Today has been a humdinger. In many ways it feels like yesterday never ended.
I was up most of the night with stomach yuck. And then my dog got really, really, really sick. Again. It started months ago. It has gotten progressively worse. He’s 12.
The conversation has been going on, what to do about Stuie? When to say goodbye? When is it wise for his sake and ours? My fear has been that I was saying goodbye too soon, but today, the truth hit. Life was ending for Stuie.
My wonderful, wonderful hubby took him in for his last vet appointment.
When hubby and I met, we had his and her dogs. We had to say goodbye to Misty 3 1/2 years ago. Today, I hugged my friend and said goodbye.
Stuie and I have been together 12 years and two weeks. He was with me as I recovered from a rotten relationship, as the Multiple Sclerosis reduced me to a wheelchair and month long hospital stays, they let Stuie come to the hospital and he helped my body and mind heal. The doctor insisted on meeting him one day, saying, “I want to meet this miracle dog.”
Then he was there when I met this great guy that would become my hubby. He fit perfectly in what that guys black lab. He transitioned to being a dog with three kids. He was a good dog.
And today we said goodbye.
That’s the dog. That’s the potty chair.
There was the night he ate Patrice’s potty…and then there was today…
We’ve been up since 5:30 this morning. Sue woke up sick. And thus ended our night. Daddy got up to help me, but I couldn’t settle back to sleep.
We were early risers today, but my daddy was always an early riser. Most of my growing up years he owned and operated a sawmill. He always said the best part of being your own boss was you could choose which 12 hours of the day you wanted to work. Most days he chose 12+ hours.
But every night he came in to watch the eleven o’clock news. He wanted to see the weather. Every night he would fall asleep at the commercial break just before the weather and wake up as soon as the report finished. Every.Night.
My daddy was a walking miracle. He really was.
He worked as a welder before he started the sawmill. One day at work, when I was five or six, he was run over by a hi-lo at work. It narrowly missed his head. Very narrowly. He had to have back surgery and as part of it they fused two discs together. He could not bend his back for a year following the surgery. And he followed the rules. He got very good at squatting down to do things. I remember so clearly his squatting down to pick strawberries in the patch we had along the fence. Seriously people, I can see it in my mind’s eye like it was yesterday.
I took my girls strawberry picking this year for the first time. We had a great time going out on a train ride, picking strawberries, having cider and donuts and playing on these huge wooden play structures. I wish my daddy could have seen it.
There is no end to the things I wish he could see. But most of all, I wish I could let go of the regret and guilt I have over the years I lost with my daddy. There were so many times I went up north to visit my mom and didn’t go to his place. There were so many holidays I should have called, but I didn’t know exactly what to say. I would give anything to do those lost years over.
But I can’t. So please forgive me as a few times a year I pour out my memories and regrets here, please forgive my attempts to salve my guilty conscience. I loved him so much, but I lost a few years. And now he’s gone. Nine years gone.
The last few weeks have been very full. Much of that is not my story to tell, so there are only the bits and pieces I said on twitter out in cyberspace. My fingers are itching to lay it all out, but for once, I think it is important for my marriage to keep them still.
Rest assured, I still have much to ramble on about.
Caitlyn and Sue finished school on Thursday.
I now have a second grader and first grader. Second grade y’all. That seems so old to me.
And we added glasses, okay technically the week before, but still, a big change.
She loves them and is taking great care of them.
Sue is a first grader now. Wow. I was at a birthday party of her classmates’ today. She seems so little compared to them, but first grade, here she comes!!
Tonight Caitlyn is having another first, a slumber party. I went for the first hour. She joined right in. So I dragged myself away. Will I get boo’d if I admit I’m hoping we’ll get that call to come get her???
Along with summer vacation, Patrice and I got lovely coughs and yuck. We actually went to the doctor for it. I won myself an antibiotic, and an important lesson–next time a doctor offers me a script for cough syrup with codeine, I will take it. No more acting all tough.
Bye for now. Don’t mind me, I’ll just be over here in the corner coughing up a lung.
Patrice really is doing well in therapy. The other day she told told me she was “carry.” It took a bit of work, but we sorted out that she was was saying “curious.”
Tonight we stood in the pantry, so nicely stocked with the generosity of others, and we named off what was in there. Her pronunciation can be a bit rough and I still often say “I have no idea what you just said.” but we are definitely getting there.
I am so thankful for our speech therapist. I am especially thankful for a Godly woman that truly loves my daughter.
As I mentioned, the other day we went to the school she works out of instead of her coming to us. We played in the sensory room. We are working not only with Patrice’s speech in therapy but also her gross and fine motor skills. We lost some ground while Patrice was sick, but we’ll get it back.
Hard to climb when your foot gets stuck
Playing in the ball pit
This was a toughy
just a swingin’
Okay so 2 years ago, my postpartum depression and anxiety got to be too much. I could no longer cope. All I could think was, get Patrice to my midwife, she can take her home and love her; daddy can handle the other two. So I packed the diaper bag, got the kids in the van and headed to my midwife’s office. I waited for her, then begged her to take Patrice. As I sobbed. That was the end of October, almost 2 years ago.
I wish I could tell you those thoughts are all gone. Most of the time I am okay. But my flight feeling is still strong.
Today, I desperately want to run. I want to call my midwife and escape.
If only people knew what kind of horrible mom I am.
A hacking, wheezing cough.
A scratchy voice.
Wheezing while breathing.
A sick little girl. Patrice is all of the above and more.
She is my third child. You would think this would be old hat, but it stays scary. The doubts surface. You wonder what to do.
It Never Gets Easy.
Two years I have been battling for my mental health. Two years we have looked at this adorable face.
She’s saying cheese 🙂
The battle rages on. And it is worth it. But it is not always pretty.
This last week it included thoughts I thought were gone for good and new horrific thoughts I never thought I would have. There have been two medication changes and lessons in reaching out when I need help.
There have also been amazing moments of understanding and clarity.
The best thing my doctor said this week? “that’s the healty part of you fighting those thoughts.” The healthy part of me. It’s there. Others see it. That is gold I can hang on to.
Also, the doctor helped me see I am a useful part of my family, that I do contribute. I have an amazing husband who does so much; I had lost sight of what I do. I saw all he does and thought that was it. I discounted my role. But this week my doctor made me see it. He literally made me list off what I do in the house while hubby is doing so much. It was good. It was valuable.
So I soldier on. The battle might get ugly, but it is worth it! My girls and hubby are worth it.
I love this one of Patrice. It happened every time she went down the slide.
Today is Patrice’s 2nd birthday.
This is the first time I haven’t either already had a small baby or one on the way when a child reaches this milestone. My baby days are over. That thought is a little hard to fathom, so we won’t ruminate for long.
We’ll talk about my little girl. My sweet, happy little girl.
Patrice, a few days old
Now she is such a big girl. We are working on her learning words. We’re pretty sure, last night, she said her first sentence, “me too daddy.”
She can almost climb into her crib. She is trying to learn out to use the potty. She gets that you are supposed to sit on the potty, but keeps making it there after she goes.
She gives the best hugs and kisses. She used to be stingy with them, but now she loves to give them. It melts a mama’s heart.
She takes herself to her room when she is mad (super cute). She gets mad (not quite so cute).
We love our Patrice and today we will celebrate her! There will be Elmo cake and ice cream. There will be celebration!