On comfort in the storm

And then Saturday afternoon, there was the voice of my favorite cousin (with all due respect to all my other cousins) across the miles. It was a bittersweet connection because she was checking in to see how Red is doing after more than a month in the hospital — but the news on that front is positive; she is emerging from the fog of illness and starting to regain her personality. Although she has a long way to go, she has come a long way in the last week.

Cuz allowed as she liked “Two mugs in a bar” enough to share it on Facebook, and then one of her friends asked if it was OK for her to share it, too.

“Of course, it’s the dream of writer-types to have their stuff spread far and wide,” I said, or something like that. “Since I never fathered children (as far as I know), it’s my way of leaving some kind of something behind, a legacy or whatever.”

“Ashes from your fire,” she said, or something like that.

“Exactly,” I said. “I’m scattering my ashes across the universe.”

“Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves,” she said, and we laughed.

When I wrote about how, as I approached my 1,000th consecutive daily blog post, it felt like Satan and his minions were ganging up on me (hey! who says Satan is a male?) to prevent me from reaching the milestone, Red’s illness of course was the biggest distraction. It’s hard to write words of encouragement or entertainment or enlightenment — or anything at all — when your mind is consumed with your partner of 26 years’ struggle against a malignant disease.

It was good to hear my cousin’s voice through all of that mind static. My high school pal called on his birthday the other day, too, and that also was fun and comforting.

Now I’m starting to think of times my friends and family went through trials and I thought of reaching out to them and didn’t — I’m a bit of an introvert, and so that sort of thing is not easy for me. Having been on the receiving end of kindness of late, I’m learning more about how to be a human, and I’ll try to apply those lessons in the future when I can.

Summer, who succeeded Willow The Best Dog There Is™ but can never replace her, has been much more snuggly of late. She nuzzles under my shoulder and leans against me. I know she and Dejah miss their human mom almost as much as I do, but Summer especially is growing into my companion/therapy dog. And maybe I’m becoming her therapy human. I will always grieve for Willow, and we both miss Red, and Summer and I comfort each other. At least I hope she gains some comfort while she is comforting me.

And in one of those coincidences that can’t be a coincidence, in my reading immediately after writing these words, the very first thing I came across was 1 Timothy 2:1 …

“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.”

Published by WarrenBluhm

Wordsmith and podcaster, Warren is a reporter, editor and storyteller who lives near the shores of Green Bay with his wife, two golden retrievers, Dejah and Summer, and Blackberry, an insistent cat. Author of It's Going to Be All Right, Echoes of Freedom Past, Full, Refuse to be Afraid, Gladness is Infectious, 24 flashes, How to Play a Blue Guitar, Myke Phoenix: The Complete Novelettes, A Bridge at Crossroads, The Imaginary Bomb, A Scream of Consciousness, and The Imaginary Revolution.

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