Lately life has dealt me some big challenges and offered some wonderful gifts. How is it that a day can be full of the highest joys and the deepest lows all in a 24 hour period? That happened to me last week.
I was having a perfectly normal, even nice, day. My dog, Samson, who is my angel with fur, was really sick the night before so I took him to the doctor that morning. They checked him out and took blood. People “oohed” and “ahhed” as they always do with my precious 4-lb. bundle of joy. I continued with a productive day of work, and was talking with my husband at 5:45 p.m. when our world changed.
The voice on the other end of the phone (the Vet) said Samson was very sick and needed immediate attention. She said we could wait until the next morning and bring him to receive an IV all day at their office! But her strong recommendation was that we take him to an Animal Hospital and leave him overnight. She said our bundle of joy was in a ‘very guarded’ state.
It was hard to think, and at the same time, thinking was all I could do! I was in shock and I was fully engaged. I was scared. I was terrified that something could be seriously wrong with our special in-house angel. It reminded me when a friend received a call that his wife and four kids had been in serious accident. He said he has no memory of driving to the hospital and has no idea how he got there.
Granted a dog’s life does not compare to a human’s life. I can totally understand people saying “Jennifer, come on! Get a life. It’s just a dog for goodness sake.” I was one of those people for most of my life. But in that moment, all I could feel was fear.
Surprisingly, I was able to function. I was raised on the mantra “Function first – feel later”. So within fifteen to twenty minutes I was ‘in control’, making decisions, taking charge of the situation. We did go to the hospital, Sam stayed over-night and his diagnosis was kidney disease which could eventually take life. But diet can help and while I am grateful beyond words, I also now am living with the reality that Sam’s days are numbered.
We all know life will end. But until you hear the words “cancer” or “fatal accident” or some other gosh-awful word we pretty much coast through most days. This experience brought home the truth of the deeper you love, the deeper the pain. Some people choose to stay on the periphery of their lives, dodging or evading emotions. They build superficial relationships and live a “safe” life. I used to be one of those people, and at times like this I wonder if my choice to become authentic and fully human was a good one.
This reminder of mortality brought home several truths of which I’ll share in my next blog post.