I find that I pray a lot these days. I'm not really an organized religion person (aside from my sophomore year in high school when I became uber involved with the youth group of my local church but I'm pretty sure it was 99.9% about a boy).
But now I'm praying for another reason. I'm begging for relief.
My life is hard right now.
I'm barely getting any sleep so I don't even have the right mindset to deal with it.
It started 25 months ago. It started when Clarence was diagnosed with cancer. We fought hard for almost eight months, surgery, chemo, trip to New York and another surgery, three days a week driving six hours for radiation, another trip to NYC for another surgery, and then we lost him. To an aneurysm. Since that time we've lost two more of our beloved animals, my dad was diagnosed with cancer, we were given full custody of a 17 year old girl, we have a 15 year old pit bull with severe dementia, and a 17 year old dog in a wheel chair who literally can never be left alone.
The only time we leave the house is when we can take Seven with us, so that pretty much means that occasionally we get to go to my parents house. In the last eight months we've got out once and that's because we got a babysitter. Yep, we got a babysitter for our dogs.
It's 5am and I've been up since 11:30pm. She doesn't want to sleep at all tonight. I know my sleep deprivation is making everything harder. I'm more emotional, more sensitive, I'm grumpy...
I pray everyday for it to get easier. I pray for a break. I pray for the well being of my family and friends. I pray for the animals and their families in the two pet cancer support groups I belong to, I pray for the things I am grateful for. And that's a long list.
It's weird: life is rough right now, but I also love my life. I just don't love what is happening right now.
Watching anyone you love get old is hard. Watching your animals get old, not knowing if they will be here in a month or a week, it's hard. Feeling like every single person around you thinks you should euthanize your animals is hard. Second guessing yourself morning, noon, and night is hard.
I don't like not knowing what to do.
My girl. We adopted her when I ws 26 years old. God, I was a baby. Tom and I had been dating for eight months. We moved in together fairly spur of the moment - driving around, saw a cute house for rent in a cute neighborhood, said "oh wouldn't that be fun", broke both of our leases, and moved. Best decision ever, but it was a crap shoot. It coulda gone all sorts of wrong. A couple of months in we decide we want a dog. I don't remember ever worrying "who will take this dog if we don't work?" We just went and got a dog. A puppy.
My puppy is 17 now. I'm 43. When did that happen? We've been married for 15 years. I've had this girl in my life longer than I've been married. I've had this girl longer than I've had my house, longer than I've had my job. She's been here for every foster dog who came and went. She's been here for every dog we decided to keep and she was here through the loss of six of them. She's been here, waiting for me, ready to drench me in kisses every time I come home. She is a rock in my life. She is tough, ahe is independent, and she is stubborn. I honestly don't know if she will ever give up. And I do not know how to choose that for her.
She can't walk and she absolutely hates that. She is pissed as hell. But she's eating, she's pooping and peeing. She barks a lot. She whines some. She goes to physical therapy twice a week, acupuncture once a week, she takes like six meds that we need a chalk board to keep track of. The very most she sleeps at a time is five hours and that's rare. Tom and I take turns sleeping from night to night. Tonight is my night to be up. Probably not a good idea to write while sleep deprived.
I do not know what to do. So I pray. I pray for answers. I pray for help. I pray for guidance. I pray for relief. I pray for her to go to sleep and just not wake up. I whisper in her ear that it's ok for her to go if she needs to. But either she's not ready or she's not listening. And God's not listening. And if he is he's being way too subtle with his feedback for someone so sleep deprived.
So I zombie walk my way through my days. I try to be present for the teenager and for my husband and for my parents, my brother, my friends. But I'm doing a piss poor job at it.
So for now I try to enjoy every minute I have with her. I try to commit these moments to memory. I try to inhale her smell, memorize the feel of her ears between my fingers. I try to say "I love you so, so much." as often as I can. I try to be upbeat. I try to make her life fun when I can.
She's a dog, she will never ever know the joy she has given me. She will never know the insane amount of love I have for her. And she will never know the ungodly hole she will leave when she goes...