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. :-)

No need to apologize, Brooke. My dad died in April and I still find it hard to concentrate, hard to be happy, hard to do anything. I have to force myself to blog and I didn't have 200 copies of my cookbook sitting in my 2nd bedroom, probably would have given up on it months ago.

It is hard, but it's good to force yourself to do things. It's good to have busy-ness to give you distractions, even if it only works for a few minutes.

I'm sorry things have been so hard for your family. That is a lot for you all to deal with in a short period of time. Do not feel bad for ending your dog's suffering. Anyone who would question whether or not an animal passes over if they are helped is an ass, so don't let anyone make you feel bad. Our animals are as much a part of existence and a part of us as the humans in our lives and he knew he lived a good life with you all.

I wish the best for your family. Love is truly powerful and I have seen the miracles that it can accomplish. And even though we are a bunch of faceless avatars all across the world, know that your blogger friends are here for you. It's good to put words on paper, it's good to get thoughts out in the open. We are all happy to read more than food posts and to lend and ear, and a shoulder.
so nice to see you back in the blogging world, Brooke - you do NOT need to apologize for discussing your mother, who meant a lot to you. I'm so sorry that you went through so many tragedies during your time away from your blog; but I do hope that things get much better/brighter for you. I look forward to you next post, as always. Take care :0)
I'm so sorry that you went through so many tragedies .
Oh Brooke, my friend. How one survives not one but three terrible events in such a short time is beyond my understanding. I wish you lots of strength and laughter to keep you going.

Big hugs to you. I still remember losing our cat Max to this day. It was awful. I truly believe that if I were suffering a terminal illness and in pain, I would want someone to end it for me. Kudos to you for having the courage to help Zep and for standing by his side, as difficult as it was, until the end. You did the right thing.
Gosh Brooke, I am so sorry to hear how things are going. Hang in there, I'm keeping you in my thoughts.
My goodness, Brooke, you are sure being tested in many ways now. You just keep getting along the best you can, and we'll be here for you. GREAT BIG HUGS!
That was not a pity party. I wish I knew the words to say to help ease your pain. So many tragedies, how does one deal? It looks like you are getting through as best as you can. We are all here to support you in any way we can. Sending lots of love your way....
Oh, Brooke, what a heart-breaking post. You have me in tears, woman. After all the trauma, I hope that your dad and your whole family are on a path to recovery. We are here for you, and feel free to vent about it all. Or not- whatever works for you. {{{{hugs}}}}
Brooke, I'm newish to the blogging world, but please don't feel bad about posting what is happening in your life. You need to get it out. I lost my mother 5 1/2 years ago and I'm still in mourning. It is hard to see someone die, especially a mother, especially from a painful disease like cancer. You are are never prepared. I'm sorry about all the other stress and worries in your life. I am thinking about your father and hope his kicks this quickly.

Peace and healing to you,

There's not much that can be said to take away your pain. I feel for you and your family. I hope you the best in recovering from all of life's turns.
Write all you need to... I can't believe how much loss and sickness your family has been through... I am just so sorry.

I think that allowing your dog to pass on in a humane way is the most selfless thing you can do. You let him be out of pain... and that takes a lot of guts. *HUGS*

I'll bet your dad will totally beat his cancer.

Hang in there... and DO NOT beat yourself up about falling off the vegan bandwagon.
I'm so sorry for all that you've been going through, Brooke. It strikes me that you are a strong woman, and you will pull through all this. I wish all the best for you and your family.
Best thoughts to you and your family. I can't imagine how hard that must have been....

Take your time, and know that we're thinking about you.

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