Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Farewell 2015

Hello, friends.

So, here we are. At the end of another year, and another year end recap.

I just sat here staring at this blank page for 20 minutes. Trying to be funny, trying to think of something positive to say. Nothing. So, I'll be honest. 2015 sucked.

Well, maybe sucked isn't the right word. I mean, my family is healthy, my kids are happy, and we made it through. But, generally, it wasn't great.

2015 started with one of, well, no, scratch that. THE WORST day of my life. My Cash boy, my friend, my family, my dog, passed away. That day is still etched in my brain, and probably will be forever. I still think about him every single day. I feel responsible for his death, and I truly feel like that day just kind of set in motion a crappy year. I'm still hoping that one day I'll be able to think about him, and be happy, and smile. But, that hasn't happened yet. I was completely astounded by my grief, after losing Cash. I have lost grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, people I loved dearly. But, none of those losses even came close to the soul crushing grief that came with losing Cash. But, if not for losing him, we wouldn't have Batman. So, I guess that's some light in the darkness.

Last year, I got in the best shape of my life. I definitely wasn't at my smallest, but I felt better than I ever had before. I left 2014 with a healthy mindset, and a confidence I had never felt. I wish I could say I was leaving 2015 the same way. my motivation took a real nosedive this year. the body that had given me so much confidence last year, changed before my very eyes this year, and not in a pleasant way. I gained back all the weight I lost, and then some. And my mental health made it almost impossible to dig myself out of my self destructive hole. That's not to say I'm not still digging, but, yeah, it sucks.

Towards the end of summer, I started to I was angry. Angry at everyone and everything. I would get upset over the smallest things. I would yell, and scream, and cry, and just generally terrify my husband. I knew that it was time to go back on meds and talk to someone. Feeling this way makes it so hard to care about anything else. I just wanted to lay in bed, and ignore everyone in my life. Being back on my meds didn't magically change everything, and I'm still struggling a lot, but I have amazing family, and friends who kick my ass when it needs to be kicked, and pick me up when I fall.

I don't want to give the impression that this past year was all bad. It wasn't. The proof? This face.

I started looking at new dogs almost immediately after Cash passed away. Not because I wanted to replace him, but I just needed a dog around. I told Rob that I would never not have a dog. No matter how painful it is to lose them, they just make everything better. At then end of March, I talked Rob into going to a rescue event. There were so many dogs that needed homes, and I thought we could at least check things out. Rob had been very hesitant to even talk about another dog. He looked at it more like a replacement, and he didn't think another dog could hold a candle to Cash, and I agreed. But, my heart was so empty. I needed to at least look. When we stepped foot inside, there were puppies everywhere. I mean, it was like a wonderful dream. Puppies just wanting to be held, and played with, and loved. But, then I looked to my left, and there he was. He was so calm, and had this look in his eyes that I couldn't explain. Like a sadness. Rob, and I both zeroed in on him, and that was it. He was ours. From the moment we left, he was attached to me like glue. He wouldn't leave my side. He slept almost right on top of me, he followed me around the house, he hid behind me when the cat scared him, he was mine. This dog and I have a bond that I can't explain. The first person he looks for in the house is me, he will come inside, and run insanely from room to room until he finds me. If I leave the house for any period of time, Rob tells me that Batman will lay at the end of the driveway until I come home, at which time he screams and howls in excitement. I love this dog so much, and he is definitely a high point of this year. 

I have a 9 year old, a 6 year old, and Logan is almost 4! How did that happen?? My kids are pretty amazing. I mean, they have their moments when they are complete assholes, but mostly, they're great kids. Ciena has turned into a pretty kick ass young girl. She helps around the house, she does whatever she can to make her brothers happy, and she has my sarcastic sense of humour, which makes me pretty happy. She and I are able to banter back and forth, and talk to each other like adults. And even though I know everyone around me says, "just wait until she's a teenager! She'll become a horrible version of the little girl you used to know. And you'll become the enemy to her." And, while I know that's possible. I'm not entirely convinced. My mom and I have always had an awesome relationship. And obviously, the teen years suck for everyone, and I'm sure we probably fought a little bit more during that time, I was never horrible to my mom. She was (and still is) my very best friend. So, maybe I'm being naive, but, I believe that Ciena and I will be just as close when she's a shithead teenager. My boys are equally amazing. They are crazy, and wonderful, and so much fun. I complain about my boys a lot. They fight constantly, they yell, they scream, they destroy everything, and they just generally don't give a shit. But, they have their finer moments. Joel is such a sweetheart. He will go out of his way to say or do something nice for someone. And Logan loves to make people laugh. Whether it's because he says something cute, or insists on doing a funny walk, or because he farts and thinks it's so hilarious. He is definitely one of a kind.

My husband. What can I say? A marriage isn't always easy, and there are times when you feel like giving up. But, at the end of the day, I couldn't imagine myself with anyone else. He is the first person I think of when something good or bad happens. I still look forward to seeing him at the end of every single day, and I never get tired of talking to him. I'm starting to realize, the longer Rob and I are together, there are many times when I feel like he does or says things with the intent of hurting me. But, really, I think men are just idiots. Rob very rarely lets things bother him. He is able to shake things off, and move on. I'm the exact opposite. Words hurt me a lot, and I have a very hard time letting go. I remember wrongs forever, and even though I'm able to keep those feelings to myself, I never forget.  But, I also don't forget the wonderful and amazing things that people have done for me. And, the older I get, the more I realize that my husband does amazing things for me every day. Things that I wouldn't even think about. He always brings me back coffee when he goes to town, even when he doesn't get anything for himself. He always lets me pick the movie we watch after the kids are in bed, even though we have the exact opposite taste in movies, and tv. He tells me how beautiful I am every single day, which means more than anything to me right now, at a time when I'm feeling anything but beautiful. You don't realize how much work a marriage is before you are married. It's not always what you expect, but I still couldn't imagine my life any other way. 

I cannot leave my best friends out of this recap. This year has been amazing as far as friends are concerned. And my friends are the best. These girls kick me in the ass when I need it, but they also pick up the pieces when I fall apart. Whether it's trailing through Canada's Wonderland, behind 3 crazy kids in the blazing heat, or running frantically through the streets of Niagara On The Lake, or just screaming obscenities at each other during our weekly dinners, They have, in some ways, been the best part of my year. I love them like sisters, which also means, I sometimes hate them like sisters, but when all is said and done, they are my family. I couldn't imagine not messaging with them all day long, and our crazy adventures that never quite turn out the way any of us expect. I trust these girls with my life, and my kids lives, which says a lot. I can only hope that we have just as many crazy, and amazing escapades in 2016! 

Going into 2016, there are a few things I want. I'm not calling them resolutions. Maybe just plans that I have. I am going to take care of myself, and put myself first. My health, and well being have taken a backseat, and I've lost track of my goals. First things first, I'm packing my scale away. This year will not be about losing weight. It will be about getting strong, and feeling healthy and fit. I will not put the pressure of a number on the scale, on myself. I've found that all that does is discourage me, and make me feel like a failure. I am determined to get my confidence back, and start to feel better about myself. 

I want to find my voice this year. So many times I bite my tongue, and keep my feelings to myself, and let people push me around. I've been called a pushover too many times to count. I want to gain the confidence to feel comfortable telling people when they've upset me, and the balls to stand up for myself. I don't want my kids to walk in my footsteps, and hold their true feelings in. I want them to be able to speak up if they have something to say. 

And finally, this year, I plan to spend less time online, and more time reading. I have a box of unread books, and several new books that I got for Christmas, and I plan to read them all, and then some. I have always loved reading, but after I had kids, I felt like I never had the time, which is complete bullshit, because I've found time to do other things. But, I want to make reading a priority this year. I may even set a goal for myself, to read a certain amount of books before the year is over. 

I really want to thank everyone that is reading this. Because, in one way or another, you have been a part of my life. You have been important to me, you are my friend. And the older I get, the more I realize how important friendships are. Whether they're distant, or close, or long lost. They've all shaped my life somehow. So thank you. It's been one Hell of a year, and I hope for health and happiness for every one of you in 2016. 

Saturday, 1 August 2015

August 1st, 2008

7 years ago I was laying on a cold operating table, counting back from 30, waiting for the world around me to stop. I was pregnant when I went to sleep, and when I woke up....I wasn't. Just like that.

Seeing those 2 pink lines 2 months earlier was one of the most amazing feelings. Becoming a mother to my daughter was better than I had ever imagined it could be. And there wasn't ever a second thought that my husband and I would do it all over again. Pregnancy,birth,sleepless nights,midnight feedings,absolute joy. So, when we found out we were going to have another baby, we were both really excited. We told everyone immediately. Why wouldn't we? We had no reason to not tell our family and friends, and they were just as excited as we were.

I had 2 overpowering feelings during my all too short pregnancy. The first one, was that I was having twins. I don't even know how to explain the feeling, but it was very strong. I just knew. And the second, was that something wasn't right. Physically I felt fine, but that didn't worry me too much. I had zero morning sickness with my daughter, and I just figured every pregnancy is different, and not feeling those symptoms was no big deal. But, as the weeks went on, I just couldn't shake the feeling that something was wrong. My doctor didn't routinely give early ultrasounds, and really, there was no reason for me to have one. I was healthy, I wasn't high risk. It was, by all accounts, a "normal" pregnancy. But, I asked for one anyways. I needed to see the little heartbeat(s) and know for sure that all was well.

My doctor set my ultrasound up, and the day I went in, I was 11 weeks along. I had actually started to reassure myself that everything must be fine, after all, I was so close to the 3 month "safe zone" I had no real reason to expect things weren't okay, other than a random feeling. The second I laid back, and the ultrasound started, I felt dread. I didn't feel excitement. I was there alone, which was actually for the best. I wouldn't have been half as calm had I had someone there. She ran the wand over my belly, and I could tell instantly that I was right. She looked worried. She looked sad. She started asking me questions. "Have you had any bleeding?" No. "How far along are you?" 11 weeks 1 day. "Could your dates be off at all?" No, I got a positive pregnancy test almost 9 weeks earlier. Then she told me. She wasn't supposed to, and she could have gotten into real trouble, but she told me. I am measuring you at 7 weeks. There are 2 sacs, but there was no fetal pole. She tried to reassure me and told me that maybe my dates were off, and we would see something in a week or 2.....but I knew that wasn't what was happening. My dates were definitely not off. My babies were gone. She sent the report off to my doctor, and sent me home with a hug.

I was numb. I could eat, I couldn't sleep. I couldn't think. Why was this happening? This was what my body was designed to do, I had failed. It was my fault. Telling my husband was torturous. He was very positive, and light. Maybe the dates WERE off? Maybe in a week, we'll be getting ready for 2 babies?! I didn't even have the heart to tell him that I knew that wasn't the case. My body had been trying to tell me for weeks. I just ignored it.

The next day, my doctor called. As soon as I heard his voice I knew it wasn't good. First of all, it was a Friday, my doctor had no office hours on a Friday, and second of all, he called himself. That had never happened before. He told me to come right in. Once I was there, he told me that he had gotten the report, and it looked like a missed miscarriage. But, he wanted to do another ultrasound to be sure. He told me that if this ultrasound was the same, he wanted to do a D&C to remove everything. Since at over 11 weeks, my body hadn't started to miscarry naturally, it was probably safer to just go ahead and do that. He set me up with an appointment at the hospital for the next day, and sent me home.

The next morning, I woke up with spotting. Not really anything concerning, but, it was there. So, off to the hospital I went. Everything happened so fast. Within an hour, I had the confirming ultrasound, I had met with the surgeon, and I was being prepped for a D&C. I barely got to kiss my husband before they wheeled me back. Everything about that day sucked. And, the worst part? It was over so quickly. I woke up, and just like that, my babies weren't a part of me anymore.

I felt empty, I felt sick, I felt guilty. Like I had caused this. I had no idea how horrible this would feel. It cut me to my very core thinking about everything we almost had. I couldn't shake the grief. I laid in bed for 2 days straight, while my mom spent the weekend with my daughter, but on Monday, I had to get back to reality. I had a child that needed to be taken care of, so I couldn't sleep all day, or cry in the shower. She was too young to understand, and I was just heartbroken. I had hoped that she would forget that we had told her about the baby. But, later that week, I was getting changed, and she looked at my belly and said "Where's your baby?" I crumpled into a ball on the floor, while my confused 2 year old comforted me.

I will never be okay with going through that. I think everyday about how different our life would be today, had I not miscarried. But, I also think about Joel, and Logan. Would they still be here? Maybe not. I might have had my hands so full, I would have been done. How could I live without Joel's laugh, or Logan's silly faces? How could I survive without hearing Joel tell me "today was the best day of my life!" Or Logan telling me "I love you most mama!" So, I feel like, if not for the absolute storm we went through, after the miscarriage, we wouldn't have our rainbow babies. These 3 kids, as difficult as they are some days, and as hard as some days are, are my life. I could never imagine my world without them.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

When you feel like giving up

I've never been one to shy away from talking about mental illness, and how it has impacted my life. In fact, I'm pretty much an open book about everything, so why not this, something that is (as much as it bothers me) a huge part of my life.

I have struggled with anxiety and depression for as long as I can remember. I mean, it didn't get really bad until I was 12, but even as a young child I remember worrying about everything. To the point where I would give myself stomach aches, or migraines. And I also remember having times of debilitating sadness that would stop me in my tracks, and confuse me terribly. I used to refer to it as the "sad feeling" I would tell my mom I had the sad feeling, and she would hold me until I felt better, well, good enough that I could get on with my day anyways. I used to wish and wish I could grow up so I could never have to feel that way again. Obviously, at 6 you think that being an adult is easier than what you're going through. Huh.

I have been on and off antidepressants and anti anxiety meds since I was 14. I need them....always. But, I hate going to the doctor, my doctor in particular. (Now this is the part where I panic because living in a small area means that there is a very good chance you know someone who is related to and/or good friends with said doctor) But, oh well. Being honest, he never gives me a large enough dose, and in fact my old therapist was shocked that someone with my issues (OCD,GAD,PPD) was on such a low dose. She fixed that immediately, and asked to be in charge of my meds. Well, that was 5 years ago, and here I am. I am not on meds, I am not in therapy, and I am struggling. Big time.

I am overwhelmed, with the normal things. Kids, marriage, House, finding time for yourself. And I often ask myself, is this a normal reaction to being overwhelmed, or is this something bigger? And, in the back of my head, I know, depression and anxiety can't really be cured. Only treated. And I know I need to be on meds, but that means going in to see my doctor, and advocating for myself when he insists on putting me on a low dose, or refuses to give me anything to help me sleep, or help with my panic attacks, which are happening daily at this point. I feel like a different person. I am worried about everything, I have moments of pure rage, which is how depression manifests itself for me most of the time, and I have moments of such sadness, that I feel like my chest is burning, and my head will explode.

I feel like my kids deserve better. Better than a mom who yells, and loses her patience, and just can't get her shit together. I look around my house, and it's disorganized and messy, and yet, thinking about getting up and cleaning, and doing everything that needs to be done exhausts me. Who am I? When did I turn into this person? I have these amazing kids, and I can't seem to let that be the most important thing. I feel selfish, and weak. And I know that this isn't my fault, but damn, it's hard not to feel that way.

I'm not even sure why I feel these feelings so intensely this morning. I have a puppy, and a 3 year old....which are almost the same thing, who are intent on destroying the house. I feel unmotivated, and exhausted, and then I feel panicked when I see how much laundry I have to do, and I notice that the dog has chewed up 3 rolls of toilet paper, and the toddler has dumped Lego everywhere. And when I get upset, he tells me "I hate you" and all I can think is, yeah. That seems about right. This stuff isn't hard. It's just life and parenting. But, I can't stop myself from crying in the bathroom, and attempting to do deep breathing exercises while he kicks my bedroom door.

Before I wrap this up, please don't think I'm doing this for attention, or that this is a cry for help. I'm the only one that can help me, I know that well enough. But, that means picking up the phone and making a doctor's appointment. And that's usually where I get stalled. In the meantime, how do you cope when you feel like never leaving your bed? How do you get up every morning, and put a smile on your face, and try your hardest to not let this affect your children? That's the hardest part for me. My kids know I'm human, they understand that everyone has bad days, and sometimes needs a breather. But, I'm starting to be very fearful that this will affect them negatively. How do I take time for myself without feeling selfish? How do I explain this need to a partner who maybe doesn't understand how much I'm struggling? I just don't know...

As always, thanks for listening, as odd as it sounds, putting all of my feelings out there helps.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Making promises to myself

This is going to be a brain dump, so bear with me. I know I talk a lot about my weight. Truth is, it's on the forefront of my mind And that is not an exaggeration. Today I was thinking about the way I perceive myself, and the way others might perceive me. And, I had a lot of feelings. And I'm going to share them. Because getting it out there makes me feel better. Because maybe some of you will read this and feel less alone in your feelings. Because I need to make some changes. For myself, for my family, and for my kids especially, who are little people with their own personalities, and ideas, but also listen intently to everything around them....even when I think they're not.

There has never been a tie in my life, since I was 12 that I haven't been obsessed with my weight. At 12, I had a little baby fat, but there was certainly nothing "fat" about my body. A defining moment for me was in 7th grade. I was at a Much Music dance (Remember those?) I thought I looked pretty cute in my overalls, and sunflower shirt.....seriously, I swear that was the style! And a good looking boy from my homeroom pushed past me, saying "Move out of the way, rolls!" I was crushed. I promptly joined the other 20 teenage girls who were in the bathroom crying. After that day, I worried about my weight constantly. It was, and is all I think about most days. And after recently starting yet another "diet" this past week, and hating myself for wanting to give up, I have realized I have to make some real promises to myself.

  • I will eat healthier. I will make better choices. Instead of chocolate, I will choose fruit. I will eat less pasta, and more veggies. Because, who am I kidding? I will never be able to quit pasta. 
  • I will make running a priority, not just a hobby that I like to do sometimes. I will make sure that I get out there everyday, and run, even if it's only 20 minutes. 
  • I will drink more water. A lot more. 
  • I will take better care of myself in general. Get more sleep, take more time for myself, to laugh, to smile, to do things that make my heart happy.
  • I will stop bringing my weight up in every conversation I have....with everyone. I have noticed lately that I subconsciously bring up how fat I am in every conversation that I have. I guess because I have a need for people to know that I am aware of how unattractive I am, and that I have a problem. I always figure "they're probably thinking about it anyways, so I might as well mention it." Truth is, they're probably not thinking about it....unless they're assholes. 
  • When my husband tells me that I'm beautiful, and he loves me however I am....I will believe him. I will stop rolling my eyes, and making sarcastic comments.
  • Along the same lines, when someone gives me a compliment, I will say thank you, and smile. Instead of thinking they are humoring me, or once again bringing up my weight. 
  • I will stop comparing myself to other women. I won't allow myself to wish I were someone else for something so ridiculous as my fat ass. That is unacceptable. I have so many things to be thankful for, and it is not fair to my family or myself for me to wish that I had so and so's abs, or so and so's hair, or so and so's skin. I have plenty of amazing qualities that make me who I am. I need to remember that. 
  • I will stop cutting myself down in my head. The things that I say to myself in my head are things I wouldn't even say to my worst enemy. So, why would I say them to myself?
  • I will take away the control that food has over me. I will try and understand that I am capable of dealing with my emotions, and stress, and general day to day anxiety in other ways than stuffing my face.
  • I will remind myself that I am raising 3 young impressionable people. And the things that come out of my mouth, and the worry that crosses my face when I get dressed, or step on the scale, are impacting them. I need for my daughter to know that her worth is NOT dependent on her size, or a number on the scale. And I want for my boys to understand that there is way more to a woman than her looks. I want them to tell women they are beautiful, and treat them in a respectable way, and never ever think that that number is as important as kindness, compassion, loyalty, honesty, and love. 
  • And lastly. I will eat to live, not live to eat. I spend much of my day stressing about mealtimes. I think about what I'm having for breakfast/lunch/dinner, and then I end up overeating, or eating the "wrong" thing, and feeling unbelievably guilty about it.  

I am finished hating myself, and thinking that everyone around me is as preoccupied with my weight as I am. I am going to be the role model my kids deserve. I will be healthy, and strong, but I will not expect to be a size 6 now...or maybe ever. I will however, make certain my kids know that I love my body, at any size. It is mine, and it helped bring them into the world, and I am capable of being the person that I know I can be.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Losing my identity

I am a "typical" woman. I worry way too much about what people think of me, I put far too many expectations on myself, I dream of doing amazing things.

I am also a mother. A stay at home mom to be exact. And while I feel so lucky to be able to be at home with my kids, I feel envious of having a different life. Not a life without my kids, no matter how much they manage to annoy/aggravate/grate on my nerves, they are, and always will be the most important thing in my life.

I never went to college. I mean, I didn't even graduate high school until I was 20, so by the time I got through that, I really didn't think college was for me. And, after I graduated, and immediately moved in with my husband. I also never really worked. Well, actually, I did, but only at one job. After Rob and I moved in together I applied to tons of jobs and got a job as a server. I wasn't particularly good at it, but it was a job, and it paid the bills. But, what I'm trying to say is, I didn't really do anything to further myself. I jumped head first into a relationship, and almost forgot about everything I had wanted to do with my life. And, it never really bothered me....until now.

I have taken a lot of shit for being a stay at home mom. Not just from complete strangers, but family, and friends alike. I think people have a lot of preconceived notions about what being a stay at home mom is all about, and the reasons why a family might make that choice. I'm always happy to answer questions, but when I start to feel attacked, or put down, then I'm out. It's a choice that's not for everyone, and a choice that is not feasible for everyone, either. I've always known that I was lucky to have this choice.

I have been home with kids for 9 years. That's a long fucking time. And before that, I only had 1 job. I am quite literally, qualified for nothing. My days consist of wiping noses, and butts, cleaning up after a toddler who makes it his personal goal to undo all the work I attempt in a day. I clean, I clean all day long. I almost never have a moment to sit, and do something that I actually want to do. But, this isn't me whining about how horrible this is. I also sleep in until 7 most days. Rob gets up at 5 with all of the kids, and leaves for work at 6. I have a wonderful, and helpful daughter who knows that I will not get up before 7, unless there's an emergency. She gets the boys breakfast, helps Logan with potty breaks, and gets him dressed. She is amazing. I am able to do whatever I want during the day. If I want to go out for lunch, I can, if I want to take Logan to the park, I can, if I want to just drive for an hour, I can. I don't really have a schedule, and don't book many appointments since Logan has stopped most of his therapies. Now, granted, I usually don't leave the house unless I absolutely have to, but the option is there.

One thing that nobody tells you when you decide to become a stay at home mom is, it's lonely. I have only a 3 year old to talk to until 4pm when the older 2 get home. And then, they do their own thing while I cook. There are moms groups, and play centres, but I've found these to be really cliquey and I inevitably start to feel like I'm back in middle school. So, I tend to avoid them.

I feel unappreciated. And a lot of the time, unloved. I'm with my kids for 13 hours a day while Rob works. Most nights he's home well after they've went to bed. I'm always the bad guy. With me being the only parent here all day, there is nobody else to discipline them, and I hear "I hate you!" far more often than I'd like to admit. Then, Rob comes home and says "How was your day?" and I can't even muster a smile. Then he'll say "What did you do today, besides clean, and cook, and referee the kids?" And, even though he says this with a smile on his face, and I know he's being silly, and trying to cheer me up, it makes me want to fucking slaughter him. For no particular reason other than, I'm stressed, I'm overwhelmed, I'm stretched way beyond my means.

I feel like my identity has been lost in this house, in these past 9 years. I used to have dreams, goals, things I was working towards. Now, what do I have? I look forward to the Saturdays that my mom takes my kids overnight so I can sit, or sleep, or take a bath...pretty much do anything by myself. I used to want so much more for myself. Things that I could still be with kids. But now, I just can't even think let alone think about what I want to do with my life. I want to go to school, I want to travel, I want to spend time alone with my husband so that we can actually talk to each other.

I guess I'm saying, as much as I love staying home with my kids, I think about the future. What will I be when my kids are all in school? I wish I could go to school, but there's just not money for that. I would love a career, something that I love that would feel fulfilling. I'm really afraid that my kids just won't respect me when they're older because I wasn't successful at anything. And essentially, the only thing that I've done in this life that is of any importance, is have these children. And while that's something that overcomes me with joy when I look at these amazing kids, I would also love if my kids could look at me and say "I'm really proud of all she's done in her life"

I really have no idea what I'll be doing in 18 months when I have 3 kids in school full time. All I can hope is, I'm doing it with purpose.

Monday, 19 January 2015


I apologize in advance, this might be all over the place, and may not make sense. It also may be hard for some to read, because I am going to be describing traumatic details of the accident, and Cash's death. I'm going to start from the beginning, in hopes that this will help me sort some of this out, as well as not have this post be more rambly than necessary.

Friday morning was like any other morning. Rob left for work at 6, and around 6:30 I got up to get the kids ready for school. Friday is garbage day here. Rob and I had started not letting Cash out until after 8 on Friday mornings, so we knew for sure the garbage truck had gone. Cash loved garbage, not unlike any dog. But, we had noticed lately that what we thought was a wild animal going through our garbage across the street in the morning, was actually Cash. And since we knew he would risk life and limb for garbage, we thought that making sure the temptation wasn't there was for the best.

The only thing is, for some reason, this Friday, I didn't even think about it. It was around 7am, and Cash was whining at the door, and without even thinking, I opened the door, and let him out. A decision I will regret for the rest of my life. He wasn't even outside for 5 minutes, when I heard the most horrible, awful sound I've ever heard. Screaming. Screaming so loud, and so horrifying that it is forever burned into my brain. I knew, I knew right away. I threw open the door, and bolted to the end of my driveway, through 2 feet of snow, in my socks. He was howling at the end of the driveway. There was no car, but I knew what had happened. I didn't see the car hit him, but, I could tell that it was his back end. All of a sudden, a car appeared. A man and a woman bounded out. Both extremely distraught, and apologetic. "He popped up out of the garbage at the last second. I'm so sorry, I didn't even see him!" I didn't feel anger at the driver. I didn't blame him....I blamed myself. I let him out, knowing it was garbage day. It was dark, and Cash was black, I knew that it wasn't the drivers fault. It was at this time, that I was trying to assess Cash's injuries, and figure out whether or not I could get him into the house. The couple offered to help, but Cash didn't want them anywhere near him. He hated strangers, and he was in a lot of pain. I told them to just go. And I started gently leading Cash by his collar into the house. He was in pain, but I honestly thought he would be fine. He was limping, but he was able to walk, with me leading him. We made it the 50ft to the porch, and then he refused to move. He has a fear of steps on a good day, and now, with his back half not working properly, he wasn't having any of it. I walked up the steps to open the door, and Cash climbed up on his own, and into the house, where he immediately laid down. He wouldn't let me check out his back legs, but I could only assume that's where he was hit. But, I still didn't think he wouldn't make it through this. I even told Ciena that Cash wouldn't die. Why would I say that?

Cash was whining, but he was coherent, and didn't seem to be in shock, so I was hopeful. I called my mom right away to come get the kids on the bus, so I could get him to the vet. But, when I called the emergency line, they said they closed at 8, so my best bet would be to just take Cash to the vet's office for 8am. After we got the kids on the bus, I got ready to load Cash into the van. But, when I tried to get him up, he screamed and screamed. Now, Cash is 130lbs. He is big, and in pain. There was no way that I, or my mother, or both of us, would be able to get him into the vehicle. I needed my husband. When I finally got a hold of him, he left work right away, and rushed home. I had called the vet's office, so they were expecting us.

When Rob showed up, we worked fast. We slid a blanket under him, as gently as possible. He howled in pain the entire time, but once we lifted him, he relaxed. Maybe he knew that we wouldn't d anything to intentionally hurt him. We got to the office, and got a muzzle on him, since he wasn't to keen on strangers touching him, especially in the kind of pain he was in.

The first thing the vet did was take his vitals. She said his temp was good, his lungs sounded clear, his gums, and his colour looked good. She said his heart was a little fast, but not fast enough to be worrisome, and it was probably associated with the pain. She felt his legs, and said nothing felt broken, so she was mainly worried about his hips, but since he had a lot of padding, she was hopeful. So, they sent us off for coffee so they could do x-rays. I felt sick. I just wanted her to say he was just banged and bruised. And, honestly, I thought that was what she would say. There was no way anything really could be wrong. Cash was stubborn, and sweet, and protective, and healthy! He would be fine. He had to be.

When we got back to the office, they weren't quite finished, so we had to wait another 15 minutes, which was torture. But, they finally called us back. As soon as the vet came in, I knew it wasn't good. She showed us x-ray after x-ray. Each one worse than the one before it. Cash's right hip was completely out of joint. The vet explained that when that happens, not only does the hip pop out, but it tears the muscles, and everything with it. She also pointed out that Cash's tailbone was crushed. And, he was actually peeing involuntarily while they were x-raying him. So, there was concern that Cash's nerves were damaged. While they were moving him, he was almost oblivious, so there was a good chance that he had nerve damage that resulted in loss of feeling. The vet told us that the nerve damage aside, she could try and pop his hip back into joint, but he would then need to have his leg in a sling for 2 weeks, and he would not be able to move, which would mean being carried outside for bathroom breaks. Now, like I said, Cash is 130lbs, I am a stay at home mom, it would be up to me to get him outside, and there would be no way. Not only that, he would have to not move, and we would hope that scar tissue would form to hold his hip in place, which we were told very rarely works.

She also told us that we were free to have a consult with an orthopaedic surgeon, to discuss whether or not there was anything that could be done surgically. But, she warned us that the starting costs for something like that were around $3000, and she was pretty sure Cash's nerve damage was the larger issue, and that would prevent him from having a normal, or decent quality of life. So she left us alone to discuss our options. I already knew what was going to happen. Even if we did have $3000(at least) to spend, we had no idea if this would give him a life quality that we knew he deserved. We cried, and hugged. I said I was sorry over and over. I let Cash out, I felt to blame for this. Rob told me repeatedly that it was NOT my fault. We both knew that this was a danger as far as Cash was concerned. We both failed. We knew that Cash wandered to the road, we failed him. Rob was convinced that I hated him, because he was the one saying that we couldn't put out the money. But, we both knew that wasn't an option. We had 3 kids, and we had a doctor telling us that she thought the nerve damage was too extensive for him to make a recovery. We made the most humane decision for him.

Talking about making the decision to euthanize, and actually doing it create such different emotions. This was a situation where we had a dog that couldn't move. He was big, and in pain. It wasn't like we could take him home, and have some time with him. It had to be done now. Thinking about my kids made my stomach ache. I had told my daughter that her dog would not die. And I didn't think I was just saying that. I truly believed it. And now, here we were. Thinking about how I would tell them was making me physically ill.

We asked if Cash was still sedated, or if he was awake. We wanted to spend some time with him before we let him go. She led us through the doors, it wasn't a peaceful environment. They had him on a blanket on the floor, with all of the animal cages around him. Obviously this wasn't where any of us wanted to do this, but like I said. He's a big dog that's hard to move, and even harder when he's in pain. He was awake, but he was really groggy. We both sat down, with his head in my lap, we told him how much he was loved. We told him how proud we were to be a part of his life. We told him what an amazing protector he was for our family. We rubbed his head, and his paws, and his belly, and just loved him. We looked into his eyes, and knew that he knew what was happening, and that made it even worse. We told the vet we were ready, and she warned us that it would take a few minutes, and we might notice some twitching, and funny movements. I remembered how quick it was with Max 4 years earlier, so the second she started to inject him, I held him and just repeated to him over and over "We love you, you are so loved, we love you, you are so loved." And his breathing got more rapid, and it sounded like he was snoring, and then he seemed still. She checked his heart, and said he was just sleeping, that he needed a little more. Like I said, big dog. After she gave him the second injection, I knew he was gone. I felt it. I felt empty. He was gone. Just like that.

We left immediately, and went to the kids' school to pick them up. We wanted to be together as a family, and we wanted to tell them right away. As I was signing the kids out, I heard Ciena talking to Rob. "Daddy, sis you hear about Cash?" "Is he at the vet?" "Are we going to get him?" I could hear Rob skirting around every question, wanting to not be in the school when we discussed this. As soon as everyone was buckled, I told them that Cash wasn't coming home. We explained what happened, and tried our best to answer their questions. I sat in the back holding my daughter as she sobbed. Joel, being 5 was slightly upset, but he was thinking of other things almost instantly. Logan obviously didn't understand anything beyond "Cash dead"

Our home was anything but a safe haven. Rob immediately got to work busying himself with housework to keep his mind occupied. I just layed on the couch and cried. But, little did I know, the worst was yet to come. Every day I wake up feeling worse than the one before. I can't even explain the level of grief I'm feeling. I have lost many beloved people in my life, relatives that I was extremely close to, and the grief I felt then, doesn't even touch the way I'm feeling now. Every detail of my day involved my dog. He slept at the foot of out bed, and after Rob would leave for work, he would lay down on the floor by my side of the bed. He would go outside with the kids and I, and wait for the bus with us, then he would bark at me constantly after they drive off, waiting for me to let him into the house. He was my shadow, he was my protector. If someone pulled into our driveway that Cash didn't know, he would stand in between me, and them, and not let them get anywhere near me. During naptime, he would lay on my lap while I read on the couch. He made my days better, he made my days so full of love and companionship. Now, I have never felt so lonely. Walking back up to the house today after the kids got o the bus, was the loneliest walk I've ever taken. It was so debilitating, that I had Rob get them off the bus this afternoon, because I just couldn't handle it. I don't know how to cope with this feeling. I can't sleep, because every time I close my eyes, I can hear his screaming. I flutter between wanting to adopt another dog right away, to never wanting another one again, every 10 minutes. The loneliness is almost crippling. I couldn't wait for Logan to take his nap, so that I could cry. And that's what I did. For the entirety of his 2 hour nap, I sobbed, I called my dog, I screamed to my dog like a complete lunatic. I counted down the minutes until Rob got home, so that I had someone to talk to, someone who understood how I felt.

Not knowing if my dog is safe, or happy, or missing me, or surrounded by love, makes my heart break. I'm so desperate for answers that I have been reading up on pets in the afterlife, and desperately grasping for anything to let me know that he's alright. I just need a sign, a small one, a large one, I don't care. I miss my friend. I miss the way he used to stop before taking a step because he had the biggest problem getting up and down them. The way he used to wait until Rob would get off the couch, and immediately take his spot. The way he would come into the bathroom while I was taking a bath, and lick the water off the edge of the tub, it seemed so gross at the time, but now I just miss it so much. He loved us, he loved us all so deeply that it hurts to think about it. He loved my kids, and would do anything to protect them. He was the greatest friend I've ever had, and now he's gone. I can't make sense of any of this. I just want to feel this less. I want to feel one second of happiness that isn't followed by 20 minutes of complete devastation. I've just never felt so alone in my life. Sometimes my sadness feels so deep that it terrifies me, and makes me think I'll never feel better. I have no desire to leave my house, or to be around people. I can't sleep, I can't eat without feeling sick, and throwing up. And as much as people keep telling me that it will get easier and easier to cope, I just don't believe that right now. All I can see right now, is darkness.

I just pray that my friend is safe and happy, and knows how much he is loved. I hope he can still feel that, wherever he is.