It’s been twenty days since our beloved Rocky went to heaven. Christmas seemed like a blur this year between his care, my grief, and family holiday expectations. Normally, I love spending time with family during the holidays but this year it was tough to keep my grief and depression from taking over. Thanks to an email from a neighbor that reminded me of Rocky’s good life with us. That helped me regain my focus. I started writing again two days ago and was able to get a picture book draft on paper that had been bouncing around in my head.
I sat down this morning to reorganize my writing. I registered for a writing workshop through the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators – SCBWI-LI group in Bay Shore next Sunday. Now have to buckle down to make sure I have something to present. I have several other manuscripts that I’ve been working on, but I need to get them submission ready. I’m off from work a couple more days so that’s the plan.
While reorganizing I came across an email that I had totally forgotten! Just after Thanksgiving, I learned that “David’s Flamingos” was nominated for a CYBIL Award in the picture book category. CYBIL – Children’s and Young Adult Literary Award.What a thing to lose track of. I was blessed to have Jeanne Conway, as my illustrator. She did such a beautiful job with the artwork. I’ve been blessed with this debut picture book.
I had trouble concentrating because our beloved family dog was ill. Rocky was diagnosed just after Thanksgiving with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). This disease is clinically similar to non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in people, I was told.
I’m writing this now with tears in my eyes because Rocky passed away quietly in his sleep early this morning.
Rocky was waiting for me at the door last evening but he did not stand up right away. He wagged his tail and lifted his head to tell me hello. When he finally did rise, he let me know he needed to go outside. We did so very carefully because he had trouble walking. We came back inside where he settled into a favorite spot until he needed to go out again. I sat on pillows next to him on the floor as we watched the evening news. Rocky liked to watch TV.
My husband and I took turns going out with Rocky last night and we both knew Rocky would not be with us much longer.
We went to bed with Rocky on the floor at the foot of our bed. He had been sleeping there for the past couple weeks, instead of the living room couch. I had gotten used to waking up during the night to listen to his breathing which had been labored up to that point. At a little past 2am, I awakened to silence. As I rose from the bed to check on him I knew he was gone. I rubbed his back and covered him with a blanket.
I waited for the alarm to go off to tell my husband about Rocky. I spent the hours between 2 and 5 talking to Rocky and thinking about all the things he would be doing now in heaven. I thought, by that time all our other family pets that passed up to heaven must have greeted him.
I spent the rest of today thinking about how much we all loved Rocky and how much he loved us. We will miss him and we do already.
Merry Christmas and may you always have peace and a view from your window.