As I sit here trying to do some research on my most recent critically ill patient with acute kidney injury I’m being distracted by the writing in the notebook I’m using to take notes.
‘Prepare the Honda’
Mileage to different destinations.
These lists taking up space on the paper where I’m trying to write about protein losing nephropathy and membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis. I’d much rather be planning a cross country motorcycle trip and writing down all the things I need to prepare for such an adventure then be reading about a disease that will likely never be cured. I can spell the camping stuff much easier too.
The mere thought of a freedom filled adventure with no responsibility, no places you have to be, no appointments to worry about. Just stop and go as you please…I can’t even have a thought about it that is not taken over by the tangles of responsibilities I’ve grown myself into 😦
This notebook, that’s over 20 years old, has a mixture of my ex-husband and my writings. My veterinary school notes, his violin lesson notes, his poems, my future landscaping goals and promises to stop eating chocolate and peanut butter. They randomly take up space on the pages. In no order whatsoever…a time when we had little money to waste paper. At least that is the only reason I could see why we were sharing one notebook for such a myriad of things. Or maybe it was meant for me to have this one notebook full of so many things written by each of us so I would not forget.
It’s been 20 years since he went on that motorcycle trip. I can’t remember if he ever told me about it but I think that was the final goodbye. I love my life and feel tremendously grateful for the growth I experienced on the path I took. Kirk, living on the top of a mountain, in a yurte he built himself, trying to figure out how to keep his bees alive in the Montana winter…there’s no doubt he loves his life with the same enthusiasm for living that I always knew him to have.
We are separate now and somewhat opposite in our thoughts and ways but we are the same in our contentment with our chosen spaces, which makes me feel like we did right for each other despite the trauma it took to get there.
My mom barely can remember us. The fact that we met in high school and that we were together 15 years and moved to Alachua after we got married. Like the amyloid in the glomerulus of the kidney which ruins its function, my mom has amyloid in her brain ruining its function, starting with the memory. And here, I write in a notebook that has the past, the future and the present swimming around its pages as reminders to never forget.
My mom doesn’t remember being sad and crying when we told her we were getting a divorce…What is reality ? when one day you may forget it all?
Kirk introduced me to Buddha’s teaching when we were 16 years old. The ‘perfect dent’ discussion. He was so pleased with himself for being able to explain it that I’ll never forget the moment he sat there talking about it. After that I would look at things very differently. Everything you think is broken is not. It’s the perfect version of itself. My mom is one example of that. Every day she may change a little, but she still is the perfect version of herself in the disease she has.
There are occasions that inspire me to start writing. This one was thanks to amyloid and an old notebook. I never want to forget why or how I got to where I am. The people that helped shape me along the way, whether the experience was a good one or not. Without Kirk I may not have had the courage to take those challenging physics classes, the organic chemistry, calculus 2…or move to alachua to start the whole application process for veterinary school. People help carry your dreams with you and he carried a lot for me. Once it was achieved, he gently let us go. It’s strange to think of it that way because I was the instigator of our break up but he let it go and moved on. We both moved on. Hopefully urine will continue to move on through my patients ailing kidneys too and not become clogged with amyloid. Sometimes moving on is the gift we forget to be thankful for.