the end of a long day

This has proven to be a long, long day.

It began with a call to the title loan company; “Yeah, I know, I’m late…I’ll be there Friday. You’ll take the car” (frankly, right now, I could really give a shit), “fine, it’ll be harder for me to get there Friday. Great, I’ll see you Friday.”

Second call. “Yes, this is ‘Sweet Dreams’”

“My pup is nineteen years old, she’s in a lot of pain, we’ve increased her pain medication but there is a limit, her kidneys are going and she has become aggressive…it’s the pain I know…she is the sweetest thing.” I listened to the comforting voice on the other end…it was no comfort. “Yes, this evening if you can. I want her home when it happens and I want to be here for her…my wife will be shopping.”

‘Sweet Dreams’ is arriving at 2000. I’ve put new shades in the living room for the octogenarians, washed and hung the valances, changed all the sheets, washed and folded all the laundry, swept the garage…its 1430. The Duchess has been asleep for the last couple of hours; when I check in on her it’s a slight whimper and a twitch of the legs and then she’s quiet.
I want her to wake and…and play and think she’s a cat again and jump to the back of the couch and sniff everyone’s hair. I want her to go to yard sales with me and pick out her new toy. I want her to light up the faces of every child in the neighborhood.

I want her to not hurt, not be confused when she enters a familiar room not attack the cats the octogenarians.
‘Sweet Dreams’ will be arriving early, time for one more short walk, one more talk sitting at the top of the stairs; discussing plans for the day leaning close ending with a kiss on the top of the head and the Duchess looking at me like I was a nut (she has always been very perceptive).

Everyone’s off to Wally-World for whipped cream and marshmallows, winter pj’s and scarves.

The knock at the door. “Hello, please come in.”

“We need you to sign a few documents before we proceed.” She said in a most comforting tone, it wasn’t comforting.

Duchess cried for a second with the first injection, she came over to me, sitting on the cold kitchen floor, it was the closest I could be. With her head resting on my knee I scratched her ears and chin just as I had done at the top of the stairs, every morning for sixteen years, every time she allowed me an opportunity to rest on our long walks. I felt cheated in a way; she was three when we found her, I wanted those three years of comfort of belonging now.

“She’s asleep now and in no pain. Would you like a moment alone before we proceed to the next phase?” She said in the most comforting voice (still not working).

“That would make it harder I think, no, let’s proceed.”

“She’s gone.”

A few moments later I moved her head onto the pale blue blanket under her and struggled to stand, when I could lift my gaze from the Duchess both vets stood with arms outstretched. Two long, warm hugs and I was starting to feel comforted.
She was wrapped in the pale blue blanket and placed on a stretcher and taken to the van, one last kiss goodbye…they left.

My phone rang, “Michael here.” “What was I supposed to get besides Mayo?” “Marshmallows and whipped cream.” “Dad found a jacket…” I hung up.

Christ, I wanted to cry. I want to cry, wanted/still want to break down make a fool of myself.

And I feel her brushing against my leg, hear her scratching at the carpet to ask for a treat and barking and dancing about waiting to go out and play with the children in the street. She’s not gone…yet, just a big piece of me.

peace out pilgrimsIMGP0162

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Yep, September is Special

Being kind to oneself is the start of being kind to others, any other show of kindness is just show.

Tomorrow is the first day of Autumn.

Leaves are changing colors, Day light Savings Time will end.

I have begun my Halloween preparations.

This is Dystonia Awareness Month.  And to think you almost missed that…I have been aware of TD (Tardive Dystonia) for years now.

I have many things to be grateful for because of TD: My ‘Shedding “Spaz” status’ handle (I can talk to you here annd you’re not distracted by my spastic presence); I have saved a small fortune on dinning out, afraid to attract too much attention in restaurants (admit it, the people that are a little different always get your attention); I have become intolerant of unkind judgements of others toward the “imperfect”.

Not all aspects of Dystonia are the same.  Imagine waking up in the morning, getting out of bed, stretching and looking down at your toes…and that will be your pose…for the balance of your waking day.

You can be sure that the buttons of your shirt are well done, belt perfectly positioned…but unable to lift your head to look in the mirror; apply your makeup with the mirror flat on the counter, put on the finishing touches to a lovely face that no one will be able to see.  “Remember to make eye contact during the interview, hon.  Oh, sorry.  You’ll be great.”

That would be Cervical Dystonia…for some.

I have the distinction of being a lunatic and as such have been given “mood stabilizers”, “anti-psychotics” for years (read that decades) and I ‘suffer’ with Neuroleptic Induced Tardive Dystonia; at times I can’t talk, the vocal chords are constricted and don’t move, whereas my face doesn’t stop moving, my left arm and hand look as if I’m working on some elaborate chord progressions for my next ‘air-guitar’ concert.

Upshot, read the warnings on your Rx’s, talk to your doctor.  Some are born with Dystonia, some acquire it and like many motion disorders, there are treatments.

If you have been diagnosed with Dystonia, run do not walk to a neurologist that specializes in movement disorders and find someone (professional, friend, a chat room) and talk…self-induced isolation and demeaning oneself is not the answer.

There are times when I stop the jitters; when I sleep, when I’m concentrating on a project and when I meditate.

The best definition I have found for meditation is:

Sit softly in the silence between the noise of your thoughts.  This is meditation.  This is real love.

I have been away from WP for some time, caught up in my own muck and mire of depression and self-pity.  One of the “projects” that takes me out of myself are the few Vlogs I’ve done.  I have another to tape and post this afternoon and in honor of Dystonia Awareness Month, this will be sans the motion editing.  Be warned.

peace out pilgrims.

be ever so kind to yourselveskindness

Image from unknown photographer posted Feb. 2014, titled “Kindness”.  If anyone can identify the artist or the post please let me know so that I may properly credit and please, all, follow this person, he has the eye and the heart of a true artist.

AN END TO MAGICAL THINKING

I’ve given up on winning the lottery as a major portion of my retirement program.
I no longer allow myself a weekend to complete an entire redo of lawn, complete with water feature, on our 1 acre back yard.
The next great American novel will not be mine.
The octogenarians won’t be leaving the house next week.
I’ll never pass for forty-five again.
The SWMBO and her family will never learn to appreciate my little contributions.
There just comes a time when you have to be practical, realistic (not to be confused with anything Kardasian) and accept the world and everything in it for what it is.
I’ll budget the meager pension, put in the 3 or 4 hours-a-day that I can with mower or shovel, struggle to find a few words for this blog, continue to give up more space for the octogenarian’s pleasure, will look like seventy long before I get there and smile and nod when the SWMBO is praised for her sacrifices.
Yes, I’ll just have accept things as they are, no more fanciful thoughts, bring an end to the magical thinking.

It’s a pity that neither the SWMBO, the octogenarians, their elder son (J the Pompous, now staying with his parents for a few weeks) can’t fit on the tree stump (it’s a single seat stump you see) nor have the desire, by the weed garden next to the culvert that gurgles with the rush of the night’s rain.
Round and about the one seat stump, the feral gerbils (Jerry the Swift and Curious, Henrietta the Lovely and Oscar the Huge and Laughing) we all wait for the bright light of early morning; me with my oh-so-strong black coffee and gerbils with the peanuts I almost thought I might eat.
If you listen with a special ear the sounds around that stump it resemble the sound of an orchestra preparing for a concert and this concert is like no other.
The dragon flies buzz about until they light on the rocks bordering the weed garden to dry their wings; light breezes blow that spin the umbrella of the delicate lady whirligig and then the wind section rises up…through the leaves and the branches.
This morning’s piece was a prelude to Autumn, with the tell-tale hint of a crackle in the leaves as colours changed, the shuffling on the lawn of the leaves that had already fallen. Soon the beautiful long low notes of the grasses and vines join in.
With both hands around my cup, afraid to spill a drop, miss a note or overlook a single movement of all around me. The morning’s breeze to unseen conductor entered from the east today and was soon prepared to make his exit when a choral ensemble, heavenly voices, entered.
If I had half an ear I would have said they were pitch perfect, singing in a language for some distant land. Each note, word painted pictures of beauty and compassion, love unimaginable.
Terry (the Swift and Curious) and I looked around for the origin and all I saw, thought I saw, was the reflection of the morning light in the dew. As I watched the glistening lights on grass and flowers, they blinked and winked and danced about and for an instant here a moment there from behind the lights…a smile.
All about tiny, beautiful, no, wondrous creatures that soon, too soon, rode away on dragon flies,
No more magical thinking for me; its just a shame that so few people see the world as it really is.
Peace out pilgrim

SUPERMAN…I ain’t

In my best impression of Walter Mitty, I can picture myself a grand hero, loved, no desired, by a bevy of women, envied by men of every rank and with great humility I wave it all off. Like a stoic monk I walk toward the distant mountains.
Right.
With this picture in my mind I laced up my walking shoes and promised to stop for coffee at the nearest Starbucks. A maintained a brisk pace as far as the entrance to the subdivision; a hundred yards further I nearly collapsed; bent over I gripped my knees praying that I would gain as much control over my breathing. I was, at that point, 3.5 miles from my destination (4 miles one way).
I knew I was going to have to rethink my objectives and without doubt kill the Walter Mitty in me.