In caring for pets, I have allowed a new kind of fear into my system: “What happens when it’s time for the kittens to go? Can I take the pain? Can I even make the decision to euthanize them when the time comes?”
These are the same thoughts that sometimes keep me awake at night, when I am most vulnerable, when fear somehow manages creep in to torment me: “What happens when the time for me to lose members of my family and close friends to death? Will I be able to withstand the pain?”
These are the kinds of thought that make me want to travel to my folks, and hug them and just wanna be with them. These are the very same thoughts that sometimes make me wish to still the moment, to make the present stay as it is. For though the present does not hold the fruition of my dreams, it has all the things I hold dear — family, friends, dreams, hopes, my pets. With the people and pets I love — alive and breathing — the here and now may well be perfect.
But just as soon, a voice reminds me to have faith in Him, to understand and accept that death is a part of life. That, without death, there may also be no life.
With that thought, I extinguish fear and I begin to breathe freely again. What will be, will be. Just enjoy the present. For all I know, I may well be the first to go.
Indeed, when we love, we make ourselves vulnerable to heartaches and pain. In caring for people and pets so much, we offer our hearts to be broken. And while our pets and the people we love might never want to break us, they will. Sometimes, simply by breathing their last.
Many times, I tell myself not to care so much to avoid pain. But that would be like killing myself to avoid dying.
So I guess I should simply live in the moment. Hug my pets and enjoy their company. Love my folks and friends, and share life with them. And to the rest of humanity — share a smile, some good deeds, and bits of myself.
Who knows, perhaps in doing what I ought to do, the inevitables will not scare me so.
//Sherma E. Benosa
September 28, 2011; 11:25am