Saturday, May 8, 2010

Farewell my trusted friend of 15 years. Rest in Peace.

At 3 AM my husband woke me with our old dog in his arms. I rose asking 'what happened, what happend'. But once I turned on my bedside light I knew what was happening. My darling Yorkie was dying. He was barely conscious and fighting for air and clearly not winning the battle this time. He had a leaky heart valve  leading to congestive heart failure. For over 2 years we fought the battle together and fought it well. Until this morning that is. I had suspected for the last several days that the end was near. There were a lot of signs. But he still enjoyed his treats and was snooping around for crumbs from the kids. He still had his attitude. But there were signs and they didn't go un-noticed.  When I layed eyes on him I knew the end was near and so I grabbed a towel and we went downstairs. By the fireplace we laid our puppy who was by then unconscious and told him we loved him during his last few breaths and last few hearbeats. And then he was gone. Just like that. Of all my dogs, his passing was the easiest and best. He was held by us, who had known and loved him since he was 4 weeks old. And I told him we'd be alright and that Brutus, our other dog, his big brother, was waiting for him. I am weeping as I type this and yet so incredibly grateful that I had the opportunity to say goodbye. And that I was able to tell him one last time we loved him. He didn't suffer and he enjoyed even his last day of life with treats and his favorite food.

Goodnight, sweet furry friend. Sweet furry child. Go run again. Run with Brutus. It's been too long.

This is a poem that always meant a lot to me.

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn’s rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and forever cry.
I am not there. I did not die.

(Melinda Sue Pacho)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Experimenting with a new style of learning.

This week we started to experiment with a new style of learning. We noticed that Sissy loved delving into a subject and spending all day exploring it. So we had a Science Tuesday (we were involved in some legal proceedings on Monday so no school), Math Wednesday and History Thursday. We couldn't do school today (Friday) because I was needed at the office. One of my administrative assistants went to attend her best friend's funeral. The poor girl took her own life and my assistant is understandably a wreck. But I digress, let me get back to the topic at hand. I had, until now, tried to maintain a school style schedule while attempting to cover all  or most of the necessary topics in a given day. But while this worked fine on many days, on other days it was simply counter intuitive. There were days when we found it hard to abandon a subject we really wanted to continue working on simply because the clock told us it was time to go. Therefore, this week we decided to allow ourselves to really soak in the lessons and discovery as long as we wanted to. And it was bliss. We pored over books and other material and researched on the Internet. She worked on notebooking and illustrating what she had learned about and it was altogether very rewarding and enjoyable.
While we will certainly do this again I don't think it's a sustainable daily experience. As fun as it is, it would be a challenge to muster the same level of concentration every day. Some days doing a little of this and a little of that makes sense.  I guess, as I learn arguably more than my children in this journey of homeschooling, I am yet again reminded that something that works fine some of the times, doesn't always work every time and flexibility is key. The other thing I learned about learning is that inspiration comes in many guises. As it turns out this homeschooling thing is less about me teaching and more about our mutual discovery of the world.