Sunday, July 05, 2015

Struggling with Letting Go

Dealing with negative things in life is never easy. I have found, however, that having negative experiences sometimes prepares you to handle other difficult tasks. At least that was the lesson I learned several years ago from my pastor, Fr. Tony Trosley.

I was at a very difficult time in my life, struggling with a personal situation that was tearing me apart inside. It may sound kind of funny, but being a professional counselor, I choose NOT to see a counselor when faced with some struggle in my life. Instead, being Roman Catholic, I seek out a priest. The combination of counseling and religion has been most effective in helping me deal with my struggles.

Anyway, in trying to discern some meaning from the horrible thing that was happening in my life, Fr. Trosley speculated that perhaps God was preparing me -- toughening me up, getting me equipped and ready -- to handle a bigger challenge in my life.

I was able to get past the situation in my life, but not without much pain, reflection, prayer and sometimes just driving in my car, blasting out a particular favorite CD, and screaming my head off. But I made it.

Shortly thereafter, I was confronted with two extreme challenges in my life: coping with the sickness and subsequent death of my best buddy at work, Norm, and dealing with the death of my father. Although living with my dad's death was certainly hurtful and traumatic, there was a sense of toughness and calm that I can only attribute to Fr. Trosley and his wise speculation. I like to think that this God that we speculate about, argue about, sometimes kill about, took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to show a little mercy and guidance to this humble guy who was faced with some terrible realities.

I hadn't thought about this much recently until the convergence of a few things hit me like a brick tonight. After going to Anime Midwest, I stopped at the hospital to see my mother. Her health has been up and down as she struggles toward her 90th birthday in October. My brother, thundering36, who has been struggling to take care of her, has had to deal with the difficult decision of when to begin our mom in hospice care. It is difficult because of the ups and downs. Regardless of exactly when it will come, we know that day is fast approaching.

At my home, we are struggling with whether or not to put our long-time family dog, Ginger, to sleep. Ginger has been suffering from Canine Cushings Disease for several years. Lately, however, she has been dealing with other medical issues. Tonight when we came home from the Chicago area, it seemed like, as we had been thinking about, it might be time to let Ginger go. We will be talking with our family vet tomorrow.

While looking up information on the internet and shedding a few tears, I was struck by the notion that I am about to go through a situation similar to the one I mentioned earlier. Is the loss of a long-time cherished family pet the event designed by God to prepare me to handle the loss of my mother?

The life may seem good on the outside -- poker, vacations, a nice job and great family. On the inside, however, the heart is breaking.


Blogger Mr Subliminal said...

My thoughts are with you during this difficult time.

12:07 AM  
Blogger Koala said...

John, I lost my Dad in July last year, he was 89. Both my two brothers and I knew he was in serious pain and discomfort, and drifting in an out of consciousness. Together after consultation with his doctors, we made the decision not to prolong his life with medication or force feeding. We asked the doctors just to ensure he was in no pain where possible, and we were all there with him until the end. Our relief that he had no more suffering was immense.

We have had three dogs in our family in the past. All lived to be 15 or more. I howled like a baby every time we lost one. I feel your pain in both cases.

1:51 AM  
Blogger Vookenmeister said...

Pets are family and almost or just as tough as losing a close friend or relative. Feel strong knowing you are doing the right thing for her. Best wishes for your mom as well

Take care and our thoughts are with you.

7:21 AM  
Blogger Onechiquita100 said...

Thinking about you and your overwhelming emotions right now. How ironic it is that these things we go through are so universal yet make us feel so alone simultaneously! Thank you for expressing yourself so honestly in a forum that seems impersonal yet has people who genuinely care and pray for the the bottoms of their hearts for you.

9:58 AM  
Blogger FlushhDraw said...

My heart goes out to you and all your family as you travel these roads. Remember, your friends and family are there for you, but so too are we from the poker community whenever you need us.

12:21 PM  
Blogger mrben09 said...

Mate, All the best. Thinking about you and yours from across the pond.

3:56 PM  
Blogger Cokeboy99 said...

Sorry to hear of the poor health of you dog and your mother....pets, especially those who have been in your life for many years, are definitely a part of the family and their loss can be very painful, even when it's right to let them go.

As far as losing a parent, that's never easy, as we both know. I've wished I knew my dad was going to pass away so I could have done things differently, but at the same time, it's nice to know he wasn't suffering. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers, my friend.

5:50 PM  
Blogger Lucki Duck said...

I sometimes feel we are living parallel lives.

Prayers that God's presence will bring both comfort and strength during this journey my friend.

8:44 PM  

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