A shot in the butt should cure any ailment that you may have. That should be a thing. You have hypoglycemia, go to the doctor for a shot in the butt and BOOM you're cured. Cancer? A shot in the butt. Thyroid issues? A shot in the butt. Bladder infection? A shot in the butt. A cold, the flu, kidney stones, gallbladder attack, essentially any way that the body can rebel against you, a shot in the butt should take care of that and get you back to normal.
I'll take this one step further. Are you suffering from a lack of filter? Do you have a disease where you are just a jerk? You're teenager's lack of respect and hatefulness should be cured by a shot in the butt. I'm just saying!
You laugh but wouldn't life be just so much easier if things could be taken care of so easily? I mean sitting might be uncomfortable for a couple of hours but essentially the main problem ceases to exist. Oh if only it could be that easy.
I once read somewhere or saw in a movie about someone who wanted their memories erased so they wouldn't have to feel the pain of losing the person they loved. There have been times in life where the pain of losing my mother and so many others, beloved pets included, that I have had the very same thought. But then I got to thinking how sad an existence that would be. A life where you couldn't remember your precious loved ones seems like you wouldn't have lived much of a life at all. To be able to truly love I think you have to be willing to take the chance of being truly hurt. To feel pain makes feeling love and joy that much more precious and special.
We've been having a rough time of it lately. We buried our beloved cat Gabby on what would have been my mother's birthday this last Saturday. Our entire way of life has altered significantly by just not having this cat in our home. It has been an entire reset of our way of life and this is from a cat. Perhaps that seems odd to people who do not own pets but they become a part of your family and a part of you, especially when they are with you as long as our Gabby was with us. Seventeen years with man or beast is a commitment. Seventeen years is a long time to have a relationship of love and like and dislike and every phase that one goes through when you truly love a part of your family.
As I spent my time remembering my mother and my cat and thinking about how things used to be and all that was lost, I wished I could forget even a little bit, maybe just the bad parts when they were sick. What kind of service would that be to them though? To truly love and be loved you have to be in it for all of it. The good, the bad, the ugly of life is just that...life. I believe a full life includes all of the good, the bad and the ugly. Without all of the components you miss a little something along the way. A lesson maybe that helps you get to the next step or phase in life. I don't want to forget any of it, not really. In time, pain does fade from a sharp stabbing to a dull ache that you just can't shake. I remember every bit of how my mom was and how my cat was at the end but I also remember how they lived.
My mother was a force to be reckoned with. She worked so hard and showed up for everything. She didn't hold any fancy degrees and she may not have made an enormous amount of money but she did pretty well. She did well enough to take care of herself and her child without much help from a man and she apologized for much. She loved her family and she loved the home shopping networks. She had friends that I never even met until she was sick or after she passed. She was loved by many. My mother baked the best cookies in the county, she made the best spaghetti sauce, she had an infectious smile and she loved all things sweet. She watched Days of our Lives and she drank black coffee and smoked cigarettes at the same time which truly did seem counterintuitive but that's what she did. She used to run her hands through my hair when I was younger to help me sleep. She called me Kong when she would ask me what I wanted to do next. She hated it if I called her by her name and not mom. She made me go to bed at nine on school nights until I graduated high school. She loved shopping and could never turn down a good sale. She loved her mother and she could argue with me like a champ. She had 'the look' and I never developed 'the look' which is my greatest disappointment as a mother. My mother was all of those things and my mother died at fifty two years old from cancer but my mother cannot be and will never be defined by the disease that killed her. No, if anything came from her cancer, it was that it just showed those around her that she was an even bigger fighter than what we knew. What's more is that my mother came to know Jesus. She was a child of the Lord and he came down personally to escort her home. I know this because I was there and yes she argued with him too because you could see the struggle on her face and then the relaxing and the letting go when she went.
My cat could scare dogs and she was fiercely jealous of all other animals. She was also kind of a jerk sometimes. She loved us but then loved the very creatures (other cats we brought home that she supposedly hated and wanted to kill) more than she loved us. They would become best friends and they would gang up on us and they were our friends too. Linus being my sidekick and Gabby tagging along only because he wanted to be around me. She preferred having him all to herself. Also I think she was still mad at me for going to the bathroom so much when I was pregnant with our son because as guard cat she would follow me around to protect me. I'm not sure if she thought I was going to fall in the toilet and how she would help if anything did happen during that time but she would no sooner get comfortable when I was up to go again and she followed me every time. She liked eating and sleeping and she totally lost it if catnip got involved. She would act like she was higher than a kite and she wouldn't share with the other cats. She would growl at them if they came near the catnip. We only got it a couple of times and we never got it again because she got that weird about it.
A shot in the butt. It would be so easy and my mom would be here. My cat would be here. Cancer would be as rare as Polio. Or if not that then the pain of losing so many would cease to exist and yet how do we really appreciate what we have until it is gone? As human beings we know what it is to love and what it is to lose but we don't really spend our days, not the day in day out daily grind anyway thinking to ourselves, "I want to remember this moment right here for when they are gone. Or I want to forget this happened or reshape it to fit the memory I wanted to have if this person dies before I do." No, we go about our lives as though tomorrow will come and the next day and nothing ever changes. We take people, animals, and things for granted not because we mean to but because we are busy and we are human.
Mitch Albom is one of my favorite authors of all time. I just think he is brilliant and so talented. In The Time Keeper it says, "With endless time, nothing is special. With no loss or sacrifice we can't appreciate what we have." I think that is true. We get stuck, we get into the daily grind and we forget that life is short and precious and temporary. I also think that that is how the devil distracts us and tries to keep us from growing closer to God when really we need to be so focused on God that we can learn how to better love and serve the very people we don't want to lose. We need to be so focused on God that when we do lose them we can remember that he is there to help us heal from their loss. I remember being surrounded by people and never feeling more alone than when I lost my mother. That's how I managed to crawl into the pit and stay there so long. I believed the lie that I was alone and stopped thinking about what I still had but focused all my attention on what I had lost. Even when I knew that God was with me, knew he had stood at the foot of my mother's bed, felt the presence of the One who brings peace that passes all understanding. I fell.
As I said before though, even though a shot in the butt seems easier and I would be all for it if it meant that it would take care of our ailments, I wouldn't want to forget. Only by remembering do we remember that life is temporary and only with God can we feel the permanence of lasting love.