Today has been such a sad day.
My friend suffered a tragedy, and I can’t get it out of my head. He had to put his 10-year-old dog down a couple of months ago because she had cancer (stupid fucking cancer, can’t even leave our beloved dogs alone). Lady, his 3-year-old dog, was moping and lost without her companion, so my friend decided to get a puppy.
He did everything right: researched breeds and breeders, readied their home for the new arrival, and began training the pup the very day he arrived. My favorite girl and I had the honor of driving to the airport to pick up the new puppy while my friend worked (we have puppy fever…bad!). We bonded with that little darling in the car, and my girl picked out a squeaky toy a few days later for the pup. My friend and I discussed the pup at length, every day. We oohed and aahed over puppy pics and laughed at his antics. I’ve never seen my friend so elated and so happy.
When he got home from work yesterday, he noticed that Lady and the pup didn’t greet him at the gate. He went into the house and noticed that Lady and the pup weren’t wiggling in anticipation at the back door. When my friend went into the back yard, he found out why: the pup had drowned in their pool. He was floating belly-up in the cold, unforgiving water.
I’m so sad. My friend is devastated. Crushed. Beyond sad.
He and I texted back and forth 100 times today. He vented, and I murmured words, worthless and meaningless words. He expressed his anguish, and I texted back trite blobs of nothing. He admitted his guilt at having stayed late at work instead of rushing home to check on the pup, and I sent blah-blah-blah back to him. He confessed that he couldn’t stop crying, and I texted back virtual hugs. He raged at the unfairness of the situation, and I replied with “life’s not fair/there’s no meaning/nothing makes sense/it’s so cruel, etc etc etc.”
This man lost his father — to cancer, of course — nearly 25 years ago. He and I have an understanding about hard times and grief and the random cruelty of life. We can talk to each other in that way of members of the same club: stripped away, raw, honest, and brutal. We are both shameless animal lovers who have been accused, more than once, of liking critters more than humans. This is a terrible, terrible blow.
Beyond the text-a-thon, I felt helpless. My brain won’t stop returning to the terror that was the pup’s last moments of life. The startling plunge into the pool. The cold water. The frantic flailing. The fear and the struggle. The pain and the terror. The image of that lifeless pup floating in the pool has haunted me all day, and knowing just how anguished my friend is adds insult to injury. I did the only thing I know to do in the midst of loss and tragedy: I got in the kitchen and cooked. Chicken noodle soup, jalapeno cornbread, fruit salad, Greek-style green beans, and insanely fudgey brownies for the family, and sweet-potato dog biscuits for Lady. She needs a treat, too, after the senseless death of her new best friend.
Recently I wrote about the idea that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I’ve been thinking about this, too, today. As I drove to my friend’s house to deliver the food, I was struck by something: I would expect that having traveled down some rocky roads (my mom’s death 8 years ago, my own cancer “journey”), I would be steeled to tragedy. I would expect to be hardened to the shitty things life throws at us. I would expect to be stronger. Tougher. Better-equipped. But I’m not.
If anything, just the opposite is true. Hard times, ugly challenges, and crushing loss are harder, not easier, to handle.
Rest peacefully, sweet pup. We didn’t know you very long, but we loved you gigantic paws, your piercing blue eyes, your high-pitched howls, your feisty spirit, your stubborn streak, your easy-going personality, and your sweet, sweet self.
Today is World Cancer Day. This year’s theme is debunking myths and erasing stigmas attached to cancer. While I’m all for the debunking and erasing, I’m not at all sure how to feel about cancer having its own day. At first blush, I thought: Woohoo! A day to celebrate! I’m always up for that. But then I thought, Wait: what exactly am I celebrating? The fact that I survived? No; too much emphasis on survival makes me uncomfortable, as if I’m tempting fate. The fact that there’s so much awareness and dialogue about cancer nowadays? No; I’m sick of talking about it and even more sick of thinking about it. The fact that I persevered despite a devastating illness and an even more dangerous nosocomial infection? No; I would have rather skipped the whole experience. Especially the infection part.
There’s a poster at my gym with this quote from Sir Edmund Hillary. I’m assuming it’s in reference to Mt Everest. I look at the poster when I’m on the VersaClimber — a cardio machine that at first seemed like an instrument of torture but now is part of my routine. Most times I have to close my eyes to get through my VersaClimber intervals (it’s pretty bad!). But when I’m not closing my eyes, I look at the poster and read Hillary’s words, and realize that indeed, we do conquer ourselves. Including the cancer.
Things are really coming together, and the countdown is on!
We have a closing date of February 14. I can’t think of a better Valentine’s Day present than to be in our new house.
The latest progress: the air conditioning system, carpet, appliances, and fencing.
The AC isn’t too pretty, especially without the grass around it, but it is a necessity. It’s hard to imagine needing it right now, with the brutal “winter” we’ve had in Houston (yes, all you Northerners can laugh. I know we are winter wimps).
Guys were installing the side fencing as took these photos yesterday.
The back fence will be shorter and wrought iron, to give us a view of our bayou and woods. Once this brutal “winter” ends and the trees leaf out, we won’t be able to see the houses on the other side of the bayou.
My favorite girl, aka The Little Chef, was uber excited about the ovens, and in her excitement she didn’t realize that the blue color comes from the plastic shield covering the stainless steel. She thought we were getting blue ovens! That’s her, on the left, reflected in the ovens. She has already claimed this spot of the kitchen and will spend many hours baking up deliciousness.
Come on, February 14th! We can’t wait!
We don’t see this much in Houston –
The camellias were brave in the face of ice.
School is out, the kids are thrilled, and we’re awaiting the thaw.
New house update — finally!
I’ve been remiss in posting pictures but am remedying that now. Things look a lot different than they did in this post.
Aerial shot of the tile all covered up neatly. My favorite girl got nervous when I pulled up some of the paper to take a picture of the tile. I keep reminding her that this is our house and we’re allowed to do such things. She’s still nervous.
Doesn’t make you stronger. They lied.
Ok, maybe the first few times one encounters a non-fatal, strengthening adversity. Maybe it works then. But over and over and over? Time and again? Nope. It no longer makes you stronger. It chips away at pieces of your soul. It slowly yet painfully tugs at the very essence of who you are. Think gently pulling at a Band-Aid instead of just yanking it off. That tiny tug doesn’t seem like much in context, but really, each tug hurts — a lot.
That’s how it is with repeated adversity. A chipping. A tugging. It’s bullshit, for lack of a better word.
thank you, google images.
Lululemon and founder Chip Wilson can suck it.
Instead of the peace and zen that should emanate from a yoga-clothing supplier, Wilson is spewing hate and showing his ignorance. If his company’s damn clothes weren’t so damn overpriced, I’d be tempted to burn my Lulu outfits in the front yard.
I will admit I like Lulu’s clothes, despite the crazy-high prices: they’re cute, different, and stylish (says the woman who started playing tennis because she liked the outfits). They’re made from fabrics that stand up to a real workout (except for that one batch of see-through yoga pants, that is).
In attempting to explain the problem with the recalled yoga pants, Wilson created a couple of new yoga poses, which I don’t expect to see in my yoga class: Foot In Mouth and Flaming Douchebag. During an interview with Bloomberg TV, instead of taking responsibility for the faulty pants, Wilson blamed the women who wear them — and shell out $98 for each pair — for being too fat.
Yes, you read that right.
Wilson blames his customer base for being too fat.
“Some women’s bodies just don’t work for it.” I’m assuming the “it” he so uneloquently refers to is the pants. I would expect someone with a net worth of nearly $3 billion to be a bit more articulate, but I am picky that way.
When pressed to elaborate on the women’s bodies that “just don’t work,” Wilson added, “They don’t work for some women’s bodies. It’s really about the rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure is there over a period of time.”
In an effort to clarify this insane suggestion, the Bloomberg TV reporter asked Wilson if Lululemon yoga pants are something that every woman, regardless of size, can wear. He said, “I think they can, I just think it’s how you use them.”
Wait — how we use them? How we use the yoga pants? Maybe like, for yoga?
The yoga pants are see-through — even though they cost 100 clams a pair — and this jackass is blaming the customer? And trying to throw up a loophole that questions how we might “use” yoga pants? Come on, man.
It gets better. Or worse, actually.
As part of his raving lunacy, Wilson offered this:
“Breast cancer also came into prominence in the 1990s. Ultimately, I suggest this was due to the number of cigarette-smoking power women who were on the pill (initial concentrations of hormones in the pill were very high) and taking on the stress previously left to men in the working world.”
While he clearly has a history of blaming the victim, Wilson can’t be serious about the causes of breast cancer. I can’t get past his choice of words describing breast cancer as something that “came into prominence.” Sadly, breast cancer is not like a desperate celebrity seeking its 15 minutes of fame; it’s here for the long haul. And it’s been around a lot longer than the 1990s. Idiot.
On the Lululemon blog, Wilson wrote a post elaborating his ass-hatty ideas and blathering on in moronic fashion, then summarizes by dropping this little gem: “lululemon was formed because female education levels, breast cancer, yoga/athletics and the desire to dress feminine came together all at one time. lululemon saw the opportunity to make the best technologically advanced components for [this] market in the 1990s.”
Sooooo, this genius created Lululemon because of women’s education, breast cancer, sports/fitness, and wanting to look pretty? Like a perfect storm, these mythical female elements of the universe converged to form a $10 billion company, and Wilson has women — fat, power-hungry, cigarette-smoking, birth-control-popping, breast-cancer having, vain women — to thank for his fame & fortune. Except, instead of thanking us, he somehow manages to blame and alienate us.
Screw you, Lululemon. I’m going to the Athleta store; I need some new yoga pants.
“I have never seen an expression as full of wonder as Lou’s as he died. His hands were doing the water-flowing 21-form of tai chi. His eyes were wide open. I was holding in my arms the person I loved the most in the world, and talking to him as he died. His heart stopped. He wasn’t afraid. I had gotten to walk with him to the end of the world. Life – so beautiful, painful and dazzling – does not get better than that. And death? I believe that the purpose of death is the release of love. At the moment, I have only the greatest happiness and I am so proud of the way he lived and died, of his incredible power and grace.I’m sure he will come to me in my dreams and will seem to be alive again. And I am suddenly standing here by myself stunned and grateful. How strange, exciting and miraculous that we can change each other so much, love each other so much through our words and music and our real lives.”
I saw this ad in the Sunday paper.
Pinktober is sucky enough for those of us who are unwillingly on Team Pink. One month is bad enough.