I surreptitiously dab my eyes again as the vet tells me that I can stop giving her the antibiotics that were just prescribed just 2 days ago. She points at the gray blobs on the x-ray images on the small outdated monitor and keeps talking.
I try desperately to focus, to pay attention, to come up with that right questions, or at least that one that I know I’ll be kicking myself later for not asking about.
I feel confused, overwhelmed, shaky. I believe “freaked out” is the medical term for my condition.
The tears come, partly in response to this, partly in an unreasonable anger at the need for this third visit in a week, for the vagueness of the answers, for the lack of certainty. I desperately want some certainty right now, something to hold on to.
How can I find the strength to deal with this?
My fur baby, Mippy, is sick. She’s a gorgeous 11-year-old domestic long-hair who’s been overgrooming to where her back paws, instead of sporting her usual glorious pantaloons, stick out like sickly sticks.
After getting a long-acting steroid shot, she got a nasty cold and then 2 days ago he stopped eating, and her breath started coming out in a tortured wheeze. And now they’re pointing at a suspicious mass in her belly.
“This is too much, I can’t do this…” runs through my head.
“I’ll send a referral for an ultrasound” says the doctor.
I’m wrung out in a way I wasn’t even aware of. Mip’s been my constant companion, the often silly and occasionally demanding buddy of my home life.
She likes to sit on the arm rest of my sofa when I’m there and purr up a storm, and she comes running to meow along with me whenever I break out in song.
“Where does the strength to go on, to keep going come from?” I ask myself, as I get back into the car and head toward home, exhausted, trying to avoid the potholes in the poorly paved dusky city roads.
And then it hits me. We make the strength, we choose it. And that is what I must do.
The strength to go on Isn’t a thing that falls on us from out of the sky, and it’s not a latent virtue to summon up. It is a choice, an active decision, an in-drawn determined breath.
Strength is a verb.
And strength can look like crying. But then it also looks like taking a deep breath, letting it out slowly, and choosing to take the next step.
Yours in Strength,