I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about today. — That was before my son woke me up at 5 am this morning worried sick about our cat.
“Mom, is Zeus okay?.. He’s not moving.”
My husband jumped out of bed first and I followed. Sure enough, our cat was sprawled out on my son’s bedroom floor, lifeless. The first words out of my mouth was a breathy,
What the fuck?!
I was utterly in shock for a few minutes.
He was perfectly fine last night.
I’ve never thought about getting older as much as I do now with my new job. I’ve been in and out of the ER more in the last few months than I have in my entire life. And I straddle the borderline between life and death on a daily basis.
When I am welcomed into a client’s home and embraced by their whole family, literally, I can’t help but let my mind wander a little. Some live with their kids, some with their spouses of fifty years (or more), and sadly, some live all alone.
I help with anything and everything I possibly can. From washing their hair, getting their mail, playing Scrabble (and losing to a ninety-six year old who was still as sharp as a tack), holding them steady as they walk to the bathroom, cooking their meals, doing their laundry, attending church and taking them to doctors appointments to get their stitches removed.
One day, I spent three hours helping my sweet 84-year-old client navigate the internet so she could return hundreds of dollars worth of sweaters she had bought. At the end of my shift, she was grateful for something that seemed so simple. To her, with early-onset Alzheimer’s, it meant the world.
A Few Things I’ve Learned About Getting Older (In Three Short Months)
- Getting older is inevitable and death will always be sad. Living a good life makes it hurt a little less.
- The most phenomenal human beings in the world are sixty-five and older.
- At the end of the day, all they really need is your company.
- Everyone, at one time or another, needs help.
- If you took care of someone well, while you were young and able, you got hella good karma coming your way.
- It doesn’t matter how much money or stuff you have. If you don’t have a good support system — solid people in your life who you trust with just about anything, or friends and family who check on you, you ain’t got nothin’.
One Last Thing I’ve Learned Today
I’m not really sure what happened to our cat today. According to Google, the most common cause of sudden death in cats is heart disease and more than likely, he had a heart attack. The vet said that the majority of cats don’t live past ten. Zeus was fourteen. — He lived a good kitty-life. I’d like to believe that those bonus four years were because he was loved and cared for so much by us.
Be good, do good, live well and love hard. You never know what’s going to happen, when, or why.
Fifty years down the road, all that’s going to matter is how good of a human you were today.
Thank you for listening to me ramble❤