Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Hearts Cracking Open......just a nudge

My eyes have been so weepy this week. I do not think this is from the recent cataract surgery. I'm sure it could be due to the so many changes going on in our lives right now and the difficult decisions that have to be made concerning our future. My mind has been consumed with thoughts of my sweet baby boys, now 34 and nearly 32 and the overwhelming desire to go back. And do it all over again. Because being a mom, a stay at home mom, was absolutely the best. Once the chickies started leaving the nest I was devastated. It hit me so dang hard to watch them drive off to Texas A&M in 1998 and 2001. I was devastated because they had been my life for so long. Yes, there were days I would have signed them up for a field trip to Mars. Yes, I realized quickly how much easier it was to have a job away from home than stay home with 2 little boys, 2 1/2 years apart in age. But I would not have traded it for the world. And the fact that I was a volunteer firefighter/EMT probably kept me sane during the years they were growing. When I started with the department way back in 1986 the boys were 6 and not quite 4. They loved being on the department with their Dad and me. I believe it helped shape them into the men they are today so in addition to a wonderful family and supportive husband I had a great deal of help in raising those two. And I love the way they turned out. We could not be prouder. But the days of marathon movies and popcorn in the playroom, sitting on the couch watching Rudolph in footie pajamas (they, and sometimes me) and talking about Santa Clause's soon arrival, afternoons spent in the pool together, reading stories, cooking favorite food......they are on my mind so much. Because it was a great time and sometimes I selfishly think if I had known how difficult it would be to give them up I might not have had them. I'm thankful to a husband who was able to provide so I was able to stay home with them. And for a volunteer job that kept me sharp, in those days, and the family that love them as much as their mom and dad do. I miss those days. So very very much and I wish I could go back. And have the honor of doing it all over again. While I was and am far from a perfect parent, light years far, they love me in spite of that fact. I hope. You do guys, don't you? LOL And I was just so at loose ends when they grew up and became the men they were intended to be. I did go back to work for several years and it was easier at times but I still had my good friends who understood and still do, the emptiness of an empty nest. But before they completely cut the apron strings, Mr. Mike and I took on another adventure in 1999.

So many of you know we began greyhound rescue at that time. We had our beautiful Holly Rae as our first victim. We quickly realized that WE were the lucky ones and the now grown boys adored her. She was the consummate athlete. Having raced for 5 years she was a specimen to behold. Perfect in every way. The attitude, the build, the hiking leg......hubs said it was an "athlete" thang! I told her it wasn't lady like and she did not care one whit. She was a winner until she wasn't and was put out on the streets to contract heart worms and praise God, be rescued by Greyhounds Unlimited. She quickly became my life. My kids. My best friend. I could never imagine trying to replace her. But after 5 years we walked her to the Rainbow Bridge after being diagnosed with bone cancer and we tearfully said goodbye to the first blessing of what would be three over the next several years. Emma Rose came shortly after Holly's death. She was a senior, not a winner and the most perfect little girl we could have ever hoped for. She quickly became OUR winner. I knew time was short for her and so after 2 months I adopted Challenger. Chucky for short. We didn't like his racing name, too space shuttleish, and his potty problems made me realize Chucky was an excellent name. And we battled for about a month and it was over. Because greyhounds are perfect. He and sweet Em got along and sadly we lost her to cancer after only 11 months and our hearts were broken again. But I had Chucky. And he was a mama's boy through and through and my world revolved around him to a large degree as it had with my boys. Chucky knew my heart and I his. He was my everything. He was perfect. He was loved by everyone and never set a foot wrong. Ever. We promised each other we would never leave one another. If only it had been true. There just are no words in my heart that describe what he means to me, even in death. The year he turned 11 I dreaded. We lost both our sweet girls at that age and I knew it would be true with my boy. On December 7th of 2013 I let him out in the backyard for a potty break before we took our nap. And he never came back in. It was massive. It was acute. And it ripped our hearts out of our chests like no other death had. He is with us, in his little cedar home and will be buried with me someday. Because we promised we would never be apart. And we will not. And my heart closed and I said no more. My life was over and I would not let anything back in again. Ever. It wasn't fair, it wasn't right and I still scream "why" in my head from time to time. But I was with him to the end. Please God, let him have known that. So Saturday we are faced with the 6 month anniversary of his crossing over and I have hated Saturdays for so long. June is as December was. And my heart has remained tightly closed. And I threw away the key.

A funny thing happened while I reminisced about all 3 of my sweet boys this week. Chucky has been with me. Talking to me. And I'm trying to understand what this means and is it just the loneliness or does he have someone else in mind for my life now. So many sad stories this week about animals. Especially here in Texas. Those of us who tried so hard and lost and then there are those who throw away. All 3 of our hounds were abandoned. It's the Texas way I guess but I'm thankful they weren't shot in the head and left on the road that way with 10 nursing puppies. Those puppies spoke to me when I saw them as Chucky whispered away. And I have missed him desperately thinking it is still part of a grieving process I have never experienced before with a beloved pet. And we have lost many. And they are all loved, down to the goldfish out of our koi pond and mourned. But what if I was supposed to hear something different? Could it be Chucky got louder and the puppies burst into the headlines during the same time? There have been other puppies and dogs. I've looked at them. And felt nothing for myself but love and compassion for them. But I wouldn't let them in. But not this litter. Not this story. Not the whispers. I don't know what it means but one thing I do know without doubt. My heart has cracked open. Just a nudge. And Chucky has gone back to the bridge to wait. For now. Until he whispers to me again one day. And this time I know what he is trying to do. I love you darling boy.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Life's a Hoot!

What has the Brod Abode been up too? Hmmmm so many things have gone on the last month or so. This Brod has become a Food Network addict. Again. And that is awesome because now all I want to do this "going to be Texas hot" summer is try new recipes! IF ONLY I didn't have to go to the grocery store. My dream kitchen would include a never ending pantry. Need it? It's there. Ah, I can dream. The boredom factor has been so great I've succumbed to the temptation of General Hospital again. First time in maybe, 20 years? Getting old is extremely interesting and so is double cataract surgery. And the rules that accompany said surgery. I think I have discovered that they have discovered I can be an ornery patient. I guess another old thing. An old EMT, VBG. So no bending, lifting heavy things, gardening, being out in the wind, no anything at all that might allow something to get in my eyes. I get that. I do. And the resulting eyesight is awesome. It's not perfect but we knew it wouldn't be 20/20. I've worn glasses since 4th grade. I never had 20/20. But dang, colors are brighter, lettering crisp ( a little bit off on the right eye) and I'm trying to get used to cheapy reading glasses and real sunglasses again! I wore contacts for several years but then the new soft ones came out and we didn't get along very well. It was all a bother so I just gave them up. So while I'm not gardening for up to 5 weeks, and going crazy imagining the morning glory from the neighbors climbing up my tomatoes and peppers I'm getting a lot of knitting done and falling back into old TV habits. The Crafty Cockatiel is getting very spoiled being my nurse and constant companion. The cage or playing by himself holds no fascination for the little critter. I love him BUT. And his knitting skills utilizing his beak need some work. So "we" will continue to knit a zillion scarves by the time I can go back outside and garden and be in the constant north Texas wind. It's impossible to avoid getting out in it but I've been advised, for the doctor's sake, to stay in and take it easy. Who filled him in on my propensities? I try to sit there looking all old and innocent and I know he has my number. Hopefully, please Lord, he lets me off the hook in a couple of weeks. And life can get back to normal, sorta. 

Normal life is not. As many of you know, after 38 years in pharmacy without a hitch, Mr. Mike will be laid off this month. It's how you celebrate your tenth anniversary with a company. They close. Party anyone? Soooooo at this stage in our lives we face a bit of an unknown future. Will there be another job for someone his age, in a saturated market (lots pharm schools here in Texas) along with nearly 200 other pharmacists being laid off at the same time in the D/FW area? Will I be able to find a job at my age with no real marketable skills. Exactly. I can do lots of things and have but can I still work on patients like I once did? Can I learn new computer skills and the latest trends in lab work? Can I be a pool boy? And not fall in a pool? Oh, we don't know what God has planned but it will be an adventure none the less as all things are turning out to be in these "golden years". So that's it from the Brod Abode. Now back to knitting (BTW scarves are for sale!) and watching The Crafty Cockatiel sleep on my shin. Life's a Hoot!