For months now…oh about six…I haven’t had the desire to do much. Blogging always helped me deal with things and I’ve found support here I never thought possible…but I just haven’t felt like it. I’ll think about blog posts, write them in my head, but then in the day I don’t get out my computer and get in touch with the world. I keep thinking I’m snapping out of it, and I am better…and I do think I’m pulling myself out of this depression now, but it was there sitting on my shoulder, whispering in my ear “What’s the point?”
It’s almost 6 months since Sandy died, and I’ve been consumed with grief and guilt. I know I don’t have a reason to feel guilty, but all the “should have, would have, could have” questions kept swimming around in my head. Those kind of questions don’t do any good at a time like this, but they’ve been surrounding me…all the “What if’s…”
I still expect to see her, and occasionally, out of the corner of my eye, I could swear she was there. I will feel her on the bed, and nothing is there. There have been times I could have sworn I heard her. (Now I wonder how many times I heard noises and thought they were her and they were something else?)
A lot of people would not understand this deep grief I feel for the loss of my dog. But she was more than just a dog to me…she was a constant companion for 19 years, my Baby Girl, my Sugar Plum Fairy…or as Stuart would call her, our “Stinky Dog”. No Sandy wasn’t a Stinky dog. It is a term of endearment from my husband, if he makes up a little song about you and it says you are stinky then he must love you dearly.
Because of this lack of understanding, and the feeling within myself that I shouldn’t feel like this still, I’ve been feeling very alone with these emotions. I hid a lot of it from Stuart for a while, but recently I haven’t been able to.
Two nights ago, I had a complete breakdown. Nothing sparked it, nothing. I was just about to doze off, and it started. I ended up crying (read sobbing uncontrollably) for almost two hours. Since then I have felt a release. I’m still crying over her, but something broke during that night of gut wrenching sobbing. I feel freer from the guilt than I have, I feel like I can move on….that doesn’t mean I’m forgetting my dearest Sandy Girl and everything she means to me, but I hope it means I can begin to see the sun again. I’m kicking that little guy off my shoulder, he will no longer be able to whisper those disparaging words to me. I love Sandy, and always will. I know I did the best I could for her, even if i do question that sometimes. More so, I question if the vet did the best she could have done for her, but I need to let that go too. (However, Max has a new vet now.)
I know she was 19 1/2. That’s amazing I’m told. But just days before she died she was chasing the cat, curling up with me, and just such a happy dog. I remember how every time she ate her dinner she wagged her tail the whole time. I need to think more about the good memories, and remove the shroud that has been over me holding in just the memories of her last days. Sandy brought me too much love to dwell on the tragedy of her death.
I won’t make promises that I will be here more often, but I think I will be….I need to get back to my friends, and managing my life, instead of allowing it to manage me.
(there may be many errors in this post, I just can’t read it again right now.)
Nineteen years ago today, my mother died.
I asked some people to share a memory they have of my mother….Here are some responses I received:
(from my best friend in High School) Boy, do I have memories. Let’s begin with that laugh. Especially when she laughed at television shows. And to this day, I remember her sneezes… the sound and the way she would let go of the steering wheel when she sneezed (because she didn’t want to jerk the car). The patience of a saint – especially since we would make such huge messes with Halloween decorations, fake fingernails and heaven knows the bedroom messes. And when I think about the times when we would get “that look.” You know, the one where she didn’t approve of something we did or said. She didn’t have to say a word… you knew exactly what she was thinking when she was perfectly quiet, but looking at you like you had lost your ever-loving mind. I REALLY enjoyed your mother.
(sister of my friend above) She was so funny, she always made me laugh. I can remember riding in the car with her dont remember where we were going or what we were doing but I can still remember seeing her as if we were riding in there right now!
(from a cousin) Oh darling Wendy … your mother was my second mom. When she lived in Greensboro before you were born, I would run away from home and go to her house to “live”. Of course it was just over the hill and little did I know she was standing on the porch watching for me to come over the hill and my mom was on our porch watching me climb the hill. I was never out of sight of them. What a team! I also remember the time when I was about 8 that I cut my own hair. I was so proud of myself. Needless to say we made a special trip to see your mom to get it “evened out”. LOL … guess I wasn’t the hairdresser I thought I was. I have lots of memories, but one more that I’ll share … you may remember living in Navy housing … a brick duplex. I can’t remember the name of the place but it was something park. I remember the “bug” truck coming around spraying for mosquitoes every evening. A lot of the kids would follow the truck to get in the cool mist. Your “mean” mom made us come inside … God bless her every day for having the sense to get us out of that poison.
(another dear friend from High School) I remember her sweet voice…..I sure called you enough and she always asked how I was……she was very patient with us because we would chat for some time…..back then, we didn’t have call waiting, only a busy signal….lol….
(a neighbor when I was growing up….one correction to his memory, my mother never had a rattle snake or any other poisonous snake, but she did have non-poisonous snakes) Wendy, I can remember growing up in Rock Bluff and thinking ” That lady must be crazy…she plays with snakes all the time.” She even had a pet rattlesnake! She wasn’t crazy at all as I got to know her better. She was a very kind and interesting person. I think she taught all the kids in the neighborhood how to handle snakes. Before we knew it we all were riding bikes with a snake in hand that we had caught. I thought of her and her snakes just a few days ago and wondered what ever happened to “Mrs. Calloway” but after reading this message i figured out that she passed while I was off at school.
She was a very kind and caring woman and I’m sure you miss her dearly! I’ll always have great memories of growing up in Rock Bluff and she was a big part of that!
(a sweet friend from High School – note when I asked for these memories I included my poem Memories of Mom and Me, this is what he refers to.) There is nothing more that I could say more elegantly than You. Just I Miss and Love Her to . Love You Wendy.
(a friend, but when my mother was alive I was not close to her, her sister and I were good friends, the three of us did some things together, but now I consider her a dear friend.) I remember she always seemed to be moving so fast like maybe she knew time was short. I remember thinking that when you lost her.Reminds me of a lightning bug in the summer. They have a glow that fades when the weather chills but if you have seen one just at the right moment it is never forgotten. I only met her a few times but she seemed to be so dedicated and devoted to you. A moment with a mother like that is a blessing. I am sure she is already cleaning a spot in heaven for all the people she loved.
(from my father) One of the best memory I have is when I med Flippy (my mother’s nickname), I was on the bus returning to Norfolk after a weekend at home. The bus stopped in Greensboro around midnight and I saw her getting on the bus the seat next to me was empty so I pretended to be asleep so she would sit there. Lucky me she did take that seat so not long after that we started talking, I was out of cigarettes so I ask her for one. Needless to say we didn’t sleep a bit on the bus from then to Norfolk. I got her phone number in Norfolk and called her later Monday, From that time on we fell in love and had a beautiful life together.
I’ve printed this poem before, but for those who missed it, or have forgotten, I’m including it again since I mentioned it above. This poem was written within the first few hours after my mother died, and was read at her funeral.
Memories of Mom and Me
-I look around me and all I see,
brings back memories of mom and me.
-The clouds in the sky; for hours we’d look,
picking out colors and shapes and books.
-Oh, look there’s a snap bug – remember him?
a play thing for me and mom again.
-A sea shell reminds me of a walk on the beach;
my diploma, a goal, she believed I could reach.
-Let’s go to a movie – her favorite E. T.
then go to the park and swing with me.
-An ice cream cone, a frog, a snake,
a Thanksgiving dinner we attempted to make.
-All the things around me I see,
bring back memories of mom and me.
-The people who loved her, I see in their eyes,
the love that she gave them was no surprise.
-She had a heart as big as the world
and the soul of a little girl.
-People who knew her will never forget,
because she affected everyone she met.
-Reminders of my mom are easy to see,
for there are parts of her inside of me.
by Wendy Calloway (Holcombe) June 23, 1993
Bonus Prompt: I keep writing because… Start your post with this sentence and, as the title says, keep writing. Free write for 15 minutes without stopping and see where it takes you.
(today’s original prompt was to post a Health Mascot. My dog Sandy is my mascot, but I couldn’t right about that today. She died April 18th, one day I’ll write about what a brave, and wonderful dog she was, how many health issues she had and over came, how she was as the vet often called her, “a Wonder Dog”. But not today.)
I keep writing because…recently I keep writing because I am determined to finish this challenge.
Actually, I’ve begun to wonder, why I keep writing. I know why I started, I know I have made some good contacts, friends, and my heart has been here. This blog has really helped me through some tough times when I felt no one else was listening. I’d write, just to write, and I found there were others out there, others who felt like I did, others who needed to have that contact too. Now, I’m hurting so much. I’ve had so much loss this past year. I felt I dealt with each one, I was strong, and positive. I was told I was the most positive person someone knew. I was proud of myself and how I was looking at life.
Then another diagnosis came earlier this year, and it has been hard to deal with. I couldn’t be that positive about it. I’m still a bit in shock from it, and simply not sure how to look on things positively. I’m larger than I’ve ever been, and the doctors just seem to be ignoring it, yet they tell me my triglycerides are high, and I’m borderline high blood pressure….ect….but they all say, don’t worry about the weight right now, you have to focus on this. I’m afraid I’m on my way to diabetes. I read all these books on nutrition, cut out soda, all High Fructose Corn Syrup, snack on nuts, cheese, fruit, veggies, eat at home more, cut out gluten….all these will help you lose weight…but I do all of that. so why can’t I lose weight? I need help, I’ve been to a nutritionist, no help. Most don’t even know what fructose intolerance is….I know more than most of the “professionals”. I’m grieving for the loss of what I used to be, what I used to look like. I now have no energy, can’t exercise because it will raise my CSF pressure, I can’t walk for long because of my hips, I can’t even enjoy sex.
I’m grieving because I lost everything that I gained early last year. I can’t drive again…but I have a cute little car. I can’t be a foster parent, even though we went through all the classes had all the references…everything…but no, I can’t because it wouldn’t be fair with my health issues to bring a child into this. And frankly I don’t think I’d pass the physical now.
and worst of all I lost my best friend, my little baby dog. A HUGE part of me died with her. I have to find a way to make that part live again. To put the pieces of my life back together, even if some of the pieces are missing
Why do I write? Because I need to.
But I also need to take a break.
I may write sporadically for a while to let you know what is going on, but I need to take a break from the internet. I won’t be reading other people’s blogs as much or commenting as much. I need to take some time to focus on me. I may write about it, I may not. right now I’m simply trying to figure out how to get past all the grief of things I’ve lost this year, or how to grieve without losing myself. I need to focus more on the spiritual side of me. I need to make some huge decisions. My husband and I need to grieve over our Sandy together, and figure out how we will carry on with our family now that such a huge part of it is gone. We may end up moving. As I said a lot of decisions….and a lot of needs.
But yes I will write again. Because I must.
End 15 minutes…plus a little to put in the photo. : )