Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My, how things change.

I've been waiting for and looking forward to this day for more than a year. Up until yesterday, Michael and I were totally excited about making a huge Election Day meal, cracking open some wine or beer, and then, if things went as planned, maybe even popping open some champagne. All while watching non-stop election coverage, of course. And I was so looking forward to going into that booth and pressing that lever down. So excited to vote for change.

Now? Well, now, I'm having trouble giving a shit about any of it.

Still, I dragged my sorry ass into my polling place this morning. Went into the booth, voted for Barack Obama (and other local politicians), came out, proceeded to go to my car, and then I cried all the way to work. And three more times since.

In just a week's time, I've gone from happy, laughing Heather to someone who can't wait for each day to be over so she can go to sleep. Sleep is the only time I'm not sad.

This is not the kind of change I was looking for.

Have I mentioned how much this sucks?

It sounds so overly dramatic, but when I stop and think about it, I really don't know how I'm going to get through this.

There's nothing anyone can do. There's nothing anyone can say.

But of course, it means a lot to hear from people and know that they care. To know that people understand.

Unfortunately, it just doesn't make it suck any less. Doesn't make it any less painful.

I feel sorry for everybody around me. I know I'm probably not going to be fun to be around for a while. Most likely a long while.

I just hope that people understand that this is just a really tough time. I don't mean to be this much of a downer; it's just that I can't help it.

And the worst part is knowing that this is just the beginning of what is surely going to be a downward spiral. I can't see that this is going to get any better any time soon. It's weird looking to the future and feeling like there is nothing to look forward to.

Again, I worry that I sound way too dramatic about all of this. But I'm in a black hole and am really not sure how to crawl out.

For now, I'm just going to work hard to get through each day. To get home and be where I feel like I need to be right now. And to at least try to enjoy some things.

I'm still going to watch the election coverage tonight, and I'm still going to root for my man, Obama. I just wish it was going to be with the same gusto it would have been before.

This is a rough patch. People deal with this stuff all the time. Worse things. Things with parents, children, siblings, friends. I'm aware of that. The story of life, I suppose. I just wasn't expecting it to be the story of my life. But no one ever does.

For my sanity, and to truly spend as much time with her as possible, I'm going to start driving home for all of my lunch breaks. Thankfully, we don't live very far from where I work, so it's a pretty good chunk of time to be with Tess. I think breaking up the day like that will help me get through each day at work.

So today was day 1. Day 1 of trying to live a semi-normal life.

I went home for lunch. It's beautiful outside today. And Tessa did what she always does when it's warm and sunny out.

She flopped for belly rubs before she even made it all the way onto the grass.

And I, of course, let her enjoy them for as long as she wanted. Because of winter on the horizon, I know that these days are truly numbered.

As if Tess wasn't already one of the most photographed dogs on the planet. Now, I predict it will be even worse. Right now, while she is still healthy and acting like herself, I'm feeling like we need to document all of it. All of the little quirks and adorable things that she does that we have taken for granted because we always think we'll get to see her do them over and over and over again.

After her belly rubs, we sat on the porch and watched neighbors pass by. Watched a contractor load equipment and tools back into his van. Tessa growled her low, rumbly growl that always makes us smile.

When the contractor first came around the corner of the neighbor's house, Tessa barked at him. I laughed, but apologized to the guy. He smiled and said, "Oh, it's OK. She did startle me a little. I wasn't expecting trouble today." I laughed and said, "Oh, she's trouble alright."

Tough girl. All bark and no bite. The guy paused when he got to her and leaned down to pet her. She immediately turned to mush. Like she does with just about anyone who pays her any attention.

Just counting down the hours until I can go home again.

In the meantime, go Obama, go! (Had to get that in there.)


Anonymous,  November 4, 2008 at 4:50 PM  

Heather, I am truly sorry that you have to go through this. I just want you to know that my thought and prayers are with you. You are not being dramatic at all. Stay strong for her.

Anonymous,  November 4, 2008 at 5:40 PM  

Heather, I'm so sorry to hear about Tessa. You and Michael are in my thoughts and prayers,

Robin November 4, 2008 at 7:28 PM  

Heather--- I don't know you, just kind of follow your blog, but your first post about Tessa broke my heart. She really is a beatiful dog and I am sorry that you guys are going through this. I will be praying for little Tessa :)

Anonymous,  November 4, 2008 at 8:24 PM  

I'm just a reader, I've followed you since Road to the Aisle and I'm so sad to hear about Tessa. Just try to enjoy having her around now, and count each day you have with her a blessing. She could be fine for several more years. And when she does go, you'll still have all the memories.

Anonymous,  November 4, 2008 at 9:40 PM  

I have read your blog and I am so sorry to hear about Tessa. Just know that it is ok to feel the way you do. Sometimes pets become part of our family and when they are sick it is devastating. Not everyone (those wihtout pets) understands and may think that she is just a dog. She is not, she is like your baby and there are so many of us out there that understand what you are going through. Nothing anyone says is going to help but just try to remember that you and Michael have given her a great life and she is lucky to have you. Just as you are both lucky to have her. God Bless you!

Natalie November 5, 2008 at 9:04 AM  

Don't let anyone tell you that she is just a dog and it shouldn't be hard. They have no idea. She isn't just a dog she is your baby and is probably more loved then a lot of kids in this world.

I'll keep my fingers crossed for a miracle.

ljkc November 5, 2008 at 2:20 PM  

I tried to comment on the original post but my computer was screwy.

Heather, I don't know HOW I would be able to deal w/Tessa's news in relation to if it were my Charles. My heart BREAKS for you. The only thing I can lend you is this: the idea that people are born so that they can LEARN how to live a good life - to be good to one another, learn acceptance of differences and unconditional love. It takes human beings YEARS to even attempt mastery of this. But Dogs already know how to do that. They come into our lives to teach us these things. To show us the simple pleasure of a walk or a cuddle. They know no more than a duty to love and the position of being a companion. Therefore, their life-expectancy is not quite as long even naturally because they've been born w/knowledge that takes us a lifetime.

How blessed you are to have been touched by Tessa. Everyone in your immediate life is better for your decision to have adopted her and, in turn, your having been loved by her. Do not discredit your feelings of sadness - you are entitled to grievance - but don't succumb to them so much that you do an injustice to Tessa's lesson of love in your life. Now more than ever it is your task to spread it to others. To make that decision to honor Tessa this way while she's still here to be a part of it.

So when you can't get out of bed, think about how Tessa feels. What a blessing that she can't even comprehend what's wrong w/her right now - she knows nothing but wanting to be around you - influencing you and loving you. Then look down @ her little face and realize the power you have to also choose to do go on this way. "Her way".

This is my wish for you ;)


Jules November 5, 2008 at 3:32 PM  

Heather, my heart goes out to you. I am very sorry to hear about Tessa. I will keep her in my thoughts and prayers. I have 2 dogs that I love with all my heart and I know how they're a part of the family. I know that I do not know you, but I can certainly sympathize with your situation. Try to stay strong and enjoy every minute you have with her.

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