Tuesday, November 26, 2013

We Do The Best We Can

My cat, Bella.

     Today I'm prompted to write this, as my heart is broken for a dear friend. You see, he had to put his cat down yesterday after only having him for three years.
     Most of us pet lovers have had to deal with this sort of heartbreak at one time or another. Our fuzzy dogs, pretty cats, even the smallest of animals, birds, guinea pigs. Sweet pets who ask nothing of us but to be loved and give so much in return. Unconditional Love. They wait for us by the door, tails wagging, tongues lolling, a big doggy grin on their faces. Cats who rub in and out of our legs, crawl upon our laps, the soothing sound of purrs and the drip of their love juices from their mouths. The many nights, when we are alone, crying into our pillows as our furry partner sits nearby watching, waiting for mommy or daddy to be alright. The lick or nuzzle of a cold nose under our arm or on our faces, as they tell us "it will be okay."
     Sometimes we feel we haven't done enough for our pets. Maybe if we'd just have brought them to the vets sooner. Maybe if I didn't buy that brand of food. Maybe, maybe, maybe, the list goes on and on.
     I have a sweet story to share with you. Perhaps it will put in perspective for any of you who beat yourselves up to this sort of thinking:
     When my son was about eleven, we were walking on a beautiful spring day. There, in the middle of our quiet road, was a little bird flapping its wings, unable to move. Our hearts were moved to compassion. How could we leave that poor thing there to its fate? A car would surely come by at some point. We retrieved the little fellow, placing him into a shoe box with warm material and we tried dropping water into its little beak at different times. We talked kindly to it, petting its battered body with a gentle finger. Yet while we slept through the night, the bird passed away. I awoke that next day, wondering what would I tell my son. He'd felt so good, so proud of our kind deeds. And now I'd have to share this sad news with him.
     I made a small grave out in our yard, and later that day, my son spent his own quiet time there, reflecting and perhaps shedding his own tears. This bothered me and I spoke with someone wise about the situation. How could I make my son understand life and death a little better especially where it pertained to an animal?
     I was told this: We gave that bird a wonderful passing. We loved it enough to pick it up when it was hurt, nurse it best we could, give it shelter and warmth. It didn't have to die alone and abandoned in the street. It knew love in its last moments.
     Last year, my son had to put a cat down. I think he handled it with poise and grace. I think, though his heart was breaking, he understood what it meant to love an animal with his whole heart. And when the time was right, when all else was exhausted, the decision to not have a pet suffer, is the most difficult, but most correct decision we'll ever make.
     So dear friends, let's feel good as we do the best we can for our dear pets. Know in your heart, you've done well by them. You've rescued them perhaps from shelters, or back alleys, or God forbid, abuse. And even if you've only had them for a short time, like the little bird, you've given them food, shelter, warmth, and love. You've done your best.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Thief

I find myself thinking about some serious things as I write today's blog. Memories. There have been several people recently in my life who are losing theirs. Some dear loved ones who can't remember certain people, situations or even words. It hurts. It really hurts me seeing these once active people succumbing to the ravages of time and the frailty of their own bodies.

I just got off the phone with a dear aunt, one who I haven't seen in a while. Though she was completely sweet and very happy talking with me, I can see what she's going through. Memory loss. It frightens me, as I see several of my closest relatives even my dear mother as the thoughts fly out of their heads on the wings of forgetfulness. Will that happen to me, I wonder. . .

I've read up on vitamins and such things to stave off the inevitable. And I believe in God's hand through it all. I will not claim this as my own. I do not have to label myself as someone who will surely fall prey to a mind which no longer remembers events or even people.

Walking through a nursing home, I've seen sweet folks with dolls upon their laps, talking with them as if they're a long lost child. What causes this I wonder? And is it a good thing, perhaps, for some who may have gone through such trauma in their lives to put aside the daily worries and cares of this world and live in a fantasy dimension perhaps?

Take the time to love, really love the people in your family, dear aunts, uncles, grandparents and parents, sisters, brothers and good friends. You never know when that robber of the mind may snatch the precious years from you.

 The older I get, I realize I must live in the moment, love in the moment and be kind when words fail a dear loved one. When the questions they ask over and over again begin to agitate me and I feel I can't take it a minute longer. I can choose to be their shining star, the person who will carry them through this rough patch, this difficult journey of the mind.