Sunday, March 17, 2013

Thankful Thursday or Not?

**I wrote this on Thursday, but I wanted to include photos and I used all my spoons to write the post. But then on Friday I had no spoons and Saturday I had no spoons and today when I look for the photos I want to share, I cannot find them. So, it is not Thursday. It is Sunday and I've debated whether or not to publish this post because I was really in a bad mood on Thursday. But, it is truthful and makes me smile at the end and so I can't help but share.**

Is it Thursday? I seriously do not know the days anymore. But my iPhone confirms it is Thursday, March 14th, 2013. Why thank you, Siri.

I am in no mood to be thankful. I have been bedbound for a few weeks with what feels like an alternating knife, drill and sometimes a hammer and nail attacking my head. I believe that if outsiders could see the pain in this way, they might just puke just as they might if they really saw a someone hammering a nail in the space between my eyes.

They'd be horrified, just as my husband is when he comes home to finding me curled in a ball, eyes closed, using sign language so I don't have to speak and hear my voice or noise period, holding up a finger (not that one) for George to stop moving. Yeah. I can't stand movement: his, mine, the dogs, or the neighbor's car. I can only imagine that it feels like an electrical current shooting through my body; but I've never experienced that...Thankfully.

But I hadn't eaten in eight hours and George has to get my weak body propped up to eat supper. I have to move (OH WAIT "ZOFRAN!") so that he can give me a shot of burning Toradol in my rump. He has an essential tremor and his hands are shakier since his September coma though the neurologist says it is not a big deal. Guess he isn't having George stick an inch and a half needle in his rump!  But I don't care as I keep envisioning the Toradol as this army of big goobers running through my system to kick out the utensils which are progressing into my skull, to squelch the pain and to hopefully bring my body to a place of tolerance.

Did you want to hear that? I'm guessing not so much. There are some Migraineurs who really take complaining/whining to a new level and I think it is appropriate at times, but I have always believed in finding the joy in the hard times. I find it easier to find the balance in truth. They say that humor and being positive and happy is supposed to help pain. And actually gratitude is supposed to have healing properties. But lately, my pain has turned me into a sullen, dark, angry creature who has holed herself away and I DO NOT want to write this post, but my there must be some essence of "Kelly" inside because she wants to say she is thankful.

Monday, March 11th would have been my Mister Knightley's 10th birthday. George and I sing a lot, not to music, but to our own drummer to be silly or to connect and to have fun. And even if I put happy intonations into something simple as "Twinkle Twinkle", Knightley would only ever react to the "Happy Birthday" song. He LOVED the birthday song. I wish I had his reaction on video. I may somewhere. We'd sing Happy Birthday to him randomly and on other people's birthdays because he would get happy and twirl and we all were uplifted.

I am so thankful for my boy. He was ever watchful. He was ever comforting. He loved to dump out trash cans and rip up tissue paper and then come to me and tell on himself with lowered ears. I'd have to keep from laughing as I'd known exactly what he had done. He would follow me to the end of the earth and was my constant shadow (except when dumping trash cans that is). Zoe and later Giselle would stay put not wanting to disturb their slumber. But there was a deep connection and no matter how much it hurt his poor hips (moderately severe hip dysplasia) to get up and down, I was his mommy and he wanted to be with me.

And he knew me by name: Mommy. He was a smart little bugger: George and I would have to keep changing our nick-names for him: ones we would use when we wanted to tell the other something, such as "look at his cute pose", about Mister K, Rufus, Puppy, Knightster, or Gromit (named after an intelligent dog in stop-animation features). He even knew Zoe's name and knew my husband by "George" or "Daddy". Knightley and I shared a favorite command "Kiss George." He would lick George like crazy. George was not fond of the command which is how Knightley learned I was "Mommy" as the command was turned onto me!    

As he got older, he got to be a stubborn old man, refusing to come in out of the snow and I used his vast vocabulary comprehension against him by yelling out the door "Are you hungry?!" It never failed. Though I had been calling his name and whistling relentlessly, he would ignore me, but once I asked him about food, he heard and would come tearing up the stairs and inside. I talk a lot to my dogs, but neither of the girls have the comprehension he did though Zoe knows more "tricks" and Giselle just learned to "kiss" on command.

Knightley loved to be groomed and nail trimmings were a piece of cake which helped when my scared rescue dogs came into our household. He would fall asleep every time and was a great model for them. I would lay them next to him and he showed them it was okay. Now nail trimmings with the girls are a piece of cake. Thanks Knightley!

The happiest I saw Knightley was at the beach. In May 2011, we took him and Zoe to a secluded beach house where we had to drive six miles on the beach to get there. It was the first week of May and it was as if we were on an island by ourselves with the occasional car driving by. Knightley loved to dig in the sand chasing the bubbles and shells. He would jump after a ball or shell into the surf. He would sit and watch the waves peacefully. Though watching the birds and wild horses were more of an active attraction rather than a watching attraction for him!  He got Zoe over her fear of the ocean and she started to have fun too. He really helped his rescued sisters.

So on what would have been his birthday on Monday, I was thankful. I decided not to be sad. I was happy that I got to be Knightley's mommy. I sang to a gold framed 8x10 photo of him hanging in our bedroom "Happy Birthday" choking back the tears that wanted to creep up. And then I noticed a commotion behind me, on the bed, Zoe and Giselle who had both been deep in sleep had not only roused but were on the bed dancing in circles. They were celebrating too or at least were happy that their mommy was.

We were to take Knightley back to the beach he loved in September 2012, but he died suddenly and unexpectedly in June in a way that was my worst nightmare. So, one morning, before the sun rose in September, George and I walked out to the beach and as soon as the sun started rising, we both scattered some of his ashes on the sand and in the waves.  And it will always be a happy place for me to go and remember him. My faithful boy, I am thankful for you and the impact you made on my life.


*PS* I actually feel a little better. Guess there is something to this gratitude thing!!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Laughing with Mein Schnecken

I have obviously not been posting. I've drafted some blogs, but because my philosophy in writing has been "write what you know"; the nature of what happening in my personal life is muzzling me and so I have been unable to write.  However I will return at some point, hopefully soon.

Among other things, I am suffering form severe depression and as anyone with depression knows, a dark veil covers one's whole world and not a speck of light is able to come in.

But wait, this is not about depression or anything else dreary so do not stop reading!

Tonight I was about to write a status update on Facebook (about celebrating the end of George's busiest part of his busy season at work: aka We Never See Each Other Season) and how I'm thrilled to be spending time with Mein Schnecken.

George is of German decent and each time he calls me on the phone or comes in the door for as long as I can remember, he calls up to me and says "Hello Liebschen!" Liebschen is German for sweetheart; it was one of the first things he said to me when he awoke from his coma in September. I am thankful to be called Liebschen many times a day; I don't think I hear him call me "Kelly" unless he is trying to wake me up.

So I of course I have a German name that I call him. I'm not sure how I chose it, but it the movie The Birdcage did have a part in it. This movie always makes me smile.
And for some reason I was under the impression that "Schnecken" meant honey bun or something similar.  But something inside of me said to check an German/English dictionary before posting about "Mein Schnecken" and I did and found out that "Schnecken" is literally the plural form of "snail!!" I laughed out loud so hard in a way I haven't in months. For years, I have been calling my darling husband "my snail" (or snails if you want to be literal)!

Later, George came home, I shared I what I had discovered and after a good laugh, we Googled "Schnecken." I was relieved that Wikipedia had THIS article at the top of the list saying that in fact Schnecken is a type of sweet bun that was served in the early 1900's by Jewish immigrants and the pastry is in the shape of a snail.

So I will continue to call George, "mein Schnecken," but we will always have a laugh about the snail part.

Man, it felt good to laugh like that.