They say the universe is connected by a spidery cloud, one that resembles the axons in our brains, and human beings might be a part of it. Some part of us may rise from Earth, weave through those interstellar clouds, and connect with a higher consciousness.
But isn't that what my mama and grandmamma have always known?
When I was a child, if I asked a question about the hereafter, the right answer was God.
God knows what we want and what we need. He has always known and always will.
My sweet Zap, the bravest Yorkie the world has ever known, is in kidney failure.
Last week, when Zap was admitted to the hospital, the vet, a long-faced woman with a clipped bedside manner said, "He doesn't have long. When he goes home, enjoy him."
How long is long?
I probably should have asked, "How long is a piece of string?"
How could this be happening? His blood chemistry was fine only a few months ago. Surely if the Lord sees the sparrow fall, He was bound to see Zap, too.
My grandmother always said that if you work hard, and if your heart is true, the Lord will put you on the right road.
I'm finding this road mighty rocky.
Twenty four hours later, Zap came home. His BUN and creatinine levels had
dropped to near-normal levels. A different vet gave a better prognosis. I hoped the Gloom-and-Doom vet would be wrong. And, with fluid therapy, Zap would have a fighting chance.
The next morning, we returned to the vet for a blood test, and Zap's levels had risen a little. The Gloom-and-Doom doc was on duty, and the prognosis was grim.
We were sent home with a prescription diet and IV bags of Ringer's Lactate. The assistant taught me how to administer subcutaneous fluids, which have been done every day.
Tyler's biochemistry degree was a blessing, because I would have never figured out the "math" of the prescription diet and the insulin dosage. Tyler weighs Zap's food and water and keeps a record.
So far, Zap has had good days and bad days.
I haven't left the little guy's side.
I put too much hope into little things: the way Zap rolls on his back when his
blood glucose is just right; the way his ears perk when one of his humans enters
or leaves a room. When he's feeling well, he has a "well dog" look, even at rest. It's a certain kinesis, a kind of energy that brightens from the inside out.
I put too much dread into scary things: if he hesitates before he eats; if he licks his lips (could
mean nausea). The "sick dog" look is unbearable, as if that kinesis has drained away.
It just breaks my heart.
We humans dread endings long before they come around.
Grief is irrational. It ignores logic and threats.
Grief is the desperate soul who climbs out of a window and stands on the ledge. You can't
"talk it down." You can't persuade it to climb back through the window. And yet . . .
grief exists for a reason: it's how we heal.
Still, I have to wonder ... is sadness a kind of selfishness?
But I don't know how avoid it. Even though Zap is curled up next to me, I can sense an absence, one
that's ready to swoop down and catch us all unaware.
If life is a journey, the beginning might be exciting, but the end can slap you to the ground and break you into pieces. In between, we move quickly, looking into the past or the future. But the middle part of a journey--the here and now--is the very best part, and it's irreplaceable.
We shouldn't miss a thing. Not one thing.
I need to trust that God will carry me and Zap where we need to go.
We're never alone. The greater consciousness is all around us.