deborahjross: (Default)
I'm 70 years old today. It feels so strange to be that big a number. I have no idea what it means to be This Many Years. But it does feel like a milestone, a sea change.

It comes after a period of wrestling with my engagement with the repeated, periodic parole hearings for the man who raped and murdered my mother -- who was 70 at the time, so that's another reason this age is a huge change for me. I'll likely write about this more, but basically I have decided to not participate in any future hearings 30 years is long enough and past long to carry such a burden. It's done terrible things to my life, and I've fought so hard to regain my peace of mind, let alone my happiness. This is what my mother would want for me, and now I'm finally able to leave the nightmare behind. Turn the page, shut the door, throw the whole vile mess into the ocean.

Back to the birthday. I had a lovely early celebration last week, when Rose was home for spring break (she's the daughter in med school in CT), and she and her wife, Marcie, and Sarah (daughter boomeranged at home) and Dave (mine beloved spouse) and I all went out to a very fancy dinner. Having both my girls and my daughter in law and my husband all together was the best present ever.

I've been unhappy with how unproductive and unfocused I've been for the last year. The parole hearing was only partly to blame, but I have the feeling the right moment to tell the stories and do the other things that are meaningful to me is slipping away, or in danger of doing that. So my present to myself is a promise to sit down, with my journal if helpful, and figure out what's distracting me and how to structure my days. To live well, work well, love well, take excellent care of myself, fill my time with joy.
deborahjross: (Deb and Cleo)
Our tortoiseshell cat Cleopatra died peacefully on Saturday morning, most likely of congestive heart failure. We thought we'd lose her before Oka, but -- cranky old grandma kitty that she was -- she outlasted him. She spent her last night on a pillow between me and Dave.

She's the cat perched on my shoulder in the icon.

With Shakir:



Last winter, enjoying a nap on the sheepskin-lined basket:

deborahjross: (Oka)
Dave has some more, but here's what was on the camera:



This was taken a few months ago: Oka hanging out in my office. From the way he's sprawled, you can see the loss of strength and muscle tone. At this point, he'd get up, albeit with difficulty, to go walkies or to play.
More pics below the cut... )


April 17 2013 - Rose and me with Oka, waiting for the vet. Oka is incontinent and unable to stand. We put out his favorite toys and dog biscuits.


Oka is staring at the laser "bug" (the reddish dot beside the dog biscuit) but unable to respond to it. The swelling in his left upper leg is probably from an embolism. The vet suspected he'd had a stroke, from the way he held his head.


Buddies to the end: After it was over, Shakir, the black cat, snuggled up to Oka's body, something Oka never permitted in life.
deborahjross: (blue hills)
Our sweet, brave German Shepherd Dog, Oka, died peacefully on Wednesday. He was 12 1/2, quite old for that breed, had had been battling lymphoma and degenerative myelopathy. We'd hoped to have him for a little while longer, but he developed leukemia, lost the ability to walk, and most likely had an embolism and a stroke. The vet came out to our house and he slipped away with "his people" holding him and talking to him. Also, "his cats" - all 3 gathered around, especially Oka's "best buddy," who cuddled up next to him when it was all over.

Here are a few images to share with you:

Oka at 8 weeks. The green coloring in his right ear is the Schaferhundverein breed tattoo, certifying that he really is a German Shepherd Dog (i.e. both his parents were Schutzhund titled; in fact, his father was the Weltsieger: the world champion).







Attempting to wrestle the cat toy into submission.




Read more... )

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Deborah J. Ross

May 2017

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