To our Wonderful, Beautiful Boy and Number One Son.

DSC_0437To Our Wonderful Beautiful Boy.

The worst day I can remember. The day we said our Sorry’s and Goodbye.
To the most wonderful creature we have ever known.
Our furry son, no longer a mother and a father.
No longer a furry assistant, waiting for his bit. We came home and I almost called you for dinner. Then sobbed uncontrollably, you will not come. I cannot stroke your beautiful fluffy ears any more or reach to scratch your head for you. The mad rush to the kitchen when dinner is ready.
No longer wild with pain, we couldn’t make better.
No more Monday song, Happy Birthday or answer to my questions.
No more “where’s Kato, did anybody see him” and your little smile peeking round the blanket.
No more clambering up to give me kisses as I write or huffing because the light is on in the early hours.
The one who came for back rubs and kisses goodnight before he slept. Sat at my feet whenever he was unsure about a new visitor or doubted someone’s intentions. Looking after his Mummy, just as he had been told to.
The one the children called out to say Hello to on their way home from school and who ran to greet them.
The one who chased your feet to play with them, stealing your socks.
The one who emptied his pool before we could fill it and chased the hosepipe every time that we used it, barking with excitement that he might get chased and soaked with it as I watered the garden.
The wolf we fed by hand from day one, every day bowl by bowl. Who answered me when I spoke to him and followed me everywhere.
The one who knew what dinner would be, just by the ingredients being assembled and skipped with joy when it was one of his favourites. You knew the difference between five minutes and ten. You would let me know when dinner was cooked and there was no need to set a clock, since you would remind me. So intelligent, yet gentle, loving and kind. Full of the very best type of nonsense, to lift the darkest mood, lightening it just by being there.
Our beautiful boy, who loved us unconditionally, was here when I awoke, morning or night, with a paw to say Good Morning and his wonderful smile which made my heart glad to see another day, whatever the weather. Goodnight my sweet prince, it wasn’t your fault, I knew you were ill and we could do nothing for you to put it right, we did not see the signs early enough, you couldn’t tell us that you were hurting, just that you were tired, so tired and wanted to sleep, that you didn’t have the energy to play with your toys. The ball had lost it’s allure, you stopped taking it in to Daddy, you didn’t want to jump on the bed each morning to wake him up, you preferred to be along side, you didn’t jump on Mummy’s bed so often. You took your blanket to the garden and slept in the corner, not out in the open. What had made you want to sleep more, play less and gave you less enjoyment took you from us, we could not let you suffer still.

Our hearts are broken, there is a huge gaping hole where your larger than life character filled till only the other day. Grief is all consuming. I laid with you on the floor holding you until you went, burying my head in your soft fur and reassuring you, Mummy was here with Daddy and we loved Kato, because everybody loved Kato. We will always love you, our Kato.

The scars will heal, but words cannot truly explain how deep the pain is. More than just a the greatest dog I could ever have. Hand chosen, the best puppy and your Nanny’s Grand Dog. You were Loved by so many. The puppy that just never stopped growing, in size and character.

If there is a rainbow bridge that they speak of, then I hope that you go “running running” wild and free, going native just as you would be, your heart singing as loud as you can and knowing that you made our family complete. I did not want for more, you were enough, larger than life, all loving, a wonderful furry person. The son I had was better than I could ever have hoped for.

As I strain to listen for Woo’s on the wind, I want to howl just so that you can hear me. I want to howl the pain away and I want to hear you howl back, to sing together, just like we used to again every day.
No more Happy Birthday or How Much is that Doggy, no more answers to my questions. No more tilted head on one side, when I ask “Would you Like?” or skipping to the kitchen. Chasing your tail with delight when I ask, “Would anyone like any Ice Cream?” I want to wrap your furry body in my arms and dance around the garden again with your arms around my waist, making Daddy laugh. To play paws on the floor. I want to gaze at you that my eyes well up with tears with so much love again and have you reach out to me with a furry kiss when I say Hello my beautiful boy, Mummy Loves you So Much.

As I sat alone the morning after you’d gone eating breakfast in the garden, the crow who came to visit, who you used to shout “Go Crow” at, came and it looked for you. It called out to you. Sat waiting for your arrival, but you did not come. It spoke in it’s own language I looked up and told it, He’s not here, he has gone. It scratched it’s head in disbelief and stood on one leg, it answered me and flew away.
The garden is empty, the flowers are drooping, they know that you are gone, not there to sniff them and inspect for bees. The birds sit and wait for your bark, the neighbours Scottie dog you taught to howl, barks alone waiting for a reply that will not come. The neighbours, your friends tearful and holding their own sweet memories of you.

As the wind whistles through the trees on your hillside, the wildlife come to visit, we will remember you running through the long grass looking for Mummy as we played Hide and Seek on the day I took our favourite photo, which now takes pride of place in the lounge, where you once sat watching over us, your family. Your Moo Cows will look for you and call your name at night. The pheasant will pass by, just that little bit more nervously in case you rush from your hiding place to startle it, before doing your victory skip.
The nonsense has taken it’s exit, the mischief and the smile.

We are united in our grief, a family in crisis, for the one that we loved so much, as our son is gone.
The silence is deafening and yet I can hear your voice on the wind, in my head you are answering the questions, your thoughts so in tune with mine. The words to Daddy’s Christmas Tree song, “Underneath the Christmas Tree with Mummy and the fluffiest teddy, underneath the Christmas Tree with Kato and the fluffiest ears.” How you would both sing it together going round in my head this morning as I thought of you and it follows me throughout the day. The photos I have will serve to remind me of the wonderful times that we have shared, when we wanted for nothing except the company of each other and were so happy.

Every process from coffee in the morning, to preparation of lunch and dinner, my furry assistant is not there behind me, he is not waiting for his bit. Thanking me with a kiss after each morsel to the absence of Goodnight Kato, Mummy loves you, see you in the morning.

I am broken my beloved, numb from pain, whilst it sears through my heart. Consumed by grief, that I cannot think rationally, tears stinging my face when a thought or memory reappears. Your Daddy is quiet too, thinking of you and trying not to break, willing the pain in his heart away.

Your blanket at my side, breathing your smell, tufts of fur appearing like feathers upon the wind, gentle reminders of the life you have lived with us, we will hold it all in our memories, the unconditional love for each other that the three of us shared. The clip of a conversation, where you told me that you loved me and I told you I loved you too. The video clip when Daddy returned to the house and came back to you from a long trip, how you welcomed him. Like a Hero, our Hero had returned to us. I want to watch them again and again so that you are still here in some small way, that we will never be apart.

You were strong for me when I was broken, sat by my side when I needed you, I wished that I could do the same for you. My thoughts leaving me wondering if only, if there had been a way to make you better, for your pain to be healed. I don’t know how long you carried the pain with you, but you did so bravely my darling boy, hid it so well from us and still smiled and loved us with all your heart.

Now Rest in Peace, My sweet furry prince. Our most beautiful Baby Bear with the fluffy ears until we meet again, watching over us your spirit by my side evermore.
Please come back to visit us my darling, there will be a candle in our hearts to light your way.

Kato Teddy Bear, Prince of the Night. 18/5/11 to 26/7/16

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The Daily Post – Crisis

 

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Not the Cherry on Top

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Observations again.

Having been presented with this shot of a dessert, Weekly Photo Challenge – Michelle.W

I was struck, not by the cherry on top, but by the sweet and brightly coloured topping. When I was younger, we used to call them Hundreds and Thousands and they were served on ice cream, Angel Delight as well as cakes.  This week, I have had an undiminished urge to find some and buy them and have them on my now dairy free ice cream.

I don’t know if it a desperate attempt to return to a safe part of my childhood. I have on two separate days this week thought of these brightly coloured decorations and craved their colour in a small step towards something. Although I am not yet sure what, maybe it’s the familiar overthinking, along with the realisation that Life is not always just a bowl of cherries.

It has been a rough week for us, where the emergency services have been required and where I should be valuing the deep and important things around us. The facts that despite an attempt otherwise, we are still here, we are still living and we are still loved by each other. Something for which I will remain eternally grateful. The stress of the situation that has taken a hold in the past few days and made us both unwell, I hope that time will heal that. But a sense of relief that has kicked in now and with it brings a certain need for frivolity, which shows itself in the strangest of ways.  Like Saturday Lunch where we ate Fruit and Ice Cream in our garden safe from the outside world and found out that the dog also likes melon and that lazy weekends are just fine when you have had a tough week.

Image: http://www.morguefile.com

Reading Choices, Book Reviews and The Unmade Bed…

It’s strange how things come back to me after all these years. Our choice of reading material over time. I awoke this morning thinking about probably the last book review that I wrote, it was for a book called “The Unmade Bed” by Françoise Sagan. I think I was 14 years old and at the time, we were expected to review books regularly at school as part of the English curriculum. I think at the time I was trying to find out more about sex since boys had begun to show an interest in me. As you can imagine, if anyone actually made a move on me properly, then I would at least want to know what was supposed to happen. I certainly wasn’t going to learn what sex was from a family who did not discuss it, other than the fact that it was not supposed to happen until you got married. I felt the need to find out what was supposed to be enjoyable when it happened. No-one seemed to want someone who knew nothing about it as a girlfriend, although they didn’t want an expert either, it must surely make sense to have a little knowledge. It wasn’t their faults entirely, as many parents assume their children will do exactly as they tell them until they are adults, less so these days but back then things were different. I guess that they do not think that as they rebelled, their children will also do so.

So, in my teenage rebellion, I often sat in the library, reading whatever I could find that might give me a clue. I hadn’t studied the sciences at school, so was not interested in anatomy, or how it all worked, more how it felt and what was supposed to happen.

Yes, “Feelings” were a big part of my life even then….

I read Mills and Boon books like any other teenage girl, but even my dad knew about them, the bodice ripping stories which could not be taken seriously, filling my head with ideas, he banned them from the house, so I used to read them at school, or sit in the library. I read quickly even to this day and so it didn’t take very long to read one of those, a lunch hour perhaps or a day’s worth of school breaks.

The last book review was different though. If I was caught reading it at home then I could quite honestly say that I had to write a book review for it. I was at the age, when we were expected to go out and find out own subject matter to read and review. I can only imagine what my tutor thought when she was faced with the review itself. It was a book that to this day, I can remember something about. In my naivety I had misunderstood the contents. I know, it should be pretty clear from the title. But I thought that it would have more detail in than it did and I felt that it was a let down. It took me twice as long to read as it hopped from character to character, I almost gave up and found another book to read, but my stubborn streak got in the way. It was of course about the sex life of the character and their escapades, it had no depth. But I felt that it lacked any excitement, it seemed almost mechanical in its writing. Part of me wishes to find the book again after all this time and re-read it to see if I gain any more enjoyment from it, but I fear that my time would be wasted and that I shouldn’t bother, so I haven’t yet. After all there is more to life than reading a boring book twice?

I recall writing in my review of my disappointment that the whole story seemed to be a catalogue of people who kept jumping in and out of bed with each other, swapping partners and all sharing the same bed. Somehow the thought of that repelled me and I found myself wondering if the sheets ever got changed. (Ever the practical thinking) I don’t think my review encouraged anyone else to read the pristine old book which sat on the library shelf and I doubt my teacher clamoured to the local library or bookshop to borrow or peruse.

So that was it… Did I need to write another review? I’d quite like to because it will give me the opportunity to read books again with purpose. I have read to learn things, but not so much for the enjoyment of a story, I miss that to enjoy the thoughts and processes which go through other writer’s heads. I love reading, I get totally consumed by whatever the subject is whilst I read a book, to the exclusion of everything around me. I cannot put a book down easily mid-read. I prefer to read it cover to cover so I am careful of the subject matter and as a consequence do not read nearly enough. I was sad to find myself saying a few years ago that I had not read a book in years, yes it had actually been about 5 years at that point, I had not had the time to myself to enable me to do that and resolved to try and change that. I have read more since then and take time to read mainly online. I love that about WordPress since it encourages me to look around and doesn’t take up the time that a book would and you still learn, read and see interesting things I also feel that it is still a luxury to be able to sit and read a book or article without interruption, one that I can’t always allow myself.

The Daily Post – Depth

The Storm

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Wind in the trees,
Rain coming fast.
Warmed by a breeze,
Or will it last?
Should we stay indoors
Or be cooled by the rain?
Dance in the garden,
Washing away the pain.
The wind in your hair,
Like an urchin forlorn.
Will you show a care,
After the storm?
Will you run away from the creaking bough?
Find a place to hide,
Or sit there shrieking hour by hour,
whilst staying inside.
Dance in the puddles do not refrain,
Life is for living, so much to gain.
Open the windows and let it all out.
Wonder ever if there was a doubt.
That you would then start to begin,
To release emotions locked from within.

 

The Daily Post – Storm

Image: Koan via Morguefile.com

Lessons Learned when Writing your Book

IMG_1939So after a quiet couple of weeks here on the blog away from the laptop and writing only sporadically the sun had been shining, in between the rain storms here so I decided to get out in the garden. To allow myself to be attacked by Roses and make the outlook a little bit brighter. Summer is here and with it brings the urge to create nicer surroundings for us all. So I have been weeding, digging, growing and sharing cuttings, re-potting and tying back unruly plants and trying to forget that there is a whole huge expanse of space which has yet to benefit from my attention, if only I had the energy to tackle it.

After a couple of weeks of leaving my draft alone and then returning to it to edit again and print off a copy for someone else’s opinion. Here is a list of the Lessons I have learned while preparing a physical book for someone to read for the very first time.

1. Disregard the fears that you may have done it wrong. They are just concerns, you have to start somewhere.
2. Have a back up title in case you have done it wrong.
3. Make Lists.
4. Edit, Edit then Edit again, there will always be something you have missed. Surely not, well Yes actually!
5. Remember to insert the page numbers so that if there are corrections noted, you’ll be able to find them to fix.
6. Make sure that your desk is sturdy, more important than you know.
7. Make sure that you have more than enough printer ink for the job
8. Give your printer a service before you start to print.
9. Do not hold your breath when you hit PRINT, it may take longer than you think.
10. Print in batches of 10 pages at a time, that way if your printer begins to shake uncontrollably whilst doing its job, or misalign inexplicably you will not waste time and resources with fuzzy pages.
11. Reprint any fuzzy unreadable pages. These things are sent to try us!
12. Since your first reader is a family member. Make them swear that it is for their eyes only and they will not send it anywhere until you have got it back and corrected everything. Stating for all to hear that this is “definitely not the finished article”.
13. Write all over it that it is the “First Draft” Confidential might be a good idea too!
14. Realise as your heart sinks that although this is your baby, other people have their own lives to live and it might take a while to get it back.
15. Remember to breathe. Eagerly anticipating their response will only cause added stress and upset, especially if they tell you that it isn’t your best work, or you should include something else.
16. When your family tell you that there are more important things to life than being wrapped up in your book, as their patience has run thin smile sweetly and agree with them.
17. Try to convince yourself that it’ll all be alright in the end.

The Daily Post – Struggle