Another Goodbye

This has been a very difficult couple of weeks for me. On November 12th I had to say goodbye to another loved one and one of my best friends – our dog Samantha.

She started showing signs of nasal cancer about the same time my husband passed away. Unfortunately this was also during the pandemic and my having to move from our rental home to Illinois. I couldn’t find a vet that was taking new clients nor could I afford treatment for cancer. I was hoping the symptoms were incorrect and things would clear up. Needless to say that didn’t happen.

We were so lucky to come across Samantha in September of 2007 at a local shelter on Long Island, New York where we were currently living. She was a rescue so nobody knew for sure her exact age, but the vets estimated at just under a year, so she was born sometime in 2006. She was a member of our family for thirteen years and lived to be a little over fourteen if not closer to fifteen, which, unfortunately, is pretty good for a dog her size. I just wish it had been longer.

Sammi (as we called her) was very loved by every member of our family and I honestly don’t know if I would have survived the death of my husband without her. She was the only one available for me to hug and cry with since the pandemic wouldn’t allow any other family members to travel to me. I had to go through everything alone and she was the stabilizing comfort big enough for me to hug. My cat, Millie, also did her best to comfort me but it’s just not the same as a big dog’s warmth and unbelievable loyalty during these type of events.

She kept me sane.

Anyway, in the past couple of weeks the cancer had grown and pain was starting to become a very serious issue. I won’t describe what we went through as it was too horrible but I would advise anyone dealing with a cancer issue in a pet to be prepared to have to make the awful decision of putting your pet down once it reaches the pain point. Believe me, you do not want them to go through this if avoidable.

My sister thankfully was available to help and was able to convince her vet to help me out since I still couldn’t find a vet taking new clients. My sister went with me and the vet came out to the car to perform the procedure. So my beloved Sammi passed peacefully in her favorite spot in the world – the car. She was a real road warrior and have travelled with us from New York to Florida to Michigan to Arizona to Alaska and back to the east coast in New Jersey. She loved every moment in the car. I was glad that her last experience was a car ride and I didn’t have to take her into the vets office which was a place she hated. I was able to sit with her, hold her and say goodbye.

So things have been rough again, and I’ve gotten behind on my work but I’m just starting to get back to a normal routine. Hopefully work can keep me a bit distracted as I deal with another loss. I know so many of you have experienced much loss during this horrific year, and my heart aches for all of us. I pray that each and every one of us will soon find peace and hopefully a new normal where we can move forward together with love and compassion for each other. Very few of us have found this to be a good year and empathy will be the key to surviving it.

I wish each of you health and happiness.

~ Alesia

A New (unwanted) Life

It’s been 18 months since I’ve done anything with this website. A lot can change in that time period. Your whole world can turn upside down.

And that is exactly what has happened with me.

Six months ago to the day, I lost the love of my life. The man I had been married to for thirty-six years had a massive heart attack and passed away at the young age of fifty-five. It happened at the height of the pandemic while we were living in New Jersey. Because of the pandemic I could not go with him to the hospital, our kids could not travel to be with me and I was left completely alone to deal with horrible things I had never had to deal with before.

Things like a medical examiner, a funeral home, and other death related duties. I don’t know how I managed to get through it all. At times I would just fall to the floor and scream. There are days I still feel the impulse to do that but I have more control now then I did in those early days.

Our lease was up on our home in NJ two weeks after my husband passed. My landlord was gracious enough to give me an extra month and to apply our security deposit to that months rent since I now had no income. (I still don’t have any income & there was no life insurance). But the pandemic still left me on my own to deal with the move. I had to pack everything in the house, by myself. I had to move everything to a storage unit with only my car, by myself. I had to arrange for transportation of my stuff to my family in Illinois, by myself. Luckily my son was in a position at that time to help financially or I wouldn’t have been able to even consider getting those things accomplished.

Then, once all those things were accomplished, I had to drive halfway across the country, during a pandemic & protests, with my dog and my cat to get to my mother’s home. I didn’t have anywhere else to go that I wouldn’t be completely alone. It’s not where I wanted to be, but it’s where I had to end up.

Once I arrived at my mother’s home a whole new nightmare started. I didn’t know until the moment I pulled into her driveway the state of disrepair her home had become. She is seventy-five years old and has been living by herself for the last eight years in a 100+ year old Victorian home in a small Illinois community. She was unable to keep up with the maintenance and cleaning. I walked into a disaster.

So now, I’m stuck in this small Illinois community, which would be fine if I was anywhere but this house. I have to find a way to buy a new home and get my mother to leave this one. I’m not sure she will leave but I at least need to be close-by to help care for her until her life is over. Only then will I be able to figure out what I want to do for myself.

All I want in the world right now is a small cottage in the woods where I can work from home, tend to my pets and a small garden and try to surround myself with nature. Nature has always been my medicine. But I seem to be denied that at every turn. I haven’t even begun to heal and I’m not sure when the process will start, probably not until I can get some stress levels down. Existence is a day-by-day list of “have to” tasks to accomplish, and nothing more at this point.

So please, bear with me as I try to navigate this new highway life as thrust me upon. I promise I’ll try to get something going here and I’m going to be honest and up-front about all that I go through. People need to be aware of how absolutely devastating an event like this can be. It happens to too many of us and until it happens to you, there is just no way to understand the magnitude this type of upheaval and loss can have on a person’s will to survive and ability to think.

My best to all of you, I hope you are staying healthy and finding a way to cope mentally & emotionally with the horrific pandemic. It’s such a rough time for so many and my heart aches for each of us for a varying degree of loss we are all feeling.

Much love,

~ Alesia