Thursday, October 17, 2013
It’s my birthday and I’ll blog if I want to
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!