Thursday, October 11, 2007

I'm still hanging around.

I lied. I am still going to write about my Mom, and all that has been going on with my family since August.

It's been a weird, wild, emotional, traumatic, intense couple of months here lately. Losing my Mom in August put my life into a strange tailspin of bereavement, especially when I am in the middle of school. It's amazing how hard it is to try to focus on studying when your mind strays all of the time. I also found that when I came back to school after spending some time in Florida for my Mom's funeral and to be with my Dad, I had an aversion to touching people's bodies, which for a massage therapist isn't exactly a beneficial thing. I just felt really disconnected with my touch. I imagine that is totally normal for anyone that has gone through trauma.

The past six or so months were terrible for my Mom. I won't go into the all that she was going through, but she suffered so much. None of us knew she would pass on so soon, none of us were remotely prepared for it (are you truly ever?), and none of us knew what to do with ourselves when her death happened. Seeing your Mom laying in a casket, feeling her cold, cold hands heavy with makeup to cover her IV bruises, waiting to see if she ever takes another breath, having to get up in front of 300 people and tell your most beloved memory with her without passing out, seeing her grave covered with wilting flowers on the day you must fly back home....can my heart break any more?

And you know, it seems that when things get bad, they get REALLY BAD. Not too long after my Mom died, one of our beloved dogs, Zeppelin, started to get really sick. He got extremely swollen in his belly and lost all ability to get up and use his muscles. He couldn't walk anymore, and we had to carry him outside and hold him upright so he could go to the bathroom. After a few trips to the vet, we found out that he diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma. Terminal. He was bleeding internally, oxygen was not getting to his muscles, he was anemic, and was dying quickly in front of our eyes. We had to make that horrible decision on whether or not to let him die naturally (which probably meant watching him suffocate as the internal bleeding moved into his lungs) or to facilitate his death so that is was "easier" (it's never easy) on all of us, and peaceful for him. After my husband and I talked about euthanasia, I laid down next to Zepp, put my hand on his paw and asked him if he was ready to go, in between my sobs of heartbreak. Now, I don't normally walk around thinking I can talk to animals, but damnit, I swear he lifted his head up and look me straight in the eyes and in my heart I felt he told me his was ready...ready to move on. Now I know that many people believe that facilitated death does not permit animals to move on to the Rainbow Bridge, but we honestly feel so secure in our decision to let him go. It was a gentle death for him, but one full of pain and hurt for us. We held him as he left us, our eyes clouded by the downpour of tears, and we said goodbye.

But no, the pain didn't end there. Once my semester ended, I had a 10 day break from school so I flew back to Florida to be with my Dad. I felt that I really needed to start to heal, and being with my Dad when he needed it the most was the right thing to do. Well, on my second day there, my Dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Less than two months after losing his wife to cancer. Life sure does try and take a swipe at ya, doesn't it. He doesn't know all the details yet and needs to have more tests to define his diagnosis, but I feel very strongly that he will kick this cancer in the ass, and live a long, healthy life. But don't let me fool you....I am still scared. Still reeling. Still waiting to see what else life can throw my way, our way. I've tried to be as positive as I can be, but that ain't easy, folks.

In addition to it all, I have fallen off of the vegan wagon. No, I am not eating meat, but I did start to eat cheese and hell if it isn't difficult to stop. I just don't have the fight in me to worry about too much right now. I am still cooking and baking, and reading every one's blogs, but that occasional cheese pizza sneaks into my shopping cart no matter how hard I try to refuse.

On that note, I do want to get back into posting actual vegan food. My camera went wonky again, so I don't have any pictures, but I have made some fantastic food lately. While in FL, I made this dreamy dessert that DGMGV blogged about....holy goodness it was good. And now I am going to make these easy cookies with my kids, for some good kitchen bonding. And I have inundated Food Fight Grocery with my orders for these items, which may be the best substitute for fake meaty things in my good when you lightly fry them up and then smother then in a spicy buffalo sauce. I just started to drool.

Next time: more food, less pity party. :-)

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