This thing called Motherhood

 

motherhood

Every mother has a different perspective of motherhood.

For me, motherhood is a blessing that I never knew would come. My firstborn, Reagan, is my miracle baby, because the pregnancy before him was a phantom of a dream that I once had. I will always wonder what my life would be like, had this phantom baby were real, and would I have two children or three?  Blighted ovum is a difficult pill to swallow, much like Alzheimers. You see a human being, but they are not there. Not really. Much like an empty shell.

Motherhood has given me a brutal beating, but you know what?  I remember sitting in restaurants, staring at children and giggling babies at other tables, with my heart ripped into shreds. I wanted to be a mother so badly, that it hurt to see my closet friends give birth, raise their children, and see their unmistakable bonds. I hated that I felt such resentment, but it was there like an elephant in the room.

Choosing the words “brutal beating” is harsh, I know. When I use these words, I am referring to fleeting moments of autistic meltdowns…..punches and bites and screaming. Strong bitterness and back talk from the sibling of an autistic child. There are so many dynamics involved under the roof of a family that has a special needs child or adult. Dynamics that cannot be understood to the fullest, even if you have a special needs family member. Because guess what?  Just like each person is different from the next, this applies to autism, down syndrome, lupus, muscular dystrophy, mental illness, etc. Everyone copes and processes differently. This is my journey of motherhood.

Reagan was this perfect Gerber baby, chubby and happy. He slept fairly well, with his tiny fists on each side of his face, squishing his cheeks together. Watching him sleep was peaceful. He made me feel such a happiness that I couldn’t even fathom how life was before he was here. He was a good baby. As he grew into a toddler, his personality was hysterical, and he kept us all laughing. He looked like Charlie Brown with his big, bald head. He was my sweet boy, and he loved me so much. His heart could move mountains, it was so big, and because of that he was a very sensitive boy. Still is. I love this about him, because he loves so intently, and cares so much, however, once Bailey came, he had to share his time with us, and that didn’t always sit well with him. I don’t think there is enough credit given to the siblings in a special needs family. Reagan is affected by every one of Bailey’s meltdowns. Each one breaks him down a little bit more. He has high anxiety all the time, even has trouble falling asleep at times. We have to treat him with kid gloves, and there are some judgements about this. Those judgements don’t concern me anymore.

Reagan needs more one on one time with each of us separately. He needs to always be assured that he matters and is loved. He needs to reminded that he is a very smart boy, even though he has had struggles at school this year. He is so deserving. We have had some rough patches, but he is an amazing nine year old boy, that has the world at his feet. He will make a wonderful, tender hearted husband, and father, one day, and he makes my heart burst. Every night he lets me rub his head and he tells me about his day and all of his woes. Thank GOD I have those nights, because I wouldn’t be able to stand being disconnected from my firstborne. Being his mother makes me so proud.

Bailey is my Velcro child, always right there, always stumbling over her. She can’t fall asleep without me, and she wraps around me like a spider monkey so that I can’t get up and sneak away. Bailey was always behind the game, through no fault of her own, and not my fault, either, though it took me many years to stop punishing myself. Bailey is a lovely, blue-eyed little girl with an off the wall personality, a memory like a steel trap, and this insurmountable creativity and love of art.

We gave her everything she needed as parents after her diagnosis, and she has blossomed beyond our expectations. It took great strength to parent her, and it has been a rollercoaster, but she flourishes every day. Till this day, I watch her play with her toys, doing her “thing”, as she calls it, and I hear her pronounce all of these words into these beautiful sentences. Being a witness to her growth has defined me as a mother. Her disability has challenged me more than anything else in my life. Her meltdowns have broken me down, but forced me to conjer strength to put myself back together again. She is this little person with such fight and determination. We have a long way to go, and we need more help, but it is only uphill from here. I am so blown away by her perseverance. What a wonderful little girl she has become.

Admittedly, I enjoy my community of mothers with children with autism, and being labeled a Warrior Mom, but you know what?  All mothers are warriors. We wipe noses, we cook meals, we transport, we clean and make lunches. But let’s be honest, what really matters?  Our nurturing spirits, our limitless amount of love for our children, and our fierce protective nature when our child has been hurt. They will grow and become teenagers, and we will still smell their sweet skin on our faces, and remember the softness of their hair, and they way they used to look up at us with such adoration.

This motherhood thing. It’s amazing.

Time Is Ticking

Within the past year, I took some time to reflect on my life.  Grudges, old, stale bitterness, and resentment I held for individuals who had no concern for my well being. You know the quote, Let It Go, but it is not an easy feat. Not at all.

Why do we waste so much time on stupid, petty anger?  Why do we let it consume our relationships and poison them like a disease?  At what point did we decide the relationship wasn’t worth the effort?  Why do we try to control all of those around us, those that are precious to us?

Toxic friends, we all have at least one. Those can be dismissed without a glance back, as in the expression, “Don’t look back, you aren’t going that way.” So don’t!!

Family is a whole different ball of wax. I resented my mother for EIGHT years after her death. One day this overwhelming forgiveness hit me like a ton of bricks, and I was blindsided with grief. But she was already gone, and I was left with regret. And regret……it never goes away.

My Grandpa died of pneumonia and alzheimers. I spent his last months by his side as much as I could, and he left this world knowing that he was loved. His death made me feel empty, and it still hurts like hell, but I l chose to not take precious time for granted, and because of that, I can look back at our relationship and feel at peace. I want that for everyone.

Make it right. Take it upon yourself to salvage your relationships that matter to you. Most likely, the other person wants to do the same, but fears rejection. If you are a parent, it is your job to make it right, tom nurture, protect, and help guide your children into adulthood. If you are disconnected from your child, change that. Make it right. I suffer from not having a mother in my life. The struggle is real, and even at age 45, I still need a mother. Days, weeks, and months went by, and I had no mother. I went to school, I struggled with insecurities, I reveled in dreams that I would have loved to have shared with my mother, but she was not there. Death, absence, whatever……sometimes they just aren’t there.

Now my grandma has dementia, and she doesn’t know who I am anymore. How do you make it right, when they are there, but absent in your life?

I am all over the place with this blog, because there are so many different stages of emotions all at once. I had a point to make, and I am not sure that I have made it. I have been told by many that I tend to try to be the peacemaker, and I am proud of that.

My children love me like crazy, and that is a beautiful feeling. They can come to me for anything. I have made a point to be their best friend and confidant so that there would never be any secrets. Open your doors, people!!  Stop closing them because of your own hatred, animosity, and stubbornness. Lower your expectations of others. Why put such pressure on someone who only wants your love?  Do you think that tightening those reins will make them love you more? Most certainly not. They will suffocate, and you will end up alone.

I am not all koon-by-ya type of person (excuse the misspelling),  but I am over watching these families tear each other down, when they should be supporting each other, spending valuable time having heart to heart talks and laughing and sharing. Break down the barriers and take a chance. Time is ticking, and one day you will be gone. How do you want to be remembered?

#makeitright

LESSON LEARNED

learning

1) Do not settle. Settling is a discredit to yourself, and to the other person. There may be the perfect match for THEM out there.

*I have done this many times over the years. In the moment, especially when you are young, you feel passionately for someone, but come to find out, they were never there for you when you really needed them. You never listened to your gut, and your questioned whether you were truly happy or not.

2) Do not assume everyone is your friend, nor do they want to hear your personal sagas. Genuine, honest, and trustworthy friendships are a rare find. Not all of your “friends” have your back, nor are they reliable confidants.

*There is a huge difference between a friend and an acquaintance. I learned this brutal reality after Bailey was diagnosed with autism. It was my lowest point, rock bottom. When I came up for air, and took a look around, those who I thought were my friends were gone. Lesson learned.

3) Just say NO. You will run out of steam really fast, if you are at everyone’s beckon command.

*This is still an issue with me, but I am working on it. I want to help everyone, and if I don’t, I feel very guilty. I have to stop and ask myself….,would they do the same for me?

4) Lower your expectations of those around you. Not everyone has the capacity to care as much as you do, nor will they exert the same effort. Seriously, THEY WILL NOT EXERT THE SAME EFFORT!

* I learned this is dog rescue. There are many dog lovers out there, but not many of those who consider their dogs/cats as part of their family. I am GLAD that I cannot understand this, because I don’t want to be one of those people. They are the ones that have the world fooled, the ones who drive past animals in need, those who buy  their animals from breeders while others die in the shelters, and they are the ones who dump their animals on the side of the road. It is my  job to educate and be a resource for the rescue community.

And two of my favorites……

9) Only surround yourself with those who will bring you UP, not down. Those who judge you, are not worth your frustrations.

Family and friends…..yes, sad, but true. If you are around a person that makes you feel small, belittled, or worse, like you aren’t doing your job as a parent, in THEIR opinion, off with their heads. No one knows the struggles you live every single day. Placing judgement on you is unfair, cruel, and NON-Christian (if you  are the praying type).

10) Take baby steps. Everything comes at once…..reflect, breathe. Take baby steps, make a mental list, and tackle one problem at  a time. Break it down into pieces so it isn’t so consuming.

I am still working on this one as well. I am always telling everyone how overwhelmed I am. I know they are tired of hearing this, because in their minds, I am not making time for THEM. It is about them, not about me. If they lived one day in my shoes, they would give me space and not put additional stress on me. I wish I knew a way to word how my life is, without hurting feelings or coming across like I don’t care. I would love to spend more time with my friends. I would love to spread out, relax and chat on the phone. My life doesn’t allow this anymore. It is what it is, and I am doing the best that I can.

The Golden Years. Or not.

Aging is terrifying when you are alone. Your joints are sore, you become slower in all of  your daily activities, you forget the little things, and eventually, the bigger things. You turn to your family for support, and if you are blessed, then your family helps you along your journey. Family is everything, and if the elderly don’t have anyone to reach out to, tend to  become lost, confused, depressed, and lonely. All of these feelings of isolation, coupled with degenerative health issues and even untreated injuries, not to mention dementia, is extremely heartbreaking for them, not to mention bearing a heavy weight on the family as a whole. Your loved one will eventually come and live with you, or they will reside in an assisted living facility where they are cared for 24/7. They get health care, physical therapy, and emotional fulfillment, etc. This is in a perfect world, of course.

So let’s talk about dogs. Is a dog just a dog?  Did I lose you when I mentioned “dogs”?  Do you feel like elderly dogs and cats are not as important as elderly humans?  If  you feel this way, then I have no words. Well, I DO, but you don’t want to hear them.

I question a person’s heart and soul when they are not compassionate for animals.  I truly do.  Many others in the rescue community feel this way, and that is why I have chosen to surround myself with those who fight night and day to save these lives. If you do not consider your “pet” part of your family, do not get one.

A person who can walk away from their dog after making the decision to leave them in a KILL shelter does not have a heart. When a person walks away from their sick, elderly dog in a KILL shelter is a MONSTER.

Have they gotten old and need more medical care?  Are they are urinating on your floors and losing muscle mass in their backs legs? Are they wandering around your house, bumping into the walls and standing still in a state of confusion?  Losing their sight and hearing?

You would not abandon your grandparent in a cage, and leave them there, knowing full and well that they can be killed.  Knowing they can’t see or hear well, in a lot of pain, and knowing they are terrified because they can sense death all the way to their core. Shivering cold, and flinching from the others screaming in confusion and fear. Would you desert your grandparent there and never look back?

Our mindset needs to change, and change NOW. NEWSFLASH:  Our furry family members FEEL!!!  They feel love, loss, sadness, fear, and they feel isolation. They shake and cry, and they miss you terribly when you leave them. If you are okay with leaving them on death row, then you need to check yourself right now.

There are NO excuses. NO EXCUSES. There is ALWAYS another option. There are rescues, NO KILL shelters, family members and friends. KILL SHELTERS and CRAIGSLIST should not even enter your brain. There ARE programs set up for the military.  USE THEM. Dogs on Deployment is one, for example. There are many. If you are deployed, you have options. Dumping your dog in a kill shelter is extremely cruel. Dumping your dog in a kill shelter, no matter what the circumstance, is cruel.

If you feel like it is their time to go, and your VET is on the same page, then HOLD YOUR BABY while they pass on. Hold them and love on them, and let them leave this world knowing they mattered to someone. Do not be a cowardly, cruel human being, and leave them in a kill shelter, where they  are killed on a cold metal table by a stranger’s hands. They will leave this world in a sadly twisted and fearful state.

Don’t dump your dog in the kill shelter. Dumping your SENIOR dog in a kill shelter is much worse, since most adopters are looking for playful, healthy dogs. They don’t stand a chance there.

#noexcuses

 

Going Crazy?

memory

I really put myself out there on this blog. I reveal many personal shortcomings and insecurities. My main goal, for me personally, is to have an outlet, and putting it out there gives me a sense of relief.  Unfortunately, it does put a target on my back for harsh judgement, and this might be one of those posts. I am a mother, and that has certain expectations from family.

I watched my Grandpa suffer through Alzheimers.  He would exhibit PTSD episodes from the Vietnam War right in front of me.  He was a Prisoner of War.  He sustained unmentionable atrocities. He couldn’t barely discuss it without getting choked up, so he chose not to, but I knew it was like a cancer, eating away at him.

My Grandma doesn’t know who I am. She isn’t recognizable anymore as my Grandma. She has slipped away as well. It breaks my heart to see them both go down this path of nothingness.

These past couple of months, I have been experiencing short term memory loss. Some small things, like misplacing my coffee mug, keys, phone, etc. I misplace them within minutes, and I stand there and try to search my mind and back track where I have been. I finally give up and move on to something else. I make a new cup of coffee, I bug my husband about it. “Where the heck are my keys?  Where is my phone?”.  I can’t follow my personal trainer’s instructions, and he grows frustrated with me. All I can do it laugh it off, because that is what I do.

The other day, we were running errands, and I was frantically searching for my phone. I had this new huge purse, which is NOT a good idea for someone who loses stuff, lol.  I grew increasingly upset, and my heart was beating out of my chest.  Was this an anxiety attack?  I don’t know, but it sucked.

Finally, my husband told me, “you JUST gave your phone to Bailey.”  I took a minute and reflected. She was in the back seat, watching a YouTube video, clearing giggling and talking about it, and it was loud. I didn’t hear anything in the moment, but the thumping of my heart.

I am terrified that I have early onset dementia. It is no secret that I am overwhelmed and stressed out, and even scatterbrained. I have been for most of my life. But this feels different. I recognize similarities in me, and moments that my grandparents went through.  I know this is genetic.

Please pray for me, if you are a praying type.

#whereismycoffee

HEROES

FOSTER

Fostering.  Many people are scared of this word, because they automatically believe it is a long term commitment, that the dogs are all mangy, ill, and aggressive.

I always refer to my blog The Life of a Stray, because many times, the dogs on death row, fighting for their lives, belong to someone. They escaped their leash, their yard, or their “owners” dumped them in our kill shelter and didn’t think twice about it. If they DID think twice about it, shame on them for not going back.

Let’s break this down, okay?  These sad eyes that are looking up at you, as you walk through our city shelter, are very much scared, confused, and many of them are suffering from physical pain and even PTSD. Yes, dogs can get PTSD, thanks to humans and their cruel nature. There are dogs that have gotten lost and couldn’t find their way home. Their families were not aware that San Antonio KILLS A LOT of dogs/cats everly day, despite the recent pledge of San Antonio being No Kill. There are dogs that have gotten lost, the owner actually was responsible enough to microchip them, but they made the decision to leave them there. There are dogs that have been on the streets their entire life, only to find comfort in woodsy areas, curled up against trees as shelter from the weather, and battling for any morsel they can get. They are emaciated, sick, and slowly dying in the worst way. Does this make them less worthy to bring them into your family?  If that is your mindset, then you have no business having a dog at all. People like that make me want to throw up in my mouth.

I call our good quality fosters, Roll With The Punches Fosters, because that is exactly what they are. A little poop on their carpet?  Ain’t nothing but a chicken wing. A sprinkled leg lift on your couch? Okay, so we are looking at some basic obedience training. Let’s do it. Fearful, hiding under the bed?  Let’s take a step back and give them some space, and let them come out when they feel comfortable enough to do so, when they know you are there to help them, not hurt them. There is help out there, there are traps and rescuers who are experienced with these situations. A growl? Oh yikes, call the calvary!!  It’s a vicious dog that must be returned!!!  Spare the heck out of me. You try being locked up in a noisy, scary kennel for days, having a history of abuse and neglect, and not feeling good!!  You try having to fight for each scrap of food with other dogs that are bigger or more stronger than you. You would be pretty unsettled, to say the least. Most of the time, these dogs are not “aggressive”, so take a chill pill and stop with the labels. There is a reason for everything, and these dogs can be rehabilitied,  and sometimes just love and care does the trick.Do you not have love and care?

Stop returning dogs to these rescues that are saving them. When you return a dog, you are taking the place of another dog that needs out of the kill shelter. To put it bluntly, you are killing another dog, to get rid of this one, because you don’t want to put forth the effort to make the necessary adjustments.

Let’s talk adjustment period. One day will not do, so if the dog is not perfect, they WILL MOST DEFINELTY need at least a week, even two!!  If your lifestyle does not allow at least 30 minutes-1 hour a day to work with your foster dog, then don’t even bother. Rescues beg and  plead for a foster home!!!  There are not all of these fosters lined up to take them in, and most rescues are foster-based, so there is no shelter space in which to keep them safe. You are doing the rescue and the dog a great disservice. These dogs have NO WHERE to go, and you are putting back the responsibility and stress on the team leaders of these rescues, which is cowardly and irresponsible.

If you are a serial dog returner, off with your head. Just stop. You are not helping these rescues by bringing them back, when they have to spend countless hours trying to find another foster home, when they could be saving another life instead.

Please, consider that dog, and what they need to grow, and move forward into an adoptable and flourishing family member. There will never be enough fosters, but the ones that do step up, and make grand gestures to keep these dogs safe, fed, loved, and medically healthy….they are HEROES. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts, and they should never doubt that their efforts go unnoticed. Saving lives is everything, just look at the frightened faces in the shelter, and on the streets, and look at them now. Fosters save these lives, they nourish them back to an emotional and physical state of health, and they show them that all humans are not bad. They are HEROES.

A Different Kind of Grief

grandma

As I have written in prior blogs, my grandparents raised me since I was eight years old. They saved my life, and I mean that in the literal sense.

As my Grandpa developed dementia and progressed into Alzheimers, he was always “present” with me for some reason.  He had fleeting moments of confusion when I was near, but he always came back. I was his “daughter”, all the way to the week that I lost him. He knew me. I will always be so grateful for that. The grief that I suffered in his absence was consuming. I knew he would die, but I wasn’t emotionally prepared, because he was always with me, emotionally and physically.

As my Grandma has traveled down her own path of dementia, it has been slow and steady. She has experienced mood swings of uncontrollable tears, anger, and has had such a fight in her to desperately hold on to her mind. She always told me, “when my mind goes, so will I.”  And here we are.

I spent several years with her, bringing my kids over to visit, helping her clean her home, making her meals, anything that I could do to feel helpful. She had these awful mean setbacks with me and my babies (they WERE babies at the time) back then, and I tried to roll with the punches, but anyone who knows me well, already knows that is impossible for me.  I feel too much, care too much, and am quick to feel hurt. Deep down, though, I knew that she couldn’t help it. The disease was taking away her life as she knew it. She was struggling with it all, and fighting it tooth and nail.

She is lost now. Completely. She looks through me, not at me. She is in her own world of whatever it is that brings her comfort. She has left us, and her body will be next. I will have so many beautiful memories to share and remember her by.

I had been carrying around such a heavy weight of guilt, not visiting with her very much this past year.  I have decided to let myself off the hook, though, because one person can only do so much, and as my blog says, my  cup runneth over.  I am really trying so hard, just to live and thrive from day to day. My Grandma knows that I love her, she knows that I was there during a confusing time for her, and she knows that I am a presence that resembles family to her.

Dementia sucks. It devours a person’s sense of being, their whole purpose, and it spreads through them like a cancer. When they leave you in this manner, it is a grief that hurts as bad as when they are no longer physically there. To the core. Anyone who begs to differ has not loved someone with dementia or alzheimers.

Make amends. Stop holding childish grudges. Stop waiting for the other person to apologize first, and make your wrongs right. Own up to your mistakes, because chances are, you are responsible for someone else’s heartache.

We always make grand elaborate comments and gestures about FOREVER. But you know what?  We don’t have forever. We are supposed to live each day as if it were our last, but we do not. That one person that has your heart won’t always be there. Why leave words unsaid?

#getyourheadoutofyourass

Mama Lioness & Her Cubs

kiddos

Bullying…..why must this exist?  Children and teens have lost their lives due to this unnecessary torment.  Does it make these bullies feel better about themselves, to stab and poke these poor victims to the point of no emotional recovery?  Or are they subjected to a broken home life?  Do they not know the security of a loving environment?  What drives them?

I keep reiterating in my blogs, YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT SOMEONE HAS BEEN THROUGH, SO BE KIND AND DO NOT JUDGE. I don’t always practice this, though I try my best. When it is your own children that are harmed, though, we have entered another realm of fierceness. The thoughts that enter my mind scare me. Thoughts that I would never act on, but man, it is sure satisfying to dream about inflicting harm on the person that has subjected your child to sadness, pain, and even death, at times. Suicide is even more frequent in children and teens, and almost always due to bullying.

Where am I going with all of this? I am speaking from my personal experiences with Reagan and Bailey. My kids have always been targets for different reasons, and because of that, I am always on high alert.  This is where that protective bubble comes in, once again, and wanting to surround them with maternal safety that NO ONE can penetrate.

Reagan  was bullied for the first time in Kindergarten.  His name was Rico, and he was Reagan’s friend for the first few months of school.  I remember waiting in the pick up line, watching his class play on the playground during recess. Reagan was happy at the time, and it did my heart good to see him chasing his friends around and laughing.  I believe that when Rico realized what a tender hearted boy Reagan was, he started in with torment.

I’m a little embarrassed by this story, but I will tell it anyway.  Rico told Reagan, that if he were to drink muddy puddle water, he would wake up as a ninja the next morning.  Apparently, there were puddles out on the playground.  I hate to say it, but Reagan laid down and stuck his tongue in this dirty water, and when he got up, he saw Rico pointing and laughing with some other boys.  Reagan was a mess.  He told me that he cried for the rest of the day.  He told me what happened as soon as I picked him up, and I was furious, to say the least.  I was also in shock that he would even do that!!  Sadly, Reagan did not wake up as a ninja the next morning, but he did wake up a little more aware of Rico’s intentions as a “friend”. When Rico asked him to eat his “booger sandwich”, that was the last straw, and they were no longer friends.

I know you are wondering what I did about this, as a parent.  Well, I emailed AND called his kindergarten teacher right away. She told me that bullying would not be tolerated, and she would handle it immediately. I don’t know if she ever talked to Rico and his parents, because I never heard back, but I had some doubts, because Rico made a few more hurtful comments throughout the year, and his teacher had a meek personality. Now, let me clarify, that having a meek personality doesn’t mean she didn’t take care of the situation, it only means that there is where my mindset was at the time.

Reagan was bullied AGAIN by a girl named Madison. The first grade started off as a flirtation between them, and he would blush when her name would come up.  Madison soon took advantage of his crush, and started poking him with a sharpened pencil under the desk during class. She would whisper ugly remarks to him as the teacher taught class. And you know what?  After not getting a response from my emails/calls from the teacher, I marched right to the principal, who in turn, marched right down that hall, straight to Madison. It never happened again.

Reagan is a very sensitive young boy.  He likes to make comments as if he is tough and doesn’t care, but he cares more than most boys his age.  He cares about what his classmates think of him, he cares if his routine is disrupted, and he cares about animals, especially Sasha, his favorite dog. He is a rare gem, and maybe that is partly because he has a sister with autism. Autism affects the entire family, but children have different coping mechanisms and they struggle the most.

Bailey has never been bullied, shockingly.  Her classmates hold her hand in the hallways, they always greet her with a smile, and she is very well liked by all.  Besides a brief time frame, she hasn’t had any social skills issues, and she enjoys being around other kids, whether they are regular mainstream or special needs.

However, Reagan came home a few days ago, and he told me that his friend (let’s not name any names, since this is a fresh incident), has been making fun of Bailey.  Reagan’s class and Bailey’s class pass in the hallways and also have lunch at the same time.  This kid has made comments to Reagan, and other classmates, that Bailey is “ugly” and “fat”.  Now, you know I’ve been enraged, and these thoughts in my head are scary. I’ve already informed Reagan’s teacher, and I’m saying my prayers that she nips this in the bud.  Under no circumstances, is bullying okay, and when the child is special needs, it brings on a whole new level of anger in me.

My daughter is absolutely beautiful, inside and out. She has this enormous personality, is super talented, and smarter than most know. Hearing someone call her ugly and fat hurts my heart tremendously.  If elementary children are making these comments, how will the children treat her in middle, and high school?  This has become my worst fear, that she would be bullied because of her autistic traits. How am I supposed to protect her when she is in school?  Should I transfer her to a private school, a charter school?  Home school her?  My frantic mind awaits for this teacher’s reply, and I’m already worried about her future and what lies ahead.

#bullyssuck #mybabiesareunique

Healing Hands

baileybandit

This morning  Bailey was in a weird state.  She didn’t want to get up, she didn’t want anyone to look at her, and she was very clingy with me. This is NOT the weird state, that is part of her.  The weird state is while we were waiting on her bus. She has a ritual in the mornings where she walks around and quotes the youtube videos she watches. It is different every time, sometimes My Little Pony, sometimes Littlest Pet Shop, and sometimes she quotes what the teacher told her in class the day before. It is very entertaining, actually, though interrupting her is never a good idea.

Today she sat in the chair with me and said nothing. She said she didn’t want to talk. I let her process whatever it was going on in that beautiful mind for a bit. She then started asking me some tough questions.  I was suddenly rushing back to that fresh raw wound of losing my Bandit,

“Why is she not coming back?”, “Do you not want her anymore?”, “Why did you take her away?”

I did the best I could to explain…..doggie heaven, the whole bit.  She remained silent afterwards and I could feel the sadness emanating off of her.  I wanted to hug her tight and make that sadness go away.  If I were to get one wish, it would be to have healing hands, so that I could hold her head, and make all of her confusion clear.  I would put my hand on her heart, and make her sadness and pain go away. And maybe, just maybe, I would have also placed my hands on Bandit’s sick body, and make her young and vibrant again. What I would give, to see her tearing through our trash bag.

In all reality, though…..the sadness, struggles…loss and pain…..they are what makes us stronger.  At least that is what they say.

Just Maybe

There is no deadline on grief.  It never goes away.  To judge another person on how they deal with grief is unjust.  We ALL grieve in different ways, and there is no right or wrong way to fill that emptiness.

I have blogged about my Mom, my Grandpa, and now…..my Bandit. It is quite the struggle, going about my daily routine, as if she were never here in the first place. But she was, for 14 years, and she has left me broken. I don’t think I will make it the rest of the way, with my remaining 5 dogs.  I can’t even go there in my mind.

The day that I came back from the vet, after I held my dying baby in my arms, and her heart had stopped…….I crawled in bed, and pulled the covers up to my neck.  I did the ugly cry.  I cried so hard that my throat hurt. It didn’t stop for at least a week, and every now and then, there is that one thing that sets me back.

Bandit left an oily residue against the wall, where she used to lay….her bed, in our closet. Sasha has taken over that spot, and though I love Sasha, for some reason, I didn’t want her in Bandit’s spot.  It was HER spot.  I will always see her sitting there. There is no way around it, walking by that closet, going into that closet. She will always be there. l cannot wrap my head around the fact that I wanted nothing to do with my other dogs. Why did I not want them near me?  It wasn’t their fault she got sick and died.

The other night, my husband heard a crash of pots and pans in the kitchen. His first knee jerk reaction was to scream out Bandit’s name, because she was always licking the pots, pans, and cookies sheets in the cabinet, and she was very noisy about it. She had no shame in her mischevious acts. Ross had this noise he would make with his straw that freaked her out, and after he blew on it, and she would scamper away, and shake like a Chihuahua. I would yell at Ross, go and find her, and pick her up to reassure her.  At the same time, it  made me laugh inside, because that was their “thing”, and she was normally on her way to create havoc.

I had a “thing” with Bandit, as well, though only the TRUE dog lover can relate to it. Many years ago, I was holding her, and for some odd reason, I did a little nibble on her ear. She flinched, and spun her head around to look at me. I didn’t BITE her, of course. It was just a playful nibble, but she seemed shocked that I would do that. Moving forward through the years, that was our “thing” and it was always something that made me crack up. It got even funnier, because she would turn her head, and glare at me with her peripheral vision, as if to say, “try it again, just try it!”.  NEVER, not even once, has she ever snapped or bit any one of us.

She did, however, have a love and hate relationship with Star. Star and Bandit used to run in fast circles around the yard, in this crazy frenzy. It was very entertaining, and they had a ball together. Through the years, though, they developed food aggression, and they had MANY fights, some brutal.

Then there was the darn skunk. It was awful, the smell, and both of them ran back in the house and proceeded to roll about all of our linens and furniture. We bathed them in de-skunking formula, and we bathed ourselves several times, as well. Ross and I could NOT shake the smell. Ross even got sent home from work because his co-workers couldn’t stand his stink. I found that very funny, of course. I knew for a fact, that it was Bandit that tormented that poor skunk, and she got what she deserved when it retaliated.

Everything is different now. She isn’t wandering around our home, searching for me. She isn’t seeking me out for comfort. When we had made the decision that it was time, I went bonkers with pictures and videos, but I have one huge regret. I never took videos of her when she was young. I want to close my eyes, and I want to remember her in her prime. I want to remember her jumping up to grab a treat, running in circles in the yard, making her grand escapes several times a week, because she could jump our 6′ fence, and her shying away from my forced hugs and kisses.

I miss her terribly. I want a do-over with her. My stomach hurts when I think of her. I can honestly say, that it hurts as much as the loss of my Mom, and my Grandpa.  It really does.

She was family, and now she is gone. And yes, deep down, I know it was the right decision. I KNOW.  It doesn’t hurt any less, knowing this. It hurts more, knowing that she had to suffer at all, because I couldn’t let her go.

If you consider your pet(s) part of your family, or your “child”, please make sure to take lots of pictures and videos, from the very start, all the way to the bitter end. Any maybe, just maybe, one day I will look back at her pictures, and I won’t be devastated by her absence.

bandit2

#sobusted