rest in peace, sweet boy.

On Saturday, we had the awful task of putting our dog down. Hudson was 14 years old.  He was a beagle.  The last 3 years, he was a diabetic that we had to give insulin twice a day.  Hudson was also taking an arthritis medication.  Hudson, or he often went by Puppa, was my first child. Hubby and I could not wait to get a dog when we moved in together. In fact, we moved in to the house we were renting on a Friday and we got Hudson on Saturday.

I will never ever forget seeing Hudson for the first time.  He was the chubbiest little one of the litter.  His ears were so long that as he ran he would trip over them. Hudson pushed his brothers and sisters out of the way to get to the food bowl.  We got Puppa when he was 8 weeks old.

Hudson was a little bit of a mommas boy.  He would wait up for me and only go to bed when I told him ” Night lights Puppa”.  Hudson would follow me down the stairs in the morning regardless of the time.  The last few months when I was getting up at 4:30am for runs, he would be right by myself and until I left.  After I left, he would return to bed until he was ready to eat around 7am. During my horrendous morning sickness with both kids, Hudson would follow me in the bathroom and then back to bed again. He was relentless with making sure I gave him his walks. Puppa would go to the door and howl until I took him.

This dog hopped through the biggest snow drifts and loved to take sun naps. We once dressed him up like a clown for Halloween and when he was a puppy, he owned his own winter sweater that he was very possessive over. My husband nicknamed him his “RD”       ( roll dog) because he would take Hudson everywhere with him. Sneaking him in hotel rooms with us started at a young age.  Most hotels allow small dogs but Hudson was always a little ” big boned”.

Our honeymoon was spent talking about Hudson and wondering what he was doing while we were in Mexico for a week. I did research when I was pregnant with M of how to best introduce the baby to a dog.  We were hoping that the two would get along and they did. M would dress up Puppa with bows, headbands and boas.  G often tried to ride him like a pony.  Hudson tolerated a lot up until his final days. He would often sneak into Ms room and take a snooze in his “nap shack”.

4 years ago, this dog managed to tear both of his ACLS 6 weeks apart.  This was around Thanksgiving and Christmas.  The two surgeries along with rehab, was the same amount of money as my first year of college. We had a vet payment for 2 solid years.

The staff at our animal clinic referred to him as “Hudson the Beagle:” He loved to go to the animal clinic. On Saturday when we put him down, the techs and front desk clerks knew he was coming in for one last final time. The vet that we had was very compassionate and gave us all the time we needed.

We know it was the right decision. Hudson was having seizures and not eating. Walking was difficult as well.

The house seems empty and off.  Mornings and nights are strange when I do not see him by my side. Hudson slept with us in our bed and would sleep as close as he possibly could to me. I go to let him inside from the back door and he is not there.  His bowl and toys have been taken away.  Vacuuming the house yesterday was the first time that I actually did not want to remove the dog hair. My heart feels heavy.  My mind is distant. My body is numb but full of anxiety.

Just as I will celebrate his life in the loads of memories that Hudson has blessed us with, I will also be gentle with my soul.

If you have a dog, take him for another walk today in honor of Hudson.  Bonus points if he chases a cat, squirrel or rabbit.

RIP Hudson.  We loved you deeply. puppa

 

 

 

Blossoming

I have made the decision to cut the cancer out of my body.  To stop watering the flower that will never bloom regardless of the amount of sun, water or soil.  The door needs to be shut and locked.  It may remain shut forever or not.  For now, it needs to be shut.  And stay shut.  No more opening just a little bit and peeking inside. No more pulling it all the way open in hopes of seeing something different on the other side of the door. My heart knows what’s on the other side (or what’s not).

To mourn a relationship with your parents while they are still alive but dead is a tough feat. To continue hoping, praying and begging for love from them is harder.

God wanted me in this world and they are the mechanism that brought me here.  They didn’t want to be parents.  They still don’t want too.  And thats ok.  Coming to face with the reality of this is making me accept, forgive and even love them for who they truly are, not for the ghost of what I longed for them to be.

Looking back, I have always been an orphan of sorts. I had to be an adult many times when I should have been a child.  I have had to be the parent when I was just a daughter. Joy, happiness and love were replaced by fear, rejection and doubt. I may have not had a childhood but I am choosing to have an adulthood.

While I can not undo, redo or take back … I can move on.  The time is now.  Now I will move on, leaving behind a relationship that is no longer serving my highest good.  I will be brave with my head held high knowing that I no longer will need to live in a state of wondering what can I do to be loved, accepted and good enough. I am loved, accepted and good enough.

Sometimes flowers don’t bloom and we don’t know why. Even after more water, new soil and a different place to grow.  Instead of focusing all of my energy on the one flower that is not growing, I am now choosing to nurture all of the other beautiful flowers around it.  And the most beautiful flower of all- myself. spent-flower-bloom

 

The first person to ever love me.

One day I won’t have her on this earth with me. I can not even wrap my brain around this concept.

My grandmother, 81 years young, left to head back home today.  We call her GG ( for Great Grandma).  GG came to stay with us the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  Now that spring is attempting to break through here in Ohio, GG declared her departure a few weeks ago.  Although GG was with us for a little over 3 months, the time feels like it was  just not enough. As we said our finally goodbyes this morning, my heart felt heavy and my eyes filled with tears.

My grandmother was THE only solid foundation of love and trust that I had growing up.  If I got sick at school, I begged the secretary to call my grandmother. Chances are, I would have ended up with her anyways, pending my mothers mood or ability to process having a sick child.  My grandma was one of the first people to know of my first serious boyfriend, my college decision, my engagement and my first pregnancy.  She stayed up with me during school to assist with homework, science fair projects and to let me practice my speeches for class. Grandma brought me 2 chocolate iced donuts and chocolate milk the first day of school kindergarten through senior year. Every year, she would make sure that I had a new winter coat and new tennis shoes for school. When I didn’t have money in college for groceries or to pay my phone bill, money appeared in my mailbox. She was at the hospital the day that both of my children were born. GG knows all.  Even when I don’t know, Grandma does.

When my Grandpa got diagnosed with cancer in 1999, Grandma and I started writing letters instead of just phone calls.  The letters enabled her to voice the reality of what was occurring without my grandfather hearing her.  Some weeks we would write daily and sometimes it would only happen a few times a month.  We still continue this pen pal relationship.  In fact, last night I wrote her a letter and slipped in her suitcase.

Grandma grew up with 3 sisters.  All of the girls have names that start with “C” and the middle names rhyme.  My grandma is Constance Day.  ( she HATES this name… and goes by Connie). ( Her sisters are Carmen Kay, Cherita May and Charlotte Fay )My daughters middle name is Day after GG.   Grandma has always been an introvert.  Observer.  Not one to speak up or speak out.  Grandma married my grandfather at an early age and only had a few ” real jobs” prior to becoming a mother. My grandfather was not a stand up guy.  The physical and emotional abuse started soon after they were married and occurred much throughout there marriage. He was a raging alcoholic.  Grandma still is struggling with finding her footing and her voice since my grandfathers passing to cancer in 2001 ( He died on my 21st birthday). How she could be so strong for me when she was made to feel so weak, I will never know.

GG came to stay with us just in case this winter was bad.  I would often worry myself into a frenzy when the temperatures were low or the snow kept falling in winters past.  GG does not like to be out in the snow or cold.  We invited her up to stay the winter with us last summer and she agreed. She said she was just bored looking at her walls anyways.  (No way she was bored here with these gremlins running around!)  GG and the kiddos  have developed an even closer relationship.  They have there own routines and activities they like to do with one another.  I also had the privilege of spending some one on one time with her out to breakfast, lunch, movies, talking or just playing Scrabble while drinking tea. She would tell me stories of the days of being a mother to two kids herself or a funny story involving her sisters.

This time was precious.  It doesn’t seem like it was enough.  When we pulled out of the driveway today, my heart stopped.  One day I won’t have her on this earth with me.  I can not even wrap my brain around this concept.  Until then, I will embrace these memories with the strongest grip I can muster, while counting down the days until I see her again.

gg and i

What about the other 364 days?

Somewhere in between kids and developing security in myself, I no longer care.

Valentine’s day. For some, this day is used to define the level of love or worthiness of a relationship. Some refer to it as a Hallmark Holiday. A day that consumers spend money on cards, chocolate, jewelry, and flowers. Somewhere along the past 15 years, I lost that loving feeling for Vday.

Hubby and I do usually go out to dinner but it does not hold any more energy or significance than any other dinner date out. Now, time travel back to 6,8, 10 years ago and my idea of what should happen on Valentine’s was much different. No card. No flowers. No gift.  Does this mean you don’t love me?  You don’t care?

Somewhere in between kids and developing security in myself, I no longer care.

The standards I base my marriage on is more significant than a box of shitty chocolates. While I do feel hubby and I are just a kick-ass couple, trekking through life as a team, our marriage has been rocked.  The foundation has been tested.  The roof has leaked.  Windows have gotten broken.  BUT the house still remains.  The house is respected, loved and even fragile.  The house forgives.

What matters is how your husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend acts or treats you the other 364 days a year.  Really, it takes no effort to “put on airs”for one day or even one love packed sickening weekend.  How does your better half act when you are sick?  Do they support you?  Show up or show out? It is my believe that hubby and I  should treat each other with the same respect whether it is Flag Day or Valentines Day.

That being said…. if Mothers Day is not declared a National holiday in my house… hell have no fury like a woman scorned.

 

PS- if you are curious how we spent Sunday… We got to see love and happiness on M’s(6) face as her buddy D(6) came over, in the snow, with homemade frosted sugar cookies, card covered in crayon and a homemade bead necklace displaying Ms name for Valentine’s day. Hubby also took the kiddos to the grocery store so I could nap ( best. “gift”. ever).  We then checked out an amazing new Vegan restaurant that we both have been eyeing for a few months now.