Sunday, November 28, 2010

another death in the family

Ten days after the death of my mother, and four months after the death of his brother Oliver, our dear sweet dog, Dylan Thomas died yesterday after a long and happy life of 14yrs.
Dylan had been sick with a bad cough caused by an inoperable tumor in his lungs since the summer and had just last week started having seizures, which we think were related to metastases in his brain. We were hoping he would be around for a little longer as he was responding to medication to stop the seizures and to stem the cough and increase his appetite. But yesterday evening he had two seizures that he never came out of and Susan and her sister took him to the emergency vet while I stayed at home with Isobel and sobbed.  We knew when the seizures would not stop that this was the end for Dylan. I gave him a hug and a kiss as he was carried out the back door at about 11pm. Susan's sister sat in the back seat of the car with   Dylan on her lap  while Susan drove the few miles to the vets. They were both with him with when he died. Susan held his head as he died and told him we loved him.
Dylan was a wonderful companion for us and for his  brother Oliver and some of the things he loved the most were chasing his  Kong and running  crashing  into the waves of the lake, snuggling on the couch and the bed with us, chasing Oliver in circles around the beach and play fighting with him, eating cat food whenever he could sneak it, and rolling in the grass and on the sand. We are going to miss him so much and are lives are changed without him. We are grateful that he and Oliver were in our lives for some of the most wonderful years.
Dylan and Ollie as puppies
Dylan and Ollie are reunited again:)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

my mum

My dear mum, Patricia Ann P*, died peacefully on  Tuesday November 17th, 2010, aged 73 in Yorkshire, England. She was a  teacher, lover of literature, antiquarian bookseller, writer, pacifist, animal rights campaigner, Quaker and lover of the Hebrides.  She fought a courageous fourteen year battle with Parkinson's disease and her tenacity and spirit were an inspiration to us. My brother Jonathan,who lives close to my mother and spent countless hours visiting her, tending to her and advocating for her care, spent the last three days singing and reading to her, sharing stories and memories as she rested peacefully. He was accompanied by his partner Chayley and son Murray in his vigil and he was able to be with my mum at the end. 
Mum died on Isobel's one month birthday, and we had just sent her photos of Isobel which my brother showed to her and placed around her room. We were hoping that my mum could  meet Isobel in the summer when we were planning to visit.

When my dad died on April 17th 2008 I didn't have this blog and I didn't have Facebook.  I sent out a mass email instead. This time I put it on Facebook and sent out an email. It was comforting to get so many responses from people who wrote words of love and support. Especially being far away from most of my small family.
In some ways infertility played into my not being there for my dad's death and my mum's too. We  put off visits starting in 2007 when we were starting out on TTC. When my dad died I had let my passport lapse and had to beg the British Embassy to expedite it for me - which they beautifully did - in a matter of days. The last time I saw my mum was in April / May 2008 when we went over for my dad's funeral. TTC and cycles and waiting got in the way of that kind of long distance travel. And the thought was, we were going to get pregnant any day and it would be much more fun to visit with a baby than with a bump.  I wanted to visit in May when I was in my second trimester  but didn't because of my general anxiety about the pregnancy. Now I am a US citizen but one who has still not applied for a passport - because - well I have been busy.  I know that I couldn't get a US passport in a hurry and I also don't want to travel with Isobel when she is so young and vulnerable to viruses and germs. She has had a cold for the past three weeks as it is.  The doctor said I could do it, although she is not advocating for it, but I just don't want to. And I need to apply for my passport.

We are going to go in August as originally planned and have a memorial service for mum then.  We are going on a family holiday to the Isle of Tiree with my brother and his family and my sister. We will scatter my mum and dad's ashes on the island, which was one of their very favorite places on earth. My brother is planning mum's funeral service which will take place at the crematorium in my home town and then at the Quaker meeting that my mum was a member of for almost 40 yrs.  The service is next week, on December 1st.
I have so much other stuff to say - about being a mum, a wife, adopting our daughter, post partum depression, breastfeeding, etc etc. It is so hard to find time to blog. I read blogs while I am breastfeeding or holding Isobel but it's hard to write on the I phone.
I leave you with some pics - of my mum and dad, and of their sweet grand-daughter Isobel.
My mum and dad, Pat and Harry on our favorite beach on the Isle of Tiree, Caolas
mum, reading  in one of her favorite places - her garden
Isobel waiting to see the pediatrician for her one month appointment

Isobel on the table at the pediatrician wearing her cousin Murray's baby grow!