lonesome old yeller
It's a new day, a new time. I didn't step outside my life to be an assist to Jr, it being a major part of my life to ease his decline. It's more like I'm back at my home, still in my life. I noticed when I found Jr not breathing and sat beside him, my hand on the back of his hand, crying, praying, that I have a new way of seeing death I'd never seen before, which is that death is nothing. Nothing at all. Of course, we grieve for ourselves the loss of a friend. It feels inside like I've already grieved. This may be off the beam, but it's how I feel. I can't miss him, because I saw him arrive at his own completion and fade to nothing left but a skin-draped skeleton. I wouldn't want him back, because I know how much his body hurt him all the time. I could not ask his soul to return to that body. Perhaps it's easier to let go of a friend when I experienced the decline unto the last breath.
I see in my mind sometimes the battles I went through to keep him at home and let him fade into eternal sleep. I've forgotten most of them by now, they've become so meaningless. Services agencies I had to run off, one at a time. They come in, help out, then start giving orders, then threatening, and that's when it's don't let the door hit you in the ass. The nursing homes were the most horrid experience of Jr's life and mine. He lived for 2 months and 1 week in the care of their indifference and their refusal to let him out. That's when TJ says, Don't make Taurus the bull tear down his pen getting out. The bull came out of there and they don't ever want to hear my name again in the Independence facility.
I had a ruthless sense about me at the time. I was ready to go as far as they wanted to go in the battle. It's said, when you're not afraid of dying, you're not afraid of anything. When Jr Maxwell's life was at stake, I was ready for anything. Nothing would be too far. The agencies and SS hardened my attitude toward everything called Service. Turns out it's service like bulls serving cows. They tried to serve a bull and the bull didn't like it. I kept reminding myself that nothing worthwhile gets done without resistance. My fighting strategy with them was hunt the snakes. Like how do you get from one end of a field full of deadly snakes to the other? Hunt the snakes. It's a principle of turning the chase on the pursuer. Like if you're chased by a dog, turn around and run at the dog and the dog will turn around and run away. It works with humans too.
I'm not running for election, and hate only hurts the hater, so I was free. The more they hated me, the more they hurt themselves. When they upped the ante on me, they went off into the ridiculous and DrK signed to set Jr free, defying their will. I'm forever grateful to DrK helping get Jr out of that prison. Several times he'd say, 'Wha'd I do to get in here? I'm not a criminal. I didn't break the law.' Which fueled the fire under my ass to get him out of there. The problem was that I had spent 2 months going in there daily, got acquainted with the staff, saw and learned things that outsiders aren't supposed to know. When the war started, I knew more about them than they knew about me. They paid me no mind because the money wasn't coming out of my pocket. They didn't know that when I have promised my friend I'm on his side, it doesn't mean anything but whatever it takes to help Jr be comfortable at home. If they wanted a gun fight, well I've got one too, and mine would splatter their guts from here to kingdom come.
I don't recall if I mentioned it before, when we were creeping down the hallway of the Sparta nursing home on the way to the door, Jr hobbling along with his walker, me carrying the 2 plastic grocery store bags stuffed with his things, when we made the turn into the hallway with the door at the end and the desk half way between, an image flashed in my mind, a half second fantasy thought: I am Steven Seagal. I'm shooting forward, advancing toward the door, the office staff shooting back and flopping down dead all around. Jr is behind me covering us from the rear, shooting at the ones advancing from behind. I say to Jr, 'If you want out of here, stay with me!'
That crazy moment of a half second dream made me laugh inside, such that by the time we made it to the desk, where we checked out peaceably,
I was in a good mood thinking how funny that thought was. Punching the buttons to open the door, I felt all the better when the glass doors parted and we passed through to freedom. Free at last, free at last. Driving down the sharp curve driveway, I said, 'You will never go back there as long as I'm living.' I wasn't blowing smoke, and Jr knew it. I never forgot those words because they came from the core of my meaning. Only a prediction in that it was how things stood already.
I didn't really go at it conventional war style. I'd let them make a move, then I'd make a move that cancelled it. They make another move, my move cancels it. I stood nose to nose with them all the way. When they became so determined they defied decency, they'd gone too far and had to be reined back. I walked Jr out of there and delivered him at home. Stepping through the doorway at home, he said, 'Lord God! Thank you!' This was one of the many moments that rewarded my efforts, the joy he felt passing through the doorway he was afraid for 2 months he'd never see again.
It has been fun today reviewing the back and forth mind games; you pissed me off, so I'm going to piss you off. Escalating versions that start there got pretty hot in a little bit of time; like when it started, it was On. The only thing I had to be afraid of was they'd arrange it so he could never get out, which they were working on. That aint gonna happen when the bull is already out of his pen, and this is a bull you have to shoot to stop. There came a time the $200 a day they were getting from Jr against his will wasn't worth it. I wheeled him out the door in the wheelchair and we had a nice drive from Independence to Whitehead.