Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Best of 09: Moment of Peace

Best of 2009 Blog Challenge prompt for today:

December 8th: Moment of Peace. An hour or a day or a week of solitude. What was the quality of your breath? The state of your mind? How did you get there?

Ironically, this question has been stressing me out.

I don't have a lot of peaceful moments. Believe it or not, my mind is a very busy place (even if my body is, well, not.)

One moment that keeps coming up for me is when my grandma was dying. My mom, brother and I had been at her house for 24 hours. A nurse and social worker from our local Hospice Care came to talk to us. They explained the process of dying, explained what was happening, how to keep my grandmother comfortable, and assured us that she wasn't in pain. We had spent the previous day terrified that we were doing everything wrong. We were afraid that we weren't doing enough (whatever that means). We were afraid that we couldn't leave her alone. That we couldn't relax.

But they took away all of our fears. They told us that we couldn't do anything wrong. She would go when she was ready.

It was like they flipped a switch in us. We relaxed, we breathed, we let ourselves smile. We ended up having a great night. We watched TV, we ate junk food, we laughed. The people from Hospice Care told us that the sounds of us having a good time would probably be reassuring to my grandmother. Even her dog, Rachael, who hadn't left her side in days, came out and sat with us for awhile.

The nurse had told us that it would probably be a few more days before she went, but, of course, she passed away that night. (She never was one to play by the rules.)

It's a little weird to think about, but that night was a good night. My brother, mom and I bonded. My grandma was able to hear us having a good time in the other room. It was... peaceful.

Now, enough about my sweet dead grandma and let's get back to me.

(If that offends you, you obviously didn't know her, because she'd think that was hilarious.)

Yesterday I saw that the weather was supposed to get even colder today, so I decided to buck up and take Bonnie and Hannah to a park a block away. I put on a ridiculous amount of layers, shoved my pants into my boots, and wore my 75 cent gloves from Target.

(Those gloves weren't warm *at all*... shocking.)

We got to the park and started to run around and, sure enough, the dogs started limping with frozen paws.


I fought the urge to rub that fact in their little doggy faces (because I'm mature), and we headed home. When we got to the front yard the girls started to make doggy angels, so I figured maybe they were fine and could handle a little more outside time. Then they started to walk on three legs again, so we scratched that idea.

APPARENTLY Bonnie has forgotten this whole experience because she has spent much of the 5 degree day sitting in the backyard, staring at the kitchen window. I think that she knows I'll see her there, and she's trying to convince me that she's tough enough for a walk.

She then comes inside, burrows under my blanket, and spends the next 15 minutes licking the ice off of her paws.

Yeah, nice try Bonnie. Nice try.