Carry on Tuesday: Time will pass and seasons will come and go.

Trixie-a rescued kennel dog

Trixie-a rescued kennel dog (Photo credit: waycooldogs)

The Time In Between

How would you feel if you woke up one ordinary sunny morning and realized that you were now old? No, really, old. It wasn’t from a horror film or a nightmare but it was just realizing what you were seeing up close, really seeing in the mirror. It happened to me, from one night to the next and I was absolutely horrified. That couldn’t be me, could it? Really? Getting older is something I talk about with friends, in the abstract, I talk to people around the same age that I am or family members, but not seriously. Sure we all have some gentle fears for the future and the unknown but we can all relate to it. Any fears we have go away with our yoga class and deep breathing exercises.  Until the day, that one different day, months later, when you are not able to breathe and my heart felt pain all the time and those thoughts become wilder and it truly is alarming. My husband, Gary, called 911 and the ambulance came eventually. Oh, how I didn’t want that, all that fanfare, stretchers and backboards and people taking my pulse and giving me oxygen with the whole street outside, I hated it but I knew there was no choice, so I closed my eyes and with my wicked sense of humor, pretended to be dead.

When the doctor finally came in to see me in the Emergency Room and told me that my heart was perfect and that I had experienced a panic attack, I couldn’t decide if I was relieved or embarrassed at the diagnosis. All they did was hook me up to some oxygen and some sort of sedative and soon I was sleeping. When the doctor ( he looked about 14 ) said I was okay to leave he gave me a prescription for anxiety medication, little orange pills for when I felt this way again, which was probable,”for people your age” the young intern said cheerfully. He said “probable” not “possible” and “for people my age.” What the hell was that supposed to mean? Even though I was groggy, I hated him just for that.

It made me think alright, I guess I couldn’t deny any longer the little things that were happening to me. Like that I  had no hearing at all from my left ear, that my muscles had atrophied so much that when I walked up a flight of stairs I wheezed and clung to the stair rail and that when Bootsie, our dog passed we didn’t replace her and we had been such dog lovers because dogs became too much trouble for us.

Gary started sleeping next door in the “extra bedroom” because of his snoring and sleep apnea and after a while, I got over the loneliness and I really didn’t mind having a room all to myself. I  just stopped caring and this was easier for both of us. Time was whizzing by, seasons came and they left but the routines remained the same, it’s not as if they were traveling the world or doing exciting things, truly they were JUST the things we did every single day.

Wasn’t I just young? Wasn’t that just yesterday? First, playing on the street corners with my friends, then high school and college. Growing up to be independent and living on my own. Getting married and having the two joys of my life, our son and daughter, then they left us too. It all went in a circle but it kept spinning over and over again.I wore jeans and sneakers in college and I still wear them except now I need orthotics in my shoes. My pants are from the “mom” section and my daughter, when she comes to visit with me, rolls her eyes up in disgust.

Time passes, seasons come and go, people die and babies are born, things are fair and yes, unfair and we have no choice but to hang on for dear life. We need to choose to either fight fiercely for the ride or just give in. Today, Gary and I are going to the animal shelter, we have talked about it; we want to adopt a dog again, hopefully not a dog that needs to run around a lot but a dog that needs love, just like us. We will continue to live and fight, get out of bed and walk that dog, together, for however long we have. We’ll name her Trixie.

Plinky: Are You A CAT, DOG or Other Person?

  • Cat Lady? Not This Chick!
  • Meet Lexi
  • WOOF!!!
    I am totally, completely, officially and enthusiastically a DOG person. I had a cat when I was growing up and I did love her however I became very allergic to cats. Besides, cats are too aloof and independent for me. I got my first dog (from an animal shelter) ten years ago and I loved her with all my heart. She was everything you could want in a dog and more: affectionate, beautiful, sweet, gave unconditional love, a lap dog and truly my best friend. She was a dog with a soul. She sensed my emotions and when my dad passed away she would always be near me, licking up my tears.
    When Callie, died abruptly from cancer of the spleen exactly ten years later I was heartbroken. I never thought I would get over it, she was the best, most beautiful dog ever, her black and white tail was like a long paint brush always sweeping from left to right.
    I didn’t like my life without a dog so I started going to animal shelters a couple of months after she died. Against my husband’s better judgment to get an older dog, I fell in love with a tiny, brown short-haired puppy. As soon as I saw her I knew I had to adopt her. I named her Lexi. She is barely 6 months old now and she is a completely different dog but I love her so much. Lexi is playful and more daring and while she is not as affectionate as my first dog was, when she wags her little upright tale, and stands at the window when I leave, I know she loves me too.

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Dog on the weir

Dog on the weir (Photo credit: Steve-h)

Everything I try to write seems awkward. Nothing flows like water winding down from a river or a stream. I am thinking in short, staccato, choppy sentences even though I am feeling more in harmony. Maybe different parts of me have to catch up with each other, I don’t know. I feel that I don’t have anything to write about but I’m sure I do. Or do I?

The grief that I have gone through the last three weeks over my dog dying has been intense but it is better now. People grieve in different ways; I need to cry and let it come out and I need to look at my dog’s picture and have a conversation with her ( it’s easier than saying she had a conversation with me because most people think I’m a nut case) but we did talk. I am cherishing the ten amazing, pain-free years we had together which were nothing short of a miracle, all hugs and kisses, warmth and happiness. We both had a very good life. Change, especially shock, is NOT something I am good with but we all learn to adapt, we have no choice.

Of course I still look for her to give her the remnants of my hamburger and yes, I do wait for her at the blue front door but she is not there. I keep wanting to say “Up, Up” for her to come on my bed and lie next to me, her most favorite place, but ten years is a long time to automatically forget things like that. I don’t feel the stabbing pain anymore which is good. I will love her always but I know I can love another dog too, I also know she would want me too.

I look through the pages of the ASPCA, I drove to the shelter I brought Callie home from to pay my respects; my husband is adamant he is not ready for another dog. I do not live in a vacuum, I must respect my other family members on the other hand, they need to respect me too. I’m in a bit of a quandary. I don’t want to adopt a dog this second but I have to admit looking at adoptable dogs is making me happy, the thought of adopting a homeless dog is giving me a reason to smile.

However, ten years ago, I did not have Fibromyalgia and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis; I was also ten years younger and I really need to think about that, seriously. Will I be too weak, as I am some days, to take this as yet unnamed dog for a walk? Will my joints hurt so much that all I want to do is lie on the bed and sleep? I don’t have an honest answer for that. Callie was a dog that was gentle and she was a homebody, she didn’t particularly like being away from home so a small walk was fine, being in the backyard was even better. I know if I had an energetic dog that had to run for miles I would be unhappy and so would he/she. That would not be a good match and not fair to either of us. Of course I would try to be matched up with a gentle dog but that possibility of chance is always there.

I’m a little scared.

I also really miss having a dog in my life.

Any thoughts, comments or advice appreciated.