Thursday, October 17, 2013

It’s my birthday and I’ll blog if I want to

Today I am 55 years old. There I said it. There’s no dancing around it. No saying “I'm fifty-something.” No, I am 55 and I have earned it.

Last year was an extremely hard year with the prolonged illness and death of my husband. Dave had been a part of my life for 35 years. Although our marriage eventually fell apart, our relationship remained what it had always been – a deep and abiding friendship.

After his death, I was left with his two cats (Ginger and Travis) and his dog Zora. Well actually, I found Ginger as a kitten, and our daughter Natalie talked her dad into keeping him. Travis is one of the kittens belonging to a pregnant stray I adopted, and Natalie talked her dad into keeping him. And Zora was a rescue dog looking for a forever home, and Natalie – well, you get the picture. Obviously, a love of animals extends deep into our family.

After moving his pets into my home, I had to deal with their emotional issues. Being uprooted from the only home they had ever known and losing their only human companion was very stressful for them. For weeks, I slept on the couch in the family room with two cats and a dog literally lying on top of me. But eventually, they learned that this was their new home and I wasn't going anywhere.

Zora also has ongoing health issues. She has severe allergies and frequent ear infections. I've spent months giving her medications and trying to find a diet to help reduce her symptoms. Although, we aren’t all the way there yet, we have made a lot of progress. I've recently switched her to a grain-free diet, and I'm hoping that eventually I can take her off medication.

Then of course, there are the emotional issues for my daughter and me. Natalie went into counseling almost immediately, and within the past few months, I have been able to recognize the person I knew before.

And me – I thought I could tough it out. I threw myself into handling the legal/financial issues of settling Dave’s estate, caring for his pets and helping our daughter. So of course, somewhere around six months after he died, I became so depressed I could hardly get out of bed in the morning.

I finally admitted that I was human, entered into counseling and got back on my antidepressants. Did I mention that I had stopped taking them?

I am better now. Natalie is better now. Zora, Ginger and Travis are better now. Yes – it was a hard year, and I am looking forward to a better one next year. Happy birthday to me!

17 comments:

  1. I've kept you in my heart this entire time. Such a tremendous loss and stressful time. I'm glad to hear you got the help you needed and are feeling better. Best-ever birthday wishes to you this year ... as you start the next phase of your life. Hugs to you, friend!

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  2. You deserve to do whatever you want on your birthday! Happy 55th! I remeber being that age and it was very nice. I am happy things are going well for you, your daughter, and the animals.

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  3. Happy Birthday!! No... never, ever be ashamed or embarrassed of your age - I really don't know how or why humans ever started being sheepish about our ages. Age is a badge of honor! You've survived 55 years so far in this tough world!
    I'm so, so sorry to hear that you had such a tremendously difficult year last year. So glad to hear that you, your daughter, and all the furry sweet ones are doing much better. I pray that this year (and the coming years) are blessed and happy!

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  4. Happy Birthday! I hope you get to do something really special. You more than deserve it after the year you've had. *hugs*

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  5. Here's to wishing you a wonderful celebration of all you've been strong enough to endure. Here's to wishing you a wonderful birthday today. And here's to wishing you a wonderful year ahead. May this one be filled with carefree times and intense joy.

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  6. Happy Birthday, Vicki! I'm so sorry to hear how rough the past year has been...you should be proud of how you've persevered through it. Here's to joy-filled days ahead!
    xo

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  7. Happy Birthday Vicki! You have had a rough year indeed, but it seems like you are coming out the other side ok! Onward and upward Caro xx

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  8. Here's to better times ahead. Happy Birthday from all of us!!!

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  9. Happy Birthday! Let it be the beginning of a wonderful year for you!

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  10. YES!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!! It's a new day, a new year, a NEW YOU!

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  11. Happy Purrthday! I hope you baked or bought yourself something good to eat and enjoyed the day!
    Purrs

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  12. A very Happy Birthday, even if you aren't following me on Nipclub anymore. Next year HAS to be better, doesn't it?

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  13. A very happy birthday to you, and a big hug!

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  14. Happy Birthday dear friend. You are young yet - 55. (shh, I'm 74 now and would happily trade with you. he he). I do hope you did something special for the day to celebrate. Big birthday hugs.

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  15. Happy birthday, Vicki, and congratulations on making it through a difficult year. I'm glad that all are better now, and I hope that the upcoming years are much happier. xo

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  16. HAPPY Birthday to you!!! We are glad things have turned a corner and are sending you purrs and kisses for a wonderful 55!!

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  17. Happy Birthday here is to the future have a good one!xx Speedy and Rachel

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