Bump and Stop

Yeah, I felt like looking away, too. At the very bottom edge, Murphy had enough of the bumps and stops in life as well. Experiences – especially those four letter words ahead – have been too prevalent in both our lives lately.

I had to stop my normal, everyday maneuvers a while ago and do tiring, but satisfying activities for multiple weeks on end. I also rode over legions of unexpected bumps until my human, emotional underside wore through a pretty thick pair of wrangled genes. Murphy? Well, he did have some feeding times that were off a bit.

A medical crisis set life aside as care for a loved one took precedence over all other labors, hobbies, and toils.

Thing is, there were no warning signs for months during that difficult drive … on challenging roads. Every experience was an unexpected turn of events.

During our pleasant walk this evening, however, Murphy and I had at least two signs. We knew to sidestep the slight tar implosion to our left and walk cautiously on the sidewalk to the right. Watching for traffic at the four-way ahead was easy-peasy – even without that red octagonal, familiar sign – because this is what responsible dog walkers do who don’t want to bring harm to themselves or their leash-alongs.

I can do without unexpected bumps and stops for now. My limit has been reached and, possibly, breached.

The everyday expected is ok. Any obvious, conventional, everyday sign alerting my living, vehicular being to an anticipated knot in a string of roads ahead is fine. Similarly, if I must put the brakes on to avoid risk, so be it.

We can go for so long before there’s a break down along the side of the road, right? The stops and starts after each bump in the road – while caring for someone – is really difficult. It is what’s done, though, because love is involved … and we’ll do whatever, whenever, for as long as necessary. I am not the first, certainly not the last, and claim no expertise in the matter of care-taking of a loved one.

I also know it takes a partnership with family members and professionals to make it work, too. With all the struggle along the road that was, a specific, dedicated, small group of us never gave up.

With all that was, the end came and I am tired.

Bump and stop signs – better yet, the actual unexpected pesky projections and nettlesome negations that could veer this body off-road -should park themselves in a garage for a few months. I’d appreciate it until life returns back to more normal road conditions … If that’s even possible.

As for Murphy, he just needs to take a walk with his fuzzy brother-buddy and not think too much, anyway.

You … take a walk. Watch out for signs that should keep you safe. They may not be bumps or stops, but at least you’re headed in the right direction. Deep breaths, friendly hellos or waves from a neighbor, crackling, crisp water over rocks in a stream, or breezes through bendy tree limbs … to name a few.

Or, helping a loved one through the most challenging times of her life. This can be the most unexpectedly challenging, tiring, incredibly difficult things to do … and also something that resets life, overall, in the right direction.

I’d do what I did all over again, but wouldn’t wish the pain to return to a body whose fight couldn’t overcome cancer’s eventual outcome. You bet I am tired and don’t need any more surprises right now.

… Now, unless that surprise is a Powerball win of a few million. That’s an unexpected bump in the road I could tolerate and drive a long distance without stopping.

Guess Murphy would need a ride, though.

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