The night snuck up on us quietly. We all went to bed and I fell asleep praying. At 4:30 a.m. I woke up to that godforsaken hacking sound. Gelsemina was having another seizure, only eight hours after the first one. We rushed back to the hospital received the first dose of phenobarbital, then went back home. Somewhere in the night she had a stroke, and when the Sunday sun kissed my balcony, my beautiful girl could no longer walk and went completely blind. I held her in my arms, her limp body hanging like a vintage rag doll, her little tongue swinging in the hot September air like a lifeless handkerchief. That afternoon I did what my teacher, a shaman from the Peruvian Amazon taught me. I pulled out my chakapa - a bouquet of jungle leaves tied together - and rattled it over her spent body and told her: "If you have to go, you can go, I love you; just tell me what you would like me to do."
"I am not going anywhere," came her indignant answer through the celestial quantum plane. "I am just really tired, you have to let me sleep, and get me off these meds, please," she concluded. I was relieved to get that answer, though it was a slight challenge to fully believe it. How could you not have doubts when your best friend's almost lifeless body is relieving herself at your knees, when it seems like no one is "home," when your firecracker of a dog can no longer walk? Regardless, I prayed, I kissed her, I sang her beautiful mantras, I "OM"-d my head off. And again, I was in the moment.