News, updates, and happenings with the Kragnes family: Phil, our Seeing Eye Dogs, and (me) Rebecca.

Trying to Light the Darkness

It’s not very often that I discuss openly my beliefs on the devil … Satan … the evil one, or whatever. I know there are far too many people talking about that topic either as an excuse for their own behavior – “the devil made me do it” – or pointing out what they perceive as that entity in others. These are reasons I shy away from talking about it. But I can’t deny that there is some kind of evil force at work in the world. I see too much evil in the world and within myself not to acknowledge there is an opposing force to God.

Sometimes, the subtlety with which this force works is scary! Tonight I didn’t have to play for Mass, so I thought I could allow myself a half hour grace period before beginning my preparations. The 1st hurdle was that Zane took much longer outside than I had anticipated. I tried to do things inside to get ready while he finished, but it still was a struggle. Then a bunch of little things happened dressing after the shower including discovering a sock with a hole. That meant more time trying to find a good pair. At the same time, I was ranting and raving in my mind about things, mentally skewering people from my past and present with my anger and just feeling so grumpy. Part of my melancholy was probably left over from the nightmare I had about Phil actually saying good bye to me, because he was ready to die. By the time I was ready to go to church, I had missed my bus. I had a few ones from the Malt shop left, so I called a cab. My keys hang on my leash and are held together with this fantastic, green, shiny, prismatic stoned key holder my mom gave me. I try to make sure that stone is screwed on tight, but tonight I missed the signs it was loose. As I was locking up the house, some keys and the stone went flying all over the porch. I found one out of three keys, but that was it. Again I almost quit. I knew I was running late for church and would probably miss the readings, so I listened to them while waiting for my cab. the first and third were hard-hitting, apocalyptic-themed readings from Daniel and Mark, and my heart sank further. “Just what I need to hear,” I thought. “More bad news!”

I walked into church right before Mark was read in Spanish, and then with the homily, things started to make sense. My priest’s explanation and the example he used clarified things for me, and I knew that’s why I had come. By Communion time, it barely bothered me when Zane didn’t lie still like he usually does.

As I walked from church to the restaurant, I realized this was the first weekend it is completely dark as I got out of church. There was barely any light when the cab dropped me at the church. This week I’ve been playing with my Iphone searching on the app store. I downloaded many free and a couple paid apps which are based on colored lights. One was a multicolored flashlight, and it occurred to me that since I wear my phone on a lanyard around my neck, maybe a bright yellow light would make me more visible crossing streets at night. I had an enjoyable dinner while reading, and planned to use my yellow light again to wave down the bus. Another Black Lab owner engaged me in conversation, and the bus arrived without me turning on my yellow light.

This week with both of us home has been no less challenging than the one before with Phil in the hospital. As much as I usually enjoy spending time with Phil, when he doesn’t feel good 99 percent of the time, I think it can be a challenge for both of us. His pain is still bad at night, and even though the groans and whimpers don’t persist like at the beginning of the week, they worry me none the less.

We’ve tried to do things with friends to keep things from getting too stale. Tuesday night I met a friend at the restaurant down the block. Wednesday night Phil’s cousins took us to Red Lobster for supper, and as usual, we never had trouble coming up with things about which to talk. He hoped it was a dry run for work Thursday morning, but it wasn’t to be. Friday I had two friends over to visit and talk music music music. We ordered a meal and had lots of fun together.

Phil is determined to go to work Monday after missing two weeks. He’s taking a small shopping trip tomorrow with little walking involved to ramp up for it. I hope he’s ready, I know the change will do us both good, but I worry that he’s taking on too much. At least his first day won’t be a dialysis day. He has a doctor’s appointment Tuesday along with dialysis, so Monday will be a good test run. The appointment is to follow up on the surgery and to determine when the new graft can start to be used for dialysis.

Then we have Thanksgiving on Thursday, and of course I’m thankful that with everything he has been through, he’s still around and fighting for his life. We’re going to order a meal for four from our grocery delivery service, and all we need to do is warm it up. We’ve invited a couple of good friends and hope it’s a good day for the one with health issues of her own. We can put our leftovers in containers and put them downstairs in the big freezer.

I think we’re staying out of the way of black Friday. I’ll start with some seasonal music that Sunday at the Malt Shop. Then my first IDS performance is Saturday December 8 at noon. I have only one Mall of America spot Wednesday the 12th at 2:00, and the final IDS performance Wednesday the 19th at noon. December8th is covered, and I need to finalize with someone about the 12th. The 19th is still open if anyone downtown that day would like to come listen and sit at my CD table.

It’s late, and I need to get a few more things done before I go to bed. Good night.

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