Saltwater Tears

dog fetch

dog fetch (Photo credit: mallix)

I decided that if I cried while swimming in the ocean, it wouldn’t count. I knew there was no logic behind this but it felt like tears would just blend in with salt water. So, while swimming in- between the high green Florida waves, I would cry, sob sometimes, because my dog had died a little more than a week ago.

Many years ago I used to be the kind of person that saw a sympathy card for a dog and I would roll my eyes and think to myself ‘it’s just a dog’ for goodness sake. That was before I ever had a dog. Once I had a dog, who became so ingrained in our family’s lives, things changed. I am grieving the loss of our dog; more emotionally, of course, than the rest of the family.

When I think back on the night before she died I could kick myself. I wasn’t open to receiving her messages like I usually was because I was too upset. But, she told me in the blinks of her eyes that she would be leaving, she was saying good-bye only I wasn’t ready to listen. I know now. Thank you, sweet girl.

Before we took her for surgery I gave her the talk I had given her many times before. I cradled her soft face with my hands and whispered to her my same speech: “You know I love you Callie, I love you so much, we all do but I promise, not to let you suffer. I know you don’t want to suffer pain and I don’t want that for you. I love you too much.” Once I kissed her and nuzzled her she happily went off with the technician at the veterinarian, I didn’t know I would never see her again. I felt optimistic, not a feeling that comes naturally to me.

When the veterinarian called, from surgery, my heart stopped. He had opened my dog up and told me that the mass he had found did indeed turn out to be cancerous. Not only was it cancerous but it had spread to 75 percent of her body. He said “thought what we had said about not wanting her to suffer and this is what he would do personally if she was his dog, he would not wake her up.” I agreed, rationally, as did my husband. In no way, did we want our dog to suffer; I had made a promise to my dog and I was determined to keep it.

After that, reality set in. The healthy looking dog I had cuddled with this morning was dead? How could that be? She had no symptoms at all except for two very quiet little yelps, that I hadn’t even heard, two days before and then she returned to her old,  self. She ate, she played, she climbed up the stairs and jumped on the bed in her usual position right next to me. By moving her neck around she showed me where she wanted to be scratched and I obliged. The only sign that something was different was that for a brief period of an hour or two she wouldn’t look at me and she hid under my husband’s desk and her eyes would not meet mine; she looked away.

I had kept my promise to my dog, I had not let her suffer any pain. I told her how much I loved her and what a great dog she was. I told her how the whole family loved her. All the right things were done. I understand that it was a shock, I understand she is dead. I cannot understand WHY my mind keeps forgetting that when we come home from the airport tomorrow she will not be there, on the other side of the door,  barking and whimpering, eager to welcome us home with her gentle, wet kisses.

I don’t know how to handle that, I think it is just one more thing to get through and yes, I will probably cry.

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Plinky Prompt: Do You Believe In Fate?

  • Fate
  • Life Is A Series Of Little Steps
    Staircase Do I believe in fate? Absolutely. There are no coincidences in Life, things happen for a reason. You need to keep your mind, heart and soul open and learn from every experience, good and bad. Learn the lesson you needed to learn, at least try. Move on and grow. Life is a series of little steps, just master one little step at a time, all you can do is try. Keep on trying and don’t give up. Start at your own beginning.

Mellow Yellow Monday

Lemon Wedges

Lemon Wedges (Photo credit: Dancing Lemur)

I hate drinking plain water even though I know it’s good for my body. I resolved that problem with drinking water with lemon. What a difference!  I use fresh lemons, all bright, shiny and juicy. if I run out I use the bottled version. Mellow Yellow Monday is for Lemon Wedges. Good for your body and your soul.

Carry On Tuesday – The Best Is Yet To Be (A True Story)

Death

Death (Photo credit: tanakawho)

I’m a woman in my mid-fifties now. When I was younger I lived in Boston by myself in a studio apartment; my best friend lived in the same building. We both worked, we ate out every night, we laughed a lot.We were both financially independent, we paid our own bills and ate a lot of Bailey’s vanilla hot fudge sundaes with whipped cream and extra cherries. We shopped often so we could get the Clinique cosmetic bonus at one of the large retail stores.We waited on the Boston streets, Saturdays, late at night, for The Boston Globe and The New York Times to be delivered. My best friend turned out to be a very sick woman with many psychological issues that I put up with until she started lying to me and that I wouldn’t accept, I couldn’t. We barely spoke after that. It took many years for me to see her as fragile and flawed and emotionally damaged instead of holding on to my anger and her betrayal.

I got married when I was 31 to a man I had known my whole life. We fit together like a pair of tan silk gloves, holding hands. We came from the same background, our parents were friends; our wedding was small, outside in Boston, at the Boston’s Women’s City Club, both sets of parents and siblings were there to take part in the ceremony. It was October and the weather was very warm and sunny and it felt like late June.

We struggled to have children for two and a half years of grueling infertility treatments. I was depressed, running my life on automatic pilot: to the clinic at 6:30 am for shots, blood work, ultra-sounds; I then drove to work, sometimes I had to go back to the clinic at night. My goal in life was always to be a mother and I was heartbroken. Finally, one glorious day, I found out that I was pregnant, I felt it before any blood test could confirm it. That was one of the happiest moments of my life, it was 20 years ago.

I gave birth to our son and a year later I felt the same calmness in the shower when my husband told me of recent break-ins in the neighborhood, I smiled.  I felt peaceful and unfazed; I got dressed quickly, grabbed my baby boy and headed to the pharmacy for pregnancy tests. I was thrilled, no fertility treatments needed; my body had fixed itself. In the hottest days at the end of July, I gave birth to a baby girl. Life was complete.

We moved to a tiny house in New York to be closer to family, as soon as we moved, my father became ill, seriously ill. Life plays tricks on us all the time; we had moved so we could have a support system and help yet by the time we got there we were the ones that were helping my parents. It was a lesson to be learned and for others to learn. Don’t move FOR other people, people will always change their minds or their plans or they will move on themselves. Life will make changes for you whether you plan for it or not.

My father was ill for a long time, physically and mentally; he was very, very depressed. The things that had made him so happy in the past left him untouched. His joy of life, for the little things, for food and music and Viennese waltzes were now annoyances. My father died many months before his actual physical death. He died the night we went to dinner together because my mother asked me for help so she could go out with her friends, she needed a break. I went to dinner with my dad, now a stranger to me, we shared a creamy risotto, one of his favorite dishes, and a small, crispy iceberg salad, we drank tap water. There was no light in his pale blue eyes, he was no longer there although he could carry on a conversation very adeptly. I drove him home to his apartment, I convinced him to play “Der Fledermaus” on his turntable, his favorite music that used to blast from the stereo all the way down the hall when I was young. He played it, for me, but he didn’t want to. I even asked him to dance which he did begrudgingly for about ten seconds. He stopped abruptly and said to me: “When you leave here, be happy.” My father died, for me, at that moment. I left after that, he urged me to go, and I leaned against the wall outside, doubled over with pain and grief, my body wracked with sobs. He died six months later, on New Year’s Eve, a day before my parents’ wedding anniversary.

I grieved for years, I still grieve. I was especially close to the father that I grew up with, similar in nature and temperament. I was left with a sister and a mother who were very close and who had no understanding of who I was and how I felt. I was left out, I still feel that way sometimes but it just doesn’t matter anymore. My children were still little when my dad died but they saw their mommy who stayed in bed and cried all the time. My son, years later, said he thought ‘I would always be that way’; his sweet, honest observation made me feel worse. My children are now 17 and 19, my husband and I proudly watched our son graduate from high school last year and we will watch our daughter graduate from high school this year.

When my children were little, in third grade and second, I surprised them with a puppy. A sweet ball of fur from the shelter, only six-weeks old. The most well-behaved dog you can imagine, demure and cuddly who wanted nothing more than to sit in my lap and sigh with contentment. Earlier this month I gave her a big tenth birthday party as I have every year, with my daughter and our friends Margaret and Christina; I even bought hats and paper plates. I took photographs of us.

It’s been only two weeks but now she is dead. I brought her in to the veterinarian because she yelped softly twice but otherwise seemed fine. I felt silly bringing her in to the veterinarian but I did anyway. He examined this perfectly looking dog and said “I feel something.” He kept her there all day for an X-ray and blood tests and I called later that afternoon for the results.

He scheduled her for surgery, the following day, she had a mass on her spleen and he would have to take her spleen out but, as he said, “dogs can live a good life without a spleen….if it wasn’t cancer.” Cancer?  We brought her in to surgery and I kissed her a lot and put my arms around her and whispered secrets to her. Later that afternoon, the veterinarian called, the cancer had spread to 75 percent of her perfect tan, black and white body. He advised and we agreed that we did not want our dog to suffer. Our dog died that day. I had to tell my children and our friends, between sobs and my grief. This was my dog. I picked her out from the shelter, she was my girl. I still cry, I still think I hear her in the house, I wait for her when I unlock the door….

As you get older in life you will have experienced great joy: college and dating, relationships, marriage, children, jobs, pets. They say “the best is yet to be” but I can’t believe that. I wish I thought that there were better things ahead for me in this world but I can’t possibly imagine what they would be. I’m sure there will be moments of joy here and there, but so too, there will be more sickness and death and grief and getting older. I had the best of times, now, I just have the memories.

Haiku Heights – Endurance

Rainbow bridge

Rainbow bridge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(In Memory of my dog, Callie)

Tears spill from my eyes

Cascading grief, come undone

Spread, advanced cancer.

*************

Pain unfolds anew

Stab wounds in my broken heart

My world is dead black.

************

Plinky Prompt: What Do You Need For A Successful Road Trip?

  • Road Trip Essentials
  • Be Serious, a successful road trip? With ME??!!
    Day 233: Nauseous Can the first item for a successful road trip be an airplane? Thought not. It doesn’t hurt to try. Oh dear, road trip….sends shivers up and down my spine. I HATE sitting in cars for a long time because a) I have a chronic pain issue that makes it very difficult for me to sit in one place for more than an hour or two at a time and b) I have the attention span and patience of a dying tick. I get restless and want to be there and hate sitting in a car. I become one of those annoying children that say in a whiny voice:”are we THERE yet?” Trust me, you wouldn’t WANT me on a road trip although I did quite well when we were on a long road trip in Australia. However, from NYC to Washington, DC? Not so much. It took FOREVER. I find the train much more comfortable albeit more expensive.
    I need food and lots of it, snacks, Yoo-Hoo, bottles of water, plenty of places to stop so I can pee and stretch, Twizzlers (original flavor only) maybe some music. I can’t read or write because I get nauseous. I can’t sit in the back because I throw-up. Trust me, you don’t WANT me to go on a road trip with you. Besides, isn’t “successful” and “road trip” an OXYMORON??? Think about it. p.s. My poor family would have to be looking at this type of expression the entire, repeat, the entire time we are on the road.

Plinky Prompt: Do you need coffee to wake up in the morning?

  • Coffee Is My Life
    Starbucks VIA I practically need coffee, triple strength, IV’d into my blood stream each and every morning. If I don’t feel like having coffee than I am terribly sick and need to go to the doctor, seriously. The only time I don’t want coffee is when I am ill and then I will drink tea with milk and sugar. Tea with milk and sugar for me equals illness. My husband and I use triple the amount of coffee that most people use for one mug of coffee; it’s Starbucks strength, bold, not necessarily the brand (only when we can afford it/ as a special treat) but the taste. We have used Bustello, Espresso, Melita and all kinds of coffee, the stronger it is, the better. When we travel we bring Starbucks’ Via packets along (and no, I do not work for Starbucks) to strengthen any weaker (and it’s all weaker) coffee we are served. Via packets (a brilliant invention, I might add) are singular packets of Starbucks coffee to add and strengthen whatever coffee you have ordered. Let’s face it, if you travel and you don’t know where the strong coffee is, it’s always handy to travel with Via. (I think Starbucks should compensate me for that, don’t you think?)

I Will Cross My Fingers For You

Fingers Crossed

Fingers Crossed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hi new person,

I just met you for a second on Facebook before, I don’t know you but I saw your name. All I know is that we were brought together by someone we know in common, a gentle, spiritual medium named Roland Comtois. You asked him for healing energy for your doctor’s appointment tomorrow but I think he had signed off by then. I offered to send healing energy to you and asked for others to join in. I don’t know you but any decent person would understand your anxiety and fear.

You are having a check up for your yearly mammogram, having been diagnosed with breast cancer before. Of course you are nervous and scared. Who wouldn’t be? I will give you advice that my Dad, when he was alive, gave me: Stay in Neutral. If you make a conscious effort it helps. You can avoid all the “what if….scenarios.”

I will send you magic dust so you can sleep tonight and get some rest and tomorrow I will pray that your examination goes well. I don’t even remember your first name now but I’m sure my healing energy and prayers will find the right person. I would do this in a second for anyone who needed it or wanted it. Family and friends of course, but just hearing in my mind, the tone of your message was enough for me to volunteer.

I hope all goes well but even if it doesn’t, you will have the strength to deal with it and carry on. Why? Because there is no other choice. We all fight to be alive, it’s an instinct. I think you will be fine, I praying for that. Good luck tomorrow my unknown friend.

My thoughts will be with you all day.

Good Luck!

Laurie

Plinky Prompt: Do You Watch Reality TV Shows?

  • My Opinion of Reality TV
  • Survivor
    Survivor Finale I haven’t watched any reality TV shows in several years. I’ve never watched The Housewives Of Atlanta, DC or ANYWHERE nor do I plan to start. Just recently, my husband and I decided to watch Survivor again. I hate to admit it but we are thoroughly enjoying it, we’re hooked!
    There are so many differences now-everyone looks fit and well-fed, the contestants teeth are amazingly white and gleaming and their wardrobe looks like T.J. Maxx. When did the rules change? Remember when they only had the shirts they wore on their backs and one comfort item? Are they being fed behind the scenes? Hey, I’m not complaining but not having watched it for many years, things seem a little more cozy on the island than they did in the early years. Just sayin….”The Tribe Has Spoken.”

Mellow Yellow Monday – Taylor Swift

Country pop singer Taylor Swift performs on th...

Image via Wikipedia

Yellow is my favorite color, it makes me smile. It comes in so many forms, daffodils, “duckies”, sunshine, warmth. However, even if I don’t know all of  this weeks contender for Mellow Yellow Monday’s music very well, how can I not choose Taylor Swift, golden girl in her yellow dress?  She’s perfect and lovely, and I will now listen to her music too.

Join me in giving a round of applause to Taylor Swift, my Mellow Yellow Monday award finalist!