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I would do anything…(pt 2)

Yes.

I would do anything for the love of Tobias, my first fur baby!

Tobias, 13 yrs of age and plague with many illnesses. Some breed specific: dermatology issues with yeast, cataracts, possibly Cushing’s disease . Other illnesses linked to old age: arthritis, vestibular disease , and lipomas galore.

I would do anything…for Tobias.

Mulberry Model-who did double walk-way struts when Pi Patel grew bored of the scenery

The guardian of mom when she was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. Tobias did not leave her side before the diagnosis, during the procedures following the diagnosis and the ensuing chemo treatments

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Tobias, the therapy dog, who frequented Bishop Hulces Episcopal Nursing Home where he greeted all residents with long petting sessions.. Most especially, affecting the residents of the dementia floor who were non-verbal but spoke during a visit with Tobias

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Ok.

This stops here…lists are boring…but pictures, yes pictures, visually tell more.

The Puppy years. (L) First grooming (R) First day home. .

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Tattoo comps

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More tattoo comps

Bed Buddies

Toby  being a good sport when mom is bored

Toby’s surgery-never again will I be in surgery with my fur babies…well maybe

Toby just being, The Tobes, Tobadiah, Mr T, Mr Tobes, Chunky monkey, Tobias, Tub of Lard (mom’s nickname, not mine)…

 

Toby and I say, “THANK YOU” to everyone who reached out to us during his bout with vestibular disease. Words of concern and encouragement are so dear when one feels alone  going through this. Once again, “THANK YOU!”

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100% me…or Nothing better to do on a day off.

60%

Me:

No hair straightener
No botox, silicone, tucks or lifts
Cutting MY own hair
Natural feet and hands- no polish
Natural tan
No umbrella needed-rain caresses my skin
No stress once the body hits the bed scented with lavender FullSizeRender
Natural high from endorphins after a great run ( gotta love those opioids)
Natural ability to feel, internalize and be empathic
Greens and fruit are the bulk of nutrition

20%

Artificial ingredients:

The black  hair dye- whichever name brand’s on sale
Listerine -to freshen and decontaminate my mouth
Teeth whitener-because the past years of smoking have done their damage
Mascara-once used to make my tiny lashes longer, but now its sole purpose is the cover the grey on my lashes and eyebrows
Black eyeliner-because the 80’s refuse to dissipate just cause we’re in 2016
Lipstick-to cover MY pink lips which were once dark back in the day when I smoked
Deodorant-actually this should go under organic since it is a stone which lets the sweat come through but not the ordour
Sunscreen-not sure why I bother but hey…

10%

Fillers:

Potato chips
Alcohol-although it is made from natural plants
Chicken nuggets-from Chinese take-out
Andy Capp’s Hot Fries

5%

Organic:

Mi alma (soul)
Mi corazon (heart)
Mi cuerpo
Mi vida
Homemade soap and shampoo made from shea butter and coconut milk

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5%

Active ingredients:

Playing piano
Writing
Running
Gardening
Animal nursing
Always learning and not taking knowledge for granted

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Fur Babies medication in the foreground

Too Blessed…To Be Stressed…

Walking the fur babies this morning led to a wonderful quote from a woman I greeted with, “How are you?”

“Too blessed to be stressed”, she replied and smiled a smile that competed with the brilliance of the sun’s rays on the sidewalk

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What a positive way to begin one’s day. A new day, without the anger and disappointment carried over from yesterday or the worries and fretfulness of tomorrows ‘what’s to come’.

 

Too blessed to be stressed.

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Those words remind me to heed and acknowledge the power of Gratitude.

Gratitude often ignored, often forgotten while one concentrates on the wants of what to have, and not  of what one already has.

It’s hard.

Life gets in the way and ruins all the good thoughts.

I don’t have a shower with cold water-at least I have a shower.

I don’t like the food I’m forced to buy due to finances-at least I have food.

I don’t like the apartment I live in as it’s overheated, too humid and needs new flooring and tiles-at least I have an apartment to call my own and it keeps me warm, with a floor to walk on.

I don’t have enough money-at least I have some money.

I don’t like having to make my own lotion and shampoo because I can’t afford to buy the ‘good stuff’-at least you have the ingredients and the stove and fridge to make the lotion and the shampoo.

I don’t like Fios or Time Warner service and can’t afford the full package deal-at least I got cable and a tv to watch it on.

I can bathe, cook, clean myself up, wake up from sleeping in a comfortable bed, have fur babies whom I love ( and where my salary goes to), a salary of some sort, food (okay it’s not all organic and vegan as I’d like it to be), once again FOOD, clothing (okay most of it’s from Sears)-so I need to shut up, get my butt back into volunteering and going to church to ease my mind and get the balance right in my head.

Yes.

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I am too blessed to be stressed.

 

**images from the Word Wide Web.

Homegoing or saying Goodbye to a neighbour…

Recently, I wrote on my FB page about the passing of a neighbour :

“Another neighbour passed on…three deaths this month on the block, in ‘MY ‘HOOD’ . She arrived on this block in 1958 , way before it became ‘other people’s neighbourhood’. My familia arrived here in 1962. We are losing the old timers on my block, the TRUE neigbours who are replaced by neighbours I don’t care to know or have. Mi alma is overloaded right now. The passage of time is not always nice. Rest in blissful peace Mrs *******!”

My FB peeps offered condolences and encouragements to keep on being keeping on. One in particular, a dear friend and my priest, reminded me, I was not to forget at one time, we were, the newbies on the block and to give the new neighbours a chance.

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At first I was frustrated, reading his response for I know of conflicts my neighbours of colour endured from the Italians and Irish groups who were here before them. These neighbours would spit on the sidewalk as they walked past. This was the year of 1958. By the time I was born in 1964, those same neighbours who once spat, cooed at me as their teenaged daughter pushed my carriage up and down the block. Go figure. Integration is integration, first met with fear then dissolved into acceptance, once we see the other as not being as bad as we thought. The daughter and her family are still on this block and I adore them dearly.

“The neighbours I don’t care to know”, are the young couples, the hip singles, the expats from Manhattan, looking to score a bigger apartment with amenities and a doorman. Who cares if the rent is twice what you paid for the tiny studio apartment in your former four flight walkup? These invaders are on the scene, invading my ‘hood’.

And that’s it.

They arrive and spread, dissimilating the makeup of the neighbourhood, forgoing ‘Good Mornings’, blocking the sidewalks while conversing with other arrivals about pilates, the new restaurant, drinks, backstabbing and eloquent gossiping (talking trash in my language).

I’m ranting.

And…

I meant to write about my neighbour.

The one whose Home Going was attended by most of the neighbours on the block who laughed, cried and rejoiced in the stories of her life, her giving and feeding of everyone. It was a beautiful service which lingered on after the night was over and brought smiles to us neighbours, as we reminisced about it the days after. I will miss seeing her outside, sweeping and cleaning up or stopping by her place to talk awhile after finishing my piano lessons with her brother who lives upstairs.

I guess it’s going to take a while to get to that place where I “see the other as not as bad as we thought”.

I’m not there yet.images.jpg

And, may move before it comes.

Mrs ******* may not have been thrilled about the changes of the guard (people) in the ‘hood’. We joked and talked about it.

But…

She always said “Good Morning” to everyone regardless if she received a response or not.

I guess that is a place to start.

Just say ‘Good Morning’.

 

***images from the World Wide Web***

 

 

 

 

Mi primo is no longer hurting…

My cousin Zarak Mohandas Delattibodier has kidney disease and received dialysis two to three times a week.

He needs a kidney.

A donor was identified and during the beginning stages of gathering donor information, he developed an infection in the mitral valve of his heart.

The infection was resistant to antibiotics.

Zarak also had severe periodontal disease.

The hospital released my cousin after a four-day stay and sent him home with antibiotics for the heart and dental appointments to begin work on the perio. One week later, Zarak had difficulty breathing and went back to the hospital where he lost consciousness and was placed on a ventilator and an iv catheter with major antibiotics.

The infection of the heart was  fungal.

Mi pimo’s body was too weak to fight. He coded numerous times and stabilized with resuscitation but brain damage may have occurred and he could not breathe on his own.

The ‘No Resuscitation’ directive was put in place. Then rescinded by his wife who is separated from him.

Mi primo is no longer hurting…
No anxiety about the kidney donor’s health condition or going through dialysis

Mi primo is no longer hurting…
He may pass on in California, where he wanted to live and will receive a military burial

Mi primo is no longer hurting…
He’ll join his mom, mi Tía, whom he loved and whose hand he held as she drew her last breath

Mi primo is no longer hurting…
He can play his sax and jam with the angels

Mi primo is no longer hurting…
He can eat all the beef jerky, fried chicken and fries he desires with Excelsior Cabernet

Mi primo is no longer hurting…
He doesn’t have to carry the weight of his family’s dysfunction on his back anymore

I wish the decision could be made to turn off the switch that would enable his alma to be free…

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At this moment…

January 30, 2013

At this moment, I find myself in the midst of transitions of the most unexpected and most gentle kind.

At this moment, I overheard mom talking to her half-sister over the phone. Another McCalla, Victor McCalla, my mother’s brother died. Death is usually the only reason a McCalla would contact another McCalla. The drama of he said, she said and there will be no burial, cremation, and the ashes will sit on the living room shelf until someone goes to Honduras mantra starts after the death announcement.

If I remained a Walsh, my reaction to this news, the mantra not the death, would be comic relief but since I became a McCalla my reaction to the mantra remains, trying not to react. I always cry at the news of death.

Mom’s side of the family is dysfunctional and I believe Webster honoured them with the definition. Mom’s family is also large. Out of ten children, only four are presently alive and only two communicate maybe once a year. Two are on the east coast, two on the west and east does not speak to west.

All the McCalla’s (except me…sigh) were born in Honduras, when Belize was British Honduras. Some were born in Tela, others in Roatan while La Ceiba claimed another. Some were born with Indian hair soft as silk, while others had coarse wavy hair that refused taming with VO5, while yet others had the kinky cotton kind of hair which only  a lye relaxer could control. The relaxer ruined the hair passed down from their ancestors. The hair from Africa by way of Akan, Bantu, Igbo, Fon or possibly Yoruba, way before Scotland via Jamaica than onto Honduras and mixed with a bit of India saturated the blood.

Mi Tío could not stand his African hair. He could not stand his last name either and changed it to Mangroo. It sounded more Indian, which he longed to look like but did not. Mom's brother045

His kidneys could not stand his body for they failed. His weekly battle with the dialysis machine was just that, man against machine and of course, the machine was in control. As the machine cleansed his blood of waste, it also cleansed his alma (soul) leaving it bitter and in disarray.

Was I close to my uncle?

No.

I did not like him. He favoured my light-skinned sisters with Spanish lessons and his version of Indian history. He was mean to me and spoke harshly to me and about me. He once accused my mom of jealousy towards her sister’s kids, for they were born with the wavy hair that refused taming with VO5. I was born with the kinky cotton kind of hair which mom coated with lye relaxer to control.

I hope my uncle, mi tío, is in a better place now. A place where there are no dialysis machines, where he does not have to endure living in his house with an ex-wife and her boyfriend because he refuses to sell and pay off the ex, where skin colour has no meaning and speaking Spanish is irrelevant. I hope the angels are soothing his soul or that karma will take pity on him when he returns.

Once, I could not stand my African hair and yearned to look Indian like my mother with her Indian features and Indian hair, soft as silk. But, God gave me what I was born with for a reason and I am grateful for his gentle everyday reminder of who I am and where I come from.

Forgiveness

Phyllis Ferguson, mother of the Chardon High School shooting victim Demetrius Hewlin, told ABC News that if she had the chance to talk to suspected gunman T.J. Lane, “I would tell him I forgive him because, a lot of times, they don’t know what they’re doing. That’s all I’d say.” (ABC news site)

This interview appeared on a TV network news broadcast. Phyllis Ferguson, whose son was murdered, spoke these words calmly and serenely. Her stoic presence along with the impact of her words affected my usual nonchalant reaction to what I deemed as yet another ‘sensationalism take on a news story’. Instead of changing the channel, I sat on my couch, watched the remainder of the interview, and cried.

Ferguson’s son, Demetrius, along with several other students, was shot while socializing amongst friends in their school’s cafeteria. Some of the students survived while Demetrius and two others died in the hospital. The apprehended gunman, a student also at the same school is now awaiting trial.

The crime was horrific, the scars left on the survivors, and those who knew the victims are incomprehensible in my view.  I have not lost someone to a violent crime and pray it will not happen. The teenage gunman, acted alone, heartless and calculatingly cruel in his decision to arrive at school that day with the knowledge he would terminate and cripple lives. Who made him GOD? What right did, He, posses to execute and extinguish lives? The entitlement and judgment were his alone and I feel anger towards him, balancing on hatred, without the knowledge of his background story. I am judging a person I do not know.

A mother lost her son to murder and had justification to hate the shooter and to speak ill of him and his family. Instead of doing so, Phyllis Ferguson chose to not let hate fester within her. She chose to forgive and in doing so allowed the memories of her son to remain pure in her heart not overshadowed by hatred or worse yet, to allow the hatred to fester within the memories of her son. Now when she reflects on her son, she can relate to pure memories instead of memories tainted of her son with the afterthought of the shooter.

I admire Phyllis Ferguson, for her strength, courage and faith. Her actions, in a time of emotional trauma exemplify true Christianity. Thank you Phyllis Ferguson and God Bless.

“I taught Demetrius not to live in the past, to live in today and forgiveness is divine. You have to forgive everything. God’s grace is new each and every day”.-Phyllis Ferguson

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