Tag Archives: family

How Do I Say Goodbye to My Boy?

I know I haven’t written a new post for a while and I haven’t been reading or commenting on many blogs either. I have been very preoccupied and with good reason. My oldest fur-kid, Rudy, isn’t doing very well. He has diabetes and it has gone out of control. Last weekend he started having a lot of symptoms that pointed to high blood sugar levels. When I took him to the vet, the number was 653 (normal is around 100). In addition, his kidneys have been “compromised.” Not Good. I thought that I had lost him at that point and was trying to emotionally prepare myself, as if one can do that. The vet gave me a little hope by changing his diet. Although he told me not to buy any more insulin, he would give me some as I only have enough for about a week. When I asked how long before we would know if the diet was working, he said, “a week or two.” So, that means I could only have a week or two left with my boy.  IMG_0551

When I think back on the 12 years we have had together, there have been so many good times! He has been my “Beggaboy,” my “Ruddabegga.” He has helped me through some very dark times in my life and been there for me when no one else has. He has made it through three moves and has hung in there with me through numerous relationships (despite trying to tell me that one in particular was disastrous for us!) He has stuck by me despite my bringing two puppies into our lives and one very abused adult dog. He really doesn’t like puppies! And no matter what I threw at him, he has smiled through it all and continues as my boy; “da man of da house!” Someone said to me: “Yeah the little buggers break your heart when they leave you.” My response: “Yeah they do, but I wouldn’t trade the last 12 years with him for anything.”

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How do say goodbye? I have no idea. I know that I will have to. I don’t know if it will be this week or next or maybe I will have more time with him. In any case, I know that the time is coming faster than I want it to. Until then, I will love him and spend ALL my time with him. I will stay by his side and have no regrets about not being with him. I will not let him suffer. I will not make him stay when his quality of life is gone, for that would be selfish on my part. I do not want that for him. Hell, I don’t want that for me! For there is no greater love than what a dog has for his human, and Rudy has loved me far better than I could ever have loved him. Now it is my turn to fix that, I will not let him down. I will love him as he has loved me.

Even though it will be one of the hardest things I will ever have to do, when it is time I will say goodbye. I will hold him in my arms so that he knows he I love him as he takes his last breath. And I will keep him in my heart always. For that is what he would do for me. It is what he has done for me.

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Have you ever seen a 98-year-old’s eyes light up?

Have you ever seen a 98-year-old’s eyes light up when you ask them a question? It is an amazing thing!  I know it has never happened to me before, mostly because I’ve never had the immense pleasure of being around anyone who is 98!  My Aunt turned 98 on Monday and although she has 6 living children, none of them live close, so I was able to take her out for her birthday!  She picked the restaurant and the activity in the afternoon and was very happy when I replied, “whatever you want, it’s your day!”  She smiled more and seemed more relaxed than I have seen her in months.  When we arrived at the restaurant, I told her about a book I am reading.  It is about four murders that happened in a town near where her father and in-laws lived, and it happened in 1912.  That is when her eyes lit up!  She said, “you mean the Pflanschmidts!  Yes, I heard about that a lot. My mother-in-law used to visit with Mrs. Pflanschmidt on Thursday afternoon, which was visiting day in those times.”  She continued to talk with animation that I have not heard for a long time.  She told me what she heard had happened, what everyone thought about the guilt of the son and why and how it affected the community and her mother-in-law.  I was thrilled to know the information, of course, but more importantly, I was so very happy to see her face light up with excitement and enthusiasm! She suggested that we go out and “see where all that happened,”  so she could show me how close her mother-in-law lived and how close her grandparents and father lived, also.  She then said her grandmother talked about it too, but she wasn’t as close to Mrs. Pflanschmidt.

After lunch, she chose to go for a ride in the “country.”  Now we live in a relatively small town, so there isn’t far to go to get to the “country,” but she always wanted to live on a farm and raise her family on a farm.  Due to her husband’s health, she was unable to do so, but she still talks about that having been her plan.  I let her choose the route and off we went, with my aunt pointing out who “used to” live there and who built that barn or that house.  My only regret is that I can’t write and drive at the same time! Well, I can and I have, but not with her as “precious cargo.”  I drove over 100 miles that day, which when I lived in a large city was very typical, but for this small town, that takes some doing!  I only wish it would have been 200!  It was such a beautiful, wonderful, enlightening day!

She talked about a lot of things that she has had on her mind and she said she just wanted to make sure I knew “how things should be.”  It got a little sad, as of course she was talking about her funeral and her estate.  And yet, it was hopeful, in that she believes and knows she is going to a better place.  She talked about her husband who died 34 years ago and her son who died 19 years ago, how hard that was and how she dealt with both. She also talked about how much she missed them both and how much she thinks about them. She said,”you know when you get old and can’t do as much, you have a lot of time to sit and think about things.” I agreed with her, as I do this a lot also.  It surprised me that she talked about all of this, as we are from a strong German heritage, and we just don’t talk about feelings!  Although now that I think about it, she does. She always tells me how she feels…about her anxiety, her worries and her fears.

As I write this, I realize how truly honored I am that I close to my aunt.  And I am also very fortunate that none of her children live in town, as that has allowed the two of us to become closer.  Of course it has its scary moments, like when she calls me and tells me she’s “in trouble,” and when I get to her house, she is having a heart attack. (No, she wouldn’t let me call an ambulance!)  Or when I get a call at 9pm that no one can get ahold of her by phone and would I go check and make sure she is alright.  Those times, however are heavily outweighed by days like Monday.  The days that we get to spend together when her eyes light up and she is relaxed and happy.

She is truly an amazing woman!  Happy 98th year Aunty…can’t wait for 99!!!

Gratitude and My Kids

I have decided that I am not a prolific writer.   I am a prolific thinker.  Now I just need to be able to turn that into written words! Not that every thought I have is worthy to be written, far from it!  Most I would be embarrassed to share.  You know the ones; why did they put that stupid show on TV?;  can’t that person drive their car faster than 15 MPH?;  Do you really have to get up at 6 AM to go outside?  But now I do want to share my thoughts.

The window in front of my desk faces east and there is the most gorgeous sunrise this morning!  (If I didn’t have a big utility pole with a transformer on it I would take a picture and shared it with you.)  It is red and pink and orange, like fire rising from the dark horizon.  It meets dark clouds that won’t let its light through, yet it powers on, never ceasing, until it wins. It has given all the clouds light, just on the underside, so they are pink and orange bursts of cotton candy floating in the sky.  Isn’t mother nature grand!  The sunset was much the same last night, although I couldn’t get a picture of it either!

What this made me think of is gratitude!  All the “things”in life I am so very grateful for, that I hold dear in my heart.  None of them are things, unless they represent some other intangible “thing.”  Like my house, I am very grateful for my house, as it gives me a safe , warm, dry place to be. And my car, because it allows to get to where I need to be, whether that be with friends, family, doctors or whomever.  But the “things” I am really grateful for are not things, they are people.  Like my wonderful friends in St. Louis, with out whom I would literally not survive!  My great friends in Quincy, both new and old, who have given me support and love.  My family, some of whom have been by my side through everything.  And my kids, without whom I would never have survived everything, everyday!

I have three furry, four legged kids, who are the center of my world!  You know the saying “Love me, Love my dogs,” well, I might take that to extremes!  The oldest is Rudy and he is “Da Man” of the house.  He found me at the Humane Society when he was 9 months old!  I was very lucky!  He is almost 12 and has diabetes, which I think I am finally getting under control.  He is a good boy, very loving and mostly well-behaved.  Any behavior problems he has is strictly my fault; he needs more exercise, which I can’t give him.  That would just about be it!IMG_0893

Then there is Alli, who is the “middle child” and is almost 9.  She is a beagle, might be full and might be a mix.  She was  a Humane Society rescue also.  I’m not sure who found who with Alli.  I think I felt very, very sorry for her.  She had been there over a year and no one was interested because she is…weird.  She has so many funky behaviors that she drives me nuts sometimes, but I have to remind myself how abused she was and how scared she was before she came to live with me.  She didn’t walk across the floor, she crawled on her belly.  Now she runs and barks and barks and barks and barks…  You get the picture!

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Last, but certainly not least, is Willie. The Princess.  The Ruler of the House.  She is going on 6 and is a Mini-Doxie.  She is also very stubborn, wants her own way, thinks every toy in the house is hers and is generally obnoxious!  She is also my baby.  That about says it all doesn’t it.  Yes, the baby of the family does seem to get away with more, or at the very least, gets more coddling.  I try to give them all the same things…if one gets a treat all do, if one gets a new toy, all do, etc.  She is little though, so she spends more time on my lap because she fits.  She also sleeps under the covers next to me, because she fits and because Rudy won’t!  My friends get on me because I spend too much time loving on her and not enough on the other two, so I have tried to be more fair about this.  I suck at it! I do keep trying though.

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See, a face you can’t resist!  Okay, they ALL have faces you can’t resist!  At least I can’t!  Of course, I can’t resist any puppy’s face. And yes, they are all puppies to me, no matter how old they get!

So there is my gratitude list: My Kids, My Friends, My Family, My House, My Car, Sunrises, Sunsets and I know there are Hundreds of Others that go on the list! But that will be another post for another day, when I am thinking of them.