It’s that time of year again. The When PatientsHeal You concert is back. Only this year we’ve moved out of the lecture hall at the BU Medical Center and we’re back at my alma mater, Boston University. In fact, we’ll be performing in the concert hall where I did my undergraduate recital lo these many years ago.
It will be much like years past, all the performers will be neurology patients of Boston Medical Center and many of them will be epileptics like me. We’ll all get to perform two pieces and probably bring the house down at the end with big sing a long with Denise at the keyboard.
There’s usually a reception afterward with tasty food and a chance to mingle with the performers and the medical staff who not only provide us with excellent care, they sometimes even perform with us. Please join us on Friday night for a great concert and a lot of fun. This is a free event. Tell your friends.
If you haven’t actually gotten it together to go see Meravelha perform yet, well, I have no idea what you’re waiting for. They’re reprising their signature concert for two performances this month. Do your best to go and see, you don’t want to miss this.
Even semi-regular visitors around here know that Geoff and I like old stuff. And by old stuff I mean antiques. We have a lot of them around the house. (To be fair we have a reasonable amount of old rocks too, but most of them are set into jewelry.) Some of the antiques we own come to us in rough shape. Some of it we’re good at restoring ourselves, but sometimes we need to involve a professional. Note that you’ll never see an antique piece of furniture painted “shabby chic” or with chalkboard paint in our home. NEVER.
But, you will see furniture with good bones get reupholstered. Reupholstery is part of restoration, sometimes the fabric on a piece isn’t original or is but is too badly damaged to salvage. That’s where a really good upholsterer comes in.
The extended radio silence around here has been due to several factors. The major factor has been because Geoff and I spent the better part of this summer looking for and then buying a house. (YAY HOUSE!!!!!) Then we had to move.
We had to move ALL the stuff and things. And ALL the books. OMG.
Life is always a mixture of the bitter and the sweet, the dark and the light, the gratitude and grief. I admit that I often focus on the bitter parts to the exclusion of all else. That is in large part due to the fact that a large portion of my 20’s and almost all of my 30’s have been spent dealing with one crisis or another and, last year, dealing with death after death. That, and the way that people treat you, tends to color one’s outlook on the world a bit. Depression doesn’t help either.
That being said, this year is turning out to be one of the best in a long time. Despite losing Bucky last week, things seem to be looking up for us.
Today Geoff and I helped Bucky leave this world and move on to the next. He was 18 years old, and I will miss him every day.
Bucky was born on April 15, 1998. He was born before I graduated from college, in the last century, the last millennium, before Barack Obama became President, before I had my first cell phone, before I had even met Geoff, let alone married him. He was my first child, and he will always be special.
Bucky moved with me through seven different apartments in two cities, he outlived his younger brother Smoky, he tolerated two foster dachshund sisters, an untold amount of visiting dogs of varying breeds (Scarlett, Ivory, Fletcher, Pixie, Jasmine, the list goes on), living with a roommate who had a dog and a cat of her own*, and surviving a 1 1/2 story fall down an uncovered shaft and being pinned inside a wall in the middle of the night**.
Bucky was nearly imperturbable. He was loving and sweet with humans, but he suffered no crap from other animals. When I brought Smoky home from the shelter, at Bucky’s request mind you, and Smoky turned into an unholy terror, Bucky rolled his eyes and we hid in my loft bed and watched the destruction in amicable silence. When Bucky met Rerun he quickly established dominance with a sequence of three closed paw blows to Rerun’s snout that were over nearly before they’d begun. Rerun never forgot that encounter.
Bucky was also an athlete like no other cat I’ve met. In his prime he could jump from a sitting position to over six feet straight up into the air and land on a narrow (maybe 1 inch?) window frame. That moved. Then he’d make another flying leap up onto the next story of our interior courtyard and simply hop windowsill to windowsill and visit the upstairs neighbors. Some of them would leave the windows open so he could come inside and visit. As he was a stellar mouser and the building was, well, infested with mice, his presence was always welcome.
About a year and a half ago we had noticed that Bucky was starting to lose weight. I fully expected his blood work to come back saying that his kidneys were going. But they weren’t, turns out something was up in his digestive track. Eventually there was a tiny hardening in the area. We kept him on meds for a while, but finally he let us know on no uncertain terms that he just didn’t like the taste. So we switched to prednisolone. He was on it for the better part of 9 months. He was doing fine. The palpable thing in his belly, as of the first week of May, was small, smaller than a dime. He spent Brimfield at the vet’s and came back happy and shiny.
Then this week he pretty much stopped eating. And tonight he wouldn’t come when we called for dinner. We went looking for him and found him hiding where Smoky used to hide when he was scared or didn’t want to be pilled. As I’d barely been able to pill him this morning, we knew it was time. The vet graciously stayed open late for us, and we said our goodbyes. I know that he’s with Smoky and Rerun and all of the other furry kids that Geoff and I have had come in and out of our lives so far and I know I’ll see him again. I am at peace with the decision to let him go and I think that the timing was just right. But I will miss him. O Lord, will I miss him.
Bucky came to me from the MSPCA. He was a Phinney’s Friends cat. Phinney’s Friends was, at the time, a program at the MSPCA designed to help people with HIV/AIDS keep their pets while dealing with their disease. Bucky’s human had died and so he was up for adoption. I adopted him in 1999 and he was with me for the rest of his life.
Phinney’s Friends is now a standalone non-profit and it is entirely volunteer run. If you are so inclined, I encourage you to make a donation there in Bucky’s memory or in the memory of a person or animal you love. Without them he never would have come into my life and I would have been all the poorer for it. Also, Phinney’s Friends now has an expanded mission that, especially with the way the economy has been, is more important than ever.
Now cracks a noble heart.—Good night, sweet prince,
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!
* Bucky got his nickname “Bruiser” while living with that roommate. He got in a spat with her cat over some of her cat’s wet food and bit her cat’s tail. The end of that cat’s tail later fell off. In her owner’s bed. Whoops.
** This is a super long story but I will tell you sometime if you want to hear it. Just not now.