It’s been a long, sad day for us. William, Gavin and Greta spent the night last night in a fort they built in the basement so they could be with Patches. I went down this morning to spend some time with her, petted her and loved on her. She loved to bury her head in my hand, where she stayed for a little bit before wandering over to the window to check on the bird feeder. She licked her paws and then made her way over to her food dish. The tears welled up in my eyes as I realized that was going to be her last meal. She had no idea. In these moments it was easy to trick ourselves into believing she was completely fine.
I stayed home with Nora while William took Patches to the vet with Gavin and Greta. The kids wanted to go and we felt that was the best thing to do. There was no sense in trying to sugar coat any of this and felt that being honest was the best route to take. A little while later they arrived back home and set to work digging a grave in our backyard. I was standing in the back window watching their progress when suddenly from around the corner came my little girl stoically carrying her beloved Patches to her final resting spot. I could tell through the glass that William was as taken off guard as I was, but he allowed her to gently place Patches down next to the grave. There I was standing in the warm house, not wanting to go outside because I was afraid to see the lifeless body of the cat who had always been so full of personality. In stark contrast, there was my little Greta taking care of and loving her pet up until the bitter end as if that was just part of her job. She helped wrap Patches in a soft towel before they lowered her onto her familiar cat bed that was resting at the bottom of the grave. They held hands in prayer before gently covering her with the earth.
Gavin and Greta’s childhood innocence was so beautiful in those moments. Heaven is so tangible and real to them. It’s not just a concept or a theory. Their minds aren’t marred by the cynicism of this world and I wished I could share in their blissful innocent perspective. I hadn’t anticipated that Greta would be the one comforting me when she spotted the tears in my eyes later in the day, “It’s hard to say goodbye to Patchie, isn’t it, Mommy. It’s okay.” (Oh, LUMP in throat!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
The gloomy afternoon was brightened by a visit from the sweet woman I met in the grocery store a few months ago after she recognized me from the blog. Suzie made a special trip to our house to bring a special stuffed animal kitty for Greta. The kitty used to belong to her daughter Kayla who was now away at college. They had discussed the matter and both agreed that they would like for Greta to have the kitty. Greta graciously accepted the gift and it has not left her side all day. Thank you, Suzie and Kayla for your kindness!
William and Nora hung out here at the house while the other kids and I went to Crossroads (church).
We’ve finally gotten into the routine of going back to church, but we have to do it in shifts since we can’t bring Little Miss with us. I’m so happy just to be there regularly, but I do miss having my hubz by my side. As we headed back out to the car afterward the remnants of a beautiful sunset illuminated the sky, three birds of course flying overhead. In the blink of an eye the infusion of pink faded to gray and the long, exhausting day had officially come to an end.
About Nora’s heel. It looks way, way better today. The reason there was so much bruising is because they had to squeeze a lot of blood from it (about 4 mL). There were other tests that needed to be done as well in addition to the genetic test. Rest assured, it definitely looks better and she’s never appeared to be in any pain except for during the procedure itself.
More pictures from today:
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
(Matthew 18:1-3 NIV)