A Most Memorable Christmas

That’s what my dad said when I broached the little plan for my sister and him to come up here for the day, and to spend the night.  “oh, I think that will make it a most memorable Christmas.”  And that made me so happy. Because months ago I had talked to my sister and said, we have to try to make Christmas special for Dad this year (because his wife died in June.)

And it was a MOST memorable Christmas.  Pretty much everything went exactly according to the plan I put in my last post.  Including getting in a walk with my dogs, which was a little funny, because my dad and sister were at my house when I got home.  Which is weird, because pretty much I walk along the only road that goes to my house.  But I had taken one little detour, and that is when they went by.  That worked out fine, because it was easier for them to get in the house without the doggies carrying on.

We had hors d’oeuvres–shrimp cocktail, my apple/laughing cow cheese/walnut concoction (I cut the apples in slices,) dates stuffed with walnuts, and tiny pieces of salami on a toothpick.  Simple, but satisfying and pretty nutritious.

Dinner was excellent, if I do say so myself.  One of the recipes I made was an old traditional one that I like to have with ham–buffet potatoes.  But I substituted some yogurt mixed with a little milk for the half and half, and I substituted a smaller amount of asiago cheese for the cheddar cheese that was called for.  They turned out EXCELLENT!  Maybe I will post the recipe on the side bar.  They aren’t really diet fodder, and not something that will be a part of my everyday eating.  Still, its fun to try to ‘healthy up’ some of my old favorite recipes.

After dinner, we relaxed and then had dessert a little while later, and dad leaned back and pronounced, ‘well, this was just the perfect Christmas.  It is so peaceful up here.’

I think it was 10 minutes after that that Oliver (‘the practically perfect black standard poodle’) jumped off the couch acting like he had to throw up.  He had made a ‘retching’ face a couple of times before that.  I let him outside, and then went to check on him 10 minutes after that, because he hadn’t come to the door.

Well, I don’t want to give you the blow by blow of what happened after that.  But as soon as I saw him, I pretty much knew in my heart that he was going to die.  He had bloat/torsion.  I made so many phone calls trying to find someone local (not that that would have helped) but ended up getting my dad into bed, and my sister and I racing all the way into Sacramento to an emergency 24 hour veterinary hospital.  I was really glad my sister was with me.  She is a very kind, compassionate person, and for some reason I didn’t cry as much.  (That came later.  I guess I am a private cryer…)

The next day we went to a few shops in the little town of Sutter Creek, and went out to lunch before they headed home.  I had brought my gym bag, planning to hit the gym, and get back on track.  As soon as they left, I realized I didn’t want to go to the gym. I didn’t want to see anybody.  I was crabby and tired and sad.  I thought, I’ll just go home and take the dogs for a walk.  That’ll be enough exercise for the day.  And THAT is when it hit me.  I did the hard cry–the one where you really shouldn’t be driving because really, you can hardly see the car in front of you.

Part of me still can’t believe it.  He was only 4 years old.  I have had many many dogs in my life, and he was one of the most perfect dogs I have had.  Sometimes I would start to be afraid–what will I ever do if something happens to him?  Well, now I know.  Life goes on.  It is best not to hold too tightly to any ‘treasure’ here on earth.  I have tried to live by this.  And I think it does make it easier for me to carry on.

Anyways, yesterday I thought, I can’t share this on my blog.  For one thing, it is a downer after Christmas.  And for another thing, these people are going to think I am the ‘angel of death.’  Come on.  How many people do you know who have lost three dogs in one year?  But you guys are an important part of my life.  And this blog is kind of a chronicle of my life, so it didn’t seem right to leave this out.  Thanks for allowing me to share.

'and then there was one'

Back to the ‘weight loss’ part of this blog.  I have some big time damage control to take care of.  I really did fall off the wagon.  I guess for me, walking into the breakroom full of the sugar/fat/salt combos (i.e. cookies) would be like a former crack addict walking into a ‘crack den.’  Or, a former alcoholic walking into a bar during ‘happy hour’ where all the drinks are free.  I think there are some alcoholics who can do this without a problem, and maybe some crack addicts who also could get by.  And I know there are foodies who can withstand the ‘breakroom.’  But for me, and others like me, eating that stuff is why we got to where we were (morbidly obese–love that term) in the first place.

I did get home after the big cry.  And I put the two pieces of pie that were left into the freezer.  No more ‘big sugar’ stuff in the house.  And even though it was REALLY cold (yes, you New Yorker’s can laugh at me.  It was probably 38 degrees–) I made myself take Sophie out for a long walk.  It was Sophie speed.  But at least it was a walk.  I ate some really healthy food.  Then I fell asleep looking at dogs on petfinder.com.

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15 thoughts on “A Most Memorable Christmas

  1. Oh, Debby! (((hug))) I’m so sorry that Oliver died…and at Christmas, too. (like there’s ever a good time, but you know what I mean) You and little Sophie are in my thoughts and prayers. Oliver’s life was brief, but he had the best life with you and your “pack.”

  2. Debby I’m so sorry to hear that Oliver died. I can imagine how sad you must be.

    Our dog is 16,5 years old, we’ve almost lost her in October and that already made us so sad but she’s still with us. But I know her time left with us is limited.

    I’m glad that before this happened you had a wonderful Christmas with your Dad and sister.

  3. Oh Debby, I’m so sorry to hear this sad news. Oliver was a delight to watch in your videos. I pray that you are comforted by happy memories of his time with you. He was a blessed dog to have you as an owner.

  4. I am glad that you allowed yourself to cry after we left. I really had to hold it in when we were w/ Oliver and the vet, but I wanted to cry and cry and cry. It is a big loss. Something a little bit funny–when we left, I told Dad, “Boy, she sure got crabby all of a sudden. I think she just wants to be by herself.” And he said, “Yeah, I think she gets that from her dad.” And I think we both do, get that from our dad, I mean. I am glad that you had Oliver for as long as you did. He was one of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever known. And the pictures you took of him with me Christmas night…well, I feel very fortunate to have them. And if our hearts didn’t break a little bit every time we lose someone special, we’d never know how God felt when He gave us His Son. You are loved.

  5. awww Debby – I’m sorry about your loss. And I know exactly what you mean about sometimes needing a solo cry.

    In spite of it all, it sounds like you made lovely memories for your father – how special is that? I think there is nothing better….than to make special memories for others.

    Thanks too for your support of me and my Christmas. I’m truly ok about it all – I just have to keep reminding myself to stay in the Zen Zone. 🙂

    oh – and LOVE the quilt in the picture!

  6. Quotes from Hanlie:
    To give yourself permission to cry is to bless your body with the benediction of healing. ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

    We all need the waters of the Mercy River. Though they don’t run deep, there’s usually enough, just enough, for the extravagance of our lives. ~ Jonis Agee

    That is AWFUL! And I can’t believe that it was three dogs in the same year. Please do cry buckets and let yourself feel it so that you can deal and move forward – burying the pain/feelings is part of why all of us have been fat (I think).

    I am very glad that your dad and sister did come and that part of it was nice. And how ironic is it that the FIRST time you have people with you at your house for the holidays – is when you really needed them. Pause for thought.

    And I am very glad that you wrote it all out for us – sharing is important – both directions.

  7. I’m so sorry you lost Oliver! We’ve had many wonderful pets die over the years. Why oh why can’t they live as long as we do. We know when we take them into our hearts that we’ll have to let them go one day. But our lives are richer for letting them in. Time heals Debby this i know. I thought my heart was broken permanently when our last dog left us. He died on my daughter bday a week before xmas several years ago after a valiant fight. My daughter had graduated high school and left the nest and i had found a new ‘baby’ to give all my mothering too. He was an abused, neglected AKC golden retriever which little known to me had contracted a deadly tick disease in his abused state that left him finally drowning in his own blood. I only had a short while to spoil him and love him (about a year) and teach him not be afraid of his own shadow. I will be forever blessed to have had him in my life. My thoughts are with you.

  8. Oh my gosh. I just don’t know what to say! I had pretty much decided that I was going to steal Oliver and make him come live with me! My heart is breaking for you and Sophie right now. I’m so so sorry. Really I am.

    I’m also sorry that it took me this long to check on you. You have been on my mind SO MUCH all weekend long and now I know why. Usually when my friends are on my mind more than usual, I catch on pretty quick and KNOW to check in on them…this time I…I don’t know why I didn’t email you yesterday when I thought about it. I should have. I’m sorry.

    The best dog we ever had was a black Lab named Luke. He died the same way as Oliver. It’s just tragic. I will pray for you and Sophie. I’m so glad that you have her to comfort you. Please email me if you need anything (not that I can do much from here, but you know what I mean).

  9. I am so very sorry for your loss. It’s such a difficult thing to go through. We just lost our 3 year old black lab to lymphoma at the end of August and it was devastating. He got sick while we were at Disney and passed within 2 hours of us getting off the plane. Not sure I will ever have fun at Disney again.

    It’s ok to cry. I thought it would be much harder on my husband but actually, I cried harder and longer.

    Give yourself time to grieve.

    Again, I’m so sorry!

  10. Pingback: Putting My Dog To Sleep « all things juice

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