Anticipation on the holidays

Anticipation of holidays can be so hard when you lose someone you love. Time really does help. But sometimes the holidays bring on these emotions you don’t expect. The good news is that the anticipation is usually worse than the day/time you were anticipating.

You should always be prepared for what you may feel and plan something that will help you honor that person. Light a candle, tell a story about them, send a balloon up with a note or take just plan some time to think about them. It doesn’t have to be anything major, just so you are prepared and allow yourself to feel whatever emotions come your way.

It doesn’t always have to be a holiday. What about when it’s not. Sometimes you go on with your day and you do something that reminds you of your loved one and as you start to feel these emotions, they catch you by surprise.

Recently a tree fell on my deck. I was very lucky. Just a broken screen and a couple of cracked rail caps. I went and bought the rail caps and put them on myself. I was ready to pick up the phone and call my stepfather and brag. But, I remembered that he died a few years back. I remembered things like when I had a question about something broken I called him. When I fixed something on my own, I called him and he was always proud. It’s been a while since he died, but it still had that twinge of “I miss him.” I don’t ever want that to go away.

For me this year it was a different than past holiday seasons. Thanksgiving seemed to be very small this year. I always had a large group, around 20 people. Everyone seemed to have different plans this year. It turned out to be 2 friends, my 2 kids and myself. Later the evening a friend’s daughter in law came with her kids.

Christmas was smaller too. My kids are older now and don’t want or need much. Opening gifts was much quicker and my older son went to his girlfriend’s house. My other son and I were here, just hanging out. I took a nap and he played video games. It was a reality check for me. I realized that my family was not only small, but it’s shrunk. Now my kids will be doing their own thing and I get a small portion of their time. For now, I’ll take what I have.

I’ve been dealing with the empty nest and seeing lots of changes in my life and family. As the New Year approaches I realize that it’s time to kick start the next stage in my life. Like adding some new traditions. As I adjust to less time with my kids and a small family I know that things are changing and the things I do need to change.

I’ve decided that this coming year is going to be the year of new traditions and new beginnings. Whether grieving a loss or the fact that a new stage of life is coming, we need to change with the loss or the new stage of life. Why not take some old traditions and combine them with some new.

Fall is a Beautiful Time of Year

Fall, what a beautiful time of year. Beautiful weather, nature looking picturesque and holidays for everyone to enjoy. For me, this fall has been different. My baby went off to college and I became an empty nester. Well, I do have one more at home, but he’s 20 and lives his own life. I don’t see him much.

I look at Facebook and get to see all the great things people are enjoying in life. Kids are growing up and moving on. Going to prom, graduating, and heading off to college or out on their own in the working world. At that point we as parents are also starting our new life. Couples are getting to know each other all over again. Single parents start to enjoy the next chapter of life and all the freedoms of being single without being tied down.

Empty nester has a whole new meaning for me. It’s the beginning of the next stage of my life. My husband died 19 years ago and over the last 6 years I’ve lost a large part of my family. I’ve taken time to grieve but with my youngest going off to college it really started to sink in that I’m starting a whole new life.

When Halloween came along, I sat here for the first time in years by myself. I just didn’t realize it would hit me how much my life is changing. The next day was my grandmother’s birthday. She’s been gone for 2 years now and I miss her every day.

I started reminiscing about my family and how much I miss them. I was raking leaves and remembered the time that my grandmother was here and sat in a chair putting leaves in a back. Mind you, she was blind but she really wanted to help. I smile whenever I think about it. She was sick for a few years before she died. When it was time for her to go into hospice I knew I had to try to go see her one last time. I got online and found a round trip ticket for around $100. It was to go Friday and come back Saturday or the flight went up to $400. I was supposed to go see her and I’m so I got to go and say good bye. It was hard to see her like that, but I’m so glad I did. She looked peaceful laying there with her beautiful smile.

Or my stepfather who used to come and try to find things to do around my house. So many stories there. Towards the end of his life, when he couldn’t do much, I used to junk up my junk drawer so he’d have something he could do to help me. We both loved it in our own way. He used to tape all my pens together so if I needed one I’d have to pull the tape off. It always made me laugh. The last time I saw him my kids and I were visiting him and my mother in Florida. The boys and my mother went out somewhere and I stayed home with him. He said “I’ll be in bed by 8:00, That’s my bed time.” “Of course” I said, “That’s always been the case. You go to bed and watch TV.” That night he sat with me until everyone came home. We cleaned out the bag of coffee, sugar and sweet and low together. “I think I need a cup of coffee” he said. His plan was to stay up with me until mom and the kids got home so he could prove that he could stay awake.

I didn’t know that would be the last time I’d see him, but he and I were meant to spend that time together.

The holidays are a time for family and close friends. I’m lucky to have my two boys even though they have lives of their own we got to spend quality time together.

Those of you that have large families or your spouse that you’ve spent so many wonderful years together, be thankful. Enjoy each day and each moment. It’s precious time and enjoy every minute of it.

My Dog is Sick

My dog is sick and I’m hit with the reality that she is an old dog. I adopted her 4 years ago and she’s now 11. I’ve become so attached to her it’s hard to think of her not being a part of my life.

Lulu, my dog, sitting on the couch

At the vet I find out that there is some concern and I need to do some tests. We aren’t sure what’s wrong. She’s more active than normal but also going to the bathroom more than normal. Tests can become expensive. Those expenses are only the tests, then there’s medication and retests once she’s done with the medication.

One step at a time

We run some tests, just the most important. The tests were $166 making the visit total $250. Now it’s go home and wait.

The next morning, Ring, ring, the test results are in. I get the call to find out that her liver is showing higher than normal numbers. Like they should be about 100 and they are 1500. (don’t ask what the numbers are or mean, all I know is it’s a big difference and doesn’t sound good)

The medications would be $125, but they have a program where I could get one of the prescriptions free. So it was only $95. Next week I go back to get more tests done to see how she’s doing. I’m sure it will be $166 or more, bringing the total to $511.

In December I took both my dogs to the vet and had to do IMG_1274some vaccines. I only did the required because as it turned out the other dog had a tear in his eye. That visit with medication was over $600.

I still have to get more vaccines.

When is enough. At this point I don’t have to worry because it’s minor. I’ve seen people with dogs that had cancer and they continued to treat their animals. Sometimes spending upward or $10,000.
So when do you know enough is enough.
It’s an individual choice, just like people, each person is entitled to their opinion. And each of us will decide what’s right for us.

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Until I had dogs of my own I didn’t fully understand the love you can have for a pet. I now have two and love each of them in their own special way. I don’t know what I’d do if it was cancer, or something that needs lots of expensive treatments, but I know I would do more now than I would have thought anyone should. But the unconditional love of these dogs has taken my heart and I am glad I don’t have to make that decision at this point and hope I never do.

A New Year, A New Resolution

It’s hard to believe that it’s already 2016. A New Year, a new resolution or two. It’s time to close out one year and prepare for the next.

I’m looking back over the last year and see that I’ve started a new chapter in my life. While I’m still working things out I know I’m going into the right direction.

My first resolution is to continue my blog. My blog is still in the works and I’m learning all kinds of things. I can’t wait to put them into action.  I’m still having some technical issues, but see things coming together in the very near future.

Those following and reading, I hope you’ll stick with me as I put it together.

My New years resolution is to keep going and working my a- – off.

I would love your opinions. I’ve gotten a few but would love more.  Please comment, message me on facebook or send me an email. There’s also a contact form below.

I’m looking forward to a fabulous 2016 and putting my resolutions into action.