Grateful

My feet are healing well and I’m going to start a new assignment next week. Being a CNA doesn’t pay much, but I can always find work. The work itself isn’t perceived as valuable; the pay reflects that. But I know I’m needed, and most of the time the people I’m actually helping are glad to see me.

My friends here have been so supportive and kind since I got back that I know I made the right decision. My generous friend Susan, who is giving me a safe, comfortable and stress-free environment to heal, has reminded me of that, urging me to not feel guilty or responsible for the damage to my feet. She suggested that holding on to that kind of guilt and misplaced responsibility actually holds the damage in, arrests the healing process. We know, all of us, that what we tell ourselves is the truth becomes the truth. She pointed out the folly in my continued thinking that I had damaged my body, even if I didn’t mean to. What I need ed to be thinking, and saying, was that I was healing my body. Such a simple thing. And so profound.

So here it is. I am healing myself, physically, mentally, and spiritually. I am grateful for this opportunity to concentrate on the healing process, on being present in that process. Thank you, Susan, for being kind enough to help me help myself. Oh! And for letting me spend time with Harmony. I miss my animals so much. It’s one of the things that caused me such personal pain on the Trail. Being here, with Harmony, has help me relax and appreciate the present, relieved the stress of trying to figure out what I’m going to do. Harmony has accepted me completely, just as I am, and that warmth does more good than any pill from the doctor.

My landlord has welcomed me back and is looking forward to my return once I have a regular work schedule. He says we’ll worry about rent after he gets back from a trip up North in a couple of weeks. I can pick up Annie and take her back home. Max will come home, he assures me.

It’s hard for me to understand the generosity of the people I have in my life now. My brother and his wife, Susan, my landlord, Richard, Donna at Common Ground, so many people here who are welcoming me home. It’s hard for me to grasp that this is home, but it is true. I haven’t been so sick for a place, for certain people, in my life. When I came back, the familiar streets were unchanged and indifferent. I felt I could look down and find my last footprint and simply step into it. Life would continue with or without me, but the footprint was there for me to step into and begin moving again. Oh, it’s good to be home!

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2 responses to “Grateful

  1. I am glad to hear of you finding comfort with animals. Something happened while you were on the trail that I hadn’t mentioned yet. I know I have mentioned my dog, Shadow, before. While you were on the trail, he became very sick, and in fact, we thought he might be dying. For close to a week, we thought he was going to die soon, and I had to start trying to come to terms with the fact of him dying. I know that he will, as I know that all animals do, evnetually. But it became a very difficult thing for me to do….come to terms with it, and it caused me great sadness. He was very sick, and they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him. At one point, they thought he had cancer. But there is a good ending to this story….He in fact did not have cancer, but he had heartwornms, which was treatable, even though they did damage to his heart. So, we are getting a little more time with him, which I am thankful for. Your words about animals made me think about that.

    There are people out there who have animals, and to them, those animals are replacable. My mom is an example of this. She had a beagle who died, and when that beagle died, she simply got another one. To me, Shadow is not replacable. I doubt I will get another dog after he does in fact pass on. Or, I should say, I don’t know that I will get another dog. I was not so much of a “dog person” per se before Shadow. I never hated dogs, but I never had any drive to get a dog. I fell in love with Shadow when I first saw him, and from that point on, I had to have him. But I don’t know that any dog will ever hit me that same way. I wouldn’t get a dog just to have one, since I’m not so much a “dog person” as I am a person who loves my dog Shadow.

    He’s definitely special. I don’t think I could ever really “replace” him…I don’t think I’ll ever come to know a dog I love as much as I love Shadow. But I am just enjoying the time he has on the earth. And I guess I should probably start thinking about and conditioning myself for the time when I have to let him go, because I know I will. He will die eventually, as all living things do. Although, there is still a chance he could out live me, even. I know this. None of us are given any guarantees as to how long life will last. My only wish as far as that is concerned, really, is that I live long enough until my little girl can take care of herself sufficiently. I have come to terms and faced the unfortunate reality that there really is no one else for her who can care for her and is willing to on the level that I have. So I want to definitely be here until she can take care of herself, at least.

  2. katiewritesagain

    Reta,
    My pets have all been very special to me. I can tell stories about each one that make me laugh and cry. I let animals find me-I think it’s better. I know what you mean about people replacing animals. I think sometimes thye have them because they think they’re supposed to, or something. I spend time with each one, and when they have left me, I grieved. I still grieve. That’s why I let them come to me. When it’s time, they find me. Just getting one because another one died doesn’t make sense to me. But then, our society says we’re supposed to do certain things, be a certain way. People are often “replaced” for the same reason. I don’t have a partner, or anyone special in my life. I can’t just “find someone else” because i’m alone. If there is someone out there, eventually they’ll find me, I suppose.
    Thanks for reading and sharing. I’m glad Shadow has gotten better. You’re also right that being aware of their mortality, and our own, allows us to enjoy the time we have with them.

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