I’m not really all with it at the moment.
And I apologize for that.
You see, I am currently surrounded by Death. He seems to have a grip on many things, and people in my life at the moment.
I have had Princess, a beagle/mutt since I was about 8. She has always been so sweet and nice. Within the last four years or so, she got pretty sick. She developed Lymphomic tumors that did the tango with her arteries, so apparently they were not able to surgically remove them.
On Thursday afternoon I noticed there was a substantial amount of fresh blood on one of her bath mats she lies on. And then I found the blood on her. The larger tumor that had been steadily growing until it was actually larger than a softball, had burst on one side.
At this point in time, my mom brought up that it was time to start considering putting her down. I hate that. I hate that thought, I hate the idea. I understand it is probably what’s best. But I still can’t help but feel like I am killing her. Literally. What if she survived this? What if she made it through like she has done with everything life has tried to through her. She has been so strong, so tough, so resilient.
I think she has given all she has got, and has nothing left in her to fight. And I can see it in her eyes. Her eyes were a rich, rich deep butter brown. Now, they are clouded over and all I see is fog growing in her eyes. Over the last two days, as we have tried to help ease her, and lessen her pain as we have said our goodbyes, I have watched the life drain out of my puppy.
Once she is gone, there will be four dogs buried in the back yard. They have all lived long, happy lives, and all that remains is… I just can’t even think about that right now.
Matrix, passed away about two years ago. She was a puppy that came to us about 10 years ago. We found out she was a Florida Wolf mixed with a coyote. And she was so beautiful. She ran like lightening and loved every moment to run and play chase (to her, to us it was, “oh, shit! Get her before a car does!”), but she like everyone and everything in this world, and Just like Princess, grew old.
We have raised many wolves in this family, Matrix was the mother to some, and grandmother to most. Strange thing with wolves, they get sick, really easy. And often that sickness manifests via cancer, or something that makes them not want to eat. They eventually stop eating and reject all food. If you attempt force feeding, you know. put it in their mouths, hold the jaw and blow on their nose? They vomit it within five minutes.
I have watched many dogs grow old and die before me. Withering away to bones until there was nothing left. Each time, does not in any way make the next easier. They all hurt. I cry for days.
Worst part is, Thursday afternoon we also received a phone call. My grandfather was falling down and passing out. It had happened twice, but he didn’t want to go to the emergency room. He doesn’t like the emergency room. He, like most everyone, preferred his personal physician. She got him, he said.
Well, she didn’t get this.
He asked my mom not to tell Jan, my aunt. We all knew why. When Jan sets out to get something done, it happens. She makes a call, they do what she wants. It is like a magic power. She put the fear of Southern women into Mike. It was funny as hell, actually. They have never even met, and she is a sweet, sweet women, and it wasn’t even directed at him – but he is terrified.
Anyhow. Grandpa is smart. Very smart. A literal rocket scientist. He has worked with NASA since he was in his twenty somethings. He invented, developed and built the first camera to go into space.
My mom loves her daddy. Grandma… a different matter. A very manipulative, selfish woman.
Whenever Grandpa called, “Daddy! How have you been?” My mother lights up.
Grandma, lights off.
So, hearing about him fall – he knew we all wanted him to go to the hospital. That is why he didn’t want us to tell Jan specifically, anyone else – sure! Jan? No.
Guess what? We called Jan.
Periodically we received updates from Grandpa, until I got a call from Jan that he had given in and called 911 to have an ambulance sent to the house.
We told Grandma to take Molly and go into the bedroom, lock the door and don’t come out.
Molly is one of the puppies from a litter I raised. She so looks the wolf and malamute that is in her. Beautiful. Big, too. But isolated. And an isolated wolf, can be a dangerous one if they feel threaten or their charges feel threatened in any way shape or form. So best to keep her away from the EMTs that would be running in with a stretcher to take Grandpa away.
They live in Titusville, right by the Cape where they have lived since the had my mom and her siblings.
Titusville is an hour and a half away from Eustis (where I live) if you’re just barely pushing the speed limit.
I ran out to the living room, Mom had gotten in her night gown already and was making her bed – “Mom. Put on some clothes. We gotta go.”
We got stuff together and I got things just in case I would be spending the night in the ER with Grandpa. We got the call around 22:30.
I was terrified of leaving Princess alone. What if she bled out while we were gone? What if the dogs kicked her out and wouldn’t let her back in as wolves do when they know one of their own is sick and dying. Pack instinct. She has always been the omega.
I rubbed her ears one last time, just in case, we locked up the house best we could and left. The girls have been left alone probably only a maximum of three times in their entire lives, so I was definitely worried.
We also live in a not so safe neighborhood. Out in the woods. Preferential real estate for not so honest folks.
I was scared that this would be the one night someone tries breaking in. A car is always in the driveway or dad’s car in the yard. They would notice that everyone was gone.
But I couldn’t let that distract me. I had to drive and take care of my mom and Grandpa.
So, I do. It is a long, straight forward drive. Take 46A out to Sanford and make your way to East 46 and just follow it all the way to the coast, and US 1.
We got to the ER and it was surprisingly… empty. Literally except for the admissions nurse. No one was in the waiting room. The only hospital for about thirty miles all around was empty. …Okay?
The actual ER was empty enough the nurse was able to open the door and take us straight to the only bed out of two that was filled. The other was a woman in a self admitted exam bed. Grandpa was still in the EMS transport Stryker.
I have only seen my Grandfather three times in the last ten years. I know it sounds like a number picked out of a hat, but that is just the way it is.
I saw him when Grandma was taken via EMS to the hospital, actually she was in the room just across the hall from him. I was to baby sit Molly.
About six years before that, I saw him at my older brother’s memorial service. That was the first time I had since him in four years.
And I saw him when he surprised me with this very lap top.
When I said, I was going to have nothing to do with my grandmother, I was dead serious. I had enough bullies in my life and family, I didn’t need one with power like her.
But if Grandpa needed me, the entire family knew I would come running. And I did.
We stayed in the room with him for the next five or six hours. Leaving to pick up his truck cause he was darned sure he would be leaving any minute.
At first, they thought it was the start of a stroke. Nope. Maybe the start of a heart attack?
They called up his doctor, and she asked for a CT of his chest, not his head this time.
A very large blood clot in each lung.
The doctor on staff said blood thinner intravenously and he should be out within a day or so. The PR said no way to us later on. His numbers were out the roof, highest he had ever seen. He worked in a lab for 18 years, and now made a big cushion of money as the patient registrar. “Through the weekend, at the least.”
He was right on that. Through the end of next week. Shackled to an oxygen tank for the rest of his life, the damage resulting was so serious.
He is a very large man. Not fat, mind. Tall, and strong. He always towered over everyone, even my Dad who is 6’3″. And now, he is weak, and can’t move without getting dizzy cause his body isn’t processing the oxygen he needs.
We are trying to make it as easy on him as we can.
My grandmother of course, “who is going to take care of me? Your grandfather has a nurse, why don’t I?”
Because you’re a whiny bitch who brought this on yourself. Drugging yourself to the point you pass out on the toiled and fall. Yeah. Sorry. Moving on. There is a lot of anger between us. She did not treat my mother right.
Angel, was a puppy of Matrix’s. She had three litters of her own. She is almost 9-10 years old now. And we think she has cancer. Her skin has turned black and she scratches and cries, and these quiet weak little cries as she begins to reject food.
My father… isn’t quitting smoking. He might be cutting back, (I can only pray) but not quitting. We don’t think he is using his inhaler either that the doctor gave him. Or the e-cigarette.
Next month will be the six year anniversary of my brother Robbie’s death.
My mother, as good as she has been doing lately, is slowly regressing into either Dementia or Alzheimers.
Everyone asks me why haven’t I moved out at 21 yet? Because my mother needs me. She can’t do all the things she could do, not even two, three years ago.
It doesn’t look like any of my brothers are stepping up to the plate, or any of the thirty children she saved and raised away from their abusive and/or drug addicted families.
I don’t get it. (They have lives of their own now?)
I had a life of my own. I have my own sicknesses and degrading health and body to worry about.
But she is my mother. And she gave all she had as much as could, stretched as it was to make sure I reached this age alive.
I have a lot of issues – mental and physical.
I have been bullied to the point of contemplating suicide many times a week.
I have been raped, then made to work with the coworker who did it for two weeks, before his program ended and he flew back to Mexico.
When I refused to excuse him any longer, I found out no worries. He had already told everyone.
But I was the slut who asked for it, and would give it out to anyone.
I had just broken up with my first boyfriend of a year and a half four days prior to my rape. He recruited a friend who was desperate to be popular and accepted. Thing was, I thought he was my friend. And that he liked me. He sure liked to tell everyone how crazy I was and the lovely things I “did” for that Mexican bastard.
No disrespect to the beautiful country, those that live there, or those that have ancestry there – nothing personal- but I will never if I have anything to do with it, step foot in Mexico. I just can’t even stand the thought of it.
The bastard came from a family of a lot of money, and a lot of power.
My boyfriend and even if he wasn’t my boyfriend – my best friend, is a fire fighter. Every day I live with fear and respect that he might not be there to answer the phone when I call. He might not call me to say goodnight and ask me how my day was or tease me about how popcorn whipped my butt and cracked my tooth.
Needless to say, I think even with all the pain and fight to be positive, I think I am strong.
I know I am strong.
I may be surrounded by death at the moment, but I will survive this, and I will do right by those that need me.
I can’t be positive I will be posting the second part to adventure in the wild tomorrow.
It depends if I have to be the one to drive Princess to the vet tomorrow to be put down, then go see Grandpa in the hospital.
I wanted to become a doctor so I can take care of those that need me. I can do it, I just need the know how and tools.
I will do my best. But I can’t make any promises. If I can remember to, or maybe I will use Twitter to help ease the pain, I will update what I can on Twitter.
I am sure not many if any of you care, but for the few, or one that does (even imaginary) I guess, it will make me feel better to pretend someone is reading and cares. And feels my pain.
See you tomorrow.
And I apologize for any typographical errors.