Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Dirty Dozen

Grief changes shape, but it never ends.
~Keanu Reeves

I'm never quite sure how I'll respond during this time of year. Will the tears or anxiety crop up in March? In April? Or will they sit in silence and perhaps stay dormant when the Preakness, the day following, and May 19 all converge on the calendar?

This year, the memories started to creep into my everyday thoughts in March. It's the month we met in 1994, and also the month in 2002 where I fully realized that the sickness of addiction clearly had Joey in its grip. I knew he was dying, but this knowing was more like words floating above my head in a quotation bubble. I said it often. I cried a lot. I searched, I felt hopeless.

Those memories continued to knock at the door of my heart in April. Even May 1, my 49th birthday. But they didn't really break through until last week. One week before the anniversary. Such a strange word to recognize the loss. Anniversary.

There's no way to explain the power of grief. It surfaces at unexpected times and often through unremarkable events. There have been years when it takes a little time for me to diagnose the emotion as the residual and recurrent process of grieving. Someone once explained, "it is now programmed into you at the cellular level--you won't even need a calendar, your body will remember." I suppose this is why I can't pinpoint when something will surface. 

If you want more of the backstory about Joey, I've written about it here.

Twelve years has allowed me to pull forward all of the good memories. I don't spend time thinking about Joey's pain. I'd rather think about his true essence and the lasting impact he's had within my heart.

There's no pithy ending to today's post. It's simply a way for me to continue to honor Joey's life. 

Joey, on Wireless, in 1999. Maryland Tuna Tournament, in the fighting chair.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Progress in a month...slow, but showing

Hey, this is Valentina...

Coming' at you on a Sunday. Mother's Day Sunday to be exact.

This has been an interesting month.

As you know, we are in the process of a re-decorating project and NOTHING is going as quickly as I would like.

The kitchen was painted and I must say, it does look nice. I hear there is one more wall before everything is complete; it's below the breakfast bar and it will be a charcoal grey.  The black and white stripes have been successfully converted back to all white baseboards.

The couch was moved and some other furniture arranged along with it and that has taken some getting used to, for us kitties. All in all, we approve.

Red Chair Status: It's still here. Z-Girl says that until the replacements come, she wants to keep this for us, since we like to climb and perch on it, and it also is the only barrier now between the living area and the bedroom space.

Integration Status: We still have some hissing and chasing that goes on between Coco/Manhattan/Me and Bessie/Lulu, but Z-Girl says that she is happy with how much progress Bessie and Lulu are making. I'm not so sure I agree with the "happy" status, but alas. I suppose I can't keep them sequestered by the bed forever. Lulu came to sit on Z-Girl's desk the other day, and you would have thought Robert Downey Jr. walked into the apartment, what with all the squeeing...

Catification Status: Two weeks ago, Z-Girl went on a shopping expedition with Ms. Andrea. They saw lots of great things, but not so many options for catification. Since then, Ms. Andrea has found some reclaimed wood and they are both looking into options found on some of our favorite blogs, like Zee and Zoey and Glogirly and Hauspanther. There's more to come but honestly, it's not happening fast enough for me.

Since we last blogged, I turned 5. That's right, I had a birthday and so now we are coming up on my 5th Gotcha Day, which is somewhere near Memorial Day.

I was adorable. I know. This is me, pre Z-Girl...2009

Z-Girl also had a birthday. And a party, so we had to endure lots of people in our apartment and of course everyone wanted to see me so I would come out and then run and hide, but then come back out. It was great fun to watch people look for us.

I think Z-Girl wants to share some thoughts with you, so the next post may be straight up from her.

I'll be back when I can. Maybe I'll have some catification progress to share by then.

Valentina, Over and Out.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms and human guardians of animals.