Friday, February 9, 2018

A Year's Remembrance

I could never say enough, Owner, dearest friend, to thank you for the love you gave to me, until the end.
I’m sorry that I hurt you by saying my goodbye. You gave me such a happy home, I lived a happy life. I leapt and played and laughed in ways you maybe couldn’t see. Of all the pets you might have loved, I’m glad that you chose me.
It’s okay to miss me, for I miss you too.
It’s okay to bow your head and cry if you have to.
However hard it seems today, your dear sweet heart will heal.
For now, my friend, remember me and feel what you must feel. But don’t give up on loving, Owner, dearest friend. Although the cost is oh so high, it’s worth it in the end — to know that you made this pet’s life the best one it could be. It should be no mystery why you meant the world to me.
So here’s my final word, my friend, this is my last wish: Find another lonely pet, then give to them my dish. And every time they make you smile, know that I’m smiling too, still so proud to once have been a dearest friend to you.
Love, always.”

A year ago this morning, I was awoken to one of the most terrible phone calls of my life.  My little Diego, who had been in the hospital for three days, was under cardiac arrest, and the vet was calling to see if I wanted them to revive him.  Before I could even process what they were saying to me, I heard the woman on the other line say, as clear as day...

Oh, I'm so sorry.  He just passed.  

He was barely nine years old.  It was a snowy morning, one that I will never forget.  As with the passing of any loved one, I mourned the loss of my cute little fluffy monster, and I watched with great heartbreak the broken heart of Dylan, the brother who he'd left behind.  For months, Dylanito was so sad, and every interaction with him only made me feel sadder for myself, and even more so for him.  As they say, time heals all wounds, and this is very true.  Though it took awhile, Dylan and I have both healed from Diego's loss.  I eventually got used to having only one little kitty around the house, and he got used to being the only kitty around.

I sometimes wonder if Dylan even remembers Diego.  I have no idea how a cat's mind works.  Every once in awhile I'll say his name aloud to see if there's any recognition in my little, eleven-toed panther, but there is none.  That's a good thing, I guess.  He's definitely been over his mourning period for months now, and that helped me get out of mine...but I will always remember my sweet little sunshine.  

A few weeks after Diego had passed, my mother sent me the following poem above.  In times of sadness, it brought out the tears that helped release the pain.  I wanted to share it here in case any pet owner out there has the need to hear it too.  

It's hard to believe it's been a year already.  I haven't thought much of him lately, but Diego will be in my mind all day today, and Dylan will get a little extra loving, too!    Here's the recitation of the poem, Owner, Dearest Friendby Vivian Matthews:

Monday, January 1, 2018

A New Year's Do or Die Reevaluation

Image result for happy new year ugh

Happy Freaking New Year!  Today is as good a time as any to once again take a step back and reevaluate our lives...well, my life anyway.  After what has been the shittiest and loneliest New Year's Eve of my life, the rock bottom of my 2017, there's no place for me to go but up, but not without some self-reflection and action.

I've been suffering from the flu since coming home from Philadelphia on Friday morning.  Not that I've been to the doctor, but I've had the flu before and I know the feeling...congestion, chills, severe aches and pains, etc.  Sans a phone call and a text or two, I've been completely alone for the past 72 hours and I'm feeling very alone.

I can't help but think that I'm the only reason for this.  I know and believe from Dan Millman's The Life You Were Born to Lead that by nature I can be a loner, and so my solitary tendencies, especially lately, have indirectly pushed the people in my life away.  Now in the state of mind that I am currently in, I could just say piss off and keep it that way, or I can try and do something about it.  What I think I'm actually going to do is reevaluate my relationships and maybe do a little bit of both.

So, resolutions...  Oh my God, there are so many things I need to resolve about my life.  A couple of years ago, I actually made a list of the things that I hated about myself.  Here are some of the ones that I still struggle with...

I smoke
I spend too much time alone
I feel stuck
I feel alone (haha, yep, that hasn't changed.  It's maybe even gotten worse!)
I owe money
I procrastinate
I am taken for granted
I'm just plain weird!

Yup, these are just some of the things that I struggle with each and every day, and if I keep doing the way I've been doing, obviously, then these things are never going to change.  So it's New Years...time to really evaluate how the heck I've been living my life.  I need to define what happiness means to me, because that question is ever-elusive, and once I do, then I need to figure out how to get there..  

Regardless, this is a mission, perhaps the greatest do-or-die mission of my life because I really can't take it any more.  If I succeed at at least one or two of these issues, then it's for the good.  If I fail, well...???  Stay tuned!


Sunday, November 19, 2017

It Could Have Been Me

This was not the type of post I was planning on making this morning, but I awoke to a text from my pal Kristen about what you see in the image above.  You see, the street where this poor man was killed by a hit and run driver is part of the route on my daily walk and Kristen was making sure I was ok.  As soon as she told me where it had happened, I remembered being detoured on my walk last night by police who had blocked off that particular street where the incident happened.  At the time, I had no idea why the street was blocked off.  Now I do.  That could have been me!

I always worry about cars when I walk.  Other than on the two main roads I traverse everyday, there are no sidewalks.  It's a typical residential area for Long Island, but my particular neighborhood sits among these two main roads and is a major cut through for people trying to get from East Patchogue to wherever.  I always say I take my life in my hands when I walk, plainly evidenced by what happened last night.

I have had many close calls on my walks...way too many to count.  I remember a few times having to jump out of the way of a passing car, who's almost always doing 40+ mph on these 30 mph speed limit streets.  I've been splashed on in the rain, sometimes I think on purpose, honked at, and even yelled at simply for walking.  

Perhaps I am putting this on the wrong blog, for my first blog, which still exists, is called Rants, and that's where I am going here...  

People today are, simply put, way too self-involved.  They only seem to pay attention to what's going on in their own world, without regard for others.  That is a general statement that covers just about everything in life where we interact, but it is plainly evident on the roads. I see it everyday when I drive to work and I see it everyday when I walk.  They speed, they're looking at their phones while they drive, don't stop for stop signs, they drive recklessly, and I'm out there, completely vulnerable.

We've all seen in the news lately just how much of a deadly weapon a car can be.  Why do we care more when it's done on purpose than when it's done recklessly?  The results are the same...people die, like the poor man riding his bicycle last night right around the corner from my house.  

All I can say is that I wish people would change some of their habits just a little, become a little more aware of what's around them instead of only paying attention to themselves and their phones, and their time.  I do my best to be noticeable when I walk, especially at night.  I wear bright clothing and I walk as far off to the side as I can.  I always defer to drivers at intersections, putting my head down to my phone so as to make drivers think I am not crossing.  This is simply because I do not trust them.  

Oh, and I carry my wallet with me always when I walk, too.  That in itself speaks volumes, for I know that I could at any time find myself in a situation which that man found himself in last night, and at least I'd want people to know who I was.  Sigh!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Roller Coaster Road Trip 2017 - Last Stop: Canada's Wonderland

One of the most beautiful pictures I took on the entire Roller Coaster Road Trip was the one above, from the parking lot at Canada's Wonderland in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada.  It was towards the end of our last day, one ultimate day of roller coaster riding, and it was the perfect scene to end our wonderful journey.  

I'd always wanted to visit Canada's Wonderland and I never thought I would until this trip was being planned.  The park is a Cedar Fair property, owned by the same company that owns both Cedar Point and King's Island, so we knew it was going to be both a well-run and a beautiful park, which it was.  Upon entering, the scene is much like that at King's Island and Virginia's King's Dominion, but instead of a replica of the Eiffel Tower towards the end of the entrance promenade, there is a mountain with cascading waterfalls.  Beautiful!

The Roller Coasters

Compared with the previous two parks we had visited, the coasters of Canada's Wonderland were nowhere near as exciting, though there were two that were absolutely fantastic, Leviathan and Behemoth...

Leviathan is what is known as a giga-coaster, like Millennium Force in Cedar Point, meaning that it reaches a maximum height of over 300 feet tall (This one's 306.).  It is by far the best ride in Canada's Wonderland, and we rode this monster several times.  Take a virtual ride yourself...

That one was wicked, and the video does not do it justice!  Behemoth is the park's other awesome ride, located clear across the park from Leviathan.  This one's a mega-coaster, like Magnum XL-200, Nitro at SFGA, and like those other two, it is nothing but negative G fun!  Take a virtual ride...

I wish I could say there was a whole lot more to cover of Canada's Wonderland.  It is a beautiful place, and we had an awesome time on a beautiful sunny day.  It was the end of the trip and I think we all were a little weary from eight days of seemingly non-stop moving.  Nonetheless, if you're ever up in the Toronto area, Canada's Wonderland, then you should definitely check it out.  In the meantime, take a look at some photos of our day at Canada's Wonderland...

Dive show


A wicked and rare ride!



After our day at the park, we dove back into Toronto for one last meal together.  We were exhausted, but blissful.  This Roller Coaster Road Trip was a great one, and I can't wait until the next time!  Oh, and there was one more cool thing that we did before heading home, stopping again in Buffalo to have a visit with my old pal Petra.

I hope you've enjoyed some of the pictures and stories from our journey.  Check out the rest below and till next time...