Thursday, November 17, 2016

Seven Years and more

Today, Rocky and I celebrate 7 years of being together.  Seven years of loving each other unconditionally.  Seven years of enjoying the games we love, watching the shows we enjoy and celebrating our successes and surviving our challenges together.

In the seven years that we have shared together, we have had a lot of twists and surprises, laughs and discoveries, stories and inside jokes.  In very many ways, I know I've become selfish about a bunch of them, wanting them to be special moments that we keep just between us. And of course there are the tears and the painful moments we have to survive together.  But at the same time, there's a lot of happiness and joy that we would like to share.  A lot of things we wish others can learn to appreciate as well.  To believe in.

Seven years today.
And the rest of our lives, onwards.

I love you, Rocky.
And Yoshi will continue to live in our years, along with everyone else we love and have lost.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Yoshi's Fifth Birthday

Had things turned out differently, today would have been Yoshi's fifth birthday.

Happy Birthday, Yoshi! We miss you so much and we love you. Hope you're having lots of bananas.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Wooden Spoon

As with any couple or even any two people who have been living together for some time, day-to-day life leads to a near-infinite number of stories. For me and Tobie, there's the many stories associated with this silly little wooden spoon.

We first got this spoon as a freebie with some Pure Foods product - I think it was a box of chicken nuggets but it might have been hotdogs. But that doesn't matter - just remember it came free with some grocery purchase in 2009, the year we started living together. Back then we barely knew how to cook and contented ourselves with frying stuff or trying to cook things in our rice cooker.

Since then we've both learned to get around the kitchen better and we're a lot more confident. We've also purchased many different cooking implements including better knives and various wooden spoons and flippers. And yet amid all the kitchen gear is still this skinny little wooden spoon.

Tobie tends to use it a lot - it reflects his relative with some of the larger spoons or something like that. I always use it whenever I make flavored variants of rice like curry rice or pseudo rice pilaf. I guess it's because we always used that same spoon back in the rice cooker meal days and in my head it still feels like the "right" thing to do due to sheer repetition and habit.

Whenever I see the spoon I remember how far we've come as home cooks and how we are able to create much more than just canned tuna heated over white rice in the rice cooker. And thinking about such moments just makes me smile.

Friday, July 8, 2016

A Month Without Yoshi

It has been a month since Yoshi passed away and the Sietch is a very quiet place without him. Tobie still lights a candle for him whenever we're home as his way of remembering him while also making it feel like he's still there. His dog bed still rests in the middle of the living room with his favorite stuffed toy Baboy still resting on it. The bed is pretty much where he passed away as well.

You don't ever fully "move on" from the loss of a loved one including beloved family pets. My heart still aches a bit when I think of close friends lost in recent years like Jayson and PJ, and now Yoshi is a part of that circle of departed loved ones now. It's easy to fall into the trap of second-guessing ourselves and wondering if we really did everything that we could have possibly done to help him. So instead Tobie and I do our best to support one another and focus on the good memories instead of the pain of his loss.

The last blog post that I wrote here talked about our treating our last days with Yoshi as gifts, and I still believe that. We got a good six months with him after he was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure and we were all the better for it. Yoshi taught me and Tobie many thing about ourselves through our care for him and those are lessons we'll carry with us for the rest our lives.

I still wish he was still with us, that goes without saying. I miss our happy little guy who'd help make any stressful day that much easier to deal with because of his unconditional love and affection. He really did something to change the way the Sietch felt like really added something that made us feel like even more of a family.

We miss you, Yoshi, and we love you so much. Hope you're having a good time wherever you are. Eat plenty of bananas and explore all the perfectly dry grass that you can find. I think you have Baboy with you, too, along with our love.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Each Day With Yoshi Is A Gift

A little while back, Yoshi's doctors said he about two weeks left to live. While we had long accepted that his kidney disease was going to be a life-long condition that we'd need to manage, it was still quite jarring for the doctors to already make that sort of a pronouncement.

Since then, we've been doing our best to support him and hopefully find a way to extend his life as much as possible without adding too much discomfort either. Thus our efforts exploring Traditional Chinese Medicine and trying to make him happier with better food.

We're already past that two week mark and we now try to remind ourselves that each new day is yet another gift of added time with Yoshi. If we're lucky, we'll get a few more months with him, maybe even finishing up 2016 or something. But for now we're just making the most of the time that we have and we continue to hope for the best. It's far better to celebrate each day instead of dwelling on the inevitability of thing end. All things must end eventually, after all. It's only a question of when. Given that, it feels like a lot more sense to take a positive view of things instead of giving up and expecting the worst all time.

We love you, Yoshi. We love you so, so much. And we're facing this together as a family.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Birthday Moments

It's already after midnight, so it's officially Tobie's birthday! Happy Birthday love love!

Our thanks to Erich for making the effort to bring him a cake during yesterday's G&G RPG Mini-convention at Ludo. It really helped make the day feel more birthday related.

Thanks as well to Aina for preparing that awesome aligue pasta with prawns for our game night last Saturday! I know we traditionally have pasta on birthdays for long life, but the rich flavors of that sauce probably look away a few years of our lives but was totally worth it.

And thanks to everyone who have already taken the time to greet Tobie and contributed to making this weekend that much happier. You know who you are. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Now let's make this birthday properly awesome by showering him with greetings and all that good stuff!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Yoshi's Battle So Far

This is Yoshi's needle jar.

As part of his maintenance treatment for his kidney disease, we have to administer saline solution subcutaneously via IV every other day. Initially we'd have to bring him to the vet to get this done. In time they taught us how to handle it ourselves.

This jar represents all the needles we've used in the course of keeping Yoshi as healthy as can be manged despite his condition. After three months of treatment at home plus another just at the clinic, it looks like the jar is almost full. And we don't even get to handle every single treatment in the week. There are the one or so times that we have to go to the clinic since our schedule is too tight and we get worried we'll get home too late to keep Yoshi on schedule.

It doesn't get any easier to bring the needle to Yoshi's skin but we persevere because it is what's best for him. More than the money we've spent and all the medicines we've administered, this jar is, for me, the greatest reminder that Yoshi's life changed after his diagnosis last December.

But it's already April and we continue on and we couldn't be prouder of our little dog - even though he doesn't seem to think he's a dog. We do our best to manage things as best as we can despite his moods and his fickle appetite and all the other struggles.

We do all this because we love Yoshi dearly and for as long as he continues to fight, we'll fight right alongside him as well. It's all worth it in the end, even if we're only buying a few more weeks, months or years with him. Every moment is precious and we're fortunate that we can even afford to keep up with his treatments and his medications and all that stuff. But it's not like we're going to have kids anytime soon. We might as well invest in this little white dog who is much bigger than he seems.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Distance and Challenges

2016 has been a year filled with challenges.  We learned Yoshi has some kidney issues and our lives have now somewhat been altered to keep him closer to our daily schedules.  The importance of our baby getting proper food, exercise, and medication, has made certain activities less viable and certain duties more vital.  Despite this, however, we see no reason to give up on him because even with the kidney disease, Yoshi is still a loving and wonderful dog who always helps bring a smile to our faces.

Life is like that.  Certain challenges are inevitable.  Life will always have its moments of throwing you under the bus or spinning you in a cyclone of unexpected events.  But in the end, whether its the uncertainty of finding a house to call our home, or the distance of being in another country, if one works on it together as a couple, one can find even unbeatable things... surmountable.

(Not certain that's an actual word, but yeah.)

Rocky is all the way at Singapore today for a business trip.  I'm here with our dog, Yoshi, at the BGC unit where his office is to watch the fort.  But despite the many miles of distance between us, I know we are connected and still anchored to each other - certain that no matter how challenging the trials the world will throw at us, we will be facing it together and there to support each other.

And that's what love it.

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