Keep Moving Forward, True Story

The First Year

Today marks the first anniversary of Doomsday’s death. An anniversary that I actually never thought would come. I figured she would live until I died and then we would enter the ether together. Like a wizard and their Patronus.

Instead she was handed to me by a heartbroken vet into my openly weeping embrace. I cry just thinking about that feeling. Even though ten minutes later the crying vet came back and was like “How are we doing in here?” and then we cracked a sad joke about never knowing when it’s time to hand back “the body” while we both bawled our faces off. I remember saying “I think 10 minutes is good, otherwise it’s starting to get weird that I’m just sitting here with a dead animal.”

Even though I was thinking it wasn’t THAT weird because we had spent years of ours lives together. What was a few moments of her death to say goodbye forever?

Several things have happened this year that were harder without her, but more odd.

It’s strange to lose a pet. She wasn’t a person, a living breathing human that I could hold conversations with, she never gave me advice, or teased me for being silly, or even laughed with me. But she held such a huge part of my heart and soul that it felt weird to not have her around anymore.

Things you would never think about were really hard without her.

Christmas, mainly. I’m usually the first person up on Christmas just because now I’m the first of three early risers awake in my house on a regular basis and I’m not one for sleeping in unless I’m sick or had a hard week. So when I wake up Christmas morning she was the first creature I would celebrate it with. I would take pictures and let her open her new present of a toy. (She was more concerned about the wrapping paper because she loved to chew, so I made sure to always wrap stuff.)

Filling the corner she lived in was hard. I thought (when she was alive) that decorating the room would be a good thing to move forward, something positive, I would have room for other things and a new space to organize and decorate. I put my writing desk there, it felt weird to sit there and still be able to see the marks that were left on the floor from her cage. I moved a bookshelf there, it hurt to put something there that I’m always looking at.

It felt rude to replace her. That was HER space.

Finally I decided that I would put a chair where I could read and sew. A productive corner where her little ghost could come and chew my patterns and perch on the top of the chair. (Something she liked to do when she was alive.) It still felt weird, but it was a positive weird.

The worst was moving her cage out. I had to empty that out, throw away her litter and anything that wouldn’t be helpful to a future pets life. I moved her cage into the garage so I wouldn’t have to look at it empty. For that first week I would go out into the garage and click her water bottle because I couldn’t sleep without that noise. Or I would try to imagine it as I fell asleep. Sometimes I would even think I really heard it. And then I would remember, and the wound was open once again.

Coming home at the end of the day was bizarre. I always kept my light on, especially in the winter months, so that she would have the light in the room and not always be in the dark. So when I would walk up to the house it was a harsh reminder because my brain would immediately think “Who the hell turned that off? She needs that on.” and I would get so mad. Then my heart would plummet with the realization that the light doesn’t need to be on because she’s no longer there.

My nightly schedule is thrown off. I used to do “lights out” between 8 and 9, which was essentially turning off my laptop and whatever I was watching so that I could read and she could come out and hop around the room for an hour and a half before bed. Now I have no schedule. I don’t even sleep on time anymore. I used to get 8 hours of sleep and now I’m lucky if it’s 6.

My insomniac friends/parent friends want to punch me when I say that.

Her birthday was hard too. I used to go out and get her a new toy in February and she would immediately destroy it. I just loved our little celebrations together of life and love because she was the only creature who was fully mine and I was fully hers and while that’s a little Stockholm syndrome-y, it was a beautiful and ridiculous love.

One of the hardest things is that now I have no idea what to do for my Christmas card this year. Which sounds stupid, but that was one of our traditions in the fall. I would figure out something silly or cute and get ready early for Christmas. I even knit her a little scarf one year for our picture. And last years was so sad to me that I made my piano teacher take it down from his cork board after a few months of staring at my “smiling” face. I knew that I had actually been bawling my face off because I knew this was the last of our pictures like that. I didn’t want to look at my sad face or her tired face anymore. (Thankfully, he complied, and now he has a sarcastically made birthday card from me in its place. Which I appreciate more and helps me not completely lose focus. Or cry.)

I miss her all the time.

Today I feel haunted by her ghost. And not just the ghost of her memory, like legitimately her ghost. Strange things have been happening all day that don’t normally go on.

I know that time heals all wounds, and while this wound doesn’t feel as raw and broken and heart wrenching as it was on this day a year ago, I still hurt from missing her.

And all because I fell in love with a bunny in 2009.

How absurd.

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Biography, Comedy, Fantasy, Fiction, Kids Books

The Short Stack.

Good morning everyone!

I’m clearing house of the tiny reviews. So here’s four to take a gander at.

Summer of My Amazing Luck—Miriam Toews

Literally only picked this up because I knew it was set in the summer. (Book challenge #14-A Book Set in the Summer [26BooksWithBringingUpBurns 2015.])

What a treat it was though! I love this writer, she’s really in tune with empathy over sympathy. It’s very interesting to read her books because they are about real humans and their struggles.

All about people living on welfare and their troubles, stories, and how they rise or fall.

Definitely interesting to pick up. In this you follow Lucy through how she got to the Have-A-Life welfare housing, how she makes friends, and then ends up on a road trip with her friend Lish to find a fire eater that knocked her up awhile ago.

Very cool take, I can’t gush enough about this writer, but I’ll stop for your sake.

Truly great.

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I Feel Bad About My Neck (And Other thoughts on being a woman)—Nora Efron

Okay. This also might seem like an odd choice for me to read but hear me out:

I was reading a lot of female authors and was like ‘Hey. This lady writes sweet movies and books and maybe she has some perspective as well on being a woman that would interest me like the last five!”

Well unless you are over 50, don’t bother with this.

I found it quite boring and useless. Which sounds awful since I do like her movies, but I didn’t gain anything from this or learn anything besides ‘I never want to get old’.

*Audience booing*

To be completely fair to her: I will read her other books in the future, I just happened to pick a dud for my age group. Her writing was good, I just didn’t connect to what she was going through and didn’t much care for her stories.

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(#16 A Book You Learned About Because of this Challenge….this might be a stretch I think, I was just trying to fill in holes. But I did learn about this because of the other books I was looking through for this challenge, so that has to count.)

The Pilot’s Wife—Anita Shreve

Someone suggested this to me when I lived in Vancouver and it’s been sitting around on my shelves ever since.

That’s how backed up my reading list is. I’m hitting living at home for two years already.

Jesus Christ I need to get my shit together.

Anyway.

This book is about a woman (obviously) who’s husband was a pilot.

Shocker. Haha.

Her husbands plane goes down and she has to deal with all that comes with it. Including their teenage daughter and her grief.

I really loved this book actually, it was beautifully written, not overwhelming with emotions and drama, and enough mystery to hold my attention.

Thank you to the random lady in Vancouver who suggested that I read Anita Shreve’s books. I’m excited to read more of her stuff in the future.

(#18 A book with a blue cover.)

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Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Yuletide Yahoos, Ho-Ho-Humblebraggers, and Other Seasonal Scourges—Jen Mann

This book jumped the line because I was in the mood for a holiday laugh. (I read this around Christmas) My cousins family gave this to me. (I’m their nanny and I get all the good stuff from them. Including baby snuggles!)

It was hysterical. And accurate as all hell.

Start to finish had me laughing. And nodding like ‘I feel ya girl!”.

Definitely worth it for a present to someone with a sense of humour around the holidays. Or for a treat for yourself because it was awesome.

Short and sweet and to the point. Just like this review.

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Bunnicula—Deborah and James Howe

Another present from a family member, my Auntie Jo (or as she calls herself Aunt Torage. Best word play of life.) I was presented with this for my birthday because I love bunnies, I love horror, and I love ridiculous novels written for children.

This was a good and spoooOOOoooky read.

Okay, it was all right. It IS for kids after all. But it was pretty cute and funny and I’m sure some kid somewhere is having nightmares about this rabbit.

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Happy Monday everyone! Constant vigilance!

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Random

Heaven Sent

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The other day I went on a book hunt. Which quickly became my new favourite thing to do in Vancouver. I bought 11 books for 16 bucks. Three of which were only a dollar all together. And they are big names! The Red Tent, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Murder at the Vicarage for only one dollar! Not each! but all together! *insert fan girl screaming* THEN, I continued on from the little thrift store to a BIG thrift store where I spent an hour digging through their books. Literally digging. They had piles everywhere and by the time I left I had a stack that went up to my shoulder.

I even found a book that was a childhood love of mine! (Phantom by Susan Kay) Happily reunited with my lost love (for a dollar!) I kept looking and found others. I’m really excited to spend my summer book hunting.

It was the best day I’ve had here.

Constant vigilance!