Category Archives: Lost

Twenty.Eight

I haven’t blogged in awhile. I suppose I can use the excuse that life got in the way.

November is the biggest month for me at work due to National Adoption Awareness month and National Adoption Day. What that means is that I work longer hours, work harder, and have more paperwork than the average bear. And then when it’s over, it’s just over.

I’m two days away from my birthday and although I didn’t expect it to be a “tough” year – today is proving otherwise. I feel like I am barreling ahead into my 30s and it’s making me feel almost claustrophobic.

28. 28. 28.

It seems like such a weird number. Last year, my best friend’s dad died on my birthday. I feel like it will never be the same. So with that weight on my chest with it being the first anniversary of his passing and the fact that I’m getting older and I’m just not where I thought I would be at this time – I want to run. Run far, far away.

When I was 18 or so I had this timeline concocted about what my life was going to be like. I was going to graduate college around 22 (accomplished that at least!) get my masters, travel a lot, get married around 27 and have a baby at 30 after I had time to get my career established. My superprise baby at 24 definitely through a wrench in it. A professor once told me that a timeline serves one purpose with that being it sets you up for failure. Life finds a way to get in the way – every time.

I do need to clarify that I would never trade my daughter for anything – but some days I do wonder what life would look like had it gone differently. Her dad is a wonderful guy but we feel more like roommates most of the time. He makes me laugh hysterically and he is so good to her but the “fireworks” are gone. Maybe that’s normal at this point in a relationship. We’ve been engaged for years but cannot commit to a date or even begin to plan a wedding because we say life gets in the way. Maybe that’s just an excuse.

I feel like an asshole for feeling ungrateful. We are very blessed. We have our own home, salaries that support us, great friends and extended family. But it’s just not what I though my life would be like at 28.

I’m okay with the discord I’m feeling. I was so hopeful at 27 until that earth shattering phone call came. I know it will pass. I’ll work on my birthday and it will be the same routine it always is that night. And Wednesday will feel like any other Wednesday. And I’ll go on. We’ll go on.

I just need to find that spark again. Figure out who I am. And where I need to be.

 

 

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Thinking Positive.

A new journey to a more positive, pleasant me.

Things I’m going to start working on:

  • Appreciation
  • Dedication
  • Motivation
  • Decision Making

Because of recent events in my life I’ve really struggled with seeing the big picture. I’ve been stuck behind the what ifs, why nots, why mes.

I don’t like it. I’ve been scouring the internet and surveying friends and it always comes back to the same answer.

And the quickest way to change it is – yes, you guessed – with me.

So. Starting today.. tonight.

I’m going to appreciate what I have. Piles of laundry on the floor be damned, I’m going to be grateful that I have clothes. Stressful job? At least I have one.

Some days I want to move so badly I can taste the dirty Lubbock air. We’ve worked hard to get the house ready but not as quickly as I would have liked. Time to regroup and refocus. We need a list and list we shall have.

Which brings me to motivation. Not much more motivating than getting out of here needed!

And decisions need to be made. Important decisions. Will one of us move first? Can I survive staying at the in-laws temporarily? Will I transfer or take the money and run?

Mind is swirling. I have to take action. All of this sitting back and being careful is driving me crazy.

Time to think positive, be grateful, pray for clarity and see where it leads us.

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Thursdays.

Thursday used to be my favorite day of the week. It’s my “protected” day which means I can work from home to get everything caught up. It used to be productive.

Now no matter how much better I’ve been doing, Thursday hits me like ice cold waves in the face. I go through every second of August 30th in my mind over and over again until 11:02 am when Penny was gone. I’ve been nauseated after I eat for weeks now to which Sam joking says “baby!” but I think it’s stress. And grief.

It really is unpleasant. In the book Dog Heaven it talks about God having a sense of humor and an endless supply of dog biscuits in various fun shapes like squirrels and ham sandwiches. Last night Katelyn said a prayer (when she thought I couldn’t hear her) telling God that he should maybe try a peanut butter one instead because Penny really, really liked peanut butter.

And as I’m typing this, Lila came and stole a piece of cantaloupe. Maybe years from now when Lila goes to Cat Heaven we can pray that God gives her some of that. She’s done a lot better with the not stealing random weird food but the starving stray still shows up occasionally. I’m pretty convinced she thinks she is a dog. If someone knocks on the door or she hears the mail woman she flies through the house like she’s got something to say to them. God knew what he was doing when Lila showed up – that much I know for sure.

I’ve been more emotional today than normal because a case I’ve worked incredibly hard on will be ending next week. And it’s a really happy ending but an ending none the less.

Life goes on. Even when I feel like it should be at a stand still.

 

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Empty.

I stood by your bed last night, 
I came to have a peep.
I could see that you were crying, 
You found it hard to sleep.

I whined to you softly 
as you brushed away a tear,
“It’s me, I haven’t left you, 
I’m well, I’m fine, I’m here.”

I was close to you at breakfast, 
I watched you pour the tea,
You were thinking of the many times, 
your hands reached down to me.

I was with you at the shops today, 
Your arms were getting sore.
I longed to take your parcels, 
I wish I could do more.

I was with you at my grave today, 
You tend it with such care.
I want to re-assure you, 
that I’m not lying there.

I walked with you towards the house, 
as you fumbled for your key.
I gently put my paw on you, 
I smiled and said ” it’s me.”

You looked so very tired, 
and sank into a chair.
I tried so hard to let you know, 
that I was standing there.

It’s possible for me, 
to be so near you everyday.
To say to you with certainty, 
“I never went away.”

You sat there very quietly, 
then smiled, I think you knew…
In the stillness of that evening, 
I was very close to you.

The day is over… 
I smile and watch you yawning
and say “good-night, God bless, 
I’ll see you in the morning.”

And when the time is right for you 
to cross the brief divide,
I’ll rush across to greet you 
and we’ll stand, side by side.

I have so many things to show you, 
there is so much for you to see.
Be patient, live your journey out…
then come home to be with me.

~Author Unknown 

 

 

The tears are coming freely today. I ordered a book a few nights ago called Dog Heaven. It was on the front porch this morning. It’s a children’s book but had a lot of good reviews. It was very sweet and helped me paint a nice picture of Penny peacefully there. I’ve seen this poem before and right now it’s offering even more comfort than the Rainbow Bridge. I want so badly to feel her with me. To hear her toes clicking on the hardwood floor. Or her tags jingle as she runs. Today is a “too soon” day. I have days when I feel at peace with our decision to put her to sleep. Other days, like today, I feel like I should have tried harder. I should have fought harder for Penny. But then I remember her eyes looking up at me after the seizure. She looked so sad, so lost. I had prayed for a sign to know it was “time” and that morning, on the floor in the dark her eyes told me she was tired. When I think about her eyes, sometimes I feel like I waited “too long.”

It’s always amazed me that after someone close to me dies, life goes on. Even when you feel like your world has totally stopped – you still wake up, go to work, take care of children, eat, sleep – though poorly, function. All with a heart in pieces. I am grieving for her more than I have for people that I’ve lost. Maybe because she was a constant and here. You learn to love people in your life from far away. Grandparents you don’t see every day. Miles between you but the love is still there. It was different with Penny. There weren’t many times in our 8 years that we were apart for long. Maybe that’s why the emptiness is so profound.

When I take Miles for a walk, my other hand instinctively still grips a leash that is not there. I’ve stopped expecting to see Penny when I get home. But the emptiness is still here.

Part of me feels like her death was a signal that it’s time for serious changes. Home is not home anymore. We’ve wanted to move for awhile but now I have this primal urge to empty out this house and be done with it. Change has an awful lot going for it – even when it seems scary at times. A new house won’t make me miss her any less but I think mentally I will be in a better place at that point.

Before she got sick – I couldn’t imagine life without her. And now that life without her is a reality – I hate it. I hate life without Penny.

I miss my girl.

 

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Processing.

I think I’m going to write a book.

I’ve always loved to write and before I was mom and actually had free time (I mean really – what is free time?!) I wrote as an outlet.

I feel like the only way to get the yucky out is to literally get it out on paper. Or a screen.

I think it will be the most cathartic way to move on from the loss of Penny and the evolution of myself as a result.

Paw prints in Heaven – perhaps.

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Enough is enough is enough.

Miles started throwing up last night. I sat up with him until about 1 when I couldn’t fight to keep my eyes open any longer.

This morning, same thing. Throwing up. I called the vet in a panic because I cannot lose him too.

It was so hard going back there. The first thing I saw when we got to the desk were gift bags from Pets at Peace. Gift. Bags.

I felt my blood boiling. My dog is dead and being returned to me in a gift bag with gold and green paper. Seriously.

Except after checking – MY dog isn’t even there yet. 10 bags. 10 dogs all put to sleep last week. And my girl isn’t even ready.

The vet checked a few things and declared that Miles is suffering from grief induced Colitis. No food or water and a re-check tomorrow.

He is sad. My boy is grieving. And it’s making him sick.

He’s thrown up most of the day despite having any more food or water. I’m trying to not go crazy and call the vet for every sigh and gag but it’s so hard.

I had this horrible thought in the back of my mind that maybe they had been poisoned and that he was just starting on the road Penny was on. Or that he would grieve himself to death.

The vet’s advice? Take him to pick out another pack member. Since he was a puppy when Penny came the vet said he likely will never adjust to being a “one dog pack.”

My heart sunk. As much as I know we’ll get another dog some day I can’t imagine it happening any time soon.

He’s spent the evening either hiding in the bathroom or falling over at my feet. I really don’t know how to help him. I mean reasoning with him isn’t helping. Telling him he can bark at Penny in Heaven (Katelyn) isn’t helping.

I suppose time will heal all wounds.

It did give me a chance to really talk to the vet. Thursday all happened so fast. After Penny was gone and I had managed to drag my sobbing self out – she had a post-mortem exam. Her head had visible swelling. He advised that something had ruptured or she had brain swelling. She could have lived several miserable days at home before her body gave out. I was able to spare my girl some pain.

And that helped.

I also found one single Penny hair on my desk when I got to work. I’m pretty sure I’ve lost my mind and signs are everywhere.

Now if only Sam would get home and I could actually prepare for a long drive and yucky morning.

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Ache.

I woke up this morning with the undeniable sting that something was wrong. I cannot believe how much I am grieving. Even years ago the sheer thought of losing Miles or Penny used to bring a tear to my eye so I knew it was going to be rough but the helpless feeling is so overwhelming.

Last night I thought I was going to get a bath alone (without a four year old and her 50 thousand cold toys!) and I was actually dreading being alone – even just to take a bath. The past few nights when I would bathe or shower in the mornings Penny would come in and try to jump in with me. Years ago, healthy Penny would come lay in the bathroom to wait to lick water or lotion off of my legs.

Anyway, about 30 seconds after I started the water -in come the cats. And they sat on the edge of the tub the whole time I was in there. So, I’m never really alone at our house. It was nice.

Roxy is really grieving for Penny which is surprising to me. They were buddies but I thought the addition of the kitten would help. She goes to places she’s never hid before and stays there until Sam comes home. She comes out to eat and retreats back. The day it happened, she laid in the spot on the floor where Penny had the seizure off and on for hours.

Miles does a morning walk through of the house and even asks to look in the garage. Last night I was holding her collar and he came over to investigate. He smelled it and again made that awful deep sound I’ve never heard from him. He then wagged his tail and clicked away. He is doing much better than  I thought he would and I am grateful for that.

Katelyn is really doing okay too. Yesterday she asked to say a prayer for Penny and it went something like this “God, please take good care of Penny. She needs medicine and a new body. I know that she is playing and happy. Tell her we love her and we miss her a lot. And be sure to get her her medicine. Amen.”

I cried happy tears after that.

Dogs do go to Heaven right?

I made it until about 9 last night before crumbling into pieces. Yesterday I had resolved that Penny used to hate when I cried so I should stop. That got me through the day. I even shopped for urns without crying. We are having her cremated because this is not her home. And I will not leave her here. They really do have some beautiful options for animals.

When her ashes come home we will have a memorial. I keep telling myself it is for Katelyn (she asked if we could get lots of flowers like we did for Great Grandma when she passed) but I really think it’s for me.

I’ve really started noticing the differences between Miles and Penny now that she is gone. Penny wanted to be inside. She wanted to be near me. Miles prefers the yard. He will come in for a quick snuggle and want back out. He won’t sleep with me at night. He’s much more independent. Though as I type this, sitting in the floor, he is snuggled up to my leg.

The last few weeks I’ve dedicated every second to her. When she slept, I researched online. I stayed up all hours of the night trying to soothe her to sleep or flying up in a panic to find her and make sure she hadn’t died. She was starting to consume my life in a way that a healthy dog does not. So now it’s more empty than ever.

And I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

I miss my girl.

 

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Letting go.

I’ve been up for 2 hours and have not cried today. We took Miles for a ride last night after Sam got in and I got so overwhelmed that we had to come home so I could throw up. I’ve managed to sleep though not well. And I still wake up earlier than I need to.

I feel like 5:30 – 6:00 in the morning was our witching hour. It was when I would wake up and stumble through the house until I found her. Two of those times in the middle of seizures.

I keep thinking if I could just have a sign that she is okay, that she doesn’t hate me for killing her. Mike saw her in a dream the night she died. I was angry that she had not come to me. Why can’t my subconscious be nice and give me that peace?

And then my little woke up.

“Good morning, momma. I saw Penny and Belle and they were playing in Heaven. They were running and running. Penny told me not to cry.”

And the weight has lifted. Penny wouldn’t want me to be this way. She’s forgiven me for leaving to go to work, for having a baby, for getting a cat. She will forgive me for the euthanasia. I know dogs don’t fear death like humans and they live for the moment. And I know on Thursday she just wasn’t feeling up to living for her favorite things anymore. I keep trying to convince myself that I gave Penny the greatest gift of all – peace. She needed to rest.

I hope someday I also dream about her. I think I will miss her for the rest of my life.

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Hurting.

When does it stop hurting? When will I smile when I think of her instead of sobbing?

I’ve had a few minutes today where I’ve felt relatively okay. I went to work. I survived. But the house feels so damn empty. I’ve known for weeks that her passing would be a breaking point for me but I am still finding the sadness overwhelming. It’s a deep pain in my chest that does not go away. It sounds horrible but I’ve grieved harder for Penny that I did for my Pa that I thought hung the moon.

I realized this morning through tears that I’m not sure I’m regretting putting her to sleep but that I’m so angry at myself that I couldn’t fix it for her this time. A kind word and scratch behind the ears was not going to make my girl better.

I’ve felt a quiet peace a few times today and I’ve convinced myself it’s Penny and she wants me to be happy. And then I feel crazy.

I suppose all of this is normal. She was my constant companion for 8 years.

Miles seems to be coping. He lays around with a sad look in his eyes but still gets excited to play fetch, eat and get tummy rubs. I let him smell the blanket she was in when she passed and he let out a guttural noise I’ve never heard from him before. I think then he knew. And I think true to the pure genuineness only a dog can have – he’s accepted she is gone.

The little cat whose only been here a few weeks did not know the Penny we all knew. She has been such a sweet baby, curling up on me and purring. I truly think now that God sent her to me to help me get through this. Roxy has been hiding all day and I believe grieving in her own way for her buddy before Lila came.

Katelyn is objective in that she knows she is in Heaven, isn’t in pain. She’s said several times we can still talk to her and look at her pictures. She’s requested a funeral. And then one word from me and she’s screaming and angry. I don’t know how to make it easier for her. I told her tonight that it’s okay to be mad and it’s okay to be sad. She sobbed “I just miss her.”

I miss her too. More than I ever imagined I would.

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Putting my past in a box.

Literally.

A long time ago there was a boy named Jeremy. I was smitten with him. Unfortunately he lived 1100 miles away. There were lots of letters, phone calls, and flights back and forth. A vacation in Florida. A Friday night football game. I applied and was accepted to two colleges near him. I just couldn’t make myself go.  I never even told him that I had applied. I don’t know what would have happened if we had ever had the opportunity to live near each other. I used to like to think it would have worked out. But alas, it was not meant to be.

I have several items of his that I have had for years. They’ve moved from Ft. Stockton to Lubbock and here with me now. They are the type of things you want to show your own children. I know he needed to have them back but after I decided to go to college in Lubbock and met a boy there, he literally stopped communicating with me. I haven’t talked to him in nearly 10 years. I had no clue where he ended up or how he was doing. I still keep in touch with a few of his friends and finally after unearthing a jacket for the 30th time decided I better get his address. A few days later and I now have locating information.

My heart sank last night when I got it. He was always my “what if.” For years and years. The what if, what might have been. A place far away from home I could run to when I needed to run. At some point I grew up and stopped running.  I have no desire to ever see him again. I love Sam and I’m happy. But letting go of objects that have been with me for so long is proving more difficult than I anticipated. I’ve had a jersey since the 8th grade. These things have been with me for over half of my life and that feels so significant in such an insignificant way. His letter jacket is hanging on a chair in our dining room tonight. Tomorrow I’ll take it to be dry cleaned and eventually when I’m not stuck at a courthouse this week it will make it’s way to Alabama.

Sending these last few things will be the end. The end of a huge chapter in my life. A chapter that feels like it’s been stalled. There was another boy during those years that was closer to home who I might have considered my first love…. But in retrospect I think he was a place filler. Jeremy was too far away.  He was the person I thought I’d spend my life with. It’s funny how things work out. Or how they don’t.

I wonder if he would be okay with me keeping the jersey. It is just a practice one after all.

And faded.

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