Monday, March 29, 2010

How was your day .... today?

Hopefully, your day was better than mine. After finally figuring out where I could find free wireless (Durham Library) and then determining that I could take the children to the dentist, then to school, hangout at the library for the rest of the day, then go to Patrick's wrestling practice, I was ready for this day to start.

Well, that is not how it ended up. First, my driveway is now dirty again after 8 solid hours of pressure washing it. Seems there is enough trash washing down the creek to dam it up and wash over the culvert. I came out to trees and lumber that had to be moved (in the rain) before I could leave the yard. Traffic was slow, but OK, then I noticed the car was running a little warm, just as we got to the dentist. Making sure there was enough coolant, we started to take the children to school after the dentist appointment, only to get about 3 miles down the road to an over heating car.

Driving about 2 miles at the time, stopping and letting the car cool off is not fun, and it made Patrick very nervous. I made it to Durham, but not to school (thanks to my ex-wife's mother-in-law for getting the children the rest of the way). Thanks to one of the guys at work for finding me an Advanced Auto Parts near where I ended up.

Finally, there is a good side that they had the parts and tools that I needed to replace the thermostat. Now, off to the library where I spent much of the afternoon. Then about 4:00 PM, I find out that Patrick is sick and cannot go to wrestling practice ... arrg, I have hung out in Durham all day. O'Well, the library was quiet and I got a lot done. I did finally make it back home!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Farewell to Lou-Lou - Part Four

In July of 2008, I married Vickie and she and J.C. moved into what was my house, only ... I "thought" it was my house, turns out it was Lou-Lou's house and I was being ALLOWED to stay here. My new bride found it extremely funny to watch me feed Lou-Lou. I always made him meow before I would give him food or treats. He did not like it, but I always did it and sometimes I fully believe that Lou-Lou had an internal mental struggle giving me the meow for his dinner.

Lou-Lou was slightly annoyed when Vickie moved in and brought along her four cats. As humorous as all the interactions with the various cats were, Lou-Lou still remained "Dana's Cat" and continued to be fun, even being more playful sometimes than before the new marriage. After about 9 months with all of these animals, Vickie and I decided that we had to do something about the fleas that seemed to be worse than ever before.

As the unofficial King of the House, Lou-Lou was either used to the baths, too dignified to get very angry, or already getting sick and we just did not know it yet. About 3 weeks after these pictures were taken, my friend for so many years started to slow down, not be so playful, and no longer even able to jump on my bed. Twice I found him by the creek in front of our house just laying there, not coming to my calling.

I have to admit that I was not at all prepared for the emotions that came with having to put Lou-Lou to sleep. It really was one of the most painful and complicated experiences of my life.

The peaceful experience of holding him as the veterinarian gave him the medicine to stop his heart. The sense of loss when his breathing and movements stopped on June 23rd, 2009.

The grief that came over me as I showed him in his cardboard casket to my children when picking them up from summer camp. The pride I had in my boys as they insisted in helping me dig the grave in the back yard.

While it might seem trivial now, I could not be more proud of Vickie and all her words of wisdom during this time. I really did not want to have a "funeral" over a cat, but it really did help both the children, Vickie, and especially me to find Bible verses to read and prayers to say.

Lou-Lou, you will never know how many memories you gave me. Even now it is difficult to write about your death. We continue to laugh at the joy you gave us and the times we shared.

Goodbye old friend.