Wednesday, August 18, 2010

To Do Lists

I am a compulsive list maker. The house features lists of “ready made” meals and meals for which we have all the ingredients. We have magnetic notepads on the fridge and in the utility room, where needed items can be jotted down for incorporation into the house shopping list I prepare and organize according to aisle based on the store I will be using to complete such shopping. I have long-term “to do” lists, short-term “to do” lists, and for special events, I prepare a “to do” list as a reverse timeline.

Between attending to family needs, routine care and upkeep of the house and our menagerie, and work, lately, my to do lists feel like they are almost overwhelming.

Which is precisely the time when something happens that is ex parte to do list, like our perma-fost girl, Presley, falls ill.

Presley has been with us for about a year and a half. At the age of 9 ½, her owner moved on. Literally moved, and left her behind on a raggedy couch on the back porch of a house with no air conditioning and one final bag of Ol’ Roy. The woman who owned the house started looking for someone to help, because when the bag of Ol’ Roy ran out, so did Presley’s back-porch residency.

On the very day the woman poured the last bit of kibble from that bag into Presley’s dish, a Dane rescue fairy picked up Presley, gave her a flea bath, and met me at a Dairy Queen in a town south of Kansas City. At the age of 9 ½ , we pretty much figured this would be the one and only “placement” for Presley. There were inquiries and one attempted and failed placement, but Presley managed to find a place in the pack, fall into the rhythm of life here among the MisFits, and worm her crotchety way into our hearts.

Presley’s liver enzymes are three times the upper limit of normal, and whether the issue is hepatitis, cancer or some other disease, the prognosis is the same. With any luck, she will be feeling well enough to come home tomorrow so we can manage her pain and let her go in the small comfort of this last place she has known as home.

But as for today, we put the to do lists aside and spent a nice long time just sitting with her on the floor at Dr. Kevin’s, doing nothing but looking into those baleful eyes, trying to soothe her with touch and quiet murmurings, while people came and went. Presley perked up discernibly when K went to see her this morning; K has that effect on us all. As I was sitting with Presley this afternoon, Doc's kids came in to regale us with stories about their second day at school. I know it wasn’t on Doc or his family’s “to do” list, to provide a soundtrack of laughter, life and love, just as it wasn’t on our list of “to do’s” to while away time sitting in Presley’s fluids and detritus; but I can say with absolute certainty, exactly what needed to get done today, did.


TessaLeFae said...

My Grama had a "master list" of lists. Lists make me feel secure. But no list can account for all the love that goes into being with a friend in need. I remember when you've sat with me. It makes all the difference.

Fred Miller said...

Sitting with the dog is worth including on the to-do list. Once after a workout in the cool evening, I was sitting and resting when Bud came and put his head on my knee. Had one of the most powerful meditations I've ever had. Venus was setting in the west after the sun. We traveled there and back.

Pearl said...

So well written. Great post.


Pearl said...

p.s. I'd follow you if you had a way for me to do that, you know!