When Things Fall Apart


june 2, 2013 002

April 9th was my sister Nita’s birthday. This year, the first that she is not with us, I planned to write a little tribute to her. Instead, on that day, I wrote about dealing with my old, ailing dog.

I usually write a happy birthday message to my grandchildren – at least the younger ones – on their birthdays. Before the day arrives, I have generally sent a card with a note, and money for them to choose their own gift. This year, Tommy’s birthday was here before I realized it. I had put my back out while working in the garden. Finding that I did not have my usual prescription for muscle relaxers, I called my daughter to see if I could take the pain medicine prescribed for my old dog Clover. She got out her book to look it up, while noisy chatter reigned in the background. “Excuse the chaos,” she said, “we have all the kids here for Tommy’s party.”

Oh, no!

“Oh, no!” I said, “I forgot! I’m so sorry…”

At that moment, I heard Tommy’s voice urging his mother to hurry, and she (my sweet daughter!) said, “Just a minute, Tommy, Grandma Cindy just called to wish you Happy Birthday…” I had a nice chat with him. Later, I took one-half of one of the dog’s pills. That, combined with ice packs and ibuprofen, relieved the spasm and got me back on my feet.

Last Sunday, Clover died. As I sat with her outside, three trucks drove past filled with revelers on a jaunt around the island. One friend noticed me, and shouted “Happy Mother’s Day!” The others followed suit. As I sat in the grass, tears running down my face, with my hands in Clover’s fur as she breathed her last breaths, two dozen voices shouted good wishes to me from the road.

Later that day, I received the good news that my niece and her husband had just welcomed a new baby girl.

I had planned to be on the road today, on the way down-state for a visit with my family. After a long stretch of working without a day off – while juggling many other jobs and obligations – I was ready to get away. A call this morning changed my plans. I suddenly had to make other arrangements for my little dog while I’m away, rearrange my flight, delay my travel and shorten my trip.

Things fall apart.

Habits; routines; expectations.

The best laid plans.

Once I resigned myself to the unexpected changes, I decided to enjoy this bonus day at home.

When things fall apart, it’s best to just roll with it.

About cindyricksgers

I am an artist. I live on an island in northern Lake Michigan, USA. I have two grown daughters, four strong, smart and handsome grandsons and one beautiful, intelligent and charming granddaughter. I live with two spoiled dogs. I love walking in the woods around my home, reading, writing and playing in my studio.

8 responses »

    • It was hard, but inevitable…and I’m okay with that. She was such a noble dog, it was hardest to see her crippled and in distress. Thank you for your kind thoughts. Yvonne.

  1. Oh, Cindy, your words couldn’t come at a better time. I felt my life was so in order until it exploded last week. I am off the island and do not know when I can return. I’m taking it hour by hour, and trying to find small joys each day.
    My heart hurts for you with the loss of Clover.

    • Oh, Kim, please let me know what I can do to help. I’ve been away this last week, and feel like I am “out of the loop.” Take care of yourself, and thank you for your kindness!

    • It was one of “those” moments, that I treasure for the juxtaposition of sadness and joy, that seem to encompass all life offers, in abbreviated form. Thanks for your good wishes, Tammy!

  2. I’m sorry to be so late with this response to your heart-rending post. I do so hope things are looking up for you. Life, with all its ups and downs, can throw us at times, but be assured that people like me are thinking of you even if you aren’t aware. My thoughts have been with you. I wish I could come and spend a few hours with you at your house on Beaver Island to share the grief, to distract from your pain, and just to sit and get to know you in person. Some day my friend, some day.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s