Daisy

One of my oldest, dearest friends is staying home this Thanksgiving with her dog, Daisy. I feel for her because Daisy is close to dying. Barbara, one of the most tender people I know, if you can get inside her layers of bravado, will not leave her side. She will sit with Daisy and eat turkey together and will not leave her house for one minute, she knows this is Daisy’s last Thanksgiving.

Ba and I have grown up together and I don’t say this lightly. We have been friends for over 30 years. We may not see each other for 5 or 10 years at a time but our connection is unbreakable.

Barbara has cooked a turkey for Daisy because Daisy still has her appetite and I know that my dear friend will be eating with her. The dog can’t walk easily so Ba helps her on to the bed, where she sleeps, on and off. Barbara hasn’t had a good night’s sleep in weeks and from how she sounded I can see the dark circles under her eyes. The ones I used to see when she allowed herself to be sad in front of me, crying, when she was vulnerable and unafraid to be who she was.

Part of me wishes I could be there, for her, part of me is grateful that I have my own family to be with, I was never good at endings. I can barely say good-bye. All of my old feelings of our first dog, Callie dying unexpectedly are coming up.  I can’t write this without being misty-eyed and I am controlling myself. A lot.

I am sending my love to Daisy and to my friend Barbara because I know how hard this is, most animal lovers can certainly relate. I know that Daisy does not have much time left in this world, and in fact, when I found out that Daisy died, about a week later, I knew it in my heart, I felt it deeply. I even told my husband the very same day that Daisy had passed.Dog lovers, animal lovers, there is a bond like no other. Daisy was Barbara’s fur baby.

You cannot know love until it is taken away from you. That is when the grief process begins. The house, Barbara lives in now, is just way too silent.

In memory of Daisy, dedicated to Barbara with love.

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Carry on Tuesday: Time will pass and seasons will come and go.

Trixie-a rescued kennel dog

Trixie-a rescued kennel dog (Photo credit: waycooldogs)

The Time In Between

How would you feel if you woke up one ordinary sunny morning and realized that you were now old? No, really, old. It wasn’t from a horror film or a nightmare but it was just realizing what you were seeing up close, really seeing in the mirror. It happened to me, from one night to the next and I was absolutely horrified. That couldn’t be me, could it? Really? Getting older is something I talk about with friends, in the abstract, I talk to people around the same age that I am or family members, but not seriously. Sure we all have some gentle fears for the future and the unknown but we can all relate to it. Any fears we have go away with our yoga class and deep breathing exercises.  Until the day, that one different day, months later, when you are not able to breathe and my heart felt pain all the time and those thoughts become wilder and it truly is alarming. My husband, Gary, called 911 and the ambulance came eventually. Oh, how I didn’t want that, all that fanfare, stretchers and backboards and people taking my pulse and giving me oxygen with the whole street outside, I hated it but I knew there was no choice, so I closed my eyes and with my wicked sense of humor, pretended to be dead.

When the doctor finally came in to see me in the Emergency Room and told me that my heart was perfect and that I had experienced a panic attack, I couldn’t decide if I was relieved or embarrassed at the diagnosis. All they did was hook me up to some oxygen and some sort of sedative and soon I was sleeping. When the doctor ( he looked about 14 ) said I was okay to leave he gave me a prescription for anxiety medication, little orange pills for when I felt this way again, which was probable,”for people your age” the young intern said cheerfully. He said “probable” not “possible” and “for people my age.” What the hell was that supposed to mean? Even though I was groggy, I hated him just for that.

It made me think alright, I guess I couldn’t deny any longer the little things that were happening to me. Like that I  had no hearing at all from my left ear, that my muscles had atrophied so much that when I walked up a flight of stairs I wheezed and clung to the stair rail and that when Bootsie, our dog passed we didn’t replace her and we had been such dog lovers because dogs became too much trouble for us.

Gary started sleeping next door in the “extra bedroom” because of his snoring and sleep apnea and after a while, I got over the loneliness and I really didn’t mind having a room all to myself. I  just stopped caring and this was easier for both of us. Time was whizzing by, seasons came and they left but the routines remained the same, it’s not as if they were traveling the world or doing exciting things, truly they were JUST the things we did every single day.

Wasn’t I just young? Wasn’t that just yesterday? First, playing on the street corners with my friends, then high school and college. Growing up to be independent and living on my own. Getting married and having the two joys of my life, our son and daughter, then they left us too. It all went in a circle but it kept spinning over and over again.I wore jeans and sneakers in college and I still wear them except now I need orthotics in my shoes. My pants are from the “mom” section and my daughter, when she comes to visit with me, rolls her eyes up in disgust.

Time passes, seasons come and go, people die and babies are born, things are fair and yes, unfair and we have no choice but to hang on for dear life. We need to choose to either fight fiercely for the ride or just give in. Today, Gary and I are going to the animal shelter, we have talked about it; we want to adopt a dog again, hopefully not a dog that needs to run around a lot but a dog that needs love, just like us. We will continue to live and fight, get out of bed and walk that dog, together, for however long we have. We’ll name her Trixie.

“Lucy, What Did You Do??!!”

Publicity photo of the I Love Lucy cast: Willi...

Publicity photo of the I Love Lucy cast: William Frawley (Fred Mertz), Desi Arnaz (Ricky Ricardo), Vivian Vance (Ethel Mertz), Lucille Ball (Lucy Ricardo). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FitBit

FitBit (Photo credit: mrcd@sbcglobal.net)

I mean,  Lexi, what did YOU do? Lexi, my dog, may have two mommies who brought her home from the animal shelter but she does have a daddy who she lives with too and he got all Ricky Ricardo on her yesterday. For those of you who don’t know *I Love Lucy” maybe you can google this fabulous comedy set way back in the old days (the fifties)  when your parents were young. Lucy was always getting in trouble with her best friend Ethel and Desi, her husband would always catch her.

Desi/ Daddy was not too happy with Lexi yesterday, his face looked grim and he called Lexi “my daughter.” Usually we talk that way about our HUMAN children but this was different, quite different. Daddy came stomping up the stairs (never a good sign) his face, beet red, his vein bulging on his forehead, holding in his hand, what looked to be something small with threads. I had no idea what it was. It had been  thoroughly chewed so it was rather impossible to decipher.  Apparently, Lexi had jumped on the bed, reached over to the side table and quickly and deftly decided to have a snack. An expensive snack. She chewed right through Daddy’s: *”FitBit” that he wears around his wrist to keep track of calories, motion, and sleep. I know how much my husband loves this little techno gadget.

Apparently, I spoke too soon because, just the day, I had lunch with other mommy (best friend, Sarah) and I told her how proud I was that Lexi had matured. Oops, she decided to become impish once again. Oh, that Lexi has tricks straight up her paws. Of course, other mommy is practical and said to me: “Well at least she wasn’t biting through your skin” which she used to do, often. I think other mommy has a very good point but daddy was not too thrilled to hear THAT piece of reasoning. I did offer to put it the little gadget on his birthday list for May but he just grumbled waving the tattered material out for basically no one to see. At least she didn’t swallow it as she has with so many other things.

A puppy is a puppy until HOW OLD exactly? Because Lexi’s first birthday is coming up fast, it’s just right around the corner. I’ve always thought they were a puppy until one but given Lexi’s, umm, buoyant personality, I’m thinking, maybe it’s two? Does anybody know or is my dog just developmentally delayed? I’m not judging or criticizing here, just observing. You know how much I love naughty little Lex!

She’s really making our human children look like angels right about now. I’m sure they will LOVE to hear that. Lexi, do me a favor, stay out of Daddy’s technical little gadgets. Don’t eat them, play with them or touch them. I KNOW he left it out in the open but try to control yourself. One meal at a time, Lex, just take it one meal at a time. Oh, and please keep it to dog food, if you are good you know I will give you the occasional treat, okay?

*Property of the I Love Lucy show

*Property of FitBit corporation

Blue Cotton Candy Will Not Do

Pink Cotton candy.

Image via Wikipedia

Rudy and Riley

‘MAKE YOURSELF SOME FUN’

I need more fun in my life, scratch that, I need FUN in my life and I really don’t have too much. Of course it’s unusual to live and be stuck in a hotel room with your husband, teenage daughter and shelter dog for eight weeks but that could not be helped. (Well it probably could have but that’s a whole other topic and I’m not going there.) No way, no how. Done.

So it is up to me to find some fun or make some on my own. You can’t count on others and while I feel pretty pleased with myself most of the time I am not a fun maker. I’m working on it:

Today, I finally bought some sketch paper and pens and will probably have a doodle fest. I plan to take my notebook with me (and sorry iPhone users) while I have the phone and it is amazing, I just don’t leave it on. It will be great to always have a pad of paper and an array of pens to play with.

What else?

We don’t have a bathtub where we are staying just a handicapped accessible bathroom with shower for my poor husband’s busted Achilles tendon…but as soon as we are able to move back home, I’m buying some bubbles, going to listen to some music and sing out loud, happily. Oh, to take a bath again! Fun.

I’m going to start seeing more movies on my own because movies make me very happy and I like going to a movie by myself on a Sunday afternoon when you don’t have to pay for parking.

Next week one of my best friends and I will have lunch together, we missed this week because her kids are home from college, and I can’t wait to hear her stories! We always laugh together and I treasure her friendship.

I am going to buy some pomegranate seeds tomorrow and treat myself to a frozen yogurt, unflavored, sweet and tart at the same time, like a frozen version of a delicious Indian drink, a lassi. I’m drooling with anticipation. I’m going to make a donation to the ASPCA because I haven’t been able to give money for a very long time but it bothers me and even giving a little means a lot. My animal-loving daughter and I will be donating together.

The last thing I plan to do is to find some pretty pink cotton candy and delight in its texture melting on my tongue leaving sugar sprinkles that make me giggle with happiness. I can’t wait.