Top Gun is currently in rotation on HBO. Amazingly, I remember when it came out in 1986 and my dad took all of us kids to go see it. We were living in the suburbs of Ft. Worth Texas and my dad was a contractor, working for General Dynamics building flight simulators for the pilots who fly fighter jets. My dad was about as excited to see the movie as I’ve ever seen him (despite being very uncomfortable during the love scene.)
My dad never talked about his work with us – I’m not sure why. He wasn’t a very talkative person in general.
When dad passed away I had a really hard time writing a eulogy for him because I barely knew him.
The anniversary of his death is coming up and while it isn’t as raw as it was initially, I’m finding that the month of May and leading up to when he actually died, he is in my thoughts more.
There are so many questions I wish I could ask him, so many things I wish I could find out about him, so many times I wish he were around for help and he’s not there to guide me.
Today is Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. It’s estimated that 10 million Americans have this debilitating disorder, including me. If you’ve ever had the flu then you have a vague idea what fibro feels like. Imagine that all the muscles in your body ache and you’ve been sapped of all your energy. Imagine that your joints throb and ache constantly. Imagine being the most tired you’ve ever been but can’t sleep due to insomnia.
Then imagine feeling that way every single day – week after week, year after year.
It’s not always clear what causes fibromyalgia but it’s common to develop fibromyalgia after an accident or injury. Mine developed just two years after I developed chronic pain in my face resulting from a staph infection after sinus surgery.
There is no cure and only a handful of treatments that help alleviate the symptoms.
Many fibro sufferers are mocked or derided by others who think the symptoms are “all in their head” or they are making it up or malingering. (I know I sure was, mocked that is – by my former boss)
I pray that sometime in my lifetime we find the cause and an adequate treatment or even a cure. I honestly cannot imagine 20-30 more years of this.
Two years ago today I hopped on a tiny Horizon airplane and headed from Seattle to Spokane to pick up our new puppy.
After a period of so much loss; my elderly dog, my job, my marriage and my dad’s declining health we all needed something to brighten our lives.
I met our breeder at the airport and they handed me this squirming bundle of velvety goodness and puppy breath, with paperwork and her blanket. I was instantly in love. I had only a brief time on the ground – taking the exact same plane for the return trip to Seattle. I carried her through the security checkpoint where she received numerous Ooohs and Ahhhs and requests for skritchies.
She fell asleep in her carrier for the trip home and stayed asleep the whole 30-40 minutes.
Despite knowing she was coming, I had no puppy supplies for her so we stopped and bought a complete collection of gear; harnesses and collars and leashes and a playpen for those times when she’d must be left alone (those were few; I didn’t want to be away from her much!)
The boys came home from they’re visit with their father and were enchanted with her immediately. She adores them too.
Now that she’s out of her puppy stage, she’s still so awesome. She has a natural mothering instinct and any time the boys are behaving inappropriately she will bark at them and try to herd them as if they are her puppies. Every night she must join us for the bedtime routine and she listens to stories or games and finishes by giving each boy kisses goodnight.
When it’s time for her to go to bed, she scratches at my blanket until I lift it up and make room for her to burrow under. Only her nose peeks out while she gets settled. Despite being only 28lbs, she takes up lots of bed space, stretching out horizontally to get comfortable. And she always sleeps with some part of her smooshed up against me.
Her favorite game ever is to play in the hose – she recently chewed a hole in the hose because it was not turned on for her to play with!