Wednesday, April 25, 2007

nearly a decade

do you remember what was happening 9 years ago today? i was meeting you and finally showing up for a divine appointment where 'we' would officially begin. and i know you think its silly and i know you think we should stop celebrating the day we met and stick to the wedding anniversary and i know youre ready to let this date slip from your already filled up planner, but if not for this day there would be no wedding day to celebrate.

do you remember the date that wouldnt end? it was just supposed to be dinner, but an hour later we were still standing in the driveway unwrapping layers of one another as we asked a million questions and shared a million stories. by the end of the night, i knew you were definitely 'friend' material. your honesty, sensitivity, compassion, wit and those navy blue eyes won me over. at the time i was thinking of what friend i had deserving of you. clearly, we would not be an item. afterall, you lacked the massive amount of baggage in need of my unpacking to be a candidate for me. who would i be to you when you were already beyond okay? what would i fix and where would i find purpose in your functional life?

do you remember pretending to be interested in my stupid political science class? so interested you asked to borrow the book and then offered to help me study for finals? i knew you were making up reasons to see me and i loved it. i felt interesting and important, that you, this incredibly busy and special 'friend' put 'time with me' at the top of your to do list.

do you remember our first kiss? its a redundant question i know since it has been the source of a playful debate for 9 years. you can try and make amendments to history on how it really went down, but we both know the truth and it scared the living daylights out of me. did you know i sat in my car for 10 minutes wondering what next.

do you remember imagining a future? over the next year and next 8 years, we would find home in one another. we would fail and forgive and fall deeper in love more times than we can count. and i would find overwhelming joy and peace and contentment. and i was right. you were and are 'friend' material. the greatest friend i could have hoped for. someone to share my future, my dreams, my insecurities and my coffee with. when i scratched the surface of you, i found a friend and soulmate. i recognized you as an answer to a prayer that i was afraid to pray. afterall, what would i really do if God gave me you? my fear of ruining such a tremendous gift left me nervous at best and terrified most days. what would happen when i wasnt new and interesting and challenging? and yet, there you were day after day, month after month, year after year, showing up for our life together, building a future and laying a foundation with love, truth, faith, patience and commitment. and dont forget laughter. lots and lots of laughter.

do you remember the earliest days? the foundation may be the One who gave us to one another, but the first layer of us, the strongest one, the one that never shifts or threatens to give way is you. remarkable you. and in that moment when i realized you were the perfect 'friend', God got ahold of my heart and began handing it over piece by piece to you. and now, nine years later, the only attributes that rival 'friend' are 'husband' and 'father'.

its easy to love you. and not just because you make great coffee and killer breakfasts and you make life lighter and our future brighter. and not just because you consider our monday night football pizza and beer date sacred and because i sleep better with you next to me. and not just because your nervous giggle is the same when delivering good and bad news and it always keeps me guessing. and not just because i am healthiest and happiest with you and not just because the only person that adores you as much as i do is our beloved daughter. but because simply you are you. easy to love you.

thank you, 'friend' for making the last 9 years worth celebrating.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

hanging on...

pat and i recently took a little trip to a place that we just fell in love with. some of you have been there before and some may even still be there. i must admit, we have yet to leave and cant get enough of it...the place is called 'denial'. yep. we are there and we are happy. after grieving for three seemingly endless days, we decided that this time with abraham is a tremendous gift that we shouldnt waste wallowing in sadness. so, we are in denial. happily, i might add. we came to an agreement that we will postpone the grief that we know is inevitable until he is actually gone. until then, we will only be reminded of his cancer for brief moments while administering pain medications. on that note, he is doing very well. his pain is being managed and his spirits are great. as i write this, he is napping in a sunbeam happy as can be. when the time comes which is at best a month away to say goodbye, i will post that update. until then, thank you for all of your prayers, phone calls, emails, flowers and thoughts. we have felt them and appreciate them more than you can possibly know.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

letting go

i had every intention of posting new photos of the peach from easter, sporting her darling dress and award winning charm. or, adding a less cynical list of things i wish i had been told years ago...that last post was clearly a cry for needed sleep. but rather, i am posting today to let all of you know that our beloved abraham has bone cancer. seeing it written there in size 12 boring font does not seem to convey what im trying to communicate. it should be bold, in caps with at least a size 42 font. and yet, that wouldnt make it any different. at least not to me and probably not to you. see, the world is pretty much divided into two types of people with several sub categories of crazies and extremes on each side. you have the me type that adores animals, particularly dogs and considers them people with fur. not real people of course, afterall, real people complain about nothing, have unrealistic expectations of how life should be, lie, cheat, steal, and judge one another. then there is the other type, lovely people in their own right, who occasionally acknowledge the substantial worth of a pet, but primarily think of them as just that, a pet. certainly not the part of the family that the me type regards them. if you are the second type, dont waste your time reading this. skip onto some other site and enjoy. you will not understand what i am trying to convey and you may find yourself questioning my state of mind. dont bother with that, just know i am perfectly sane and suffering real grief over this recent news.

yesterday, i took abe to the vet to have a sprained hock that just wouldnt heal looked at again. anticipating some pain killers and perhaps a wrapped leg, i promised abe that as soon as he was better, we would spend some quality time together like we used to. no little sister following us around, just a day at the park dreaming of what could happen if we actually got closer to the geese. i reassured him that he was not going to feel as bad as he did at that moment because pain killers are a beautiful thing and clearly he just needed to let his leg heal. and yet, within moments of the vet feeling his leg, she used phrases and knives like "very concerned", "tumor", and "bone cancer". i let him follow me to radiation and retreated to a waiting room with well meaning, concerned receptionists who offered kleenex and comfort to my quivering soul. i began to think of him as a puppy, just two weeks old laying in my palm with his tongue sticking out and eyes just opened. remembering the gift of "family" he gave to pat and i. while lots of people have babies in the first couple of years, we were beyond content to welcome abraham into our lives and really feel like a family. years later, the blessing of georgia would add a new blissful dynamic, but abe truly laid the family foundation much to our suprise.

so i waited. i paced on a tile floor and frantically tried to reach pat and then my mom, who both wept with me. the vet came out and showed me the xrays which look just as familiar as the greek alphabet. i struggled to make sense of the "clear" differences between his healthy and sick leg. i tried to see the gray area "consistent" with cancer and grasp what she was telling me. but the reality is, i dont see it, i dont understand it and im wondering if she could be wrong. of course if she is wrong, wouldnt he be better and not exponentially worse than he was a week ago? i sat down and tried to be as stoic as i could. who was i kidding? i adore this dog. he is a part of our family and not just the part that takes up space on the floor. the part that makes our home, ever changing, the same. regardless of where we are, abe is the one part of our life that stays the same. always agreeable, always kind, always there.

i was a mess as i heard her suggestions and explanations as to why there are no good options. ordinarily, they would do an amputation for smaller dogs, but a 3 legged great dane is not really feasible. then theres the chemo option which would give us an extra month at most, but without the ability to remove the leg that has the cancer, chemo would only prolong the inevitable. our best option is to manage his pain by any and all means possible for the next week or so until it is clear that he is uncomfortable. at that time, we will let him go. even acknowledging that future brings to surface the tears that had spent the better part of 20 minutes at bay. we spent last night with him on the floor, pat sleeping by him. he has had beef tips with gravy and steak, toast, chicken and cheese will round out his menu for the next week. he is surrounded by us and pictures of his best friend amber. he knows is loved and im sure is wondering why we cant seem to dry it up and smile for him. last night through tears, pat said "you know what im thankful for?" the question lends itself to a multitude of answers...we have a tremendous amount of things to be thankful for...i asked him "what?" and he said "that this is not you or georgia". of course. how true that while we are suffering, there are so many grieving for their children. even as one who cant imagine my life without our beloved abe, i am keenly aware of the difference and overwhelmed with gratitude that this is afterall, our dog and not our baby girl. perspective is a refreshing and reassuring thing. however, as reassured as i feel, i cannot seem to get it together for more than a few minutes and still feel like my heart is somewhere on the floor of that vet clinic. it doesnt help that georgias favorite word and friend is "dog" and she stands vigil at the gate hoping for a chance to escape to him for her daily climb.
there will be another post in the future recapping so many fond and wonderful things about our abe, but today this is all i can manage. thank you for your prayers.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

since im up

i am suffering from a severe case of cantsleepworthcrapitis. it has been keeping me from my favorite time of day now for awhile and while i know lots of people who, when struck with the same affliction, get out of bed and do stuff, i prefer to lay in bed, have meaningless thoughts and hope that inspite of being awake for 3 hours, that at any given moment sleep could happen and i wouldnt want to miss that opportunity. so last night, as with so many others recently, i was awake and began thinking of things i wish someone would have shared with me a few years back. so, i thought of a few and decided to share them. im positive they wont be as nearly as insightful as they were at about 3:16 am, but ill share nonetheless.

1.) standing on a bar whether dancing, singing or even looking for your friends is never cute or entertaining. most people are secretly hoping you'll fall off.

2.) dont eat or drink anything that you dont like the taste of. for some, it may be vegetables, others cheap/light beer. for me, its a gin martini. i thought they were so cool and everyone cool likes them, so i went ahead, puckered up and sipped it down. not so much. wont ever try one again.

3.) dont use pictures of celebrities to determine your next haircut. the people at the salon are laughing at you and regardless of what you do to your hair, you will not look like jen aniston, nicole kidman or jessica simpson.

4.) driving in the passing lane with your cruise control set 3 miles over as you pass someone going 1 mile over can get you killed. put your foot on the gas, live a little and just for a brief moment, kick it up to 5 over. this can save your life as the third car behind your moving road block suffers from a serious case of road rage and is a card carrying member of the nra.

5.) please do not complain to me about your money issues while sipping a $5 latte for the 4th day this week wearing a pair of jeans you paid way too much for because the commission hungry sales associate told you they made your a** look small. they dont.

thats all ive come up with for now, but stay tuned. another sleepless night is on the horizon.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


i have a few completely unrelated things going on with me right now and while they dont really have anything to do with the other, humor me and just pretend to follow. first of all, i am actually experiencing a brief and im certain all too fleeting moment where there is a tinge of excitement at the korea move that is now a guaranteed part of my near future. we received a sponsors letter recently and discovered that pat's new squadron has partnered with a place in the community that has me actually longing to be there. get this, they volunteer at a local orphanage right off the base. how awesome is that? i really believe this is one of those "i spys" as my mom calls them. its basically when God just reveals to you in tangible ways that He really is in control and looking out for you. He really doesnt have to bless me that way or give me something other than the shopping to look forward to, but low and behold, theres an orphanage that i can be a part of. i cant imagine too many things i would rather do than love on those most in need of it. i cant wait.

onto the other thing going on with me that actually does relate to the korea move. youll have to rewind with me back about 4 years when we were in the process of selling our first home (by owner), selling our car, packing our belongings, resigning from a dream job and relocating to hawaii. oh, and of course hiring a pet travel agent to get us through the 32 pages of absolutely insane requirements to bring our beloved abe with us. it was during this time as with any particularly stressful move in the military that patrick had to leave to attend a 2 month class in sunny florida to prepare him for his new job in hawaii. (every other military spouse reading this is nodding their head in agreement as they remember their all too similar situation.) God was amazingly good to us, selling our home within 30 minutes of our first open house, having my best friend buy our car, not completely shady movers packing us (although, i did mention to my mom on the phone while they were packing our house that i had just cashed the 'good faith' check of $1200 that day and was worried about all that cash...neither my parents nor i slept well that night as i was sure one of my underpaid movers on work release was going to break in and kill me for the money...just another lesson learned...dont discuss the large amounts of cash you have while you are home alone in an empty house while your husband is boating, i mean working in sunny florida). and while leaving my dream job has left me with moments of deep regret and sadness, it has also left me with a lifetime of good memories and gratitude that i was able to have that experience ever, much less for 3 whole years. but anyway, during this time of transition, i began to notice that i couldnt take a deep breath. silly, huh? it lasted for a few months as we waited for the moving process to die down. there was the family vacation patrick couldnt go on, the 37 day roadtrip across country which was a total blast, but still the breathing issues persisted. then of course there was the month we lived in a hotel on waikiki beach, which was great too, for a vacation, but the reality that we were being outbid on homes, rentals were not an option because of our pony of a dog, the waiting list at the base was 6 months and we only had one month before our hotel bill and subsequent housing issue became our responsibility made for some really stressful days. again, breathing issues persisted. all the while, my mom tried to reassure me it was anxiety. whatever. she has no medical degree and clearly i was not anxious about anything. afterall, this is paradise as everyone reminded me. what could i be so stressed about? of course these "issues" were really just great avenues for God to pour out the blessings on us. on our last day at the hotel, the base called and they had a house for us which just so happened to be located on the same street that would house some of our best life long friends. all that worrying for nothing. within a few days, the breath i couldnt get for 3 months was there and i didnt think about it much again. until yesterday. yesterday would be the day that this little ailment arrived again. hmm, perhaps my mom has a masters of the obvious and this could potentially be anxiety related. im not feeling stressed. i mean, we have 6 weeks until movers are supposed to be here, we need to sell one car and ship the other, and we are still waiting on actual orders to begin setting this stuff up. oh, and this all to get ready to move to know the other paradise. so im really not feeling super stressed or anxious and yet i cant sleep and more recently cant breathe right. ugh. im sure in just a few short months, i will be feeling much much better. until then, i jumped head first off my "sugar free wagon" and had a bowl of cookie dough. im feeling better already and realizing that this entire post actually is related.