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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Because it sounded like fun

Picture found here.

Clearly, I've been neglecting my blog for a LONG time.  I've probably lost most of my readers.  There was a time when I had constant blog posts going in my head that just needed to be typed out.  I've been in a writing slump, so that just hasn't happened.

I've also been busy.  I have a dear friend who I met through the blogging world who is now a real-life friend.  She started an amazing website, and I've been helping edit the posts on it.  It's incredibly rewarding, and it's an amazing place to go learn and heal through a TON of life's challenges.  Go check it out!  Band Back Together

So, two days ago, I discovered that a new real-life friend has a terribly funny blog, and I've been reading it obsessively every spare minute I have.  As I think I've mentioned before, I can't just start reading a blog from when I discover it.  I have to go to the beginning and read the whole thing.  So I've been doing it with this blog as well.  I just came across a post that sounded like a fun idea.  I've posted part of the story on here before, but I like some of the added details from this idea.

This one is for you, Glamazon!

How did you and your true love meet?
Surfer Pirate and I met on Myspace.  This was back in 2008 when it was okay to say that.  I had been meeting guys through a church related dating site, but wasn't finding The One.  (I actually thought I knew the guy I was supposed to marry, but neither of us was ready for that yet.)  Since everyone I was meeting on the other site lived a long ways away from me, and the one guy in town I was dating was always really busy, I wanted to expand my horizons.  I didn't want to sit home on the weekends, so I started looking elsewhere for some Right Now guys.  When Surfer Pirate sent me a friend request, I was definitely leery.  His profile page was very dark, covered in skulls and scary stuff with a thrash metal playlist.  Not exactly my type.  Plus, I had been burned previously by a random friend request.  So I told this unusual guy that he would need to talk me into it.  He could have decided I wasn't worth the time, but he didn't.  We started sending messages back and forth, and before I knew it, I was laughing myself silly!  Friend Request Accepted!  He was much too funny to not have in my life.  We had our first date a few weeks later, and the rest is history!

What is your favorite physical feature about your beloved? 
Surfer Pirate has beautiful eyes.  I can get lost in them.  He also has a really nice rear end.  It's kind of a toss-up between the two.

What is your favorite personality feature about your lover?
Same thing that won me over in the first place - his sense of humor.  We've had a pretty challenging life together, and his humor is one of the main things that's gotten us through it all.  He's hysterical.  Trust me.

When did you have your first kiss?
Our first kiss.  Now THAT is a fun story.  A little over a month before Surfer Pirate and I had our first date, I had gone out with another guy I had met on Myspace.  He wasn't exactly honest with me about what was going on in his life, and when I found out the truth, I had sent him a text asking why he hadn't just been honest.  He ignored the question, and I moved on with my life.  Not really a big deal.  But then, a month later, without warning, he texted me back - right as Surfer Pirate had arrived at my house.  I apologized to Surfer Pirate, explaining that I had some "unfinished business" to deal with.  He sat down at my kitchen table while I texted back and forth for a few minutes with this other guy.  The last text I got from the guy said "You just need to get over it and move on."  Annoyed that he hadn't figured out that I had from the fact that he hadn't heard from me in a month, I texted back "I already did."  Surfer Pirate and I had talked on the phone previously about kissing.  He'd told me he was a really good kisser.  So, when I put my phone down on the counter after that last text, Surfer Pirate's kissing abilities were all I could think about.  I took a deep breath, turned to face him, said "Okay, I need to know."  Before he knew what had hit him, I crossed the room to where he was sitting, bent down, and kissed him!  He was completely startled by it, but he proved that he was telling me the truth earlier.  He's an excellent kisser!

What do they do that gets on your last nerve?
Being a housewife, I do at least 90% of the cooking.  I am very possessive of my kitchen.  But sometimes, Surfer Pirate likes to experiment in the kitchen.  Sometimes, it's wonderful, sometimes it is much more his tastes than mine.  But he ALWAYS leaves me a big mess to clean up.  Pans and dishes and seasonings and cooking tools EVERYWHERE.  The stove will be covered in spilled food from his over-zealous stirring.  He knows it drives me crazy, and I know that I'll probably never see him clean it up.

When did you know they were 'the one'?
For him, it was really simple.  He knew as soon as I walked down my front stairs and across my front lawn to meet him that I was The One.  I took much longer to convince.  Like I said before, I thought I knew who I was supposed to marry.  I was just waiting for both of us to feel like the time was right.  Surfer Pirate and I were very different from each other.  While I knew he was an amazing person, he just wasn't what I was looking for.  As time passed, I fell in love with him.  I didn't want to acknowledge it to myself because I still didn't think it was a forever thing.  But then something significant happened.  My sister, who had passed away when he and I had only been together for a couple months, started appearing to him in spirit.  She seemed to be watching out for him.  It hit me, "Why would my sister be worried about some random guy in my life?  There has to be more than just a short-term relationship here."  So I allowed myself to feel how much I loved him.  He had talked about wanting to marry me, but I told him I couldn't say yes until I'd prayed about it.  He was patient while I waited for the Lord to answer me.  The answer was yes, of course.  I was just the last one to figure that out.   :)

What sets them apart from other guys/girls you had dated in the past?
He's honest.  Not to say every guy I dated was a complete liar, but the vast majority of them were.  (One of my very best friends is actually an ex-boyfriend, and I always know I can trust him.)  But there is a level of honesty that Surfer Pirate and I have that I've never had with anyone.  We trust each other completely and know that we can always rely on each other's loyalty.

So there you go.  There's more of our love story.  I don't know what I would do without my sweet, funny, handsome man!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Missing My Girl

Her pirate name was Miss Dampier.

Not her real name.  Obviously, my son's real name isn't Pirate Baby.

She was a great dog.

Overly protective of her family, seriously neurotic, easily depressed, and spoiled to death by her family who loved her fiercely.

She was only 5 years old when we had to make one of the hardest decisions ever.

We'd already had a really crummy holiday season.  Surfer Pirate had had some scary medical issues and was in the hospital just before Christmas.  We had spent almost every moment of the day at the hospital with him, even sleeping there.

It happened the day before Surfer Pirate got to go home.

We were home, getting some snacks and things to keep the kids entertained at the hospital.  I had let the dogs out.  They'd been so good about all the time they were having to spend in the house without their family.  I was really busy getting things together and had lost track of time.  I wasn't fully sure how long they had been out, but they were always good about barking at the door when they were ready to come in.

I went out to start the truck so it could warm up for a few minutes before we left.  What I saw will haunt me for a long, long time.

Major Stede was on the porch.  Miss Dampier was on the ground in front of the porch, rolling oddly on her back, with blood in the snow by her.

She couldn't use her back legs.

The next hour or so are kind of a blur now.  I remember half dragging her 65 pound body into the house and laying her on the floor in the living room.  We wrapped her in a blanket.  I didn't know what to do because the nearest vet was an hour away and it was after hours.  I called a family friend in Montana who is a vet.  His opinion was that I should get her in right away.

I called the vet nearest to us, and he said he would be waiting for us there.

Instead of going to the hospital to be with my husband, I found myself driving on icy winter roads in dangerously cold winds to take my dog to a different kind of hospital.  The drive was traumatic as I worried about her and tried to keep her from thrashing around.  She fell off the seat of the truck once, and I'd had to stop to readjust her.  It was terrifying and heartbreaking all at the same time.

The vet was wonderful.  With his thick white beard, I'm convinced he's the real Santa Claus.  We had the kids wait in the front of the office while he crawled around on the floor assessing what was wrong with my sweet girl's legs.

"She's been shot," he finally said.

He shaved the fur from her left thigh and showed me the entry wound.  You could clearly see the angle of the hole, leading directly to her spine.  Her spinal cord was severed.

I alternated between speaking softly to my dog and nodding as he told me our options.

Many dogs live with spinal cord injuries.  She could be fitted with a wheelchair.  We would need to decide if we could handle the commitment of taking care of a dog who couldn't even handle her own bodily functions.  At the time, I was willing to do anything for her.  She'd been such a good girl, and she was my husband's best friend.

The other option was of course, having her put to sleep.  The more I thought about it, and after discussing it with Surfer Pirate the next day, that really was our only option.  While there was no question whether or not we loved her enough to take care of that kind of major commitment, we knew we couldn't do that to her.

You see, she was an athlete.  Watching her run was a thing of beauty.  It was like watching a champion horse racer, all muscle and grace.  And she loved to swim.  She was one of those dogs who if she was near water, she would automatically start paddling with her feet - even if she wasn't touching the water.  Surfer Pirate would hold her up out of the water and her feet would still be going.

We couldn't take running and swimming away from her.

Surfer Pirate couldn't handle going with me to sign the official papers.  It would break his heart to have to give her up, and I knew seeing her struggling to stand on her then-useless legs would devastate him.  I took Major Stede with me as I drove back there on that cold and dreary day.

She was calm when I entered the room.  I hurried to her because she tried to get up and come to me when she saw I was there.  I sat on the floor next to her, talking softly to her, stroking her face and letting her kiss me as much as she wanted.  I told her what a good girl she was.  I told her how sorry I was that she couldn't walk, but that she was going to sleep soon and when she woke up, she would be in heaven.  I told her that she would be able to run and swim whenever she wanted.  She wouldn't be sad or scared anymore.  I told her we would be there to join her before she knew it.

When my heart couldn't take it anymore, I got up to leave.  I told her I loved her and I left the room.  Santa Claus was out at a farm checking on some cows, but the other vet asked me if I wanted to be there when they did the procedure.  I couldn't take it.  I had to leave.  She had tried to follow me out of the room and I could still hear her crying for me.  I signed the papers and left before I could break down into tears.

I cried into Major Stede's neck when I got back in the truck, until I could pull myself together enough to drive home.  I'm glad I brought him with me.

That was about a month ago.  We still have no idea who shot our dog and left her to die - or why they did it.  I had walked the trail she had left in the snow that horrible night.  I'll spare you the drama left in those tracks., but I stood out there in the middle of the road where she had first fallen and screamed obscenities into the wind.  I told the person who did it that they are going to find themselves in a special place in hell for what they did to our sweet, loving girl.

We've had so much going on that I've been too busy to really mourn her.  Until today.  I've thought about her a lot and shed many tears.  Things are just so different without her.