Monday, September 24, 2012

Saturday, Sunday, Pup Day

She is gorgeous; flowing tresses full of fun and frolic, warmth and desire.

That sentence was meant to start a story of a totally fictional nature. It (the sentence and snippets of the story to flesh out) has been rattling around my head for weeks now. I haven't been able to mash more than that sentence out.

So be it. I will continue to work on the story.

In the meantime, while we were not looking to introduce a canine to the household so soon, a confluence of events brought Cinnamon into our lives. She was rescued from a home with three (or more?) too many puppies. So now, she is ours.

She is settling in rather nicely.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Trying. Week. End.

Diamond. D-dog. Diva. 
She came into our lives by way of our town's shelter. My daughter, an employee at the shelter, spotted her when she was surrendered by her previous parents and was determined to bring her home. Good thing, because Diamond's food aggression had her labeled "un-adoptable" and slated for termination. Her arrival came after Pete's, which rankled me just a wee bit. 

Maybe more than a wee bit, to be honest, at the time. 

But, like my daughter, Diamond had a way of working herself into your heart and good graces. Seeking forgiveness over permission every step of the way. She, the small dog who enjoyed romps in snow piled higher than her head, approached the lake (& lagoons & rivers) with trepidation, but ultimately allowed herself a taste of pleasure, who relished food, even that designed and meant for the cats, who took pure and distinct pleasure in show said cats who in fact, was boss . . . she, is no longer with us. 

Diamond developed issues beyond the diabetes and these past few days has been so not her usual self. It has been beyond difficult to watch her decline. It has been beyond difficult to watch daughter struggle with the choice that had to be made, not for us, but for Diamond; her care and comfort trumping our not wanting to be without her presence. 

Watching my daughter say goodbye to her very first pet, a pet she's craved to have since she was five years old, a pet who was with us just a bit over 5 years, but who was about to celebrate her eleventh year, a pet who has taught my daughter so much about . . . well, life, who has been the single most vital and constant presence in her life these past five years . . .  watching her raw sadness, her maturity, her coming to terms. . . has been, in a word, unimaginable. 

Leaves me breathless. That, and her thanking me for being strong, so she can be strong. Breathless. And in tears.  

Rest In Peace, dear Diamond. You will live forever in our hearts and memories.  

Sunday, September 09, 2012

The Kids, 1986

Each, in recent weeks have faced life-changing events and are in the midst of making life shaping decisions, with my guidance (as needed and/or requested) but always with my love and support.

My head is much too full of all that has transpired in recent weeks, days to fully elucidate but suffice to say, their journeys continue and I'm grateful to bear witness to the marvelous metamorphosis taking place within and beyond.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Goodbye James

Mom reports, "James died at 12:22 p.m."  Five days after his 74th birthday...on this, the sixth day of September, which is also my older brother's 54th birthday. Though my good-bye was said, there are...emotions.   

My younger brother relates that the cancer is taking a toll, that you've seen more days in the hospital than out in recent weeks. For this turn of events I am truly sorry for I know it must not only be taking a toll on you, but on your wife and your son...well, all your sons.

Friends who have weathered the cancer storm in recent years advise the end could be very near or much further off, the time in between could be full of very ill days or not or some mix in-between.  I am choosing to believe that your silence this time is due to your sickness and your needing to focus on the variety of treatments and the side effects therein. Thus, I'm taking the initiative. Again.

This is goodbye to you, James, the man who was once, very briefly, my father.

Since hearing of your illness a year ago, I've been fashioning this goodbye, preparing myself for this departure which solidifies your absence. I've been preparing for how this ultimate departure will impact the sons you had with my mother and how that, in turn, will impact me.

In many ways, the preparation goes beyond the last year, for you have been physically absent for decades and emotionally absent virtually my entire life. I have time and time again had to reconcile that for one reason or another you wanted nothing at all to do with me. Sure, on the rare occasion you  responded to one of  the thousands of cards or letters with some declaration of love, I was left ultimately left with the deafening silences that followed. I was left with imagining  or fashioning a scenario where we'd reconcile. But, in reality, I gave up, gave in to your absence. And then, cancer.

And thus, I tried again, we talked and it was easy. But then, more silence. Perhaps due to the illness and the toll it is taking. Perhaps due to my not adhering to your beliefs. Perhaps due to . . you, being you. The history that is our existence dictates that there is always something to blame for the nothingness.

James, this is goodbye, but I also want you to know that I am not angry. I'm not angry for the decades of silences. I'm not angry that you missed the first day of every school,  every accolade, every heartbreak, every . .  everything related to me up to and including thee entire lives of my children. I am not angry that your YOU was not, is not, cannot be, my dad.

I said goodbye to that fantasy and now I say goodbye to the man James who was once, ever so briefly, my father. The man who taught me, designed or accidental, how to be present for those I love; how to say to them at every opportunity, "I LOVE YOU" and how to mean it, how to show it with my head, heart, energy, money, and more. I am saying goodbye but also thank you. For the nothingness you exhibited helped frame the me that is me.

I am sorry for your pain and suffering and how that impacts your wife and sons. I wish for the rest of your days to be as comfortable as your family and doctors can make for you. I trust that your beliefs provide for you a measure of tranquility as you transition . . .

So, for the last time, goodbye and may peace be with you.

Your Only Daughter