Too many tears, so… here’s to new beginnings

PicMonkey Collage.jpg

Where to start?

Bare with me, this may be a long read…

It’s been a long long spring/summer. A lot has happened and life has changed. There’s been so much sadness for me and my hubby the last several months. I have avoided blogging because so much has happened and I’ve been unsure what direction life would take me in and I needed to hit the pause button.

Back tracking, we made a big move from Virginia to New Jersey for my hubby’s job. He had a change of position. One we thought would be a good one, or at least a chill one giving us the time we needed to spend with his family in New Jersey. To say the move so far has been hell would be accurate. At least we had one big bright shining spot that at least dulled the ache we had/have in our hearts.

Those that follow my blog know how much our furkids meant to us. They are family, our kids. We used to have a fur family of 4 cats and one spoiled Chihuahua. We lost our cats Odin and Buster a few years ago. They were similar in age and passed away within a year of each other. They did live good long lives filled with more love than they could handle. And we lost our Chihuahua to cancer shortly after that. Once again in similar age group for their breeds and size. I was devastated. Buster had been my cat for 22 years, Odin was nothing but love and our Chihuahua, Ippo was my savior as a waded through some depression. She also was 5lbs of pure love and devotion to me. She healed my broken heart when we lost Buster. This left Tinka Belle and Loki. They were a few years younger than Buster and Odin and we felt we owed it to them to let them run the house and not adopt anyone new. We wanted to focus on giving them all the attention. They always seemed to be stuck playing second fiddle to the other three and we wanted them to be the spoiled ones.

We moved in December and since then, both Tinka and Loki have crossed the rainbow bridge to be with the rest of the clowder/pack (our family of furkids). Both it is believed had cancer as well.

And in between the two of them, another devastation.
You know that rule of three thing?
Yeah.
My sister passed away.

Tinka passed in April
My sister passed in June
Loki passed in August

 

Huge chunks of my world crashed.
Too much loss, too close together.

And somewhere in the middle of all this chaos, we found volunteer positions that was inspiring all sorts of plans and goals for me. I felt alive with new possibility and a bit of the heaviness of my heart was lifted. Helping wildlife. Helping sick, orphaned and injured animals to rehabilitate to be release back into the wild after they healed. I found hope in all their little faces. It’s inspired me to perhaps get more involved and go back to school for wildlife rehabilitation. And I am still inspired, but…

We had to leave the volunteer positions because of time issues and Loki getting sicker. The positions required us very few call off days and we exceeded, or new we would exceed this with Loki’s declining health. They only need volunteers through the summer months. So we plan to go back next summer. It’s one of the most fulfilling things I have ever experienced.  But meanwhile, something that was helping to heal my heart, was lost.

You still with me?

So there was a light in this deep dark tunnel. And it wasn’t a light for me, but it was and is a light that affects me. Because me isn’t just me, it’s we. Yeah, the hubby found a little light in the midst of all the loss and sadness.

When we moved to New Jersey he/we had a big goal and that was that he would try to get a promotion at work that’s he’s been working so hard to get. And I’ve suffered for this too, through missing him through some long hours he puts in.

And yayyyyy, he’s getting that promotion on Friday!!

We needed this. We needed something good to happen. Between vet bills and an unexpected trip to Ohio for my sister, we needed this!! This promotion may lead us in some new directions and eventually another location change. But it’s opening up a new chapter in our lives. I wished that our furkids were here to celebrate with us. I wish I could call my sis to tell her the big news. But life moves forward and is ever changing. And somehow we learn how to survive and how to cope and build new dreams while keeping those we’ve lost safe in our hearts while we heal.

Oh, and yeah we do plan on adopting another furbaby at some point. One for now, some time soon. We are having the marital debate of; cat or dog first. I keep floating back and forth. I’ve had a cat my entire adult life, so it’s odd not having that aloof presence in my life. He (the hubby), thinks I need a dog first. He thinks a dog will help mend my broken heart just that little bit quicker with a dog.

I’ve been looking at kittens and Chihuahuas & Yorkies.
He (the hubby) has been looking at Italian Greyhounds and Border Collies.
All on Petfinder right now. We eventually will brave the shelters.
We want a younger one. I’ve always adopted the older and sometimes sick ones. I can’t purposefully walk back into that fire yet. ps….

Adopt Don’t Shop 😻

 

I’m not an Arbonne Independent Consultant anymore either. I’m not a hater though. I just don’t use their products very much. I’ve found others that work better and less expensive that I’m happy with. I’m thinking of dabbling in the essential oils business because those I use allllllllll the time. Personally and professionally. So it’s a better fit for my business goals. But more about that in a few months.  I’m still “technically” a consultant and can answer any questions you have or help you navigate the website. But that’s only till April.

As far as the blog is concerned. I’m back, sort of.
I want to do some blog housecleaning first. But I’m back and hope to start reading your blogs again over the next few weeks. So hello again and here’s to new beginnings 🌅

heart golden

September is National Suicide Prevention Month and National Suicide Prevention Week is September 8 -14, 2019 (in the United States).

Call a friend today and ask them how they are, how they really are. Be there to listen and support them. If you are in need of support, reach out, ask for it, don’t be afraid, you are not alone. Call someone, I promise it helps.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Veterans/Military Crisis Line
1-(800)-273-8255 and press 1

Vet to Vet Assistance 888.777.4443 or ONLINE

Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233

Ribbon-1 2-71.png

Sisters

11.png

I used to write, all the time.
Poems, journals, songs.
It used to ease my troubled mind.
Ease wounds of the past that spiraled out of control
with each family members passing, the spiral winding.
Pieces of a broken child,
frightened life never reconciled,
and a mother that never had the help she required
or the forgiveness from me that she probably desired.
Secrets that family spoke of in hushed tones,
and some denied out of very existence
in their world of truthful resistance.

I ran away
But not from family
Not from my sister or brother.
Not even from her, our mother
I ran away so someone would run after the broken child who’s wounds wouldn’t heal.
Who’s scars ripped and bled all over easily when that pain was revealed.
Growing up feeling unwanted,
with the screams of yesterdays echoing in my head,
and injuries inflicted hidden from public misled.
I ran because I wanted someone to care that I ran.
A few did, and the others made me out to be evil incarnate
for “leaving” family behind like I had a masterful plan.
Little did you know how little I knew
of what family really was supposed to do.
That hugs didn’t have to hurt.
And words weren’t supposed to belittle and bruise.
It was much later I realized family was a word I misused.

And then it became easy to run.
Others opened arms to be a family to the child with broken dreams.
Most them having been broken and also undone.
Searching for family to heal their wounds too.
As years passed it became harder to try to come home to all of you.
Everyone was family but yet strangers to me.
Little did you know that I’d have a hard time talking to you.
Painfully shy and lost for words, I swear it’s true.
I always hoped you’d fill in the void and seek me out and make me stay,
make hear what you had to say.
We were all broken in all our own little ways
and we all tried to pick our pieces up and mend our souls
to move forward forging our own paths but still un-whole.

What I’ve learned is that we have all grieved not having each other.
Or grieved the family torn apart.
I grieved in my own way missing my sister, my brother.
You in yours, and her in hers
we tried our best to live in some way.
Our parents passed from this life with their own wounds
still wide open and bleeding upon us.
Leaving us to heal and stitch and break wide open.
Time and time again always in motion.
From dust to dust
Now you both have left me,
brother years ago and sister you today.
And the floodgates have opened yet again with rivers of tears I hide away.
Because only we knew, only we were there.
All the years we let be lost to each other.
Of pride or ego or was it something more altogether?
Did we see the reflections of the past when we looked in each others eyes?
Even now the tears well up deep inside.

My brother, we took those wounds and bled all over what we touched.
A chosen few wiped the blood we spilled and stayed.
Giving only love, despite what we shed and let lay.
They healed our wounds and showed us what love was.
Many thought you were the fortunate son.
Because you were the strong of the three.
You ran but revisited often.
Healing what you could and leaving the rest be.
Then retreat back to your home when needed.
I wish more of you had rubbed off on me.
I just ran and ran never knowing how or what to be.
Our sister, she stayed behind wishing the same as I
That someone would call,
would visit, or notice us at all.
She and I never knew how to move on..

Sister, I ache for you, and your loving heart.
You never ran, instead you hid and stayed
but to the rest of the family you never really felt a part.
Your love for your children and their own knew no bounds.
It is there where your broken heart lived,
where you prayed for family healing to be found.
A generation of sadness, tears a common sound.
In the end your life was lived for them,
The children you bore,
the grandma you had become
Not for yourself, but to help them overcome.
My heart is glad we could finally see just each other in our gaze.
Took a long while for us to get past the sadness,
and angers haze.
There’s never enough time though, is there?
I guess post life we’ll have to finish all the repair.

So nephews, what have I learned in all of these years?
What wisdom can I impart to help through all of our tears?
Our Mom, your Grandma, had wounds too, huge ones that bled on us.
That broke us, molded us and shoved us out into the world.
And that blood fell from us and landed on you.
But she needed love and she needed healing too.
So did we and now so do you.
The generations before us need the wounds to close.
as do the generations that have and will follow.
Time to end the cycle that left us all mournful and hollow.

I’m sorry:
To my Father who to this day I still don’t understand
or know for sure your part in the play that was our life.
To me you were a sad bystander who did little to change or take a stand.

To my Mother for learning too late that you were me and I was you.
That you were pregnant late in life at a time when post par-tum was new,
and still misunderstood.
And instead of helping,
others just hushed the incidents away
believed you would somehow be ok.

To my Brother for never telling him nearly enough how much he meant to me.
And that most of my anger and distancing
was just misplaced adolescent jealousy.

To my Sister for leaving her alone in her sadness for far too long.
And not being the sister she needed to stay strong.

To my family for needing to heal and grow
before being emotionally able to finally come home.
It wasn’t really ever any of you.
It was me not knowing how to heal or pick up a phone.
Or how about breathing, or how to forgive.
Or how to seek for you to forgive,
my part in perpetuating a generation
of sadness and pain, even forgetting at times to live.

I miss my family more than words can say.
I miss those who have passed and gone too far away.
My wish is for generations of hard feelings to be mended,
and distance between us all be transcended.
If for no other reason, then at least for the children who remain grieving,
upon the tear swept day of my sisters leaving.

Let’s not let the generations that follow,
become as empty, nor as hollow.
We’ve suffered silently apart to long
not letting the sorrows of the past be gone.
Let’s let her legacy
and that of our brother,
Be of healing and helping
one another.

Your Aunt, your cousin, your great aunt, your great cousin, and always your family…
With all my love,

Suzi

My Sister, Linda
R.I.P. 06/03/19

Loki Moment

 

This is rare, all of this. Loki isn’t a window kitty, that was always Tinka Belle’s thing. And Loki is notoriously bad at self cleaning but Tinka Belle was meticulous. They were like ying and yang, two sides of a coin. It seems that Tinka Belle is not only letting her presence still be known, but also SEEN. 

Thank you my little Belle for helping your brother stay clean. We miss her so much, and so her presence is a comfort, especially for him. He’s been kind of lost without her.

On a brighter note, Loki’s medication was cut in half and so far he’s not doing too bad. He’s not cured, he will always have IBS issues, but he’s alive, happy and thriving right now. Our hearts are grateful for every day we get to spend with this silly boy❣

 

 

 

 

Today – Part II – And the Sky Cried

After we went shopping, we drove to pick up Tinka Belles’ ashes in a torrential downpour and Tornado watches were in affect for our area (and still are till 9pm).

But the minute we pulled into the vets parking lot, the rain stopped (the first two pictures). As we walked out with Tinkas’ ashes another downpour hit hard. Lightening, thunder, quickly flooding areas (next two pictures).

I always knew Tinka Belle was a thunderstorm. At one time I even wished I had named her storm (yes after the marvel character)….

12

13

15

14

Through the wind, the rain and thunder and lightening, Not to mention tornado watches. Tinka Belle is finally back home with us 

Stafford Veterinary and Abbey Glen Pet Memorial Services did right by us. We forgot to ask if they did a pawprint memorial. Well we have pawprints and fur. I was overwhelmed with emotions and gratitude for the care they gave us and our Tinka 

Today has been 

16

 

 

Today – Part 1

The day started out with cappucino, misty rain and some peaceful moments by the bay in Beach Haven on Long Beach Island (New Jersey). It was so pretty and so quiet, could have stayed all day just watching the clouds, the seagulls, and the gentle waves. I knew it would be an emotional day, we were heading to pick Tinkas’ ashes up later in the day. I really needed this moment where time just stood still. 

Then we drove out to Medford New Jersey to check out a little boutique called The Mystical Blossoms which had handmade soaps, roll on oils, etc… The street was so pretty there! The shop was cute too. Storm clouds were rolling in though and the sky was getting darker and we knew we had to head to the grocery store before heading to the vet so we didn’t stay long…..

8
 

The Coffee Bouteaque

 

11
 

Inside the coffee shop

 

7
 

Clouds

 

6
 

Sunshine & Shades

 

5
 

Meet the hubby ↗

 

4
 

Farmhouse on Tuckerton Bay

 

9
 

Tuckerton Bay

 

2
 

Tuckerton Bay

 

1
Mystical Blossoms
3
 

Medford New Jersey

 

 

 

Loki & Adjusting

57882503_10219640874672253_9155173239004069888_o

Some updates on Loki and adjusting;
A month later and finally seeing some hair growing back on his belly that they had shaved for his ultrasound. Pore guy will be dealing with IBD symptoms on and off forever. But he’s doing sooooo much better. He still, days later looks for Tinka Belle, he keeps thinking she’s in one of her hiding spots that he’s just never been graceful enough to enter. He sits and stares sometimes and I wonder if he sees her on the other side.
 
The apartment is a lot quieter with only one furbaby here now. I personally have NEVER in my life had less than 3 furkids at a time. I personally have said farewell in one way or another to 13 cats (including a mama cat who was picked up off the street in a blizzard, to have birth at my feet in the car), 3 dogs (two from childhood), 1 parakeet (from childhood), 1 iguana, and 3 angel fish.
 
We want to adopt a puppy, we’ve wanted to for a while now, but a we both agree Loki + puppy while Loki is trying to stabilize from serious chronic IBS is just not healthy for him.
 
Soooo, we decided, for now at least that Loki’s gonna be an only child a while. Loki’s always wanted to be in the spotlight with us. He’s always competed and would get super moody when others got attention.Our middle aged little man, awkward, clumsy, emotional, will now be spoiled rotten, heal and be taken with us on some adventures!
❤️
🐾❤️

xoxoe

©S.Halloran-runningtozen.org

Wild & Free

Tink

Last night we made the very painful decision to let our Tinka Belle cross the rainbow bridge. Her breast cancer had returned with a vengeance. It swiftly and aggressively took hold of her. It moved so fast there was nothing any medicine or treatment could do. Not even to slow it down. It was the hardest decision, but right decisions are not always the easy ones. She was always a proud, dignified and independent girl. Living in a cone and in a cancer riddled body, being forced medications, unable to eat and under supervision on and off every day for almost 2 months, while tumors grew in size and number and seeped blood, was not life for her. She was broken and beaten by a viscous unrelenting disease. CANCER SUCKS!

When we came outside to the car after the vet, this incredible sunset was in front of us. We watched as the sun set and the full moon rose. And I began the missing of her. 

57348052_10219605521228439_6961002995848839168_o

My heart is broken into a million little pieces again, as it does whenever one of our furbabies transition ahead of us. 

I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH
SPAY and NEUTER your furkids.

57253349_10219608403380491_4559730950098911232_o

A study at Brown University on spay and neutering reported:
“In males, neutering decreases the chances of developing prostatic disease and hernias, and eliminates the chances of developing testicular cancer. It also reduces problems with territorial and sexual aggression, inappropriate urination (spraying) and other undesirable male behaviors.

 

In Females, spaying decreases the incidence of breast cancer (the rate goes down to almost zero if the spaying is done before the first heat cycle!). It eliminates the chance of developing a serious and potentially fatal infection of the uterus experienced by many mature unspayed animals (pyometra). Spay surgery also eliminates the heat cycle and associated mood swings and undesirable behaviors, messy spotting (in dogs) and the attraction of all available males to your yard.”

57226509_10219608403660498_162253547931435008_o

FACTS
Over 90 percent of feline mammary tumors are malignant, meaning they grow in an invasive fashion and spread to distant sites in the body. This is in contrast to dogs, where only about 50 percent of mammary tumors are malignant.
Tumors tend to affect older, unspayed female cats, but all cats, including males, are at risk.
 
The age at which a female cat is neutered plays a role in protecting against tumor development, with the greatest benefit seen for kittens spayed before 6 months of age, who have a 91 percent reduction in risk compared to non-spayed cats. Spaying between six months and one-year results in an 86 percent reduction in risk, spaying between 1-2 years leads to an 11 percent reduction in risk, and spaying after age two does not reduce the risk of mammary cancer development at all.
57485481_10219608403940505_6913197587482804224_o
Now I try and keep busy the rest of the day. Tonight I’m participating in a Full Moon Release Meditation & Drum Circle. By my heart is broken. I’ve always adopted old, broken, unwanted furbabies and although it fills me with gratitude and a full heart when I do, this is a part of that. The letting go. She needed me to be strong for her, so I was. 
I will forever miss her head boops, her independent & proud nature, and the fact that no matter how long she had lived off the streets she never let us completely tame her. I always knew she was a child of the moon, now she truly is wild and free again, gone but never really gone. 

57694880_10219608404300514_8374660952699699200_o

52466052_10219185769334904_2994756613895618560_n.jpg

Capturing memories 

😻“Mom took my cone off so I could feel normal for a minute and do my water drinking thing. Yeah this is how I drink my water” 😼

Her condition isn’t any better. Still no solid answer. Another vet appointment coming in the next few days since her cocktail of meds (prednisone and basically amoxicillin)to get the infection under control and reduce inflammation are almost done. We now wait to see what our next steps could be to further a diagnosis along.

But her health is failing. She is now noticeably losing weight from not eating much, albeit slowly. She is in a cone almost 24/7 other than moments like this or meds time because she wants to lick for days to get out, stop whatever the lump is. Her lumps get lesions that bleed and hurt. She is cleaned with surgical scrub twice a day and slathered with neosporin. She is miserable. She is a dignified, proud, independent little lady who is now restricted, supervised and just wore down.

Hopefully we can get the skin biopsy done asap now and see where we stand. Keep the thoughts, prayers and healing coming her way. She is a little fighter 😼

 

Tuesday, the day after Monday

56402095_10219527073667299_383316468139294720_or.png

Captains Log: Monday 04/08/2019

I don’t have a photo from the vet visit but they shaved Tinka’s belly, including her scab, taking it off. She still has inflammation and at this point it’s no longer being called a hot spot. She has a serious infection, may or may not be the C word creeping back. There are other things it could be, but with her history? Apparently the wall between the mammary gland that was removed for her mammary cancer removal and the next one was very very thin and cells may have spread. But right now she has too much inflammation to take a skin sample for biopsy to see. Right now all we know is that she has a lump and a couple small lumps that are inflamed and STILL, very itchy. 

She came home with an anti bacterial surgical scrub (she has to be cleaned twice a day). Neosporin after the cleaning as a topical anti bacterial fighter. Clavamox/Amoxicillin pills (antibiotic) that she takes twice a day And she is back on Prednisone (anti-inflammatory steroid), starting twice a day for three days then weening down for about 2 weeks again. Add that to her twice daily Hyperthyroid pills and whew that’s a lot 😓 Plus she is still subjected to wearing her Elizabethan Collar (cone of perpetual shame). 

😉 We are keeping an optimistic outlook though (of course after the couple of hours of anxiety prevailed). She’s home, she’s resting after the trauma of shaving her belly with ZERO sedative. She’s a fighter and we won’t stop fighting for her. 

Suffice to say the though, the day was a wash as far as April challenges go. And I allowed that. My head was spiraling from the vet visit and all my planned April Challenge activities were scheduled for after the vet visit. What I did do was neurotically came home and cleaned. And that can be as therapeutic as exercise and meditation at times. But after being at the vet about an hour talking about infection, scabs and bacteria, cleaning just seemed what I needed to do. 

Before bed the hubby and I had to do our first scrub of her belly and first round of a whole lot of pills to pop down her throat. We fumbled along nicely and got the job done. Now time to let her rest. Goodnight 

 

Captains Log: Tuesday 04/09/2019

It’s early Tuesday morning, about 6ish. Tinka Belle seems to be feeling better, more active this morning. Even more cuddly. I think the razor burn from getting her belly shaved is starting to calm down, and so is she. She seems more herself whatever that means at this given moment. But for now, I’ll take it!

I let my April challenges slide the last two days, one for the sake of fun and one for the sake of, well, just not wanting to do it. But today is Tuesday, a new day. Time to dust off all the negative juju from yesterday that claimed the day and refocus.

Captains Log: Signing off, for now.