Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Anticipated Loss

She squints when she sees me carry the tiny bottles toward her. I murmur something soothing and tilt her head back, gently pull the eye open and a single drop of medicine drips inside. She blinks a couple of times, I tell her she's a very good girl and then she gets a treat.

Apart from these brief exchanges, life has returned to normal. She curls up behind my knees to sleep. She bounces gleefully when I get home from work. She curls up to sleep peacefully in her green chair while I work across the room. She eats Sprout's kibble when she think I'm not looking and wags her tail proudly when she nibbles at her own.

I'm going to lose her someday, I thought last week, thoughts lingering on the morbid reality. While relationships do re-adjust after such a realization, memories linger. I vividly recall standing next to Dad's bed in the CICU when I was in college, timing my breaths with his as they were controlled by the ventilator. I stared into blue eyes and gripped his hand tightly, both reassured and pushed into grief by the way his fingers held mine. I remember swallowing against nausea while I lived in Mom's hospital room, watching the baggies of blood and fluids wind through thin, transparent tubes and into her arm. I would wake and push myself up from the chair that folded flat into a bed. I'd squint into the dim light, holding my breath as I watched and listened and told myself she was OK. She wasn't leaving me. Not yet.

I did the same with Chienne, moving carefully across my blue sheets, trying not to disturb her as I laid my hand against her side so I knew she was breathing.

"I hate the realization that I'll lose her," I told Friend when she called.

"I know," she said, her voice calm and kind. But when the brindled hound goes to bark at passersby or begs for part of my dinner, the worry is nudged a bit further into the background. And while my heart hurts and stomach cramps at the idea of losing her, it's obviously useless to dwell on it now. While I try to do that, I still check on her more, rolling over to smooth her coat and feel her side rise and fall reassuringly.


Amanda@Lady Scientist said...

I'm so sorry. It's hard to adjust after that realization. I hope that she continues to do well and nudges that worry further back in your mind.

DocE said...

I don't let myself go there very often... I become a complete and total basketcase and just get totally overwhelmed. I hear you...

I'm having some of that tonight as I prep little Rattie for his teeth surgery... I just don't let myself think anything negative. I hear you - hugs. Not fun thoughts.

Anonymous said...

i hate when that realisation surfaces.... hugs.

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