Welcome to my blog!

I'm a divorced mom with a teenage daughter and two pre-teen sons. Writing is my first love. When I'm not writing or working or playing taxi to the kids, I also toy with photography and baking.

So, basically, my camera rarely sees the light of day and my mixer stands in the corner in permanent time-out.

To see some samples of my writing, you can check out my website: www.csrickard.com

Monday, June 8, 2009

Difficult choices

I was engrossed in writing a scene for my novel when my sister called. I answered and heard a slight pause before she responded. I knew something was wrong before I heard her voice. Silence often times carries intense emotions, but most people never take the time to listen and feel them.

She choked a short hello followed by another pause.

I waited a bit longer before asking, "What's wrong?" 

"I don't know what to do about Soda." 

Sodapop is my sister's cocker spanial mix. They got him 14 years ago. The past few years have really taken a toll on his body. He's down to only a couple of teeth in his mouth, he has arthritis in his joints, and the past year he's struggled with incontinence

The vet just informed her that his kidney is only functioning at 25%. To compensate, she'll need to give him a liter of fluid twice a week. The only way to do this is have someone hold him still while she injects the fluid using a needle and IV bag.

My heart fluttered as my memories faded to my black lab, Jasmine. We rescued her when she was 4 months old. Jasmine died two years ago from cancer. She didn't show any signs of problems until one Saturday when she didn't seem able to get up or move at all. We ran her to the vet ER and was told of the cancer. It was a common illness in labs, one in which blood vessels weaken and burst and the dog bleeds internally. 

She died six hours later on her 11th birthday.

"What would you do if it was Jasmine?"

I let out a long sigh. "I don't know. It's hard. He's a part of the family. I'm also one of those people who will always choose quality over quantity. He's old. He's lived a long and wonderful life with a family who loved him and never abused him. His body's been wearing out over the years. If I were him, would I want to be held down by my family and injected with a needle twice a week? If so, what does that buy him? Eventually the kidneys will stop functioning. He has a physical body. It wasn't meant to last forever. While it would be difficult, I think I would warn the kids that he's too old and his body won't last much longer. And this isn't just because he's a dog. It's pretty much what happened with Grandma."

My grandmother's kidneys stopped functioning and she refused dialysis. She had lived her life and was ready to die. It took about 2 years longer than the doctor's expected, but she finally passed away this past November.

"I know." She was quiet for a bit. I let the silence hang. Sometimes not saying anything can be as important as saying the right thing. She took a deep breath and exhaled. I could hear one of my nieces in the background. "Well, I gotta go." She sounded more like herself.

"Okay. I'll be home all night if you want to talk."

I hung up the phone and turned back to my laptop. I stared at the text, but my mind wouldn't enter the scene. I closed MS Word and went looking for some pictures of Jasmine. 


Anonymous said...

This is writing AND story telling...nicely done.


Christa said...

Thanks Jon