Always Looking Forward

I heard Better Midler say (this morning)    “I never look back. Never look back. Never look back. ‘Cause if you’re looking back, you can’t look forward. You can’t go forward.”​

I am working hard at looking forward and not back. Much of this has a great deal to do with forgiveness.  That is coming easier than I believed possible. 

What is harder is forgetting. I question whether I  should forget. I question whether forgetting is folly, kind of like when it’s said “those that forget history are doomed to repeat it”. So I wonder if I should remember but remember while looking forward and in a place of foregiveness. 

It’s a work in progress. I’m a work in progress (smile).

My Prized Irises

I’ve written about my irises before as they are what’s left of the Victorian irises given to me by my stepmom, Phyllis. 

When I moved into my house she gave me a number of iris rhizomes from her garden. When I left my house in the dead of winter, I was only able to dig up a few. It took 3 years for them to bloom. This year they are so lovely and instead of four, I have five – happy dance. 

They are not only lovely, they are a strong reminder of Phyll, whom I miss every day. I know she’d smile at this shared love of these very tall Victorian beauties.

They are as tall as my shoulder. I am 5’2-1/2″ tall. 

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. 

Against Your Best Interest

This blog post is part political and part question. I started thinking about why people voted against their own best interest, right after our president took the oath of office.

My first true thought about this started when people living in those areas hardest hit by opioid addiction issues realized that they were going to potentially lose their health insurance if the ACA was repealed.

I personally believe that while the ACA is far from perfect, it has offered people that had no insurance the opportunity to have heath care,  perhaps for the first time in years. I would listen to news reports in which the people complained bitterly that they didn’t realize that the insurance they had was Obamacare, which they wanted repealed, or that they really didn’t think that our president would pull their insurance. This was someone else’s insurance issue.

Then there’s the story of the woman in the Midwest married to an illegal immigrant who voted for President Trump. As I recall, they’ve been married for quite a while, have children, own a business and a home, and pay taxes. Yet she voted for President Trump because he was going to, among other things, deport illegal immigrants. Somehow in her mind, deporting illegal immigrants meant deporting illegal immigrants except for her husband. He’s somehow exempt. Now her husband is being deported and she doesn’t think it’s fair. Their entire town believes it’s unfair and they, you guessed it,  voted mostly for President Trump.

Last week I had lunch with someone who told me he voted for Trump. He was warned by a friend not to vote for Trump and did it anyway and now is beginning to regret it. Why? Because he’s a federal worker who has now learned that our president plans on making good on a campaign promise to reduce the federal budget by cutting federal employment. My lunch companion was in receipt of OPM letters saying that many workers in the federal government were going to be offered early retirement packages in a first effort to reduce federal employment. My guess is that that is a first step in the reduction of federal employees. My lunch companion is upset.

So despite my hesitation in making our lunch a little too political, I said “but he promised that in his campaign”. My companion agreed, but didn’t believe it would happen. I had to do my best to not slap my forehead in disbelief.

Then this morning, while watching a piece on CBS Sunday Morning, I had yet another example of “them – not us”. The piece was about Appalshop, formed in 1969 in Appalachian Kentucky. Appalshop was formed with federal grant money in President Johnson’s War on Poverty. By all accounts, it’s an astounding success, but it gets, and relies on, federal funding through organizations such as the National Endowment of the Arts. President Trump is planning on cutting all arts funding. These people are upset.

But I’m sure you can guess what I’m going to say. The area of Kentucky that most benefits from this program voted for Trump.

And again I shook my head in disbelief.

There’s a part of me that thinks “Good. All of these people need to lose all of their benefits, their health care, their jobs. This is a lesson they need to learn.” Perhaps they need to hurt really badly. Lose their livelihoods, lose their insurance, their programs.

Yet, the other part of me, the part that these people call “snowflake” and “liberal” with a sneer, has more compassion for them than they apparently have for themselves. We cannot allow these programs to be cut. These people will be irreparably harmed. We will all be harmed but these people the most. Perhaps we need to treat them like children who do not understand the bigger picture and we have the responsibility to protect them from themselves.

So I fight against this.

Although I will not be having lunch with my lunch companion again. I don’t think I can listen to the complaining and hand-wringing with a straight face another time.

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

UPDATE:Sweetpea died on the way to the vet. He was in the front seat and I was petting him. Taking care of “funeral arrangements”. This is horrible.  Thank you everyone for your notes and texts. Cancer sucks.

Sweetpea has not been doing well. I’ve seen it coming over the last few days. He’s stopped eating and drinking. He’s not meeting me at the front door and he sleeps all the time. I know what you’re thinking – cats sleep a lot. This is beyond even a cat’s normal sleeping pattern.

It is obvious he has pain and nausea that his medication is no longer taking care of.

About 4 a.m. this morning he was making odd clicking noises and sounded like he needed to throw up but there was nothing to throw up. He was laying on the cold bathroom floor. I removed him from the bathroom floor and he insisted on continuing to lay on the wood floor which I have to tell you is quite chilly.

I got a large beach towel and folded it in half and he did lay on that. Then I proceeded to lay down next to him.

After a bit we both went and laid back down in the bed. It is obvious that he is uncomfortable. I spoke with the oncologist and they agreed that the time has come and that treatment will only prolong his suffering which I know I do not want for him

So I sit here writing this and crying for my loss because 13 years with this beautiful little boy has been my privilege. The Rainbow Bridge is gaining a prince later today.

This picture was taken just a few days ago. I thought about posting a picture from when he was hale and hearty but I really want people to know that animals get cancer and that it does horrible things to them as well. I thank Dr. Rogers Fred and Kim Fred for their caring approach to SP’s treatment. Both Dr. Holly Phelps at Veterinary Surgical Centers and Dr Jennifer Lauer and the staff at  Valley Veterinary Emergency Center were wonderful and caring.

Goodbye my sweet and loving companion. If it is possible to have a pet that is the love of your life,  this little boy has been it.  

Keeping in Touch

I actually correspond with paper and ink with my friend Mo. The letters back and forth are irregular but it’s how we “talk”. I met Mo through her husband, Rick. Rick and I have been friends since we were 18. I love the opportunity to write these notes back and forth with her.

Recently she sent me 2 letters which were numbered “part one” and “part two”. Unfortunately part two came two days before part one! (Hello USPS!) While I was devouring these letters, I was reading an old magazine (part of my spring cleaning) that gave advice about how to write a letter, calling it a sweet pasttime.

I can tell you that letter writing is worth it. I send handwritten birthday cards to clients and friends. I’ll occasionally send a handwritten note to someone “just because”. 

Maybe I’m a dinosaur but I truly enjoy the feel of paper and pen. I can attest however that finding stationery is difficult, and when I do find it, it’s often very pricey,  as if only the wealthy can afford stationery. Blank note cards are easier to find.

So when I find nice but affordable stationery I stock up. 

And then I sit down and write a letter.

Text and picture are copyright 2017 Suzan D. Herskowitz.

Love of a pet

I’ve shared my cat a number of times on this blog. I’ve  shared pictures. I’ve shared the medical issues that are now going on.

Yes they are still going on as SP is hanging in there.

As I sit here he is curled up next to me, sleeping soundly. His breathing is easy and measured. He is sleeping like he has not a care in the world. It is good to see.

But just like my dad, he has good days and bad days with cancer. Some days, he doesn’t eat very much and other days, he wakes me up at 4 in the morning, taps me on the face and “says”  “hey Mom! I’m hungry.” And unlike the old days where I would ignore him and pull the blanket over my head,  I get my tired butt out of bed and feed him.

Because what else am I going to do? If he’s hungry I’m going to feed him. I did the same thing with my dad whom I fed whatever the hell he wanted whenever the hell he wanted it because if he ate anything at all that was a good thing.

And isn’t that what love is really about.