Wednesday, February 22, 2017

My Flying Squirrel Rosie Says - Wordless Wednesday

Rudy knows what's coming:  Rosie.  He fumbles the catch knowing his sister is on her way and she's going to claim the Flying Squirrel as her own.

 Yup! There she is.  "Mine!" says Rosie.

Rudy gives it up (he always does), 
but decides a little tandem retrieving is in order.

Rosie guards her treasure.

A little sniff never hurts while you're 
waiting on your brother to come try and get it.

She successfully called dibs on the Flying Squirrel, 
but now watches Rudy and hopes he'll come play with her again.  
Silly girl.  Rudy is all done with arguing with the girl!

Sort like the cheese stands alone!

Monday, February 20, 2017

How Are You is a Loaded Question - Losing the Dog Daddy

How are you? It seems like such a simple question. 

Do you want the common courtesy response?

Or do you want the truth?

I was brought up to be a good girl, mind my manners, and not spend time wondering how genuine the inquiry might be or talking about myself.  So, my answer would be: fine. Or some polite version of "fine."  

The truth is a wholly different story.  And the truth is that I'm never sure how to answer.

It's hard to know what to say when someone dies. We all want to say the "right" thing to the survivor.  Like me, you may have read articles advising what to say and what not to say.  And yes, there are lists of things that have been said that cause an eye roll (or stomach roll). 

I've known other women who have lost their husbands and as I look back I'm relieved that I pretty much said "good" things and did good things.  

Yet I had no idea.  No idea.  They say there are some things in life that you must experience in order to understand.  The death of a spouse is definitely one of those things.

I'm numb and lost in a "widow's fog."  Really, that's a thing and they say it could go on 1-3 years or longer. I was relieved to learn that there was a name for it and that it was not early onset dementia.

When I'm not numb I feel as if I've fallen into a pit of fire with flames wrecking havoc on my body and mind.  

The world as I have known it for 40 years is gone. My hopes, dreams and plans for the future are gone.  Those were created and intended for the very specific duo of Gary and Sue. Now I'm alone.

Every single thing reminds me of my husband.  Might be a memory from the past or might be some basic everyday kind of thing.  Might be a happy memory and might not.  Regardless, everything reminds me of my loss. Every single fricking thing.

I'm crying. A lot.  I'm forgetful, exhausted and I can't sleep.  I can't seem to make decisions or focus on anything.  I'm a swirling mass of confusion, chaos, and pain. 

Back to the question.

It's a dilemma. Because if I am too truthful, you may not ask again. My truth could make you so uncomfortable that you avoid me.  I don't want that. 

Please don't be offended or take it personally if I tell you that I don't want to go to lunch or I just can't talk on the phone.  Sometimes it is just too hard to talk about Gary's death and too hard to try to "be normal."

Please keep asking.

How am I?   I'm not okay, but I'm working on it.

I will be okay.  Just not today.


Friday, February 17, 2017

Getting By With a Little Help From My Friends | Losing the Dog Daddy

Thank you.

Thank you for the cards, calls, and messages.

Thank you for your prayers, positive energy and good thoughts.

Thank you for the memorial contributions to Stray Rescue of St Louis, Dogwood Animal Shelter, Wayside Waifs, and Richmond (VA) SPCA in memory of Gary. 

Thank you for the gifts for Rudy, Rosie, Skeeter and me.

Thank you for your loving, thoughtful, fun and funny posts to my Facebook timeline.

Just some of the beautiful cards, letters and donation notifications.
Special thanks:
To my friend who, when I told her Gary died, her first response was "How are you doing?" After a pause while I tried to think what to say, she said "no, no. I mean are you okay financially? Be honest. I'll write you a check."

To my friend who, as soon as she found out that Gary died and I was alone, dropped everything and drove 6 hours to be with me.

To my friends who made the amazing commitment to take my dogs and cat if anything should happen to me now that Gary is not here.

To Gary's son who took care of some chores for me before returning to Colorado and has stayed in touch to offer support.

To my friend who has insisted on a daily check in from me - just to make sure I'm okay.

To my friends who invited me for Thanksgiving and Christmas so I would not be alone.

To my friends who continue to check in with me via Facebook, email and phone.

To my friends who generously and repeatedly ask me: what can I do? 

I'm very sorry it has taken me so long to express my gratitude.  Please don't take it as a sign that I don't appreciate you.   

Thank you. I am truly blessed to call you my friends.