Living the Dream - Updated 2 times (Viva le Fred!)

I got up early this morning, took a shower, got dressed and dried my hair, and I am sitting on my front porch eating fruit and enjoying the morning. This is exactly how I have envisioned starting my days in retirement, the only thing that would make it better would be an ocean across the street and some palm trees. 

Fred's chrysalis is going to open today, too, I have been watching it get darker and darker as the morning has progressed.

There is, of course, a cloud hanging over my head, the universe scheduled Dad for atrial fibrillation this weekend and he's having a procedure to attempt to correct it this morning. I was put into the position, when I got home last night and saw the changes in the chrysalis, of having to choose. Do I rush to the hospital this morning or do I follow through on my responsibility to Fred?

I know that a lot of people wouldn't even see a choice here, they would say ditch the bug and go take care of your parent. I could have done that, and then I would have spent the rest of my life berating myself for causing an innocent to die. So I put the question to Dad. He could have said no, I need you here, but he didn't. He said that he had a whole cadre of doctors and nurses and that he would be fine. And he knows how much effort I have put into helping the monarch butterflies, so he told me to stay home and see this through to the end.

Four hours after my alarm went off I am still waiting for Fred to pop. I had about 6 dreams last night about butterflies hatching, the last one was apocalyptic and I don't think all of the butterflies survived, but most of them ended well. I have had an old phone recording non-stop since I went into the shower so that we don't miss the big unveiling, and according to this web page mine has been within minutes for about an hour. The big problem is that it could just not hatch. No one has any way to tell that until it doesn't happen. And I just read another page that changing their location can slow them down so I put it back into the plant cage.

My lesson for today. Let go and trust the universe. If it wasn't for parasitic wasps I could just put Fred outside and go to Dad. Since I can't do that with a clear conscience, I am stressing because my control issues think that I need to be there to keep Dad alive. I am asking if my choice means that the one I choose lives and the other one doesn't?

A hummingbird just buzzed the hollyhocks.

I know that Dad's survival doesn't depend on my presence. Fred would probably be okay, too, if I tucked him outside for the big reveal. I talked to Dad this morning and he reiterated stay home. I admit that I hoped the universe would make it possible to do both.

I know that no one is going to understand this choice to stay home. I didn't want to have to choose. Which one do you abandon, the one with a team or the one who only has you and doesn't have a chance to vote?

The sun just came over the trees.

Update- I am crying now, it wasn't just Dad that I had to let go of control over, it was Fred, too. He is as safe as I could make him in the milkweed patch, with plenty of room for his wings to unfurl.

Hale and farewell, Fred. May the Universe watch over you.

Update #2: I came home to find an empty chrysalis, Fred began this final journey as he did everything, covertly. As a caterpillar he lived on the underside of the bottom leaves. He created his chrysalis in the dark of night surrounded by leaves. And he burst free to fly in orange glory again surrounded by the leaves where he was born. I wandered over to see my neighbor, following a strange compulsion, and saw a set of bright orange wings fly over the top of her garage. I want to believe that was Fred, heading out.

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Comment by Phyllis on July 31, 2017 at 5:59am

I know that if I was in the hospital and Dad had the butterfly, I would have told him to stay home, too.

Comment by Julie Johnson on July 31, 2017 at 6:29am

I think you and I are alot the same, that I mostly try to take people at their word.  Sometimes, I do have to shake some metaphorical salt on the words, but more or less...It's not up to me, to figure out if they really 'mean' it or not.  He said it was okay, so it's okay.  It's a procedure, not a life or death emergency operation.  The butterfly would be fine, but it's a symbol of something more, I think.  

I've done the same thing with my elderly mother in law, who lives next door.  I had to have a heart to heart with her, not too long ago.  Letting her know, I wasn't going to try to interpret her words and have her try to guilt trip me, if I didn't interpret them correctly.  She wants me there?  Say so.  She doesn't me there?  I've got a phone in my pocket.  Call me if you need me. 

Comment by Phyllis on July 31, 2017 at 6:43am

Hi, Julie. I just put Fred outside and am going to go in to the hospital now. The Universe had one more lesson for me today. I hope the next one isn't this hard.

Comment by greenheron on July 31, 2017 at 6:43am

Phyllis, is your dad getting a cardiac ablation for his afib?

Cardiac ablation is kind of a major procedure, although you don’t really know that going in. Cardiologists present it to you as a simple form of heart surgery and compared to open heart surgery, it is. But they get up inside your heart and boy do you know it.

They feed five catheters through your groin into the upper chambers of your heart. You’re awake the whole time, because they need to trigger the arrhythmia in order to cauterize the responsible cell pathways, and general anesthesia relaxes the heart too much. The procedure takes four to six hours, then you have to lie absolutely still afterwards for a full six hours so that you don’t bleed out through your catheter incisions. They strap you down to ensure that you don’t move. It’s fairly stressful. My friend stayed with me during that part, and I was quite glad to have her, esp the last couple hours. She held my hand and made me laugh.

Hopefully your dad is having a less invasive surgical procedure, but cardiac ablation is sort of the default to correct a variety of heart arrhythmia. It’s a low risk surgery, so there’s that, but it is no walk around the park. You know how into nature I am and how much I understand your desire to watch Fred emerge after all your efforts. An ablation is a big deal though. You might want to think about putting Fred outside on a lovely bush and going to be with your dad.

I haven’t been here for a couple days and have to be out today as well, and wish I could offer to discuss with you if you want. I’ll check back later tonite though. I hope things go well today!



Comment by Julie Johnson on July 31, 2017 at 6:52am

Yeh, what Greeny said.  If you hadn't gone, you'd be worried and no matter what your dad said, he'll be glad you're there.  Butterflies have been making it for thousands of years. Go free, Fred !!  

Comment by Phyllis on July 31, 2017 at 6:52am

He's having an echocardiograph and possibly a shock treatment to get the rhythm back. It all depends on if there's a clot.

Comment by Phyllis on July 31, 2017 at 6:55am

Thanks, you two. 

Comment by Anna Herrington on July 31, 2017 at 11:25am

You Tender Heart  : )

Glad to read your Dad's got you for company now and the butterfly is born, it sounds! So symbolic, that butterfly emerging from its cocoon....

and I understand. My mom was similar. She'd have said stick with the butterfly, too. I might've said the same with my own grown kids, too!

Glad you've been able to be there for both.... if I read this right.

Comment by Phyllis on July 31, 2017 at 11:42am

More or less for both, I did the best I could for the bfly and just hope that the universe let him get hatched and flying off to migrate. He's in the third generation for the summer which means migration to Mexico. That's pretty awesome. 

Dad is back to being overbearing and they're letting him go home today so I can get back to my life tomorrow. We probably won't be out before 4, though, it's 2:40 now.

Comment by Phyllis on July 31, 2017 at 1:36pm

I was optimistic, 4:35 and they haven't even removed the EKG and IV. Fuck this.


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