I’ve been traveling and busy teaching too many classes this semester, but as winter kicks in, I’m aware that this is the part of living up north that people are most curious about, so I’ll do better with the blogging.
First off, I’m impossibly sad. I’d been in Chicago since late September for a myriad of reasons (high school reunion, run the Chicago Marathon, my mom’s bday, and then to spend time with my parents through Thanksgiving because they are up there in years, and let’s face it – no one lives forever).
However, my cat, Paco, who was FINE when I left, started getting fussier than normal with his eating while I was gone, and then by last Sunday, my partner called really worried. She was certain he had an obstruction and was trying to get him in to the vet that night. She did – he didn’t have an obstruction, but he was in FULL KIDNEY FAILURE. For 2 days, we thought maybe it could be treated, and then it became apparent that it could not be treated – at least not in Barrow, and I booked a flight back from Chicago leaving early Thursday morning. I made it home Thursday evening – and just in time. He died in my arms.
My heart is broken.
Despite having 3 dogs, the quonset hut feels so empty. I’ll stick around here for the election, and then I’m heading back to Chicago to cook the Thanksgiving dinner for my mom, and then I’ll be home again for all of December and parts of January.
The days are short – just 6 hours right now, but we are losing about 11-12 minutes a day. Before Thanksgiving, the sun will set a final time and then not rise again for a couple months. I’ll be back in Chicago when that happens. When I come back, it will be the dark as night all day long.
I was in a car accident in my 20s that left me with osteoarthritis in my lower back, and the arthritis pain is almost unbearable up here. I move like a 90 yr old person who has bee crippled. This has never hurt so much in my life as it hurts up here, but it’s a wet and cold climate – the worst thing in the world for arthritis. I’m taking more than the limit of Aleve, sitting on a heating pad most of the day, and trying to keep as active as possible, but it’s difficult. I am hurting.
My SAD is kicking in, too (yes, I’m dosing on Vitamin D and using the special lamps), so on top of the loss of Paco and my aching back, I’m not in the greatest of spirits. And I was so happy just a month ago with my life up here. This death will take me a while to process, but for now, I’m trying to focus on how grateful I am to have had so many years with my little friend. He turned 18 in August, and we adopted him when he was 8, which was March, 2003.
Life can change in a flash.