Saturday, February 1
Wednesday, January 1
Sometimes it's easy to think that a new year is a clean slate, but really, it's not. Today is just another day. But it is nice to see this day as a beginning...of a new year, of new adventures and of new momentum.
It's really hard to start blogging again when it's been so long. I don't even know where to start, really, since I never intended to stop. I have thought of writing many times, but when I come to this page, one of the last entries is the entry about Rocky's death and that always throws me off. While 2013 held many good things for me, the death of my beloved kitty ultimately overshadows it all. I still miss him every single day and the grief continues to be overwhelming at times. His death changed all of us in a way. Simon wasn't himself for months. He didn't eat for awhile and lost weight. We were so terrified that we were going to lose him too. He is better now, but he is a changed cat. He stays in most of the time. He doesn't roll in the dirt anymore. At all. (And that used to be a daily activity for him.) He is even more vocal than he used to be. And sometimes, if we are out too long, he waits for us in the window, crying. We all cling to each other in different ways. We are a family of three now, and it will stay that way for the time being. As much as I love the idea of a new kitten, I am not ready to give my heart to another cat.
I don't know what this year will hold for me and that's okay. I am volunteering two days a week at the Georgia O'Keeffe Research Center and I think that it is a step in a new direction for me. I hope that this year holds more travel for us, but our finances might not allow that to happen. And I continue to hope that I will make lasting and deeper connections with a few people, online or off.
Today I am feeling optimistic, but still have to remind myself not to dwell in the negative. I need to see my life as a glass half full, not half empty. My tendency is to focus on what I don't have instead of what I have and it is a hard habit to break, but it is something I will continue to work on.
I also plan to listen to more hip hop this year, because for some reason, that genre is the missing gap in my musical taste and education.
As per usual for me, this post is all over the place, but I have to start somewhere. And this is that start.
Happy New Year and best wishes to you all! xo
Wednesday, July 24
Tuesday, July 23
Rest in peace, my sweet, handsome boy.
February 12, 1999 - July 12, 2013
(This is the last successful instant photo that I took of Rocky.)
(This is the last successful instant photo that I took of Rocky.)
Sometimes I still can't believe that Rocky is gone. I can see him so clearly, in my mind, in all of his favorite places. I can see him sitting on the wall, waiting to come inside. I can see him trotting up the driveway with a style that was all his own. I can feel him next to me when I get into bed at night to read. And when I cook bacon or grate cheese. Outside by the grill. Nestled between the plants in the garden. Rocky is everywhere in my heart and in my mind and, I hope that in some way his spirit is still with us.
Rocky has been a huge presence in my life since the moment I picked him up at a laundromat in Pittsburgh. He was a tiny little fluff ball, but no matter, he took over the house. He followed me around and slept with me at night. He saw me through a bad break up, a new love affair, countless bouts of depression, and stayed by my side even when I played records too loud during late night solo dance parties. He moved to Brooklyn with me and then back to Pittsburgh and then all the way to Santa Fe. And he still followed me around and slept with me at night. He gave me so much love and joy and laughter. We still have Simon, another wonderful kitty, but no matter, the house feels so quiet and empty to me without Rocky.
Back when we found out about his tumor, we knew he was going to die, but that knowledge in no way prepared us for the reality of losing him. Even as his conditioned worsened, I think that somewhere in the back of my mind, I still thought he would be around for a much longer time. And then in what seemed like a matter of days, he was gone.
The changes in him were gradual, and really, he was a trooper through the whole thing. He never isolated himself from us and he never struck out at us even though we are quite sure that he was experiencing more discomfort than we were aware of at the time. He was sweet and loving and I think he wanted to stay with us as long as he could. When it got to be more than he could bear, he let us know that it was time.
That morning, he ate a little bit and hung outside for awhile, two of his most favorite things to do. The previous evening, we had made an appointment with an at home vet for a consultation, although when we got up that morning, we knew that it was going to be the end for him. I am grateful that I got to spend so much time with him. That he could still eat some. That he could still go outside. I am grateful that I got to spend that morning with him, telling him how much I love him, what a wonderful kitty he has been, and that I really didn't want to say good-bye, but I knew he needed to move on out of his broken body.
I sat on the bed with him, giving him space, and at one point, he walked over to me and tried his best to nestled his head into my leg. He couldn't settle in one position for very long, but when he did that, it meant so much to me.
We had never even met this vet before, but she was wonderful. She was so kind and gentle with Rocky and with us. And that is exactly what we all needed. She took one look at him and said that she felt that it was time. (She said that if she didn't think it was time, she would tell us that as well. This is something that I really needed to hear from a vet.) She said that the greatest act of love is being able to let go. I am grateful that she came into our lives right when we needed her and that Rocky never had to be in a car again and did not have to spend his final moments in a place that he hated.
We settled down on the couch with Rocky between the two of us. The vet gave him a sedative first that would knock him out. We pet him and loved him and said our good-byes again while his body slowly relaxed into the medication. Because he was basically gone at that point, the final shot did not bring him pain at all. He died peacefully at home, on the couch, surrounded by love. And as heartbreaking as it is, I am grateful we could help him have a gentle end. I miss him so much, but I know it is better that he is no longer uncomfortable or in pain. He is kitty heaven, frolicking and eating as much as his heart desires.
He will live on in our hearts forever.
Two Fridays ago, I shared with many of you on Twitter, Flickr and Facebook that we had to say good-bye to Rocky. And then I felt rather odd about it, because I was so deep into my grief, and, well, how much of that do we share on social media? Really, it was for me, and for Rocky, because I shared so much of him with all of you and in my head, at that time, it was important that people know. And I needed comfort from friends even if it only consisted of internet hugs from people I've never even met in person.
And, as I write this post, I wonder if I have shared too much, but in the end, it doesn't matter. It is for me. And for Rocky. And Will and Simon. We all share in the love and the grief, and for me, sometimes that means sharing on this website as well. I have shared so many of Rocky's stories here and this is part of his story. (And certainly not the whole story.) You can find more of his stories in the set dedicated to him on my Flickr. And this is one of my favorite posts about him on this website. I miss him so much and there are so many tears, but I am grateful that I have so many memories via photos that make me smile and laugh. It helps.
Saturday, July 20
Another 'Roid Week come and gone. It was a difficult week for me so I did not have my usual enthusiasm, but I still managed to be blown away by all of the incredible photos in the pool. It's always such an inspiring week, though, of course, I shoot instant film almost every day. Here are my Day Five faves. You can check out the group pool here - 3,351 submissions this year! Woohoo!
Oh! And because I love instant photos of cats, I made a few galleries for The Cats of 'Roid Week. You can check out all there here. (Rocky should be in them, but you can't put your own photos in a gallery created by yourself.)
1. Trees, 2. It Won't Stop, 3. Sunshine Surrounds, 4. Heaven, 5. Where I Go To Relax, 6. I thought I glimpsed the edge of the Universe., 7. sheep & buildings, 8. 59 Lily, 9. 'Roid Week day 5, 10. wanderlust, 11. camera hater, 12. with my cameras..., 13. into the sun..., 14. polapup, 15. Happy 'Roid Week 2013! (July 19), 16. Bye 'Roidweek 2013, 17. 'Roid Week #9, 18. I just need to put this down and say good bye for a little while, this is consuming me. - Ben, 19. Polaroid Emulsion Lift - Grand Guitar, 20. Let's Play Dead, 21. Untitled, 22. *, 23. Woods Hole Beach Path, 24. A Slice Of Light., 25. Untitled, 26. Untitled, 27. SX70 | PX70, 28. 'Roid Week #10, 29. 'Roid Week #10, 30. Untitled, 31. i let my heart fly away ..., 32. Aimee and Me, 33. St Martins in the Fields - 'Roid Week 2013 day5, 34. Untitled No. 7, 35. On the Precipice, 36. siblings
1. ., 2. Sand Castle PX70 Cool, 3. Let's Scoot!, 4. rat boy...v.1, 5. sunset at Cannon Beach, 6. swiftly go the days, 7. Aimee and the sewing machine, 8. newport bay marina, 9. it's the Mr Giggles show!, 10. huts, 11. american woods, 12. The Vase, 13. The Storm, 14. A Whisper in the Night, 15. Untitled, 16. Flowers, 17. display, 18. Respect for All Creatures Living and Passed, 19. AnneBoleyn, 20. Untitled, 21. Polaroids 1, 22. looking up, 23. #roidweek2013 (day 5), 24. The funeral for a mouse, 25. Untitled, 26. Dawn redwoods (Polaroid transfer), 27. Roid Week Day 5, 28. Blue Ridge Mountains, 29. Lost Wisdom., 30. Untitled
Some of the photos don't show up because they lack the proper permission (to be used with fds flickr toys) from the photographer, but you can follow the links below each mosaic to view each photograph.
[Created by fds flickr toys.]