Life, loss, and silver linings

Published February 24, 2014 by Jennie

The last week has been difficult but had a few silver linings.  On Thursday, my parents’ dog, Peanut, starting acting very lethargic and stopped eating.  They took him to the vet where he stayed there for several (expensive) tests.  After an ultrasound, they still could not figure out what was wrong.  He continued to get worse and they ultimately decided to let him go.  He was 11.  Everyone experiences loss differently, but anyone who has ever had to say goodbye to a pet knows how hard it is to do so. When we got him at the shelter, he was so scared of everything and hid under the bed for most of the first few weeks we had him.  After he warmed up to us, he became a beloved member of the family.   I will miss him.

peanut

This week is also hard because my brother would have turned 28.  We always had so much fun on birthdays.  I miss him everyday and more so on special occasions.   It always makes me mad when people tell me I should be thankful for the time we had together.  I am thankful for the memories I have.  Even so, I still can not bring myself to be thankful for having him in my life for only 19 years.  This may be because I lack insight or maturity but that is how I feel.  Also, even though I would never wish anything bad on anyone, I still do get jealous of people who have close relationships with their brothers.  While my brother and I were very different, we always supported one another and I know he loved me.

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Since it is difficult for me to be thankful for the time we had, I decided to identify things I am thankful for.  My list is not inclusive and in no particular order.  This one is for you, Mike.

Things  I am thankful for

My husband
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I could go on forever.  For now I will say that after 13+ years, he still makes me feel like a princess.  This might sound cheesy but I can tell he loves me just by the way he looks at me.

My parents
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Again, I could seriously go on forever. I never realized how lucky I was to have amazing parents until I grew up. As a kid, home was always a warm loving place. Even when I was in trouble, I always felt safe and protected. My parents did not spoil me but they were (and still are) my biggest cheerleaders (well maybe tied with my husband). Growing up, I participated in dance for about ten years. My dad attended every recital and would give me a dozen roses. I would pretend to be annoyed by them, but they always made me feel like the most special girl in the world. As an adult, I know they always have my back but they also let me be my own person. Also, after 34 years together, they are still a shining example of what a marriage would be.

My friends
Sometimes I feel like I won the friend lottery. I do not have lots and lots of friends, but the ones I do have are phenomenal. Yesterday, we had some of them over to make pizza from scratch and I had so much fun. I was also able to forget my fertility/life struggles for a while.

My education
It might sound weird, but I love school. I love how at the end of the school day, I leave with skills that I did not have at the beginning of the day. I am very lucky that I have the opportunity to go to school to pursue my doctorate. It required me to leave the regular work world for at least three years and I know that is not something everyone can do (another reason why my husband is my superman).

Exercise
Exercise helps keep me sane. When I am in the middle of a workout, all my stresses and challenges are temporarily suspended. I am so lucky to have a wonderful workout partner that lives two houses away. Sometimes I feel like I do not want to work out but I always feel better after going.  Having an exercise buddy gives me a much needed boost that helps me keep on track.

Trash TV
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Ok this one is a little silly, but every once and a while, I enjoy losing myself in a good trashy show.  I can admit that it is my occasional guilty pleasure.

So yeah life is hard but there are lots of things I am thankful for. I hope everyone has a great week! xoxoxo

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16 comments on “Life, loss, and silver linings

  • Awe Peanut was a doll – I hope you and your family find peace without him. It’s tough 😦

    While you’ve had some tough times recently, I admire your ability to find those silver linings. That really is what life is about. Take care 🙂

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  • I am so sorry about Peanut. He was clearly a loved member of your family and I know how important they are in our lives. Our 4-leggers are seriously some of the only reasons I have kept mildly logical in this journey. And I am sorry about your brother…there are no words for the grief that stays with you when you lose someone so important. But your family sounds amazing, as well as your husband and your friends. And yay for the trash tv!

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  • I am so sorry about Peanut. Losing a pet is such a difficult thing to go through. I wish you and your family all the best. Know that the pain of losing him gets better and in the end you will be left with great memories. I lost my chocolate lab 2 years ago this month. She was also 11 and the sweetest dog ever!

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    • Thank you so much. For me, dogs are family members. We were so happy to have him and we have great memories. I still think about the dog we lost when I was growing up so yes it does get better but I will always miss them.

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