Thursday, April 26, 2012

Spring, death, and no vet med

Every time of year, I find myself in an incredible depression.  Spring should be a happy time, full of parvo puppies, unwanted litters of kittens dumped on your door step, and equine dystocias.  The night before last, I had a dream about a spring festival that my high school has every year.  Since 1904, my school has had a May Day festival.  The sophomores pray for fertility by dancing around a may pole (why the FUCK does the school want the sophomores to be fertile anyway???) and the seniors wear ball gowns and are presented to society.  Yes, it was a girls' school, though the thought of 18 year old boys in ball gowns makes me laugh.

I started the school as a sophomore, meaning that I was on tap to practice the fertility rite of dancing around the may pole (the obligatory orgy usually associated with this type of festival is frowned upon by the school and the parents).  Well, back to the dream.  I dreamed about the very sweet girl that was the May Queen in our senior class.  She was dressed in a t-shirt and jeans and this year's seniors were insisting that she could not participate without the ball gown.  I was arguing that of course she could, she was Mary Smith.  Unlike many schools whose elected fall queens, prom queens, etc, our class chose someone that was unfailingly sweet rather than the obligatory cheer leader.  Oddly enough, at an all girls' school, there was a distinct lack of the "mean girls" phenomenon.

Well, back to the dream.  It turns out that yesterday was indeed the May Day celebration at the school.  It also coincided with the 20th anniversary of the sudden death of my father.  My father was on his way back from a golf tournament.  His plane hit a sudden snow storm in the mountains of North Carolina.  It was missing for several days before it was finally found.  While some people held out hope that he and the pilot would be found alive, I was pretty sure that it was not going to end happily.

The last time I saw my dad, I was a spoiled 16 year old.  I passed him on the road, him in his work truck and me in my car.  I honked and waved and sped up because I didn't want him to give me flack about going out with my friends that day.  I purposely avoided him.

The next day, while he was playing in the golf tournament, I was very distraught.  I told my mother that something huge was about to change.  I asked her, "What if I told you that tomorrow, the most important thing in your life would be gone?  What would you do?  Everything is about to change."

That night, my dad was not back on time.  About 4 AM in the morning, I heard my mother scream and start wailing.  She had learned that the plane had gone down.  For several days, they searched for the plane.  During this time, I continued to go to school and practice the may day dance.  The plane was found and both my dad and the pilot were dead.  A family friend went to ID the bodies so we didn't have to.  But after practically predicting the event, my family looked at me differently.

So yesterday was the 20th anniversary and my subconscious knew it.  The only good thing that really came out of that situation was that my inheritance allowed me to finally buy a horse.  And that horse was a better incentive for good grades than any other possession.  That horse got me into a college with a riding scholarship.  And that school got me into vet school.  My dad always wanted me to be a brain surgeon.  And while I have poked on some brains when examining a skull fracture, I am not a neurosurgeon.

Sorry for the downer post.  And sorry for the minimal tie in to veterinary medicine.  But I am just writing about what is going on in my life.


  1. I'm sorry for your loss. It's hard to lose a parent anytime, but to have a premonition as you did must have made it just that much more painful.
    My dad's been gone for two years. I thought it would get easier, but it doesn't.

    I enjoy your blog. Thanks for sharing the good and the bad. Keeps me grounded and provides insight.

    PS I'm not a vet and don't play one on TV.

  2. Premonition can serve you well in veterinary medicine, and it is not a gift to cast away. Perhaps most is what you know, but never ignore what you feel. And every experience that builds your knowledge of the human condition leads to development of empathy as well as those useful protective instincts you need for this work. Sorry for your loss, but your father taught you a lesson even with his passing. Another chance to thank him, perhaps?

  3. Dr Bob is right. You have a gift. It is not like a gift of musical or artistic talent however as I'm sure it carries a much heavier burden. I hope it serves you well in the future:)

  4. I am so sorry for your loss. It is sad to lose a loved parent at any age, but to lose a father when you are so young is so, so unfair.

  5. I know the feeling-- as an 8 year old I had a dream that my grandmother disappeared. When I got up the next morning, my mom was sitting at the dining room table looking shocked and I said, "Granny's gone isn't she?"

    Some of us just know... I'm so sorry for your loss, but I'm willing to bet your dad would be proud of you!