Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Tipping Point...

Yesterday, I told you a bit of the back-story and spoke of the month of events that seemed to be the tipping point in my life, the proverbial straw; after which, 7 months later I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. I just found my journal entry about that month:

December 29, 1991 (age 17)

My bunny rabbit died on the 26th. I know you're probably saying, "Oh big deal. It's just an animal." Right? Wrong! When you become attached to anything, whether it be an animal, a person or a doll, you love it when it dies or is lost, and you feel pain. It's natural. I loved my bunny and in her own way I think she loved me too.

To have something you love die is one thing but watching it die is another. For five years I took care of her. I fed her. I cleaned her cage. I trained her. I talked to her. I confided in her and I loved her. I did everything I could to make her life enjoyable. Yet when she collapsed on the floor of her cage and shrieked in pain, I could do nothing. When she needed my help the most, was when I was most helpless. Why is it that when loved ones need us most, we never know quite what to do?

Even if I had known what to do, it wouldn't have mattered because within minutes my one and only pet was gone forever.

This last month has been the most trying month of my life. Everything that could've happened did. It started with a phone call from my brother who was away at University. He called to tell us that he was on his way into the operating room for emergency surgery on his hand. "I slashed some tendons" was all he told us. And so we waited by the phone for hours to hear of the surgery and the events leading up to it. Late that night, he told us the whole story and we cried. We went to bed that night and didn't really sleep. We wanted to be there with him when he needed us most but couldn't.

Early the next morning, the phone rang again. We all expected it to be my brother, but it wasn't. It was my grandmother. In her broken English and amid sobs and tears she explained that my Grandfather was "no parla, no parla"---not talking. He had had a stroke during the night. My parents rushed out of the house, leaving me alone. They arrived, the ambulance arrived, but it was too late. He had also had a massive heart attack and they couldn't revive him. He was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead.

Then the family was notified. My mother called me. I was all alone. No one to hold me and comfort me and tell me it was all right. My parents didn't come home until late that evening, so I spent the day at a friend's place. I had no family around--no one who knew my Papanonna and knew exactly how I felt. That week lasted forever, with daily funeral showings and finally the actual funeral, four days after his death.

I felt bad for me and bad for my father but I especially felt bad for my grandmother. She sat by my grandfather's bedside until the ambulance arrived, and watched him die. She was unable to do anything for this man when he needed her the most.

About a week and a half later, my mother's gerbil died. He was a friendly little rodent who brought out the soft, sensitive side in my mother. One we may not see again.

Shortly thereafter, my father had to have surgery done on his eye. He had a cataract. Since then, I've had to run all the errands and do all the driving, since my mother doesn't drive. Needless to say, I was really looking forward to my Winter Holidays. "Nothing more can happen," I reassured myself. Then, four days ago, my bunny died, which is where this all began.

tall penguin (who cried a lot typing this)

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