Posts Tagged With: quality of life

Day 2797: They can’t take that away

Today is our beloved kitty Oscar’s last day on earth.  We have scheduled a “peaceful passing” for him today at 5 PM; it’s unclear whether he will make it to then.  Either way, we know it’s the right decision to let him go.

Many thanks to all my readers for helping us through this painful process.

Last night while spending time with Oscar, who can barely walk and has stopped eating entirely,  I rewrote the lyrics to my favorite song  — “They Can’t Take That Away From Me.”

The way you ate your meal,
The way you meowed off key.
The way you made us feel,
No, no, they can’t take that away from me.

The way you took cat naps,
The way you watched TV.
The way you graced our laps,
No, no, they can’t take that away from me.

We may never, never meet again on this earthly road of love,
But there’ll always always be the memory of

The way you were our cat
The best a cat could be,
The memory of all that
No, no they can’t take that away from me.

No, they can’t take that away from me.

The night before last,  Oscar was gracing my lap as we watched  Fred Astaire  and Ginger Rogers take dancing and singing to a new level with   “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” in the great Rogers-Astaire reunion movie The Barkleys of Broadway.

I wonder how many takes it took to capture that perfect performance.

They can’t take away this memorable comment about that YouTube video:

Daniel Bradford
3 years ago
No matter what happens, they can’t take away your memories.

No matter what happens, they can’t take away the memories of Oscar in this blog and in Oscar’s Facebook page, found here. And they can’t take away the nice comment left yesterday on Oscar’s Facebook page by the veterinarian who consulted with us last night about Oscar’s quality of life.

They can’t take away these photos from yesterday:

They can’t take away any of those memories.

They can’t take away my gratitude for everything, including Oscar and YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 51 Comments

Day 2796: Right and wrong

Members of my family are debating what’s right and wrong regarding our cat Oscar’s end-of-life experience.  Twice I have scheduled home euthanasia for Oscar on a Monday and twice I have cancelled that appointment to allow Oscar to move further along to a natural death.  It’s difficult to tell what’s right and what’s wrong with Oscar, because he

  •  continues to engage with us,
  • eats a little every once in a while,
  • rarely shows obvious signs of pain,
  • is very unsteady,
  • is so good-natured he rarely complains, and
  •  is so wonderful that we want as much time with him as we can get.

It might be right and wrong that I scheduled a phone consultation about Oscar’s quality of life tonight and another home euthanasia visit tomorrow (which I might cancel again).

Michael, Aaron, and I have spent many hours discussing what’s right and wrong with Oscar. We wonder if we are being selfish if we keep him alive and we wonder if we are being selfish if we euthanize him. Right and wrong can be subjective, especially in a situation like this one.

I’ve asked Oscar what’s right and wrong for him, but he hasn’t told me.

Do you see right and wrong in my photos from yesterday?

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That last image might show right and wrong ways to respond to a difficult person. With all that’s wrong in the world, it’s right to speak up and effectively act for change.

I sometimes worry that I’m doing wrong even when I’m doing right, so it was nice to get this feedback for my annual review from a doctor I work with:

Ann is the most amazing social worker in Boston. My patients often tell me “Ann is life changing.” She has an ability to connect and help any patient I send her way no matter their story or background. She has had a tremendous impact on even my most challenging complex patients. I would send my own family members to her in a heartbeat. She amazes me more and more each year. I feel so lucky to have her on my team. I have seen her in action a few times (providing therapy to my patients in front of me) and she is clearly a master of masters.
One patient told me “if the world had more Ann Koplow’s it would be a better place. My solution to violence and racism and suffering is to provide each Family an Ann.”

It may not be right for that doctor to claim I’m the most amazing social worker in Boston if she hasn’t met all of them (which she hasn’t), but I defend her right to say it.   I don’t know what’s right or wrong to say about that patient’s proposed solution to violence and racism and suffering.

Here‘s a song that starts with the lyrics “do me wrong, do me right”:

I’ll be lonelier when Oscar leaves us, no matter when or how.  (That last sentence is an “I” statement, a right way to own one’s feelings and minimize defensive reactions.)

There’s nothing wrong about expressing thoughts and feelings, so please express yours in a comment right below this post.

Gratitude always seems right, so thanks to all who help me blog each and every right and wrong day, including YOU.

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Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

Day 1249: I love

I love

  • my son,
  • my boyfriend,
  • my sister,
  • my late parents,
  • my extended family,
  • my friends,
  • my ex-in-laws,
  • our cats,
  • group therapy,
  • blogging,
  • laughing,
  • making people laugh,
  • all human feelings,
  • wordplay,
  • singing,
  • dancing,
  • walking,
  • animals,
  • jazz,
  • books,
  • movies,
  • flowers,
  • bright colors,
  • nature,
  • Boston in the spring,
  • home,
  • travel,
  • Edinburgh,
  • the Fringe Festival,
  • Jane Austen,
  • Pat Metheny,
  • Mel Brooks,
  • Gene Kelly,
  • Fred Astaire,
  • Shakespeare,
  • the Beatles,
  • Robert Browning,
  • stand up comedy,
  • musicals,
  • Singin’ in the Rain,
  • The Band Wagon,
  • This is Spinal Tap,
  • Neal Young,
  • Stephen Stills,
  • Kind of Blue,
  • pasta,
  • chocolate,
  • salads,
  • going barefoot,
  • being in the moment,
  • my own heart,
  • other people’s hearts,
  • life,
  • love,
  • those who love others,
  • you,
  • happiness,
  • quality,
  • signs,
  • creativity,
  • openness,
  • starting lists,
  • finishing lists, even if they’re incomplete, and
  • taking photos.

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What do you love?

I love choosing music for this blog.

By the way, I also love comments.

Love to all who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — for being here today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, staying healthy | Tags: , , , , | 30 Comments

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