No choice like this…

Twelve years. So much can happen in a little over a decade. To some it seems so long, to others it’s gone by in a blink.

It’s long enough for the wound to heal over yet the scar is still remains deep enough to cut me to my core.

I remember people gathered around us, 20 maybe 25. Our people. Beautiful, kind, loving people. Hoping for a miracle.

I remember the sickly smell of that shit they pumped into you through a feeding tube. So sweet that it hurts the back of your throat.

I remember wishing and wanting to hold our little boy a thousand miles away, in another state.

I remember faces but not the names of those who came and went and the ward that became your prison for three days.

I remember the vision, the visit of you on your boat floating down the river as if to say it’s okay to let me go.

I remember the cold room where they told me I had to make a decision.

I remember wishing I didn’t.

I remember feeling the weight of every person gathered, of every one of our family, of our little boy, of all our hearts weighing down on my soul as I gathered the strength to do the only thing I didn’t want to do.

I remember losing control.

I remember the last goodbye.

Even though his memories are faint, I’m so glad they’re not filled with the ache this day brings to those of us who continue to relive it without choice.

Twelve years…but it could be yesterday for the pain it still brings. Soar high in them there heavens like I know you will be Didley, this day never gets any easier no matter how long ago it was. Bless you and may I never know such grief again. Love always Lady MamaG xox

The greatest lesson…

Today you should’ve turned 44. Except you won’t. In just a few months you would have seen our boy turn 15. Except you can’t. You would’ve lived to see another twelve years of an extraordinary life. Except you didn’t. It all stopped for you. No more birthdays. Never seeing him grow. A life mercilessly cut short.

Still there’s no reason, no answers no matter how hard we search. Our boy, who’s now just one year off how old we were when we met has never known what an incredible soul you were and it’s still my greatest grief. Haunts my heart that he hardly even got the chance to know the very one who created him.

Today might have ordinarily been like any other birthday. Except it isn’t and never will be again for the memories it holds. Forever frozen in time, you are now just a memory confined to the pictures and stories we keep close to our hearts. Watching from above, the family you left behind. Not by choice but by the cruelest hand of fate.

Waking up today we remember a bloke who lived his life as he wanted, on the edge, risking, laughing and never stopping to think what if. I can only hope your boy has inherited just a little bit of your incredulous outlook on life so he can be as strong and courageous and carefree as you once were.

God knows we can’t change the past. There are no what if’s or if only’s. There is just now. I’ve learnt it’s not always our own hands at the wheel. Sometimes it veers out of control leaving us no choice but to hold on like fuck, to grasp with hope onto the cliff of fear and climb back up over the edge.

And because of that I’ve never learnt a greater lesson in life than to cherish what I have. And what I’ve had. To know how blessed I truly am.

To never again get caught up in what might be, what could be or even what should be. Stupid trivial shit that we sometimes allow to clog up our minds means nothing, really. We still get to wake up every day spend it with the people we love. Shit I wish that lesson didn’t come in such a way it broke me into a zillion tiny pieces but ever since the day we lost you from our lives I vowed to never again take one single thing for granted. Not one.

Simply to breathe is a gift and forevermore I’ll be grateful because I still get to see our son grow, to get my second chance to love again and now, to watch my new baby bring sunshine into my soul every single day.

Even though we had to first be broken to heal and then to recover. Even though this lesson tore my heart from my soul. Even though there’s no more sound of your laughter except in our hearts. Even though an almost adult now himself, your boy never got to know your kind heart. Even though the sound of your voice is becoming more faint as the years slip by…happy would-have-been-44th birthday Didley and thank you for what you left behind. Lady mamaG xox

Closest thing to God…

He might not be the big man upstairs but maybe to me, he’s a pretty close shot. This bloke, holding my teeny miracle in his arms as I well with tears of emotion, is entirely the reason we are blessed to have our baby girl today. And my words won’t ever be enough to thank him not just for what he did for us, but what he does. Every day.  Devoting his life to helping broken people like me be blessed with the incredible gift of a child we otherwise would never be able to hold. 

Who is he? He is Dr Babies. My Dr Babies. Who believed in me, who offered a gentle reassuring hand on my arm each time I woke up in recovery, all thirsteen of them. Who wrote my numbers on my hand each time and smiled with tears in his own eyes when the outcome wasn’t what we’d all hoped and prayed for. Who assured me each time they took more blood from my unwilling veins that it’d one day work for us too. Who persevered with me, supported us and when the time came for it, told us what I might not have wanted to hear but in my heart knew was always true. Who time and again assured us that one day it would work if we only just stuck at it. All while opening his heart and mind to all and any possible chance of hope. 

He’s not just a doctor he’s a man who wants to help heal couples’ broken dreams. And for that I will always be grateful. 

When we started this journey seven years ago I wasn’t sure if I’d ever get over the rainbow. Fertility is one of the hardest mountains I’ve had to climb. It’s utterly fucken shitful. I was robbed of six years of normality. It destroyed my hopes, my dreams and my belief in myself. It kept me from living my life as I would have liked. Changed me into a nutty and at times fucking psychotic bitch swinging from a hope pendulum month to month as though I was caught in a noose. 

Had I not found this man to give us the medical help we were always going to need our precious Lil E wouldn’t be here. Had he not told me straight out I would need to find another woman’s eggs I might still be on this road. Had he not encouraged me to seek out the kindest most generous and beautiful woman on the planet, My Angel, who gifted me a piece of herself so we might realise our dreams, my heart would still be wounded from disappointment. 

Fourteen weeks in and while I’ve battled my own emotions cloaked in doubt and trust of my ability to be the perfect mama and if I’m ever doing it right…I honestly wouldn’t change it for the world. Her smile – and as of yesterday – her precious teeny wee giggle is like a million rainbows come bursting from my soul every time I hear it. 

Dr Babies, The Vet and I and the 14 y o are truly blessed. We are happy. We are complete. That teeny piece of miracle in your arms is the most longed for, loved and blessed gift we could ever wish for. She has brought sunshine and light into our hearts. Seems so little a word but Thank You. Forever and always, Lady Mama G xox 

The ending we always hoped for…

When I first began this here collection of ramblings, an outlet to spill my fears and hopes and pain, the workings of a mad woman all those many sleeps ago, I had one intention…a happy ending to our story. The little angel who had spent so long watching over us, to finally be delivered into our arms. At times I wasn’t sure that dream would ever be realised and this morning when I took my teeny newborn into a shop, the assistant helping me looked at her bundled up in her car seat and tears welled in her eyes. I knew her pain. That was me, not so long ago.

‘I just miscarried last week,’ she said blinking back her tears. ‘She’s so beautiful, I hope I can have my own one day.’ I had to swallow hard and suppress my own tears. You will, I tell her gently knowing that fragility well where you’re not sure if you can help falling into a pit of tears every day. ‘It took 14 goes and six years before I was blessed with this tiny poppet,’ I tell her somewhat hopefully…and so begins our story.

In the beginning, I was a mum, a widow, a newly married wife, a somewhat fragile and infertile girl not sure of what lay ahead of her but hoping like hell for a miracle. By the second year on this treadmill of fear I had been well and truly inducted into the halls of infertility.

A gallery of gorgeous wrinkly newborns – a teeny tiny Luca, a squishy faced Ella – would peek out at me every time I’d visit Dr Babies’ office. And every time I’d wish so much to one day be able to look up and see my own baby’s face staring back at me.

And so we waited. And waited. And waited. And waited

People all around us, royals, friends, family everyone seemed to be having babies. And still we waited. Disappointed. Distracted. Fearful. Would it ever happen…would we ever get that little person we so hoped for? We spent so long suspended in the clutches of fertility from the first day Dr Babies said it might not happen for us, that we had to throw all our eggs – albeit shitty ones at that – into the one basket and hope for the best. I got so caught up in how to get pregnant, why I wasn’t getting pregnant, why I couldn’t stay pregnant that all else ceased to matter. I became that nutty bitch I really didn’t want to be. Consumed. By something so far out of my control.

But still we waited. And waited. And tried. Again and again.

Soon it would come to a point where we stood at a crossroad do we keep going, keep trying and how long before one of us tapped out, said enough’s enough. Can’t take it anymore. We both came precariously close to that cliff face neither one of us wanting to admit it had got us beat.

….two thousand one hundred and ninety days to be exact.

And then one day despite all our odds being stacked against us, despite all the thirteen times before that it hadn’t worked…one day, two lines. That dream I never thought possible, finally coming true.

Call it time. Call it tenacity. Maybe it was the herbs. Maybe it was the crazy cranial sacral therapist who said she saw my late husband holding a tiny baby girl in my spirit world. Maybe it was the acupuncture. Maybe it was the diet. Maybe it was the countless surgeries. Maybe it was the steroids, or the gazillion drips of intravenous fluids pumped through my veins. Maybe it was the last hope, our last chance our last little embryo that one fighter. Maybe it was just meant to be…

Our precious miracle made her entry into the world six years after The Vet and I were married. To the day and almost to the minute, just like her mama she was fashionably late by an hour and there truly is nothing more precious than the sound of a newborn cry, when all you’ve waited to hear for six years is that very sound.

We arrive at the hospital early on a Thursday morning. Not sure what to expect even though birth is nothing new to me, it was so long ago I’d all but forgotten what to expect. What contraction? What labour pain? Oh girl, you ’bout to learn it all over again. Real fast like.

True to myself I had already taken three shits before I left home (sorry for the overshare) but partly due to nerves and partly due to dignity, my bowels had well and truly decided to evacuate themselves – I’ll spare you any further indignities. My specialist, a lovely softly spoken woman, so gentle in her approach – putting me in some way at ease. ‘There’s no point in wasting time,’ she says and instructs me up on the bed. They give me some gel to loosen things up and sit back and wait. ‘Did you want an epidural?’ she asks and before the final syllable is out I’ve already chimed in ‘hells to the fucking yes, give me that shit quick as you can, love.’ Stupidly, I’d been too late with my son and the trauma (along with far too many stitches) has never left me.

After a few hours those contractions I’d partially forgotten all about (this is ingrained in womens’ brains otherwise there’s no shitting way in hell you’d ever go back) begin to make my uterus feel as if it is being torn apart.

The Vet is all nerves. Anxious. He doesn’t know what to expect and is probably scared as all shit. If he says the wrong thing he may cop a heel to the head, if he says too little he may never be spoken to again. Welcome to birth, it’s a fun ride. My bestie of 35 years who crossed the ditch to be here for the arrival of her second godchild arrives with the 14-year-old in tow. I wanted him to see his baby sister come into this world but he takes one look at me in pain and tears begin to roll down his face. ‘It’s okay buddy,’ I reassure him. ‘Mummy’s fine just a few niggles of pain’ I say utterly lying through my asshole. It all becomes too much for him so I ask him to put his headphones in but when your mum’s in pain and you don’t know what’s going to happen to her it’s a little too much for a teenager to comprehend. ‘How about you go and wait down the hall,’ I tell him, fighting back my own tears. The Vet holds him in a strong embrace and they both stand there, tears beginning to flood their faces. This little baby has no idea how lucky she is with two of the most incredible humans on the planet to watch over her.

Waters are broken. Needles are administered. Epidural is underway. In what seems like minutes but is a few hours, the specialist indicates it’s time to push. ‘I don’t think so,’ I tell her. ‘Not yet.’ Time waits for no newborn. She’s on her way. And within eleven hasty minutes our miracle made it into this world, all tiny and pink and blue. They rush her out and straight up onto my chest. ‘We like you to bond straight away,’ the midwife says. ‘Get her up on that breast and latch her if you can, it all helps with the skin on skin contact, so very important.’ I can barely comprehend what’s just happened. ‘No, it’s too quick, she’s too small,’ I panic tears falling and my breathing beginning to make me hyperventilate. ‘She’s fine,’ comes the calming voice of my specialist. ‘Look at your beautfiul baby girl, she’s just perfect.’ The Vet is in tears. I am in tears. Our 14 y o rushes back in, he’s in tears. We all fall into a heap of emotion and embrace utterly overwhelmed by this tiny being. So much love, fear, pain and heartache years and years of waiting and now she’s here. Evie Lauren, 4.22pm on April 12. My heart is full. Every bit of it was worth it. Our story is finally complete. Love n’ hugs, Lady MamaGxoxo

Dear baby…

Two thousand one hundred and ninety days. That’s how long we’ve waited to meet you. Just under thirty-six weeks ago as I hovered over a little white stick I had hope in my heart clouded by big loads of nerves in my soul. I wasn’t sure if I was preparing for our fourteenth disappointment – yep believe it or not, it took us that many times to bring you into our lives – or if our hearts were finally about to be filled with the joy of a lil person. Our angel so longed for and wanted. Our tiny Beanie so precious. You. 

I rather hesitantly peed on that stick – so frightened as all hell because many many times before I’d done this and it had in turn broken my heart – but sure enough that teeny glimmer of hope began to surface as the first sign – two tiny bright pink lines emerged. 

I didn’t know if I should believe it or doubt it. We had waited so long and wanted so much. The story of your life is one of incredible strength courage and generosity your daddy and me we sure went through far more than anyone should gave to to get you but man oh man was it worth bit. 

The story of your life so far – and it’s hard to believe you’re not even in the world yet but so much of your beginning has been watched and waited for by almost everyone I’ve ever met or known. So many of our village hoping for a miracle until finally there was one.

Once there was a girl, she had a broken heart until she met the guy who would heal it all, bring back her smile and show her and your brother a future filled with love and happiness.  Soon that girl and guy had a fairytale wedding – the type of tale when you’re a bigger girl you’ll read about and believe in too. Not long after we thought of you, how much we wanted you to add to our already loved family. But for a long time it wasn’t to be our hearts – all three of them – would be broken time and time and time again…you see your journey into this world hasn’t been an easy one. 

It was hard to keep going because this girl, even though she seems so strong and tough had battled through too many wars of emotion that it began to wear her down. Lucky for her she had two people, the same two people who will always watch over you and help you up when you fall to help her up again every time. 

Tiny baby I sure am gonna miss you growing inside my belly and no matter how many letters I write you, you’ll never know how much we have wanted you for so long. Because the journey of the making of you is and forevermore will be one of hope, of love, of beauty, of kindness, of faith and of a generosity not known to most.  

There have been many people who’ve helped bring you into this world…from the incredible Dr Babies, his nurses and the scientists – all who’ve devoted their lives to helping people like me and your dad, to our friends and family who’ve helped pick up the pieces along the way to the most generous and kind soul who helped create you by giving your mama a piece of herself because your mummy’s had long ago stopped working. There are so many who love you lil Beanie from your daddy and your bruv to your mama’s bestie – lifeline through thick and thin – who has crossed the ditch just to watch you come into this world. 

Now but a matter of days or maybe hours until we get to actually hold you…the moment I’ve dreamt of for a million sleeps. The moment we’ve wanted with every teeny little ounce of our hearts. Be safe in your final journey into this world tiny angel no words of mine could ever tell you how much you are loved. You are wanted. You are cherished. Your mama G xoxo

Standing on the outside looking in…

A little over eleven years ago, I made a decision – not an easy one to make given the utter shitstorm of devastation facing me whichever way I chose.

On the one hand, I could go back where I came from. Back to our families, our friends, the places we’d grown up, the memories we’d been making since we were 16. Back where we’d be surrounded by love and support but maybe a few too many ghosts too. A few too many reminders of what used to be and what would never be again. The call to ‘come home’ was strong. It was never implied by anyone in particular but likely expected of me just the same. Some thought we’d pack up everything and head on back to our roots, to the open arms of a nurturing and healing environment where we could all huddle up and grieve together about a loss so great and so sudden and so severely crippling it threatened to swallow me whole.

OR…and it was a great big gulumping fat ‘or’ the size of Texas, I could stay behind in the country we had made our home. I could stay where my three-year-old would be surrounded by his friends, his kindy, his ‘normal’ and lord only knows how much I needed to give him normal at a time when our life was anything but. I could stay in the place he said he’d never leave ‘unless it’s in a wooden box’ – words to live by apparently. Bet he had no idea those words would actually be a reason for me to stay. Staying behind in a place where the everyday sun alone keeps your spirits from dropping below your ankles. A place where we’d built our Village.

But shit it was a choice that hurt my heart. A decision to make too soon after having already made so many of them neither my heart nor my brain were ready to make – or adjust to. Choices I look back on now and think ‘I have no idea how the fuck I did that’ but I didn’t have any option, it was up to me and me alone to decide the fate of my family. Even though being so far away not just from our families but the people I’ve had in my life since I was a kid – who know me best, who know how to put me back together, who call every week and know when to ask how I am and when not to – wasn’t something I was willing to do easily.

So I listened to my heart. I listened to the words he’d told me…maybe mostly, I listened to the feeling of what was going to be right for me. For us. We didn’t go back to our homeland…instead, we stayed put. We tried to pick ourselves up and keep going as best we could. And fuck I can’t tell you how much I thought I’d made the wrong decision or how I wished I didn’t have to be the ship’s captain because there were times when I was steering that ship towards much rougher seas than I knew how to handle. People are not always what they seem. Sometimes even the strong ones are barely holding on with fingertips. I read not that long ago, someone in the media compare divorcing her husband to that of a death. No, it is abso-fucking-lutely nothing like it. When you divorce, your kids at least still get to see their parent, to visit them every other weekend and for half the holidays. Your kids still get to relive their memories and share in the stories that helped shape them into who they are. There is nothing remotely like death when comparing a marriage breakdown other than that you are alone. And even then, your kids still have the parent to go back to. Death is final. No more conversations, no more hugs, no more love…just emptiness from where that person used to be and perhaps the odd fleeting flashback built far too long ago for your then-infant brain to process into an everlasting memory. I didn’t know what our future held, I didn’t even know what I’d do the next day, let alone half a decade later but still I picked my withered self up off the ground and fought to keep standing up just long enough to keep going until month by month, I seemed to learn to cope.

If I’d chosen the first maybe more obvious choice our lives…there’s every chance I wouldn’t even be writing this right now. Maybe I’d never have let fate step into my life one sunny August afternoon in 2010 when I least expected it and deliver the only person who could ever ever be good enough to take up the spot in my heart I thought had closed up forever. Someone was telling me it was the right thing to do and by god they were right.

No way in hell could I have ever thought that within four years of making the decision to stay behind and keep going that fate could have delivered what it did in the form of he who is my lifeblood, The Vet. How it’s even possible to meet two of the world’s most incredible souls in one lifetime I have no idea and yes I’m sorry girls for being such a greedy bitch and taking more than my share of the good men of society but I’ve cherished them both, promise.

Turns out I’m pretty good at making decisions. Well, sometimes. High motherfucken five, girl!

Then, as if the shitstorm that had bowled through my life hadn’t been enough, just a few years later, seemed to come back for seconds, all guns at the ready. Stupidly, I thought everything from then on in would be nice and simple. We’d get married, have a baby, maybe even two and our lives would be free to live happily ever after. Except no. A tough chick who can weather the fucking storm huh, okay we’ll slap you with just a bit more of a steaming pile of shit on a plate. Infertility, bitch. How’d you like them apples, hey?

If this was god’s sick way of testing my ability to cope I could have done without it big guy. Seriously a few years in the past 11 that weren’t marred by grief in some way would have been fucking fantastic. But it’s not like we get to choose this shit. One blow after another saw both me and The Vet almost beat. And probably the 14 y o too, bless him. Years and years of hurdle after hurdle. Tests, failures, needles, hospitals, losses and enough dosh sunk to put a decent deposit down on a Lambourghini…jesusfuckingchrist when I look back now on what we went through I barely believe I’m still standing myself but by god if there’s anything I’m good at it’s fighting, well in the metaphorical sense perhaps not so much with my fists. I will fight until there’s nothing left in me. Fight for what I believe is right, fight for what I know will turn out eventually but mostly I just fight for those I love. So seriously do not cross me. Do not. One word, people…Scorpian.

img_0873And bloody aye the fight was worth it. A few weeks ago our precious ‘lil Jellybean almost came into this world just a touch before she was meant to. I won’t lie. It was some scary shit even though I knew she had every chance of surviving none of us want early hatchlings. As The Vet watched them hook up the monitors and stab my thigh with some motherfucking steroids that hurt like a bitch and I writhed in pain…I looked over to see the tears trickle down his beautiful cheeks as he cradled me as best he could, though feeling utterly helpless and that was it. Enough for me to know exactly why I’ve put my body through five years of fucking torment…because Love Makes Us Whole. My story, our story is almost complete. Just two more weeks to go…Lov’n’hugs, Lady MamaG xox

 

 

 

Just a vet…

It’s 615 and his phone alarm goes off beside him. Perhaps it’s already rung a few times through the night. Concerned owners at hope’s mercy.  He could have sworn it was still 11 the night before. Doesn’t feel as though he’s slept at all. Still, there’s a job to do. No time to be exhausted. Ignore it and keep going. He’s up and back through the clinic doors by seven. Often there’s already someone waiting at the door. They know The Vet will see them.  He always does. He always has time and even if he doesn’t, he’ll make it. They know that. It’s part of who he is. And they admire him for it. 

Did he know when we drove past that empty little shop on the corner of the village seven years ago, his hopes and dreams would become so big? Perhaps not. 

Some days…shit, most days, he’ll see up to forty clients a day and by lunchtime will start on the sometimes four or five surgeries waiting for him in the hospital. You name it. Could be Anything from a basic castration to a tumour or mass removal, to the skilful and lengthy extended surgery of a cruciate, pyometra or exlap. A few hours and at times it’s touch and go. Maybe he’ll get in and discover something worse than expected. He’ll have to call the owners and convey their options…and they’re not always good ones. It’s a hard thing to do and one which never gets any easier, not with time or experience or age. 

Today he might have to say goodbye to an old friend. Not his but maybe one he’s known, seen and helped for years. Sometimes he might go to their home to make them more comfortable. He quietly and gently tells them it’s going to be okay, rubbing their belly and tickling their ear as he shaves a patch on their often weak leg. I’ve been there once or twice and watched as he’s done it late at night when he’s the only one there and the owners have been too distraught to witness their last goodbye. He talks away to them just like he normally would, changing their sense of fear to one of calm. ‘It’s okay to let go,’ he’ll say. ‘You’ll feel all better’. A gentle tail wag or a blinking eye in return as if to say thank you for what you do. Thank you for helping me. Long after the medication has taken affect he’ll still talk to them, give them the respect they deserve for a life of loyalty and unconditional love. 

He’ll say goodbye to many friends each week. Some long suffering, others to prevent the suffering. It’s never his choice. One he always gives them, the owners. He’ll gently tell them ‘if it was my friend, this is what I’d do’. It’s reassurance so they know what they’re doing is right. Lessening the burden. Helping to make a decision no one ever wants to make on their own. 

He’s seen men, once big hulking strong blokes reduced to a simmering grief-stricken soul. Witnessed owners wait an entire day in the car park, too frightened to leave in case their friend won’t make it. 

A little piece of every loss will sit with him. It’s impossible not to. 

Then the next day a new friend, teeny and fluffy and bounding full of life will jump around his head as he lays on the floor with them. High pitched barks of delight at meeting this new human who will help keep them healthy and happy over the years. 

There’s the days when he’s faced with owners who either have no option or haven’t allowed for the treatment of their friend, who haven’t listened or followed advice or come back for check ups, when a revisit could have meant an entirely different diagnosis. Sometimes there’s ignorance blanketed in fear… but his job is not to judge or berate or belittle. Nope. His job is just to listen. To block out his own feelings. To help. And most importantly, to heal. 

His humour, the silly jokes, the cheeky laugh, mask the burden of what could easily swallow him whole. The enormity of everyday pressures, responsibility of being just one person when you need to be five. Of owning and providing for staff and his family. Of expectations and reliance and those who think he should just fix it anyway because it’s his job. Regardless of cost. Regardless of their inability to pay for what needs to be done. He’s a just a vet. 

Long after the day is over, when the last patient is safely checked out and sent home he’ll look through the day’s visits and sit down to call the ever-growing list of people who are waiting on his words of wisdom. The night is always getting on and he has a family to get to…but they wait. They know. Dinner often goes cold. But he must get through it all. Results. Diagnosis. Advice. Decisions. Sometimes he’ll tell them the same thing three times. He knows it’s hard to understand what you’re being told when emotion clouds your ability to absorb sense.

The hours are long. The days stretch into night, seem to flow straight into the following day.  Sometimes it’s hard to remember what he did the day before. Twelve, fourteen, sixteen hour days. Doesn’t matter, he does it because he loves it. His passion. Devotion, humility and kindness like I’ve never seen in anyone before. I tell him but maybe not enough enough, ‘I’m proud as damn hell of you, to stand beside you in life every day’. I worry for what he carries inside his head with him, for the exhaustion and fear and determination to always be better. I worry for the pressures this job – even though we both know it’s so much more than that – weighs heavily on his shoulders. It’s a job that’s both as demanding as it is rewarding. I’m well aware of what this career can do to those caught in its clutches.

People will ask, ‘what do you do for a living’ when he coyly almost quietly replies ‘just a vet’ then often come the snide remarks cloaked in ignorance ‘oh shit you must be rich as hell all the money it costs every time I go to the vet’.

I love these comments. They make my back go up like a hissing cat. I resist the undying urge swelling in my gut to punch them square in the face. 

Haha Yes, he is rich you shitstick but not in the way you’d think. And not in the way you imply. He’s rich from the love he gets from every patient who walks through his doors every day. Whose entire Bodies wag when they see him, his face is smothered in slobbery kisses – their reward offered up for the love and kindness he shows. He’s rich in the love from their mums and dads and brothers and sisters who know he does his absolute best every day to keep them from harm, illness and worse. But mostly he’s rich in the love of his family. Of me and the 14 y o and the Supermutt who hear the pain and exhaustion in his voice when he comes home every night. Who listen to his daily tales of fear and grief and frustration. Who hug him and smother him with kisses, who hear and sense the pain of his burden and tell him ‘it’s all going to be okay’ just as he does to his patients and their families. He’s rich with the everlasting constant and undying love and pride not even my words (and I’ve always got plenty to say) could ever accurately convey. 

Yes he is just a vet. And yes, he’s rich…but not with money. Instead with love, with appreciation, with admiration, adoration and the utter unconditional devotion he gives. Just a vet. Just the most incredible human I know.