The Island (Week 8 & 9)

It has been difficult the past two weeks. So many things…

The positive: I made plans for a quick trip home. I couldn’t wait to see Wookie. It had been 8 weeks since I had seen him and prior to this, we had never even gone 8 days without seeing each other. I took him to the vet for his routine annual visit and they informed me that he had gained a pound, so I guess he was emotionally eating to cope with my absence. But he was healthy, happy, and glad to be back in my arms again.

The negative: Our big dog, “Boobie” (half Bloodhound/half German Shephard mix), was limping and looked like he had lost some weight when I got home. I assumed it was an injury, so we took him to the vet for an evaluation. We were sadly informed that he had cancer and less than 6 months to live. We were devastated (he came to us 7 years ago as an orphan puppy. We got him out of a box on the side of the road that was marked “free puppies”. He was the last one left. All alone, hungry, dehydrated, and barely old enough to eat solid food. We took him to the vet and got his shots, but he developed Parvo before his series was complete. With medical treatment, he was able to beat it- which made him a very expensive “free puppy”. He grew quickly and became our gentle giant). He fell at home later that day after the vet visit and diagnosis of cancer. He screamed in agony and was not able to get back up. We knew it was time. Our dear vet made a home visit that afternoon to “put him to sleep”. The only place he had ever lived was on our property. He had spent 7 years roaming every inch of our land, protecting us and our livestock. It only made sense to bury him here. We were able to kiss his sweet face and talk to him during his last moments on this earth, as his pain came to an end. I hate goodbyes, but these are the worst. I fully believe that he was waiting for me to get back home so that he could see me one more time and give me the opportunity to say “goodbye”. For that, I am grateful. It will take time to absorb the full impact of this significant loss. I find myself looking for him/expecting to see him in every corner of this house/property. There will never be a time that I hear fireworks or thunder and not expect him to paw me or try to get on my lap. His presence can never be replaced.

The negative: I have been unable to get back to my assignment. We spent 3 days at the airport this past week waiting for a flight. Every flight was delayed repeatedly before finally being cancelled. Now the soonest flight out is next week and we are crossing our fingers that it will go. As a travel nurse, I do not get paid if I do not work (no paid time off or travel stipend) even though I have a condo and a car that I am continuing to pay for over there. It gets expensive really quickly, when no income is coming in.

The positive: We were able to come back home to wait on the flight. I am trying to enjoy my time with my family and friends. I have been able to clean out flower beds, plant some seeds, get some new baby chicks/guineas, water my poor scorched yard, cook some new recipes, bake some bread (all the things that I love to do when I am home).

The struggles over the past two weeks have played a role in confirming my need (physically and emotionally) to come home and find a local position. I am in a holding pattern of sorts. My assignment is coming to an end and I do not have a plan for what follows. I spend my days in the midst of “low key” anxiety all the while reminding myself that God has a plan and it is perfect. I know that He will show me the way.

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