Sunday, February 15, 2015

No More Shadow

I can now walk from room to room unhindered.

When I turn I don't have to wait for someone to turn around, too.

Everyone says that fifteen years is a long time. No, it's not long enough.

My depression is really rearing it's ugly head. I am taking lots of naps. When I am asleep I don't hurt. But every time I awake I look for him. In that one brief second I forget that I no longer have a little buddy.

He was my buddy, my little man, my Bubba. He was my reason for getting up in the morning and the one that I spooned with at night. He was my velcro dog. He was my shadow. He was my heart and my life.

And now he is gone.

Mary's Maximillian
November 16th, 1999 to February 12th, 2015

He had Cushing's disease that caused pancreatitis and renal failure. And I was in denial. I took him to the vet thinking that they could give me a fix for his tummy troubles and we would be okay. But we weren't okay.

In the end I could not be selfish, although I really wanted to be.

I do have a kitty, Pinky, but she is not a cuddly kitty. She comes to me a few times a day for pets and to get me to give her wet food.

I am trying to feel better by binge watching Breaking Bad. And that is comforting.

But my heart aches for one more hug, one more walk, one more look into those old eyes that never showed me anything but adoration.

I feel lost and off-kilter without him.

My heart is shattered.

I have no more shadow.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Circle Tightens

For twenty-two years my father had a wonderful girlfriend. Her name is Brynn.

She got the nickname Brynnie from my boys when they were toddlers.

She was an RN and worked both in a hospital and in a private practice.

When I cut myself on an old tin can she brought home a tetanus shot. This was years ago and the syringe was in a metal case. She gave me the shot in my left arm and said it wouldn't hurt now. After she gave me the shot she said that it WILL hurt now.

She was a tall, graceful woman. Shopping for a sleep shirt for her one Christmas my oldest boy, about six at the time, told the salesperson helping us that, "Brynnie is a BIG woman."

She was as kind a person as you could ever meet. She was generous. She loved animals.

She had Huntington's Disease. It ended up making her quit working, as the spastic movements of her arms and legs made it difficult to do her job.

And then, one Sunday night, she fell out of bed. She couldn't move her head so an ambulance was called to take her to the hospital.

Her regular neurosurgeon was on vacation. The neurosurgeon on call was incompetent. You could see her spine making a large lump on the left side of her neck. She lay in the hospital bed, screaming in pain each time she was moved, for a week. The doctor told us every day that nothing was wrong.

Her neurosurgeon came back on Friday, walked into her hospital room and said, "Oh my God, her neck is broken!" By then her arms and legs were paralyzed.

She underwent surgery to fix her broken neck and she regained some movement in her arms.

Yes, lawsuits were filed. And won.

When she was able to be kept at home my sister and I helped Dad take care of her. I would come every night after work and on the weekends while my sister took the weekdays.

She loved apples but they became a choking hazard as she could not chew well. I cooked them with some butter and brown sugar so they were caramelized and tender for her.

The other day I was trying to enjoy some apples myself but was finding it hard to chew them. I have dentures. A Facebook post reminded me of cooking them as I had for our Brynnie.

So I cooked them and enjoyed them and felt like crying. I was remembering Brynnie and thinking of my own spot in my life.

The circle tightens. That circle of life we all go through. The feeling that you are nearer the end than the beginning.

I try to find the good in all things so I will believe that my recent thoughts of Brynnie are a good thing. She was such a wonderful person who approached everything she was dealt with grace and bravery. If I could strive to be like her in all things then I would be happy knowing that the influence she had on me was a great one. Her memory lives on, I should do things that ensure that mine will do the same.

We love you, Brynnie.