Sunday, July 26, 2009

Goodbye dear friend...

March 30, 1997 was the day our dear Josie was born, 5 years to the day after my beautiful daughter, Morgan was born. Six weeks later she came to live with us. I was pregnant with my son at the time. Josie was very smart and caught on to commands quickly. She did, however, think that she was human. And I now know she wasn't...she was soooo much more!!!

I could tell many, many stories of how great she was. Funny stories too. She loved human food, bread and cheese being her favorites. Shortly after I redid the kitchen the cupboard were chipped. I finally figured why day I found the empty wrapper, from the brand new loaf of bread. She was jumping up and pulling the bread down. From then on we made sure to push the loaf to the back of the counter, but made sure she got a slice every morning.

She went camping, boating, swimming and to the drag strip. For over 12 years she was a very special part of our family. The vet had originally projected she would live to be 9 to 11 years old. When we passed 11 I was thrilled...when we reached 12...I was elated. I knew she was getting old but I was starting to think she might make it to 13. Unfortunately, that was not to be the case.
Her arthritis had increased but other than that she was healthy. Good heart and lungs, her eyesight was still good...I suspect her hearing was waining a bit though. Her appetite was good, especially for bread, cheese and ice cream. She loved when Jon won his ball game..she always got a baby vanilla in a cup.

On July 24th it became crystal clear that she couldn't be forced to endure anymore pain. Her back legs weren't working at all. And the pain meds she was on were, while a lethal dose for humans, not nearly enough to dull her pain. It was the hardest thing I have ever ever had to do. Morgan, Jack (the most amazing friend in the world) and I were with her. My friend Terri works at the vets and was there too. I can't tell you how much my heart was screaming no, no, no don't give her the injection while my mind knew this was my opportunity to love her as much as she had always loved me. She was in so much pain. And then for the first time in a very long time she was still, calm, pain free. But my friend was gone! The pain is unbearable! We burried her at the barn...she loved being at the barn...with her blanket from my ottoman and her rope.

Each day will get better...I know that. The week before Josie left us we had adopted a new puppy, her name is Sidney. Josie liked her. She certainly does not, will not, replace Josie...but she helps the healing process.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is Mom's birthday! I won't tell you how old she is but she looks damn good and can still, and probably always will, run circles around me.

She is an amazing Grandma (aka Neener). Growing up Mom had to work but was always there when I needed her...still is! I took swimming lessons every year and the days she could watch from the observation deck were the most special. When she worked swing shift I always liked dayturn. When I came home from school she was usually ironing sheets or curtains watching her "story". It felt comforting having her there.

We did the dishes together in the evenings...she'd wash and I'd dry. Some of the best conversations took place around that sink. And they weren't deep heavy talks...just about stuff...just catching up. As I got older the talks got a little deeper and I could always go to her, even when I'm sure she would rather NOT discuss whatever the current teenage crisis was.

While financially times were always tough, she always made our house a home. And when the big events came...16th birthday, graduation, my wedding...she always made them special and part just by being there by my side.

Now that I'm a Mom I understand the sacrifices she made...and she made alot of them. Thank you for being an amazing Mom!!! I LOVE YOU!!!

Saturday, July 11, 2009


What a beautiful summer day we have had. We went to the drag strip this morning and got our runs in before the rains came. But the rain was a nice steady garden friendly rain. And our garden needed the rain. Then the sun came back out accompanied by a wonderful breeze.

Jon and I decided to head to a local farmers market for some fresh fruits and veggies. That's one of my favorite parts of summer. The fruits are so much sweeter, tomatoes taste like tomatoes and I enjoy canning and freezing. My family enjoys the taste of summer from the canned goods in winter, too. They all love fresh blueberries. My Morgan used to call them booberries...we always had to have them in the cooler when we went camping. And we can't leave without picking up some Stewart's soda. Frank's favorite is Black Cherry, Jon's is Cherries 'n Cream and Mo & I love the classic...Cream Soda.

After we took some leftovers to the chickens the kids wanted to go horseback riding. Romeo (the brown horse) is the only one who is broke to ride. Meg (the yellow one) is what they call "green broke". But Morgan had a lot of luck with her tonight. Meg was responding well to her commands and she was able to walk all around the front pasture with her. Jon did ok on Romeo except when Jon was trying to get him to go one way and exclaimed "oh great, now he's in reverse!". Cracked me up!
Now they are building a bon fire and roasting marshmallows! Yep, yep...summertime...good times!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What is being a good parent?

I'm sorry I haven't posted for a while. The last couple of weeks have been overwhelming, to say the least. We've have been on, as I like to call it, a freight train that has been going way toooo fast.

So I ask..."what IS being a good parent?" Is it running to your kids to their sporting events, buying them whatever their hearts desire, picking up after them, making their life easier/better than ours? Picking them up when they fall, kissing boo-boos, always having neosporin handy? Teaching them to drive responsibly, not to do drugs, to wait to have sex (and how to be safe if they can't)? YES! But that's only the surface. I believe parenting is more about what your children learn from your heart.

Our recent life lessons began Thursday April 25th. We had planned a vacation, aka staying overnight at Splash Lagoon and playing in the tubes. Thursday while at work I broke a tooth during lunch...not fun. Thankfully, I have the worlds best dentist (and staff) and on my way home they called and could see me that evening. As I was rushing back out to my appointment I ran over my dog. Yes, you read that right. My dear beloved Josie! I didn't see her. My heart broke and I was in shock. I couldn't get out of the truck, I was so terrified! My neighbor rushed over and, after a frantic phone call to my hubby (who had just left also), he arrived too. Amazingly, she was alive! She ended up with a black eye (yes they can get black eyes), pulled ligaments, major bruising and lost a section of skin and hair on her back, but she was alive. We did go on our trip. A friend of ours stayed with Josie and took care of her. We had a nice and relaxing time, but there seemed to be a little dark cloud hovering.

So we get back home, take Josie to the vet just to make sure she will be ok, he said she would. Back to work and the freight train. Then here comes another Thursday! Frank had rehearsal, Morgan had to work and Jon had a baseball game. We were getting ready for the band to play a big show on the 4th of July at the drag strip. Jonathan's game got cancelled, due to rain, so we decided to go rent a movie. We went back home and shortly Frank and the bassist (Tod) showed up. I could tell something was wrong and Frank took my hand and told me Jonny's kitten has been hit and killed. I was heartbroken. But, that was nothing compared to the devastation my little boy felt. Penny slept with him every night. He cried so hard that night, as I laid with him in bed saying "I want my cat". His little body convulsing with uncontrollable sobs, I too cried wishing I could take his pain away. We slept together in the living room the next two nights.

And that's when the freight train came to a halt! The next day Jonathan and I spent the whole day together. Just being together. We did some errands, went to the sale, bought some new ducks. The whole family was in a state of mourning. I know, it's just a kitty, but she was more than that. We had saved her from certain death in the barn, nursed her and she quickly became part of our family. I would do anything to bring her back.

We proceeded through the holiday weekend, our hearts pain easing through the love of good friends and family. While we were at the track a youn gal we know dropped her 18 month old in my lap so she could go race. He stayed with me for the next hour and a half. He fell asleep in my arms. As he laid in my arms sleeping I remembered my own children in my arms, safe, comfortable. Toward the end of the day the day after Penny died Jonathan thanked me for laying with him and spending the day with him and told me he loved me. I am now a better parent. Helping your children heal just by loving them is healing to yourself. While I know the freight train will speed up now and then, I will never let it get so fast that I lose sight of what is important again.

Loving your children unconditionally, crying with them, laughing with them, being with them...that is being a good parent.