Category Archives: Hurt

Another small part of me has died…

Okay – admitting it – feeling sorry for myself.  It’s going on a week that I got hit by a car.   It’s going on a week that I miss going into the office and work.  It’s going on a week that my so-called love went MIA.   I thought he was the one.  I truly thought I was lucky enough to get a second chance at finding true love.  But when I needed him the most, he let me down.  He choose the cowardly way out – avoidance and lying.   I may be down and out, but I know I deserve better than that.  So I continue on my struggle alone.  Who cares if I am broke, who cares if I can’t comb my own hair, who cares if I can’t walk my own dog…the only thing that keeps me going is my faith that God has spared me once again.  There must be a reason.  I have hope that things will once again be okay…in the long run.  But right this minute, I am giving into my pain, my helplessness…for now, I scream, I fight, I curse, I cry, I feel sorry for myself…

I am finally getting over the shock of getting hit by a car.  I know I should have paid more attention in physics class.  But I am sure my accident proved something scientific, no??   A smaller, lighter object will generally yield to the heavier, faster-moving object.  But not necessarily without some resistance…hence my aching body, broken bones, bruised ego.

I was the pedestrian in a car-pedestrian tussle.  I don’t even think I did any damage to the car – *sigh* – all in all, I have to say that the car got the better of me.  I will be on the mend for at least three months according to my doctors.

I was only two blocks away from being home…only two blocks from being able to walk my own dog….only two blocks away from feeling safe.

I haven’t really been outside all week.  I used to love walking everywhere.  Now I am afraid of being squeamish about crossing streets – hoping that as my bruises heal so will my fear dissipate.  I sit here all alone and think if there is anything I can do to change what happened to me?   But the answer is always the same…No way.  And so it goes.

I recall one minute laying sprawled on the ground, and the next getting up, trying to shake off the cobwebs of disorientation and saying aloud, “I want to go home”.  I had people all around me….strangers shouting different advice.

A young girl crying dialed 911 and the driver called the police.  Pain started getting worse, my head hurt.  I felt more disoriented, more disembodied.  I was extremely lucky they said, not to suffer any head trauma. At first I managed to laugh about it and cover up my emotions. Then the shock kicked in during my treatment in hospital.  After waiting an eternity at the hospital, laughing instead of crying, trying to make those around me feel okay, I just wanted to be alone, to cry.  Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful things weren’t worse but I am still feeling this overwhelming anxiety, nightmares of the accident and the new challenges of daily life due to the recovery time.  And now on top of all this, I am dealing with a broken heart as well.  I understand that I am lucky there too.  I am happy that I know now how much of a coward he is and how much better off I am without him, before any more time invested.  But I have to face so much by myself, and now having to explain to family and friends what happened, and why he isn’t here is just too much for me right now.  I want to close my eyes and just pretend things are better.

I feel like I am the one left behind being punished and with the difficulties of trying to move forward, while everyone just gets to move on with their lives uninterrupted.

I truly wish there was one person in my life who could understand this incredible numb feeling I have as well as understand the nightmares, the sickness I get when I’m in a car as well as on a pavement.  There is no shortage of people saying the right things like “feel better”, things will get better”…but seriously, I know they don’t fully understand the depth of my pain…emotionally or physically.   I have a long way to go…paying off medical bills, trips to the doctors, trying to keep my job, keeping slimy ambulance chasing lawyers at bay, holding onto dignity, grasping at hope, fighting off depression, trying to forgive…My optimism has diminished.  Even though I’m lucky, trying to put on this brave front, and smile on my face – more than not, I can’t do it anymore.

I sincerely thank God that I am alive because I could have been dead.  Life could be worse I understand all of this.  Sometimes I just wish I could pass out for good from all the excruciating pain.  But I am stronger than that.  I can’t lie – this experience is dredging up a lot of past painful memories for me.  Memories I had thought I had successfully put behind me.

I’m in pain every day, but refuse to take enough meds to control it because they sedate me too much and I have other added complications of dealing with my blood count.  I try to be grateful that I’m alive, but I’m constantly reminded of all the things I can’t do.  Today is usually the day I give my dog his bath, but I couldn’t even pick him up and place him in the tub.  I can’t even open his shampoo bottle without crying out of frustration.  I am praying that in time things go back to some kind of normal.

I am still raw… my feelings of loss are overwhelmingly painful and scary.  I keep trying to explain, “This is just too much to bear! I can’t stand it!” But no one hears me.  So I will  cry when I want, yell at God, scream into my pillow, shut out well-meaning, but not good for me people. I am not suppressing nor avoiding my grief.  Its how I feel! Not letting anyone take away my right to it.  Most people are clueless.  They attempt to comfort me and give me advice and encourage me to “get over it” and “get on with your life” as soon as possible.  Yeah whatever.

Their discomfort and awkwardness with my situation is leading to some pretty severe “foot-in-mouth” disease.  I will keep trying to find humor in everything – laughter releases endorphins and may ease my pain.  My motto – smiling through my tears.

This was to be my year…grappling with faith and clutching at hope…♥


In Pain

I am all broken bones and shattered heart and confused mind….
Pain at times is unbearable…
Grasping at hope…

Pain…

In a world of pain physically…in a world of hurt emotionally…

The hurt is the same

Like an open wound

There are days

I don’t utter a sound

Some days the pain is stronger

It makes me sick and weak

I can’t stand this much longer

I just sit here and weep

I’ve shut my private door

And let no one in

Locking myself in a box

But I won’t give in….

 

 


National Pursuit of Happiness Week

It’s already Day 5 of National Pursuit of Happiness Week.  Sad that we even need a full week to remind us to pursue and find what makes us happy.

If Hurricane Sandy did nothing but force us all to slow down and appreciate what we have, then some good came out of that weather insanity.  If you are feeling overwhelmed – slow down. When we slow down we breathe more deeply, which makes us feel better. Sounds simple enough. Are you taking time each day to celebrate the good and let go of the bad?  It seems we get so caught up in the day-to-day that we forget to take some time to be still. When we take time to be still we can appreciate what we have and that lifts our spirits.

As the Dalai Lama tells us in his book The Art of Happiness:

‘In the same way, a situation that you initially perceive as 100 percent negative may have some positive aspects to it. But I think that even if you have discovered a positive angle to a bad situation that alone is often not enough. You still need to reinforce that idea. So you may need to remind yourself of that positive angle many times, until gradually your feeling changes.’

Have you thought about it? Are you so busy going through the day-to-day that you’ve forgotten the big picture?  Or are you bored senseless and just going through the motions?

I used to be downright bashful unless I felt I was in safe company. And now I just try not to care – I giggle out loud, sometimes at inopportune times, I skip, I trip, fall, laugh and get back up.  I kiss my dog, whisper to him, walk and play around. Do people look at me and think I am nuts?  I am sure – sometimes.  But I no longer care.   I enjoy and need to have fun goofing around.  I can recall so many stupid moments, and giggle aloud.  Giggling reminds me and gives me permission to lighten-up and have some fun…Do you hold back the true you? Is there a playful person hiding under layers of fear? Has the essence of you been squelched out by life’s challenges and limitations?  Don’t let it.  Its been a struggle, but I no longer allow the old uptight person come out of me.  I have to strangle that person.

I hope you all go out today and laugh out loud… and go about your day feeling lighter and gigglier…♥

Came across this and thought I should share:

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness Week 3: The Pursuit of Happiness

Speaker: Trey Kelly Follow @treykelly
Date: October 29, 2012

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

But what is Life? What is Liberty? And what is Happiness?

Is it a good job? A house in the suburbs? A beautiful wife, 2.5 kids and a dog? Is it all the money you’ll ever need. Is it a fancy car?

Life is more than just living. Liberty is more than just being free. And there’s only one source of true happiness.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Redefining the American Dream.


Words to a song that truly resonate….

This is a song for every girl who’s ever been through something she thought she couldn’t make it through, yeah
I sing these words because I was that that girl too
Wanting something better than this but who do I turn to?
Now we’re moving from the darkness into the light
This is the defining moment of our lives, mmmmmhh

Cause you’re beautiful like a flower
More valuable than a diamond
You are powerful like a fire
You can heal the world with your mind
And there is nothing in the world that you cannot do
When you believe in you
Who are beautiful
Yeah you, who are brilliant
Yeah you, who are powerful
Yeah you, who are resilient

This is a song for every girl who feels that she is not special
Cause she don’t look like a supermodel, Coke bottle
The next time the radio tells you to shake your money maker
Shake your head and tell them, tell ’em you’re a leader
Now we’re moving from the darkness into the light
This is the defining moment of our lives, Yeah
Cause you’re beautiful like a flower
More valuable than a diamond
You are powerful like a fire
You can heal the world with your mind
And there is nothing in the world that you cannot do
When you believe in you
Who are beautiful
Yeah you, who are brilliant
Yeah you, who are powerful
Yeah you, who are resilient
Yeah you, who are beautiful
Yeah you, who are brilliant
Yeah you, who are powerful
Yeah you, who are resilient
Yeah you, this song is for you
Yeah you, this song is for you
Yeah you, this song is for you

Yeah you
Yeah you, you are brilliant


T’s Pushing people away…again…

Trying really hard not to.  Every time I get sick, start feeling overwhelmed, feeling sorry for myself, I push people away.  I just can’t deal.  Some people make it easy.  My true friends give me the space I need but they won’t allow me to fully disappear.  Thank goodness.  I wish I could take back some things the past two weeks.  But I guess we really don’t get do-overs, do we?!

Yes, a part of me understands why things had to happen this way. I understand the reasons for causing me this pain and anxiety . But mere understanding does not chase away the hurt nor pain.  There are times when life suddenly casts a shadow before us: we suffer for sins we did not even commit, we go through situations we certainly do not deserve to be in. In such times, we have so many questions throbbing at the back of our minds, but the biggest of them all is “WHY?”  “Why ME!?!  Again…”

Pain = Pushed people away = Higher anxiety ~ Cycle?!

I have sadly learned that an answer is not really forthcoming.  I know I will not hear answers to these questions; the pain remains, life stands still, and I can’t do anything but wait ‘til everything’s over, until I can move on again like I used to, when my body didn’t fail me and my heart wasn’t shattered yet into the thousand lonely pieces they broke into.  Here is my most important question, and that is “HOW?”

How do I deal with my feelings of brokenness? How to continue moving forward? Where is my smile again?  Like many people, I’ve been through dark and painful moments in my life as well, moments I wanted to skip, moments when what I really wanted the most is to have my own time machine so I can either go back where I was happy, or fast forward anywhere in the future where I can find myself again. But no machine like that has ever been invented yet, and the only way to move from the terrible place where I stand is to continue going through the dark tunnel ahead that will lead me towards the new beginning I’m looking forward to.   *sigh*  I know once I do what the doctors suggest, I will be back on my journey.  But am I really ready?!

Sending an apology to my friends…out into the universe… I don’t mean to push you away.

I don’t have a fear of intimacy.  I don’t fear someone seeing the real me (well maybe this minute since my eyes hurt from crying).  I don’t fear someone might leave me.  I don’t fear that I might get hurt.  I recently met someone who I feel sabotaged their relationships, by allowing fear push people away.  I felt like it was the good old, “I’m gonna get you before you get me” syndrome, where someone behaves poorly to drive the other person away or just flat out breaks-up for no real good reason.  I have also seen people who sabotage themselves by consistently looking for things to fight about, to be jealous about or to be critical of.

But that’s not me – today I am admitting that I am pushing some people away because I have this inane belief that they can’t handle my life.  My uncertainty.  My getting sick.  My honesty.

So I am trying so hard to find and hold onto…accept, challenge, patience, love, strength, don’t dwell, learn, pray, laugh, cry, believe…keep breathing…hoping…

I don’t plan too far ahead…too much expectation, too much disappointment, too much illusion.  I tend to live from day to day.  Mostly it’s from moment to moment…gets me to the next step.  Pain is pain and suffering is suffering. There is no magic pill or any kind of painkiller that we can take to prevent us from feeling our hurts. We have to bear it head on and cling to the thought that things will definitely change for the better.  “I have deep sorrow today, and an unclear vision of the future. But nobody ever died of loneliness – only of hopelessness! As long as I have hope, no problem is ever too difficult, no night ever so dark that it can prevent the rising of another day!”

Can joy still exist even in my sorrows?!

Yes – although right this second, as I write this I am not fully embracing this but I do believe that joy and sorrow can definitely exist at the same time.  Someone deep down, I know I am going to get through this current hurdle.   Somewhere in my heart, there is a chamber of joy that has remained intact, untouched, forever guiding me in me most troublesome days and paths.  Faith, hope, loving myself…protects me and my happiness.

I didn’t realize the power of a secret I’ve been keeping. I didn’t notice the constant weight hanging on my shoulders. I didn’t realize the enormity of it all until I let it out today and now again via this post and I feel like I am slowly learning how to breathe again.

It’s nice to put trust into someone who speaks in “when’s” and not “if’s.” It’s nice to know that, despite how heavy and deep and painful a secret may be, there’s at least one person who’s willing to accept what you’ve told them and be honest when they tell you, “it’s not okay…but you’re going to be.”  Thank you – you know who you are….my rock, my sanity.  And ♥mm♥ is there too – even with September 11 fast approaching and my sadness hitting an all time high.  Talk about timing!

I have allowed some wrong people in my life this year, as well as learning to cherish the right people.  Still learning.  I think I will continue to look at most things as though they are my first time, as though it will be my last.  I will continue to pray, smile, and love!


Missing my brother…he is my Angel…

I truly can’t believe my baby brother has been gone now for 18 years.  Seriously where does the time go?!  Today I woke up and the sun was shining and I was thinking nice, peaceful thoughts and then it just happens like it just hits me – I can’t breathe, I don’t want to get out of bed, I don’t want to see anyone. I don’t want to talk to anyone. I miss him so much. It’s so hard to lose someone you love – all the words in the world can’t take away this sadness I feel at times. But I try to live my life the best I can. I try to live my life fully for him too….he was only 25 years young, taken from us at the beginning of his prime.  So many things he didn’t get to do, or experience…so I keep that in mind as I live my life.  Life after death…I have found the will over and over again to live every day. Death…that is why I never stay mad at anyone – I imagine them dead, so it’s easier to forgive them. I believe that there is some order, some purpose to all of this. I have stopped asking why my little brother. It still hurts so much but I have accepted that it has happened and whatever the reasons, they are not for me to know. But I would be lying if I said I didn’t wish I could just hear his voice one more time…

For a long time, I thought it would be easier, better not to invest in people – they leave, they die. Scary. But now I have learned that the alternative is so much worse. I am not going to convince anyone that losing AJ has made me a better person, I sometimes still get angry, sad. And most days it hurts so much, I can’t breathe. But the thought of never having had AJ in my life – now that would have been truly unbearable.

Love you, AJ. Missing you….xo to my Angels… ♥♥


Benevolence!

Mencius said, ‘Benevolence is the distinguishing characteristic of man. As embodied in man’s conduct, it is called the path of duty.’

*sigh* Duty!  Benevolence!  I am usually a nice, caring, thoughtful person…I understand the desire to do good to others; goodwill; charitableness: to be filled with benevolence toward one’s fellow creatures.  I am usually kind.

Ah…am feeling a little sorry for myself today.  My Mom was in the hospital a few weeks ago again, and now my step father today.  I am exhausted trying to balance a still new-to-me job, dealing with family, a sick dog and starting to date.   I am praying and hoping that if I write out my thoughts, some if not all my ill-thoughts will dissipate somehow.  I am trying really hard to remain focused, stay optimistic and keep smiling…tired of the tears.  Really tired of the gray hair.  Well, just truly weary of being physically tired, emotionally drained, and mentally worried… migraine please go away!!  What is the commercial….”Calgon take me away”?!

I thought surviving leukemia, losing my brother, my bff, my father, and my fiancé to death all before I was 35 years old was enough heartache for a life time – well I was wrong.

About five years ago, soon after I turned the big 40, my maternal grandmother had another stroke and was hospitalized and both my step-father and mother were battling cancer, I made a very tough decision to move back home.  I was being laid off and I thought it was a sign and timing was there.

Little did I know then that as a caregiver, I would reach my own breaking point…several of them.  I found myself sick, barely hanging on financially and emotionally, fighting my own depression, and frustration building after only 12 months.  My grandmother finally succumbed to her last stroke after months of struggling, both my Mom and step father were released from the hospital, back home and taking life one day at time, dealing with getting older and the every day frustration of having their bodies fail them.   Throughout all of this, my already strained relationship with my three older sisters got progressively worse to the point of true estrangement.  After losing my grandmother, I went back to work in early 2008, loved my new job, met a guy, got married for all the wrong reasons again, and moved away to a neighboring state;  Only to find myself trapped and unhappy in another marriage, the economy continuing to worsen.  In 2009, I was laid off again and after taking a trip together to visit family in PR realized that the marriage could, should not be saved.   My oldest dog was also aging and getting sicker.  So I moved back home.  Having to put my 16 year old dog was one of the hardest things I had to do.   I took my time looking for work since unemployment was at an all time high.  I really became my parent’s advocate.  I started to run their household – bills, grocery shopping, meals, doctor visits – I became nurse, accountant, event planner, personal shopper, etc.  Then in 2010, my nephew finds himself sick and hospitalized for a few months; once released needing a place to stay and recuperate.  I took him in.  By then I had the second floor to myself, after moving the parents to the first floor and plenty of room.  Well, my naïve, good natured personality had failed me before and now has taught me a very valuable lesson:  No good deed goes unpunished.   After a little over two years, he decides to move out and it has been a couple of months now since I have heard from him – from the first day he moved out, he has not returned my calls, emails nor texts.  My oldest sister, his Mom, hasn’t heard from him neither but has never forgiven me for taking him in when he had no place to go.  So…this has been my life the past few years…my life has been filled with the irony of “damned if I do, damned if I don’t”.   I don’t know if I will ever learn the phrase “No good deed goes unpunished”.  My life does indeed come across as a sardonic commentary on the frequency with which acts of kindness backfire on those who offer them. In other words, because life is inherently unfair, those who help others are doomed to suffer as a result of their being helpful.   I hate to be so pessimistic and believe this.  So I sit here sometimes, scratching my head going, “WHY do I bother?”  So basically, “No good deed goes unpunished” is a wry way of saying that often going out of your way to be kind or thoughtful or considerate doesn’t always get the expected result.  You know the saying, “Virtue is its own reward?”  Sometimes it isn’t!  But…in the words of  Roger Staubach “there are no traffic jams along the extra mile.”  So I will always try to do what is right.  I will never allow someone else’s thoughtlessness, selfishness  stop me from being me…So when someone close to me ignores my thoughtfulness; puts down my tastes or choices; makes rude, unnecessary comments; and doesn’t utter a ‘thank you’ – I will smile.  And pray to God asking him to forgive them.

So I need to continually find strength, humor, outlets to relieve my stress.  And with the work week looming, I am looking forward to just being busy at work.  Putting my emotions on a leash of sorts.  Letting my analytic side of my brain take over.  Until I find myself stressing over having to be social next weekend. Little did I know that with the role of caregiver, also came role of hostess.  Now when my parents have visitors, family and friends over, I find myself having to play hostess on top of cleaning, shopping, cooking (mostly catering)…I try but find myself failing at most.  Both my Mom and step father can be overly critical, verbally abusive and stubborn. Sometimes, I am at such a loss, I don’t know what emotion takes lead.  I slowly fear that I find myself once again reaching my breaking point and barely hanging on.

I love my Mother and try my best to respect her, but she continues to be the same self-centered person she has always been and I find myself biting my tongue and working really hard at keeping the anger at bay.  I have come to understand that my parents are not nice aging parents.

I will also keep carving out my own little niche, a safe place, where its not so toxic.  I feel a little guilty about not spending all of my free time these days with my parents but there is so much combative, harassing torment I can take on any given day.  So I escape to work, to dating, to reading, to writing…I can get lost in the comfort of written words. I have learned how to protect myself better and stay insulated even if it means being alone.  I will no longer allow anyone to wreak havoc on my own mental health.  I am going to always be there for my Mom and step father, even my nephew if he ever needs me again; but the biggest difference is that I will keep moving forward with my own life.  The guilt abates – I know I have done so much and will continue to do everything I can and yet most importantly know when to take a step back before I reach the breaking point again to regroup. I am learning to protect myself first.  I am my very own best advocate.   Abraham Lincoln once said “whatever you are, be a good one”…so I continue on my journey of only good things… ♥


“In life and love, expect the unexpected…”

How many of you have seen the movie, “Moonlight Mile”?   This is how I have been feeling all weekend into Monday…”I feel like I have been in a place where nothing’s right, where every moment’s backwards, every sky’s without color, without hope…”…so I am sitting here determined not to play games, waste my time nor anyone else’s – no games, only hope…

Some of the quotes / lines from the movie that resonated with me:
Truth is hard
colors wrong styles wrong
guess its where the good ones live
Where have I been – where I went
I went to a place where is nothing right
where everyone hurts
sky is without color without hope
Every moment is backwards
I tried to come back but I got lost
I thought I found home when I found you
“Dear Bertie, You asked me before where I went. And I want  to tell you. I went to a place where nothing’s right, where every moment’s  backwards, every sky’s without colour, without hope. I tried to come back,  Bertie. But I got lost. And while I was gone, I met you. And I didn’t even have  the courage to realize I was home. A wise friend of mine told me “we all have  our homes”, and now I know it’s true. I hope you get this letter, Bertie. I  figure I got 75 chances. Cause if you do you’ll know that in the end, that’s  where I was. I found home, Bertie. I found you. I hope you can find your’s soon.  Get there – as fast as you can. And write me when you do. Love, Joe.”
“I’m sorry,  I can’t, I can’t do this. It didn’t happen. We loved each other, we broke it  off. If I don’t-Jesus, if I don’t say this now, it’ll never-she’ll never be a  part of this. What are we-what are we doing here? I don’t even-I don’t even know  this guy. She-she didn’t even know this guy. What’s he got to do with her? I  don’t-look, you asked me to bring her in the room, and she’s not here-she’s not.  And whatever happens here, whatever happens to this guy, she’s not here. And the  only way that you’re gonna bring her in here is with the truth. I don’t know-I  don’t know what else to say. You just tell me what to say, and I swear, I’ll  try, but if you want her, you got to keep it honest. You have to understand that  Diana had this thing, this way of bringing out the real in people, not just the  best, you know-their honesty. And I guess she’s doing it again now cause there’s  no way I’d be sitting here saying these things I can’t believe are coming out of  my mouth. It was Diana who finally had the courage. *She* was the one who told  *me* that I didn’t want to go through with it. And I guess she’s-she’s doing it  again, cause all of this-all of this is everything that she wouldn’t want. She  wasn’t a bride-to-be. She wasn’t a victim. She was strong and real and messed up  and wickedly honest, just like her mother. And if I sit here trying to paint it  any other way, I… Oh, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I just-I thought-I thought that if  I could just… paint the pictures that you needed, you know, that… that  somehow… that somehow you’d bring these people some peace, finally, and they’d  have their daughter back, or… But, uh… that’s not how she’d wanna be. The  truth is hard. Sometimes it looks so wrong, you know-the color’s off, the  style’s wrong, but I guess it-I guess it’s where the good one’s live…”
With a head full of snow everything makes sense yet it all eventually crumbles into fragmented BS upon sober self-reflection.  Like a drug, it’s all consuming, self isolating, leading to nowhere fast….avoiding….
Only hope…♥

Woman’s Best Friend…♥

I am in a very emotional state today – over tired, lack of sleep – I have not stopped crying  since early this morning at 5am when I had to leave my poor Chili dog home alone feeling poorly since I had to come into work.  Makes me sick to see him so listless, staring up at me.  And this brings up so many feelings…makes me realize that he won’t live forever and how I felt when I had to put his older brother down two years ago.  Still so raw.   I can’t even write this without tears streaming down my face.

I know that there are some people that won’t understand this post. People that have never loved a dog like a family member and people that look at dogs as nothing more than pets. But for those who have loved a dog like I have, I know you will understand this.   Please bear with me here as I feel a need to write this down as a form of therapy for myself and it’s my small attempt at a tribute for the most incredible dog that I have ever known. My emotions and thoughts are over the place so this might not even come out as coherent but I’m going to do my best.

I had not started this blog when I had to put my Cairn Terrier, Scruffy, down in 2009. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done and I still miss him like crazy on most days.  If I didn’t already have Chili, my Boston Terrier,  I don’t think I would want another dog again because I hate the thought of losing him too already and he’s only 7.   So hard to go through the pain and loss.   But these couple of years, I am SO glad that I’ve had Chili with me.  He’s been great at giving me comfort and helping me remember why animals bring so much joy into our lives. I’m a dog person through and through. And even though it’s hard and painful to think about them getting older and passing away, the time spent with them is so worth it in the end.  It’s hard loving these little animals that sneak their way into your hearts but at the same time, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I truly believe they were put on earth to bring us joy and companionship and I’m happy that I am still able to see that the benefits far outweigh the heartache.

I’m not writing this for a pity party, but I have this story inside of me and today it’s coming out for whatever reasons.  It’s a story that defines me and how we all grieve and seek comfort in different ways.

The year I decided to get Scruffy, was a very lonely, bleak time for me. I was trying to finish college, but I learned I was back out of remission, and trying to concentrate in class, be a normal young lady, thinking of guys, makeup and dates wasn’t working.   Dealing with the realization that I could die was too much for me.  And while this story is one of the most monumental times in my life, it’s not about my illness solely nor about my struggles graduating college.  It’s about the one who got me through that time.  Everything and mostly everyone seemed so trivial compared to what I was going through and what really mattered.  Looking back on that moment all these years later, I know that it was him who picked me.  Scruffy was everything I needed during that time and more.

I wish I could really describe what he meant to me but I don’t think I will ever be able to adequately talk about my best friend during the hardest part of my life. He became my companion and a true friend more than just a dog; he was there with me through everything.   When I went to Seattle for 6 months for a clinical study, he was allowed to be with me.  When I discovered my love for hiking, he was with me.  When I went out to alfresco dining, he was always at my feet…at dog-friendly restaurants.  He slept next to me at night, he kept me laughing and happy for the first time in a long time, and he gave me a reason to be excited when I came home from school and the hospital instead of to an empty apt. He brought life back into me and I don’t know how I would have gotten through that time without him.  I never felt lonely with Scruffy anymore, because wherever I was, he was always by my side.   And now with just Chili, I don’t feel alone neither.   I brought Chili home one day when he was only 3 months old and about to get destroyed and Scruffy was already 12 years old.  Scruffy never became jealous – on the contrary – he welcomed his new little sick brother with open paws – sharing his bed and toys…just not his food.  Scruffy loved to eat!

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end…that day came when I made the hardest decision I have ever had to make to put my best friend down.  Scruffy had been showing signs of aging for the last few years and I knew it was just a matter of time for him.  I couldn’t bear seeing him suffer anymore. After living in denial about his health those last few months, I was forced to confront it.  After a lot of talking, crying and prayer I knew I couldn’t deny any longer that my full-of-life puppy had turned into an old dog and it was only for my own selfish reasons to keep him alive any longer.

As I stood next to him in the vet’s room, I put my arms around him one last time and began whispering in his ear. His tail slowly wagged back and forth as I petted him and I spoke softly so only he could hear. I thanked him for being the best dog I could ask for, I thanked him for crawling into my lap 16 years ago, and for tugging at my hert strings; I thanked him for every way he had ever loved me and most important – I thanked him for bringing me back to life.

There was one night not so long ago, that I remember so well and probably the memory that I will always think of how both of my dogs have impacted my life…it was the first holidays without Scruffy, and I put up the Christmas tree and then went to bed in tears, recalling how much Scruffy would love laying under the tree.  And that night Chili jumped on the bed when he heard me crying in the dark. I pulled back the covers to let him in; he laid down by my side, put his head on the pillow next to mine and just stayed there while I cried my eyes out. I put both of my arms around him for a tight hug and he would lick my face from time to time and stayed awake with me until I finally fell asleep a few hours later. It was one of the most touching nights with him and a night that I had never appreciated him more.  He just seemed to know when I needed him most and never failed to be there for me…Scruffy taught him well.

Sometimes I feel guilty but no matter how much I love Chili {and I really do love him}, he will never be my Scruffy.   Chili is my baby but Scruffy was my best friend…♥

There is a favorite quote of mine from the movie, “Marley and Me” that will always make me think of Scruffy:

“A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours. Marley  Scruffy taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things – a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness, and above all else, unwavering loyalty.”

Oh my Scruffy, you were the best of the best and there will never be another like you.   Thank you for teaching Chili and I how to love and live again.  ♥

My Chili Dog

My serious Chili Dog

The Ortiz Brothers
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My Best Friend


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