Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Daily Reminder # 27

Disclaimer: This topic is too big and complex for the space and for my mental capacity at the moment. That hasn't stopped me from trying to talk about it. It has limited my clarity of expression. Sorry about that.

There are no wrong decisions.

I forget where I heard that. Maybe I read it somewhere. It was a long, long time ago and it's one of those things that make you stop and say. Huh? No wrong decisions? You're kidding right. If I had gone to X college instead of the one I did, my life would be totally different. And while it might be true that your life would be different, HOW it would be different is pure fiction that we make up to make ourselves feel bad.

Sometimes when we are stuck in the middle of what seems like Hell it seems impossible that the decisions that have taken us there were anything but wrong, but truth is we don't know where some alternative decision would have left us - or what divine purpose our experience may hold.

What brought the topic of decisions to mind tonight, though, is the kind of awful decisions we are sometimes called on to make in life. I've been reiki-ing the 85 year-old father of a man up in Maine. His father is in a nursing home and has many issues including dementia and circulation problems in his legs to name just two. A week and a half ago he had surgery on his left foot. The doctors had done an operation on his right foot before I started reiki and had been forced to put him under to do it, which caused other problems. This time, with the reiki, they were amazed at how well he cooperated and they didn't have to anesthetize him for the procedure. That's kind of irrelevant to this discussion, but it makes me happy and kind of proud so I'm going to share it since I have recommended crowing to others. (See daily reminder #21.)

Anyway, M's father got an infection this week and was taken to the hospital. He had a very rough Father's Day, but yesterday when they left from visiting, he was doing much better. They went home feeling some relief. On arriving home, however, they received a call from an intern - this makes me SO furious - saying that the circulation in M's father's leg was bad and that it was going to become gangrenous and that his dementia precluded surgery and they should expect him to die in two weeks. This by phone from a total stranger. How evil is that?!

Today, they talked to kinder people but it looks like M is being asked to decide whether to allow them to amputate his father's leg or let problem degenerate into gangrene which will kill him. This is fairly intense for me because I was forced to make the same decision about my mother at the end of her life. In her case, she had been ill for over 15 years, she was not in a coma but she was totally withdrawn and confused. She was frail. As far as I could tell, surgery would have killed her and if it didn't, what was the point? She was not really living. I opted to do nothing. I know this was the right decision, but playing God never feels good. I don't know how God does it. Perhaps because God knows that in the space of eternity our ego/soul dramas are cosmic sneezes. They may stop our hearts but our Souls are never stopped.

But back to my point - if I have one - Whatever M decides is ok. He can only make the best choice he knows how and he will make it from a place of love and pain and it will be right.

In my life I have had to make very hard decisions about my mother and about my beloved kitty children. These decisions are hard. With Katrina, I took her to the vet and she was put to sleep. She had people sending reiki from all over the world and her death was swift and peaceful. She actually died almost before the shot took hold and she breathed a sigh of relief. My Abigail died sitting next to me at her own pace. It too was a beautiful death and I wrote about it at the time in my column on

I'm kind of all over the place here, writing about two different subjects in some ways, but in the end, whatever the decisions we are making or have made in our lives, we can't do it wrong. We can only do it. Our final destination, I think, remains the same; our decisions merely chart the path by which we get there. Or that's what I think.

Some things I'm grateful for today:

  • free books (thank you Quilly) ... it arrived
  • International Delight (especially Hazelnut)
  • showers (the bathing kind)
  • showers (the rain kind)
  • my computer
  • forgiveness


Robin said...

Such a terribly hard decision to make, there really are no "good" answers, and I'm angered but not shocked by the callousness of the intern. I hope this experience teaches him the importance of compassion.

Beautiful photos Raven, very soothing.

My photography is available for purchase - visit Around the Island Photography and bring home something beautiful today!

maryt/theteach said...

Raven, such a wonderful post. Impressive thoughts and gorgeous photos! I wish I could believe there are no wrong decisions...

Argent said...

These are good thoughts. You can only walk by the light that is given you. We can waste such a lot of time second-guessing ourselves. If you subscribe to the many unvrses model of cosmology, you could take comfort that another you somewhere made a different decision - maybe worse, maybe better than yours. I heartly empathise with you about the kitties - I have had to make sad decisions myself about some of ours. I doesn't get any easier either. How does your reiki thing work, btw. If have have some love to spare, my poor abused knees could use it :-)

Keep up the good posts.

SnoopMurph said...

Hi there! How are you? I finally have stopped by to read a bit and see how you are doing.

I know that for my husband and for Ian, at times they agonize over decisions until they basically become paralyzed and don't make any decision. I agree with your post and I think everything decided has a reason and I think we also learn from our choices.

We have had to make the choices about life and death-for pets, for people and they are never easy, but we can only hope to do the best by the people and pets we love so much.

If you pop over to my blog and scroll about-I took your nephew to the aquarium with my sons. :)

Janie B said...

Gorgeous photos, Raven!

Dave said...

i love the macros.

Raven said...

Argent - email me at and we can set up a time for some reiki. Sorry I was slow to reply. Couldn't find an email address for you.