Entries tagged with “decision”.


@JimLokay recently responded to one of my posts about serving in the National Guard, thanking me for my service. I was at drill last weekend and while off base picking up lunch a man stopped me to thank me for my service. These moments mean a lot to me as they make me feel appreciated. The folks in my unit a wonderful group and we tend to go out of our way for each other. I definitely feel appreciated while I am there, but I am there with people going through the same experience. But when somebody who is not going through that takes that few seconds out of their day to just say thanks it is magnified. It cleans up up the mud from numerous rainy nights in the woods of Texas, Virginia and Pennsylvania. It washes away the sand of the California desert. It gives me back a little bit of time that I missed with my family. It makes me stand a little taller, a little prouder and helps me to remember who I am, what I do and what it really means to serve. Our commander often points out that we are doing the nation’s work and it is easy to lose sight of that day-to-day. Those thank yous are beautiful reminders of who we serve.

I think it is easy for all of us to lose sight of those that are doing the nation’s work everyday. It becomes easy to let things slip by, perhaps we are into much of a hurry or have work, family or a million other things on our mind. I challenge you to take the time to just say thanks, not just to military folks in uniform, but to everyone that needs it everyday. If you see your mailman, poke your head out and just say thanks. The kid bagging your groceries, tell him you appreciate it. The guys hauling your garbage away every week, your bus driver, anyone you come across that does something for you no matter how big or small, let them know. It will mean the world to them and they’ll genuinely feel appreciated.

Kwoan - Kittie WithOut A Name So tonight I took our mouthy little Siamese to the vet for what I thought would be the last time. He’s been sick for awhile. In the past year he has lost about two thirds of his normal weight, going from about 15 pounds to about 5 now. He is usually very active and chatty, but lately he just eats and sleeps. Even by cat standards he is a hyper-groomer, always ready for show, so when he started to get mangy I knew it was not good. We give him as much food as possible, but he’s still losing weight. So I went to the vet with the expectation of not bringing him home. The vet suggested we run a few tests before we give up. He has been on thyroid medications for about a year, but his test showed still elevated thyroid levels. Otherwise his blood tests looked normal. The vet cautiously told me that this does not preclude another issue, such as cancer, but we can try doubling his medication dose and see if he responds over the next week or two.

Kwoan came into my home as a rescued stray when I first started dating Jen, almost seven years ago. It took him all of about two minutes to get comfortable in the house, meet my other cat and start his usual mouthiness. We had trouble coming up with a name, a problem with us as Jen’s cat is simply named Kittie and my old cat came pre-named. Ultimately, we gave him the non-name of Kwoan, which stands for Kittie WithOut A Name. I love my pets, but am also realistic about things. When we had our first child we had to send a cat to the shelter, because we simply didn’t have time to keep up with his health issues and non-use of the litter box. I try to keep things in perspective. Children are family members and pets are residents of the household. I never refer to my pets as kids, children, etc. Yes, they bring me joy and are nice companions, but nothing compared to my kids, not even in the same universe. Still, taking our Kwoan out of the house for what may have been the last time was no less fun or heart wrenching. The thought now of having to do this again and having to explain to my four year old daughter again, that Kwoan may not becoming home just tears me up inside.

I do not want to make the decision to put him to sleep, but I know that it comes down to me. The vet also mentioned that if he does not respond to the higher dosage that he can refer me to an internist at an animal hospital. I really want to see the mouthy little Siamese get better, but I’m really not willing to go down a long path that involves multiple potential “last” trips. Not to mention the cost. It may sound cold, but the reality is spending a large amount of money to keep my cat alive for a few more months or even years means taking something away from my family. I can certainly justify a few hundred dollars, but at some point I do have to put a price on this cat’s life. And that maybe the toughest decision of all…