A PhotoPass photographer caught this moment in front of the Castle at Walt Disney World. It was actually the first time we returned after Ben’s ALS diagnosis in 2010
Today would be Ben’s and my 20th anniversary. That’s hard to believe, as it’s hard to believe that it’s been four years that I’ve honored this day by myself. I think I’ll always mark these events in my heart. And, I think that’s ok. In fact, I think it’s good. I remember when we wore our “Happily Ever After” buttons at Walt Disney World, even after his ALS diagnosis. It isn’t always easy to remember pre-ALS days, but days like today bring me back to who we really were and the Disney-like romantic times that we were so fortunate to share.
I believe that Ben is now watching over me now as I make new milestones, knowing that I always keep him close. Last year, I truly believe that he brought me the spectacular peak bloom day for the cherry blossoms in Washington, DC, despite the lousy weather predictions. (click here to read about last year’s anniversary and my visit to the cherry blossoms). That brought me comfort and enveloped me in his presence, which brought balance to the loneliness. I know he’s with me today, too, and that he is always with me.
I am once again reminded of one of my very favorite quote and a conversation in which Christopher Robin tells Winnie the Pooh, If ever there’s a tomorrow when we’re not together, there’s something you must remember…You are braver than you believe and stronger than you seem and smarter than you think…. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart, I’ll always be with you.
This clip has the whole sweet conversation between Christopher Robin and Pooh, from Pooh’s Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin(1977), Walt Disney Television Animation
When Ben proposed to me, he asked me to be his Minnie. So, Happy Anniversary, My Mickey. I miss and love you.
Ben and my second visit to Walt Disney World, 2002
I recently wrote about a song in the new Mary Poppins Returns (click to read). The DVD was just released and I have watched it more than once! I always look to Disney films to enlighten my experience, whether it was during caregiving, the depths of grief, or now, as I have re-entered life. Mary Poppins has been a favorite character since I was a child and she continues to captivate me. This new film is not a remake, which is probably a good thing, because the original was a spectacular entity unto itself which could never be recreated or duplicated. This new film is a treasure in a different way, with messages that resonated for me about love and loss.
Here are some of the poignant quotes and conversations that touched my heart and reaffirmed my belief that the people I have lost and whom I miss so dearly are here with me.
You can’t lose what you’ve never lost.- Mary Poppins
Annabel, John and Georgie Banks were lamenting the loss of their mom, fearing that the loss of their home would take her farther away. Michael Banks (their dad, and all grown up from the original) also dreaded the possibility of losing their home because his wife, their mother was so present there.
Listening to the children, Mary Poppins is sympathetic, but she points out that, “You can’t lose what you’ve never lost.” Seems odd, since, indeed, they lost their mom. She goes on to sing a beautiful song that I included on the previous post but am reposting here. It includes these lyrics:
The Place Where Lost Things Go
Composer: Marc Shaiman
Lyrics: Scott Wittman
Performed by Emily Blunt (Mary Poppins)
Time to close your eyes So sleep can come around For when you dream you’ll find All that’s lost is found Maybe on the moon Or maybe somewhere new Maybe all you’re missing lives inside of you So when you need her touch and loving gaze Gone but not forgotten is the perfect phrase Smiling from a star that she makes glow Trust she’s always there Watching as you grow Find her in the place where the lost things go.
In a recent post I wrote of a dream I had with Ben. I wish that I remembered my dreams better, but even if I don’t, I’m sure that my loved ones pop into my dreams and send me little messages. I see my parents, my grandma and Ben in so much of who I am, what I do and how I live my life. They are inside of me and have helped to shape me. I’m fortunate to have many good memories, and I have gained the ability to put the bad memories in perspective, as part of what made our entire relationships. In the film, the children are in their first year of grief. And, they are children, and as such, were so dependent on their mom, which made the loss and ability to find perspective, that much more difficult. Mary Poppins did try to comfort them, but her song also shows that she also listened to them and opened the way for discussion, which was something that they did not get from their father. He was not ready. That is a difficult dynamic, though common within a family where each person grieves differently and parents juggle their own grief and parenting. Of course, Mary Poppins helps Michael, too, which is why she is, indeed “practically perfect in every way!”
I do believe that my loved ones are watching me and are always with me. Our relationship is different now, but I suppose that, as Mary Poppins says, they are “gone but not forgotten.” I can still feel and connect with them even though they are now in the place where the lost things go. I hope that they are happy there, but I think it’s okay that I will always miss them here.
Your mother’s not gone. She’s in your smile, and your walk, John, and Annabel’s eyes. She’ll always be with us wherever we go.” – Michael Banks
There is a touching song at the beginning of the film where Michael Banks (yes, all grown up and with his own children) is looking through his deceased wife’s jewelry box and talking to her about missing her advice about ways to take care of the children. He has so many questions about how to talk to his children because she always seemed to know what to say to them and how to care for them. Michael struggles with losing the family’s house because he feels his wife is so present there. As he begins to fall apart in front of his children, they remind him that “nothing is lost, it’s only out of place.” As the children help Michael come to terms with this additional loss, he realizes that his wife remains present in the children and her spirit will not disappear with the house. I love when people tell me that they see my mom and dad in me. Just the other day, a friend said that she saw so much of my aunt Eleanor in me, and I see that, too. To this day, I have a hard time when I see that restaurants and shops that I visited with my mom or Ben have closed. It feels like I have lost the tangible evidence of our memories, taking them further and further away. I sometimes need to remind myself that I carry all of those memories and the relationships within them in my heart, and by sharing them, I pass them along.
“Some people think a great deal too much. Of that I’m certain.”- Mary Poppins
Mary Poppins says this to Michael as he is lamenting how he’s dealt with his children and the grief that they are all feeling, as well as how to solve his issue with his house. I think that we all overthink matters at certain times. Sometimes, as the song lyrics say, we must trust that our loved ones are there. There are moments when we have to listen to and follow our hearts. We can take a clinical or textbook approach to caregiving, grief, or life in general, and we can read all of the self-help books we can find, but we each find our own way to navigate our experiences. Sometimes the answers lie within us. We cannot always think things through and write a neat and clean plan. Life throws us curve balls. If we follow a sad road for a time, I think that’s okay. After all, grief is not a happy time and healing cannot be forced. That said, we should try to be attuned to our emotions and consider support groups and professional help if the feelings are overwhelming or troubling.
The truth, for me, is that having come out the other side of intense grief, I do see and feel all of this and understand how my loved ones were with me. But, in the depths of grief, sometimes I haven’t wanted to hear a “bright side” or a positive spin. Just as the Banks children needed to express that they missed their mom, and to be heard and validated, there have been times when I simply wanted to know that someone was listening to and understanding my sadness for what it is. There have been times when it has been so clear that people do this for their own comfort, whether it is because they are uneasy or impatient around tears or because they believe that “enough” time has passed for grief or because, with all good intentions, they just want me to feel better. Cheering up isn’t always the answer. Healing does happen, but it happens in its own timeframe. I’m proof of that, and also of the fact that there are ebbs and flows in grief and sadness or tears will happen forever. It means we loved and were loved, and that is a good thing.
At the Walt Disney World Wishing Well at Cinderella’s Castle- Making a wish!
I’m a dreamer. Disney always lets us believe that dreams come true. Cinderella, my first favorite princess, said “they can’t stop me from dreaming,” and she sang “a dream is a wish your heart makes.” In Pinocchio, we are taught that “when you wish upon a star your dreams come true.”
So, when I woke up on a recent morning, upset by an actual dream I’d had, I began to wonder about dreams. Are they a reflection of what I wish for? Are they the resurfacing of bad memories I only convinced myself that I had happily put in the recesses of my brain? Maybe both?
Truth be told, I rarely remember my dreams. I do know that at times, when I’m having a bad dream, in the dream I tell myself to wake up. When I awoke from this particular dream, I remembered a lot of details. In this dream I revisited a lot of the issues that arose during my 16-year relationship with Ben. I again experienced the anger and aggravation that I did during our more challenging times. During the dream, I saw Ben curled up and crying with apologies and regrets. I calmly talked through the issues with him and comforted him. I talked to him honestly and openly and he listened and really heard me. In this dream, I got to a point where I could express that I accepted our entire relationship, good and bad, and I told Ben that I loved him, which was something he always knew anyway. I left the dream with him reassuring me of how much he loves me.
It bothered me that Ben was so upset. It also bothered me to revisit the difficult issues. Was my heart wishing for this dream? I couldn’t imagine how. It’s been gnawing at me and it has had me in tears.
I suppose that every relationship has its imperfections. However, when Ben was in the hospital and he knew his time in this world was limited, we had a special opportunity to resolve a great deal of the rough feelings. We even said our vows on the morning that he departed. I am not as naïve as my love of Disney would imply to some. I believe that I have a realistic memory and perspective of our relationship and, although I choose to focus on the wonderful aspects of my time with Ben, I also acknowledge the aspects that were difficult. After all, if I can’t do that, I am not doing justice to our time together and the love that lasted in good and bad times. But, why was I revisiting the bad times, seeing Ben so distraught and full of regret? Why was I talking through everything with him without just placating him? I felt like this dream must have been sending a message.
In my dream, Ben’s children ignored and dismissed me as they did throughout our relationship and his battle with ALS. For many months, I have been troubled by the only one of his daughters with whom I had a brief good connection at the end and for the first two years after Ben died, because, without any explanation or any kind of falling out, she began to ignore me and not respond to my texts. I have been feeling hurt and confused, because we had spent milestone events together, such as his birthday, the anniversary of his passing. I tried to be supportive and arrange activities that would honor Ben and that we could enjoy as we remembered him. Actually, for most of the time that Ben was ill, we did not have a strong relationship, so I suppose things just returned to their original status. In my dream, I matter-of-factly said good-bye and confidently walked away from her.
Dreams are such a matter of interpretation. In this case, I have come up with an interpretation that works for me. I recently marked three and a half years since Ben left this world. Those kinds of milestones always bring back a lot of memories- the good times and the illness, and, of course, his last day. While I get caught up in those memories, I have also stepped back into the land of the living. I am even trying to find love again. Interacting with people online, and writing dating profiles allows the opportunity to look at the beautiful and not so beautiful aspects of my relationship with Ben. I feel like I know what I am looking for and that I am ready to be in a relationship. Maybe this dream was showing me that indeed, I am able to look back honestly at my relationship with Ben, and to know that those issues are resolved. I can enter into another loving relationship and work through any issues that arise.
I do believe that Ben is with me. I have gone to a medium who has confirmed that. I realize that many people do not believe this as I do. Maybe Ben entered my dream so that we could talk through things and he would know that I still love him and am connected to him but can also move to a new relationship with an open and loving heart. Maybe we worked through things so he could peacefully let me step forward. Maybe my heart wished for the opportunity to talk with him about our relationship to reinforce in my heart and mind that we will always have a relationship, but it is now different.
As for the daughter who has cut off communication with me, in my dream, Ben watched as I confidently walked away from her. It made me feel like I have his support. This dream allowed me to let go of the anger, confusion and frustration that I have been feeling, knowing in my heart that I did everything that Ben would have wanted me to do, serving as the connection that she herself said she needed and wanted because her immediate family was not expressing much in the way of grieving Ben’s passing. This dream has empowered me to stop worrying and wondering and to sever the notion that I ever actually had any relationship with his immediate family. I gave and they took. For the most part, Ben had the same relationship with them.
Maybe it was just a dream conjured by the many memories swirling in my conscious and subconscious around the anniversary of his passing. On the other hand, although it upset me, maybe this dream was the wish that my heart has been making to talk to Ben, let go of the difficult times, feel heard and listened to, feel his love and permission to find love again and know that I am able and willing to once again enter into a healthy and happy relationship. Cinderella did say, “No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true.” No wonder she remains my favorite princess.
Today would be my Grandma’s birthday. I was a mommy’s girl, a daddy’s girl and a grandma’s girl. That has stayed with me. In more recent years, there have been some wonderful grandmas in Disney films. Julie Andrews as a grandma and a Queen in The Princess Diaries was a treat (and great casting, in my opinion), and I am thrilled to know that they are making yet another sequel.
In Disney Pixar’s Coco, the title character, Coco, is young Miguel’s great-grandma, who is delighted by her great-grandson, although her memory of him and of everyone, is fading. But, Coco is loved and respected, cared for by the whole family. My family lived with Grandma, too, and we all cared for her as she succumbed to cancer. I was happy to see Disney tackle the issues of respect for the elderly and memory loss in a sensitive, touching way. Although the film unnerved me and had me in tears at various points, Coco was a powerful, and, actually, a positive reminder that Ben, my mom and dad, my grandma and all of the other people I’ve loved so deeply but lost, are always with me in my heart.
Given my own love for my grandmother, the love between Moana and her Gramma Tala in the film Moana also deeply touched my heart.
I grew up in a house with Grandma, in the same house that she raised my mom and her siblings. There were a lot of memories in that house, a lot of dreams, a lot of happiness, but also sadness. I grew up in that house but my mom and Grandma also died in that house. Grandma and I were very attentive to each other, always calling each other and spending many weekends together. When she was ill I helped with her caregiving, and although I was not her primary caregiver, I was the one she relied on for comfort. At the same time, even though I was not a child, she wanted to protect me from the fact that she was dying.
From the time I was a child, I was in awe of Grandma and her elegance. I loved her sense of fashion. She had a wonderful way of putting together colors and fabrics and styles. I still have some of her clothing and jewelry. In fact, some of the best shopping I ever did was in her closets and drawers. On a couple of occasions, I was stopped by saleswomen at boutiques because they remembered that before I made a purchase, I called my grandmother for her opinion on an outfit that I was considering. They said they’d never met anyone who called her grandmother for fashion advice. If they knew her, they would have, too. She really had great style. To this day, when I’m feeling lazy about dressing up or putting on make-up- it happens rarely, but it happens!- I hear her warning me that I never know who I am going to meet and I should always look my best. Clearly, she was hoping for a nice, Jewish Prince Charming. My fairytale was not quite exactly her idea of the “tale as old as time,” but Grandma always seemed to understand that I danced to my own beat. Sometimes we frustrated each other, particularly when I challenged her ideas of an ideal life. But, we had a special bond and an unconditional love for each other. And, I know that she would have loved Ben.
Grandma doing my hair. She crocheted my dress. She was very talented! I get my creative streak from her.
Grandma had four brothers and a sister, my great-aunts and great-uncles, and I loved them all dearly. If you read my Valentine’s Day post, these are the wonderful people for whom I made cards when I was growing up. I accompanied my mom and Grandma to visit my great-grandmother at the nearby nursing home almost every day when I was quite young. As a child, it was a fun experience for me because, as I realized in retrospect, the people living there were so happy to see and interact with a child. I loved spending time with my great-aunts and great-uncles. Losing Grandma and my older relatives left a huge void in my life. However, through our loving relationships, I developed a lasting appreciation of and particular compassion for elderly people.
(L-R) Great-uncle Louie, Great-aunt “Tanta” Rosie, Great-Aunt Lillian, Grandma Dora, Great-Uncle Larry. Mid-1980s. I adored them all.
Grandma was very artistic and I inherited her abilities and passion for crafts. She crocheted many aphgans and sweaters, skirts, dresses and ponchos. I remember choosing wool colors with her and how each item had to represent the gift recipient, yet had to be timeless and classic. I can see my own shifting tastes as I look at my childhood aphgan in its pastel colors and then the gray, maroon and cream colors in my college aphgan. I remember waking up in the morning covered with the squares she made while I was asleep. My dollhouse and dolls even got aphgans! I still have many things that she made. They hold such beautiful memories of time spent watching her and learning how to crochet. Eventually, she helped me to make an aphgan of my own. Ben used it often.
Some of Grandma’s aphgans. Far left was from my bedroom, the middle was for college and far right was another design she made for another room. When I woke up, I would often find little aphgans in my dollhouse! I’ve kept them, too.
The aphgan I made with help from Grandma.
Grandma was also a craftsy child, and I remembering discovering and being fascinated by a beautiful ribbon doll that she made when she was young. My mom had it restored and framed, and it hangs in my apartment, another reminder of the artistic sensibility that I share with Grandma. Grandma’s talents extended to the piano, and she inspired me to learn how to play. I never played as well as she did, but she helped and encouraged me to play, and I’ve kept some of the sheet music.
A ribbon doll that Grandma made as a child. I believe that these were popular crafts when she was young.
My mom, on the other hand, was not artistic. Grandma did my hair, helped me pick my clothes and taught me how to bake. I never saw Mommy approach the piano, though she did take guitar lessons with me for a very short time. But, as I’ve written previously, my mom and I shared a sense of whimsy and we were both children at heart. Grandma did not share that sensibility and it made for some amusing times. One of my funniest memories was watching “The Little Mermaid” with both of them, my mom and I giggling like little girls, and then laughing hard as we looked at Grandma, who was staring at the screen in disbelief that we could lose ourselves in the film. OK, so Grandma did not embrace the Disney magic, but she did have a healthy respect for Mickey and Minnie and was amused and enthusiastic when I called her from Walt Disney World to tell her that I’d gotten a Happy 35th Birthday hug from Mickey!
One of our traditions was to make humentashen, the triangular, fruit-filled cookies made during the Jewish holiday, Purim. When I was a child, she taught me my Bubbe’s (great-grandma’s) recipe, and we made the cookies every year. And every year, Grandma admonished my mom, who laughed as she struggled to make the triangle shape and never got it quite right. Family traditions! As Grandma got older, I did more of the work and she supervised. After she died, I continued the tradition, and I even taught Ben how to make them. He loved doing it, and got a kick out of knowing that he, a Puerto Rican, was better at making humentashen than my mom! Every year, he would look up the date of Purim so he could tell me when we had to bake! And, just like Grandma did, we counted how many of each flavor I had. (Counting was a ritual she started as a joke because my dad used to sneak into the kitchen to take the matzah balls she made. ) As Ben’s ALS progressed, he made less and less, but he was always a part of the process, even as the official batter taster. Grandma never knew Ben, but I believe that she watched over us and that she would have loved him. I kept and used her mixer until it finally broke, and I still use her huge wooden rolling pins.
Making humentashen is a tradition that started a long time ago!
As Gramma Tala said, there is nowhere I go where Grandma is not with me. So are my mom and dad and Ben. It’s not always enough, and the truth is that sometimes it’s not even close to being enough, but it helps me to know that everywhere I go, and in everything I do, I carry them in my heart and in the person I am. I hope that I make them proud.
Disney, when she was “Miss February” in the Bideawee calendar in 2011
On Thursday, February 7, I had to let my sweet cat Disney go to be with Ben and my dad. She was a brave and strong little girl. At 17 years old, she had so much wrong with her- thyroid, diabetes, severe arthritis and cancer, and so many daily medications/injections/infusions, but she fought and stayed so loving and cuddly. On that evening, she kept falling over and then standing still, frozen and clearly scared, and she was also severely congested. She was miserable. I called the vet in a panic and they told us to come in. Turned out that she had a respiratory infection, and I could have left her overnight for an infusion of IV antibiotics to treat the infection, but her legs were not going to get better. The vet said that given how Disney had been progressing, it was likely that within a couple of weeks, she would have been back at the vet with another problem. And, her legs would only continue to weaken. I didn’t want her to live like that. I always promised myself and her that I would never be selfish and keep her here because I could not stand to lose her.
During this time of her decline, I was living much the way I did when Ben was alone at home while I was at work. I worried throughout the day if she had fallen or if she became immobile or worse. I ran home after school and was grateful to find her up on the sofa waiting for me. Here I was, having conversations with the vet like I had in the hospital with Ben’s doctor. After Ben had his tracheostomy and got the feeding tube, he had several infections and pneumonia. This indicated that if Ben had chosen to go to a facility, he probably would have returned to the hospital within a couple of weeks with another similar infection or pneumonia. Ben had to decide how he wanted to live and die with ALS. Ultimately, he chose to go to the hospital’s hospice unit and separate from the vent. He knew that I would have supported any decision he made.
In Disney’s case, I had to decide what was best for her. I didn’t want her to be miserable. I let her go. Disney was there for me in the worst days with my dad and Ben. She was there for Ben, even at the end when they let her visit him in the hospice unit. I tried very hard to keep her as comfortable as possible, and on that Thursday night, I was there for her, holding and talking to her as she very peacefully left this world. I’ve done this too often for my loved ones in recent years, and although it’s an honor filled with love, I’m overwhelmingly sad and reliving all of those bad moments. I can now add the loss of Disney to the other lousy February dates: my dad’s birthday, I lost my dad and my grandma in February, and it was Ben’s birthday. I’m always happy to welcome March.
I know all the feelings of grief and their unpredictability. I know the sadness and the loneliness and even the anger, though that has been a more recent emotion for me within the past year. I am now caught up in the bad memories of conversations that I had about Ben, being there and watching him leave this world, feeling the awful loneliness at home, losing my routine. Disney was on special foods and meds that made for long mornings before I left for work. My mornings with Ben were also hectic, making sure he was settled and secure before I left for school and rushing to get out the door. Those memories have not been not the ones that stick out at this point. I prefer to focus on the good times. But they’re back and they’re gnawing at me. The frequent tears have returned.
I was back to going through motions. I did not want to leave my apartment and yet it was so hard to be here, where I kept getting up to check on Disney only to remind myself that she was gone. I removed her meds, syringes, food bowls and litter box, which seemed to change my entire apartment. So, I went out and met my friends. We talked about Disney,
I had taken Disney’s Valentine picture the weekend before she died. I’ve written about my Valentine card-making tradition. Here I was with a bunch of Valentine cards featuring Disney’s photograph. Should I send them? Would people think it was wrong? I decided to send the card with a note attached that said that I kind of knew that it would be our last Valentine card, and that I wanted people to have a sweet memory of Disney because, after all, Valentine’s Day is about love.
I am someone who has to have a furbaby, and although it was very soon, on February 18, I welcomed a new little love, Tinker Bell, or Little Bell, as I have taken to calling her because, at less than 8 pounds she is almost fairy sized! She is only two years old and had a rough start in life, but she is a friendly, adorable cat who almost immediately began following me everywhere and talking to me. She is always at my side but she does not like to be hugged or held, as Disney did. Tinker Bell has quickly learned that in this home, she is safe and loved and will be spoiled. Sometimes, she is a delightful distraction because she is a bundle of energy that runs around the apartment and is so curious. At other times, because we don’t yet know each other well, I am reminded about the many things I loved and now miss about Disney. It unnerves me to wake up and not have to make time to give medication and arrange special meals because I feel the loss (but am so grateful that Tinker Bell is healthy.) Changes in routine are reminders of the loss. Disney knew everything I went through with my dad and Ben and was always ready for a cuddle when I needed it. Sometimes I think about that and smile and sometimes I cry. I tell Tinker Bell about Disney and I like to think she listens so that she knows that she, too, will be adored (and that hugs are nice!) I like to think that Disney is also listening when I talk about, and to, her so that she knows that she will always have a big place in my heart. Although she was given a birthday of January 29 because it was the day that she was found in a box on Staten Island, I gave her a birthday of February 18, so give myself one good day in the month of February. With a name like Tinker Bell, I believe that she is going to be the pixie dust that the month of February needs.
On Tinker Bell’s “Gotcha Day,” February 18, 2019 at NYC’s Meow Parlour
Tinker Bell is settling into her new Disney lifestyle!
I haven’t written about the new film Mary Poppins Returns. It is a very special film. The original Mary Poppins is very dear to me because it was the very first film I ever saw in a theater, and because for me, it is pure magic. Julie Andrews will always be Mary Poppins to me, though Emily Blunt did a wonderful job. This new version does not quite have the same whimsical magic for me, but it is very touching, and special in its own right, with important messages that resonated with me about love and loss. The song Where the Lost Things Go addresses how those we love and lose stay with us.So much of what defines our relationships seems to vanish with those we lose, but the memories keep them alive, but in a different way. It is not enough, and yet, it is quite a lot to have felt and given love, and to believe that our loved ones are thriving in a different place while they live in our hearts. I’ve printed the lyrics along with a video of the song.
The Place Where Lost Things Go
Composer: Marc Shaiman
Lyrics: Scott Wittman
Performed by Emily Blunt (Mary Poppins)
Do you ever lie
Awake at night?
Just between the dark
And the morning light
Searching for the things
You used to know
Looking for the place
Where the lost things go
Do you ever dream Or reminisce? Wondering where to find What you truly miss Well maybe all those things That you love so Are waiting in the place Where the lost things go
Memories you’ve shed Gone for good you feared They’re all around you still Though they’ve disappeared Nothing’s really left Or lost without a trace Nothing’s gone forever Only out of place
So maybe now the dish And my best spoon Are playing hide and seek Just behind the moon Waiting there until It’s time to show Spring is like that now Far beneath the snow Hiding in the place Where the lost things go
Time to close your eyes So sleep…
There are things that I miss about all of the too many people and pets I have lost, and yet, they are not really lost because they reside within me. The fact is that all of the love I have felt and given has helped to shape me. Now, I hope that Disney and Ben are “where the lost things go,” comfortably walking together, and I’m sure my dad is spoiling her as he always did.
To quote another song – a Broadway show tune- that I often sang to Disney and that seemed to calm her when I gave her some medications, “I love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.”