Thursday, September 17, 2015
I am sitting on the patio, caught up in memories, at the moment all bad. It seems like so many things, big and small, have come our way since January 28th, of this year. The day my son died. It was almost like an omen, a bad one in some way. Jeff would have laughed at that, then gotten serious and said something like, "Mom, if I was going to be an omen for you, it sure wouldn't be a bad one." How true.
Still...about six weeks later, we have our last appointment with the orthopedic surgeon who had made such a serious error in judgment with my husband's surgery 2 years ago. He tells us at this appointment in March that, yes, the hip prosthesis has slipped again, his left leg is now 1 and 1/2 inches shorter than his right leg, but there's nothing he can do about it. With that remark, he leaves the room. Period. Doesn't say goodbye, kiss my foot, go to...you know where...nothing. Just leaves. Both our lives have been changed drastically, Richard will be in a walker for the rest of his life, but this man doesn't even say "I'm sorry," he just leaves.
Three weeks later, we have to have our beloved African Grey parrot put to sleep. She had a stroke a year ago, and is now having small seizures. She can no longer talk...she had a fantastic vocabulary, would even answer questions you asked her...but now the time has come to send her over the Rainbow Bridge, where once again she could fly high and be without pain. We had her for over 20 years, from just 4 months old. I still cry when I look at her pictures.
Other little things keep coming up. Not drastic, but not good. I am looking at Jeff's picture and trying to keep the tears away. I keep hearing this little "tweet, tweet, tweet" in my head. I ignore it.
Suddenly this little bird hops on the table. He looks at me, then hops up on my laptop.
"Hey, hold on there. What are you doing on my computer? Get off, now!"
"No, I don't think so. I like it here. What are all these little squares for that you have your fingers on?"
"Never mind. Get off. Where did you come from, anyway? And why am I talking to you? As to that, why are you talking at all?"
"Well, I kept trying to get your attention with my tweets. You were ignoring me, so I thought I'd better come out and talk to you."
"Look, I don't know who you are or why you are here. I am having a pity party, I am enjoying it, and I want you to go away. I can't have a pity party with something like you around."
"A pity party? My goodness, that's sounds awful. Why are you sad? You may as well answer me, because I'm not going away."
"Because my son died. Because I had to put my parrot to sleep. Because our lives have changed so much. Is that reason enough?"
"Well, yes it is. But why don't you think about the positives instead of the negatives? You know...the four books you have published. The fact that your husband is still on his feet and not in a wheelchair. The fact that he can still walk, now that he has his shoe lift. The fact that some people have asked you to help them edit their writings before they submit to a publisher. The fact that you have a contract for four more books. The fact that you are in relatively good health for such an old lady. The..."
"Just wait one minute, bird! What do you mean, 'such an old lady'? I am not old, I just have lived a long time."
"See? That's what I mean. That's a positive, isn't it? You don't consider yourself old, just that you have lived a long time. A very long time."
"All right, that's enough. Just shut up. I get the message. Now fly away, fly away home...or somewhere. Just quit bothering me. And don't...ugh! Couldn't you have waited to poop until you got to a tree? Now I've got to clean it up. Thanks a lot."
"Ha Ha. At least, I didn't do it on your computer. So long for now. The next time I tweet inside your head, you better listen to me, or I'll come visit again."
The bird is gone. I think about what he said, and he's right. Time to stop whining, to start thinking about all that is good and right and positive in my life.
I don't think I am alone in this. "This" being getting caught up in the negatives, and not finding, not trying to find, the positives in our lives. Too many times our lives take a downward turn, and it takes a long time to start seeing the upside of what we have left. Maybe all of us need a 'little bird' to come along and give us a poke or two...or poop to clean up...to jar us out of that pity party mood, and get back to life.
The above scenario happened back during the early summer. At the time, Jeff had been gone for only 4 months, Shadow for less than two, and it still seemed overwhelming. But I have learned to grieve in my own way, but still focus on the positives in my life. And there are many. Now the time has come to get busy with that new book...or books. I still can't make up my mind about writing the sequel to The Freedom Thief first, or the second book in the Beneath the Possum Belly trilogy.
About that little bird: I don't know where he came from. Sometimes my Muse runs off at the mouth, and takes different forms. But for whatever reason, he became a beacon that day, and shone a light down a path I had almost forgotten about, so I am grateful to him...or her...or... whatever. I sincerely hope that all of you have just that kind of "little bird" when the going gets tough, and you need to focus on the positive, instead of the negative. No matter how hard that might be.
Think about it.
Until next time,
That's a wrap.