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Posts Tagged ‘Too Hard to Let Go’

Looking Back at March

In Family, Inspiration and Motivation, Pursuit of Happiness on April 1, 2010 at 10:08 am

Each month, I do a recap to measure my progress while keeping myself accountable to my goals.

Here is my look back at March…

THE PURSUIT OF HEALTH

I wish that this was an “April Fool’s” joke, but unfortunately, it isn’t.  The pursuit of health went way off course this month for a variety of reasons.

As the month began, I was in Las Vegas attending a convention.  Over the course of three days, I probably walked as much as I would have if I had been at home.  It’s just that the walking took place in a huge convention center instead of the streets and walking trails near my home.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is that conventions are not the best place to eat properly, and this convention in particular, made it virtually impossible.

Once I got home, there was a lot of follow-up work to be done.  And on top of that, my son started having football practice during the time when I would normally go for a walk.  While practice isn’t every day, it was enough to stop me from getting back into my usual routine.  Busy days and evening practices left very little time to do the walking that I intended to do.  Getting off of my routine was bad enough, but then I had to deal with some personal issues that also took my mind away from making the time to take my daily walks.

While it was a difficult month, I realize that I could have made the time to exercise, but I didn’t do it nearly as much as I should have.  It would be easy to blame my failure this month on extenuating circumstances, but the reality is that I didn’t do what I needed to do.  All I can do now is look towards the future.

This month, I will be starting a more rigorous exercise program designed by a friend.  The program will eventually be released as a DVD for others to use.  I will be sharing my progress in future posts once I get started.

THE PURSUIT OF WEALTH

Although March was not a good month for my pursuit of health, I made progress in my pursuit of wealth.  Two of the projects that I am working on took some steps in the right direction.  It’s all part of the process of laying the foundation for the future.  While my impatience tends to get the best of me at times, I realize that doing things the “right way” now is more important than taking shortcuts to reach my destination more quickly.

I’m looking forward to sharing more details about one of the projects sometime in April.

THE PURSUIT OF “HAPPYNESS”

As is usually the case, this month had good days and bad days.  I knew heading into the month that it was going to be difficult (see posts entitled “A Year Ago Today”, “Dear Dad” and “Too Hard to Let Go” to understand why).  In addition, there were some other unexpected issues to deal with.

While March had its share of trying moments, there were good times as well.  The trip to Las Vegas was good on a business level, but the highlight of the trip was reuniting with a cousin that I hadn’t seen in a long time (see post entitled “24 Years” for details).

It is said that “when one door closes…another one opens.” The unexpected issues that I had to deal with have shown me that the saying holds true.  I am very grateful for the silver lining that came with the dark clouds.

On the positive side, I am thrilled with my son’s football team.  It is a great group of kids, coaches and parents.  For the first time since he started playing organized sports, I feel that he is finally experiencing the joy that I did while playing little league baseball as a kid.

Of course, in spite of any bad days that I may have had, there was always something to be happy about.  I’m thankful that laughter fills our home at least once a day.  Although I always knew this, sometimes the bad days give me an extra reminder of how great my life is with my wife and kids.

CONCLUSION

It seems a bit silly that flipping the calendar is really a chance to start anew, but I do feel that way today.  Overall, March was a difficult month and I’m glad that April is here.  I’m ready to move forward and build on the positive things that happened in March.

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Too Hard to Let Go

In Family on March 22, 2010 at 8:06 am

In the summer of 2008, we started to notice traces of blood on the carpet where our dog would lay.  We kept checking his paws for cuts, but couldn’t find any.  At some point, we noticed a small bump on his nose.  I’m not sure how or when we figured it out, but the blood was not coming from his paws at all.  It was coming from his nose.  We had no idea what it was, but we thought that the vet would be able to give him something to clear it up.  After taking an x-ray, they determined that it was a tumor, which is apparently not that uncommon for German Shepherds.  The only option we were given was surgery to remove the tumor.  Aside from the fact that it was very risky (with no guarantees of success), the overall treatment would have cost at least $5000, so we were left with no real options.

The tumor continued to grow, and the nosebleeds got worse.  In only a few months, the dog that would spend all day chasing birds and squirrels up and down the hill in our backyard, started to become lethargic.  He would give chase once in a while, but most of his days were spent lying in the sun on the grass, or on the covered cement patio.  On Thanksgiving Day, we feared the worst, as we couldn’t find him in any of his usual spots.  He had nestled himself into a corner covered by bushes, and didn’t come out when called.  Eventually he emerged from the bushes, but we knew that things had taken a turn for the worse.

By January of last year, the nosebleeds became so bad that we started contemplating what to do.  Our dog no longer had the run of the house.  We had to confine him to the rooms without carpet, and had to block the stairs because he no longer had the strength to get up and down them.  He would spend time outside, but no longer was able to do so for long periods of time when it was cold.  All the while, the tumor continued to grow so large that his vision was impaired.

March of 2009 was a very difficult time.  My grandmother had passed away in the beginning of the month (see post entitled “A Year Ago Today”), and we had decided that we would be relocating to Texas once the school year ended.  None of this was easy on us, but it was hardest on our son, who was six years old at the time.  First he had to deal with the loss of his great grandmother, and then he found out that he was going to be leaving his home and his friends to move to another part of the country.  He also knew that things were not good for our dog who was fading fast.

When he got home from school on a Friday, we had to sit him down and tell him that we were going to have to put our dog to sleep.  We explained that he wasn’t happy anymore because he couldn’t do the things that he loved to do.  He was very sad, but he seemed to understand that it was what needed to be done, and that we were only doing it for our dog’s sake.  The appointment that we dreaded was made for Monday.  We had held out hope that he would go on his own, but he was hanging on (albeit by a narrow margin).

My son spent time with our dog on Saturday, and then on Sunday, before going to a friend’s birthday party, he went outside and threw the ball to him.  Although he could only bring it back two times, at a very slow pace, he was still connecting with us.  I went inside and told my wife that we had to cancel the appointment.  I didn’t have the heart to put our dog to sleep, even though I knew that it was the right thing to do.  My wife reluctantly agreed to my decision, which was based purely on emotion and not at all on logic.

I took my son to his friend’s birthday party.  He was able to really enjoy himself knowing that we were not going to be putting our dog to sleep the next day.

When we got home, I looked out the kitchen window and saw my dog lying very still in the grass.  My wife said that he did that while my son and I were out, but he eventually lifted his head slowly and looked up.  I went outside and got down on my knees to check on him.  He was gone.  I went in and got the family so that we could say our goodbyes.  It was one of the saddest moments of my life.  The only solace that I got was that he died in the place that he loved best in the world.

He lived exactly 12.5 years to the day.  My wife and I got him when he was just a puppy (before we even got engaged).  He moved from place to place with us, but he was not destined to make the move to Texas.  Out of all of the places that we lived, our last place was his favorite.  He would spend nearly every waking hour running up and down that hill.  At times, we would bring him in to eat, drink and hang out, but it wouldn’t be long before he was scratching at the back door to go back outside.

Today is a painful reminder of his loss as it is the one-year anniversary of his passing.  My son has told us that he never wants another dog again because that was his dog and he can’t be replaced.  I agree, and so does my wife.  My little one can’t really grasp that he’s gone, and still asks about him from time to time as if he is still running around outside waiting to come in later on.  If only that were true.

So today, I pay tribute to our beloved dog.  Wherever you are pal, just know that you may be gone, but you are not forgotten by any of us.  And though you may not be with us anymore, you will always be our dog!

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