Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Three O'clock in the Morning...
That's right, here I am, 3 o'clock in the morning, and I can't sleep. The past few days I've been sick with a terrible cold and all I could do was sleep. Now I can't seem to quell the thoughts roaming in and out of my brain. Unable to lull myself to sleep. Might as well just get up and work it out somehow. Then, maybe...
I'm feeling sad. Missing loved ones gone. Today, in particular, I'm missing Pumpkin. One of our precious parakeets. He left us early last fall, just a week after my dear mother passed away. Two losses in tandem. Something strange about it all. I felt so guilty. I missed the signs with Pumpkin. Didn't realize he was ill until it was too late. Though the doc says there probably wasn't much they could have done for him. Still, I feel so guilty. But my mother was so ill and we were taking care of her, sitting by her side. Watching her fade from this earth. When we put together the photo displays for my mom's service there was a photo of my mom kissing Pumpkin. A sweet photo. She loved the birds. Loved my stories about them. Her mother had parakeets all the while my mother grew up, and they brought back fond memories for her. But after she passed away, and we put that photo on the board I discovered the Pumpkin was, indeed, ill. My sister asked me if we should take the photo down. I said no. And yet, a week later, Pumpkin passed away in my arms.
No more will I hear his happy singing. No longer would I see him happily close his eyes and listen to his best friend, Tori, sing to him. Whenever I tucked them in at night I would give him lots of kisses. Not many of the birds let me do this, but Pumpkin did. I'd kiss his belly several times. Take in a big whiff of him. His favorite seeds were anise seeds, and he always smelled of licorice. Ah, Pumpkin. I would bury my nose in his feathers and just breathe him in. I try not to dwell on it, but I miss him.
If only we didn't have to lose the ones we love. I miss my mother every day. Think of her all the time. Think of my father nearly as often. I wish for a sign somehow. A way to know that they are okay, and that they miss us as we miss them.
These past few days while I've been sick with this cold I've slept a lot. Yesterday, I napped in the afternoon. Couldn't seem to stay awake, though I tried to. Google, my little angel of a cockatiel, kept watch over me. He doesn't like to be far from me. So I brought his playgym, food and water with us into the bedroom, and he hung out while I napped. From time to time I would awake to see him sitting patiently on my pillow, just watching me. Ah, the guilt. But, also, how touching. Who would think such a creature could be so sweet and kind and loyal?
While I napped I dreamed of more birds. That there were more birds in more cages in different rooms in the house. Though it wasn't our house but some dream world house with flowing doorways, and bright windows, and my parents and my sisters in tow. I somehow knew that I was dreaming and kept trying to wake, but could not. Then, I felt someone sitting on my bed. Felt them sitting down, then getting up. Then sitting again.
Mom? Is that you? No one there. Not that I could see. But, was it? Please let it be so.
And, tonight, as I lay in bed, sleep just wouldn't come. But the thoughts did come. Sad thoughts. Regret. Anxiousness and worry. About the past, about the future. Dread at the thought of losing anyone else. Then the rationale that with love comes loss, no matter who you are or what kind of life you lead, or how long you live. And being brave enough to love, even though, at some point, you may lose that love somehow, will prove to be worth it. For, what is a life worth if there is no love in it somewhere? No matter how small, or how simple. So, I tried to turn the tide of my thoughts from worry to gratitude. And, truly, that is no small feat when you are in the midst of a worry-tide.
But, worry be damned, I do have blessings in my life. So much to be grateful for. A husband who loves me, and tells me so every day. Sisters I love, and who love me, though we are all so different (and yet, often quite the same). Nephews, nieces, and a great-niece due just about any day. I have wonderful friends and other relatives who have come back into our lives from a distance. In-laws who are kind and sweet and welcome me into their lives. My beautiful birdies who bring me joy and song every day. I have memories of those that have gone, and pictures and music to remember them by. I am blessed. Truly.
But, I'm afraid, it's not that easy. Since I was a small child I can recall lying in bed at night overwhelmed with worry. It was as if I was born worrying. I worried about my sisters. What would happen to them if we had to go to separate schools? What if they were hurt? If someone was mean to them? What about my parents? What if something happened to them? What would happen to us, then? I knew nearly nothing of the world yet, and there I was, spending half my night fretting about what was to come. How could that be? Maybe we really are born with those traits. Maybe I had instincts I wasn't aware of yet. Who knows.
So, I will lay in bed tonight, and in many nights to come, and I will pray. Because it's the best I can do. Pray for those that I love. For those that they love, and on, and on, and on. Eventually, I just pray for God to look after the entire world. Gee, I don't ask for much, do I?
I could try counting sheep, but then I'd start worrying about the sheep, and then the cows, and the chickens, and, well, you get the picture. I've got enough on my mind.