It occurred to me today that I would not be so darn sad about life right now if I weren't so blessed. Seriously. I lament the things I have lost or am losing because I have been given much.
Consider my Simon. He is the saddest part of life right now. His little body so frail. Today I realized I would not be so sad about him if I weren't so blessed. I consider it a privilege to be able to care for and love a kitty for 14 years. Now it's figuring out how best to care for him at this stage. He does not seem to be in pain though and mostly just lies around on our bed, or on my dresser where it is sunny and warm.
He's eating, and drinking. Even today while he was drinking Samson was licking Simon like they do sometimes. It was really sweet to watch. Although Simon's hair is not as healthy as it used to be so it comes out really easily. Poor Samson kept having to shake the hair off of his tongue.
So, the thought of having him put down still makes me feel like dry-heaving so I don't think it's time yet. If I thought he were in pain or that I would be "helping" him by having it done it would be easier. But, his eyes still look "healthy" when he looks at me. I just can't do it.
I remember that with Liezl, our schnauzer. I hated saying good-bye to her at the cage in the vet's office. She was going in for surgery. They were going to remove the tumor if they could. If they couldn't, they were just going to have her put down on the operating table. I knew I was doing all I could for her so I went through with it, but it was awful. She was in the holding cage at the vet and there was no way I could make her understand what was going on, to tell her I was doing all that I could. She still just looked at me with her bright eyes, wondering what was going on. But, I knew the tumor was taking over her body. The vet wasn't able to remove the tumor. It was all through her organs. It was so sad.
Talking to the vet on Friday she told me Simon probably has some kind of intestinal cancer which is why he is not responding to the meds, and why his body is so thin. I at least know I am doing and have done all that I can. Chemo just is not an option for us. It's a short term fix anyway. That is, if it "fixes" at all. I'm not going to put him through that.
So, I will continue to spoil him with snuggles and treats while I can.
The kids know it is getting near to his time. I explained to them on Friday that we may have to take him to the vet soon to be put to sleep. This is how that conversation went with Elijah ...
"You mean like when you get your tonsils out?"
"Kind of, but you don't wake up."
"He won't wake up until he gets home?"
"No. He won't wake up at all. He will sleep forever."
"Oh." He went back to his video game.
Later when we were praying together as a family Elijah said he didn't want Simon to go to sleep forever. I told him it would be okay though because he would be in heaven (yes heaven) with all the other kitties and Liezl. His eyes got wide and he said, "You mean he will be dead?!"
He understood then that sleeping forever means dying. My bad.
Madelyn on the other hand was very quiet through our conversation. She was making friendship bracelets, but then said, "I wish pets didn't ever have to die ... or people." Then continued on with her bracelets.
This is all part of life though, right? There is love and there is loss. It sucks. And it hurts.
But, where would we be without the love, even knowing it will all be lost one day? We have to love, and be loved, to survive.
God will give us the grace to get through the loss. I am learning this. "A Thousand Gifts" is helping me. If you haven't read that book, read it, especially is you are sad, and/or feeling like dry-heaving.