Total Pageviews

April 25, 2012


These three stories all happened around the same period of time  



This inexplicable incident happened a few decades ago while struggling to adjust from the financial blow of going from two salaries down to one. It had been a struggle and the stress level rose on this morning I was trying to deal with an overzealous tax collector. He had my post dated cheques but continued to press me for the whole amount, even suggesting that I sell something or get a loan from a relative.  No kidding.

After I told him what he could do with that idea, I sat down and sobbed my heart out.  Unable to see a resolution in that moment, I sent up a prayer asking for help.. 

"Please, just show me that it will all work out."  Something like that.

It just really felt good to release the stress through tears and somehow just asking for help out loud, made it feel like I'd been heard.  I'm not a religious person at all. I do understand and accept that some folks need to gather together once a week to hear a sermon and be uplifted that way - but it's not for me.  Yes, I do believe in a higher power - I'm open to whatever but it's personal.

I went out to the mailbox, always hopeful that one day there would be a letter from a lawyer, advising me that I was the sole heir to a fortune from a forgotten, distant relative.  I know I'm not alone in this kind of thinking.

I quickly flipped through the small pile of envelopes ignoring the obvious, when my eye caught one exception.  It was a long white envelope with an illustration of a beautiful angel in the top right-hand corner.  Beneath the angel the following words were written; "Things will be alright."  

What? I knew immediately that this was the sign I'd asked for though I was profoundly struck by the swiftness of the reply.  Is someone or something really listening?

I was grateful for this and began to feel relief that the burden just might be lifted.  But, who had sent this to me, I wondered.  I scanned the envelope looking for the name of the sender and saw that it had been sent by some church organization that I certainly had no association with. 
Not only was it addressed to someone else, the intended recipient s address was a few hundred miles away.  There were absolutely no similarities in our names or the cities in which we lived.

Explain that one...



I was a new volunteer at our small, local museum.  Funding had finally been provided to build a much needed new one and the construction was well under way when the curator called to invite me for a tour of the site the next afternoon. He instructed me to bring a bag lunch for myself and a hard hat - if I had one. Really? He felt the need to qualify that?  I mean, who has a hard hat just in case?

After recently moving from Toronto to our little 'money pit' in the country, Terry and I had gotten into the nightly routine of going for a drive right after dinner to explore and become more familiarized with our area. Each night we took a different route in anticipation of a new adventure. It was fun and we both looked forward to it.

That evening, as we ventured out to drive along more country roads, I was telling him about the proposed outing for the volunteers to tour the new museum site.  "And get this," I continued as Terry drove along the gravel road kicking up dust behind us.  "He told me to bring a hard hat. A hard hat!" I repeated for emphasis. 'What?"  He answered incredulously.

"Oh, turn down that road!"  I yelled, interrupting him and quickly pointing left just before we drove past the next concession road.  "We haven't gone down this one yet." 

We had gone a couple of hundred yards, still giggling over being asked to bring my hard hat, when I saw something bright orange lying in the middle of the dirt road.  "What's that?"  I asked out loud as Terry slowed down as we approached the object in question. 

We both turned to look at each other as he brought the car to a full stop. "I don't believe this."  "Neither do I."  Terry said in response.  We got out of the car and walked over the hard hat that was sitting square in the middle of the road we had abruptly and spontaneously had turned onto only moments before.

Footnote:  I was the only volunteer with her own hard hat at the site tour the next afternoon.  

Clark was a handsome tabby cat.  My daughter brought him home one day, tucked under her arm. "Can I keep him mom?"  I said yes with one proviso.  Our resident rescue, Bertha, had to accept him.   She did and so we became a family of five.
'Little' Clark
Cool Clark
I named Clark for his large ears which he hadn't grown into yet. They reminded me of Clark Gable's famous ones and it suited him.  I love people names for pets and he was well named.  I used to say that if Clark was a person, he'd be Matt Dillon 'cause he was a real character with a 'cool' persona.

Many years later, I would lose both Clark and Bertha within a year of each other. 

Clark is the focus here.  He suddenly became ill, losing weight, throwing up, urinating, drinking water.  It progressed very quickly and our vet said she could make him comfortable for maybe a year, but then we'd be right back where we were.  I get upset just writing this and the emotions around that difficult decision still upset me to this day.  He was about 17 years old at the time and we felt it had been a pretty long life and certainly a good one.  

We agonized for about an hour, holding him there in the vet's office, stroking his thin body, his large eyes looking up at us every so often.  In the end, we decided to end his life - his suffering.  Just like that and it was over.  They were very considerate of us and of Clark. They let me carry him to the room where the deed was done and on some level Clark knew exactly what was about to happen because his whole system let go as we walked.  Poor guy.

We placed him on a towel on the stainless table and the team stood close by so that once we had finished holding him a while longer and had said our final goodbyes, they would move in and make it happen fast.  No lingering, which would be tortuous.  I would be grateful for that.

I held onto him all the way through the procedure. I held onto him and knelt down to his eye level. As they administered the drugs, I stroked his beautiful ears and told him that I loved him.  I watched as the 'life-force' drained away from his warm body.  It was over and I was absolutely devastated.  

It did not matter how considerate, fast, thoughtful, kind and sympathetic they were, my Clark was gone and I wanted him back.  I mourned him loudly and long. We left with his lifeless body and buried him carefully and lovingly under the Mountain Ash tree at the back of our property, just beyond my bedroom window.

I suffered.  I cried, sobbed, wailed and moaned. For days.  On and on. I would look out at the tree each night and tell him I loved him.  I had an actually physical pain, an ache that just would not stop. I knew it was because of my love for Clark, missing him and feeling so guilty for not doing more to save him.  How could I live with this pain I wondered.  It was relentless. I'd lost pets before, some even tragically. I was heartbroken with each one, but this seemed different.

I continued to torture myself with memories of Clark's playful intelligence. He loved to play hide-and-seek with me. He was good at it too.  He made me laugh and I loved that face. I missed nuzzling those ears.

After several weeks of this kind of suffering, I finally came to terms with ending it.  It was a Friday night and I'd been very busy all week preparing for a big yard sale we were having the next morning.  As I began my nightly ritual of telling Clark that I loved him, I stood there in the window looking towards the Mountain Ash asking him to please tell me that he was okay. I pleaded through my tears, explaining to him, that I couldn't stand the pain of losing him another minute. I needed to know that he was okay.  

I went to bed exhausted, not looking forward to the day ahead. But, as I began to stir in the early morning, I recognized that lucid dreaming state where you seem to be dreaming but feel awake and totally aware of your surroundings. This is what happened...

As I lay there in this 'transition' state, I could see behind my eyes, a rectangular screen that was completely gray. There was nothing inside this gray screen. I looked into it staring hard, trying to figure out why it was there and was I supposed to be seeing something?

I continued to search within the rectangle, my eyes moving steadily across the grayness, from side to side, up and down. And suddenly, way off in the centre of this screen, I saw a tiny dot of something that hadn't been there before. 
I watched it as it came forward, becoming larger as it proceeded towards me. It was a dark dot and then a small circle and then a ball growing larger and it was suddenly blue and it was growing larger and large as it approached.

Suddenly, there was a burst of blue. A brilliant blue fusion had filled the gray screen completely. At the very same time (now try to imagine the following 3 things happening simultaneously) while a booming male voice spoke the words that now had embedded themselves across the blue screen. 


It had all happened instantaneously and I awoke with an immediate knowing that Clark was okay. He was fine. He loved me and I was going to be able to move forward from that moment on without regret or guilt - only love for him. I would still miss him but I was free.  I felt happy and light as I climbed out of bed. The pain was gone. It was really gone.  I went to the window and looked out at his place beneath the tree to tell him, "Thank you Clark. I love you too."

There's more...

We held the yard sale. The spring sun was warm, the sky was blue and cloudless.  Sales were steady and abundant.  It seemed to be a   perfect day, so I thought, and then a neighbour dropped by to tell me that a mutual friend along the road had called to tell her she was ruthlessly pruning her flower garden and wanted to know if I'd like some of the overflow. "Absolutely."  I answered, happily.  Imagine my shock when she arrived with a box filled with.... 'Forget-Me-Nots.'   

No comments: