Friday, December 31, 2010

IN RECOGNITION OF A YEAR...A TUMULTOUS YEAR!

GREETINGS FROM SOUTH AFRICA!
MAXMOM here...



Despite 2010 being a tumultuous year with some seriously "highs" and "lows", it has most definitely been a year of
 ‘LIVING LIFE TO THE MAX’.
The title of this blog has proved apt!

Please allow me to take a few minutes to reflect on this past, difficult year:

As 2010 dawned, it flagged new, desperate hope...

 You will recall that in the latter part of 2009, my beautiful "Maxdog" had survived a successful surgery to remove his dreaded “Mast Cell Tumour”.

The trauma of my mother’s  passing as well as Maxdog’s surgery had left me with a certainty that things could only get better. 
 I looked forward to what 2010 had to offer and celebrated this with some extraordinary activity:
abseiling and bridge swinging. 
I was determined to welcome in the new year with gusto...

However, on the 7th February, we received the dreaded news that Maxdog’s cancer had returned in the form of an aggressive liver tumour. At the time he was given only THREE days to live! I crumbled into a time of disbelief, terror and grief.

Thankfully the ‘hope’ with which I’d entered the new year took over and I resolved to seize each blessed day and to ‘Live each day to the Max!’ My logic told me that nothing was ever certain and that no matter what the Vets predicted, our lives were nevertheless in the arms of a higher power. Nothing is ever certain!

I resolved to spend my last moments with Max by writing his book and I embraced a new commitment towards this end. As Max deteriorated in front of me, my determination to complete his book before his passing escalated. He’d lie peacefully by my side as I spent hours on my laptop reliving all the various aspects of his life. It was a surreal time!
(The "Maxterpiece" by Kathleen Coy)

My blogging friends around the world were marvellous in their faithful, tenacious and unrestrained efforts to keep me positive during that heart wrenching time. They blessed me with endless comments and amazing blogposts in tribute to Max. (Including the Valentine’s Day special on the 14th February of “Max’s World Tour” where 42 bloggers colluded to uplift me with their wonderful posts of Max in their various homes and countries.)

Without you, my special blogging friends, I would most probably wrapped myself up in morbidity!

 Thank you so, so much!

Maxdog proved to be a tenacious fighter and went on to live another 107 “Days of Grace” – pain free and contented before we finally acquiesced and helped him across the Rainbow Bridge on the 24th May 2010. During my mourning, I continued writing...his book was nearly complete.

Exactly 2 months  after Max’s passing - on the 24th July 2010 - a sprinkling of Maxodg arrived in the world.

 A litter of pups was born in the same line as Maxdog and I was on the list to receive one. Zena and Alan – Max’s breeders at
RUFFITWOOD GOLDEN RETRIEVERS
 – allowed me pick of the litter...something for which I am eternally grateful. Within the first 24 hours, I had identified my new pup –
TOBY (“RUFFITWOOD: “Out of Africa”).
Thanks to Zena and Alan’s gracious nature, I had access to Toby from day one. I was able to watch his progress (and blog about it) during our seven long weeks of waiting.

During that time, Toby ignited something in my dark despair and turned it into new hope. By the time Toby arrived on my doorstep – in early September – “MAXDOG” the book was complete! I was able to turn my attention towards my new life with Toby in our midst.



Toby’s arrival necessitated the formation of this new blog –
“LIVING LIFE TOTHE MAX”
and I converted ‘THE ADVENTURES OF MAXDOG’ into a legacy for our Angel Max.

 It was the right move, so if anyone wanted to ‘spend time with Max’, his blog would always be available...

Toby has grown in leaps and bounds during his short 5 months.

He has forced me to ‘LIVE LIFE TO THE MAX’ with his endless energy and beautiful temperament. Together we have attended his six weeks at puppy school, where he has learned a number of obedience commands and tricks. He will resume his formal obedience training in the new year and will try out the breed show ring too.

 He has become an integrated member and loved companion in our home. Our faithful “Aunt Tam” took up the motherly reigns and placed Toby firmly under her paw too.

She’s taught him well – lovingly and with great doggie discipline. She has nurtured him with care, protection and pride.

King Toffee too rose to the occasion, by proving himself to be very amiable and not blinking an eyelid at the new addition.

Despite a few growls here and there, he’s accepted Toby’s presence quite comfortably and ‘almost’ ventured to play with him.

2010 has ended on a very high note for us all with one of my daughters – Miss “R” – finally being accepted into the esteemed Veterinary facility, ‘Onderstepoort’. She has always wanted to be a Vet and her two years of exceptionally hard work at tertiary level have finally paid off. Congratulations Miss “R”!

Although I’m under strict instructions to keep my other daughter’s achievements private, I still have to say that she too has excelled in her endeavours and I am also exceptionally proud of her! Both my daughters are on serious academic paths towards medical speciality...

To my husband:
Thank you for the opportunity for us to share our life’s journey with each other. Thank you for your tremendous support during this difficult year.
Thank you for your faithfulness, your patience and your love for your whole family
(humans and animals)!
You are an amazing father and I love you!

To my daughters:
 I am so, so proud of you both!
You have both made motherhood an immense privilege and pleasure for me. It has been such a blessing to have been able to watch you blossom, grow and emerge into such exceptional women. I wish you all that you hope for in fulfilling your ambitions and talents.

To my overseas family:
 I miss you immensely! Although you are living across the world, you are never far from my thoughts.

To my dogs:
Thank you for being my wonderful companions. Thank you for being my cheerleaders on my life’s path. It is a privilege too to have you etched so intimately into my life.

To my South African friends and my International blogging friends:
Thank you for being my incredible support group!
Thank you for sharing your lives with me and for uplifting and strengthening me at the occasional unbearable moments. We have so much more in common besides our dogs and our blogs! And for that I am truly grateful!

I would like to take this moment to wish you all a truly
"PAWSOME NEW YEAR!"
I hope 2011 is filled with happiness, joy, love, companionship, health and spiritual fulfillment. I hope too, that I will be able to uplift you, in my own blog posts, the same way in which you continue to lift me up.
I love you all!

So...

I lift my glass of “Amarula on Ice”, look across the vast African landscape and make my toast...

“Cheers to 2011!
Cheers to my family, my friends, my blogging buddies and my animals companions!
My best wishes for a wonderful New Year”

With love

34 comments:

The Thundering Herd said...

What a beautiful, heartfelt post. I can feel the love and pride in your family. We have enjoyed getting to know you over the last year and a half and look forward to a great year in 2011. May 2011 bless you with great fortune!

kks said...

such a lovely welcome to the new year!! it's been quite a year and with support from those we love, we all have managed to carry on....thank YOU for being there for so many friends across the globe! thank you for sharing your life with us! your friendship means a lot to me and what would i do without the beautiful images of your gorgeous country and of course the very handsome and beautiful doggies that i get to visit each day!!
a very happy and peace filled new year to you!!
xoxoxo

Angus said...

By the look of things there is a high chance that Toffee will move beyond almost playing into full acceptance. A very happy and care free New Year.

Sheila and Bob said...

Beautiful post, a very Happy New Year to you and your family.


Sheila, Bob
Hamish & Sophie

verobirdie said...

What a year you have been through!
I wish you and family only health and happiness for 2011.
Loves from france

Mrs. JP said...

It's true we are not promised even one more breath in this life but I have seen God bless you and keep you in His care. I trust and pray that you all will have a healthy, happy and blessed 2011

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

Such a beautiful post - we remember all of the events of your year, some sad, some happy, and all memorable. We hope that 2011 is an even better year for you and all of our mutual blogging friends.

Happy New Year!

Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and the Momster

Becky said...

Oh my what a beautiful dedication to all those you love. Thank you for sharing your life, your love and support across the world. Thank you for your love and support as our Missy Girl died -- I was so touched by your love and continue to be. Wishing you a very happy 2011.

houndstooth said...

What a great post! 2010 was a year of challenges for many of us. Here's hoping that 2011 brings much health, happiness and prosperity to us all!

rottrover said...

What a lovely post! May you and your entire family enjoy a healthy and peaceful New Year!

Tom, Tama-Chan, Sei-Chan and Bibi-Chan said...

So much sadness and so much joy crammed into one year. All we can do is bear the tears and exult in the joys, remembering those who have gone whilst savouring those who are with us and make our lives so rich.

We are happy to be among your blogging friends and send you our very best wishes for 2011!

Woofs, Purrs, Neighs and Hugs,
Tommy, Tama-Chan, Sei-Chan, Bibi-Chan, Vidock and #1

♥I am Holly♥ said...

What a very beautiful post! We wish you and your family a very Happy New Year!! Lots of love, Holly and mom

Jacqueline said...

A lovely, touching post with beautiful photos and moving memories...I just received your sweet Christmas card and am very grateful for your friendship this past year, precious friends...We wish you all a very Happy and Healthy New Year filled with love and joy...xoxo...J, Calle, Halle, Sukki

Benny and Lily said...

What a great post!
Happee New Years!!
Benny & Lily

George the Lad said...

A great post.
Happy New Year to all your family see you in 2011
George and Jan xxx

Jake of Florida said...

What a year it was for you. We who have been privileged to share it with you in this amazing cyber community look back and remember those highs and lows -- but most of all, your incredible bravery at the worst of moments and your delightful transition to joy when one young furry opportunity presented itself.

With love and all the promises of the new year,

Joan and the Barkalots

NanaNor's said...

Dearest Maxmom, What a year it's been and it has been a privilege to walk through life through your blog. When I first discovered you I had grief after losing my dear Sadie and somehow found much comfort here. I have loved and cried, laughed and waited for your new Toby. You've even made look forward to our next pup whenever that event happens. I thank you and so look forward to this new year of loving our families and our pups.
Hugs and love,
Noreen & Reggie-dog

Ginger Jasper said...

I came to say that we wish you a very Happy, Healthy and love filled New Year and also to say that we are so very happy that we became a follower and friend during this past year. Your post today has been inspiring. Love and Hugs.. Happy New Year.. GJ Carol and Barrie xx

Bouncing Bertie said...

And thank you so much Caryl for sharing the highs and lows of your year with us all in such an eloquent and unselfish way. We know that time spent reading your wonderful blog posts will be time well spent, and we look forward to more in 2011. (But I do know that if my mother had blogged when I was young, that she too would have been under the same strict instructions as you have received from one of your daughters!)
Happy New Year,
Gail and Bertie.

Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

The year was surely a ride of highs and lows and highs again -

Here's to what we've been through together -

With LOTS more to come!

Hugz&Khysses,
Khyra and Khompany ;-)

Maggie and Mitch said...

What a fabulous post!
Happy New Year to all of you!

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

Homer said...

Just a quick post to wish everyone a Happy New Year!

Love,
Homer

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Thank you for opening your heart and allowing us to be a part of your journey,, Max's journey.
and the journey of Toby Puppy.
You all have made such a difference in our lives... I am grateful to you
Happy New Year
love
tweedles

Scout 'n Freyja said...

Our momma will write to you privately but from all of us to all of you the wish is simple ♫Happy New Year♫ and the sentiment is plain ♥we love you♥.

sprinkles said...

Tears came to my eyes when reading about Max but a smile came over me when I read about Max.

I love that picture of your daughter holding King Toffee. He's so cute and I imagine he's much like my Shiver in that he thinks the world revolves around him.

Happy New Year!

mayziegal said...

What a Most Gentle, Heartfelt look back on what we know was a year filled with deepest sorrow and ultimate joy. Me and my mom hope that this year brings you nothing but love, health, and happiness! Oh, and CHEESE!

Happy New Year!

Wiggles & Wags,
Mayzie

Tessa the Maltese said...

What a wonderful family you have Caryl!

We remember all that you've been through, the loss of your Mom too. We can only look forward and hope for the best. Looks like you've got a couple of MD's soon so you don't need to worry about finding a good doctor!

We look forward to another wonderful year with you!

Happy New Year!!!

woo woos, Tessa

Martha and Bailey said...

Happy New Year to you all. Our wish for you is that your year is filled with Health, Love & Happiness.
We loved your post - it reflected not only on your year but on life.
With it's sadness at saying goodbyes and yet with the promise of new beginnings.
Life can be very hard at times but of course it is the love of family and friends, canine and human, who make it all a journey to embrace.
Much love
Martha, Bailey and V xxxx

Kari said...

Thank you for sharing your family with us. Toby is so amazingly adorable. But more tha.,that, he has show us that sunshine and light will prevail over sadness and darkness. We just need to open our hearts and let it in. Happiest of New Years to all.

emilene said...

Discovering your blog truly was one of the most special gifts I received in 2010! Thank you so much for your wonderful comments and introductions - I truly appreciate it!

All the VERY best for 2011 to you too - can't wait to see what 2011 holds for all of us!

Cheers to you, your family and your special little tribe of animals - may you all have a truly blessed year!

Deborah said...

That was beautiful and filled with overflowing love.
I hope you and your family have a great 2011.. Congratulations on your daughter's accomplishments. That is very cool!!
Happy New Year my friend!
xxoo
Deborah

Milo and Alfie Marshall said...

What a beautiful thankful post ~ it sure was a year of contrast with terrible sadness, and also joy.
Happy New Year! I hope 2011 can be a peaceful and contented time for you all.

TwoSpecialWires said...

This was a lovely post, MaxMom, and we thank you for it. It provided a special opportunity to remember and reflect on the highs and lows of a year. In many ways 2010 was an exceptional roller coaster, but really, in reality, we know all years are. Somewhere. Somehow. It feels even more special (and intimate)l when we are privy to the ups and downs in the hearts and homes of our friends. Thank you so much for sharing with us your Life and Perspectives on it with us this year. We hope that 2011 is a gentle and happy one for you ... full of new memory making opportunities and times for reflection on memories past.

With much fondness,
Jake and Fergi and OurFamily

Clive said...

A wonderful post to end 2010 and begin 2011 ...

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

- Clive, Murray and family