Monday, November 26, 2007
Max has had the Fentanyl patch on him for three days now. You could say he's acting either like an angsty teenage stoner (staring out the window, sighing and whimpering) or a love-sick hero trying to snap out of it (staring out the window, then vigorously shaking himself and whimpering).
This had been so, so hard for us. One thing that helped immediately was a suggestion from Max's teacher Judi. "Don't talk to him in a 'Sympathy Voice,'" she said. "He'll hear the distress in your voice and that will compound his own distress."
Honestly, I'd been talking to him in Baby Talk the whole time and I just stopped and he was a little better. Well, I know I was. I keep saying in an optimistic tone, "Well, Max, we'll get through this. And then you can tell the story of how you survived the pit bull attack!" It's doesn't erase the pain (either physical or emotional) but it proves to me once again, that's it all about on what we choose to focus.
I can't very well pretend this is no big deal as I apply hot compresses to his oozing, bloody wounds. I've been forced to think hard about forgiveness in regards to Max's attacker, or more correctly, the attacker's owners. So I'm forced to take my own advice: "Feel your feelings, give them a voice and then move on."
Max seems to be processing this whole thing pretty well in spite of the fact that he is on major narcotics and wearing that hideous plastic Cone on his head. I give him a break from The Cone when I can be around to make sure he doesn't lick and pull out the stitches.
Yesterday was the first time we left him alone (with Cone on) because I officiated at a funeral. It was a bright, crisp, achingly gorgeous day. The burial was at a small cemetery in Mt. Vernon and the memorial service at a beautiful little church in Conway. In my homily I talked about how when all is said and done, the most important things in life are not things at all, but the quality of your relationships. Who loves you, who have you loved and more importantly, who have you forgiven?
After the burial service we walked back to the car through the cemetery. I looked at all the different gravestones. Did any of these people take their anger or bitterness to their graves? If they did, it didn't matter now.
Just then a sharp wind cut through the trees and blew leaves and sticks across the gravestones. And at that moment I let the wind take all my anger and fear around Max's attack. I didn't want to carry those feelings to my car, let alone my grave.