Monday, September 20, 2010

Thanks for Telling Me!

Well, as most of you know who have followed my blog since I started to bemoan my single existence, I love to use this Blogger to sort out my feelings and dump my thoughts.  Watch out, I'm emptying the dump truck on this post..

I was fortunate that when I divorced 11 years ago, it was fairly amiable.  We just couldn't live with each other for a variety of reasons.  Two wrongs that definitely did not make a right as husband and wife.  We gave it an 18 year run and then shut the show down.   However, after the divorce we remained friends.  We occasionally talked on the telephone.  He took me out to dinner when we needed to catch up on family matters.  We shared holidays together on Thanksgiving and Christmas up until my son married.

Everything was great until a few years ago when my ex-husband took a trip to China.  He fell for his tour guide, 40 years younger than him.  She came to the US for a visit, and they flew off to Las Vegas and married.  During that process, he slowly weaned himself from contacting me.  Once he married, the valve shut off and the well dried up.  I wasn't so upset that he married, as I was upset I lost a friend.  He was someone I could rely upon.  At least, we still lived in the same town and in the back of my mind when my son left and moved away, I knew my ex would be there in case of emergencies...or so I thought.

About two months ago he telephoned me about some inconsequential piece of mail.  We talked candidly for quite some time, and I told him how I was feeling about being alone and not knowing what to do with myself or my future.  He told me "he'd be there" if I needed him.

Well, this Saturday I had a conversation with my son now living in Pennsylvania.  "How's your dad?"  "Dad?" he said a bit confused.  "Dad moved to Idaho."  I yelled IDAHO!!!! Stunned, I guess, is the only word I have to describe what I felt.  Abandoned is the other.

Yes, I know he's married to another woman and owes me nothing.  I guess it's just taken me 10 years to cut the cord with him completely.  Apparently, he decided to take the scissors and cut it without telling me.  I think I would have taken it better had he told me he was moving, but he didn't.  Especially after my hearfelt discussion with him recently.

In any event, he's gone.  I suppose I should be thankful that I didn't go through some hateful divorce that left everyone bleeding in its wake.  Maybe a clean cut would have been better, rather than a slow death.  All I know is part of my security system just left in a U-Haul.

Oh, well, that's what happens when you are JUST ONE SINGLE.  I guess I'm staying true to the name of this blog.

Okay, dump truck is empty.  I'm moving on.

Vicki

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Change

Since my dog passed away last week, I've been looking at my apartment that I often call my cave.  I've been in the same complex since September of 2004, and suddenly after feeling quite content for sometime, I find that I am in a mood for change.  I will admit that my apartment holds memories of good and bad.  By the front door is where my ex-fiance once stood over five years ago.  I can still see him with his mesmerizing blue eyes and baseball cap he always wore to cover up his bald spot.  He still has that silly sexy grin on his face.

On my couch, I see my son and his ex-wife before when they were happy.  I also see him sad and abandoned three months later making poor choices on the rebound.  Last time I hugged him by the kitchen was November of 2008.   By the front door on the hard tile floor still lays Ruby, content, beautiful, and gracing my life with her presence.  In my bedroom is the tiny corner I have my computer shoved up next to the wall and wedged on the other side of my bed.  It's here where I meet my muse, characters, and express the tears of writing three books.  Hours of memories in front of a keyboard, that's for sure.

I think after six years of memories in my small apartment, it's time to move on.  My lease is up October 31, and I'm seriously thinking of moving to another apartment.  It's time for a change and time to leave the ghosts in my apartment behind (except for my muse, of course, who gets to come with me). 

This past weekend I went apartment hunting.  That was a shocker!  I've been out of the market for six years and things have changed.  Rents fluctuate daily just like airfares.  I found one floor plan I liked a lot and found the same floor plan down the street a half mile away for $60 a month cheaper.  Kind of makes no sense.  I will admit, however, that I was star struck by the number of closets I saw.  My current apartment of 635 square feet has one - yes, I said one - 6 foot closet in my bedroom.  That's it folks!  I have clothes stuffed behind my door, under my bed, and crap piled everywhere.  Just the thought of 840 square feet, a walk-in closet, a hall closet, a pantry, and a linen closet, plus a second bedroom with another closet is heaven.  I get giddy just thinking about it.  Needless to say, I'm pretty much going to give my notice come October 1, even if I have to pay more just to get a damn closet!

Okay, so change is good.  Perhaps my life is in a stagnant phase.  I've been hiding in my cave with two windows far too long, and I need to literally open another door and move on.   Though change can be good, it can be stressful too.  When I first divorced, I moved 5 times in 18 months, and one was a major out-of-state move.  No wonder I was depressed, said my doctor.

Perhaps it is good for us as singles, when we feel like we've been in one place too long, to poke ourselves out of our past and move to a new location.  We can clean out the clutter, make a trip to the Goodwill, donate the things we've had in closets for years we forgot we ever had, and leave to build a life elsewhere where we can accumulate more junk.  Who knows, it could cheer me up!  I might meet a nice man walking his dog in the new apartment complex and find love eight miles away from where I live now.  You never know.

Off to find boxes,
Vicki

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Farewell to Ruby - My Companion

Today at 9:30 a.m. Ruby, my dog, passed away. I couldn't watch. Like a coward I went into my bedroom and bawled like a baby while the deed was done by a compassionate vet from a company called Compassionate Care here in the Portland, Oregon. After it was over, I spent a few minutes with her lifeless body, and then helped the vet put her on a stretcher and carry her to the car. Her last stop is at Dignified Pet Services, where she will be cremated.

Who was Ruby? Well, I adopted her in March 2005 from Golden Bond Rescue, who deal in Golden Retrievers that need homes. Ruby had a hard first six years of life. She was a breeding dog and had lived her life in a 6x12 kennel pushing out puppies at a mill. When she was six, the breeder got rid of her and a family adopted her back east. She was dumped again and ended up in a few foster homes in Oregon before she came into my life.

Ruby didn't have many social skills. I never knew a dog that didn't know how to play. When I first brought her home, I bought toys and balls like any owner would do. She looked at them totally clueless as to what they were used for. As much as I tried to teach her to play, she never caught onto the idea. I spent hours on my belly rolling balls her way that she merely stared at and then looked at me with confused eyes. Ruby didn't like sleeping on soft beds either. The hard tile floor near my front door was her favorite spot. I guess she was just use to sleeping on concrete.

She was a good dog too. Never chewed anything up. Never barked, unless I left her alone more than 9 hours at a time. Then I'd come home and she'd give me one resounding disapproving "woof" to let me know of her displeasure. She never messed inside and behaved well. Her favorite thing to do was to lean into my green recliner and make me stroke the side of her body for hours on end while I watched TV. When I tried to stop, she would just nudge me for more. Her favorite treat was popcorn, and I swear she ate more in the bag than I did.

She feared firecrackers, and the 4th of July and New Years were always a trying time for her. She also shrunk away when I brought the broom out for the first time around her, which told me that she had been abused in the past. However, she never barked at the vacuum when it was running or tried to bite it like my last dog.

Ruby was friendly to everyone - a tail wagging lovable girl. She even liked sleeping with my neighbor's cat, Bentlley, when she watched her when I went away on trips.

In the past two months her health declined. She had a sore on her paw that wouldn't heal, and I took her to the vet. After examination they told me she had a cancerous mass in her mouth. I never knew dogs could get cancer in their mouths, but I guess it's a prevalent place. We tried six weeks of antibiotics to heal her paw, but it never got better - only worse. She started bleeding from her mouth periodically. Finally, Saturday she stopped eating altogether, and Sunday was her last lick of water. I guess she was just tired of hurting and was trying to die. Perhaps she forgives me for helping her go at the end.

This is the second dog I've had to put down, and it never seems to get easier. I feel like I'm killing them, rather then helping them. Even though I prayed the Lord would just let her die in her sleep these past days, it was obvious it wasn't going to happen for a few more. It was too painful to watch her when she got to the point that she could no longer stand to go outside and she would lift her sad eyes to find me. Ruby was nearly blind too.

So this morning she walked across the Rainbow Bridge, that place we mortal humans make believe our dogs have run off to when they have died. I guess the image of her romping around the green grass with other dogs and cats that have passed over the bridge is somehow comforting. However, I also remember the scripture that an animal's soul just returns to the dust from where it came. I guess the heaven of Rainbow Bridge sounds much better than to think Ruby has ceased to exist in any manner of body or soul.

I hate death. The older I get the stranger the cycle of life and death becomes to me. Billions have gone to that "undiscovered country" before us. When you think about the centuries past, I guess we are like the Bible says a vapor that appears for a brief moment upon this earth and then disappears. Ruby's vapor last for 12 years, and for the last five she graced my life.

Rest in peace, Ruby. For some reason, my world even feels emptier without you waiting for me to come home.

Vicki