Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Best of Christmas' Past

Here we are (minus Mum, who took the photograph), Christmas, 1981. This is the cubby house my dad built for my christmas gift. It had a foundation with paved verandah, locking door, and real glass windows, even carpet, and thanks to mum it even had drapes! After months of hard work, we had the grand opening on Christmas Day. Pictured are my brother Don and his wife Cathy, peeking out the window; my brother Ken and his wife Cheryl on the front verandah on the left; and myself and Dad on the verandah on the right.... also note the glass of Coke I'm holding.... in my childhood we only had soft drinks on SPECIAL occasions so that was also very exciting! I also have special memories of the building of the cubby house, and my job was general hand... on one weekend a sudden bolt of thunder made me jump.... scattering the tin of nails I was holding everywhere. After the weather cleared, Dad sent me out to pick up every last nail I could find... waste not want not!

Christmas 1983, here my Dad and I are with mum's sister Jean and my grandmother... I just realized though that again, Mum is not in the picture, there is one that dad took with her in it but I have it framed. This was my first Christmas with my Nanna, we drove the long way across the Nullabor desert to get to Adelaide in time for a real family celebration. I can tell you that trip was long, hot, and many a cup of ice cubes was consumed en route. Being with Nanna for Christmas was truly magical.... definitely one of the best times in my life.
Unfortunately this year on Christmas Day, my cat Roman (pictured here a few years younger than he is now), was quite distressed before lunch and given his age and the increasing problems he has we were forced to discuss his future. At 17 years old, Roman is losing his sight a little, is getting a little hard of hearing, and thin and very stiff in the back legs... all of this is to be expected, but we are continually trying to prevent bowel obstructions which are painful and distressing. He can no longer take a general anaesthetic and we can't watch him struggle with what is an essential daily function, we give him tablets with senna in them to help, but he is also losing control of the nerves needed to do a bowel movement so it will only get harder for him. I had been hoping not to have to make this choice, I had a romantic idea of him dying happily asleep in the back yard as he is wont to do, but when the holidays are over we will have to say goodbye. It is a pity that the vet clinic does not have a special room for this, where you can sit as a family on a couch with your pet on your lap as he goes to sleep but alas, I know it will be on the exam table in a bland room where we only recently just had him re vaccinated. My biggest worry is that I will be crying before we begin, I don't want Roman to think I am unhappy or stressed as he picks up on these things. I have a few days to spend as much time with him as possible and prepare myself. I remember a Christmas a few years ago when the vet saved him on christmas day, so we are lucky to have had an extension on his life from then. Actually we have saved him a few times over this 17 years together and I know I'm very lucky to have enjoyed a long life with him. So I will remain as positive as possible.


Anonymous said...

Hi Starry,
It's so sad when it's time to let our beloved pets go, and I know it is really heart wrenching, more so I feel when we have to have them put down. I stayed with my baby with her head in my arm, until she was no more.

That was 3 years ago now, and we have a new baby, but I'm crying as I type this, it doesn't leave you I don't think. We had her for 14 years (dog) and she was very loved.

I do wish you all the best, and hope that after this sad time for you that is coming that you still have a great 2011.

Jace said...

Thanks for sharing, Starry. Big hugs to you and Roman. My thoughts are with you at this difficult time.

Chez said...

Sweet Starry love the 'blast from the past' cubby and family pictures.
My heart goes out to you; the decision to say goodbye to Roman is not yours. It is being taken from you. I am wondering if my fate will be similar.
Enjoy the time you have together. Roman feels your love and I am grateful to you for sharing your thoughts.
Lots of love my friend xo

Miss Val's Creations said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your Roman. It is so sad saying goodbye to a pet, especially after 17 years! Our pets bring us so much joy. Just stay strong and remember the great life you gave him.

What wonderful Christmas memories. ~Val

Starry said...

Thank you all so much, I have always felt so supported by what I call the 'pet community'... I think all who have loved a pet are connected by shared experiences. I have never even been in the pet food aisle without some friendly stranger striking up a conversation in which we each share about our pet/pets.

Roman has looked a bit brighter for two days, I know what I still have to do in the new year, but it is lovely to have this time with him not looking at me with glassy, vacant eyes. He still seeks his regular cuddles and enjoys sitting on the patio until I am forced to bring him in from the heat. He still nags me to let him back out... so that feels normal... he'd lie ourside where the airconditioner shoots out the hot air if I'd let him!