Saturday, January 29, 2011

A day at a time, again

Last week, it looked like Lola (lot of L's there) wasn't going to survive the weekend and she is still here.  She perked up all week and though she's sleeping a lot, she's got a great appetite and she still loves affection.  Right now, she's sleeping on a little bed in my room and doesn't seem to want to move.  My heart hurts when I look at her and I am also so grateful for each day we have together.  

This was a good week.  My friends Karen, Abigail and I had a lovely meeting with a Mama Gena friend who is a Broadway producer. She couldn't have been more generous with her time and gave us great information.  And then yesterday, I helped a client find the most perfect apartment in a gorgeous building in Greenwich Village.  It's one of those celebrity buildings, or as my client's daughter calls them "The Famouses."  We went out to lunch at Otto afterward to celebrate.  She's a widow who has no interest in dating and I'm starting to enjoy dating.  She was married to a truly great man, a brilliant author and a very kind person.  I'm grateful to be working in fields that enable me to meet such fantastically interesting people just about every day!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lola and Arlo

My beloved dog, Lola, (the beagle on the right) isn't doing too well these days.  We're getting close to the end.  I haven't been writing much because I've been dealing with so many ups and downs, but Lola is, by far, the hardest part of these cold winter days.  The lump on the side of her head, which started out like a small golf ball, is now like an orange.  She isn't eating her food, but will eat chicken, ham and liverwurst.  She can hardly walk, but she still wags her tail and she is still there.  Inside.  Lola is still Lola.  But with a brain tumor, it's only a matter of time before she's not and I have to make this decision before she is suffering.

One of my best friends, Julie, has made that decision about her beloved Arlo.  Today is the day.  We spoke on the phone yesterday and had a good cry. Arlo is truly one of the sweetest dogs I've ever known, a big hound/mutt. 

These creatures have been there for us through every life event for the past 13 (Arlo) and 9 (Lola) years.  They have given us unconditional love.  We have been their mommies and they have been our "kids."  

I can feel the grief beginning to come to the surface, but one of the greatest blessings in all of this sadness, is how much support and love we have around us.  Once again, my deepest gratitude is to my friends and neighbors, especially Abigail.  Lola has had a very good life and so has Arlo.  I'm lucky I still have my older dog, Lucy, but her time will have to come soon, too.  

I'm reminded of the phrase from Friends In Deed, the Sally Fisher quote: "The quality of our lives is not determined by the circumstances." The divorce goes on, my little dog is dying, my friend Julie is losing her beloved dog, it's one of the coldest Januaries I can recall, I'm filled with sadness, and yet, I appreciate so much in life, too.  The sun is shining.  We had friends over last night for delicious homemade Mexican food.  I'm living in my city, the one I love and I live in my wonderful neighborhood, surrounded by people I've known for over twenty years.  I work for an incredibly lovely person, in an office filled with great people.  My play is having a reading this spring.  And for today, Lola is curled up on the rug nearby and I can go over and rub her neck and her belly.  And tell her how much I love her.  

I just heard from Julie that Arlo is gone.  She said it was painless and swift. They raised a glass to Arlo afterward and I do too.  Rest in peace, Arlo.  

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Social Animals

From this week's New Yorker: "I've come to think that flourishing consists of putting yourself in situations in which you lose self-consciousness and become fused with other people, experiences or tasks. It happens sometimes when you are lost in a hard challenge, or when an artist or a craftsman becomes one with the brush or the tool. It happens sometimes when you're playing sports, or listening to music or lost in a story, or to some people when they feel enveloped by God's love. And it happens most when we connect with other people. I've come to think that happiness isn't really produced by conscious accomplishments. Happiness is a measure of how thickly the unconscious parts of our minds are intertwined with other people and with activities. Happiness is determined by how much information and affection flows through us covertly every day and year." "Social Animal" by David Brooks

It seems like we are coming soon to the end of the divorce journey and hopefully moving on to the next phase of my single life.  I have essentially been single now for almost two years, but not legally.  It's time.  It's close.  There has been much happiness over this period and plenty of anxiety and sadness.  I'm grateful for it all, I guess. It's been bloody and it's been empowering.  I'm hoping this week is the last time I ever have to go to divorce court.  I hope I never have to go with a friend, the way my friends have gone with me, but I would certainly show up for anyone who needed me.  What a blessing it's been to have Cathy and Barbara with me.  I wouldn't wish this on anyone though, it's been so unnecessarily painful. 

What a miracle it's been though to have a home, friends, support and love.  Even with the loss of the home and family I had, my daughter remains deeply connected to me and my friends remain incredibly supportive and loving.  I just hope that I can report that this is over soon and this chapter of my life will come to a conclusion.  I'm ready for a whole new book!