Sunday, December 28, 2008

God Bless You Nana

It has been a very bittersweet year for us. While we are still struggling with my Daisy girl - who has her good days and her bad days, we had a major loss in our family the week before Christmas. My grandmother passed away just a month after her 99th birthday.

It was quick - she was in the hospital about a week after falling and catching pneumonia. It happened so fast it's like time stood still.

She was the matriarch of our family. I've never known anyone like her. She was the definition of the word life and she lived it to the fullest and always on her own terms. And she has left a hole in our lives that can never be filled. I know I'm lucky to have had her in my life all these years, yet for some reason I never expected her not to be here. It was a tough loss for all of us and frankly I took it harder than I ever expected to. I was lucky to know her not just as a grandmother but as something more thanks to recent years I lived with her.

I'll never forget how she loved to see my family, spend time with my nephew and how she'd get all dressed up and look forward to my annual Christmas parties (she insisted when I moved there that I continue my tradition). I thank all of my friends who have shared their memories of her with all the times they spent with her. It helps me smile through all this.

Those of you who knew her know how much she loved champagne and how every family gathering began with a glass or two. I have always thought of her every time we have some when she's not with us. Now even more so. Thanks to the many of you who remembered sharing a toast with her and enjoying her stories and love of life. You were blessed to have known her.

I gave the eulogy at her funeral a week ago yesterday. I wanted to do it, then thought I couldn't do it but with some courage instilled in me from my mother I know I did her the justice she deserved and she would have been proud. The sad part was knowing that when I was done, Nana wouldn't be sitting in the pew next to me as she often was at family member's services, asking me if she could have a copy of what I wrote. At one point during the services, my two-and-a-half year old nephew (who is wise beyond his years) tapped me on the shoulder, handed me his blanket and said "here Auntie Liz, take my blanket, it will make you feel better." His sweetness and empathy beyond his years was something I'll never forget.

Christmas was her favorite time of year, which made it more bittersweet. It was a tough one to say the least, but I have so many memories of Nana and the wonderful holidays she hosted the majority of my life that she will live on with all the traditions for as long as I am here on this earth.

God Bless you Nana. You will be sorely missed. I love you.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A Prayer for My Daisy Girl

Fourteen years ago I brought you home as a Christmas gift for the entire family, at the time we had no idea you would become the best gift any family could ever wish for. (Although we’ve dubbed you the gift that keeps on giving many times). You have brought more joy into our lives than anyone or anything I have ever known. Your love to cuddle, give kisses and just to be with us at all times is something I can’t imagine being without. Daisy you are the definition of unconditional love. A love I can’t imagine not having for the rest of my life.

Over the years you never failed to welcome us home, give a whimper when we had to run out or be there to jump in our laps and make us feel better when we've had a bad day or cuddle up next to us at night with the warmth of your body at our side. Now that your hearing isn't what it used to be, we don't get the amazing greetings we used to, but once you realize we're home it's like time stopped - you may be growing older but you are still the lovable puppy you were when we first met you.

You have had the best life of any dog I have ever known. You never lacked for love, affection, food, medical attention, walks, treats, toys … the list goes on and on. I’ve always joked that in my next life I would come back as you, Daisy, and it still stands to do. You’ve lived a very charmed life and you deserved all of it.

For weeks since you’ve been sick a day, a moment an hour doesn’t go by when my eyes don’t well up with tears imagining that someday you’re going to have to leave us all behind. Years ago we thought we lost you – but your tenacity and strength pulled you through it and you surprised us all, including Dr. Kaye. We were blessed with additional years we never expected, but that doesn’t make you growing older any less difficult for us all.

At 14, despite the chronic cough you’ve been battling the past few weeks, you still have the sprite of a young puppy and that beautiful little face that hasn’t changed since I brought you home when you were only four months old.

Today Daisy’s spending the day at the vet in the hopes they can help her. The antibiotics she’s been taking for the past 11 days have not helped, nor have the efforts of my parents who many times daily have taken her in the bathroom to sit in the steam to help clear up the congestion.

We should know sometime this afternoon what the prognosis is, and I’m hoping with all my might we may all have one last Christmas with our holiday angel.

I love you so much my beautiful baby girl and I hope and pray you can be helped.