Sunday, February 5, 2012

another lousy intimation of mortality

it's not as if I need reminders of my mortality. but yesterday I woke with a tremendous gutache that took over my day and left me sleeping on the couch for roughly 12 hours. not a big deal, I knew even then, something that would take up my time for a while and then drift away, which it did.

but then I went to sleep & at 1130 my wife woke me, crying. she had yawned and heard an audible "snap" in her jaw and couldn't close it again. I thought she was waking me to tell me someone had died, she was crying so. voila, my stomach pains were gone. I jumped into clothes that smelled almost as badly as I did after a day of no showering or brushing my teeth, and we zoomed to the local rim emergency room where she was told her jaw had been dislocated. she was put on morphine and then given traction to her jaw. the sound of bone against bone was the same sound you might hear with concrete scraping together just under the water's surface, but the morphine was so potent she fell asleep during the procedure. we left there after 3 hours and today she's exhausted but healing.

between my mother's birthday a few weeks ago, my father-in-law now in his 7th month of hospice, accompanying a resident to her mother's funeral last month, visiting a friend 2 weeks ago at mayo after he'd smacked his head on a cement floor doing something very stupid that, even though we know is stupid, we do because we're human, the admission to actively-dying status for a favorite resident at the facility where I continue to fill in for chapel services and listening, and the pair of ulcers that have appeared on the right eye of 1 of our dogs (probably courtesy of 1 of the cats), it would seem I don't need any more reminders of my own frailty.

still, of course, it's not about me, and as I preached in chapel last week, it's about the resiliance of the human body and not about its susceptibility. we bounce back sometimes until sometime we don't . these are moments in people's lives that remind us or should that we are mere meatsacks reliant on a simple skin sheath to protect us from the dangers and discomforts of life. the sheath can take small pricks and big holes, although sometimes a small prick is all it takes to bring the whole edifice crashing down. if my own experience of this weekend is anything to go by, we need the occasional 12-hour crash in order to avoid the bigger 1. that's as it is.

take it easy, slow it down. death comes in its own time and we shouldn't hurry it along.

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