Diary

COFFEE TALK 05.24.20 ☕️

Good morning. I hope you all are enjoying your Memorial Day weekend, unconventional though it may be.

Ours has been pretty gloomy so far, but we did get a short reprieve yesterday afternoon, when the sun decided to shine for a bit. We took full advantage and spent a few hours in our backyard pool. It’s grey and foggy again this morning, but it should clear up later today and be nice for the rest of the weekend.

We don’t have any grand plans for the day beyond a Zoom church service this morning, but I’m sure we’ll end up in the backyard again. I’ve got a book I’ve been trying to read, but I haven’t been able to get into it yet. I’m planning to pull that out again and give it another go.

Some of you are in places where churches are opening up. What does that look like?

I mentioned in last week’s Coffee Talk that it’s been a rough few weeks for our family for several reasons, and I talked about losing Paul’s dad rather suddenly, although he had been declining for some time.

In addition to that, it became evident about three weeks ago that I’m allergic to our new puppy, which brought a different type of grief into our household.

I consulted with our allergist and tried several medications and made changes to our environment in attempts to keep him, but nothing was working. A few sniffles are one thing, but asthma is entirely another, especially with a novel coronavirus raging all around us. (And yes, I was tested for COVID-19, just to be sure that wasn’t the culprit.)

I’ve been through this before — many years ago, with a cat. I kept him longer than I should have, and I ended up with multiple bronchial infections. I could see this situation going in the same direction, and we finally came to the conclusion that for the sake of my health, we would need to find a new home for Ozzy.

Needless to say, this has been devastating to Becca, who was his primary care giver. She worked so hard to get him sleeping through the night and obeying commands, and she spent all of her waking hours watching him and caring for him. She was completely and hopelessly in love — we all were.

The only type of dog I’ve had allergies to in the past were pugs. I hadn’t even considered that a goldendoodle would be an issue, and we envisioned him being part of our family for many years.

The point of getting a puppy during this quarantine was to brighten our days, not make the situation even more grim, and this whole turn of events has been an incredible disappointment for all of us.

It’s absolutely gut-wrenching to weigh your own health and quality of life against the happiness of your children and well-being of a beloved pet. We debated keeping him for a while longer to give us more time with him, but delaying the inevitable was only making our home life more sad and stressful.

Several people offered to take him when they heard of our predicament, but one couple seemed to be the perfect fit. She’s retired, and they recently lost their golden retriever of 15 years. They have a large yard and plenty of time to spend with a puppy, and they only live 20 minutes away and invited us to visit him anytime.

All that to say, Becca and I took Ozzy to his new home on Thursday.

It was the single hardest thing I’ve ever had to do as a parent. It’s one thing to give up your own pet when he’s making you sick; it’s entirely another to ask your child to give up hers.

Caroline is trying to be strong for us, but she misses him too. She had already taught him some tricks, and she was looking forward to spending more time with him after her school year is over in a couple of weeks. The house just feels deflated and empty without him.

Now that we are on the other side and the worst couple days are behind us, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but man, those were some excruciating days.

Besides missing our sweet puppy, I was racked with guilt and second-thoughts, and Becca was utterly heart-broken. Despite that, she was very mature about it all. Not once has she blamed me or taken out any of her grief on the rest of us.

After spending most of Thursday and Friday in bed, she finally perked up a bit yesterday. We went to Target to get some new pool floats, and she enjoyed hanging out in the pool with Paul and Caroline and playing with sidewalk chalk without being on puppy duty. It was a balm to my frazzled nerves to see her laughing and smiling again.

Ozzy was a large part of our life, but for a relatively short period of time. While we’re still sad, and we certainly miss him, we’re already adjusting back to our old normal.

Please know, this is not a decision we took lightly by any means. I have been physically ill over it — and I’m not talking about the asthma.

I really wasn’t ready to talk about it yet, but it’s hard to prattle on about the weather and a few more weeks on stay-at-home orders with all this going on behind the scenes.

And of course, this was all happening the same time Paul’s dad got sick, so it’s just been one big emotional roller coaster around here.

Fortunately, every day gets a little bit easier, and the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter.

I’m eager to return to some of our normal activities, but it looks like that will still be awhile around here.

Our county is supposed to move to the yellow phase of reopening by June 5th, but our yellow phase doesn’t look a whole lot different than our red phase.

When a county moves to the yellow phase in Pennsylvania, the stay-at-home order is lifted, but gatherings are limited to 25 people, with social distancing measures in place. This means small graduation parties will be allowed, which is nice.

The yellow phase also allows some businesses previously classified as non-life sustaining to reopen — manufacturers, pet groomers, and small retailers being the most notable. However, restaurants and bars remain open for takeout and delivery only; and gyms, salons, malls, and movie theaters are to remain closed.

I’m most excited about the dog groomers being allowed to operate. Given a choice, I think I’d pick that over my own hair salon opening. Our Savannah is beyond overdue.

Caroline occasionally trims her face and cuts out the worst of her knots, but we stopped short of ordering clippers and giving her a complete haircut, and she is in desperate need. At this point, we could mop the floor with her.

The other thing we are watching closely is the guidelines for summer camps. Evidently day camps may open in the yellow phase, but overnight camps don’t open until we move to green. This directly affects David’s summer plans, and we’re holding out hope for his overnight camp to open so he can be a counselor again this year.

Right before we were shut down, he had also lined up a job at the YMCA, helping with the kids’ camps and sports programs. The overnight camp is only for a few weeks, and they were willing to work around that. I encouraged him to reach out to his contact at the Y and see if his job is still available, but he hasn’t done that yet.

Beyond that, the other benefit of moving to the yellow phase will be feeling more free to hang out with friends. This is the time of year when I enjoy entertaining the most, and we need that distraction now more than ever.  I’d also like to have a small 8th grade graduation pool party for Becca. Right now she’s not feeling much like socializing, but hopefully she will by then.

And that brings us right back to where we started, doesn’t it?

All I can say is, 2020 is a year for the record books and one I do not care to repeat. I will happily bid adieu to the month of May, and I have high hopes for June and July.

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your Memorial Day Weekend, and let us not forget the real reason for the holiday.

Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them. – Franklin D. Roosevelt

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90 thoughts on “COFFEE TALK 05.24.20 ☕️

  1. I’m so sorry for the sadness surrounding you and your family. The loss of a parent always difficult no matter the age, health or circumstances. They are still Dad or Mom and their absence is tough. Sweet Ozzy. Oh, I feel this one as I went through similar. I’m happy to hear you are starting to see your norm returning. It will come.  Sounds like you are all handling things best as can be expected. 🙏🏻 for all of you. 

  2. What a heart-wrenching decision you had to make, but you definitely made the right one to take care of your health especially with asthma. I can only imagine how tough these last few days (weeks) have been for you and your family. Such a blessing that you found the perfect couple to adopt your sweet puppy, I hope there are many fun visits ahead. Sending lots of hugs!!

  3. As if times weren’t sad enough…..so sorry you all are having to deal with this too. Really ready for some good news. And a haircut. Better days ahead.

  4. I’m so sorry about Ozzy! We bond with our pets so quickly and with all the other losses we are living through it is so much harder. Our church opened today with multiple guidelines, but we didn’t attend since numbers haven’t declined much here yet. That has had me crying for days. Church has been a big part of my life for 40 years and to have to choose safety over church just doesn’t feel good. Praying that God makes this virus go away! Glad things are getting better for you!

  5. I’m so so sorry about Paul’s father and your puppy, Jo-Lynne. So heartbreaking to hear. Thinking of you and your family.  You are all in my prayers! *Hugs* 

  6. I am so sorry for your loss and grief….. Its a lot to take in and just plain sucks: COVD, Paul’s Dad dying, rehoming Ozzy and your asthma flaring up. Hope that you all can enjoy a day at the beach tomorrow. The change in scenery and fresh air will do you good. We all need a light at the end of this tunnel.

  7. I am so sad and sorry to hear about you having to give up Ozzy. I’m wondering how you are able to have the dog you’ve had for so many years. I can’t imagine having to do that with a pet you and especially Becca have become so attached to. It’s better now though than waiting till Ozzy and everyone gets even more attached. I know you would have given him to a good home and ‘m sure she’ll take super good care of him. Becca sounds like a wonderful daughter.
    Take care of yourself Jo-Lynne!

  8. I’m so sorry to read this. It must be really heartbreaking. And I fell in love with Ozzy too! I even told people about him. What a blessing though to find a home close by where you can see him eventually. I know you have a lot of burdens and you are in my prayers — all of you. I’m in California where the governor is being totally open to stages but our particular county which demographically largely African American in the west side like Oakland and Richmond — very dense population and Hispanic in the eastern farming area and we are caught in the middle. The death rate in the poor communities is not falling. We are stuck. For now. I was so happy so read it’s getting better there!  You are right about 2020! Not my favorite year that’s for sure. 

  9. Ugh! What a tough thing you all had to go through. Loss of a parent and your dog. I’m so sorry. Thanks for sharing your ups and downs with us. Prayers from Texas. 

  10. So sorry for all you are dealing with.  My thoughts and prayers are with your family 

    I’m in Texas an allowed to attend church but only 25 percent capacity so I’m in my car during live stream then I mask and go in to receive Communion.  The pews are half empty and we are all required to wear masks and only families can sit together.  The salons have opened and I got my haircut I passed on the blow dry though and wore my mask the whole time,  I’m not quite ready to attempt getting a pedicure just yet. 

  11. My goodness Jo-Lynne, you have had an incredibly tough last few weeks. I’m so sorry for the loss of Paul’s father at this time when you can’t gather for a memorial service and to find out you’re allergic to Ozzy at basically the same time is just awful. It does sound like Becca is handling it well. Now is not the time to do anything that puts your breathing at risk, so as difficult as it was to make the decision to rehome Ozzy, it sounds like it was the best choice. I know there are better times for you and your family in the near future. Sending prayers and hugs.

  12. So sorry to hear about Paul’s dad, and poor little ozzy,. hope you all have brighter days ahead.

  13. Oh, Jo-Lynne, I can only imagine how devastating that has been for you all. I’m so sorry. One event alone is emotional enough, but having to deal with them all at once is just too much. I’m glad you are starting to feel some peace, and I pray that continues.

  14. Oh Jo-Lynne, what a difficult time for your family. While reading your post I was tearing up as my little fur baby has been sick for the last couple of weeks and my husband and I are preparing for a difficult decision ahead for us. I pray for your family and I am glad that you are all together as you grieve for Paul’s father and little Ozzy.

  15. So sorry to hear about your puppy. Hope you and the family are able to lean on each other for support, it sounds like a month to forget. Sending big hugs and good thoughts your way.

  16. I am so sorry about your pup, but you had to do what was best for you and your health. I know it was not an easy decision. Glad you were able to find what sounds like a great home for him. Comfort to you and your family. You have had a tough time recently.

  17. Jo-Lynne,
    So sad to hear about your family needing to re-home little Ozzy. Lots of prayers and positive thoughts for you and your family as you navigate these difficult sorrows.

  18. My eyes are brimming with tears over your recent losses. These strange new days are so hard and parenting is so difficult sometimes. Time will help heal your hearts.
    Sending love,
    Becky

  19. I am so sorry for your losses the past two weeks.  Your decision was right for your health but I know how hard that had to be.  Prayers for brighter days ahead!

  20. Hey there!  I’ve been following you for about a year.  I live in MN and can identify with you in a number of ways.  I enjoy reading your blog.  It is clear that you spend a lot of time and energy to put out a good product.  Thanks for all your help on casual fashion.  It’s real.  🙂 

    I was so sorry to hear of your recent losses.  Losing a parent is a bit like losing a part of yourself.  And to lose a furry friend in the way you described is also devastating in its own way.  Ugh.  I’ve experience both and feel your pain.  Hard things become a part of your story as you travel through life.  The silver lining is that these shared experiences will make your family stronger.  Again, I’m sorry for your loss.  

  21. I am so sorry to hear about you having to give up Ozzy.  He was such a cutie.  That must have been so hard. Our attachment to our furry friends runs deep.  And again, my thoughts and prayers are with you on the loss of Paul’s dad.

  22. Jo-Lynne I am so sorry for your loss. Our pets are so important to our family and I know how heart wrenching this has been for your family. Thinking of you all with the loss of your father-in-law as well. Hugs and prayers as you all continue to heal. 

  23. I am so very sorry, Jo-Lynne, that you all had to give up Ozzy after wanting him for so long. I can’t imagine the heartbreak but I have asthma and for years battled infections, so I know it was the right decision for your health. Sending hugs to all of you.

  24. Heartbreaking to hear of the losses you’re family has experienced of late. Here’s hoping that the summer ushers in some reprieve and happier days for you all. 

  25. I couldn’t help but have tears streaming down my face as I was reading this.  Life can be really hard at times, watching your family hurt/grieve is heartbreaking.  Hang on to each other!  Your in my thoughts & prayers.  

  26. Oh Jo Lynne, my heart goes out to each of y’all and everything you’ve been going through. Honestly? It choked me up a bit as I could tell from your words how absolutely gut wrenching everything’s been. Hugs. 

  27. I am so sorry about your puppy. Our family got a puppy 4 years ago and also had to find a new home for him due to allergies. I don’t think I have ever cried so hard because we had decided to get a dog to help our son through some tough times. He was not the one who was allergic, it was my other son and husband. Hugs to you all as you move forward during these unusual times.

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