Right out of the gate, I want to apologize for being gone so long. Losing Baylee in the midst of coming to terms with my Gram's deterioration and the near-loss of my uncle just completely threw me for a loop. I thank all of you for your patience and understanding and especially for the kind words. You all have become such an important pillar of support in my life. I don't think I'll ever be able to convey exactly how much it truly means to me.
I also must publicly thank my sister for handling the post that broke the news of my beloved Baylee's passing to all of you. I just couldn't have done it. Even now, this post is hard for me to type. I loved that dog like a child. I had him my entire adult life - 1⁄3 of my life overall. He and I had a bond that didn't require us to speak the same language or be of the same species.
This is one of my all time favorite pictures of him. I took it about a year ago while I was standing directly over him.
We worked so hard to fix him. When I took him to the vet that morning, I never dreamed the doctor would tell me it was time to throw in the towel. Cancer is cruel and vicious and unforgiving. That holds true for both humans and canines. As you know, Baylee had liver cancer, and it began affecting everything from his appetite to his ability to walk. Eventually, there were no treatments left for us to try, so we had to end his pain. It may sound crazy to non-"dog people", but that was by far the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. It's crazy - I had so many big plans for TSCS to celebrate the big win. This should have been one of the best summers of all time. Instead, for me, it was the worst.
I always loved when Bay would "cockroach" (← Greyhound owners know what that means!) like this, so woodstock took this picture with his phone and sent it to me while I was at work this past July.
Despite the month long absence, I assure you that I have not lost my passion for the sport, for the team, for the player, for this blog. I am back now, and while it may take a few posts to get back into the swing of things, I promise to do my best to be in top form for the new 2009-2010 season. And please continue to be patient with me as I attempt to tackle my inbox - I literally have several hundred unread messages. I will do my best to respond (even if it's just a "thank you") to all of them.
The preseason gets underway tonight at the Mellon when the Pens host the Blue Jackets at 7:30pm. Regular season tickets went on sale last Saturday. I didn't get the game I really wanted (the home opener), so instead I surprised my husband with tickets to two games for teams he'd been wanting to see live for a while - November 16th we'll be at the Anaheim Ducks game at 7:30pm, and March 7, 2010, we'll be watching the Pens face the Bruins at 3:00pm.
I want to end this post on a positive note — last week I got a shiny new 24" iMac. :) :) :) :) :) It's a total nerd-girl's dream: It has a terabyte (!) dual booting hard drive that is running Snow Leopard on the Mac side, and the not yet released Windows 7 on the other. (It's so good to work at a school!) Vista haters rejoice! Windows 7 is actually pretty darn slick. :)
And, as ALWAYS,