Healing Hands

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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.

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#sobusted

My Letter To Bandit

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It’s really important to me for you to know how much I love you.  Love, not loved.  Because I’m still holding on.  I came back to this quiet house, and I can feel your presence. I fed the dogs, and there was your bowl, with Bailey’s carefree writing of your name.  I set it aside, because I can’t bear to throw it away, or use it for another dog.  There is no one who can replace you.

You were our smallest dog, and yet you left a huge, gaping hole in our family.  We are devastated and so extremely sad, to have said goodbye to you.  I wish I could take back all of the things I screamed out to you….. even though you pulled out our Thanksgiving turkey from the fridge, jumped out a two story window and landed on all fours, eaten more pacifiers, toys, and DIAPERS than I can count.  You had more lives than a cat, because you have always been a fighter, heart and soul.  You have fought for your life every step of the way.

You were blind, but you ran about this house as if you weren’t.  You smashed into obstacles, only to shake it off and go around.  You gobbled down your food, only to have your ailing body reject it.

You found your solace, and your comfort, with me.  You were never a cuddler, but here you came, searching for me, and desperately seeking safety in your world of confusion. I was there, oh so willingly, for it was my time with you that will be instilled in my heart for the rest of my life. I loved on you as much as you would let me.  I let my guard down and gave you my all, even though I knew you were slowly leaving me. Now your absence has left me lost, and all I can feel is this gut wrenching hole in my stomach.  The tears won’t stop, but I have to fight through them, and be strong for my children.  They will come home, and they will also feel the impact of your absence, and they will not know how to process that.

I miss you so much, my Bandito. I want you back.  I am so angry that your body failed you, when your fighting spirit would not relent. I am so angry that you were taken away from me. And I cannot bear that I will never feel your cold nose on my leg, always looking for me to bring you familiarity and comfort in your darkness. I wish you could come back and bring me out of mine.

I’m so sorry I couldn’t give you more than 14 years. You deserved so many more.

I love you more than you’ll ever know.

You Never Know

SanMarcos (7)

Autism will never go away.  It is a part of Bailey’s make up, and I love every part of her, even the parts that weigh heavy on my heart.

This morning, as she was hitting, fighting, and head butting me to NOT get on her bus, I’m looking up at Dorothy and Mr. Pat, and realizing that some DO understand my battles.  So who cares of the neighbors hear her blood curling screams, and see her thrashing in my arms?  What do they know about the strain on our family, not the mention the climax of her meltdowns where she reaches the point of no return.  They aren’t helping us, they are only there to judge.

I go back into the house, and I’m so tightly wound that Bailey could hurt Dorothy, Mr. Pat, or worse, one of those poor children.  And do those poor children have to face their school day with the repercussions of Bailey’s screams?  They each have their own challenges.  It breaks my heart.

After my texting and emailing, I hear that Bailey is just fine, and that she walked into her classroom with a SMILE on her face, and here I am, with knots in my stomach, and the overwhelming need to cry.  How does she do that, just let it all go?  I almost admire that she can do that, and wish I had the same magic in me.  There is no pill in the world that will help me let it go.

Be kind, and mindful of other parents that you see struggling with these battles.  You never know what is happening behind closed doors, what disorders or illnesses are hindering that person, and you never know what is behind a parent’s smile when they have a child with autism.

#autismsucks

#Truth

 

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I’ve been absent.  In so many ways.  I cannot write when I am surrounded by others.  For some reason, I need to be completely alone and in silence with my own thoughts.  These days, that is impossible.

Today I wanted to write about Thanksgiving, but there is something heavier weighing on my heart.  I hate that most of my posts are depressing, but this is MY blog, and I honestly do not care about judgement. I feel what I feel, and that is all.

Friendship……a word that I’ve always held sacred.  I’m exhausted from being the peace keeper, because all it has done is bite me in the ass. Yes, I said “ass”.  I do try to see the good in everyone.  I try to keep everyone in harmony.  I thought this was a positive trait of mine, but it is not.  Turns out, not everyone wants peace and harmony.

I’ve finally come to the realization…..you have to keep your circle small and tight.  There will only be a handful of friends who are truly there for you.  When my daughter was diagnosed with autism, I went into my bubble. No one was in there, but me.  I came out, just a little bit, when I started in dog rescue, but the bigger part of me was still in that bubble. I should have never come out of it, because that is how I protected myself.  That bubble kept me tough and that shield was stripped away when my heart broke over these poor animals’ suffering.  The harsh reality of what has been happening here in my own city was mind blowing.

Everyone has their soft, vulnerable spots.  What is yours, and how do you nurture it?  Mine is animals, children, and the elderly.  My dream is to help dogs and wounded warriors come together, and I did that for a short period of time.

Since I’ve left rescue, or the organization that I was a part of, I’ve been trying to find my way. I’m all over the place, mostly in my mind.  But my children……that is where I should have been from the beginning. When you are a parent, you do tend to lose part of your own self, though, and I was desperate to not give up on rescue, so I kept doing more and more, until my own sanity was at stake, and I stepped back, and found myself in an ugly, resentful place. I shouldn’t have let that happen, but I did.  Sometimes you have to make very hard decisions for the sake of your family.  If there was a pill that I could take, that would help me to move forward and let go, I would take it every day.  Instead of fuming and venting and hurting, it’s now locked up inside.

Because you know what?  There is always another way to do what you love to do.  There are opportunities and limitless options for everyone out there.  There are limitless friendships to be had, and those who will help and guide you along the way, whether it’s in your struggles or working toward the same goals.

I have a huge and overwhelming appreciation for those who help our dogs and cats of San Antonio.  I respect each and every one of them, because these souls are few and far between.  Not enough people care enough, and that is a crying shame, because it’s the animals that pay the price.

I’m not stopping, I’m taking a break.  I will get over my sense of belonging that I have lost, because I just have to.  If I weather a storm or go into that dark place, I expect my friends to be there.  If they are not there, then they are not worth my time. And that is it, in a nutshell.

 

 

 

Closure

We need this thing called closure.  We need it to thrive, move forward, to feel secure, and yet most of us don’t ever get it.

We have lost a loved one, to where our hearts are ripped out of our chests.  We weren’t granted the opportunity to say goodbye.  We woke up one day to find that someone left us brokenhearted, without a reason or excuse.  We went into the living room one evening, only to find our beloved dog had passed in her sleep.  Loss is pure devastation.  It can kill you in so many ways, but it is not having that closure that works on your insides like a cancer every single day.

In a perfect world, we could turn back the hands of time.  We could hold our loved one and feel their breath on our faces.  We could embrace that one person that we will always love, our soul mate, and know it was forever, no matter what.  We could cuddle our dog or cat, and their weight on you would bring you comfort.

But this is not a perfect world.  Those who have left us will never come back, and those who could, probably will not.  Why does God take them away from us?  In the moment, hearing the words, “he/she is with God now”, does not comfort most, when in fact, it angers most.  In that moment, God did this.  I’m a christian, but will never understand, or wrap my mind around this.  I am not asking for a Bible verse, just know that I will never understand why good people are taken away.

When they have the capacity to come back, why do they choose not to?  Were you not good enough?  Were you not pretty enough?  Why, why, and more whys. Why the heck can’t people just tell you WHY?  It does an injustice to you, and disrespects what existed and had meaning at one point in both of your lives.  Now it is just gone, as if it never was there at all.  Why do people feel the need to run away, and never gift closure to that person who they “loved”?  And there you go, the word “love”.  It makes me crazy, the way people throw that word around, when it is not present in their hearts.

This goes in hand in hand with my Purpose blog……letting go.  I have anger towards those who do not give closure, when in fact, it is common courtesy, not to mention a gesture of respect.  A lot of my friends have had this happen to them, where they are left empty handed, out of the blue, and all for what?  To feel like a fool?  It’s not right.

Death.  What do you do?  How the heck do you move on?  I’m still haunted by my mother and my grandpa.  They are in my dreams, their presence is in my home.  Haunted in the way where my stomach feels sick.  But the memories……..yes, there ARE many wonderful ones with  my mother.  My grandpa and I have memories that no one else can comprehend.  I didn’t get that closure with my mother, because it was taken away from me.  I got to say goodbye to my grandpa, and you know what?  It hurts like hell anyway, but there are so many things that I wanted to tell him, had he been in his right mind.

I’m telling you, the one who has experienced loss….keep moving forward, keep yourself busy, and try not to let your heart harden from being broken. Every day, try to let go, just a little bit.  Just a little.  And never forget.  Hold that memory, and let go of the bitterness.

Easier said than done, I know.  Maybe I am typing this to convince myself.

 

 

A Purpose

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My emotions are extremely jumbled up right now, all intermixed and confusing.  I’m not sure how to express it all in words right now, but I’m going to try.

New beginnings can be refreshing, exciting, and moving forward with a new perceptive can be life changing.  It is, however, hard to let go of the negativity that caused you to run in the first place.  Let it go.  Only 3 words, and yet you can’t do it. It’s only weight.  It’s only hate, sadness, emptiness, and loss.  How do you let it go, when it is instilled in your heart and your mind?

One day at a time.  Busy yourself with projects that make you feel a purpose, a strength, and mostly, an outlet.  Shut out those who choose to bring you down.  They are not worthy of your time.  Your time is yours, and you decide whether you go down the path of demise, or you go down the path that makes you feel a pride so intense, that you cannot help but smile.  Lock in that pride, hold it tight, and only face the sunshine.

This year has been a challenge, to say the least, but I’m still here, despite it all.  I’ve had to let go of things that I truly loved, a job where I finally felt like I belonged, but in the spirit of my own sanity, had to walk away. I’m still heartbroken over this loss, but you need to honor what is best for your soul.

Bailey has her good days, where we have the most wonderful conversations, and then she has her bad days, where we are fighting to move forward after falling down yet again.  This picture that I posted was right after she was past the point of no return, during a horrible meltdown.  She wanted me to smile so she could take my picture. Because she was okay, and she had gotten past it.  I was not, but I did my best, and I tried to get past the way she had punched me in my lower back, and past the fact that she did not mean to hurt me, because she is autistic, and she is still learning her way.  I am her mother, after all, and it is my job to teach her between right and wrong.  Mothers are supposed to fight through the bad times for their children, no matter how bad it may get, and that is my purpose.

#parentingistough #autismsucks #ilovemychildren

Never Forgotten

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Last night one of our rescue dogs passed away suddenly.  Major was an old timer with a sweet soul.  He was a GOOD boy.  He could hit a ball right back to you with his nose.  He was intelligent, but goofy when he wanted to be. I only had a very short time with him, but I wish I had more.

His passing left me tossing and turning all night long.  He reminded me of all the others that have been lost.  I cried for them, for their foster families that cared and nurtured them, and for each beautiful soul that was abandoned by the only family they’ve ever known.

Major reminded me that I had been part of a wonderful cause, a unit of women bound and determined to save lives and not allow these dogs to die in the shelter, but in someone’s arms who guided them to a better place where there was no pain.  I will always be involved in rescue in some form or fashion, and that is something I will take with me when it is my time.

Major made me cry for the inevitable.  I wanted seniors, and here they are, living and thriving in my home. Some not so much, though.  I know their days are numbered.  I know that day will come, and I know it will have to be me that does it.  My mind knows, but my heart looks the other way, because the thought hurts too much.

How do you keep moving forward when you lose your family dog/cat?  How do you walk by their beds and bowls and toys?  How do you stop crying, when you could swear you heard them bark or whine, or their steps in the hall?  How do you fill that emptiness after they are gone?

I asked my friend, why can’t dogs live as long as we do?  Her answer has resonated with me in the most comforting manner.

“Because they will become bitter in life.  They teach us how to love and not to judge”.  Rachel Cameron Bell

*Some of the dogs that have been lost are above* #Rest In Peace

My targeted heart

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First, let me start by saying this….this blog is not about any one person, or any one particular situation. This is a series of events throughout my lifetime.

I’m not looking for sympathy, and I am not breaking out my violin or breaking into a tearful song. I am merely admitting the fact that I am way too sensitive. And this is why.

My childhood was abusive, up until my grandparents took me in. Many of the memories as a child weight heavily on me today, and they will never let me go.  For this reason, I have an overwhelming need to help others see their own worth.  I gravitate to those who need to hear words of encouragement, support, and I cannot stand to see someone who has lost their way.  This is hugely why I entered into the dog rescue world, and hugely why I will always be involved in the dog rescue world.

This should be a positive, but it is not.  It puts a target on your heart. It puts you in a defensive position. It mostly makes me want to crawl into a hole with just my kids and dogs and never come out.  It makes me want to leave social media forever, and it makes me hesitant to say anything or type anything.

I do feel like a victim, and technically I was as a child, but I hate that persona of playing the victim.  I do not want to be THAT person, bitching and moaning all the time. But you know what?  I am aware. I am aware that I can be, and I wish that wasn’t so.

Why do some feel inclined to walk over me as if I am not there?  I can hear, I can see, and I do have feelings. Being excluded is very isolating. Being verbally hurt by someone that doesn’t know you at all, in your truest form, shouldn’t kill me as much as it does. Being verbally hurt by someone you are close to, or thought you were, is not something I cope with well.

I think that I am a good person. My heart is big, and I have many friends who also have big hearts. I will be the very best friend till the end, but as the expression goes, don’t mistake my tears for weakness. I’ve been through hell and back, and I’m exhausted by people making me feel like I’ve done something wrong. I am always here to help, but I’m done with second chances.

I shake my fist at you, Giraffe!!!

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We get home from a really long day and everyone is trying to relax. Right on cue, I checked the mail, and there was a toy cat that Bailey has been wanting and pining over for weeks. I was in a good place, and took my shower and fed the dogs.

But wow, I should be so lucky, LOL!!  Here it came……Bailey was upset because she couldn’t find the giraffe from her Mouse Trap game. At the time, I didn’t understand why, but somehow her new cat was connected to this mouse trap game. Her dad found most of the pieces, but there was that one “bleepity bleep” giraffe. Boy, did I HATE that giraffe. I looked for the longest time, anywhere and everywhere, while she proceeded to go into her meltdown.  The giraffe was never found, and I ended up taking her to bed earlier than normal to calm her down. Not a great way to end a day, to say the least.

This morning, though, I grudgingly woke up, waiting for the next giraffe storm, only to find Bailey at the table with another giraffe she had found. She was making it work on her own accord, substituting this giraffe for the lost one. She was problem solving!!!

My Bailey, with her creativity, beauty, and her memory like a steel trap…..she is such an Einstein in disguise.  She is on the spectrum, but she is a little girl first and foremost, and last night, she was very sleepy. She is just like any other child that is tired and grumpy. I’m a proud mother.