Monday, June 03, 2013

When I think of Home...

A little over a week ago, Yahoo -- one of my dogs -- bit me. It happened when the vet was cutting off some hair on Yahoo's tail so she could scrape off a sample of the skin that was infected and have a lab test determine what was wrong. Yahoo didn't like it and -- coupled with the stress of unfamiliar surroundings -- manifested her protest by biting my hand, as I was the one holding her down.

The bite wasn't that bad that it would require stitches, but it sure was painful. And though the vet assured me that a little delay in the dog's rabies shots was nothing to worry about (Yahoo and Perdita's shots were due in January -- four months ago), I was nonetheless a bit concerned. I knew of two cases in which the persons -- a 5-year-old boy and an elderly man -- bitten by rabid dogs eventually died, so that was at the back of my mind despite reassurances from at least two doctors.

The notion of observing Yahoo for two weeks to see if she becomes rabid and dies -- and thereby sealing my fate -- did momentarily have an effect on me. Well, what if Yahoo turned out to be rabid and I failed to get anti-rabies shots on time? For about two days, I tried to live as if I had only two weeks left on earth. Have you ever done that? It's amazing how simplified things become.

But then, it was short-lived. My wound healed faster than I expected, and in less than a week, the swelling had subsided and I could feel only a slight pain around the wound. A plaster facilitated the closing up of the wound in a week's time (I still put a plaster daily till now to avoid the possibility of anything hitting the wound or my hand making sudden movements that may result in the wound's opening up again). Obviously, I no longer feel like I'm a "dead woman walking."

Nothing out of the ordinary can be observed of Yahoo as well, so that's that.

However, four people we knew died in the past three weeks. My best friend's mother passed away less than two months ago. And an online acquaintance's daughter also met a fatal accident days ago, I was told. Needless to say, I have been reminded of the reality of death more often lately. "Morbid" is how some people regard dwelling on things pertaining to one's inevitable death, but for me such an attitude simply shows a lack of supernatural perspective and perhaps an excessive attachment to the things that preoccupy us in our day-to-day affairs.

I was once more reminded of the inevitability of being taken Home at some point when I visited Barbara Curtis's blog a couple of days ago. She was one blogger I felt a particular closeness to even though we were not personally acquainted. It's probably because she was quite open about her life, her struggles, triumphs and things and people she held dear -- and was also so generous in her advice to readers who sought her help -- that it's hard not to feel that one knew her already by just reading her blog regularly. Barbara died unexpectedly in October 2012, leaving behind her spouse and children, four of whom have Down Syndrome and therefore depended more on her. Her husband, Tripp, continued the blog and in one post related the difficulty of marking Mother's Day for the first time without the mother who kept the family together. In that post, however, was a line that struck me:

"Grief blocks my ability to see God, but I shouldn't conclude He is absent." 

Is this not relevant to other situations we've found ourselves grappling with? It doesn't need to be the death of a loved one, but anything deeply upsetting that has caused us much pain. I know I've felt as if God left me to fend for myself and deal with suffering on my own. And during those times, sayings such as "Every cloud has a silver lining" sometimes don't make a dent at all. But for some reason, that statement above sounds comforting. I'll be sure to memorize it and take it to heart, for I know it will be needed at one time or another. If not by me, then by friends or family who could use the assurance that spiritually cloudy days don't mean the Son isn't shining.


ignored_genius said...

Death is both wonderful and mysterious. a lot of times we bask into thinking and living as if we'll live forever until death of others remind us of reality and starting to fear our own coming too soon. But being aware that it will come inevitably, we start doing great things again.

sunnyday said...

I agree, Ignored G. Coming to terms with the reality of death -- not with dread but with hope that after it comes something better -- would really help one live life more meaningfully and with more purpose, too.

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