Happy quote Friday everyone. I’m feel drained today after a rough 24 hours, so my quote today is still a positive, hopeful one, but it speaks to underlying feelings I went through yesterday.

And yes, it’s about my sweet Nala.

“When the world says, ‘Give up,’ Hope whispers, ‘Try it one more time.’”

As many of you know, Nala has been steady the past week, on her new round of treatment and it’s given me great joy and hope. But Wednesday night, after I got home from dinner with Pete and the following morning, Nala started getting progressively worse. She was lethargic, she became listless and she just looked sick. She looked like she just didn’t want to try anymore, as if she was giving up, as if she was miserable. She wasn’t eating much, she didn’t really want to be around me (she tolerated it, but you could see in her face the look of “leave me alone, please.”) and my heart was breaking.

I went to work on Thursday with knots in my stomach…not wanting to go, but knowing I had to, and worrying steadily that she wasn’t doing well. My mom stopped by during lunch and called me to give me an update, and she didn’t have much better news. She didn’t come down to greet her at the door (as she always does), she didn’t want to eat, she didn’t want to be touched, really, and she was just not herself. At all.

I called the vet, and made an appointment for the earliest they had (5:30, effectively meaning I was going to miss the 5K, which was okay with me, obviously, at that point!), and left work early to bring her in. On the drive home, I prayed, and prayed, and prayed harder. I didn’t pray for God to save her, so much as to pray for God to help me make the right decision…if this was “it” I wanted and needed the strength to do what I needed to do. I thought she was giving up, and I wanted to do right by her. I cried all the way home. Jess was with me, and we both cried together. I walked in the door and found Nala by the stairs and pulled her into my lap and she just curled into my arms and laid there, letting me hold her. I cried more and just wanted her to be okay. Kayla was roaming around, with a worried look on her face, saying “mom, what’s wrong?” and that too, broke my heart.

We took her to the vet, and I cried again. I was scared, and I was afraid that she was giving up and this was it. After much talking, and Nala being looked over by my vet, we decided that we would give her more fluids, a B12 vitamin shot, a 24 hour antibiotic, and a new round of antibiotics (this round was what she was on two years ago with a similar problem, so I know this medicine works well for her). The vet agreed that she is sick, and that she may have some kind of virus that may be untreatable, but that there are still things we can – and should – investigate. I’m to call him tomorrow to discuss next steps (he wanted her to have the medicine for a couple of days first, to see how she reacts), but it will likely be extensive blood work to investigate potential viruses, including toxoplasmosis, and go from there.

What I took away from the conversation was, bottom line, whatever is ailing her may be untreatable…as in, treat her as long as she responds, but that she won’t be cured, and that “it” will (see how I can’t even write it?) be the end, at some point. I’m scared and saddened immensely at that thought, but in a way, it is allowing me to have a sense of peace, knowing that we are trying, we are going to help her feel better, and that’s really all you can do, and just try.

Why this quote is so meaningful today is two-fold…I was convinced she was giving up, and I was coping with the fact that I might have to do something that I never imagined I’d have to do with my cuddly, loving 6 year old kitty, but then, throughout the night…she slowly improved. She didn’t eat before bed, but I placed her next to me in bed, she laid there, and slept, and I half-slept, and woke up around midnight, eyes puffy from crying, but wanting to try…

I went downstairs and put food down, and she ate it. Ravenously! And then she woke me up with her famous “face bat” with her paw to my face at 2:30 in the morning, wanting more food. The one time I’ve been thrilled to be awoken that way, and I fed her more, and she ate it all, to the last drop.

And this morning? I woke to her sleeping next to my face on the pillow next to me. A moment. She was “meatloafing” next to my face, and she looked good. She bounded down the stairs past me and she ate a full can and then another half of a can before I went to work. She had energy, she had her spunk, and she was Nala. My Nala.

She was saying, I’m trying…one (maybe more) more time…I want to live, I want to be here, and I’m hungry, so feed me.

As I sit here in tears, more out of happiness that she is “her” again, for now, I am feeling Hope whispering…keep trying, and just take it one day at a time. So, I am, and I am going to drink in the “kitty love” all weekend and just enjoy. Because she’s here, she’s happy, and both of my furbabies are content. So, as they are content, I am content.

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To my loving kitty Nala,

I’ve loved you since I set my eyes on you almost 7 years ago, along with your sister Kayla. You’ve helped me mourn and recover the loss of Shelby, one of the best cats in the world, you’ve been my wanna-be puppy, my fur-soulmate, my rock, support, and love, through divorce, and the light in my life.

Now that you are sick with whatever it is that ails you…I vow this to you:

…to not let you suffer.

…to protect you the best I can.

…to love you as hard as humanly possible for as long as I can.

…to help you recover, if that is a possibility.

…and to watch over your sister, and love her just as much as I love you, as long as I have you both as my “children.”

~~~

This is truly a time where I am digging deep, trusting my faith in God, and hoping my Nala is treatable. I took her to the vet this morning as she had a nosebleed…something I’ve never seen a cat have, and something I never really want to see again. When we arrived, they weighed her, as standard protocol.

…and my heart sank.

She’s only 5.5 lbs…2 lbs less than she was 6 months ago.

…bad, very bad.

Me, worried sick, shaking, scared, a million thoughts running through my brain. She had a mysterious illness two summers ago as she had lost some weight (from around 9 lbs to 7.5 lbs) and after many tests, much bloodwork, and a ton of money, the results were inconclusive, and she seemed to stay steady at her weight.

…and now this.

It’s been a very trying day…and I don’t think I’ve had one full hour where I haven’t cried. I fear deep down that whatever she has is not treatable, and I may need to make one of the hardest decisions of my life. I don’t want to, I’m afraid to, I want to hold on tight and never let go…but I will never, ever put either of my cats through pain and suffering for my own selfish desires.

So…I wait, until tomorrow morning, for the blood work to come back. It’s going to be a long evening, but I am trying to stay strong. Some may think a pet is “just”a pet but these are my children and I love them more than anything (almost…), and truly don’t know what I’ll do if I have to make that decision.

….

~~~

Well, it’s Quote Friday, and while I am continuing my series on where my divorce began, I wanted to pull in a quote that ties into that as well:

Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.

I think anyone going through divorce can relate to this – we know pain. we know failure. And, conversely, we know courage and we know bravery. Yet, at the worst of the worst, we can’t fathom courage or bravery, but we do, we make it, we succeed, we are victorious, and we are better people on the other side than we ever thought possible.

~~

The third in a series of posts on the beginning of the end of my marriage, and a look back at our relationship, from meeting, dating, engagement, and the in-laws (that could be an entire blog in itself, but that’s a story for another day…!).

Tuesday. Waking up at my sister’s house. My heart sunk. It was really happening, wasn’t it? Autopilot snapped on, yet I couldn’t ignore the massive, aching, painful feeling in my chest. A heavy, sad, broken heart. It pulsed within my chest, a feeling I will never forget, because I couldn’t believe that you could actually feel a broken heart, but you can. You can feel it throughout your whole being.

I cried. I pulled myself together, hoped the distance was helping, even though it had only been 12 hours at most. I went to work, I put on a “face” and kept to myself in the privacy of my office, door shut most of the day. I cried at one point during the day, as I was IMing with my sister, and the more I tried to hold back, the more I cried. It was two days of this…waking up, crying, going to work, faking it, and getting into the car and breaking down the instant the door was shut. It was the longest two days of my life.

And then it happened.

Wednesday morning. Two days after I left the house. The longest days of my life. Pete called me at work just after 9. I asked him how he was. He said he was fine. I said I missed him. He said he didn’t miss me, he felt a wave of relief, he was happy, and he didn’t need the rest of the week to decide.

It was me.

I was stunned.

I couldn’t believe he called me at work to tell me that. I didn’t know what to say. I started to panic. I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t even cry. I was just flailing emotionally to the point of paralysis. I told him I was going home, I couldn’t go through the day knowing what he just told me. He told me he’d come home too, and we’d talk. I made up some lame excuse about a pipe leak at the house and rushed out of there like a bat out of hell. I bumped into BDFF (who was not near divorced yet…) and could barely look her in the eye. She looked at me, eyes wide, asked me what was wrong. I muttered something and couldn’t even look at her. She knew, I could see it. She knew something was wrong, more wrong than it could ever be.

I got in the car, and was shaking, and started to cry. I called Jess (who was back in the office) and told her, and she was about to leave too and come with me, but I told her to stay, I needed to talk to Pete. At that point, I decided I had to tell my mom, really tell her. I had hinted at it in an earlier conversation, but did not nearly tell her the gravity of the situation. I cried all the way home, blurting everything out to her as I drove. I’m sure she didn’t really hear half of what I said, but I could feel her pain for me. And that made it even harder for me, because I knew she wanted to protect me, and take this away for me, and she couldn’t. She knew what I was about to go through would be life-altering, and all she could do was sit back, watch, and be as supportive as possible. It was hard for me, because I knew she was hurting for me, and for some reason, that was so hard for me.

I walked in the door to the house. It was silent. I felt like I’d been gone for weeks. I sat down, I cried again. I waited for Pete to come home and suddenly, I knew what I had to do.

I had to let him go.

Despite the pain and sadness and absolute betrayal I felt, I wasn’t about to beg him to stay. If he was so ready to throw something away that I felt was a mistake, but he was still willing to throw it all away for what he thought would buy him happiness, then he didn’t deserve me.

I don’t know how I was that clear-minded that I thought that at the time, but I vividly remember it.

We talked. I didn’t cry. We were logical. I told him he should move out. He was taken aback. Why, I have no idea…but he was. We talked about what we’d do with the house – try to keep it short-term, sell it long-term – how we’d tell family, what we would say. We called it a separation, but we both knew that was just what we were calling it because it was too hard to say divorce.

Before we ended the conversation and he went back to work, two things stuck out in my mind. First, he said he was shocked at how I was taking this. He thought I was going to beg and fight harder. I told him that if this is what he wants, I’ve tried, and I can’t change it. But to know this – if this is his decision, there’s no turning back. Our marriage as we have ever known it is over. It’s broken, and it’s broken so quickly and so badly that there’s no turning back.

What did he say?

He didn’t know if this was the right decision, but it was the decision he had to make. And knowing there was no turning back was the decision he had to make. Little did I know that that decision would end up being more right for me than it was for him. I saw the confusion in his eyes, I saw the fear, and the worry (what if I am making a bad decision?) but he still made it.

That was the beginning of the end – the end of our marriage, but the beginning of the build-up of me as a courageous, strong, confident, happy single woman.

The second in a series of posts on the beginning of the end of my marriage, and a look back at our relationship, from meeting, dating, engagement, and the in-laws (that could be an entire blog in itself, but that’s a story for another day…!).

Yesterday, I started my series on the beginning of the end of my marriage, and I’m already amazed, yet, touched, by the comments from my blog “family” (and real friends/family) on how they can relate to this series. So, without further ado, picking up where I left off yesterday…

It was Monday. And I was a zombie. I didn’t know how I would make it through the day, and more importantly, not let on what the hell was going on in my life, because it was written all over my face. One of my sisters and I work together, and we drive to work together, and I tried my best to mask it, because if I said it out loud, it would feel more real, and I was so afraid to say it. Especially to her, because she knows me practically more than I know myself.

I held it in for all of probably an hour. Then I IMd her (two offices away – yes, we do this daily, IM each other, it’s just what we do…) and told her that something was wrong. That we had a talk last night. That I didn’t know what was happening. She IMd me back…what do you mean? WITH you two? You’re scaring me, what do you mean? I’m freaking out. I IMd her back, don’t make me cry, I don’t want to talk about it. She came running into my office, shut the door. My face crumpled the minute I looked her in the eye and started crying. She started crying, she looked confused, as bewildered as me. I told her what happened. She immediately denied it – the same reaction I had – how can it be YOU? It’s not you. He’s confused. There’s nothing wrong, it’s not you. It’s not you. It’s not you.

At that point, it was too late, I was bawling, I was a mess. I couldn’t mask it. I went home. I called Pete and told him I was going home, that I couldn’t handle it. He agreed to come home, too. I drove like a zombie home, I was crying, I was numb, my mind was racing.

What’s happening? This isn’t real. It’s something else. It’s not me. It’s not me. It can’t be. Please God, fix this.

I walked in the door, sat down on the couch in silence. Pete walked in the door and looked at me. Scared. Confused. A shameful look in his eye. He was him, but he wasn’t. I was already losing him and I didn’t even know it. I hugged him, he half-heartedly hugged me back. We talked…and talked…and talked…and cried.

Over and over, it came back to us. There’s something missing, he said. I’m not IN love with you anymore. I love you, but I am not in love with you. There’s something missing. I don’t want to be married. I want to run away. I want to leave everything and just run. I don’t need the house. I don’t need the cats. I don’t need this. I don’t need you. I think I want a divorce.

I was stunned.

He said it. I want a divorce.

And he was adamant.

I told him that I didn’t think it was us, I think if I wasn’t there, he would miss me and realize it’s not me. He was still adamant, but we agreed that I would move out for the week and live with my sister. No contact. No phone calls, no emails. That was a Monday night. I packed up a week’s worth of clothes. I was crying. I couldn’t see straight. I was numb. On my way out the door, I gave him a hug, and a kiss on the cheek, and I was bawling. I told him that I loved him. He told me he loved me too, but his eyes were a million miles away, and his face looked crushed. He knew was killing me from the inside out, but he was still doing it.

I drove to my sister’s house, bawling. I walked in the door, and she was in the kitchen. My brother in law was on the couch, and he just sat there and didn’t say a word (I think he was trying to respect my privacy, perhaps). I walked into the kitchen, looked at my sister and just broke down and cried. She held me, tighter than anyone has ever held me, and we both bawled, and cried, and cried some more. Despite how close we are, we never hug. Ever. But I couldn’t let go, I wanted to just hide in her arms and make it all go away. At that moment, I knew.

There was no turning back. My marriage was irretrievably broken. The pain I was feeling was irreversible. The saddest, hardest, most painful feeling I have ever felt. It literally felt as if my heart was breaking. In my mind, all I was thinking, over and over was, I’m 29 and I’m getting divorced. No, no, NO, this is not happening…what happened to my life? My perfect, wonderful life?

..and why me? God, why me?

Phew, that was so hard to write…I’m right there, in my sister’s kitchen, and I’m crying. Right now, I can’t help it, it just comes back with a whoosh.

To be continued…

The first in a series of posts on the beginning of the end of my marriage, and a look back at our relationship, from meeting, dating, engagement, and the in-laws (that could be an entire blog in itself, but that’s a story for another day…!).

So, “where it began” really doesn’t even scratch the surface of the beginning of the end of my marriage, and I don’t think I’ve quite recounted that here yet, in almost a year. Perhaps part of it was purposeful, for not wanting to relive those moments, but now that I am so far beyond that, looking back feels more like continued healing, and, sharing the experience with all of you – those going through divorce as we speak, those recently separated, those who are well beyond as “freshly” divorced as me (September, officially). So, here goes…

It was late October, just after our two-year wedding anniversary, which came and went without so much as dinner out, no card, no romance, not much out of the ordinary. And, not that I’ve got high expectations or am high-maintenance when it comes to “stuff” in a relationship, but it just felt definedly different. And, Pete had been acting differently over the past month, sort of withdrawn, not himself, stressed out, lost in his own world. It didn’t feel terribly different than when he’d been stressed out at work in the past, as he sometimes shuts into himself and just deals with it on his own, but at the same time, it was much longer than normal, and he just wasn’t himself. We weren’t having sex, and we hadn’t for quite awhile (at least 2-3 weeks) and he was just withdrawn. There. But not. So, that night (I think it was a Sunday, but I don’t remember the actual date), as we were laying in bed and his indifference and quietness finally got to me.

I asked him what was wrong, he didn’t answer. I asked him if he was ok. He didn’t answer. I asked him if he was stressed. He said yes. I asked him if it was work. He said he didn’t know. I asked him if it was his family and he said no. I asked him if it was me – fully expecting him to say ‘stop being stupid’ – and he said yes. I asked him what he meant. He said he didn’t know. He was facing away from me in bed, and curled up, and he refused to look at me. I shook him slightly and asked him to explain what he meant. By that point, my heart had sunk, my body was shaking, my knees were knocking and I was scared. This felt real, and scary, and the first inkling in my mind that something was definitely – perhaps permanently – wrong. And to think it could be us was so infathomable to me at the time, that I was in utter shock.

Then he said it.

I’m not happy. Something is wrong with me. I think it’s us. I think I don’t want to be married anymore.

Blindsided.

I was crying, shaking, bawling, but at the same time, I was angry. I didn’t understand, I thought he was jumping to conclusions. HOW COULD IT BE US?! It has never been us. So, HOW COULD IT BE US? After almost 9 years together and 2 years of marriage and never a fight between us.

How could it be us?

I just didn’t understand, and I cried, and I tried to understand, and I just didn’t. I said that I refuse to believe that, that it can’t be us, that we have a wonderful marriage, we don’t fight, we are very compatible, we have a wonderful home, two wonderful cats, a brand new bathroom that we designed top to bottom, a circle of friends, good jobs…and each other.

So, how could it be us?

We went to bed that night agreeing that we needed to talk, and figure out WHAT this was. That it WAS NOT us, that maybe he should talk to someone, that maybe he was just confused.

The next day, I woke up and thought it was one of those nightmares that just you wake up from and realize it wasn’t true, and you feel a wave of relief. Yet, it WAS true, and I was scared, and ashamed, and sad, and crushed, and well, broken. I didn’t tell anyone, I was afraid to, I was ashamed to say it, for fear of making it real. But it was real, and I had no idea where to begin, what to do, how to save it, or fix it. I wanted to run away. I wanted to hide. And most of all, I wanted it not to be us, and for Pete to come back to me and realize what we had was one of a kind, and could never, ever be recreated.

I didn’t know it at the time, but it was the beginning of the end…but also the beginning of the beginning, of the most awe-inspiring year of my life.

Wow, writing this down brings me rushing back to that moment – I can feel my knees shaking, I can feel the bewildered look in my eyes, and in Pete’s, and I never, ever want to feel that way again. Tomorrow, part II of this post – and realizing, that at 29, I was going to get divorced.

To be continued…

~~

Broken. It’s how I felt. This song spoke to me, for months. I was broken, I didn’t how to fix it, I didn’t know where to go. Who used to “fix” me, comfort me, make me smile, make me feel safe – was him. My love, my best friend, my all….and he wasn’t that anymore. How do you feel anything *but* broken?

Phew…it’s been one hell of a rollercoaster of emotions weekend. I am just back from the Cape and had an amazing time with good friends and family, and am so thankful this weekend coincided with the divorce.

However, at the same time, my emotions were all over the place. After the divorce proceedings on Friday, I got a call from my real estate agent with some semi-good semi-bad news about the second mortgage holder and their decision regarding the short sale. They agreed (the semi-good news) but on the condition that we pay $12,000 at closing (the semi-bad news), which is the end of this month. Ack. We’re trying to get that number down, but it was sort of the nail in the coffin for how I was feeling after court that morning.

Then, this weekend, I had SO much fun. We drank, we ate, we laughed, we vegged. We talked about marriage and divorce and what I’ve gone through, and it was sort of good to talk about it more, and hear others’ perspectives 1 on 1. But today, I suddenly felt alone. Very alone. I’m not sure why, because I am not lonely, really, but it was the first time I realized that this is just me now, it’s not us, it’s me. I know it’s been just me for almost a year, but now that the divorce is final, I really felt it. And I know I’ll go through that feeling of alone-ness on and off and I just need to let myself feel it…because after I felt it and just thought through it, I felt better and not so alone anymore.

And I know I’ll get through the rest of the house sale and moving into my new place…and I’ll move on from feeling alone, but I just have to remember that this is a process, it’s my life, and I’ve faced a lot, so I can do this. I got this. Just need to remind myself sometimes.

…and the divorce finality is starting to really hit me. I re-read my blog yesterday, and for some reason, the quote “that’s what happens in the end…you start thinking about the beginning” feels so tragically accurate right now.

I’ve been thinking about writing a letter to Pete. Sort of a goodbye to what we had, hello to the future of “us” as a friendship entity (and posting that letter here, tomorrow, prior to Friday, where I plan to post my thoughts post-divorce). But as I think about writing it, I get this overwhelming sense of sadness. As though all of those feelings last October come rushing back and I just want to run away from it all over again, but I think now, this is how I am cleansing, getting it all out, feeling it – as raw as it feels, and as real as it feels – so I can move on. Purely. Strongly. And optimistically.

So, look for that letter tomorrow (if I can get myself to actually write it).

~~

In lighter news…I finally had a date with match.com boy #6 last night – the one I’ve been trying to meet for oh, five weeks now. I’m glad I didn’t blog about it beforehand, in case I jinxed it, because it went really well. I’m almost afraid to admit that I like him, because I’m gunshy he’ll never call again (but that’s probably just me purely overthinking, as usual), but not only was he SUPER SUPER cute (I mean, he is thisclose to rivaling the holy grail of hotness…but for some reason CSB is still ahead – ha), he was a gentleman…stood up when I arrived, gave me a kiss on the cheek and a hug when I arrived (and after walking me back to my car), and we have a lot in common (and some things NOT so in common, which I totally dig). He’s also recently divorced, 30, and getting back into dating, so that’s pretty cool too. He’s traveling for the next couple weeks, so don’t expect any sort of update on that for awhile, but it was a great time, I felt chemistry and hopefully, date #2 is in our future.