A Crack in the Heart

For some time now, Jenny has been on the decline.  She refuses her food more often and sometimes throws up.  She sleeps longer and deeper.  She is losing her sight and her hearing.  She gets diarrhea and has nocturnal accidents.  When she’s awake, she barks at everyone and everything invading her space.  Lately, she’s been limping.

Worried that her pancreatitis and kidney failure are worsening, I called Dr. Black who made a house call. She found that Jenny now weighs only 8.9 lbs (a loss of over a pound since her last visit}.  And her kidney blood levels are rising.

Remembering losses of other furry companions, and wanting time to prepare myself, I asked Dr. Black if Jenny was nearing the end of her illnesses.  I was stunned to learn that I probably have only about six more months to enjoy her company.

Funny, how the revelation I will soon lose my best friend changes my experience of her.  Now I live in the moment, holding her, stroking her, enjoying our closeness

Tonight, as the long day fades into night, I watch TV from my bed as Jenny lays her head on my lap and sleeps.  I gently stroke her back, letting her warmth soak into the mattress and my heart..

“Heart Gifts”

That’s what Karen calls them.  All the things she gives.  All the things she does.  I’m overwhelmed with all the love.  Don’t know how to handle it.

Karen arrived Tuesday with burgers from my favorite restaurant, Taylor’s.  The best burgers in town from a restaurant my husband and I frequented when we dated over 70 years ago.  She also brought vegetables from her neighbor’s garden.

Since Karen arrived, she’s made macaroni and cheese, tomato soup, guacamole, and cucumber salad.  She bagged much of the food for the freezer to use later.  She wants to know what else I’d like her to make.

She thoroughly cleaned my kitchen, including the floor.

She sees problems and solves them, went out and bought a small doggie bed and a shower curtain liner to protect me and the bed from Jenny’s nocturnal incontinence.

She bought a pole and humming bird feeder and another hanging feeder because she knows I love to watch birds, especially humming birds.   She put the pole in the ground, made the sugar water and hung the feeder.

She did laundry.

She brought me a lovely summer bouquet.

Karen won’t listen to my protests.  “I can do this while we visit,”” she says.

Late evening we sit on the deck watching day fade into night, breathing the sweet humid air and listening to the birds calling to one another through the dark trees. This is Karen’s favorite time of day.  Mine too.

It isn’t like she doesn’t need a rest.  Back in Arizona, she works 12 hour shifts as a doctor in an emergency room.

Karen is a beautiful, compassionate soul who  cares about humans and animals alike. She gives of her whole self.  I love her with all my heart.

Fear and Longing

I was a timid child.  I was afraid of the dark, an angry sky, the boogie man.  I longed for a feeling of safety and of being loved, but I expected rejection.  I learned early on that my fears were an intrusion on other people’s lives.   I couldn’t depend on those closest to me to save me from imagined harm; it was up to me.  And I didn’t feel up to the task But in order to avoid irritation, or ridicule, I kept my feelings to myself.

One of my earliest memories of being afraid was when I was staying with my maternal grandmother.  I was about three years old.  I don’t know why I was there, alone, or why the rest of the family was absent.

I slept with grandmother’s stepdaughter, Nancy, in the front bedroom.   This particular night, Nancy was out on a date.  It was a hot, sultry evening and the window was wide open.  The bed was next to the window.  It was very dark outside and I could see only the silhouette of a large tree.  Grandmother was sitting in a wooden chair across the room.  She said she’d stay there but I knew she was impatient to leave.   I closed my eyes and tried very hard to go to sleep.  Grandmother, thinking I WAS asleep tried to slip out of the room.  I cried, so she came back in and parked herself in the chair again.  I closed my eyes and we went through the same routine several times, until she finally lost her temper and spanked me.  My Great Grandfather, who happened to be sleeping on a cot in the dining room, called to her to bring me to him.  He held me in his arms and told me stories, one about a stork who flew through the sky with me until he found a momey and daddy who wanted me very much, so he left me with them.  I fell asleep in the middle of the story.

I think I knew that my Great Grandfather was an exception.  Back home, with a busy and impatient mother and a distant father, I learned to live with my fears.

As an adult, I still feel incapable of dealing with them, so I have adopted the solution of avoiding what I’m afraid of.  Which, of course, is no solution at all.

What am I afraid of?

A New Beginning

It’s long since my last post and I must learn all over again how to construct a web page.  I apologize and hope readers will be patient with me.  This seems like a good time to start a new site because I’ve lost the thread of continuity I thought I previously had and I definitely feel like a newbie.

As the years go by, I have lost the ambition or the desire to write and that saddens me because writing was once my life.  But so often the words I want or need elude me and it’s hard to make my true meaning known.  Also, I don’t have the stamina or the patience I used to have.  I hope this will be a place where I can take up writing again while sharing experiences with other folks.