Nothing But Norman #13

Happy Saturday!


Falling Star



12:30 am I was driving home from our vacation in Saskatchewan. I was on I94 heading into Bismark ND when I was night dreaming and thinking about Norman as I do every time I am driving. When nothing else is going on I just think and think but mostly I plan and prepare, I plan for Norman leaving and try to have everything set for that dreaded day. I think about what songs are “his songs” ok he doesn’t have any songs but I have my favorite songs and they are all sappy and some parts of the songs remind me of Norman. I plan which songs I will post with each post to come. I plan for what story I am going to tell and when. I have lost a lot in my life mostly as a young adult so I have some experience in it. I lost my dad when I was 23 years old. He died before I could say goodbye to him. I had no idea he was dying that night. 3 years later I lost my mom. I was 26 at the time and I knew she was going to die. She had ovarian cancer and the doctor told us she had 3 weeks to 3 months to live. I took a leave of absence from work and moved in with my mom to take care of her. I had 3 weeks to plan her death and to say goodbye, she died 3 weeks to the day the doctor gave her. So I’ve had death both ways.  I have learned so far that even know I am preparing myself for that day like I did with my mom,  I don’t think I can ever be ready or prepared enough for it not to hurt. Thinking back I am now very glad I had that time to say goodbye to her, so I am thankful that I have this time to spend time doing things Norman loves to do and to say goodbye.

1:28 is when I saw it, I saw a falling star. I knew it was a sign, at that moment I didn’t know what sign it was until I kept driving and then it hit me and I cried. It was a star falling to earth where Norman already is, he is alive and happy and not planning on going anywhere’s anytime soon so I was to stop preparing and being sad when doing so and enjoy my time with him now. It wasn’t a shooting star as that would of been a sign that he was being shot up to heaven and my time was close to coming to a end. I then decided I wasn’t going to be sad anymore until I got home Sunday night and my in laws told me Norman seemed weak. He did seem weak, his right hind leg was really weak (his right front leg is the cancer leg), he was breathing heavier than he was before we left and he defiantly was slower. That night when I got up to go upstairs to bed Norman was behind me and he had a hard time getting up the steps, he made it, I lifted him into bed and then I cried again. I cried because I thought his time had come. And here I thought my falling star sign was a good sign? I took Norman to work with me and had him checked out. His right hind leg is weak because it has a lot of arthritis in it from his TPLO surgery done on his ACL. He has lost more muscle mass so he is lighter. We xrayed his lungs to see if the cancer had spread and his lungs were clear so far. We did get his shoulder on the film and the cancer in his bone has gotten bigger. He is slowing down and breathing heavier because he is in more pain now than before. I don’t think it is time to say goodbye yet so we added Gabapentin to his pain relief regimen. He has been on it for 3 days now and he is feeling better. He has his spirit back. I know this is only a short term fix and one day I will have to say goodbye but for now that star is falling not shooting.



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21 thoughts on “Nothing But Norman #13

  1. Oh JoAnn, I think you have the right attitude. Mentally you have to prepare, but Norman is living in the moment and you can still enjoy and love on him. These pups sure teach us a ton about life and seizing the day, huh?


  2. Lovely.. I am all choked up.
    Our paths are similar in death
    If you love someone you are never prepared to let them go
    Letting them go is the final act of unselfish love
    Like you with Norman my Scout is always on my mind
    I do try to delight in the moments with her and as long as there is sparkle in her eyes she will be with me
    doG Bless you and Norman and thank you for a heart felt story
    Paulette and her Cape Cod Crew


  3. I don’t know what to say except what you already know. Cherish the time you have with him. Keeping paws crossed that you have many more days with Norman. Thinking about you guys and sending lots of thoughts, prayers and hugs your way!


  4. I wish I could reach through the computer and give you a giant ((((hug))))) My heart so goes out to you. This was beautifully written and so raw.
    I am deeply sorry about the loss of both of your parents. NO ONE should have to ever lose their parents at such a young age. I also wasn’t able to be there when my Dad passed so I know about not being able to say good-bye. I am glad that at least with your Mom you were able to find closure.
    Your attitude is wonderful with Norman, just treasure each remaining moment, which I know you are.
    You are in my thoughts and prayers. xoxoxo


  5. Sending hugs and licks and healing kisses from the zoo. The furry ones visit us for such short time on this earth and you are so blessed to have him for the blink of an eye that he has brightened your world. Take strength in the knowing. – Lorian


  6. JoAnn, such a heartfelt story. You know we’ve been following Norman because his story is so similar to our Becca’s, well and because Norman is just a special guy. I’ve had a lot of loss as well – not when I was younger like you, but in the last few years, mom, dad, brother and three dogs. You are NEVER prepared or accepting of having to say good bye. I love the visualization you did with the falling star – you are right, Norman is still here and you can still enjoy him and vice versa. Make the most of everyday you have with him – you know he is! Hugs and licks from Jack & Maggie.


    • Thank you so much Jack & Maggie and humans. So sorry for all your loss too. Sometimes it just isn’t fair but we need to keep going. Your words were so kind and mean a lot to me that you wrote them. Our paths are similar. Thank you for following along on the journey.


  7. I am wishing you and Norman many more wonderful moments. It is so important to make sure that the “waiting” doesn’t get in the way of the “living.” No matter what the future holds for each of us, every single day is a gift, and I know that you and Norman will live each one to its fullest.


  8. You have really good perspective on Norman’s illness. I am sad for you thinking that your time with him is ticking. I love the Fall but hate that the Winter may be hard on him. I hope he will let you know when it is time (but being a Chessie, I bet not). Hopefully you will have many more months together and he will be mostly pain free.


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  10. Crying here. You and I have had this conversation and I know how heavy your heart is. You are so brave, it astounds me. I know I will never be as brave and courageous as you are.

    I’m glad you found something to help him feel better but so sad that your time is coming to an end. I hope it helps to know that others are thinking of you.


  11. Pingback: Nothing But Norman #58 | Sand Spring Chesapeakes

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