Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010, soon to arrive; a future around the turn in the road

2009, a fearsome year with much sorrow; what awaits us in 2010 cannot be known. may the gods be kind

2009: the year that our Aesop died

our brave handsome Scottish Terrier, stoic it could be said in the face of fearsome adversity, who loved life, was "faithful", and possessed all the other virtues that a pet could possibly have

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

"when the deal goes down" : lyrics Bob Dylan

Well, the moon gives light and it shines by night

when I scarcely feel the glow

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

December 21, 2009: Winter

the partition of the year between warmth and cold, fertility and barren
six pomegranate seeds

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Pre-existing Condition

Life itself is a pre-exisiting condition.

Consider your genetic inheritance. you are born with pre-exisiting conditions, benign and malignant. Shame on insurance companies and shame on our "enlightened government," the supine Obama presidency. Health care. good health care, is a right all citizens should have; insurance companies should not exist, since health is not their concern; rather it is profit. The CEOs, why not profile their homes in Hosue and Gardens? Ill-gotten gains.

But death will claim even the wealthiest CEO. The brevity of life was graphically depicted in western-European art, not surprisingly. All succumbed to diseases whose origin was not understood. Today science, medical science, demonstrates convincingly how diseases are contracted, how environmental factors, especially substances carried in air and water, such as arsenic, cause cancers and other deadly diseases.The health bill being considered in Congress disallows women from obtaining abortions, a right guaranteed by law. Shame on the Obama administration. A spokesperson who is literate, brilliant, persuaive is no better than his illiterate ignorant predecessor, Bush 2. What a trick!

Life is a Pre-Existing Condition

Friday, December 18, 2009

Paul Caspari, MD: in memoriam, 1867, January 27--1937, December 16

My grandfather Paul Caspari, MD, died in Berlin in 1937, during a gallbladder operation; he suffered a heart attack. My mother Beate Caspri-Rosen, MD, always recalled him as a wonderful father and an ideal doctor, "the good doctor," so sorely missing from practice today in the United Sates. (for more on my grandfather, see my website, Family, Beate Caspari-Rosen, essays). I was born five years after his death so the man in the pictures and the oral and written history is all that remains of this wonderful person. I have selected a 1927 picture which is in much need of restoration that shows my grandfather hiking in a region in Germany; a photograph taken shortly after he married his spouse, my grandmother Flora Arnswalder Caspari; the cover of the Trauer Album (grieving/ memorial book) given to my grandmother and the page which records the dates when the jahrzeit (memorial) candle is to be lit, a practice that I maintain, but one that will end with my demise. Finally, the tomb at Weissensee Cemetery as it appeared several years ago.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Emma: Happy Birthday, part 4

Aesop and Emma, talking; Aesop looking after his baby sister Emma; Emma with a monkey doll, sleeping, and Emma, spunky monkey as Harold likes to call her, trying out a bone, chewy. As it turned out Emma's mouth was too small to hold a ball and we were concerned that she might choke on rawhide or other chewy toys. But Emma's independence is evident in this picture. She has remained so; my body, myself. A charmer. So blessed we have been to have our Aesop and Emma, as we were with Kate and Fala, siblings through adoption but deepest love nontheless. Each one was always concerned about the other's well being.
Dogs are not a lesser life form; canines are thinking, emotional beings, but they are not human, for which we are grateful.

Emma: Happy Birthday, part 3

Emma in Maine, summer 2009; Emma in Tenafly, 2008 and Emma in Tenafly 2008; Emma and Harold, Halloween, 2005?

Emma: Happy birthday, part 2

Emma a few months ago, Emma in summer 2009 in Tenafly, Emma alone on deck after Aesop died looking in the direction where he slept or looked at the world through the south gate, Aesop and Emma on the deck

Emma, Happy birthday, 11 years old, born December 16, 1998

Emma was born in a Hudson river town in New York on the sixteenth of December, 1998. We brought her home to Tenafly, New Jersey, after she was weaned and old enough to contend with her brother Aesop, who had been born in a previous litter. From her earliest days we knew that Emma had a distinct personality, which differed from her brother's. Whereas Aesop adapted to his older "sister," twelve-year Kate , and learned doggy ways from her (Kate had an a different lineage altogether; she died during his puppyhood), Emma asserted herself and drove poor Aesop to distraction when she was a pup. Her baby teeth must have bothered her, but they could also be used for play that was painful. Had she remained with her siblings then she would have known that you do not jump on the back of your sister or brother and nip them with your needle-sharp teeth because the rough and tumble could be turned against you as well. So poor Aesop found himself beset upon by Emma; Kate was a venerable 12 year--old, who taught Aesop to keep his distance. Aesop's solution was not to bite back but to run upstairs and settle on a couch to look out of the window. With her baby legs she was unable to follow him on the daunting staircase. Aesop solved the problem in a pacific manner.

In time, Emma lost those teeth, matured and within a year brother and sister settled down together and lived harmoniously..

When Aesop died at the end of September (2009), after suffering digital melanoma requiring amputation of a digit and lymphoma, which manifested itself in his mouth, it was evident that Emma was profoundly affected. She looked for him, marked territory, and showed signs of fear. Though Aesop was pacific, nevertheless he was Emma's buffer to the world: he led the way and Emma followed. He signaled to her that it was safe to proceed or indicated that danger or discomfort was imminent. The wonderful Dr. Howard Gittelman of New City, New York, and his staff at Animal Medical Center, cared for him through all his sufferings. And when finally it was time to let go, Aesop was treated with consummate skill, care, empathy, and sympathy.

Now Emma is in a dire condition. In addition to diabetes, which requires insulin injections twice daily --which Harold administers with love and exactness--she also has liver cancer (a common disease that Scotties contract) and bladder cancer (also common among Scottish Terriers). It is the latter which will cause her death. As the cancer grows in the bladder, it fills up the cavity, eventually making it impossible to urinate. Opportunistic infections proliferate in this environment.

Emma has withstood these onslaughts. Many months ago, someone said that she had at best only 3 months to live. But that prediction proved incorrect. She still enjoys her food, her COOKIES, walks and even play. But we know that we cannot stave off the diseases that are killers. May these final days be borne with the knowledge that we gave her the best that we could and that we will know when the final parting has come. My she live live on in a mythical doggy heaven, playing with Kate and Fala, and Aesop, all family, and do forever the things that dogs enjoy best and may we from time to time visit them in their paradise.

The first picture shows Emma, posing for her birthday portrait today; next a picture of doggy heaven, and the third, a corner in the dinning room which she favors at present: nature indoors, hidden but she can still see us and we her, and also a view to the garden. How much she actually sees is uncertain. Diabetes has taken its toll. her left eye probably allows her only to see dark and light, the right perhaps somewhat more.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

the conundrum, still

a seed, a stalk of grain, wind, and the glory of light: self

still here, by chance
, as idea and as potential

The Beloved Land: American bucolic

December 7, 1941-December 7, 2009: time

Susan Joan Rosen: then and now. December 7, 1941; 2009

1943; 2009

2009 a year of loss: our beloved Aesop died at the end of September after suffering many cancers and now his sister Emma's days are numbered, but when the transition from this world to the silence of death, the door through which we is unknown. She is still alert and so alive despite despite the ills she suffers.

December 7 1941--December 7, 2009: my birthday

in remembrance of my mother, Beate Caspari-Rosen, MD, who suffered the pains of birth at on of the bleakest moments of history after escaping from certain death in Germany at the hands of the Nazis. My father, George Rosen, MD, was her sole comfort during my birthing. All doctors and nurses were listening to the news. Pearl Harbor had been bombed. Inauspicious was my entrance into this world.