Saturday, November 29, 2014

Just a question....

Has the family of Michael Brown apologized to the owner and employees of Ferguson Market and Liquor for the strong arm robbery committed by their son just prior to his death?  Or for the damage done to the store by the rioters incited by Brown's step-father?



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The long goodbye...

It has been two months.  Three months ago I had a wife, a daughter, a service dog for my wife and two cats.  A family.  Today I have a foster child and two cats.

I spent a month and a half trying to get used to the new normal.  The emptiness now present in our home.  The mood swings from my daughter, one minute smiling and baking for an army, then next sullen and hiding in her room.  The looks from the Banner as lays on the couch where my wife used to sit.  The cats have even gotten more clingy, although that may just be because I feed them.

One constant was still caring for Banner, my wife's service dog.  It took my wife seven years to get him.  Two service dog organizations went out of business before they could deliver a dog.  The third one was successful.  She had him for just over two years.  Two years of service, companionship, love and devotion.  Now he had no purpose.  No one to help get around.  And despite our best care and attention, he knew we were not Mom.

After a month and a half, we finally had a service, a remembrance and celebration of life.  I asked a number of friends to assist with the planning.  I was not capable.  It went well and I was pleasantly surprised at the turnout.  It was touching.  However, I found out that this was the easy part.

The morning after the service, I had to say goodbye to Banner.  The organization that provided him retains ownership of the dogs that they train to ensure that they are cared for in cases such as this.  We had several phone calls and were initially planning to keep him if allowed.  Unfortunately, the longer we had him the more I realized that without my wife, Banner was not suited to living in a small two bedroom apartment with several cats that did not like him.  So, the day after I said goodbye to my wife, I walked Banner down to the front of our building with all of his belongings, took off his leash and said "Car."  I then handed the leash to the wonderful woman who was picking him up, the woman who raised him from a puppy before he was trained.  Then I watched them drive away, taking with them the dog that gave my wife such joy, such hope for a better life where she did not have to depend on others.  It was almost as hard as the day she died.  I don't recall the walk back up to my apartment.  I do recall crying hard, as hard as the day she died.

I thought that after all of this, things would get better.  I was able to retain custody of my daughter, despite my never being able to adopt her.  Her biological father has not seen her but once in the last 12 years and realized that he was not prepared to take on her care.  I am now a foster parent, which was more than I was expecting.  The 10 year fight with the school district to get our daughter into the proper school is finally over, mainly due to my wife's tenacity and (I believe) her passing.  A loan that we were hoping to get to level our finances and undo the damage done to our finances by her illnesses came through the day before she passed away.

Then the other shoe drops.  Several, in fact.  During this trying time I apparently had Jury Duty and missed it.  I just received the notice telling me this, and found the original notice buried on my desk.  Then my manager decided that this would be an excellent time to write me up for my "excessive unscheduled time off" this year.  The illness and death of my wife, not to mention the court battles and school district battles, all done using existing time off allotments (sick, vacation and personal days) were apparently unacceptable reasons.  So now I have a lovely to-do with my HR department.

I normally look forward to the holiday season.  This year, not so much.