Polar Bear

Polar Bear
My Boy

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Year and a Goal-come and gone

One year ago tomorrow, I lost my boy.

One year ago I was sitting on the floor of his room, covered in white hair and pee, because he was stress shedding as he was peeing himself and could not stand anymore.

I was cramping and crying.  I remember what I was wearing, not just because I still look at the pictures. I don't need the pictures to take me back to that day.  
I have not worn that shirt since.
The last day
After he was gone, I cried and hugged him for about a half hour-watching the color of his nose turn from blood-perfused pink to hypoxic purple.  I covered him in a sheet, stood up and accidentally stepped on his foot.  I actually apologized, but he didn't pull it away-it all became more real with each passing second.

While trying to lift his body into transport to the crematorium, I threw out my back-just desserts in my opinion.

I clipped some of his hair which I still carry in a ziplock baggie in my wallet.  Hair and ashes are all I have left.  Or so I thought...

I was 250+ pounds (still harboring a $10K lapband that I failed to use), depressed, and totally uninterested in life.  After he was gone, life held even less meaning.
Before Polar's Death:  March 2010-I actually felt thin that night, I'm hiding behind a plant in the dark , and I'm still HUGE.
My husband didn't know what to do, bless his heart.  I cried everyday for 3.5 months.  I tried really hard not to cry in front of anyone, except Pauli, my brown furry therapist...
In March 2010 prior to losing Polar: with the Fudger

And I tried to understand why I was so upset over the death of a DOG.  Then I stopped looking at the pictures of his last day, and started to remember him this way...
 And this way...
And I realized why I was grieving so hard-
Polar WAS what little zeal I had for life-the sliver of optimism and motivation and perseverance that I was struggling to find and hold-he had it in spades.

He was my role model.  Deaf and partially blind, doing everything he wanted to do, and trying everything even though he often failed.  He never stopped trying new things, repeatedly finding the joy in life.

I didn't have to look far to find my joy, because he gave it to me.  I received the sliver of everything positive I needed in him, as well as in bits of everyone and everything else-except for myself.  

I had stopped trying to push myself to find my own fire, when or why exactly I don't know... But I was living off of Polar.  When he died, I had no choice-my silver lining was gone.  I hibernated, slept away my free time, retreated into grief, ate even more.  I am sure I was clinically depressed, and at times I still feel the all-consuming grief.

When I lost Polar, I realized that alot had changed, and that I was the only one not changing.  If I wasn't going to change and acknowledge what he gave me-respect his memory-then I may as well check out-permanently.  Because I was not living, not really.

Two weeks later I went to Medifast-walked in on a Saturday morning.  Plopped down my credit card, and a thousand dollars or so later, I chose my path.

For me, it was the road less traveled.  I chose change, to push myself, find my fire.  In part because I knew Polar would never forgive me for giving up, since he did so much more with so much less.  But mostly because I knew if I didn't take a risk to change my life, then his lessons would be for naught, and it would be as if he never existed-and what a loss that would be.  Let's face it-I was on a path with an early death.

So I sit here today, 160 pounds.  Shattering my goal of 161 by a whole pound.
When I think I still have a fat body in this pic from last weekend, I look at it in reference to my hand size...
Sure I would like to lose 15 more, if that is even possible with my body type.  

But I am going to Turks and Caicos in two weeks with my wonderful husband, and for the first time, I am enthusiastic about sitting on the beach in a bathing suit.

Now I can cross my legs without having to squeeze them to stay that way, I have no cankles, and I don't feel like my arms are stuffed sausage casings...and apparently I have collarbones and shoulder blades.  I walk down a hallway and look passersby in the EYE.  Who knew?!

I still see a fat girl in the mirror, and that may take years to reverse, but I am starting to believe the compliments.  Or at least I am not immediately refuting them...

But for once, I am happy and hope actually seems possible...And I know Polar is proud of me.
Three weeks ago in San Antonio
Thank you to everyone who has been with me on this journey.  I love you guys.