Tag Archives: friendship

The loss of a ‘fur’ soulmate.

Yesterday, I lost my  ‘fur’ soulmate, Nala. I am in shock, I an numb and saddened at the loss of my 10 year companion, the most charismatic, loving, devoted kitty there ever was. Yesterday was a surreal, out of body experience with my worst fear coming to fruition: having to decide to end her suffering and say goodbye.

Backing up…two days ago, I took her to the vet as she was not herself, lethargic and noticeably skinny…again. It was happening again. Several years ago, the same thing happened. And every year or so it would happen. She would lose weight, yet eat like a horse, yet every possible ailment was ruled out. Blood work clear. No thyroid issues. No parasites. Nothing explainable. Steroids and antibiotic and lots of extra food usually did the trick.  But not this time. This time she was 5.75 lbs, the smallest she had ever gotten. Losing two lbs in two months, yet eating constantly. After an IV of fluids, blood and urine samples, we were sent home to await the results. Nala slept most of the day, eating little. I knew she was not improving, yet kept trying to find hopeful signs of improvement. She was not hiding. She *was* eating (even if just a little). But she was not very alert. She was weak and bony. She could barely lift her head. My stomach was in knots. My heart was breaking to see her this way. The blood and urine samples came back clear, no signs of anything.

Yet, I knew. I knew she was not recovering, but she was dying. I didn’t want to admit it or say it out loud, but in hindsight, deep down, I knew. Yesterday, she laid curled in my bed, barely moving. I checked on her hourly. I checked on her around 12:30 and discovered she had peed all over the bed. I started to tear up as I hated to think she was peeing because she had no strength to get up. Little did I know that it was early signs of her body failing her. I carried her in a blanket down to my office and laid her down next to me so I could watch her. I gave her some tuna juice, willing her to drink it, giving her some sustenance. She drank about half, as I held the bowl to her lips because she couldn’t lift herself enough to drink it herself.

I went into the kitchen to prepare my lunch, trying to be hopeful that her eating was a good sign. I came back to find her somehow ambling her way into my office chair, as she often did, ‘sharing’ it with me (more like hogging it, and I would sit in the very edge, to give her room). I put the chair to my side and put another chair next to her, so she would be right next to me. She kept ambling closer to me, just laying there. And then suddenly, she cried out in pain. My heart dropped. I knew. She was failing and quickly. I called the vet at 1:45, and she was in at 2 pm. The vet was visibly concerned and working quickly to stabilize her. They took her away, put her on oxygen, an IV and medication. The vet came in and talked with me and we decided to see if she stabilized in a few hours and then come to a decision. I went in to give her a kiss and tell her I loved her. And the sight of her in incubation, so frail and not very responsive, was incredibly painful. I left, and 5 minutes later, my phone rang. She had gotten progressively worse, and I turned around and flew back to the vet, hoping I would not lose my chance to say goodbye. I bawled as I walked back in, legs shaking. I went in, and there she was, twitching, shaking and…dying. The vet looked at me, sadly, and said, “I think it is time.” And I, crying, agreed. turned and signed the euthanasia paperwork, in a fog. I turned to Nala, I looked at her, put my hand on her side, kissed her gently and told her I loved her. The vet injected her and with one final breathe in…she was gone.

996612_10151868131781170_380770201_n

My companion, my heart, my little feisty furball was gone. In an instant. I have never cried more. I have never hurt more. I have never wanted to flee and wake up from a nightmare more. It was in that moment I realized just how much she meant to me, how much I had grown to love her. How much she had filled a void in my life the day my then-husband walked out the door. She became the light of my life, my comic relief, my solace when I was scared and alone, my fur soulmate. And in those final moments, I was protecting and saving her, just as she saved and loved me for all of those years.

To my beautiful girl, Nala, I love you more than I thought possible. Your spirit will forever live on, in me, and in your sister Kayla, who is lost without you, but carries your soul, your beautiful face, and your spirit, forever. 8-26-03 – 9-25-13

(to be continued…)

221d5c171a3f663126d54ee3df090a71

On humbleness, respect, and reality checks.

Lately, I’ve felt like I’ve gotten hints, reminders, little lessons in humbleness and it’s really made me stop and think, stop and change, stop and shift.

It reminds me that I’m not perfect. That my journey is not over, it’s lifelong.

For example, my fitness journey? Of the barre n9ne variety? It continues. Practicing mindfulness in eating. It takes committment. It’s not a sprint. Ever.  Practicing ‘smarter not harder’ is also ongoing. I can’t cram it all in, but what I do know is whatever ‘me’ workouts I get a week, go big or go home.

Don’t half ass a run.

Don’t take a class but zone out…zone IN.

Focus. Drink it all in. Learn more (because there is always, always, ALWAYS more to learn, even after almost two years instructing). I feel invigorated in this new season – literally and figuratively – as I set my own mini goals, to continue growing, refining and challenging myself, my body. As an instructor  at barre n9ne, to continue bettering my abilities, and being humbled by the knowledge that I can always always always improve. And that I want to always improve. Strive for better. Strive for stronger. Not only a passion but a committment. 

It reminds me that respect, trust and honor are three traits never to be taken lightly, or for granted.

These things take time to build, and an instant to be crushed instantly. This weekend, I mourn that this was taken from me, in a friendship I very much respected, trusted and honored, and as much as it saddens, shocks and upsets me very deeply, I know that sometimes, its irreparable…once the damage has been done, there’s truly no going back. And I realize how much I value those traits and how much I value the friends that do respect, trust and honor. That commit to a friendship 10000%, and it is making me reach out to those friends most right now. That I value more than maybe they even know.

It’s felt like I have gotten a few of these lessons in humbleness, respect, and reality checks this week, and I sit here, readying myself for the week ahead, I feel renewed. Clear-minded. Ready. Leave it all behind, and move forward, embrace the journey, the good and the not so good, because it all shapes you, it makes you better, and it gives you perspective.

As I read Jeff Goins’ latest newsletter (the genius behind the Slow Down Challenge), my jumble of thoughts here came together…he writes:

A thought came to mind. In the pursuit of our dreams, maybe we need to remember two things:

How far we’ve come.

How far we still have to go.

One makes us grateful, and the other makes us humble. And I think we need both those things in order to do great work without going crazy.

Without humility, we’ll become arrogant or settle for less than our best. And without gratitude, we’ll never be content and make those around us miserable.

The best art comes from a place of both contentment and unrest. It’s a paradox. We need to always be striving for better and at the same time resting in who we are, not just what we do.

As you attempt greatness today (whatever that looks like for you), I hope you’ll consider this. I hope you’ll take note of how far you’ve come and still how far you’ve yet to go.

I don’t think I could have put it any better if I tried. Attempt greatness today, practice gratitude, embrace humility.

On disconnecting to connect, a reunion long time coming, and love, strengthened.

I am not truly sure how to capture the essence of our trip to Playa del Carmen last week (as I sit here weathering Hurricane Sandy, quite the shift in weather compared to the beauty of the Mexican beaches!).

Except to say that it was perfectly timed, shed some incredible light on some things and was a reunion with someone I haven’t seen in almost three years. A very, very, long time coming. (I plan to post more on some of these realizations this week, but for now, I will keep it brief as I collect my thoughts).

As M and I walked into the Miami airport, re-entering ‘existence’ so to speak, on Friday, as we were virtually cut off from all communication all week with all things electronic media (which I oddly loved way way more than I thought I would!), I stopped and turned to him, and said “You know what? I think I fell more in love with you this week than ever.” He said, “why?” To which I remarked, “Because I for once focused solely on you and wasn’t half-present, focused half on my stupid phone and half on you.”

To admit that was a lot easier than I thought, but at the same time, admitting that and seeing it written out? Also very hard to see. More on this topic in a later post, but that was one of the biggest realizations of the past week. How much I love M with all of my heart and soul, to the tips of my toes and the strands of my hair. Love, strengthened.

~~

Reuniting with this girl (who I actually saw two weeks ago during the Chicago Marathon too – twice in two weeks vs. more than two years, ironic, isn’t it?!). It was as if we picked up where we left off. That is the sign of friendship that goes the literal and figurative distance, isn’t it? And it was the perfect juxtaposition for when we met almost three years ago (when I really calculate it, it was almost 3!) at a time in our lives where we were fresh from divorce, our lives paralleling in so many ways, to now, again paralleling in so many ways. She got engaged a year(ish?) ago, and now I too, am engaged, and she enters into marriage with the man that she was meant to be with…just about a year (or less, I am hoping…) to when M and I enter int ours. Lives, parallel. Incredible. Beautiful. Moving.

So when she walked down that aisle, on the pristine beach of Mexico, with a small gathering of us looking on, I got chills, despite the almost 90 degree heat. And when her voice broke as she said the most perfectly written vows (that literally could have been my own words!), tears rolled down my cheeks, in all out tears of happiness and love. For her. For us. For where our lives lead us, when we least expect it.

Suddenly? It all comes together. As it was meant to be.

Spreading the happy.

Sometimes I think it’s so easy to forget to “spread the happy.”

And it’s even easier to forget that sometimes we *d0* “spread the happy” without even realizing it.

…chatting with a barre n9ne client and they ask ‘so, how long have you been doing the 60-day challenge?’ and they ask for tips, and how to get ‘there’ to where *you* are.

(silently inspiring, simply leading by example)

…hearing from a friend that they’ve just broken up with their boyfriend of five years and though she is obviously very sad, “seeing how happy you are, after going through what you did, gives me confidence and faith that I will too.”

(paying it forward to someone else means incredibly much to me, because there are so many that inspired *me* when I most needed it, just seeing *their* happiness overflow in their ‘new normal.’)

…reaching out, with an email, a call, a text. To say hello. To ask ‘how are you?’ or ‘I miss you, how have you been?’

(handing a morsel of ‘happy’ at an unexpected moment)

All of these things…are ways we ‘spread the happy’ without even knowing it. Our experiences, our pasts, our challenges, our evolutions, our faith, our habits, our advice, our lives…can so much inspire and boost up one’s spirit ever so gently. The power of happy, and paying it forward is something that has become one of my own biggest joys. I love to ‘spread the happy’ because it not only makes *them* happy, it makes *me* happy too. And it’s just something I’ve been thinking about more and more lately. Perhaps it is because I am feeling so much happy around me, I just want it to spread and increase and motivate….for others.

So next time you brush off a compliment, an action, advice, a random email from a friend. Don’t. Pay it forward. 

Spread the happy.

And so, the ‘Maine blogger summit’ BEGINS!

Aptly named, a la CBG in his post yesterday, the first-ever Maine blogger summit is about to get underway and I couldn’t be more excited! It was an idea spawned back and forth between Sunshine and me a couple of months ago (originally, last year, actually, but we weren’t able to swing it!), and I do believe it is going to be one of those weekends that is unforgettable (including not only this fabulous couple but also T, and her man GJ! I’ve known this little group since almost the very beginning, it feels so incredible that we finally get to meet!).

It’ll be one of those weekends where I realize – yet again – how much I love blogging in very large part for all of the beautiful people I have ‘met’ throughout the 3+ years  that I have been blogging here, and in my old blog. It’s truly amazing how connected I feel to some people that I have never actually met in person, who ‘get’ me almost scarily so well, who support, laugh, and share in my journey with me, as I with them. Through the years, the blog-o-lution, everything, I have some amazing friends here, and this weekend is truly one I will cherish, with people that have ‘been there’ since just about the very beginning. And wow, how different then vs. now, for all of us.

(In fact, I was just telling this girl all about the weekend at barre n9ne yesterday morning and realizing, as we spoke, that WE too met through this very blog, and she mentioned another blog (this girl!), a girl I just so happened to have also met ‘IRL’ two years ago and who I have the honor of attending her wedding in Mexico this fall! Talk about six degrees of separation!!)

*end meandering thoughts <–one of those can’t-concentrate-days – forgive me!*

I look forward to much laughter, much wine, much lake and jetski time together. I look forward to sharing this haven with some really special people, and doing everything in my power to make it as fun, relaxing and worry-free as possible. As hostess to people flying in from halfway across the country, and driving 10+ (!) hours to meet? It’s the LEAST I can do.

So, cheers friends, and let the Maine blogger summit BEGIN!!!!!!!!!!

Bliss.