Friday, July 26, 2013

Farewell, My Sweet, Goofy, Loving Girl

    Monday was the day I had to make the tough decision, set my own selfish needs aside and think of the best interests of a beloved friend. Monday was the day I had to have my dear, sweet, goofy Wolfhound put down. She developed bone cancer earlier this year, and I knew I was counting my time with her, waiting, watching, feeling helpless. I knew a day would come when she would tell me it was time to let her go, to help her cross the Rainbow Bridge so she could join the Wild Hunt with her father, my beloved Tork. The day was actually last friday, but in my selfishness I did not want to listen to what she was telling me. I did everything in my power to make her last few days as sweet as possible, petting, brushing, massaging, cuddling, indulging. I can't count how many times over the months that I wept into her wiry coat as I rubbed her ears, scratched her chin, kissed her grizzled face. It has been painful, watching the progression of the vile growth as it slowly robbed her of her mobility. It was only the last few days though, that seemed painful for her, before that it was more an annoyance, troublesome, an inconvenience. Monday, when I knew it was the day, my final day with her, I had to struggle against bouts of weeping at work. I cried most of the drive home, and had to fight hysterics when she greeted me at the door for the last time. I fed her a tasty dinner and gave her a smoked bone to keep her happy. She lay in the shady backyard, crunching the bone with her mighty jaws while I dug her grave. The physical aspect of digging let me find my center, reel in my emotions for a bit. But when the time came for her to cross over I hed to go in the house with Hugo, and cry. I thought my heart would break, Hugo was worried for me, and I for him, knowing that his bonded mate was taking the long journey home. My sweet, darling, sloppy faced girl. I miss her giant head resting on my lap, or on the bed next to my face. My bed, high as it is, was just the perfect height for her to stand and plunk her face down next to mine, and breathe her warm, doggy breath on me. Last night as I was getting ready for bed, the room seemed so empty without her massive presence that I cried myself into exhaustion. Even now, as I write, tears flow freely. She was such a gentle soul, a loving companion, a sweet spirit, a loyal friend. She was there for me in my darkest of hours, always strong and silent, yet comical and adoring. She was truly a Gentle Giant, in every sense of the word. I will always love my sweet, goofy, loving Girl. Tonks. a truer friend there never was. My sloppy-face girl, my goofball, my rock, my irreplaceable friend.

Thursday, July 18, 2013


    I revel in my freedom. Lonely as it is sometimes, I still cherish my freedom almost beyond all else. I think this is reflected in my life and lifestyle. I live alone, and don't see that changing any time soon. I chose a home with one neighbor, a bit out in the boonies, and it is mine, just mine. I ride a Harley, alone, no one talking to me, no distractions. I have chosen sports that are solitary, not team efforts. I train alone almost exclusively. I swim endlessly, the only sounds are often my own breathing and the near silent entrance of my hand into the water, with smooth strokes. I cycle for miles and miles, either up on the trainer in the privacy of my home, or alone on narrow roads in rolling farmland. Trail running, even in a race or with a group, I tend to maneuver out of groups so I can enjoy the solitude, the sound of my breathing, the lightness of my step. As I motorcycle, swim, bike, run, garden, cook, live, workout, meditate, I take pleasure in my freedom. The freedom to be who I am. True to myself. Yes, there are times when it is lonely. Usually late at night when there is no one to share the triumphs of the day with. No one I can text, call, or crawl into bed with. I have had opportunities, but after a lifetime of feeling restricted, or even shackled, by life, it is hard for me to relinquish my hard won freedom. I love the feel of the wind in my face at 60 plus miles an hour, barreling through the backcountry on a balmy summer afternoon. I love the feel of my body slipping through emerald waters. I love loping along sun dappled forest trails. I love my shaggy little house and the freedom to do with it what I want. So I will feel a little lonely now and then. But I will feel the power of my freedom always.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Trust. And A Promise.

    Trust. Promises. Promises made and broken. By me, to me. I have not lost my ability to trust whole heartedly, but I have learned to guard myself. This is why I have made the promise to myself, that in eight weeks (oh my god, only eight weeks?!!!) that I will begin, and complete my first half-Ironman. It is a promise made that I know will not be broken, unless by some unforeseeable cataclysmic act of fate. I will not break this promise, I have made the vow to myself. So I devote much of my energies towards being ready. Not only will I complete 70.3 miles under my own power, but I am hoping to do it well. I know I am unlikely to place, even in my age category. That is not the point. This is not a competition with anyone but myself. I am pushing myself far beyond what I ever thought I might be capable of. I do wish I could have started this journey 10 or 15 years ago, but I will not waste energy on could haves and should haves. Instead I am focused, pushing forward, making changes within myself that will last me throughout my life. I have chosen to change my life, and myself. I refuse to let myself stagnate, to let fate toss me about willy-nilly, to feel trapped. Instead I am reveling in the freedoms that I have pursued, found, created. Whether it is swimming alone in an emerald green lake, cycling through rolling farmlands alone, or as a solitary runner finding trails and the splendor of the woods. I relish and treasure my freedom, the kiss of cool waters, the delicate touch of the wind, the glory of my body. I have made a vow to Self, a promise that I will not break, a pact with my Spirit. I trust myself completely.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

My Son

    Anyone who knows me knows how much I love my sons. They are my moon and stars, I would readily give my life for them. I don't need to tell them this, they know it deep in their hearts. Tonight my older son and his family hit the road for South Carolina. Just about as far away as they can get and still be within the continental U.S. of A. Not just for a vacation, but a permanent move. To say I am saddened by this is akin to saying that The Titanic was a bit of a bummer. When I said my goodbyes tonight and saw them on their way, I cried. I cried all the way home, until my nose was swollen shut and my eyes were puffy and burning. I will miss my child. The strong, quiet, intelligent man who I can still clearly see as the impish child he was. As much as I hate seeing them leave, I totally understand it. I get it. I know why he must go. So as much as I wanted to plead, cry, pound my fists on his broad chest, beg him to stay, I did not. I let him go, to take on this great adventure that is ahead of him. I held my tongue, knowing that what he has chosen to do is right for him, even if it is horribly rough for me. This is the hardest thing I think I have faced as a mother, letting him go out into the world and be his own man. I trust him, trust his judgement, and trust his upbringing. But g'damn, I am going to miss him. A little voice, one of my demons no doubt, makes me fear that I will never see him again. I know this is not true, just a mother's fears bubbling to the surface. Rationally, I know I am being silly. But rationality has little or nothing to do with a mother's love. I will miss my baby boy, I will miss the amazing man he has grown up to be. I don't know if he even knows just how much I will miss him, but I know he should go. He will face the world, make a place in it for him and his. That is what children do. And I cry, because that is what mothers do.