Friday, January 18, 2008

A Sad End to 2007

For the most part, 2007 was a very good year, but unfortunately, all good things do tend to have an ending. Mine came on December 20, when my beloved Scraps took that trip to the Rainbow Bridge. Following is the email I sent to friends the next day:

"I just thought I'd let you guys know that I had to put my boy to sleep yesterday. Our vet had found (via ultrasound) a strange, unidentifiable mass in his chest, surrounding his heart and lungs, at the beginning of October. He said that any attempt to do surgery would be worse than all of Scraps' previous surgeries combined (and he had had a couple of major ones -- particularly when he was "scalped" due to a melanoma. So, all that could be done was to take him home and love him until it was time to do the right thing for him.

He started going downhill the last couple of weeks, and this Wednesday, he started refusing food. Nothing I could do would make the poor guy eat. I noticed his breathing was more labored, especially while in the litter box. Thursday morning, when he refused the "smorgasbord" I put out for him, I knew.

My friend Sharon and I took him to Dr. Luger that afternoon, and he went to sleep peacefully and with dignity, as I kissed him and told him repeatedly how much he was loved. And he was! Vet techs came by to offer condolences (one even called me at home today to say how sorry she was that she was not in the hospital that day and didn't get to see him or me!). And, of course, all of our friends.

I'm laying low today to try and get myself right with this before the holiday social whirl begins, so don't worry about me. I'm spending time with Moochie and Spunky, who haven't quite grasped what happened. It will probably take them a week, Sharon says, and I think she's right.

Scraps gave me nearly five years of totally unconditional love, and really, what more can you ask for? Putting him to sleep before he became uncomfortable is the last act of unconditional love that you can do for your pet, and I am grateful that I could summon up the courage, as well as the help of dear friends, to do this final act of kindness.

I'm determined to make this a happy holiday season regardless, so after this weekend, I will once again don my Grinch shirt and prepare to make merry.


I spent most of the remainder of the year (all 11 days of it!) in bed, felled by whatever was going around the air, coupled with extreme sadness. There were a few days that I managed to get out and do something. I went to Christmas Eve at Patty and John's and had a lovely time, as always. On Christmas, I dragged myself out to Judy's and then to my grandmother's. I had been dreading that more than usual, as I was uncertain how the day would be with cousin Christine's added houseguests, her Aussie brother, his wife, their toddler and baby. As it turned out, they were delightful, so my dread was totally unnecessary (as it usually is). We had a nice time.

I spent the next day in bed, then pulled myself together for what has become a tradition for me and my friend Kirsten, post-Christmas: we visit her father and my mother at the cemetery, then have lunch. It's not as grim as it sounds! This year, her mom joined us for lunch, which was great, as she's always been a cool lady and fun to hang out with. We swore to add a summertime margaritafest at Kirsten's home in Connecticut to our annual get-togethers, and I'm already planning the nachos! I hope her hubby Greg will be okay with the fact that we're going to get swacked on Kirsten's excellent margaritas, and that he'll protect the kids from us. I'm sure he will.

Back to bed for the next few days, though I did make it out to see "National Treasure: Book of Secrets" with Sharon, Gary and Mike, which was well worth the effort on all counts. I tried to wriggle out of going to Dianna's for New Year's Eve, but she told me I was being ridiculous, passing up the opportunity to hang with people who love me, and that I wasn't doing myself or Scraps any good by doing so, She was right. I threw myself in the shower, went and ran some errands (including getting the oil changed in my car!), and motored on up to spend the night with Dianna, Jarrod and Carmen. We had a lot of fun, and it was precisely the medicine I needed. (Note to self: call Dianna whenever I need to be talked out of something stupid -- she gives me the straight poop, always.)

A New Year's Day gathering at Sharon and Gary's followed, but I only lasted a couple of hours, due to lack of sleep the night before and the reappearance of the mystery bug that had been plaguing me on and off (mostly on). Oh, and the return to the office the next day looming ahead. Bleah.

So, yes, 2007 did not end on a very up note. Things have been decidedly improved since, though. Susan turned me on to "Entourage," and I am hooked. I love my boys from Queens. They even reference the best pizza in the world, Eddie's (in New Hyde Park)! When Susan has finished her move (moving is hell, even when it's only a few blocks away), we will be going to Eddie's, as she's never been (TRAVESTY!), to celebrate the guys of "Entourage," including evil agent Ari Gold, played to perfection by Jeremy Piven. Plus, I just got the second part of Season Three, so I will undoubtedly be watching all eight episodes tonight. And loving it!

Dianna and I went to see "Xanadu" on Broadway last Sunday and had a great time. I loved it when I saw it back in November, and was pretty sure she'd like it. She'd seen star Cheyenne Jackson when he played Elvis in "All Shook Up" a few seasons ago, so the fact that he was in "Xanadu" was a major attraction. I'd even see it again -- it's that much fun!

The only other thing planned for January is going to "Curtains" on Broadway with Judy, then meeting Lynn afterwards for fondue. Yum. Next month, Judy and I plan to see "Dancing With The Stars: The Tour" at Nassau Coliseum, and I'm going to spend President's Day weekend visiting Dianna's brother in Vermont. I'm making every effort to ensure that 2008 is a very good year. Although I still have daily crying jags, missing Scraps, which will likely continue for a while, I know I can count on my loved ones (including Moochie and Spunky Bastard), which is richness beyond measure.