before my mom. I hope we both have more moments of peace as we move into 2022. Thank you again for taking the time to read this one 🙂