That’s an image of my Dad’s heart with a 99% blockage in a main coronary artery. We came FAR too close to losing him last Wednesday. Thankfully when the local hospital realized they couldn’t help him, they life-flighted him to Columbus where he had two stents placed in that artery. He’s doing fine now and I’m back home in Michigan again, but I’ll never forget the paralyzing fear I felt when I got the phone call about this. I was told about the “widow maker”, and that my dad could die at any moment. I said, “No, you can’t have my Daddy!” I was reduced to a child, and felt like my whole world was falling apart again, too soon after we lost my sister’s husband several weeks ago. At least we’re blessed that this family crisis had a happy outcome though.
Now, of course, I’m worried about the third crisis to come — you know the adage that bad things come in threes, right? I watch my 17-year-old cat Libby in decline daily from her kidney disease and other age-related issues, and wonder if her death will be what comes next. All this stuff just makes my heart ache. I’ve not had to deal with so much grief (and the expectation of more grief to come) for a long time, and I’m having a really hard time. We’re all still grieving for my sister and her girls, who are having a difficult time adjusting to life without Ron. Their grief is sometimes expressed as anger and lashing out, and that makes it even harder to watch. I also have lots of guilt for not being close enough to spend time with my parents. And I have to admit to a bit of jealousy that my sister gets to spend time with them often. I don’t want to be that person. I love my sister dearly. My husband is in a similar situation with his mother suffering from Alzheimer’s and being 300 miles away. We both have siblings who live near our parents, but that’s another source of guilt. We’re glad to know someone is nearby to help them, but we both feel guilty for too much responsibility being put on our local siblings. OMG, it just goes on and on!
I know all these feelings are normal but that doesn’t give me much comfort. I’m guessing a bit of counseling would be helpful right now, but just the thought of the emotional pain I’d have to endure in those sessions keeps me from doing that. I’m hoping that writing about it will help me release some of the pent up emotions and be a form of self-therapy. I want the old Kim back. The Kim who found joy in reading and taking photos, who could solve any problem without crumbling into a puddle of tears. I’m angry that life has been so hard lately, and that there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight. And it doesn’t help any that we’re entering the dark season around here: Daylight savings time ends this weekend. Nice.
— Now here’s the non-depressing part of this post, for those of you who haven’t already run away screaming from the sadness here —
However, the one thing that DOES help me forget my worries for a bit is watching the seasonal transition of birds in our yard. Our Juncos have come back in the past couple of weeks, and I saw our first White-Throated Sparrow of the year just yesterday. (The pic above is from last year though.)
There was a Yellow-Rumped Warbler here last week, and a Hermit Thrush has been hanging around too. Those two are special visitors to our yard and it’s so exciting to catch a glimpse of them in the bushes.
A Cooper’s Hawk swooped in and made an unsuccessful grab for one of our birds yesterday. I can’t help but be glad for the escapee when that happens, but I realize the hawk needs to eat too. I just wish he’d do his killing back in the woods where I don’t have to see it. I’m sure there are plenty of mice back there….fewer crunchy parts, hint hint, Mr. Hawk.