It’s been over six months since my last post. A month after, we finally moved into our new house. During those weeks we had drama that ranged from not knowing if the deal would fall through to discovering that our landlady hadn’t paid our mortgage the entire time we lived there. Even once we moved in, we had a couple of weeks without internet service. We also spent days having to clean up, because apparently the Wellons believe since they lost money on the house, they can leave it in a pigsty. Grime, old food in the refrigerator, seriously disgusting stuff. But that wasn’t even the worst of it. The worst was the Jory cancer drama.
I’ve had challenging years before, but none so heartbreaking as 2012. I started the year sad because we hadn’t found a place to live, but still relatively optimistic and excited about our first real vacation in four years. But on Valentines Day, everything changed with Jory’s diagnosis of oral malignant melanoma.
Words can’t describe my relationship with Jory. He was my rock. My guardian Angel. He was one of my bestest friends. My doggie soulmate. He was in my life almost every day for over 11 years. He relied on me to take care of him, and I relied on him to take care of me too. We would have conversations together. I would stare into his soulful eyes and tell him about my day. Or he would lay with his head on my stomach while I read a book to him. Jory wasn’t just a dog to us, he was our child. So of course we went ahead and began treatment.
The thing is, cancer isn’t like other illnesses. Even though you follow the protocols, it doesn’t mean you will be cured. We tried the melanoma vaccine, and eventually metronomic chemotherapy. Eight thousand dollars later, the cancer had spread to his brain, though it took until Thanksgiving night for us to realise this. I won’t go into what happened next because it’s just too painful, still.
That’s the thing too…. while I’ve been blessed to find some really supportive friends during this past year who understood what Jory means to us, there are plenty of people who think “he’s just a dog.” He’s just a dog therefore why spend that money? He’s just a dog therefore you should be over your grieving period.
It simply isn’t that simple. Everywhere I look I see a reminder of him. Most the time it makes me smile, but a lot of times I remember the bad, the days after Thanksgiving, before he passed away. My house that I spent over a year trying to buy now reminds me of all the places where he was in pain. I even find it difficult to communicate with good friends because while no, I’m not a blubbering mess, I still go to the movies, and go out, I’m not in the mood to talk about Skyfall or the latest episode of Doctor Who. Rob and I still feel wounded. We march on but we’re not ready to put our child away in a little box of memories that we take out only on special occasions.
When I think about the future, I feel some trepidation. Last year felt like a TKO. But it wasn’t. I’m still standing here, albeit bruised and weary. Despite the awfulness that was last year, I still managed to do some work that I’m proud of. I conducted two interviews with heroes of mine, for Inter-Galaxy Portal. I networked at GeekGirlCon and even ran some contests. Oh yes, and I got to meet more heroes of mine. I also recorded my first voice over demo which I believe now makes me legit. And book one of Shatterer is over halfway to completion online. I even started archery and we bought a beautiful bow. So it wasn’t all bad.
The future feels a little more empty for me without Jory. How could it feel otherwise? But I have hopes still. Plans to write new work, and publish some work that I’ve been promising to release for a while. I’ll also be posting here more often though I can’t make any promises because such is life. I’m mostly optimistic about the future but reminders of the past keep pulling me back. I feel the magical whispering voices of the Gathering Isle calling to me, offering me a reprieve, a place to heal my wounded heart and that gives me something to look forward to.
Am I ready for 2013? No. But I’m sure as hell glad 2012 is over with.