Thursday, October 09, 2014

More loss

About a month ago, I lost my little dog Mari.  I can hardly write the words without tearing up.  He was my little buddy, my best friend, and my baby.

I got him in November 2009, and the years have gone by so fast.  I knew he was slowing down earlier this year, and our daily walks became shorter and shorter, and when we took him to the park for walks, my husband had to end up picking him up and carrying him the rest of the way because he was too exhausted.

He was diagnosed with Kidney Failure in the early part of August, and he rapidly declined.  On September 8, I made the decision to end his earthly life.  It was agonizing and I still cry every day, I miss him so much, and I pray every night I will see him in my dreams, but I never do.  Same with my father, I have prayed to see him and I never do.

My brother-in-law Jimmy passed away on June 22 of this year.  He had fought an eight-month battle with cancer of the duodenum.  It was a rare cancer, and they gave him only 6 to 9 months from the start.  We watched him deteriorate over the next few months and by the end, he was starving to death, lying in his hospital bed, in a contorted position, and (hopefully) deeply unconscious so that he wasn't in pain anymore.  He looked like a corpse to me, but he was still breathing.  I hoped to God that he wasn't in that body anymore and was already exploring the next world.  When I came to see his body after his death, he was still in the same position as I last saw him.

I was able to end my Mari's pain with euthanasia, but my brother-in-law had to suffer to the end.

The world is a painful place.  I am struggling with trying to find the good in it, while grieving my losses.  I sometimes look forward to when it is my time to go.  I will then be able to see my father, my friend Carol, Jimmy, and little Mari, and all the rest of the pets and humans I have lost.  I can't fathom why we come here to this earth.  So much pain and suffering.  I am never going to come back here.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Lessons in faith.

The day after my father's funeral, my husband and I were driving home - we were almost there, and we turned the corner on a road that my husband has driven on a thousand times before, when we saw a Kingfisher (bird) sitting on the bridge.  We looked at each other and said "was that a Kingfisher?".  He had never seen one in the 40+ years he has lived in Indiana.  I thought it strange, and I mentioned it to my mother.  She said that my father used to talk of his love of watching the Kingfishers near the pond where he grew up.

Still, my rational mind was thinking that of course there was a Kingfisher, there is a river right where he was sitting, and that is where Kingfisher's hang out!  Then I thought that I would believe it if the Kingfisher actually showed up at our house where I could see it.

About a year later my husband and I were walking near the retention pond near our house (it is only about 100 ft from our house) when we heard some chattering up in the trees.  We looked up, and there was a gigantic Kingfisher!  It then immediately flew away and we haven't seen it since.  So I figure showing up about 100 ft from our house, should be close enough for me to believe.

I had other encounters too, that I thought were signs from him.  I have always loved toads.  I have fond memories of being a child, and catching them at my childhood home.  We had really big toads, and they would live in the moist area of the window wells of the house.  Years later, in 2009, I was visiting my parents, and planting some flowers in their front garden.  Before I had even arrived at their house, I had been thinking about those childhood happy toad memories and was hoping I would see one.  Well, with all the digging I was doing, one just popped right up as if to say Hello!  I was even able to run into the house and get my camera, and it was still sitting there as if to be waiting for me to "document" his presence.  It was SO great to see that toad, and I felt like all would be well after seeing him (I was going through a divorce at the time).

That whole visit with my parents was great.  I felt such peace there.  I was even taking pictures of some flowers in the backyard, looking through the lens of my 35mm camera, when a beautiful butterfly appeared in my field of vision, and I was able to take many pictures of it.  It just sat there, as if posing like a model.  I left for home feeling very happy, and I was almost home when I got in a car accident that I was lucky to have survived.  I remember thinking as my car was spinning out, going 70 mph on a busy highway with semi trucks right next to me, that "I had had a good life" and I just kind of "let it go" and wondered how I would end up.  Fortunately I didn't have a scratch, no one else got hurt, but my car that I had just paid off was totaled!

But I digress.  So forward to the present, when I was on my honeymoon in Ontario in September 2013, we were walking along a beautiful path in the forest, when we saw a pretty blue butterfly sunning itself on a rock.  My husband said, "hey maybe that is a sign from your Dad".  My rational mind was thinking "it's just a butterfly!  they show up all the time! Now, if I see a toad, THEN I will believe it is my Dad".  And guess what.... a few minutes later my husband shouted "there's a toad hopping across the path!".  And there sure was!!  We tried to catch it, but it hopped into the woods.  But I did get a picture.

After all these signs, my mind STILL tries to rationalize them.  I just want to "see" my Dad with my own eyes.  I don't like all these - what could be - "subtle" signs that we get.  Because to me, they could just as well be coincidences.  I wish we could "see" something more concrete, more tangible.

Perhaps someone is trying to teach me about having faith.  Perhaps faith is what we really need to get through this life on earth - with our limited five senses, our bodies can only see, taste, hear, smell, and touch so many things but not ALL things.  Perhaps we are like the fish that live in the sea, who can only imagine what their reality actually is, because it is all that they can see, nothing else.  They don't know of the vast world that exists around them.  Perhaps, there is a vast unseen world around us too.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

One year later.

So it has been just over a year since Dad transitioned.  I like the word "transition" because then I can imagine that he is still around, but has just moved on over to another dimension, that unfortunately, humans with their 5 senses can't detect.

I hadn't wanted to post anything on this blog since he passed, because 1) I didn't have the heart and 2) no one except me really reads it anyway, so who cares?  When you lose someone, things you previously cared about lose purpose and meaning.

A lot of things happened during the year after he passed.  I was transferred to a new job, my friend Carol transitioned too, I took a trip out to the grand canyon, got married to my soulmate, and my new brother-in-law is now fighting a very rare cancer.  It really floors me that I have now known two people with very rare cancer.  Carol, with her rhabdomyosarcoma which killed her at 60 years old, and my brother-in-law who has cancer of the duodenum.  It is so rare that hardly anyone knows how to treat it, and there has been virtually no studies of it.

Through it all, I never stop thinking about my Dad.  I have been able to put up some pictures of him, but I still cannot look at them directly for too long.  It is still too painful.  I contacted a couple of psychics to see if they could contact him, and I got mixed results.  Some of what they said was quite incredible, and some wasn't.  It still doesn't convince my scientific mind that he is really ok wherever he is.  I am going to practically need him to materialize in front of me, for me to fully believe.

And I still have to go through his belongings.  I can't do it just yet; so it just sits in our upstairs spare room until I can work up the courage.  All this stuff was so important to him; I don't know what to keep and what to throw or give away.  But I hope that it doesn't matter to him anymore.  After all, he can't take any of it where he went.

And as my husband and I are preparing to move in the next few years, I think of all the stuff we have that we need to get rid of; who would ever want it?  But how can I part with my Dad's stuff, when that is all I have left of him.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Heart Surgery in my elderly father

So he had the surgery a week and two days ago.  He had to have a triple bypass, a valve replacement, and his aorta completely replaced (he had an aortic aneurysm).  The surgery took 5 hours and went without a hitch.  We waited in the family waiting room for the doctor to come and brief us afterwords.  And waited.  And waited.  Someone then called to say that they couldn't get his bleeding to stop.  It had been a few hours and they tried everything.  Then the doctor came out, looking grim.  He said there was nothing more he could do.  It was in God's hands.  I have never felt so helpless and devastated.  Even though we had now been at the hospital 9 hours, and were exhausted, the doctor said we shouldn't leave.  He didn't know if Dad would survive the night.

We went back to see him, and waited in his room while all the nurses worked on him.  A chest xray revealed that there was a mass pressing against his heart. It was either blood pooling or blood clotting.  The only way to tell was to open him back up.  So they did, at 1:30 in the morning.  More waiting...  and waiting... then the good news.  It was a clot!  He was finally clotting.

After that scare there has been the usual problems with this kind of surgery in the elderly:  lung problems (he was ventilated until yesterday), and confusion and dementia.  After one week and two days he is finally coming out of anesthesia, but he is still confused and still not all there.  I am hoping that will clear up, but an internet search has kind of scared me - a lot of elderly people are never the same mentally after this kind of surgery.  Here we were worried about him not making it through the surgery, when he ends up having a worse time with his lungs and mind.  I am hoping, hoping, hoping, and wishing that we finally get my Dad back soon.  I hope that we can talk again; he was SO scared when he went in.  He did not want to die.  I want him to realize that he did it!  He made it!  He has a second chance to live longer!  The doctor said he wouldn't have lasted even a few more months without the surgery.  But as of now, he is barely aware of where he is.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Where did the time go?

My father is 82 and is currently hospitalized.  He needs a bypass, a valve repaired, and an aortic aneurism fixed.  He has been there for one week having test after test to make sure he is strong enough to live through the surgery.  He has passed the lung test and his colonoscopy was clear.  So we are now waiting to hear when he can have his surgery.

I spent a few days at his bedside.  I had to help him eat and get up to go to the bathroom.  He can't see well enough to see the food in front of him on his plate. I studied his face as he was sleeping.  I recall watching his mother like this when she was in the hospital, at just about the same age, for cancer.  He looks just like her.

Where did the time go? He was always so strong and independent.  Now he weighs less than I do.  He is afraid to die.  You would think someone at his age would be ready to go.  My mother says the same - "he had a good life".  Why does that not make me feel better about this?  I should consider myself lucky that he got to live this long.  My friend's mother dropped dead at only 65!  My boyfriend's parents are both gone now, having died at approx 68 and 70.  So why do I feel like I have been punched in the stomach?  He is not even dead yet!  There is a chance, whether he has the surgery or not, that he will live several more years. 

I guess what bothers me is the quality of those years.  If you can't see, walk, or hear very well, what do you do?  How can you enjoy life?  He will need someone to feed him, and to help him go to the bathroom.  My mom and my sister (who lives with them and are not in good health either) can't do it.  So that probably means a nursing home.

It just seems like this came upon me so suddenly.  Though I know in the back of my mind I had some awareness of the clock ticking, I guess I just never thought about it too much.  It was too painful.  Well, now it is here and I don't know what to do.  I don't know how to comfort him.  I read stories of NDE's to try to comfort myself that something great awaits him when his life is over here on earth.  Then I read people cruelly trying to contradict and negate these experiences.  So I don't know who to believe.  :-(

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Something has got to give.

I am not even sure what to say.  I found myself today holding my head in my hands, just sick and tired of everything.  I am not sure if I am going through a mid-life crisis, or if there is some kind of change in the air...

For most of the year I have been feeling increasingly disturbed.  There are reasons that are certainly understandable:  my nephew had to be sent to reform school and got in trouble with the law (at only 15 years old!), my brother is frequently out of work and depressed, my friend is battling a rare form of cancer that has a very low survival rate, my father is aging and at 82 years old can no longer see well, walk, or really do anything for himself.  He is trapped in a body that doesn't work.  My sister is my parent's primary caregiver and she is really unhappy after having lost her job and having to move in with them.  It is not a job she wanted.  Also, my job is in jeopardy; there is not enough money to keep me, although my boss is trying.

In addition, I am realizing the worst mistakes I have made in my life: converting to judaism and getting married.  Why in the hell did I do that?  I was completely with the wrong person.  He couldn't have been more wrong for me.  I see that, now that I am with the one I was meant to be with.  While I was enduring my marriage he lived less than two miles away, went to the same grocery store I went to, etc.  So close, yet so far.   As for judasim, I am hoping that God understands that I had completely lost my mind and will forgive me for not being sincere in my beliefs.  I thought I had been at the time, but once again, if hindsight was 20/20...

All of these problems would make anyone feel disturbed.  But oddly, I think most of all is the state of this year's election.  How anyone could vote for Romney/Ryan is something I can't grasp.  I walk around in a state of disbelief that the polls say the election is so close.  How could that be?  Those men are clearly psychopaths; it has been proven over and over that they cannot be trusted, that they will say anything anyone wants to hear just so they will be elected.  It is obvious they are being controlled by the religious right, that anyone could even THINK about voting for them, just leaves me so depressed and hopeless.  Do people just not care about each other anymore?  Are they all out for themselves?  I have completely lost faith in mankind.  How can I deal with the problems I have when I have to worry that our country is about to be handed over to a man who is a psychopathic robot-like carbon life form?  Someone who is so completely out of touch with the rest of us - how can he understand what we go through when he has more money than God? 

I am just about ready to say "I'm out" - I can't deal with this anymore.   Something has got to give.