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We have this dog, Saffaron ( Saffy as we affectionately refer to her as) and she is almost 11. Now, she is not a tiny thing a ma bob or a golden noodle hybrid, she  is an adorable boxer. We love her like crazy and we have for the past 11 years but old girl is getting, well…old! This poor dog went from being the big guy and my first “baby” to being basically another  play set for our girls. Our girls mean well, and they think they are “loving on her” but Lord, if that is love..it really does hurt. But Saffy, old girl, she doesn’t miss a beat. She stands there, never growls or shows her teeth, and rolls with the punches. We protect her and intervene on her behalf..regularly but I know if it was happening to me and I was 77 , I’d be biting someone.
That being said, I am getting worried about the fact that sooner than later, Ms. Saffy will be leaving us for greener pastures. My girls really do adore this dog, she is their big sister. If I am telling them how much I love them..they always remind me..”Don’t forget about Saffy, Mommy!” I know when the time comes, little hearts will be severely broken. I am just trying to avoid broken psyches. I’ve been trying to , in the most simplistic way possible, explain to my daughters about death. Basically, I have explained that when a person or animal dies, they go to sleep and leave this earth. We won’t see them again on earth.They know about heaven and they are stoked that people who die get to go there and be well and happy. But sad that said person will no longer be with us. I am always careful to not say when people get old they die because I know Bella, she’d be watching the grandparents like a hawk.
I think I am over sensitive about the issue because growing up, we never really had to deal with death so I am not so good at it myself ( Hell, I’m afraid of how I will act when the dog dies. Shit, Saf better wait until the big guy is home to pick up all the pieces). Growing up, I seldom remember people or pets dying and I think it had something to do with the way my parents dealt  didn’t deal with the topic. For example, growing up we had a dog named “Pancho” ( yes, yes, I know..odd choice for a dog’s name:) for my entire childhood. Now,  you say, “Wow! That was one hell of a long life lived by this dog” That would be a  pretty fair assumption, but it would be wrong. Did I mention Pancho was a Shepard, a beagle, a spaniel,a terrier, a Rottweiler, and a couple different really cute mutts. Yeah, apparently if Pancho died or “ran away” my dad would just replace it…with whatever dog struck his fancy. We’d ask “What happened to Pancho?” And he would put the dog in front of us and say, “What are you talking about? This IS Pancho!” So let it be written, so let it be done. He was Papi so we just took his word for it.
Then there was my freshman year of college when my Grandma was dying of lung cancer. I’d speak to my Mom pretty regularly who was taking care of her, and Mom kept telling me that every time the phone rang, my Grandma would ask, “Is that Debi? Is that my Sug ( as in sugar..which is what my Grandma always called me..she’s from Tennessee that’s how they roll down there)” Anyways, I knew my Gran was sick but apparently not how sick. I went about my semester and right after midterms I came home for October break. The house is empty..weird, right? Finally, my Dad appeared. He made some chit chat with my friend who drove me home for break, even offered him some food. Once I could get a word in edgewise, I inquired, “Where’s Mommy? ( and the rest of my brothers and sisters for that matter and yes,I realize I was 18 calling my Mother “Mommy”.I still do..so what!)” My Dad:” Oh, They are in Tennessee at your Grandma’s funeral ( all very matter of factly)” WTF??? Me: “Why didn’t somebody tell me?(sobbing)” Dad: ” Your Mom didn’t want to bother you during midterms. Your Grandma didn’t want her to.” See what I mean? Totally not making me face death. I missed the funeral, the wake and never really got to say goodbye.
That’s how its been my whole life. I’ve been to a couple wakes but when it comes down to it, the finality of it all, I can’t do it ( “It” meaning the whole putting someone in the ground and actually saying goodbye). In fact, no one’s even insisted that I had to.  At this point in my life,the emotional collateral damage may completely destroy me. I know there will come a time(very soon) that I will have to face my fears, we have a couple Greats that are in their 80’s and I have to get a grip.These are women who are big parts of my girls lives so my girls will have to be given the opportunity to say goodbye. I can not deprive them of that because of my own phobias. I’ve found that once a family member dies, I just don’t go back to that city again. Crazy, I KNOW! It’s just that ,subconsciously, I know that once I go there and they are no longer there, I have to face the reality..the pain of loss. This is how it has always been for me. So, I am trying with my own handicapped sense of loss to explain this to my daughters because I don’t want them to be crippled by the fear  of losing their loved ones but to know it is just a small part of living and that dying is not the end but the beginning of another chapter. After all, isn’t it my duty as their Mother to prepare them for life? Part of life is dealing with loss and as painful and unversed as I am in dealing with it myself, I must find a way to navigate the situation so that I can make it easier on them,when the time comes that they have to deal with a loss.
This is an Eskimo Proveb quote that I find beautiful and reassuring. I hope to share it with my girls as a source of comfort as they grow into women and are forced to embrace the reality that no one lives forever.

“Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of  our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.”

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So, I always like to encourage people to count their blessings instead of their problems; You’ll be much happier and have a lot more free time! That being said, seems of late I’ve been a really bitchy a**hole about all things and everything, especially my girls. Maybe its been the lack of sleep, the week day single mothering thing, missing my husband, needing some nookie, stress…who knows what the answer may be. All I know is this is not who I am, but it seems its who I’ve become. Temporarily anyways. I’m working through it and feeling my feelings.  It’s come to my attention that I’ve been spending a lot of time on here complaining about my children. Boo on me for that.
The reason I am saying boo on me is because I recently, last night when I couldn’t sleep, was checking out some blogs on last weeks FF and I came across one that really touched my heart. The name of the blog is Viva la Vida and I read her “Our Story” and it really reminded me of how truly blessed I really am. This woman and her husband, after being told it was medically impossible, became pregnant. There were complications and she had such a raging case of Hyperemesis Gravidarium that she had to be intravenously fed daily. She couldn’t even keep water down. Because of the condition, the doctor had her get weekly ultrasounds to check on the baby’s well being. As messed up as all this was, she got to see her precious baby grow in utero.Her and her husband were so excited to meet this baby.They had waited so long for their miracle and had held off on knowing the sex. Before her week 24 appointment, they decided to throw caution to the wind and find out the sex of the baby. The night before her appointment, she started feeling extremely sick and constipated. By the following day, their lives had changed forever. (Please go to her blog if you want the entire story. It is not my story to tell  and I can not do it the justice it deserves.) The baby they had watched grow for 24 weeks and had grown to love so much passed away, without warning and without a chance to say goodbye…or even a brief hello.
Her story touched my heart and made me realize how grateful I am that my babies are with me. That I can touch them, hold them, kiss them, cuddle them, see their faces every morning and watch them sleep. I can watch them grow and get to know them with each passing day. It made me realize how lucky I am that they are here with me to aggravate and annoy me, at times, because being made crazy by them beats being sane without them…any day of the week. She is a brave woman to share her story. I was moved to tears when I read her story. I hope one day she will get to hold her baby boy in her arms again, in heaven.
I get so caught up in the day to day craziness that is my life that sometimes I forget that “THIS” is everything I ever wanted! My girls are absolutely amazing. They blow my mind with their wit and beauty on a daily basis. Their souls and their intelligence beat that of any grown person,I’ve ever known.  I know women who have lost children before they were born, were still born at full term, who have lost infants, young children, and teenagers and it never seems to get easier or less painful when a Mother loses her children. The void that is left by the loss of a child is one I hope to NEVER know. So I am going to cherish my girls with all I have got for as long as I can,and if you hear me complain again from time to time….forgive me! I’m only human!

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