Saturday, June 15, 2019

To Love Again...




I will never forget how a friend of mine helped me move on. About two years after my daughter’s death, he commented that I used her death like a black ace, to hide behind. I, of course, was very hurt and indignant at first, but as time passed I realized he was right. Again, it was the attempt on my part to be safe; this time by asserting my pain and wearing it as my shield against caring or involvement with him. It made closeness and comfort impossible. I was a bit wobbly about taking the risk of loving and losing again. To come out of my depression and be there for someone else was reengaging in life and investing in the future. Sometimes the hardest things to say are the kindest. I am glad he and others cared enough for me to want me back.

This is also another example of the new person and new rela- tionship emerging from the old. Because people pursued me, and because I chose to live, I have been able to recover. My goal has become to turn around and give back to others who have just be- gun their journey.

It is very difficult to let hear anything but sympathy and horror at what we have experienced, to let what my friend and husband had to say took all the courage I had at the time.  

Arleah


Monday, May 20, 2019

Regrets...




I have few regrets in my life as I have lived it by my own values and inclinations.  But I do have a couple that kinda haunt me. I have been an avid critic of public schools most of my adult life.  Specifically of unions and tenure, as I have believed that those two factors lead to mediocracy and cheapening of learning.  I still think that is true, but that leaves out the impact of great teachers and what they do to help children grow sand flower.

The other huge factor in retrospect is that growing up in the 40’s and 50’s I realize that I never would have gotten an education without them.  Without public schools the other option at that time was either private or military schools.  I believe my Dad would have seen to it that my brothers got an education, but since girls were not groomed for much beyond marriage and families, perhaps nursing or teaching, maybe secretarial, if you could type.  He would not have made sure I got an education, also, we could not have afforded private schools since my dad was a minister, he didn’t make much money.   So, without public education I would still be a “Hick from the Sticks”.  I would have ended up flat and empty. So that is my first regret, to not appreciate my early education until years after the fact,

The other deep and powerful regret has to do with a couple of teachers that are still influencing my life.  Mrs. Ross and Mrs. Goff were two of my sixth-grade teachers that somehow saw through all the smoke screen and crap I put out to something fine and worth honoring. 

They never wavered in finding something to comment on or encourage me to continue. That is all it took for me to start dreaming of a better, richer and rewarding life.  

My biggest regret is that I never got to thank them for, in many ways, saving my life.   By now they are long gone, so I hope they can look down and read this and understand how deeply grateful I am for their contribution to my life.

I want to thank all the teachers out there that see something fine in kids that work hard at hiding their excellence from all but a few great teachers.

Arleah

   








regrets...

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

DIMI IS DEAD: A BIT OF ME IS GO




Yesterday we put Dimi down.  He had another seizure and this one did him in.  He couldn’t stand, hear or see much of anything.  We took him to the emergency animal hospital and they medicated him to see if he could survive and live a while longer.  By the morning it was clear that his life was over.  We had tried everything, but it was time to say goodbye.  We sat in a room waiting for the nurse to bring in him, wishing that we could find some way to keep him going, knowing that it was time. It was one of those moments in life when your body is screaming no, and you have to muster up the will to go ahead and do what’s right.  Trying to keep him going would be for us; but a cruelty for him. 

They brought him in, wrapped in a blanket, and handed him to Arleah. His eyes were shut tight and he was uncontrollably shaking.  He was gone from this world and was a mass of pain and suffering.  The vet gave him a sedative and he mercifully stopped shaking.  She then gave him the lethal dose that stopped his heart.  He looked so peaceful as he was dying.  We gave him a kiss on his head and gave him back to the nurse.  It was over, and all we had then was our grief.

At times like these we have always found it bizarre to be filling out paperwork and charging things like a cremation.  We talked about the experience of picking out Sharon’s casket, and trying to decide what the lining should be.  It’s surreal, no doubt, to be dealing with the practicalities of death, when immersed in deep, gut-wrenching grief.  But, in retrospect, life goes on, and it must.  There is no consolation and the world knows nothing of your suffering; and that’s how it should be.

Today, I can think of nothing else but Dimi.  I expect him to be around every corner and think that I see glimpses of him as I leave a room.  If there’s a doggie heaven I can picture him sitting alertly and so cutely, looking for rabbits to chase.  I want him back so much, it hurts.  I don’t know how many more bits of my heart I can lose.  Arleah and I always wonder, every time we go thru this agony, if we can do it again.  I’m sure we will, but not now.

Morrie Shechtman
April, 2019