all dogs go to Heaven

Blue Baird (September 26, 2011-May 1, 2018) Monday night Blue was much weaker, wobbly standing. I called the vet, to schedule a time if he made it through the night. He did. On Tuesday Blue spent the whole morning belly in the grass, listening to the birds, soaking up sunshine, watching the world go by. The vet came to the house around 11:30am. Blue and I sat in the grass in the front yard. The boys were inside, having already said goodbye. By 11:45am Blue’s spirit was gone. Oh. My heart. Big, sweet dog I loved. This picture of Blue and I is from yesterday morning at 8:55am, enjoying backyard sun, a few hours before his death.

May 2, 2018

Day 2: embarking

  
Day 2 of green goo food went some better. I mixed it less soupy and Blue considered eating a little longer before walking away. 

In other news, the boys, their overnight friends and I ate still warm krispy kreme donuts and watched The Goldbergs on TV. Both xboxes are in full swing now. [Written to the sound of trash talk and blaster fire.] Blue is curled up zzzz’ing next to Travis on the love seat dreaming of the canned soft food he hopes will magically appear in his bowl again. Maybe.

Round two of donut eating will begin soon when my friend and two more boys arrive anytime now. Happy Saturday! 

Ocrober 24, 2015

unexpected heart skip

Thankful for neighbors who know Blue and me. That dog got loose from the backyard leash tonight. I didn’t know until the phone rang and I was asked, “Do you have a dog named Blue?” Thankfully, after a joy run described as, “he was running fast,” Blue went to Becca and her friend Steve when they called him. That alone is amazing, wonderful and rare without Blue bait in the form of a treat or pretty girl dog. Becca used Tilly’s leash to walk him the short distance home. Scared me. I didn’t know they had him when I hung up the phone. I shouted to the boys to help me catch him, grabbed his leash and went out the front door and saw them. Situation under control. *Relief* Crazy dog that is crashed out, conked, happily asleep dreaming doggy dreams now. Thankful it all happened before dark and he is OK and home. 

Mother’s Day

The birds serenaded Blue and I on our early morning walk. Thankfully the pouring rain from earlier had stopped, though we’d have walked anyway. Enjoying breakfast now and some quiet time before the boys wake up. I love being their mom. My oldest son gave me my Mother’s Day gift early by going to the Good Friday artist reception and service in April. My younger son wrote me a poem that I’m not supposed to know about, but I saw the rough draft on accident while looking for his weekly report. Since he was out sick three days last week his awesome teacher sent it home with Friday’s homework with a post-it, “For Andrew’s Eyes Only :-)” I didn’t peek! Hope everyone I know has a blessed day filled with abundant love that overflows. Hug each other close. I had no idea how much my parents loved me until I became a mom. I get it now. Love that knows no bounds.

May 10, 2015

kitchen mouse

IMG_6038.JPG

“Hello little mouse.
Welcome home to your house.”
Words I said to my youngest son as we met at the top of the stairs.
He’d just returned home from an overnight with friends.
He was walking up.
I was about to descend after starting a load of laundry.
He was almost to his bedroom with a twin pack of Little Debbie snack cakes in his hand.
He hadn’t gotten there quite fast enough.
He replied with a grin and attempted a Jedi mind trick with the words, “You didn’t see anything.”
Oh, but I did.
The pantry is self serve and holds a plethora of goodies.
If only the food refilled automatically…
Though from his point of view, it does.
Gradually, when favorites are “disappeared” from one too many mouse raids, the children are learning to recycle the empty boxes and tell me if something is nearly or completely gone.
[creak of pantry door]
[tip toe tip toe away]
[crinkle of the wrapper]
[mmmmm so yum]
NOTE TO MOUSE: Throw the “evidence” away.
*squeak*

March 15, 2015
This conversation really occurred at the top of the stairs around 10:30 this morning. Afterwards I checked the pantry and there is at least one unopened box of Little Debbie snack cakes remaining. My oldest son calls this particular flavor, “Heaven Bites.” They must be really, REALLY good!

getting unstuck

Sitting at my kitchen table
Still in pjs
Drinking coffee
Blue on guard in the backyard
[quietly]
Boys voices drifting up
[talking over video game sounds]

I took a long hot soaking bath with a light book yesterday
Had a good day but was tired and fried
That helped
A lot
I’ll do it again
I forget to
Best of all woke up early [4:40a] but fell back asleep until 7a
Bliss

[PAUSE]

Dog woofed
He jumped the crooked bent ineffective wire mesh garden fence and got stuck
Out of leash but also the leash clasp was caught around the edge of the fence
Stuck
Unclipped him
Bent fence down enough he could jump
Loved him
He scared himself
For today anyway
He followed me in
Muddy paws which he hates having touched
Got a layer of dirt off
My house is nowhere near spotless
Ever
A little garden dirt won’t hurt

Poured the last of my coffee
Not rushing anywhere today
I am so thankful for lack of rush

October 26, 2014
A diary of my Sunday morning moments that occurred between 8:18a and 8:51a today. I can pinpoint the timing so exactly because this is an excerpt of an email reply I sent to my cousin. On a wild whim decided to share this snippet from my life here too. I’ve been quiet in my public writing spots. Have needed to be. Still do. ~Janean

Promise

milkshakesandheartaches:

I hope on the 

ashen stone

that will stand

above,

you will sing

me a song

of how much 

my life affected

thee.

Do not weep

or leave me

flowers that

will wither,

just promise

to bestow your

beauty for

those whose

eyes still see.

Yes. This. Thank you for writing it. Monday it will be six months since my husband died. “Sing a song” and “bestow beauty.” Life is happening now. We are to live it. Grieving is part of my/our journey. We loved. We mourn. We miss him. We remember. We are still alive. Speaking for my boys and I. So many loved and cared for him and prayed us through. Our family that we made together. We are thankful and blessed. Again and again. “Sing a song” and “bestow beauty.” Got it. Will do. Yes. This.

February 22, 2014

love seat thoughts

I walked my Blue dog this morning, just like every morning since we got him as a three month old pup. I wore my favorite new zebra rain boots to keep my feet dry, my black winter coat with a turquoise hat and gloves for warmth, and carried a red and white umbrella too. It felt a little bit mixed up. Thankfully the dog did his business quickly and we turned around for home instead of circling the big block like we usually do. Will wake the still zzzz’ing boys soon. I love sleeping during thunderstorms. This morning’s was a doozy and made me want to stay in bed. It is calmer outside now. I hear some birds chirping through the outer walls, over the din of the ticking clock. That signals it is calm inside because in midst of commotion the sound of the clock is drowned out. I will wake the boys soon. Sitting still a moment longer. Tick tock. Tick tock. Chirp. Surprisingly the wind chimes are silent, though not for long. The wind is predicted to pick up speed this afternoon and gust throughout the night. I’ll look forward to hearing their melody later, when the day is wrapping up, and I have another moment to sit still and woolgather, in this, my favorite love seat spot. Rain is pouring again. Thunder resumes. Boys getting out of bed will be the next sound. The day has officially begun here.

February 20, 2014

It is Valentine’s Day today. My boys each received a giant Hershey bar with a big red bow this morning. I was surprised they didn’t have chocolate for breakfast like on Easter morning. They could have, but they didn’t ask or just go for it sorta on the sly.
Instead of wearing red (I’m just not feeling bold like that) I chose my purple t-shirt with the hot pink sea turtles and the words “Aulani • Hawai’i.” We loved there. He and I. Our family of four cocooned together surrounded by Hawaiian island paradise. That was six months ago, at the beginning of August 2012, just three weeks before he died.
This morning my youngest son and I stood outdoors in quickly falling snow with Blue dog too. What began as micro flakes quickly changed to ginormous ones and was really coming down. This unexpected snowfall made me smile, as did the talking and laughing between us while while waiting for the bus. Sweet fifth grade boy has twenty eight valentines with nerd candy attached in his backpack, ready to give to his classmates at the party this afternoon. I’m preparing for a sugar buzz attack this evening, followed by a crash. He held his backpack over his head and asked me to go inside and get the umbrella to block the falling snow. I didn’t budge. Instead my hair turned white from snow accumulation because I’d left my hat inside. Enough landed there that I did blow dry it again once inside. Crazy winter.
I have a lunch date with my oldest son at his favorite restaurant to look forward to. Half day only at his school today. Parents Day in the lower grades. We’ll enjoy our afternoon time, just us two, before his brother gets off the bus returning home. He led me in a merry game of chase when I turned to give him a Happy Valentine’s Day hug before school. What a scene we made. Thirteen year old boy with the long legs staying just ahead, ten year old keeping pace beside me and Blue dog racing, not sure of the objective but not wanting to miss the merry go round of fun. I’ll get that hug. Later. The day is young. Good thing is, he “eluded me” by brushing his teeth before school at my reminder.
I’ll probably make a chocolate cake in my grandmother’s heart shaped cake pans. They are mine now, but they were hers first. If not today, sometime this weekend.
The dog is walked. The boys are at school. The house is quiet. The coffee is brewed. I started to reach for my blue “Oasis” mug. The one I glazed with the soothing colors of the Caribbean in early July while my children worked on 4-H projects alongside. Then I considered the earth tone mug in the unusual shape that I brought home from a summer art fair in 2011. That was longer ago than it sounds, considering all that has happened since. Instead, I chose the bright red heart mug today, on the day it is made for, Valentine’s Day. I bought two of these red heart mugs long ago, as Valentine’s Day gifts for my husband and I. Way back, before the children were born. I still have both of the mugs. Stupid earthly stuff. It stays behind with memories attached, both the good and the bad ones. So much to wade through.
Earlier this week on Monday, February 10, I wrote in an email to a girlfriend:
“Valentine’s Day won’t be as hard for me as our wedding anniversary on May 31. I always have considered Valentine’s Day “a Hallmark holiday” and still say showing your love isn’t about over the top extravagance on one *stupid* day you feel forced to make a gesture, but about the whole year of big, and mostly little things, that you do for one another. My 2¢. I’ll make sure to toast the day with chocolate and will spend it with my children, my two bestest Valentine’s, this year and every one. Hold each other close. Say, “Good morning, I love you” as the day begins and, “Good night, I love you” as the day ends. We got it right for the last month of our marriage, when all pride was finally shoved aside and we loved with our walls down. Beautifully. Fleetingly. It was good and all God. I told my oldest son yet again, on the drive to school today, “There were many miracles along the way, but the biggest one was the way God moved a stubborn man and a stubborn woman at the end of July.” It was all Him.”
I’m thankful for, and humbled by, the ocean of love and prayer that continues to surround my family of three people, one wild dog, and a cranky cat.
Now I’m on today. Valentine’s Day. All day. I’m finishing my last cup of coffee, a special blend sent across the ocean from Hawaii and looking forward to my lunch date. Later, I anticipate laughing later while watching Blue dog play outside on the long leash as I shovel snow, and then being tucked into home with my family tonight, with cake to follow soon. Lots of good stuff right there, in these quiet moments that no longer pass me by.
Aloha means, “hello,” “goodbye,” “I love you.” Feels right. Yes. That. Aloha. My subconscious knew, as I chose my souvenir t-shirt from our Hawaiian vacation to wear today, along with my sparkly heart love multicolor Venetian glass necklace, a gift from two GFF BFF friends, also from August 2012.
Happy Valentine’s Day, from me to you.
Love,
Janean

P.S. See?! I am trying. Getting there. Day by day. Grief is not for wimps…and this rambling post probably doesn’t make a lick o’sense. Oh well. I wrote it anyway. So there. Take that, Valentine’s Day! *sigh*

Ecclesiastes 7:8 Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

February 14, 2014

6:56am “Just in from walking Blue. Too cold a day for a flannel pj walk. Now I know. Sun is just coming up now. It started sort of dappled and is hot pink and lavender now. Kinda gorgeous. More hot pink now. I still have my coat on. Time to wake up my oldest son, but the sky and writing to You. My wind chimes chime.” I send the email and then step outside to my backyard deck, to try to capture with a mere photograph, the amazing beauty I watched unfolding. For not the first time, I find myself wishing I could see further along the horizon, without houses in the way, as Blue looks through the sliding glass door, longing to be outside with me. I head back in and begin to wake those two tired boys. Opening my oldest son’s blinds to let some light in, and mentioning the beautiful sunrise. He groans, to let me know he heard me and is getting up…eventually. When I return to the kitchen the sky has changed again. Warm golden hues followed the initial display of fiery color. Fleeting color at that. Hours have since passed, both boys are at school, and we aren’t even left with blue overhead. The sky is white today. The wind blows. My chimes chime. Just two days remain in the first month of the new year.

January 30, 2014