March 30th, 2004



I noticed it while I lay in bed in the early hours. As usual, I tried to get back to sleep in the hopes that it would go away on its own, and of course it wouldn't. I got up shortly before six, took some Excedrin Migraine (or is it Tylenol Migraine?) and now it is ebbing. I am almost to the point where I might jump in the shower and let the hot water hit my skull, forcing it further into submission.


I let myself believe in fate, often.

I think of Stretch as a gift of fate, a cat that was meant to be in my life. This because he showed up on my porch, first the front, then the back, as if he knew we belonged together. Never mind that others had seen him trying to insert himself in their lives, showing up on their porches, an enterprising cat, before he showed up on mine.

I think about my life, my time on this earth, I find myself thinking "my time has not yet come" or that I am "meant" to do this or that.

Perhaps we create meaning in our lives to make them more bearable, to go forward.

I remember my mother, her attentiveness to trivial matters, like reorganizing the kitchen cupboards, trying new recipes, taking pictures of birds on her feeder. I marveled at her absorption in everyday things even in the last days of her life. She never reached the point of "letting go", of removing herself from this world, that people seem to reach who know they are dying. I won't be like that but it impressed me in an odd way. Such a joy of living that she went ahead with chemotherapy for throat cancer, knowing this disease is inevitably fatal, a rapid killer, and she was already over eighty years old. Perhaps it is this kind of spirit that causes many elderly people to submit to "heroic measures" to gain just a few more days, weeks, months, of life.