Friday, February 09, 2007

Even in Death...

No, I am not speaking of my own death, although these flu or flu-like symptoms I have been experiencing have had me thinking that perhaps death is preferable to feeling like I am about to die. In case you have never experienced it, being ill and living alone is a kind of hell that I would wish on no one. When one is thirsty or hungry, one must leave the comfort of the bed and cook a meal or draw a glass of water. That can be distressing.

Yes, I know: I do not live alone. Alex lives with me-or more realistically, I live with Alex. The little furball has been nursing me since I have been ill. That means that he has spent most of his time in bed with me. Sometimes he has been on top of the comforter-and my chest-which isn't good because his ten pounds further hampers my already difficult breathing. Other times he crawls beneath the covers and snuggles next to me. That is best, for I feel his warm body and heart beat and, sometimes, his purring.

This afternoon I awakened beneath the covers that were pulled over my head with the realization that I could not breath. The CPAP was not feeding air into my nose. I threw off the covers and found myself looking at Alex, who was comfortably perched on top of the CPAP. He had pushed the button that turns off the machine. Thus, I have gotten up from beneath the warmth of my comforter, fed Alex, and opened the door for him to go out and play in the relative warmth of 27 degrees F.

Above I wrote that this post is not about my own death. It is about the death of Anna Nicole Smith. I learned of her death last night when I spoke by phone with my mother, who whether she is at home, in a hospital bed, or a rehab center, usually is watching TV. Sometime today, while I was beneath the comforter and awake, I heard a interview with someone (I wasn't fully aware of all of the words spoken on the radio) who said that he didn't follow the life and traumas of Anna Nicole Smith; rather the news seemed to impose her and her life on him. I rather agree.

Her death at the young age of 39 is a tragedy, as, to me, anyone's death before their time is a tragedy:

Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.

Therefore, send not to know

For whom the bell tolls,

It tolls for thee.
~ John Donne

Moreover, even in death, it seems that her story with continue to be imposed upon me by the media-and most probably the courts. Just prior to turning of my radio after Alex forced me to leave the comfort and warmth of my bed, I heard the news that a judge has ordered her body preserved and that the legal battles in which the living Ms. Smith was embroiled continue after her death.

I wonder if she shall ever be allowed to rest is peace?


  1. I'm so glad you are okay Nick. Is there any way you can block off access to the on/off switch so Alex doesn't accidently shut it off again?

    I hope you feel better very soon.

  2. No matter what they say about her - whether good or bad - no one deserves to die so young and imagine the pain her baby daughter will suffer in the middle of all of this and growing up without a mother. Anna went through a lot in her relatively short time but this is just too sad. I hope you feel better soon too sweet Nick :)

  3. The most frightened I've ever been in my adult life was when I woke up one night and heard voices in my living room. I was just about to dive out the window when I realized what it was- my Alice had stepped on the remote and turned on the TV!

    Cats can certainly make life a little more interesting- and that's not always a good thing.

  4. I hope you are feeling much better soon, Nick. There's been a lot of sickness going around the school where I work the past two weeks... stomach viruses, and colds etc. Just luvverly. (not)

    I feel most sad for Anna's little baby.. maybe I could adopt her, huh? :o) (Naahhh.. I don't think so, either!)

  5. Oh dear, I can imagine how hard it is to be ill and not have anyone to look after you...I know that Alex tries his best but....!! I was saddened to hear of Anna Nicole's death. Although I was never a big fan of hers, as you said, it's still very sad to hear of anyone dying at such a young age. On the news tonight they said it may take yearsss before everything is settled. I just feel sorry the most for the little 5 month old baby girl she's left behind.

  6. Nick, I am so sorry you are ill. If I were closer to you, I would come and nurse you back to health.

  7. Some people have to wait eons to rest in peace.

  8. A cat can be a wonderful friend, but not necessarily a good care giver. Hope you feel well soon.

    ANS's death almost seems like it had to be, considering what I have heard of her life.

  9. OMG! How cheeky is that?! I can't believe that Alex turned it off. Coudn't he have just asked you to open the door?!


  10. Poor Anna Nicole. I think she was a very sad person, trying to find happiness anyway she could, little knowing that happiness is found inside without the aid of chemical enhancement. I do hope she's at peace now.

    Oooh, bad enough having to sleep with CPAP without Alex trying to hasten your demise. Do you think he had an ulterior motive? Lol!

  11. LAURIE: Thank you, my friend. Alex and I awaken at about 5:30 a.m. and I felt better. I'm still stopped up and I have a few unusual aches, but my temperature is almost down to normal and I'm not nauseous. So we've been up a bit over an hour: Alex has breakfasted and explored the outside and I've had coffee and toast. Now, as long as I don't over do it today, I'll be OK.

    JEANNIE GIRL: Thank you, my friend. As IU wrote above, I am feeling better this morning. Regarding Anna Nicole Smith, I realized last night that, although she has been in the news for years and I recognized her name, I really knew very little about her until her death.

  12. THOMAS: Living alone does have many downs, doesn't it? When I was in southern Indiana, after my sons had moved out and my now ex-wife had moved to Louisville to attend college, I became rather dependent on my dog, Muffin, as my companion and "protector." She was an excellent watch dog and would bark when any strangers were around; however, she was a terrible protector, unless an intruder could be could be put off by being licked by her tongue.

    Alex is worthless as a protector. Whenever anyone, even people he knows, enters the house, he runs and hides. I believe that he learned that when he was younger and had his first contacts with my grandchildren.

  13. PEANUT: Thank you, my friend. I believe that there is illness around here, too. The radio last week reported some school closings due to illness. I suspect that the cold spell isn't helping. I am hopeful that it will be warmer today: the forecast is that we shall see the temperature above freezing this afternoon for the first time in over a week.

    As for Anna Nicole Smith's baby, I understand there are already 3 men fighting to prove they are the child's father!

  14. PEA: Thank you, my friend. I suppose that Alex does his best to care for me. However, I must also care for him, which continues to be difficult because I can't fully understand what he wants. It was to meet his needs-breakfast and exploring outside-that got me out of bed at our normal time of 6:30 this morning. Otherwise, I might still be beneath the covers listening to the BCC World Service!

    I agree: the lawsuits that were so much a part of Anna Nicole Smith's life will probably continue for years to come and her name will remain a part of the news.

  15. CANDI: Thank you, my friend. If you are willing to travel the 3,000 or so miles between us, I could certainly appreciate the care!

  16. MIST1: Yes, I agree.

    ABBY: Actually, I have never thought of a cat as a care giver. Even the one who adopted us years ago for a warm place to birth her kittens deserted us--and the kittens--as soon as the kittens were weaned.

    The idea that Anna Nicole Smith's death was fore ordained is rather frightening, especially since she pattern herself after Marilyn Monroe. Of course, if I remember correctly, Monroe was only about 32 when she died.

  17. JD'S ROSE: For all I know, Alex did asked me to get up and let him outside before he resorted to turning off the CPAP. Of course, since I don't fully understand cat language and I was probably asleep, I didn't hear/understand him.

    PUSS-IN-BOOTS: I believe she was a sad person. I have personally known one or two women like her, who depend upon their looks and sexuality for making their way through life. Both were basically unhappy and had turned to drugs in the early lives to make the lifestyles the chose bearable. Neither were very happy and both, one in her mid-thirties and the other in her mid-fifties, could never sustain a lasting relationship. To me, that is very sad.

  18. It is a tragedy - the poor woman loses her son after giving birth, now her baby's left alone...

    Feel better quick, Saint Nick. & please tell Alex to find a better way of getting your attention when he needs you!

  19. Once when I was sick one of my kitties bought me a new toy she had found. A gunk and soap encrusted cap to something from the shower. It was quite disgusting but I appreciated it.

    Get well soon.