Friday, April 17, 2009

How Would you Like a Big Cosmic Slap in the Face?

It all started with a visit to the doctor’s office for Gus, but a routine check-up led to numerous tests and now he needs an angiogram done. I know, I know, they’re pretty common place and done routinely but still. It’s a wake-up call that we are both getting older. Funny thing is, I never thought it would happen to me or to us, but here we are facing this procedure and I am feeling sad and concerned and honestly, slightly shocked. So, I do what I always do, I write about it.

I go to my desk in my bedroom and sit by the open door. I open the desk drawer and take out my journal and place it on the pull down desk top. A little zephyr is playing in the treetops accompanied by the twittering of goldfinches. I am trying not to be too dramatic, but a few tears slip down my cheek. I look out the window at the sunny yellow birds and think of the joy and comfort they bring me. At least I have my birds, I think to myself when, THUNK!

I jump up startled to find one of these darling little creatures belly up on the patio floor. I quickly jump up hoping that perhaps I can save it. I tenderly pick the tiny feathered creature up and hold it in my hand. I feel its little heart racing but there is no light in the eyes, no cognition and then, the body goes limp and a little saliva trickles out the silent beak.

I’m crying full force now. Why did this have to happen? Is the universe giving me a big slap in the face? Just when I turn to nature for comfort and peace the reality of mortality is slapped in my face and with it the realization that there is nothing I can do about it! I am getting older. Gus is getting older. Death is the ultimate end to life. Face it, I tell myself. Then go ahead and enjoy the remaining days, for none of us knows how many we have, and hopefully the birds will still be singing when I am gone.


Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

GULP! You've had a tough morning. Here's a big {{{hug}}} for you.

Arija said...

Oh Kathie, I'm sorry you have been given a double whammy wake up call from the universe.
Advanes in heart treatment and open heart surgery have gone forward in leaps and bounds. I have lived with degenerative heart disease for 42 years since it was diagnosed. Three heart surgeries and 2 replaced valves later, I am still here. If it is not our time to go we get sent back, and mortality is something we all have to come to terms with. The odd thing is that when we do cme to terms with it, we enjoy living so much more. Take heart my friend and trust in God's plan for you, hugs.

Mary said...

Man...what a bad day you have had so far! Consider this a hug. Sometimes reality sucks. It's amazing how that "getting older" thing really creeps up on you and then all of the sudden seems to be there all the time. Sigh. And that poor bird. I hate that. Hope tomorrow brings you better things and that Gus's test goes well. Will pray for both of you.

NCmountainwoman said...

It's always so sad to lose a bird like that. In this case, I believe this little bird gave his life so that you could let go and finally have the good cry you needed.

I often look around our retirement home, our woods and mountains, and I get chills realizing we are indeed getting older. But we will enjoy every single day that we have.

Fingers are crossed here with hopes that everything will be fine. I'll think positive thoughts for you and your husband.

Anonymous said...

hugs to you and will keep you in my thoughts...

Kathryn said...

Kathie, you know my heart goes out to you at this time. I like what Arija says about trusting in God's plan. With Steve's cancer diagnosis last year, you know how our lives have changed, but what I haven't really said is that overall it has been one of the best years of our lives. We are healthier than ever, closer than ever, and we are laughing and enjoying life more than ever. Yes, it is scary, but it is a good kind of wake-up call. Gus' medical concern has been caught early, that is really really good so that way it can be taken care of now rather than later. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Gus.

Deborah Godin said...

I'm sending my very best wishes for a smooth and uneventful proceedure for Gus. You'll both be on my mind and in my prayers.

DeniseinVA said...

Oh Kathie, I am ever so sorry. Yes as you say these procedures are pretty routine these days but it doesn't stop it from being scary. And then you have your poor little bird on top of all that. What a day you've had. Well, I know Gus is going to be okay and those lovely birds out there will be bringing their little ones soon. It's good to write when you feel a bit blue, because now we know your sad and we'll be able to give you a hug from wherever we are, and let you know that it will be okay.

Celeste said...

Oh Kathie, I am so sorry you have had such a traumatic day, I had one almost as bad yesterday and I too felt compelled to post about it. I am sure Gus will be fine, after all he has you beside him and a loving partner is the best thing in the world when the going gets tough. I am sending you a HUGE Bloggers hug :)

Pickett said...

Oh Kathy, I am sorry I am sending you a big hug... This is a great post it brings a lot into perspective. We miss you and Gus so much, Take care.

Gaelyn said...

Kathie, I don't think any of us think "it" will happen to us. Hugs to you. Yet you are so right about enjoying every day we're given.

How about some silohuets on those clean windows?

Gaelyn said...

Some mornings when I look in the mirrow I wonder who that old broad is looking back at me.

Mary said...

Geeez. You need a hug. I hope by now you are smiling again, Kathie. Getting older sucks. We just make the best of it.


bobbie said...

My thoughts are with you too. But I have to admit, I have reached the point in life when I can see these things and smile a little sadly, but feel that's the way it goes. I don't have all that much longer to enjoy what we have on this earth. But that's OK. It makes me happy to know that my children and grandchildren will go on, and do just fine. And my life so far has been full and happy and full of love - and it's enough.

Just keep on as you said, enjoying every beautiful moment you have.

Anonymous said...

Med school humor

Q: Define routine surgery
A: Surgery on someone else

Nothing that happens to us or those we love can be routine in any meaningful sense.

Life does seem to pile on when we most need it to go easy on us. But as I was reading your post, I heard the words of a really strong, resourceful woman, a "woman of valor, whose price is above pearls" Know that you have your friends and your family loving and supporting both you and Gus in addition to your own strength, and count us who read your blog among that number.

Kathie Brown said...

Lynne, Actually, the dead bird thing happened about a week ago and we thought we were going to be able to avoid the procudure but now we know we cannot. However, Gus is putting the angiogram off until I return from New River. So, there is a lot on my plate and on my mind! Thanks for your loving support. Thanks for the hug!

Arija, I am so glad that modern advances in science have kept you here with us as they have my father-in-law and other friends. I even have one friend who has a pig valve in his heart! I thank God for all of this. It is hard, however to see it happen to my husband. It's funny, I've had 3 car accidents in my life and the reality of mortality did not hit me as hard as facing this danger to Gus. I think it's always harder when it involves someone you love. Thanks for your words of encouragement. You, like Lynne, have been through alot! Thanks for the hug.

Mary, you know, I knew it would catch up on us someday but I thought that day was still in the future. Now it's in my face and I can't avoid it! My father-in-law is always saying, "Growing old ain't for sissies," and he is so right!

NCMountianwoman, that is an interesting thought. Very insightful. It was hard though on many levels. Thanks for reminding me once again to enjoy every minute. I/we do tend to take so much for granted. Thanks for the positive thoughts.

itsnotjustapicture, thank you!

Katnell, I'm so glad to hear that you and Steve have grown closer through your own medical realities. I believe what you say is true. I hope that Gus and I will have many "BEST years" ahead of us. He is even starting to eat a few veggies! You are a dear friend and I miss you!

Deborah, thank you so much!

Denise, how kind of you to remind me that my blogging buddies have also become my "village." In this case it takes a village to survive a wake-up call! Thank you for "being there!" (or being here as the case may be. I suppose instead of a shoulder to cry on I know have a keyboard instead!)

Pickett's, how nice to hear from you! We miss you so. Thanks for commenting and caring.

Gaelyn, I ususally don't get window strikes on that particular window but I think as the summer is coming on the light and reflections are changing. I will have to incorporate a new strategy to prevent future window strikes! And, I think the same thing when I look in the mirror!

Bobbie, you are a sweetheart and I am glad I have gotten to know you. Thank you for your kindness.

Wren, your med school humor cracked Gus up! (and me too!) Thanks for the smile! Thanks for the encouragement, and thanks for the friendship!

Glennis said...

We had a home with very long glass conservatory right down one side and sadly small birds frequently nose dived into the glass, it upset us too, so we purchased small stick on plastic things from craft markets, things like wee birds butterflies and flowers, stuck them in the centre of each panel of glass, and no more problem!
For a while our two cats used to listen for the thump and rush out to grab the poor birds - if we didn't manage to beat them there.