Sunday, September 4, 2011

But Love

goes on and on and on.....
"Death ends a life, not a relationship."
Jack Lemmon

I came across this quote by the late Jack Lemmon shortly after my father's death in 2002.
Ahhhhh, I thought....yes so true. 
All the love I ever had for you...all I ever admired in you...all I ever shared with you...does not end 
because you died. I still have all those feelings and I always will.
My relationship has not ended with you just because you are no longer of this earth.
This is Newman's grave in the backyard. A temporary headstone marking his resting place. 
I'll find something nicer but this will have to do for now.
I'm learning to accept that he is gone.
That I will never touch the softest fur again.
Never kiss his cheek while he squirms in delight.
Never yell his name for him to stop something he shouldn't be doing.
Never hold him. Never tell him he tastes like carmel when I kiss him.

I want to tell you that your comments and emails have gotten me through this time.
Those of you have shared your own tragic stories have made me feel not quite so guilty.
I'll be writing each of you. I just have not had time.
But know I have cherished each and every one of them.

I have had to go and go and go of late and I'd come in and read your comments and
emails and find the strength to carry on.

So much going on with me at a time when I just want to stop all.
This is my sister, Jamie. A favorite photo of her taken many years ago when she,
my Mom and I went on a vacation to Savannah, Georgia.
This day we walked the beach at Tybee Island.

My sister has had many struggles in her life. She has had epilepsy since she was about two years old.
Grand mall seizures that were never totally under control.
She'd have one or two a month no matter how much we tried to control the situations around her.
A seizure could be brought on by flashing lights, sudden change in temperature, excitement.
Even going to the movies was a risk.
For a child that loved to be into everything it was sooooo hard to keep her safe.
No roller skating, no running and playing games outside, only supervised tricycle riding...
the list goes on and on.
Every time she had a seizure and we watched her turn blue.....we feared this one was the one.

In her late twenties...we found new medication that for the first time completely controlled her seizures.
It was like an awakening for her. She could think clearly for the first time because she was off
the large doses of barbiturates that kept her safe.

Unfortunately, a side effect of the new drug was weight gain.
Coming from a gene pool where weight was already a struggle...this increased the situation.
She has learning disabilities but is very good with language and has a large vocabulary.
But her reasoning skills are not the best which has led to many times that she's had to be rescued from
a situation she gets herself in.
Seven years ago, a few months after the death of my father, she met her soul mate....Charles.
They married the following year on Valentine's Day. She wore a pink satin wedding dress made by my Mother.
My cousin, Shelly and I were bridesmaids wearing cream angora sweater sets and pale pink satin skirts.

Her weight has gone up and down but of late, it has soared. She is now over 500 lbs.
I have not talked about this because I have seen how she is treated because of her weight.
She is immediately judged and treated with disgust.
Despite this...she is a naturally happy person that finds much joy in the little things of life.
Those that meet her, never forget her and many people love her as she loves many others.

Yes, she leads a very sedentary life style.
Years of being told not to move around too much for fear of her having a seizure finally became
a way of life for a child that normally would have been climbing trees.

This summer her health became compromised in a way we were not expecting.
She developed bed sores from sitting in her easy chair too much.

(I had worried about such a thing....but it's pretty hard to tell an adult woman what to do.
She resents my suggestions on her life style. As I would resent her's too.)

Yes, we encouraged her to move...but her knees hurt badly and back too.

She does not eat large quantities of food. Does she always eat the right things? No.
Does she eat what I would eat? No.
I'm fat too and I LOVE salad and vegetables.
But she also does make periodic attempts to lose weight.
She'll lose quite a bit and then gain it back and more.
I know many people, many...that eat far worse than she and are of normal weight.

Her situation escalated to the point where she had to go to a hospital in early July.
She was in the hospital for a week and then sent to a rehab facility about 25 minutes from me.
It's about 40 minutes from Mother in the other direction.
We've been trading off days going to see her. And some days we both go see her.

Some of the nurses there are unbelievably kind and others there are sadists.
For awhile she did not tell us about the times when bad things were happening.
She thought that everyone was just too busy to attend her properly.
Once I found out last week, a few days short of losing Newman that she was being left for hours
in her own waste and sitting on her sores...I was livid!
I had to take matters into my own hands.
Which involved visits immediately to the facility to make sure she is getting cared for properly.
She now insists her phone be with her at all times and threatens to call her sister if she feels things
getting out of control.

Funny, how all are taking action now.....that they know I will come within minutes.
I am not a person that likes confrontation. But I will fight you...if you are doing someone wrong.

She had what we believed to be a urinary tract infection and we could not get a urinalysis done.
They kept asking her why she thought she had one.
And seemed to not believe her when she described her pain.
The doctor only comes one day a week and comes while she is asleep.
I finally got the night head nurse to agree to do it without the doctor's approval.
Although, she said...I know I'll get in trouble for this.
She got reprimanded for it despite the fact that the test came back saying she had a bacterial infection
and a staph infection!

It took a full week to get antibiotics ordered for her!

Her sores are much better now, most of them are healed and she is trying to walk on her own.
Trying to get out of bed on her own.
Which for her is monumental.

I am praying we can get her out of there without something horrific happening to her.
The night nurse at the facility, Dorothy has been our saviour.
If it weren't for Dorothy...watching out for her...
I don't think she would be on the road to recovery.
Oh...I'm sure you are asking why we have kept her in this facility.
It was the only one that would take her that wasn't hours away from us because of her size.
We knew she had to be somewhere where we could see her each day and make sure she was ok.

So....I've been dealing with that....

She now realizes that she must take more action in her life.
She knew already and was water walking at the Y before this happened.
But now she knows it is a matter of life or death.
We pray she will be back walking at the Y soon.
Maybe within a month?

She needs your prayers.

And then my best friend and cousin, Shelly
She is in the hospital as I type this. She had her first chemo treatment this past week.
MD Anderson said their chemo would kill her.
She came home and went to a doctor here that said she should try the chemo again that she took 10 years ago.
You are only suppose to have this treatment once because it can damage your heart but after
the doctor reviewed her case, she said there was no reason to not do it because her heart was fine
and she had only had four treatments of it ten years ago.
It had wiped out her cancer coupled with another chemo and radiation.

She cannot have radiation this time.
So she had that last Monday.

This is her third round of chemo in this past year.

I've been with her after I got Jamie in a better space.
I got to spend lots of time with her for two days.
Wednesday night we watched a movie together.
A favorite of mine, "Larger Than Life" with Bill Murray.
I love it. If you haven't seen it, it is so adorable.
Bill Murray, a motivational speaker, learns that the father he thought was long dead has actually
just died and left him a large inheritance. When he goes to see the lawyer about it,
he learns that his father was a circus clown and the large inheritance is an elephant.

This is a road trip movie. He has to get the elephant across the country in three days to California
so that she can fly across the sea to be free and live in the Rain Forest.

You can watch it on Netflix as an instant view.
So I saw it a long time ago and loved it and then recently it was on a cable channel late one night and
I'd watched the whole thing holding Newman in my arms laughing and crying.
I had told Shelly I wanted her to see it.

So Wednesday night, she and her husband, Tim and I watched it in their big bed.
She loved it too. It was hard for me to watch knowing only last week, I'd watched it while I held
Newman in my arms but part of the healing process, I suppose.

Shelly is on oxygen and her voice is weak. She cannot laugh or cry because it is too hard for her to
She has fluid on her lungs. The cancer has returned on the outside of her lungs.
Fluid must be drained twice a day from both sides.
She says she feels like she is drowning.
Although, the breathing situation has improved this week from what it was when she was at MD Anderson.

So yesterday, I had to take a friend's Mom to doctor's appointments because my friend was out of town.
When I called to check on Shelly I learned she had gone to the hospital that morning.
She was dehydrated and had very low blood pressure.
I spent a long time with her and family yesterday afternoon and night.

I'll see her again today, hopefully.

She feels bad...but on Thursday she had an appetite and had said Thai food was sounding good to her
and maybe we could get it next week.

I'm afraid she is stuck in the hospital for the long weekend.

We should know today or tomorrow if all this sickness is the cancer or the chemo.
It's most likely both. But we are hoping she will start to feel better today or tomorrow.
Then she will have two weeks of recovery...before another chemo treatment.

She really needs all your prayers too.
The cancer is going to kill her....we are just hoping to push it away for awhile longer.

She is my best friend and is like a sister to me.

Life will be hard for me without her. a time when I'd like to do fun things and try to get my mind off's not possible.

Harvey has been very sad. He keeps going back to bed. Not eating.
Which of course won't hurt him.
I have not been eating either although yesterday I ate a real meal for the first time in over a week.
I've lost my taste for anything sweet and can only drink water.
I am telling myself I am going to take advantage of my lack of desire for tea or dr. pepper and continue to drink only water.
I like water this is a good thing.
Last night when I got home...for the first time...since Newman, Harvey wanted to play...
he tried his best to get Sally to play with him.
He'd pounce on her and growl and play bite....which would have gotten Newman to running all around
playing chase with him.
Sally was not interested.
She wagged her tail and didn't mind him wanting to play but she just didn't play.
I had gotten Harvey so Newman would have a playmate and those two loved to hop around and jump at each other and chase each other.

Violet has let Harvey snuggle with her a lot this past week.
Normally, she sleeps away from him but she has let him rest his head on her and sleep pressed against her.

She has been out of sorts too.
No one barking in my house...very quiet.
I now realize that Newman alerted everyone to everything going on outside.

Pretty boring here.

Sally is back to her old self. I've had a very hard time with anger towards her.
It's been hard for me to look at her because of what happened.
I am getting better.
I still don't understand why she attacked him that night when this is something that never happens.
I keep reminding myself of my vet's words that dogs have disagreements and a little skirmish like that
did not do the damage.
That this weakness in his brain stem was there just waiting to come to the forefront.

I watch her and yes, when she is excited she is very wiggly. And she is strong.
But she does not jump on the others. She shows no signs of aggression.
She actually looks scared of Harvey when around the food bowl because he huffs at everyone
to leave his food alone.
So strange to only have three.
I realize that I must have worried about Newman constantly because I have this strange sense of calm.
Like now I know no one is going to get out and run down the street.
I don't have to worry about one of these finding a hole in the fence or fighting a opossum or climbing a ladder.
I'd love to have those worries again, though.
Most of my grass is dead in the backyard.
We are still having days of temperatures well over 100.
They say it will cool tomorrow.
We've had a over two and a half months of temps over 100.
105, 107 even 110
It's been exhausting. I have bushes and trees that have died despite me watering them every day.
Everyone around me is experiencing this though.
If this was our normal climate....we'd all have to switch to cactus in our yards.
My last photos of Newman as he explored the yard, one day last month.
Oh...that precious face and feet and ears and nose and eyes.
I am not crying constantly any more...but it doesn't take much to get me going again.
Over the past two months I've held him and told him I could get through anything as long as I had him.
I did not think....I would not have him soon.
I was fully prepared to lose him in four or six or eight years, not a few weeks.
But life is fragile and unfair and we just have to appreciate each precious moment as we have them.
I do have comfort in knowing that I fully appreciated and loved him.
That every inch - millimeter of him was admired and loved.
I have found myself saying..."I should never have loved anything that much."
But I know that is wrong.

I keep telling myself....if the day I had picked him up for the first time...
If the breeder had said..."You can have this one....but he will only live 8 years."
Would I have taken him?
I would without hesitation trade 8 years of my own life for another 8 years with him.
But that cannot be.
So I must just be thankful I had 8 years with him and that I loved him more than anything on this planet can be loved by another living thing.
One day this week, Amy of Maison Decor sent me a box of shells she picked up for me
on her recent mini vacation to Martha's Vineyard.
I opened the box and smelled the sea.
Amy and I spoke for a long time one morning last week.
She and I have spoken through email lots over the past year and my tragedy pushed us to talk in person
for the first time.
She was everything and more that I thought she would be.
I would start the conversation crying and by the end was laughing which gave me hope that some day
I'd be ok again.

Also a very dear friend Cindi of Old Black Cat Boo has called me twice to spend hours on the phone consoling me.
Cindi has many little dogs that she shares her home with and recently had a scare herself with one of her
little dogs who was hurt.
We email each other a lot and I'd recently written her to give her words of hope that her little Rosie would fully recuperate.
It does look like she will.
I never ever thought my Newman would be in just as bad a shape and worse so soon.

Cindi and I have lots in common and again conversations started with crying and ended with laughter.
Unfortunately, I'd feel better, then hang up the phone and face the loneliness of my house again.

But I am improving...I will learn to live with this as I learned to live with the death of my father.

I had only recently been feeling like I was coming to be ok with the fact that he is gone
and it's been nine years.

I cannot be in a dark place again. I must not let all that is happening with the death of Newman
and Jamie and Shelly's illnesses destroy the happiness I have created for myself.

So.....I am going to try my best to get back in the happy groove which is this blog.
Open House Sunday will resume tomorrow unless something awful happens and
Mod Mix Monday will start up where I left off on this Monday again unless something happens.

This blog is a very happy place for me. Even if things are not perfect in my own life...
I know I can come here and forget all and create my vision of how life should always be.

I'm going to get back to that.
At least give it the old college try.

Thank you to all....that wrote me.
I will be writing you. I would have already...just no time to do it this past week.

But I want you to all know how very much it meant to me.
I notice eye rolls when I mention my blog friends to my real life friends, but they have not experienced
this world. In the blog world you get to know people that have common interests and dreams and
in some ways you become even more connected.

Not to diminish how much my local friends helped.
I have two friends named Shannon and both talked to me all night the first night I brought his body home.
I had to be on the phone the whole time till morning.
Shannon M brought me food. She picked out things she thought I would like...salad and vegetables and fruit.
I nibbled on these things when I would have never gone and bought any food or eaten otherwise.
I got calls and cards from friends here.

My Mom held me up when if I had not had her....I would have just layed on the floor and cried.

But I would come to the blog when I was all alone in the house and it saved me.

Those of you that never comment and only read, who wrote to me to tell me how much you enjoy my
blog and how sad you were and so you were leaving a comment for the first time....touched me so.

The woman that wrote and said...she liked to read my weenie stories to her grand children. know that Newman was appreciated and loved....made me feel so much better and a little worse too.

I hope weenie stories continue. Newman was the ring leader. I hope things of interest happen again.
We'll just have to see.

Thank you from the depths of my soul for being there for me.

You with my Mom and friends here, have saved me.
But to know late at night...I could come in and read words of comfort...what a gift that is.

A gift I can never repay.

Thank you.


birdie blue said...

i'm so sorry you and the ones you love seem to be besieged by misfortune of late. your sister jamie is beautiful, and so lucky to have you as her advocate, as is your sweet cousin.

so sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved pet. i can only hope and pray that things begin to get better for you and yours.


Jennifer Zuri @ Aquascape Your Landscape said...

Nita, you're a beautiful woman with such a caring heart and soul. Your last two blog entries have made me cry, but in a good way. It's reassuring to know there are people like you in the world. Your friends, family, and weenies are so very fortunate to have you in their lives.

Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

Nita, God has put so many in your circle of influence for you to watch over, care for, and love. You are a special person! I read your entire post, and I know that you need some loving care, too. You have so much on your plate, and I know you are still grieving for Newman. I would like to do something nice for you. Would you mind emailing me your address?

Ricki Jill

JoAnn S. said...

Nita, I will say some prayers for your family, I guess all you can do is be there for them, which is what I see. It would be terrible for them without you around,esp. at the nursing home. give them hell lol. as for your puppy dog there is nothing to do but remember the good times. my hubby and I lost our Lab and we constantly remember him and look on our rides to see if we see a lab that looks like him. My hubby sits in the front sometimes and watches people walking their dogs,sometimes they let the dogs come up to him to pet. You will cope as I have seen you and hugs JoAnn

Debra @ Common Ground said...

Nita honey, you have such a dear and precious heart. I grieve with you for your loss, and for your cousin and sister that they are having to endure such hardship in their lives. Sometimes it's so hard to understand the "whys" of life. You and your family are in my prayers, much love, Debra

Terry said...

Nia - I have no words of comfort - only that I so understand your love for your dogs...they love us unconditionally and they will alwayshold a special place in our heart. As I read of all the sickness around you, the lump in my throat gets bigger and bigger. I am so sorry for all that you have been through. I've checked back several times to your blog to see how you're doing..and please know that your words are so touching and I hope that time will ease your pain..Newman looks like he was quite the take care and know that I care..alot! XO

FinsFan said...

Nita, we've been praying for you at our house EVERY day!! I love that Jack Lemmon quote you shared -it is so very true! We will definitely add Jamie and Shelly to our prayer lists too. I think night nurse Dorothy is a HERO and so glad to God that she is around your sister. There are angels on earth to help us keep watch on our loved ones. Your home will return to happy times with the 3 that remain and with yourself when the hearts heal. It takes time, and then one day you will wake up and your heart will not be as heavy, but you and Harvey, Violet, and Sally will have some of the sadness lifted, and Newman will be right with you as a little guardian angel! Much love and hearts~n~hugs always oxox

HollyM said...

Nita, we love you. Even if we don't 'know' you in the traditional sense of the word. Blog followers become followers because there is a connection, a feeling of belonging, a sense that the blogger is someone like us. Pretty pictures help, of course. But we don't stick around for the photos . . . we check in every day to see what's going on with our blogger because we like them.

You are going through absolute hell, emotionally, right now. And yet, you are being so very strong in the face of the enormous difficulties both Jamie and Shelly are experiencing. You're being a great friend and sister; may God bless you for all that you are doing to make their lives more comfortable and happy.

I'll be keeping all three of you in my prayers; I promise.

oldblackcatboo said...

Nita, I can see in your words that you are starting to be stronger. It will be a long road and unfortunately there will still be times when something will happen and the wound on your heart will be raw again. Take comfort in your little ones. I beg you to forgive Sally. She's just a sassy silly little dog and didn't mean harm to Newman. You know that she loved him. And Harvey, he reminds me of my Blue. I originally got Blue as a playmate for my Lulu and after I lost her I thought I would never love him in the same way...and it's not the same, it's different but it's a HUGE love, I love him with ALL my heart. I love that big lug SO MUCH now that it scares me.
Life can be so unfair at times. You have been dealt more than your fair share right now but I truly think that means great happiness is coming your way. Take care my friend, I have your sister and Shelly in my thoughts and prayers.
XOXO - Cindi

Korrie@RedHenHome said...

I am so sorry for the troubles and sorrows your family is enduring. I'm glad you feel you can write about it, and I hope it helps to share your feelings and make plans for moving on despite the challenges that beset you. Take care, and I'm sure you know many people at home and far away care about you.

Cozy Little House said...

You know I have realized what a comfort Blog Land friends were this past hard summer. And how they have lifted me up and celebrated with me when I found my little blue house that will be home in Tulsa. It's funny how things happen. Claudia of Mockingbird Hill Cottage and I became great phone friends, after coming together a few years ago worrying over another blogger. It brought us that gift, though we never found out what happened to the blogger. Now you will have friends like Amy that you might not have reached out to in such need before this. Life has silver linings. I know it's hard to see that. Please come visit me when I move to the little blue house late next month. I would love to have you!

blondie blu said...

Dear Nita, I have only just started reading your blog recently, but I am so very touched by your last 2 posts… the loss of your Precious Newman and in your most recent post the worry and heartache you are going through with your sister and cousin. My heart goes out to you sweetheart. I was in a place similar to yours in the past year. After a 6 month illness, I lost my darling Mom. She was my best friend, and it is now 1 and 1/2 years that she is gone. My life will never be the same. About a year after I lost my Mom, my sweet girl dog, Sabrina, passed away. She was 15 years old, and was my Best Dog Girl Ever. I had gotten her at a time in my life where I needed her desperately, and honestly, she saved my life. I was devastated to lose her. At the time that I lost her, I also was dealing with health problems and had to get surgery a few months after. There was so much going on that I truly thought I was going to lose it. But please Nita, keep your faith in love, and life and goodness. You will get through this and come out the other side. And you will be changed forever, but you will find happiness again. And the love you have for Newman will never go away and it will be a source of faith and strength for you. xoxox Helena

TeamMcDonough said...

Keeping you all in my prayers ♥

Crystal Rose Cottage said...

Nita...It is good to hear from you after these last sad couple of weeks. We have all grieved along with you. I am so glad that you are finding comfort in all of us in blogland and your family and friends. That's what life is all about....showing love and compassion to others. I feel so bad for your sister and cousin but like all of us have been there for are now doing the same thing for being there for them. Lessons of life can be so hard....sometimes we don't know just how we will get through times like this. But we do, and usually we are all the stronger for it! Take care of yourself friend! ~Hugs, Patti

Debby said...

Hi Nita. I am so glad that you have shared this with us, I will say prayers for your sister and cousin. I lost my dear cousin this year and she was like a sister to me. So sad. She died of H1N1.
I told you about my little Izzy. She still isn't doing well and she has been on the antibiotics a week. We started SamE another suggestion from our vet. I hope soon she will get better.
You show such love for
your "weinies" I am still sorry sorry for your loss. It is so hard. (((((HUGS))))) and prayers.

Katie said...

It is good to hear from you, Nita. I am so sorry for all the trouble you are experiencing right now. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

d. reyné said...

I have been in a fog lately and did not know that your life was crumbling~ I am so sorry!
I too lost a dog child last year and I must be honest...I have still not recovered. Theses precious ones are just as dear as our flesh and blood children but sometimes dare I say, more so because they are always there for you~ a heartbeat at your feet.
I am praying for you! You are going through alot and Prayer is the one thing I fall back on in every situation. I hope you know you have so many friends here who care for you! You are always so inspiring and encouraging. If there is anything that I can do to return the favor~ I really would love to do so!
I so hope you have a restful weekend!
Huge Hugs,

Misty Meadows said...

Dearest Nita:

You are an inspiration to me. I just found you the day you lost little Newman. Since than I keep checking to see if you were coming back. And you did. Thank-you. In your last two posts, I feel like I know you. You have bared your heart and soul to us. You are such a loving, caring and compassionate person. And strong! God only gives us want He thinks we can handle. I will say prayers for both your sister and your cousin. I too, have a childhood friend (37 yrs of friendship) who is going through chemo. Her cancer is terminal. They have given her 3-8 years.I was meant to find you. For your strength and inspiration. You inadvertently, will give me the 'tools' that I shall need to learn to cope with losing Shannon. Through you I will learn how to heal. Angels among us. We are strangers, but you will be my salvation.

I think Newman is adorable. I have read some of your posts about Newman. Makes me want to have weenie.

Please take care of yourself. Your family needs you. Your puppies need you.


Anonymous said...

Hi Nita, It's so good to see that you are blogging again. I'm the grandmother who read your stories to her grandchildren.
There is something I'd like you to consider that may help with your feelings toward Sally. I have read that dogs can sniff out cancer and other diseses in their owners and have actually saved their owners lives by doing so. Have you considered that Newman may have had something wrong that just didn't "smell right" to Sally....maybe he just didn't smell like Newman and it agitated her and made her anxious. Or that she may have been trying to get you to notice that there was something different or not right with him. How else could she let you know that he smelled "sick"? So she did all she knew to do.
Also, when I said earlier that you are a gifted writer, especially when writing about your weenies. I meant it. Newman doesn't have to die. You can keep him alive by writing about him!!
I lived trough the deaths of two husbands (cancer) while in my forties, and I know that in times of grief a lot of memories come flooding back during the night. Times when everything is quiet and sleep won't come. Those are the times when it would be good to get up and write down all those memories and someday share them with everybody, especially children, Everyone deserves to know Newman, don't they? He deserves that everybody know him. So do the other three. Please consider. It will help you, I promise. You are loved!!

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

You have so much on your plate no wonder you are feeling the burden. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. It is all you can do. It will get better I hope. Praying for you and your loved ones.

Anonymous said...

I'm a reader, very rarely comment. I want to send you my condolences, I am so very sorry for all that you are going through. Your sister and cousin are blessed by you, as are all your dogs (and Newman will always be one of your dogs) that is for sure. You will never forget each other.

Nancy said...

Hi Nita,

I am so glad to see this post. I sent you an email last night because you've been on my mind all week and I have been really worried about you.


Meadowsweet Cottage said...

Life does seem to have its tides and currents and I'm sorry you and your dear ones are caught in a riptide right now. I know you'll all find a quiet eddy in which to rest soon.

Thank you for the reminder that we shouldn't judge others based on their appearance. Your sister sounds like a dear soul and lucky to have you to go to bat for her. I love her threat to call her sister when things get tough--quite a compliment to you!

Even a million words couldn't convey my long-distance empathy so know here's a (((HUG))).

D.B. said...

Nita, I am so happy to see that you have found some comfort and are trying again with the blog. You have been on my mind so much and I was just sitting down to tell you so when I saw this post. I am praying for Shelly and Jaimie and Nita and Mom. It's so true that when it rains, it pours! Shelly and Jaimie are so blessed to have you in there lives. You are being unbelievably strong! Your blog friends are here and sending you love and strength.

Shirley said...

Dear Nita,
My prayers are for you, your beautiful sister Jamie, and your lovely cousin Shelly..along with your mom too! God gives us what he knows we can handle and I believe he is with us along the way..Keep the faith and know we are all here for your support..God Bless!

Denise said...

Hi Nita. I was just catching up on some visiting and read about what a terrible time you have had lately. I am SO SO sorry to hear about little Newman. You wrote about him often and I know he was a special baby. I lost a kitty who was special like he was and it was months before I stopped crying. My prayers to your sister and her struggle. I hope she is back on her feet again soon. You know Heather and I are both (fluffy) girls and can sympathize with what she has had to endure. People are so incredibly cruel. Prayers to your friend also. Try to stay happy and positive although I know how difficult that can be. I swear I've gotten to where I HATE New Years Eve because I always wonder what new tragedy or trauma the new year will bring. Certainly not a way to live! I am trying to be more positive of late but know that after you have dug that hole for yourself, it's pretty hard to climb back out of sometimes. Hang in there girl! Sending lots of prayers and hugs your way! Hope the weeks to come bring good things. Certainly the cooler weather moving in tomorrow will help. This summer has been horrible!

the gardener's cottage said...

nita, my friends roll their eyes when i mention my blog friends too. what's up with that? omg.

anyway, you have an awful lot on your plate and i hope you are taking some time for yourself. i can totally relate to all your problems except i have not lost a dog recently. but i took care of my mom while she was in a nursing home the last 2 yrs of her life and it was dreadful. every minute i wasn't there i worried about her. and of course my friend melinda is fighting ovarian cancer and it is heartbreaking to hear that shelly is in the hospital for this long weekend. my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family and friends. you are an amazing woman to be helping so many while you are hurting. hang in there. they say this too shall pass. i hope so.


Cynthia at Interior Design Hound said...

Hello Nita!

I'm soooooo glad you posted! I've been checking every day. You have been missed. Hang in there and we're all thinking of you, your family and all of your Doxies.


NanaDiana said...

Nita- You know I am new to your blog but your posts are so real and heartfelt. My heart aches for you-still mourning Newman and now having a "sister" that is battling cancer. How sad. I work in a big hospital and we just built a big cancer center. It is hard..hard for us in the industry to see people come in and KNOW that, short of a miracle, there is no FIX for them. I check them in for tests and procedures and then they might not be back next week...and sometimes I leave my smiling face out front and I just go in the back hall and stand against the wall and cry....

You need to keep crying...cry and cry and cry... because tears are healing. I am glad that you are getting over your anger at Sally...and that you have other pets that help to ease the pain a bit.

God bless you and I hope you have a good weekend...knowing that you are loved here and by others- xo Diana

Nina Patricia @ The Adventures of Nina Patricia said...

My heart goes out to you and I so wish I can help in anyway. here I was sitting in bed, worry because my father is not wll (he is 83), my Brother has terminal cancer and so many worries and I feel like I was all alone. To read your post makes me feel stronger and know that I'm not alone. I'll keep praying for your family.

Sharon said...

Nita I hadn't realized I'd been metaphorically holding my breath until I saw a post from you -- I've been holding you in my heart all week and was hoping you'd return to blogging. I'm sorry for the pain you and your loved ones have been experiencing.

Amy @MaisonDecor said...

Yes! I am thrilled to see you post, and so happy you have come to blogland to share what is going on. I am glad we spoke again, and laughed and talked about all the things we did, it was really so much fun just day will lead to the next, and some will be harder than others. But we will all be here for you.

Sharon (Roses and Rust) said...

You have been through such a terrible time! The dogs and people in your life are so lucky to have someone like you around to care for them! Just keep pouring your heart out in your blog - I can tell that it's very cathartic for you and we are all hear to listen. Best wishes. x Sharon

Stacey Mccune said...

Nita, I read your blog but have never commented but feel like I've known you forever. So sad to know that you are suffering through some very hard trials all at once. Never seems quite fair that it all rains down on us at once. I have always said that my furry children were the good kids that never asked to borrow the car, never stayed out all night, wouldn't show up pregnant, and if they did I could sell their children. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers and you pull from the strength in your soul that makes you the wonderful person you are. Stacey

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for everything you are going through right now. I am sending good thoughts your way. Remember that our pets feed off of our emotions and feelings. Your fur babies are not themselves lately because you are not your usual self. I know it's hard for you right now but try to be your old self around them for their sakes. And I do speak from experience, it's hard and may feel like fake happiness but it's worth it to see them being the happy little creatures they were meant to be. God gave them the job of making us happy and to give us laughter and they take their jobs seriously! You need to give them the go ahead to get back to doing what they do best. Yes, I'm a big Dog Whisperer fan, and I'm always amazed at the damage we do to our pets and we don't even realize it. Good luck and good thoughts your way.:)

1 Funky Woman said...

Prayers go out to your sister! Thank God you are there for her and making sure her needs are met. She is so fortunate to have you in her corner. And that night nurse despite getting into trouble did the right thing in running the tests. Your sister is lucky to have her there also.

Prayers for your sweet cousin and the road she is on. I'll pray for peace at this time for her and her family.

I found this on someone's blog and it made me think of you instantly. Not sure if you've read this but it is beautiful!

Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.

There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.

The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together.......

Author unknown

Be strong!


Penny@ "WDWS Design Trends" said...

Nita, I have thought of you everyday this week! I will continue to keep you in my prayers as you go through this most difficult time. Just know that your "blogging sisters" are with you:)

Allyson K Designs said...

Dear Nita, Thank you for reminding us all what is truly important in life. A good friend keeps reminding me that God will not give you more than you can handle. I am not even religious but he is. My reply is always that God has overestimated me!! You, however,seem to grow to any task. You are amazing at providing comfort to others while still grieving for dear Newman. You are one of those truly "pure of heart" people and I cherish your blog.

neora chana said...

Dear Nita,

I have been sick recently and just catching up with seems you have been handed way more than your share recently and I am sorry about that. I have one cat, the second of the two I will have; I have since been diagnosed as allergic to cats. Both were and have been the emotional mainstay of my life and Newman sounds as if he were yours; to lose him suddenly and at a comparatively young age is very sorrowful.

I hope your sister improves and learns to become more consistently assertive about her care. I hope you are blessed with many wonderful moment with your cousin. I wish for you no regrets in these relationships.

Alison @ The Polohouse said...

Hi Nita.

Wow. I don't even know what to say or where to begin.

I have not been blog visiting as much as I would have liked to with school starting and summer ending... etc. So I missed your last post.

You are going through such a tough time. I will say prayers for you and your sister and friend, and Newman too. I just think that God doesn't give us anything we can't handle. I think you are going through hell right now but you will get through it a stronger and better person.

My friend told me recently that it is times like these, when we are going through sooooo much, that God is actually "refining" us and making us better despite all the pain and suffering. I have to believe that.

I think it is so wonderful that you have shared all of this with all of us. Though it is personal and private, I am the kind of person that in times like these... I need to share the pain and seek out for consoling friends who can help us sort through the pain and bring us comfort.

You can get through this. Jamie and Shelley need you and with all of our prayers, it is going to be ok. God has a plan, for each of us. I will pray that He carries you all through these most difficult days ahead.

No need to write back to me, Nita.
I know you are swamped. Just know you are in my heart and prayers.

Huge hugs,

May your sweetie Newman rest in peace.

Jill Dodson said...

So relieved to have an update from you. I thought about you so many times last week. Hang in there, you have many pillars of support, and they will provide strength, compassion and courage to get you through such a terribly rough patch. Still thinking of you and praying.

~Jill Dodson

lisa said...

You have more to bear right now then anyone should have to. Keeping you and your cousin and sister in my prayers. Just wanted to let you know that you inspired me in a bathroom makeover (not nearly as fab as yours, but better than it would have been without your inspiration!). I want you to know that you brighten people's day with your blog and your delightful ideas. Have faith that in time you will again feel like decorating and celebrating again.
Big hugs,
Here is the bathroom link if you want to see it.

TiKiMOOSE said...

So glad to see a post from you...been thinking about you every day. It is hard to talk to real life friends about blog friends, they just don't get it.
Glad to see you won't let yourself get deep into that black hole, you're too good a person. I just watched "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" on tv and there was a humming bird in it to symbolize a heavenly spirit. I just wonder if it wasn't a coincidence that a humming bird visited you recently, maybe to test if you were ready for all that was about to must have passed. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts, stay strong.
Your friend,

Patty said...

Dearest Nita,
I was thrilled to see you post again......let your blog be a way to continue to pour out your soul....I am so sorry about your sister and all of it....yet, we all face trials.....I do not know what your feelings are about God, but He can sustain might try reading too.....stories of others who have survived losses....the Bible too....hugs to you! xoxo

LeAnn said...

My goodness Nita, no one should have to endure so much at one time as you are! I want you to know you are in my prayers. God loves you and He loves your sister and your cousin and he loved/loves Newman. As Patty said, He will sustain you in times of sorrow. I have been thinking about you so much these past few days. I was so happy to see that you posted today.

Big Hugs your way,


Annesphamily said...

Hi Nita! I came over from Suzanne at Colorado Lady. She is a dear person and I am going to get to meet her face to face in the next couple weeks! I am so happy I came over here. You have had a full plate of sadness lately! But you write so beautifully. I think I was just meant to meet you! Earlier today I was blogging and trying to get to a friend who won a giveaway I had! I accidentally got on another blog. The lady was getting ready to lose her dad. Pancreatic cancer. I guess God sent me over for whatever He thought I could say! Apparently He had you in mind for me too! I am grieved by the loss of Newman for you. My middle daughter lost her dog Tinkerbell last May 2010. I do not believe I saw such pain ever in my life and I have lost both of my parents and many loved ones. She was attached at the hip with that silly little dog. She made all of our lives wonderful for nearly 14 years. I started blogging as a result of that Tinkerbell. She was diagnosed with liver disease November 2009. Ah pets! They bring such joy and they are as difficult to lose as a human loved one. I wish you much peace and happiness. Memories are always comforting. Never let them go. As for your sis and cousin, My heart aches for them both and I pray. I always pray. I will share a quote I love with you "Be kind to everyone you meet, you never know what kind of battle they are fighting." I was raised with that. Never allowed to laugh or make fun of anyone. Please hug your sister for me and tell you cousin I am praying. Hug her too from me all the way in Colorful Colorado. Hugs Anne

Susiedrkins1 said...

Lord, I pray in the name of Jesus for beautiful Nita, who brings so much joy to the world through her writing and sharing and caring and friendship. I pray that you will comfort her in her time of sorrow, that you will send your Holy Spirit to remove any feelings of guilt that linger over the loss of sweet Norman, whom she gave a wonderful life and for whom she would have done anything to keep safe and healthy. Please reassure her heart that Norman is in a joyful place where there are no dangers and no pain, and that she will see him again some day. Please continue to surround her with support, both in person and online, and wrap her in your love and assurance that no matter the depths of the losses she suffers, she will always, always have You. The loss of Norman would have been painful no matter when he left her, but the suddenness and way that he went, without warning, and with the additional burden of making her second guess herself, was a cruel and unthinkable tragedy. We know that Norman was not merely a pet, but a precious family member and a source of unconditional love, so please communicate to her that her loss is being felt by her friends and followers around the country, and that so many thoughts are with her.

I also pray for healing for Jamie, that you will touch her body and cleanse her of this infection, strengthen her immune system, and surround her with caring professionals that will keep her safe. Convict those that are not doing their jobs and let their actions and inactions lay heavy on their hearts until they ammend their ways and take responsibility for the people in their care. Please give Nita and her family the strength to travel and weather the worry of this situation, and just hold Jamie in your hands at all times, lord. I lift her up to you in Jesus' name and claim healing on her behalf.

I also pray for Shelly, God, that you will strengthen her body and soul. I pray for healing of this cancer, for a return of strength to fight this evil disease, and that if it is her time to return to you, that you will give her quality of life for whatever moments on earth remain to her. Allow her to eat, lord, without feeling sick, and give her the energy to enjoy the people and world around her. Make sharp her senses and comfort her loved ones, lord, as they remain strong for her during this frightening and difficut time. Help them carry the burden of their sorrows and send your spirit to reassure them of your love when it seems you may not care. Let them feel the nearness of you when you seem far away and just lay your hands on all of them, father, giving them restful sleep and peaceful dreams.

Stay close to Nita, lord, as she navigates the loss and worry and uncertaintly around her. Make haste to help her, oh lord, and pull her closer to you. I don't know if she believes, lord, but I believe enough for both us, and I ask that you protect her from any negative energy and protect her from the depression that is threatening to overtake her. Lead her to the right counselor, lord, and put her on a path away from the darkness. Please also remove any negative feelings she may be struggling with towards Sally, who was just being a dog, and was not responsible for the length of life sweet Norman was given. And above all, please remind her that while no one who lives escapes the tragedies and sufferings of life, but those that have You have the comfort and strength of every corner of heaven to help carry them through.

Thank you, lord, for all of the blessings you have in store for Nita, and thank you for the light she brings into this world through her sweet spirit. In Jesus' precious name I pray, amen.

Donna Hollingsworth said...

So sorry to hear of all the bad stuff going on in your life. When it rains it truly pours! I will keep you and your family and friends in my prayers. I know what it is like to lose a pet that is a family member. Just keep the good memories in your heart and keep looking upward and things will get better!

Anonymous said...

I'm so relieved that you are back. I don't even know you but I've worried about you since reading about your beloved Newman. I personally know how those weenies wiggle their way into your heart. Because of your story you have helped our little weenie. She seemed to have an ear infection on and off for a while now. But we kept putting off a visit to the vet. After reading about Newman I made an appointment to take her in. Sure enough she has an infection. Nothing life threatening in comparison but I feel better knowing she won't feel bad for long. So thank you for the reminder to slow down and give them the lovin' they so deserve. I'll keep good thoughts for you and your loved ones who are facing such challenges.

Cindy said...

I'm so glad to read that you have found comfort from your blogging friends. This is a wonderful world where hearts and minds meet. You have such a sensitive soul, dear lady, I wish I was there to give you a real live hug, but because I can't I want you to know that I have prayed for you and know that you are surrounded by love, even if we are people that you have never laid eyes on, but our hearts have met.
Great big hugs, Cindy

parisapartment said...

Hi Nita,
I'm so sorry you've been going through such hard times. But you have given us all so much hope with your strength and kind heart. I love the quote that you posted at the beginning, it's so true and I'll carry it with me always.
I had my Daisy for 17 years and still expect to see her bounding the corner sometimes. Yesterday I heard "our song" and burst out crying but it's not for sadness it's for love and the happy days we had together. Big kiss to you. xoc

Theresa said...

Dear Nita...I am sorry for all that you're going through, with your sweet dog, cousin and sister. sometimes life just does not make sense does it? I pray that during this time you find peace and rest in Him who really loves you and cares so deeply about what you are going through. Cling to Him who is able, I am praying for you.

Lynda said...

My prayers are with you and those around you. Your strength is inspiring. Peace

Mary Ann said...

No wonder losing Newman has been so difficult for you, what with all the sadness in your life right now. I pray for your strength and peace.

Trisha Brink Design said...

Oh Miss Nita, You have had alot of sadness in your life as of late. I have read this post and realized I've been so busy with all my crazy life has dealt me, and thought "How could I have missed this?" I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. I am praying for you today...and in days to come. I want you to remember that you need to be good to yourself (eating right, getting enough sleep, etc.) so that you will have the strength to be the joy in life that your sister and friend need. As Newman brought joy to can be that joy to them. He was a good teacher-now you can use the knowledge of joy to help them. What a gift he was...and what a gift you are. Please know how sorry I am for your loss...but choose joy my friend. You are needed for a bigger task, and if Newman had his choice to bring joy or mope....I'm guessing it'd be joy. I wish you the very best...I hope you will come up out of this with a smile of remembrance on your face...which will in turn bring Newmans Joy to your sister & friend. Hang in there my friend. We are ALL behind you. :) Hugs, Trish

Modern Country Lady said...

Dearest Nita,
So glad you have so much love around you.Whilst writing I have tears in my eyes and my two doggies are making me smile at the same time as they jump up and down trying to cuddle me ...I am so glad all these lovely and supportive mesages of al these lovely bloggers are helping you through your hard times.Consider yourself hugged by all of us , cats , dogs and people here !!!

Funky Junk Interiors said...

Nita, I'm so glad you updated. I've been thinking about you an awful lot lately.

Please don't feel a need to respond to everyone though. We can receive your heartfelt updates right here. Be kind to yourself and take it a day at a time. It's good to see you back!


Dawn said...

Nita dear, Thank you so much for checking in. I have been really worried about you, and have kept you close to my heart for days. I can't believe the tests the Lord is putting you through right now, just know that you are strong enough to handle it, and able to help others through it, or he wouldnt burden you with so much. Take care love, we are all here for you :)

amandakatarina said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I grew up with a little red dachshund, Mr. Mulligan, when he passed at 20 it was unbelievably difficult. They make the world so much more special and can be the most constant fixture in one's life. Try to take comfort in knowing that you were a wonderful doggie Mom, and that he had a wonderful life! I love wiener dogs and always look forward to reading your stories! All the best!

very merry vintage style said...

Oh Nita, I haven't stop by in a bit and I am so sorry for all your trials of late. I know how it is to lose a pup; I lost my Shadow after 15 years just a few years ago. I remember a co-worker pointed me toward the book, "Dog Heaven," in hopes it would bring me comfort. The poem (which is the book) also appears on this site

I hope your sister heals quickly and your cousin finds strength to continue the battle. Know that you are in my prayers and thoughts.

24 Corners said...

Oh Nita, this post was so open, heartfelt, touching, and full of the severe truth of what grieving and healing are all about. You are going through so much right now, thank you for being so open and sharing all...your caring heart will be, and is a blessing and a strength to many, especially those closest to you, but also for those who know you through MVL.
Prayers for your whole family, weenies included of course (especially Harvey), and many hugs.
May you continue to find comfort anywhere and everywhere you can, and be gifted with the peace that transends all understanding.
Much love,
xo J~

btw- I had had the same thoughts about Sally possibly knowing that there was something wrong with dear Newman...I don't get it, but I've heard of this happening before. Also, an ill animal might be the one who turns on others, owners included. Unusual behaviour is usually a sign of something would be so much easier if they could talk. ♥

Erin said...

I'll keep you, your sister and cousin in my prayers. Please stay strong.


Elizabeth said...

Dearest Nita...

I regularly visit your blog when I am able to. I love it! I had not checked in for a few days and was saddened to hear of Newman's passing. My heart goes out to you and I'll hold you close.

I truly identify with your loss as I have always had furry children in my life and have had to say farewell to a number over the years. We had two miniature dachshunds (Tintig and Chester) who moved on to their "next life". I will always miss them.

At times like these, I always think that it was better that they left us instead of us leaving them. As much as our hearts ache, they could never understand our absence.

Just remember that Newman had a wonderful life with you and you are in my thoughts...Elizabeth

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