Saturday, April 26, 2008

So, Yeah, that Wedding...

I should write something about the wedding... it's hard. It's kind of surreal. Did all that really happen? Yeah, it did. I've got the proofs for the photo album sitting on my table.

The wedding. My wedding. Gardiner and Me. Everything went perfectly.

No really... it did. We got everything we asked for and then some. We even got refund checks from some of our vendors because we'd overpaid. All the outfits were perfect, the food was delicious, all the girls' hair was perfect, all the guys looked dashing in their tuxes, the flowers were straight out of my fantasies. Every little detail I'd arranged fell right into place. We even got the weather we wanted - just enough snow to give us a beautiful vista of Boston, seen from our reception hall on the 35th floor.

I believe, if I think back on my 36+ years of existence, that this may have actually been the happiest day of my life. I couldn't stop grinning. My cheeks were sore before the rehearsal dinner ever started. I always tease G about having a smug look on his face - I've never seen him quite so smug! My father and I somehow managed not to cry, and the time I spent with him was very intimate, special, unforgettable. My Mom looked gorgeous in her red dress, and my mother-in-law looked equally gorgeous in her persimmon gown. My father-in-law cut up the dance floor all night, and so did my friends. Our photographer was fun, easy-going, and nearly invisible. The DJ kept the dinner music light and low, then pulled out all the stops when the party got hopping. Every instruction G and I had left was followed to the letter.

And I danced. Oh, did I dance. I danced like I haven't in years. I held nothing back. I felt completely free and uninhibited. G and I twirled and dipped and stumbled and laughed and kissed and everyone applauded. I shook my groove thang with my girlfriends until they shut us down at midnight.

The generosity of our friends and family takes my breath away. We set it up so that people wouldn't have to do much - we wanted to do all the work and cover as much of the expenses as possible - the parking, the open bar, the beauty salon for my bridesmaids and Moms, we even paid for one groomsman's tux. It was all so small to us, and so worth every penny... we wouldn't have dreamed of not doing these things. We established a firm "no-gifts" policy. There is TRULY nothing we need - it's not a platitude! I have a storage cubicle full of barely used household goods - some very high quality. We live in a one-bedroom and will for at least another year! Well, people found ways of giving small things to us anyway... a bottle of G's favorite cognac, a favorite frying pan that replaces one I had relenquished to my divorce... Small things from very close friends who know us better than we realize.

And Trip and Slam... they put me up for a couple of days before the wedding. I drove up to their house in Weymouth the Wednesday prior, and crashed in their guest room. Trip drove me in and out of Boston during Thursday Rush Hour so I could get my bridal mani/pedi. They spoiled me rotten. Took me out for sushi, made pancakes for breakfast, let me cry on their shoulders when my nerves overtook me. They schlepped all manner of wedding items from place to place, in the snow. Oh, and they were working from home the whole time. Multi-tasking raised to an art form.

The night of the wedding, they decorated the bridal suite at the hotel for us. How they got in there I'm not sure. Flowers, rose petals, the whole bit. The night after the wedding, we crashed at their house, before driving off into the mountains for our honeymoon the next morning... and they decorated their guest room for us, making a little honeymoon suite. The went to so much effort and invested so much time and creativity, not to mention extra cash for things we never expected... I'm still amazed. And warmed by the love of truly great friends.

Kristin and Lisa were, as usual, a comfort to me. Lisa has been my rock in recent years, always supportive, always listening, always talking me down from my ledges. Kristin has been my cheerleader, and together the two of them kept me from being a complete emotional wreck.

And my Man-Of-Honor was amazing. He kept me laughing, he told me all the right things at the right times, and damn... he gave me the best makeup face I've had in years. In all the photos I'm positively glowing, and not just from happiness. He danced with my niece, he entertained everyone at the reception... lord, there's going to be some wild photos from the last hour of that party. He gave a speech that made up laugh and almost made me cry. He kept it real.

The whole weekend was so overwhelming. Nine weeks ago today.


I'll get back to this.

Monday, April 14, 2008

We're Ok

We're Ok
Originally uploaded by MzOuiser

Mighty Marge

She's ok!

They didn't find any cancer. She has a large cyst attached to her liver, which doesn't seem to be having any detrimental effects (yet). We're going to be on the lookout for symptoms, but so far, she's a very happy, lively old lady. Her kidneys are a bit undersized, so it's out with the Cat Chow and in the with the Feline K/D. She HATES Feline K/D, but if I mix it with some grocery store gourmet canned food, she gobbles it down. (The vet said that was ok.)

I am just. So. Relieved.

Monday, April 07, 2008

About Marge

Saturday morning was Marge's annual check-up at the vet's office. Marge is a very good kitty for the vet. There's virtually no struggling, no yowling, no scratching. Oh, she voices her fury when I put her in the carrier, but once we're out of the apartment building and she smells the fresh air she gives up the protesting and just sits grumpily.

With the doctor, she submits to the probing and poking and rather rough handling, even the time the vet clipped her nails too close and made her bleed. She just sat there with her ears slightly back, looking pissy but resigned. Marge is always discharged with a clean bill of health, and When we get home there's lots of petting and kisses and Who's such a good girl? Margie is!

This past Saturday, we noticed that Marge has lost 1.5 pounds since her last visit. That's significant, and I recalled that there had been a little less than a 1/2 pound loss the previous year. At that time, it didn't seem to be a cause for alarm, but I did recall that during 2003 to 2005, her old vet in Manhattan had recorded a slight weight gain each year. In Nyack, it seems to have reversed.

Since 1.5 pounds is enough to set off alarm bells, the vet took some blood from her neck. I couldn't watch. G was with us, and he stayed in Marge's sight, telling her how brave she was, empathizing that this wasn't very much fun but it would be over soon, etc. Marge's blood was apparently thicker than expected, and it took two tries to get a sufficient amount for testing. I'm not sure what that means. Right now I'm not interested in speculating.

At this point the Doctor came in, and palpated Marge's belly. "Meow!" Marge protested. "I know," the doctor soothed, as her fingers prodded. "I feel something not good," she muttered. "Let's do an X-Ray."

Sure enough... there on the X-Ray was a large mass, next to her liver. The damn thing is the size of her liver. It may be even bigger - you can't see much in an X-ray. Of course, what we might be looking at here, although it's really too soon to tell, is cancer.

The vet started saying things about how there are other tests we need to do to determine whether there's anything in her lymph nodes, whether the mass has attached itself to other organs... blah blah blah. All that got through to me was "Ultrasound," "Biopsy," a bizarre and upsetting discussion of possible environmental causes (including Indian Point nuclear power station located just north of us), and the phrase "You might have some time with her." I'm not sure when I started to cry, but I managed to halt the flow of tears until we got home.

After we made an appointment for an ultrasound, we got our baby girl back to the house, where she proceeded to stalk off angrily to the bedroom and sulk on the bed. G placated her with some grooming, and I talked myself through what I had just experienced.

"I don't think I gave my cat cancer by moving her to Nyack!" I growled.

At some point, G went outside to do something. Marge was happily purring on her favorite couch cushion, relaxing with sleepy eyes in a bright sunbeam, looking happy and healthy as the day we met, and ten times as pampered. I got into the shower to wash off the fur and dander she'd stress-expelled during the whole vet ordeal.

In the shower, I cried. I cried until I couldn't cry anymore. Then I got down to the business of washing my hair and self. When I got out, I put on comfortable clothes. I had some work around the house to do, and a birthday party to attend that evening. Besides, NO DIAGNOSIS HAS YET BEEN CONFIRMED. Calm down, girl! I chided myself.

Think positive. We don't know anything yet. THINK POSITIVE.

The birthday party effectively removed the entire concept from my mind. I sang Karaoke and laughed with friends for hours, then came home at about 2am and crashed.

I don't really rememer much about Sunday. I know I was at the mall for awhile, dropping off some shoes to be re-soled and buying a red shirt on sale. Oh, that's right, in the evening I colored in my Tropical Fish coloring book while Revenge of the Sith played in the background on Spike TV. While Marge yawned on the couch next to me. Like any other night at home.

In all truth, the very thought of losing her is devastating. I'm exceedingly attached to her, my love for this animal has completely saturated my heart ever since her last owner moved to Chicago and sent her to live with me in late 2002.

I didn't have a cat carrier, so I brought her home with me in a box, an eight-year-old shut-in of a cat, meowing her head off until I let her out. Then she hid behind a furniture piece for almost two days. During the blizzard of 2003, she and I moved to the two-bedroom in Manhattan and I took her to her first vet appointment since she was spayed as a kitten. Five years later I can't imagine life without her, and frankly, don't want to.

I have been telling myself we are on borrowed time for the last two years. When Zenchick had to say goodbye to her cat Reggie, I remember how grief stricken she was. It was then that I took out a pet insurance policy for Marge... I was having a hard time financially, due to the divorce, and the horrible job I was trying desperately to get out of.

Reggie was 12 when she passed. Recently, my dear friend Jenn lost her 12-year old cat to cancer. Granted, my childhood cats all lived to be 17 and 18, but I know how unusual that is. Marge is 14. I am a realistic person. Death is a natural part of life, and a healthy acceptance of it is something I've become all too familiar with over the last five years.

I think I've done everything I can to prepare myself, and I'm trying VERY HARD not to over-think this… but I am having a rough time focusing on things today.

Tomorrow I'm taking her for an ultrasound, and hoping for the best. I will not speculate. I am taking this one step at a time.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

I'm Still Here...

All those things it's supposed to be? The happiest day of your life? A day like a dream you never want to wake from? The important life decision you feel best about? The rock-solid foundation that makes the rest of your life suddenly seem doable?

It was all that. The wedding I mean.

Ever since we got home, we've both been exhausted, grumpy, and tackling new things professionally. It's like a luxury, being grumpy at home in front of each other. It's a way of relaxing that neither of us has really ever had before. Our bond is so iron-clad that we give each other all the space we need and it's no big deal. And we still enjoy our hard-earned private time together. Out of the blue, G took me to see Spamalot a week or so ago, just 'cause.

I have a post in the works covering the time before the wedding, up through the rehearsal dinner. I don't have time to finish it, and don't know when I'll get around to it, although I doubt anyone's still reading this blog, LOL. I always did write primarily for myself though.

Anyway, Life is good.

For now, that's all I got.