I swear I’m still alive. Its just been a very busy and messy year so far. Its almost April and we haven’t even sent out the yearly invitations to the family reunion! (oops!) My grandfather died in January and while that was sad, I knew he’d lived a long and productive life. I’ve been busy with classes but that’s not much of an excuse. I was sick quite a bit for a while there. I’ve been working on my photography business (yes business! I’ve currently got two paying gigs lined up in the next month!!) And then on Friday, my dog was sick. My 11 month old Bessie who had puppies on Valentines day. (yes she was too young, I wanted to get her spayed, but we were low on funds when it came time to take her to the vet due to my husband’s job not paying him for almost a month and it was too late by the time we had the money) I planned to take her to our vet on Monday because she had thrown up a couple of times and wasn’t eating much. Saturday night we kept her inside so she could get some rest and when I went to check on her Sunday morning, she was dead. I have no idea what made her so sick that she was gone so fast and I can’t help but blame myself because I feel like I should have known if something was that badly wrong with her, but aside from a worried sick feeling in my stomach, I had no idea. I took her to the vet after the puppies were born. He checked her out, sent her home with some antibiotics and she seemed fine. Its still a shock to me and now I have 8 orphaned babies to watch out for. Thankfully I have 2 adult females who tolerate the babies because they still need someone to show them how to be dogs.
For those of you who have dogs who are like your family (or closer for some of you) you understand what a blow this is I’m sure. It has me off-balance but playing with her little ones has been some of the best medicine. They’re precious and irresistible and I will be keeping at least two of them. We will be setting aside a nice chunk of our tax refund to take care of all the vet bills (spaying, shots, etc) so that I don’t have to worry about this happening again.
I had a whole long post written and it disappeared into the ether so I’m just going to say that I lost my aunt over the weekend. I miss her already but I know she’s in a better place now. She lost her battle with cancer. Or maybe she finally won in the only way she could- she’s at peace now. Its the rest of us left behind who have lost someone dear to us but I like to think we’ve only lost contact for the time being. I know I’ll see her someday and that she and my other aunt and gramma are up there watching over us right now. I wish I had gotten a chance to say goodbye. I let fear hold me back. A good friend told me to ask her if she’d had a good life and I would like to believe the answer was yes. I know the part she played my life was good and I will miss her.
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I do not die.
-Mary Frye 1932
I got up this morning about 8 o’clock and went almost immediately to finish the dolly that I showed yesterday. I painted the blonde’s face (I don’t like that one near as well and unfortunately it showed when I did the face- droopy eyes and a large and ungraceful mouth) and even made a carrying bag for her that snaps shut and resembles a pillow case. I have a feeling that a childs size pillow would fit in it and she could take it all to granny’s house. I came out of the back room and checked on the time and lo and behold, it was 11 o’clock! Holy cow where did my morning go? I’m still in my pajamas and sitting in the living room. One of the older J’s picked up the younger ones because she and my husband and I switch off watching them. So now I’m left with a nice quiet albeit messy house and I’m not sure what I’m going to do with myself today. I was ecstatic to see that several of my seeds have little green sprouts now and I went over each egg carton checking to see which plants were up and if any more showed signs of saying hello today. I was not disappointed. I also saw the prettiest cardinal couple out the window of my sewing room and made a mental note to mention them as these are really the first signs of birds we’ve had. I knew my ant was a sign that spring was on its way. I feel rather brilliant now even tho its supposed to be cold all week.
On a sadder note, I’ve got a memorial service to go to for a very dear family friend tomorrow night and I’m not sure what to wear. When my grandmother died, I wore jeans and the brightest red sweater because those are happy colors and my gramma wouldn’t have recognized me in something else. That was with family who understood my eccentricities tho and I’m not sure Frank’s family will feel the same. I met this man when I was 4 or 5 years old tho and he was like an uncle to me. Again, I was always in jeans when he was around. I’m a daddy’s girl and a tomboy and when Frank was over I was usually working outside with him and my dad so pretty clothes had no place in my life. I’ve never been good at this stuff anyway.
Frank was one of the last of a dying breed. He had family connections to the mob and of course that means he was Italian. I remember debating with him over whether or not you could make manicotti with cottage cheese in place of ricotta. I’m anti-ricotta for the most part and to him that was close to sacrilegious. Thats just the kind of guy he was. But always very upbeat and sure of himself and where he stood with life. He smoked who knows how many cigarettes a day but contrary to our expectations that wasn’t what got him in the end. I’m really going to miss seeing him around and this is yet another reminder to me that I should stay in touch with the people I care about because you never know when they won’t be around any more.