Turning Tears into Hope and Acceptance of Things to Come

We had our Thanksgiving around 6:30 Thanksgiving Evening. It gave us the day to do other things, including chores and relaxing coming off of a very short work week but with long work days packed. It was just the two of us. Dinner went from elaborate to least work possible since Mom wasn’t coming. We had refined the menu down to a basic Thanksgiving meal for two and agreed on the meal’s contents days earlier.

I’ve been a bit emotional and trying to figure out why. Most of the time it’s the lack of vitamin B or D and yeah maybe I do need an increase this time of year. But I think it’s just that so much has changed and morphed over the years and not being with ANY of our family just seemed odd. Not being able to plan and count on anything is frustrating for me. Then at home with Maisy and Roger’s age, knowing they will not be with us for much longer, along with all the COVID mess, and everything else, just made for a whirlwind of undercurrent of emotions. All that said, as per previous posts, I have been grateful for our 4 days off, low key. It does have its perks.

Long Lost Family

I got a text from my sister who I hardly get to talk to, long story, but that started the tears of Thanksgiving- eh, well maybe not entirely – as my eyes watered while praying earlier in the day. But actual spill over tears ran down my cheeks when I got my sister’s text. She cares, after all, I was thinking. Grateful that she texted me. I miss our older sister selves when we could share our lives and support one another and share our moments of humor. That drifted away. I always thought we’d have each other. And true there is a lot to work through with all of the mystery that has happened in the last couple of years. And my guess is just a lot of misunderstandings among other issues.

I’m always open to repair and mend and trust again, but it will take some work on both of our parts. Neither of us wants to be judged by the other, cursed by the other, distrusted by the other, and neither of us will be the doormat that puts up with such.

I’m not normally open about this on my blog. But it’s already known among most people that know us – that things are not right on my side of the family. It’s NO SECRET. And that is all I will say as this is not the place to park or air those things – but I think it’s the perfect place to say I am in hopes that all can be repaired and I’m thankful for a Thanksgiving text – whether out of duty or love – I will take it. I had kindof given up in a way, thinking I’ve been misjudged through it all. One can’t always wallow in hurt and pain and life has to go on. And I suppose that is what I always try to do. Well most of the time. But it gave my heart delight to get a text. It gives a small glimmer of hope.

Where’s the Sweet Potatoes?

I was thinking how wonderful that the one thing that stayed the same although slightly changed, was at least our Thanksgiving menu of turkey, stuffing, pea and asparagus casserole, japanese sweet potato, dressed eggs, and key lime pie. One can count on that!

No doubt this Thanksgiving is hard for George too in his own way. His Mom gone, no longer a big celebration with the extended family as we kinda had branched off doing our own meal with Katy and Cody, and then they got married and live out of state. We followed them there for Thanksgiving a couple of times which was perfect for us. A perfect time of the year to go to Texas too when the temps are mild.

Then I switched jobs into payroll, although easier on me year round than the stress of HR was, it’s a little more stressful during the Holidays. It makes it harder on others when I’m on vacation too (there’s really not a lot of people that I am allowed to use to fill in for the actual payroll- just one person or maybe two with the smaller admin stuff ) so I vowed not to do that to my boss again this year at Thanksgiving this year. And she normally is off at Thanksgiving and I was happy for her to be off this year. She was so good to fill in for me and take on double work the year before. I remember crying last year but it was tears of joy getting to see my girl on the day and how blessed we were to be on the ranch with them. Lovely memories.

Long story short, my dedication to work kept us from getting to have Thanksgiving with Katy and Cody which impacts George too! He REALLY loved being out there the week of Thanksgiving. We had hoped it would be our annual thing. We all did. But then being loyal to work and not wanting others to go through a hard time while I’m gone and not wanting to usurp a long time employee’s normal Thanksgiving week vacation, I bowed out for this year. Just trying to be fair and reasonable and responsible. And so there’s being burdened with all that this week, not only for me, but for him too and my Kate and Cody. I feel the burden for having us all miss what could have been. It was really really sad not seeing family on Thanksgiving for both of us. And while we try to be all grown up and accepting about it, the current of it’s undertones was very powerful on Thanksgiving Day. But we had each other.

Then there is the Maisy girl three days in of lethargy, not eating much, and only wanting to sleep. Yet another change coming I feared which totally exposed and made any tense nerves become raw by afternoon of the big day.

Pea and Asparagus Casserole

We put on Thanksgiving music (light jazz) and ate on china. George carved the Smoked Turkey from Aldi’s – already cooked with excellent flavor and just had to be heated.

Smoked Turkey from Aldi
Stuffing, George made this year with bought stuffing.

When we fixed our plate, I was looking around for the sweet potatoes, one of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes, and one that was on the menu. I didn’t see it. George had decided to delete them from the menu the day of, unbeknownst to me. I was so shocked over it, but didn’t want him to know that I excused myself with an urgency to get to the restroom. The tears spilled.

No SWEET POTATOES? He changed the menu even after we agreed? If he didn’t want to fix it why didn’t he just say so? It was just going to be baked? It was easy. He said he felt with the two of us that we had enough to eat. I shed my tears and came to the table but I knew he’d be able to see I’d lost it. I was embarrassed to shed tears over sweet potatoes. I really didn’t understand why I was so emotional. So I said “I’m sorry I cried over not having sweet potatoes”. The realization that I had done so- I think actually made him feel sad and then mad, spouting that he always disappointed me. I asked him not to be that way that I think I just was surprised and realized that it’s the first years of my 58 years of life (except as a baby) that I’d not had sweet potatoes on Thanksgiving and in a year of such change that was the straw that broke the camel’s back! He began to get them and bake them and I told him it was too late now as we are eating and he promised to fix them for the leftover dinner the next day. That didn’t happen either but it wasn’t a big deal then as we had been through so much yesterday, the day after Thanksgiving, that it just didn’t matter anymore. A very tiring day indeed with had with Maisy and the vet. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Key Lime Pie

We were both quiet during the meal of Thanksgiving. I was mad at myself for spilling tears over the missing Sweet potatoes and trying to figure out how such a thing could make such an impact. I felt silly, but couldn’t speak as I just thought I would really sob my eyes out over EVERYTHING if I did. George certainly didn’t say anything. He knew I was disappointed. He felt bad that he had disappointed me. I felt bad that he felt bad and we both felt bad that a meal we looked forward to had brought unhappiness instead of making the most of the situation. I could kick myself. I mean how could a Thankful heart which I’d been in prayer of all day counting my blessings, turn into such a downward cast on a meal? Oh. My. Heart. It just feels! I can’t help it. I detach and detach from things but life just hurts sometimes.

But by the time the pie came around we were into Netflix, and it seemed like a normal day at that point. Bedtime came early for me and I was happy to be in bed – rid of the Thanksgiving holiday let down of sorts. We both agreed tomorrow would hopefully be a new and better day.

I was a bit stronger with the holiday itself being done. I told George I realized after sleeping it was (all of the above stuff I’ve just written about) and not over sweet potatoes and it was likely the growing concern over our Maisy that set me to edge. He said “I know”. I was grateful for the understanding and not the blame. I guess 29 years of marriage came in at that point so that we knew not to blame each other for all the other circumstances happening around us that makes us less than happy.

Roger and Maisy
George Looks onto the pair in a Somber Moment

Thanksgiving night I snapped a pic of these two laying together. Both older dogs. But with Maisy’s condition worsening over the last three days, I could feel the impending doom of the days to come. With them laying close, I decided I should take the picture. I feel like one or both of them will be gone soon. I thought it would be Roger first, but now I’m not so sure.

Bed Time

It had felt good to curl up with my doggies Thanksgiving Eve, us all together in a knot, and George there too eventually – not knowing how much longer these cuties will be with us.

To the Vet We Go for a LONG 2.5 Hour Wait!

Waiting in the Vet Parking Lot

So the next morning we took a much weaker and sicker Maisy to the vet. She is not eating much at all, not pooping much of anything but an odd gel of a poop in small batches. Sorry for the graphics but giving you the picture of this situation. Her tummy all swelled up. Sad, lethargic.

Countryside Animal Hospital, Our Vet here in Mount Juliet

We could not get an appointment but they agreed she should be seen and took us as a walk in. We had to wait in the car – no one waits in the lobby during COVID. But we were able to come in this time into the exam room once finally called after two and a half hours of sitting in the car. Thank goodness for cell phones and that they let us use the restroom when we couldn’t wait anymore.

Maisy walking some in the sunshine, while waiting at Vet

They recommended x-rays and bloodwork and fecal tests. Often we waive those out until necessary and we’d not run the bloodwork or x-rays on her ever but we both agreed this time to do it so we would know what we were dealing with and could be prepared to make decisions if we had to.

Here are the findings which is best to just paste in here instead of having to retype it all.

Maisy’s Diagnosis

But basically she has three main issues: fluid in the lungs (a bit, not a lot), liver enlargement with increased enzymes, heart disease (huge heart murmur), inflammation within her intestines.

We have five meds we are giving her – for liver, for heart, for fluid on lungs, and for her intestines. We know this is a LOT going on to heal from. Lungs can be healed, heart condition controlled for a while, and the intestines in control with probiotics, but the liver is tricky. The vet did not tell us these things, but I’m not ignorant of these things. There is only a tiny of sliver of hope we can bring it into control with the meds. The meds I’m not familiar with. But I know when the liver is involved it can be a bad thing for sure.

So we got home and began to try and give her the meds. She squirmed, spit them out, would eat, we tried tricks that everyone told us. It exhausted us all. We had to stop trying and let her rest, and let us get some new ideas and some more resolve.

Much like anything else in life, giving a dog a pill, has a learning curve. With Tugie, our poodle, it had been so easy. Just wrap it in meat or cheese and pop it in. Boom. Done.

This one is a fighter. At least she is not trying to bite us. Just wiggle away and clenching teeth. I learned she had a place on the side of her mouth where she was missing a tooth and you could wiggle a finger in. We corner her on the sofa (no getaway), with me beside her and George hovering over. He works to get her mouth open. I pop the pill in as far past the tongue hump that I can toward the back of the throat. He holds her mouth upward and closed with one hand and massages her throat with downward strokes. The little pills are easy and the bigger pills not so much and they take numerous tries. George gets mad at me for trying to hover over her mouth too early but I’m trying not to miss my moment. I’ve asked him to say when he’s ready for me to drop it but he won’t do so. I don’t know what he can’t just say Ok now. It’s hard for me to tell when it’s time to drop the pill. But men don’t like a woman to give them ideas (no directions, no better ways of doing things, no instructions) – at least that is what I’m seeing with nearly all the men I know/have known. I’ll say 99% because there might be at least one of you that is different. LOL LOL LOL But I will say regardless of his stubborness to say when to help me out, we at least would get it by “take 3”. There are 5 meds so do the math. Up to 15 repeats of all this, TWICE a day!

So after a brief learning curve, we were able to get the meds in last night finally and again this morning. That is a gift in itself to be able to work together to get something done. I looked at it like “Candy Crush”. The first game board of a new level is new and you have to learn the trick for getting that game board cleared. Each time you get closer. That is what happened with us getting the pills in. Just keep trying, learn and tackle new approaches, and don’t give up.

She is sleeping a lot now, not wanting to eat anything today, a bit of staring and such, drinking a lot of water. Meds are kicking in. No doubt her tummy is in bad shape with the meds now on not much food. Still she has not vomited so that is good we are not dealing with that. Shhh don’t tell the evil spirits as we don’t want to deal with that. If she starts we’ll be calling the vet as it’ll be a new symptom.

She still wants to follow me around for the most part to sleep where I am. She will pee and poop some. Drinking lots of water. Loud sounds at 1:00 in the morning when we went out coming from her backsides but couldn’t see what happened. I guess I should take a flash light but at 1 a.m. who wants to inspect such in a dreary sleep state out in the morning when skunks and fox and coyotes abound and the fact that it is a time that criminals are awake doing their things. I hate to be outside in the middle of the night.

We are supposed to go to the vet again in 2 weeks. We are waiting to make an appointment as George may be working from home longer than just a week due to COVID and he can work it around lunch or end of day. If things don’t improve with her eating, we know we will be going in soon. It was a $444 dollar day yesterday. But we had to know what we were dealing with. The vet did not suggest anything about making hard decisions but mentioned the words “concerning”, “older dog”, and in two weeks we will “figure prognosis then”. They (vets) are trained not to devastate you but to slowly bring you to the light of understanding. I’m sure they know this regimen is not likely to work. She is wasting away – other than her large little belly. In this past week she is much lighter. I do not want to sit and watch this over the next few days. But I am willing and wanting to give the medication a chance b/c what if we truly could have a happy Maisy again for another few months or a year or so. We have to know that we’ve tried. I can’t send her off not knowing that we have not tried. I’m a realist. You all know that. I’ve lived my 58 years. I know how things work.

I’m ok. Yeah it hurts. But I’m ok. I have a slight hope but know the odds are against us here. I am grateful for all the time we have had with her and for the days, how many ever there are with her. I don’t want her to suffer and don’t want us to watch her waste away but we will give it up to the two weeks or less if she continues to get worse and not better.

I have told her all along how much I love her. Every day. Every night I sing to her those words. Every night I thank God for her. I know that God gave me my Maisy at a time that I needed her most. Her love, her loyalty and her followership, has saved my psyche on many a night. My own private buddy in which no other void but God and a dog (God spelled backwards) can fill.

I know that the Lord provides. He will get us through this. He knows what He is doing. He knows we love our fur babes. He knows what lies ahead for all of us. I’m trusting Him. It may not be easy. I know that He provides brighter days ahead and that He provides comfort during the bad times. He even provides the sweet potatoes of life, when the time is right. And as George has said “Things will work out as they are supposed to”. He also trusts His Master.

So Thanksgiving has come and gone but guess what? I see the Sweet Taters on the counter and while everyone elses are close to gone by now—I’ll be getting mine today!

My chin is up and I’ve gathered the Fall Decor and will be putting out Christmas and trying to do some of the things I said I was going to do yesterday but didn’t get to do.

Inside I’m bouncing out of the sad wallows. I will take the sunny day as it is right now and begin to give us some holiday cheer and decorate. All is as it will be. It will all be alright, whatever happens. God says we must learn to lean on Him and trust and I know He is inviting me, and has for some time, to DO JUST THAT.

12 thoughts on “Turning Tears into Hope and Acceptance of Things to Come

  1. Mona

    Hugs to you, Sonya. Life can be so hard sometimes, especially this year with the added pandemic to deal with.You have so much on your plate emotionally right now – I can see why the lack of sweet potatoes reduced you to tears. It seems like it’s always the smallest thing that ends up being the straw that breaks us. I’ll continue saying lots of prayers for Maisy that she can pull through this and have many happy days ahead with you. I hope you have a sunny, hopeful day today and can enjoy putting out some of your Christmas decor to cheer you up! My sister and I just put our tree up this morning and it did wonders to lighten our hearts!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lauren

    I am sorry Sonya. I know it has to be hard living so far from your daughter. I could not sleep and worried when mine was expecting. She was little only 5ft 2 and did good, worked up to the day almost. It is just emotional when your baby is having a baby.
    I hate that about Maisy, your love and care for her just may pull her though. I hope the meds work. This Thanksgiving was different. Quite at our house. I just have not felt like myself since all this has happened. Too much I guess. But things will get better. I sure hope so.
    I know one thing you are going to love being a grandma. It is the best feeling to have a new baby in the family. Children are such a joy and blessing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sybil

    Hi Sonya, well it seems that a lot of people have had a different kind of Thanksgiving this year. ( my friend in CA had.for days decorated and baked with her usual delight and exhaustion! For all her family to arrive she had 11 staying and decorations places at table decorated everything when. WHAM at 9 am no water ! Burst pipe engineers called but said they didn’t think they would get it done till next day, everybody on the same water supply in same state). As she rightly said what else could we expect it’s 2020 thankfully she has one daughter and family who live 45mins by car away. So everything including table settings pots pans etc etc were loaded up into cars and driven over to their daughters who rushed around preparing for the invasion….disaster almost averted…I am sure that 2012 will be a much better year for you all at thanksgiving. Love also winging its way over to you and George for the rest of the weekend…enjoy what you can…love Masie as much as you can without Roger getting jealous !! Night night much love. Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Rose

    I know the feeling of family not speaking. I have a brother who hasn’t spoken to us in almost 20 yrs. Twenty! Now that is crazy. He has missed out on his siblings grand kids growing up. He’s missed our parents aging and its just so sad. Over nothing. Someone said something and then someone else said something and so on. Life is just to damn short ! But he holds onto the anger for some odd reason. So I”m very happy your sister text’d you! How exciting that you may see some light at the end of what may have seemed like a very long time. Just protect your heart.

    So sad about your Maisy and Roger. We lost our fur love last April and it was and still is the hardest thing to go through. But you are right, they will tell you when they are ready.

    Here’s a funny relating to your sweet potato crying jag. One time I cried over a ceramic miniature cow! LOL A cow!! Long story very short , it was life around me that made me cry when I saw the cow! Good ol’ “change” of life !! 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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