I don't feel good today in a whole lot of ways, but don't feel bad either. I forced myself to get outside and do some work with a shovel and to cut up some big tree limbs on the ground and throw them on a brush pile I'll be working on until the next rain when I'll burn it. The right-of-way people have been through here cutting limbs away from powerlines, leaving the limbs on the ground. I'll be going around gathering their leavings to put on the brush pile too. It seems ridiculous to be thinking about a brush pile in a subdivision. Back when we were working farms, brush pile burning was done quite a lot, the leavings after cutting up some trees for firewood. Now it seems odd to be doing something like that around here with Christmas tree patches and exurban houses, new cars up and down the road, like going back to the 19th century for a day, something that doesn't require a computer.
I've had the blues the last few days. I've identified it missing Jr, missing his talking, his way of thinking, his way of seeing. Today I called Mary Lee, the grief counselor at Hospice to make an appointment to get with her and talk about what I'm feeling, to keep myself reminded this is as natural a process as water flowing downhill. I want to talk with somebody about Jr. In my mind's eye I see moments from the last few months, those moments I didn't like at the time, but look back at now as a blessed experience. The little sponges on sticks like tootsie-pops with water in them to keep his mouth moist when he was unable to drink from a cup. At the time, staying with him was my commitment to take care of him to the last breath.
At the time, it was what I was doing, keeping him as comfortable as possible, mind largely in the present. From 4 and a half months later, I look at those last days, weeks and months as an enormous commitment by one human being for another. I didn't then see it as now. Then, it was immediate. It was struggling against service agencies and nursing homes that were a serious threat. Without a stubborn bull like me, they'd have got him. Perhaps what has hit me the last couple days is the enormity of that, how major an act it was for a friend. When he told me with just a couple days left that we're closer than friends, more like brothers, it took hold of me. It was the magnitude of my respect that made me want to do whatever it takes to keep him out of a nursing home. When someone I respect that much says we're like brothers, it means something to me. It means more as time goes by.
At the same time as I'm feeling this surge of missing Jr, TarBaby is missing. He's been gone over 60 hours. He has gone off for 3 and 4 days at a time rambling. He also stayed away about 4 days after a serious cat fight where he hid someplace and licked himself back. I have a concern about a dog attacking him, Jolene in particular. She had blood on her face yesterday from a nick in her ear, which I took for a groundhog bite, but it could have been a cat claw. I suspect Jolene, because she attacks cats, even at home. I've had to run her off from TarBaby a couple of times.
This evening I couldn't get it out of my mind that TarBaby was hurt or maybe dead. Not knowing what to do, I called my friend Kay in Ohio, who can touch in with animals in a psychic way. I told her how long he'd been gone. She got off the phone right away and went to see if she could get in touch with him. A half hour or so later she called. She said she had a difficult time reaching him, but when she did, she knew it was TarBaby by the light she's seen from him before. She had the sense he was hurt and hiding someplace. She felt like he was licking himself. And he's trying to get back to me. I felt like she was right. She said she's convinced he's alive. So I wait til morning light.
This could be a real problem in my relationship with Jolene and Martha. If it turns out to be the case, which I feel like it is, that Jolene attacked TarBaby, I'll keep them away from the house and from me. When they come around, I'll run them off, and keep on running them off until they never come back. And I'll keep the cats in the house during the day, which is the rule from this minute on. Jolene and Martha have killed every possum on the mountain. My .45 can make a racket that will set them running down the road. I'd never shoot at them, but it's the loudest noise I can think of to scare them out of their wits. This is just fantasy. I don't know what's going on, though I'm inclined to believe what Kay found, because she's done it before with all my animals. She was accurate every time. I have such a close psychic connection with TarBaby, not the way Kay does, but closeness by feeling, I'm wondering if I've been picking up the last couple days from TarBaby, what he's feeling, hiding, in pain, healing himself, wanting to get home, unable to make it yet.
Could I have been feeling TarBaby's situation unable to connect with where the feeling is coming from, getting it mixed up with missing Jr, which I've not been quite certain of? It was an inner sorrow I felt, feel, that I couldn't find where it was coming from. Now I don't want to sleep. I want to go out with a flashlight and look for TarBaby. I'd say he's within a radius of 200 yards from the house in one of possibly 5 directions. First light in the morning, I'll be going to places I suspect as I search in my mind the places he might be hiding through probably a sleepless night. The best thing I think I can do right now is remember the drama I created around the sheriff, the helicopter and men in 2 pickups. Let it go as a drama and wait until morning, because there is nothing I can do in the night but pray.