Merly’s Swan Song

Once upon a time there was a girl who knew it had come time to say goodbye…

In a little over 24 hours it will be time to say goodbye our dog Merlin. Merlin was my mom’s dog. She adopted him in 2001 and when she passed in 2006, Merly was in the room standing guard until we found her. Merly went to live with Brian and his family and when the young family was unable to dedicate the amount of time and attention he needed – he came to live with plmy now husband and I. Merly is a big black dog with chest of polka dots. He is gentle and loving and is happy to spend time people- other animals are not very interesting to him- but he loves people. 

I know that people call animals rescue dogs- but in this special case I don’t think I could say that my mom rescued him. When Merly and Mom became family she revitalized and he brought her love and companionship that she had always been looking for. Brian rescued Merly when my mom died – because I thought I wasn’t a dog person and couldn’t take him. I imagine Merly rescued Brian too in ways. In being able to give my mom the one thing she would have cared about- a home for him. That is Brian’s story.

But I know without a shadow of doubt Merly saved me. When we took him, our relationship was still very new- 2011. I thought of him as Drew’s dog more than mine in the beginning. After a few short months, we had to take some time a part. I remember even feeling like he left me there with the dog and I didn’t even know what to do for him. I remember being so heartbroken that it took me some time to see that I had created some unhealthy lifestyle patterns for myself and I had some changes to make. I had lost several dear friends to changes they saw in my at that time and the way I was treating people. I wasn’t totally alone- I had my family. But it was during this time that I fell in love with the dog that I will soon part with. He never let me down. He followed me around my house and neighborhood listening as I began to sort the pieces of my life out and rearrange them into another puzzle. He never judge me or had to walk away from me because I had let him down…or because I wasn’t measuring up to who I could be. He spent all of his time with me- comforting me when I was grieving and spending day after day with me. Slowly my confidence grew in part because of his blind and loyal dedication to me. As I did more and more right, it was easier and easier to stay on the path that I was on.  

Drew and I were only a part for a week or so before we began building out relationship over again from scratch with a healthier foundation. We have been a family ever since then. Merly is my puppy but he is also my dearest friend. Everywhere I go throughout the day there he is right with me seeing what I am getting in to and listening to me endlessly. He was the best man in our wedding even. I cannot imagine a day going by when I am not talking to him throughout the day. He protects me to this day wherever we are. I got to be a mom, one thing I hadn’t been in life to this amazing creature. 


Drew on the other hand, Merly got- to be a baby with Drew. Drew always takes care of him and Merly always wants to be by his side- usually tucked up under a petting hand. Drew even built him his own Merly sized bed which is about his favorite place to be if not on a walk.He also has developed quite a fan club in Drew’s family- especially his Dad. They are definitely buddies- they have explored a great deal of our neighborhood and the lake during their excursions. Merly is also very special to my brother and his two sons. They take such great care with him. You can see it in the way they speak to him and cover him with blankets. When Brian leaves, Merly waits at the door for him for his next return.


 He has been fighting nasty arthritis in the last few years that has limited his ability to get around as well. He also fought cancer last year through a newer technology they use to freeze the tumor and has been able to keep that at bay for quite a while now. Merly has been in pain for years though because of this arthritis and rear quarters. The medicine doesn’t seem to be able to treat it anymore and his falling bouts are worsening every day. A few years ago he developed an addiction to water- and despite being tested for EVERYTHING- has no medical reason for the thirst. If we let him – he will drink up to ten times that of an identical dog.

This year he turned 16 and I knew the time was running out and its all but gone now. I wish I could ease his pain more and know that he wasn’t scared. I wish I could make him understand what he has meant to our generations of family. I wish I could give him just an ounce of the love and loyalty he has given us. It’s been one special journey- and I am so honored to have gotten to be his mom. I will think of him every single day going forward and feel blessed.

 
 

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Once upon a time there was a girl who was afraid to fall in love..
Throughout all of my life I wanted love. I didn’t realize until recently that I was the one who stood in my way. I always fell for one of two types of guys. The guy who was unavailable emotionally or the guy who was unavailable literally. I never saw this pattern while I was pursuing these barricades to what I truly wanted. Im not sure how Mr Right, Mr Nice guy slipped into my path of defeating myself, and Im not sure how I let him. 
I was thinking of this last night as Drew left his pizza on the counter (an impossible thing to imagine as it is his favorite food) and went outside to help the pizza guy get himself unstuck from the driveway he had attempted to turn into. He is Mr Nice guy, and I never fell for that. Sure, we all say thats what we want..but when that guy falls for you..You never fall for him back. Then you end up with a guy who doesn’t treat you right or cheats or betrays your heart in any number of ways. And you are utterly heartbroken. You focus on the glimpses of love or happiness that you had and feel so hopeless and can’t understand what happened.
But you know what really matters, what really counts? Its the way he treats you. The way he takes care of you when you are sick or wipes the snow from your car before you leave. Its the way he holds your hand or the way he puts you first in life. Its not the smooth words and its not some idea of tortured love. Its the way he treats the people you love and how he works to fix your best friends moms computer for days because that is just who he is. He is who is worthy of your love time and attention.
My dad always used to say he would be a millionaire if he could tell his younger self or my brother or I what to do when we were young financially and in business. If we would listen. But thats the nature of the beast isn’t it. You won’t listen. You need to find a way to forage your own way into the world and test your own waters. Money would be nice, but I always wanted love..I always wanted friends and family. That has always been what was important to me. I was going to say I wish that I could tell my younger self what to look for and who to give up on…but I wouldn’t find myself right where I belong..now would I?

Becoming an aunt

Once upon a time there was a girl who didn’t know how her life would change when two little princes arrived in her kingdom
This past weekend we (Drew Tracy and I) took my nephews to the lego store. It was beyond fun. I had as much fun making up games to entertain my nephews by hopping around the squares of the department store as I did at the lego store. It made me think of how different my life became once we were blessed with the special arrivals. Those little boys mean to world to me. Earning a smile or a laugh rates among my greatest accomplishments. As they grow, I hope I can be the aunt that they need. I hope I can provide wisdom to them and their family when its asked of me and support them however I can. I should say we..as Drew, dubbed Uncle Dew, puts in so much effort and time and derives so much joy from spending time with them as well.
When either Braden or Mason says something funny, I almost immediately call my dad and report the incident to him or Lynn. Seeing them as grandparents has been so rewarding and amazing. It is so clear how much they love those little boys. Everyone in their lives loves them like that..their Granny Arlene and their other aunt and uncle.
Its been so cool to watch my brother and sister grow into parents. My bother always amazes me as he has grown into a man by becoming a father. The way he talks to the kids and tells them stories and even makes up dr remedies to fix their little bumps and fall blows my mind. Tracy amazes me as a mother and I doubt I could do as good of a job as she does. I feel they were meant to be the proud parents to these little boys and I am thrilled to get to be their aunt

Creating a castle

Once upon a time there was a girl who began creating her own castle…
Eleven years ago I bought the house I lived in when I went to high school from my parents. I began creating a home for myself slowly over the years. I always wanted a home to call my own. The thing I learned is that my home really began after Drew and Merly moved in with Regan and I. My home began when I was spending my time with my family and my home will be wherever we are. We are searching for a new house now, and I can’t wait to create our life in a home we buy together. I couldn’t be more excited for this time in our lives. But I do know..our new castle will just be the structure that holds our home in it. My family is my home.

Being Cinderella

Once upon a time there was a girl who attended the ball, didn’t lose her slipper, and found her prince anyway.
I found my Drew at a wedding of all places. I was supposed to be in the wedding but was having back surgery three days later. We were all out dancing and this man tried to dance with me. I was a little intoxicated and I angrily thought he was just some guy trying to pick me up. Given the fact that he was actually dancing..Im not sure he knew what he was doing on the dance floor. I remember asking a guest at the wedding who he was. When I found out it was Drew, the brides best friend who lived in CO, I started to reconsider. We danced until he held my hand and walked me to my brothers car. Somehow I knew he was different…He was special.
Our relationship grew over time and as I healed from my surgery. I was amazed that he hardly knew me and despite the fact that I had surgery so young that he was still interested. I remember Dana telling me ..”Good you will actually have to get to know him”. She was right and in time they came to have a deep adoration for each other. Which I love
The foundation of our relationship grew during those months. In the fall we both visited back and forth from Ohio to Colorado. Something I had never experienced was growing between us. Love. Oh I thought I had been love before. I’d always fallen for he bad guy…or the unavailable guy. But this guy…he was a good guy. He cared..Genuinely. He takes care of me. He makes me laugh. He plans a future with me. He loves my family. He is responsible and worthy of a deep respect. He didnt blink an eye when my brother moved in for months. He is just a good guy. I grateful that he danced into my life. Im beyond blessed!

Waking Up HAPPY

Once upon a time there was a girl who liked to wake up before the world and appreciate the peace around her…
I like to be awake when the world is asleep. I crawl out of bed and my faithful puppy (my giant 11 year old dog) follows behind and we start our day. Well …he just finds a new place to curl up and sleep. My partner is still dreaming peacefully while I look at the news of the night and play on the iPad. I watch my silly reality programs..check in on Selena.as she is sure to be up. I cannot say how much I love this time where the world is still and the craziness of the day hasn’t yet begun. Its like participating in a delicious secret.  
I remember when my life wasn’t so full and the loneliness was heavy and opressing. I was desperate to find excitement and my life seemed like a bunch of hills and valleys. Now I appreciate the steady standard of peace and love I find myself surrounded in. I feel amazingly lucky and I can’t believe I deserve it or that I have landed here. When I think back to five years ago, I get such a feeling of fear of those hills and valleys. I didn’t know how to get myself out of the bad patterns I had created for myself in love and life. I often used alcohol to drag myself from the lows into an unstable high. I didn’t know how else to save myself from the depression I had created in my life.  
When I remember it makes me feel physically sick and Im so grateful this is a thing of my past. Its been two and a half years since I decided I didn’t want to drink because I didn’t like who I became when I dd. Towards the end, I treated the people I love most poorly and it was almost as if I was crying out for Drew or Dana to save me. A funny thing happened, they both walked away. And they taught me one of the most valuable lessons I have ever learned. They had a right to say that they weren’t going to participate and accept bad behavior from me. They chose themselves. It was past time for me to do the same. At first I felt betrayed and stunned. Slowly, I began to realize that I had to fix me. It was my job and no one could nurse me through it. I deserved to do it for myself.
I don’t think of myself as an alcoholic. I don’t judge anyone who can handle it and have fun with drinking. I simply view it as a choice I made in my life because I like myself better when I don’t. Towards the end, I couldn’t remember what I did or said and I became often angry. I think I was angry because I couldn’t drag myself out of it. Until I did. Then I could become the person I really am. I could ensure that my behavior was always what I chose it to be. I could be good to everyone I loved and be proud of the woman I am. And most importantly unlike the days of the past, I could wake up happy again…..

Outlying in the world

Once upon a time there was a girl who found herself consistently on the outside of normal….
In statistics I learned that most everything lies within a radius of 2/3′s of the mean…or something like that. I feel like Im consistently outside of that bell shaped curve. Sometimes I think it is because I like to be different and sometimes its just who I am whether I like it or not. Its liberating to be different but in the same aspect you find yourself looking around in confusion because your mind doesn’t always work like everyone else.  
So why and how was I different?   
Well..I was 410 pounds when I had my gastric bypass surgery and I was 28 when I had sex for the fist time. Those are some of the major differences in me and other people. Those two things alone have a huge impact on my life. They affected the way I think and the way I treated myself for a long time. They impacted my life in that when my life changed after the surgery and when I became attractive to others I didn’t know how to handle it. I didn’t know how to treat myself. I think Im just learning now. It took a lot of time and allowing myself to be really loved and really loving myself to get here. This is the story of my life. These posts will be the tale of my time and what I think and what Ive done and how Ive grown. Stay tuned!