Name me for Bird

Michael Meets Dad; Losing & Gaining; Leaving The Blue House & It’s Sadness Behind

Last night, Rebekkah told me she read my posts about Ella, and the comments everyone left for us. This surprises me a lot. What was even more unusual was how touched she was by how many people were grieving with us.Thank all of you who wept with us, encouraged us, cautioned us, and hoped with us. You simply will have no idea how much your words helped my family and me.

Of course, with all the sad stuff, I have been putting off telling you all about my trip to Austin, and the meeting between Dad and Michael. I knew trying to write while I was so sad would be useless and let’s face it, bleak, dark, and without hope whatsoever. I find it best to just skip trying to write about happy things until my mood matches, or at least until I wasn’t a pit of cynicism, discouragement, and anger, which generally takes me about a week to get a grip on.

So, let’s tie up some loose ends and together, we can just move…or limp, in some of our cases… forward with our lives.

What Michael Got Dad For Christmas

In Poor People Give Thoughtful Presents, I wrote about how Michael’s first year back in Dad’s life, he really pulled out all the stops and gave him the most awesome present ever. I gave Dad a goofy coffee cup. Well, Mike gave Dad his present in person while we were all in Austin, and here it was:

Mike dedicated his book "Conversations With My Storm" to our father!
Mike dedicated his book “Conversations With My Storm” to our father!

 

 

 Dad and Michael Finally Meet in Austin, Texas

10848560_10152695458519053_7484840384951440355_oThe reunion went a lot better than I really had expected it to. Dad is so different from how our stepfather was, and I wasn’t sure how Mike would take it. The devil you know and all that…. And Dad didn’t know what to expect from the very grown-up, successful middle-aged son he hadn’t seen in so many decades.

Being the link between them, I felt stressed about the whole thing. As it turned out, I had nothing to worry about. They are both grown adult men who can handle their lives without my help. Dad nagged Michael about his last name, and Michael wouldn’t let Dad pick up the check at any of the tons of restaurant meals we had. They seemed to find a rhythm quickly, and I found myself not as involved as I had expected to be. For those of you who know me, that is a really, really good place for me in any situation — on the sidelines.

I like “alone time”, and when I skipped going to the restaurant once, Dad was beyond appalled with me 10914902_10152692972144053_2774787161618968080_owanting to stay home alone, and Mike was afraid I was going “all bipolar agoraphobic like Mom”. As silly as it may sound, it made me feel a little warm and fuzzy knowing they were worried about me, and I only stressed for a few minutes over whether or not I am becoming agoraphobic. I rejected the diagnosis due to a lack of evidence and the faultless logic that anything that made me feel so peaceful, quiet, and calm simply couldn’t be that big of a deal kind of disease.

I then watched “Mike & Molly” episodes, ate Aunt Debbie’s leftover pizza from the night before, and painted my toenails. I loved every minute of it.

Mike is getting married soon, and we met Emily, his fiance and her adorable son, Leo. Leo called Dad “Gran-fodder” and pretty much locked up his place in Dad’s heart from the first minute. The camera crew and creative personnel were super nice, intelligent, and their enthusiasm for what they do for a living was really contagious. I hope one day I can support myself just by writing. To me, that is heaven on earth.

Mike got to meet a few of the extended family, but the real Mallicoat family reunion is going to be sometime this summer, when Mike can bring his three kids, and hopefully I can manage to gather mine together for at least a weekend together. This first trip was about Mike and Dad. Next time is about the rest of us.

I get over-stimulated pretty easily, and by the time Sunday rolled around, I was ready to go home. The train trip was not fun going back. Groups of passengers were belligerent, loud, and self-absorbed, including a religious one returning from a spiritual retreat. Children were coughing, crying, and pretty much out of sorts, like me. My ride to pick me up was getting complicated, and it had been mentioned to me that Ella was probably dead, and why. A guy working at Subway in the Fort Worth train station hit on me. I don’t live in Ft. Worth, so I was polite though non-committal. In return, he told me he had just been released from prison for serving 3 decades for a murder he had committed in the ’80’s. Wow. I really do attract a type, don’t I? I had no down time before returning to work, and I am now glad it worked out that way. I had less time to be depressed, pensive, and sadly cynical about life in general.

Meet Marcus

10943656_1039017056115530_1098919872731163847_nI adopted a German shepherd mix yesterday, and we are tentatively calling him Marcus. After all those dogs I worked so hard to place in homes, the irony of having to get another dog is not lost on me. I wanted to name him Cade, but Rebekkah hated it so much, I relented. He is 2 years old, neutered, and I adopted him from the Tulsa pound. He is beautiful, and just his presence in the house makes it feel different…less empty.

Dj adopted a chihuahua/German shepherd mix that isn’t as big as the squirrels outside, and has pretty much the same color fur and generally disgruntled demeanor as them as well. He thinks he’s a force to be reckoned with, even though he is constantly (and accidentally) being stepped on, kicked, and has to cry like a toddler when he wants to join the rest of his pack — Marcus and Sparrow — on the couch, until someone lifts him up there. He reminds me a little of a guy I used to know. :-)

DJ is still thinking up a name. We begin really working on our new house next week, which is three times bigger than this one, and plan to be in there by the week after. Good riddance to The Blue House. I have too many bad memories here.

Today, I discovered that Marcus has an interesting idiosyncrasy. I poured a couple of bowls of dry dog food into the large communal dog bowl. A minute or so later, I noticed Dj’s squirrel/dog and Sparrow sitting and watching Marcus use his nose to push all the food into a neat, organized pile at the top of the bowl. We all watched him do this, and then he ate the food and walked away. Evidently, our fascination and having a crowd watch him eat are old hat for Marcus. You just have got to love a dog with OCD!!

When Rebekkah got home today, I poured some food in the bowl again, hoping he would do it again…and he did!! He’s a little tiny bit mental, like the rest of us! Too cool.

Other Stuff

There are other things, more complicated, less in focus, that I plan to write about soon. Today, I just want to leave this on a happy note, like Marcus and his weirdo eating routine, rodent sized dogs,  and Dad having his son back again.

Talk to you all again soon!Gary Mallicoat

~ Bird

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Name me for Bird

Life Goes On, With or Without You

10914902_10152692972144053_2774787161618968080_oMy rage about Ella has lessened, and I am moving forward again with my life. That was a horrible blow. Because of no witnesses (that would come forward) and no real proof, the investigator could only give that horror show of a human being tickets for other violations.

I guess the real justice lies in God’s hands.

In the meantime, life has gone on, and Sparrow finds herself an only dog. This seems to have depressed her, and the anxiety of being left alone when we are at work or school has caused her to tear things up. I feel even less safe than I felt before, and Sparrow is pathetically not intimidating in any shape, form, or fashion.

We have to have a second dog.

When I was looking for Ella at the Tulsa pound, I saw so many beautiful dogs waiting for homes. Tonight, City of Tulsa Animal Welfare posted this picture of the dog I desperately want:

10943656_1039017056115530_1098919872731163847_n

I was going to have to wait until next week to adopt an animal, but my dad, who obviously is grieving over Ella with us, offered to get him for me now. Thank you, Dad! I don’t deserve you!

Everyone please send up a little prayer he’s still there tomorrow…or for my non-praying friends, keep your fingers crossed! This dog certainly will never replace beautiful Ella, but he is part of my effort to move forward, and hopefully, help me, my kids, and little Sparrow feel complete and safe again. :-)

Thank you all for the outpouring of sympathy, empathy, and compassion over losing Ella in such a senseless and horrific manner. I can’t tell you how needed every one of your words was.

One day, the Lord will wipe away every tear, won’t He? I dream of that day!!

Blessings,

Bird

PS: Any suggestions for names? His name is Sargent now, but I don’t like that military kind of name. I’m looking for something a little less common. After all, I named my other dog Sparrow. :-)

Name me for Bird
Name me for Bird

How Can I Love Mercy When I Feel None At All?

sadDespite my dad’s preference I stop writing so much about dogs, I have to one more time. Ella is officially no longer lost, but deceased.

I wrote the following for Sondry – A Matter of a Dog’s Manner of Death. Since I really don’t want to talk about this anymore, I’m going to repost it here as well.

Ella is gone. She died in a cruel, evil manner for no real reason other than she lived in a world tainted by human depravity that seems to flow unchecked anymore. That, and I couldn’t keep her from jumping the damn fence in the backyard of this shitty house in this shitty neighborhood.

Our hope is that this world, mankind, and everything laboring under this curse will one day be made right again. My hope comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth, and who made Ella and Rebekkah, too. My prayer is for justice, and hopefully, soon…..because I almost don’t trust myself not to dismantle this man’s life piece by meticulous piece in the way only a true Sicilian can. Never have I had such a battle rage within me between what I know I have to do — forgive — and what I’m more inclined to do — make him cry like a little girl. Right now, I’d rather make him cry and wet his pants. Obviously, the battle isn’t going well for God’s team.

Here’s the end of Ella’s chapter in our lives.

A Matter of a Dog’s Manner of Death

I can’t remember a time I didn’t have a pet to love. Now in my forties, I look back through the waves of endless

Ella Gray, Adventurer, Social Butterfly, Questional moral fiber, and a neglectful parent who won't potty train her brats.
Ella Grey

memories I have collected, and I can have no doubt in how their subtle existence in my life was crucial to my mental well-being. I have lost so many pets along my journey through life; some too early, through illness or tragic accidents. Others have lived decades with me, and had merely fallen peacefully asleep in my arms to leave this life. All of them have been grieved, missed, and their memories cherished; but never until this day did I actually consider never loving another animal again.

A few years ago, a dripping wet, scared stray puppy emerged from the dark night into the unsuspecting lap of my eldest daughter, Bekkie. After the loss of a beloved puppy to distemper a year before, Bekkie had refused to allow herself to love another pet again. Yet, that night, Ella Grey, as she would be named, chose Bekkie, and never once showed any interest in what Bekkie’s thoughts on the matter might be.

Ella, a smallish large dog, could jump like a gazelle, and run twice as fast. These traits became a problem when we moved to house in a lower middle class neighborhood. Things like fences are the least of the problems the houses on this block deal with, and dogs constantly jump, climb, or crawl under the fences.

They run in packs that their wolf ancestors would be ashamed to have played any part of. Pet owners are always calling their dogs home, scolding them in mock fury that wagging tails easily belie.

A week or so ago, Ella wasn’t one of them returning home to useless scoldings and empty threats. Sparrow, my other dog, came home different… quieter than usual and somewhat easily frightened. Ella had never been gone for very long, and when an hour slid by, Bekkie began looking for her. When my son and I got home from work, Ella had been missing for eight straight hours, and Bekkie was beside herself. She had looked everywhere. Days of social media, Craigslist, City of Tulsa Animal Welfare sites, the pound, and investigating even the thinnest of sightings all proved useless.

Yesterday, Sparrow dragged up part of Ella’s body to our back door. My son and I quickly handled the mess, hiding our instant horror and grief from Bekkie. As clues and body parts began to come together, the manner of Ella’s death had not been an accident, or illness, but one of pure evil, fear, and cruelty.

Ella had been caught by a neighbor of ours, and her mangled, ripped body told a story about how she had been thrown to his vicious pit bulls he keeps chained in his backyard. They had been feasting on her body for days. As a message to me, that horrible man threw her headless, limbless torso in my front yard. I imagine that is the way to show you mean business from the country he is from. I hope he is ready for my reply to his message.

His six foot wooden fence has always hidden away what monsters were back there, but the sounds they make daily are plain terrifying. This man would threaten Ella and any other dogs roaming around, yelling his intent to let his dogs out to kill ours. He has chased Ella with a sledgehammer before, all for the simple reason that she ran through his yard on her way back home.

Sadly, I didn’t take his threats seriously,and now, Ella is dead. I have contacted the authorities, and am cooperating to get his dogs and hopefully, his murdering ass, away from anyone else he would want to hurt. But none of it will unbreak my heart; none of it will bring Ella back.

I still have Sparrow, who was Ella’s puppy, and as time goes on, I will love again. I just know the manner of a dog’s death matters, and I hope her death won’t be for nothing.

~ Bird

Michael Meets His Dad

It happened!
10838202_10152695516019053_3398687982988631135_o

A Good Moment

Austin bound
Austin bound

I’m sitting on a train. You’d think this would be the beginning of my trip to Austin, but you’d be wrong. The trip from Tulsa to Oklahoma City was…. scary. First, I let Rebekkah drive. She’s a good driver, but I am not a good passenger when it comes to my kids. It was foggy, cold, and the truck’s heater doesn’t work. Add in Oklahoma ‘s upsetting decision to save money by turning off the street lights, and you have one tense drive. Then, my son’s ride to work fell through, and every time he or anyone else called
me, my navigation app turned off and I had to start it up again. While I was dealing with this, all without freaking Rebekkah out about it, (she worries herself crazy when plans fall through), I realized that she and Dj had switched phones for today, and all the info I was sending was going to Rebekkah ‘s pocket, including various people I’d given the wrong number to. I imagine she’s already spazzing out in the parking lot reading all those frantic texts.

Despite everything, I feel happy about this trip. My kids are grown and capable of handling their own business. Michael is finally getting his father back, and Dad his son. Life is good right at this moment.