There has been a lot of stress and sadness in our home since I was last able to write anything here.
At the end of October we had to have our beloved Jules, our eleven year old Golden Retriever, put down. It was heartbreaking, as those things always are, but it was even more than heartbreaking, if that is possible, because both girls insisted on coming with me to say our final goodbyes to her and to hold and pet her as she took her last breath. We remained in that little veterinary office for over forty five minutes holding the remains of that sweet dog, crying, and attempting to get ourselves together enough to emerge from the room with some dignity.
Immediately following the election…waaaaaay back in November…in fact, as I was watching the election returns at ungodly hours of the night, I started having panic attacks. Mini panic attacks. Itty bitty heart racing panic attacks. So small that on that great big scale of panic attacks hidden away in therapist offices everywhere they may not have even registered, but I was very aware of them, and even though I could control them fairly easily by excusing myself from a conversation or turning off the computer or grabbing one of my kids for an unsolicited hug, they scared me.
This fall, Hayden applied to several colleges (yay! The possibilities are endless! Her future is so bright!) and, as the acceptances began rolling in from every school she applied to, so did the panic. (Oh, my God! She’s leaving me! How are we going to pay for this? She’s leaving me!) This is an ongoing stress as she tries to decide where she wants to attend college, how far away she will be from us, etc. It’s the proverbial parenting dilemma: I’m so excited for her and can’t wait to see who she becomes, what she does with her one magnificent life–while, all the while, feeling a tremendous sense of loss for the little girl she was; she used to hold my hand for everything, and now she runs ahead of me.
My mom passed away on January 29th of this year. Four and a half weeks ago. On my sister’s fortieth birthday. She had undergone a major surgery on the twentieth, and although there were small ups and downs in the time between the surgery and her passing, she had done remarkably well. She was ready to be discharged from the hospital on the twenty-ninth, literally dressed and ready to go, when she suffered a pulmonary embolism. Despite a large contingency of doctors and nurses and the such, they were unable to save her.
That Sunday morning I was just getting in the shower to go to the hospital in Albany, NY when I received the first text that something was wrong, that something was happening. I was on the road, almost to Hartford, CT when my Dad called to tell me she had not survived what he thought at the time was a heart attack. I continued to drive towards Albany making a couple of phone calls–the first to Steve and the second to my friend Suzanne. Twice I had to pull over on the Mass Pike/NY throughway to vomit. It was the worst morning of the worst day of my life.
I have much I want to say about my mother, but I’m not ready today, so I will just leave this here. For now.