Tattered Blankets…


We cannot let go of the dying.  It’s in our nature, I suppose.  We’re constantly craving stability, same-ness.  As such, we cling to the dying as if they were pieces of a tattered blanket, somehow trying to put it back together with needle and thread, knowing that the effort is futile and there will come a point where nothing can be done.  You can’t forever repair a broken body.

Instead, we should dissect those tatters, thread-by-thread, keeping the meaningful ones…the laughs, the joys, sometimes the tears, and weave them into a tapestry of our own.  Those threads are part of our story now; they have changed us, and we forever bear their marks.

All that remains should be burned…fights, sadness, betrayals, disappointments.  Yes, we are indelibly marked by those as well, but we should let them be mere flecks, tiny imperfections, remembered, acknowledged, and then let go to scatter on the wind like ashes from a dying fire.

We can try to hold the tatters, but such attempts would be in vain.  The soul slips away, the body withers, and like the husk of a cicada, remains as an empty shell, tattered remnants.

What we do with those tatters is up to us.


I Got Nothing…

This is happening right now:


You may notice that she’s in her harness.  We’re trying to get her used to it as we are working on getting an ultralight camper in the (relatively) near future and we want to be able to take her with us, which would require that she be on the harness/leash pretty constantly.  After half an hour of flopping around like she was dying, she’s discovered that the harness is not a torture device and is contentedly napping between my knees.

Today is supposed to be a thesis-working day, but thus far, I’ve made myself breakfast and watched the DVRed season premier of The Deadliest Catch.  I do intend to work hard on it today, though.  I promise (Dad).

The past few weeks haven’t been so great, honestly.  I need an adjustment to my meds, which won’t be coming until the 29th, and I’m going to have to pay out-of-pocket, which also sucks.  Work has been really stressful, which is both good (we’re getting more business, which is *excellent* for us) and bad (I’m having trouble keeping up with it all). My grandma fell and broke her wrist and her hip and had to have surgery.  We did get a nice weekend in the mountains last weekend, though (pictures to come…it was beautiful).

Unfortunately, this week showed me the ugly side of corporate America.  We had some “restructuring” which didn’t impact me directly, but affected the guy who took a chance on me six years ago and hired me even though I didn’t have any experience and knew nothing about the industry.  He’s a really good man and a good leader, and I feel blessed to have gotten to work for him.  He’ll still be with us, but in a different capacity, and it’s been a really hard thing to process while trying to keep up morale among us.  I still have a job, though, and I am grateful for that.  And I’m even more grateful that I love my team.

I’m also struggling with trying to let go of the desire to accomodate everyone.  I’ve always been that way, and it often leads me into friendships where I care about the other person more than they care about me…which breeds a lot of resentment on my end.  Detaching myself from that is something that I’m vowing to work on.

There’s no detaching me from this right now, though:




I’m going to try to do this without falling apart.  And I apologize in advance, Mom.  It’s probably going to be a tearjerker.

In April of 1989, we welcomed a new member into our home.  I was 7 years old.  I remember being so excited all day at school because I knew that we’d have a new kitten when I got home.  I flew into the house and burst into the living room and saw…….nothing.  See, at seven, one doesn’t understand the intricasies of the feline psyche, especially not the toddler-feline psyche, which may include fear of large, loud, running children.  Mom made me sit in the living room quietly, and Puss finally crept out from behind the couch.  She was 10 weeks old.  We decided that Valentines day would be her “birthday.”


I tormented and aggravated the crap out of her on a daily basis.  But I loved her.  And, in that unique way that only cat-people can understand, she loved me too.  Most kids think of their pets as their friends; it’s different for kids that get picked on.  The bond is deeper.  She was my best friend.

She was also silly.  She flew through the kitchen, losing traction on the lineoleum and skidding under the table.  She chased a hundred bouncy-balls under the oven (believe it or not, they don’t melt…even after ten years under the oven).  She hid, waiting for unsuspecting ankles to pass by and launched full-scale, painful attacks.  She played “Killer-Kitty.”  She climbed into the microwave…


She was there when my dad had a heart attack when I was in the fifth grade.  She was there when I found out “the truth” about Santa.  She was there when I went to middle school, and when I got picked on almost every single day of those two years.  She was there when I started playing the flute, the piano, the guitar.  She was there when I went to high school.  She was there when I went on my first date, got my first boyfriend, for my first kiss.  She was there when I went to college and slept with me when I was terrified because I didn’t know anyone.  She was there for mine and my mom’s late-night summer gab-fests, watching tv and playing cards.  She was there for my first breakup.  She was there when I got engaged.  She was there when my Papa died.  She was there when I lost all of my friends in a stupid fight.  She was there when I got married, when I graduated from college, when I moved away to TX, when I came back, when I had to quit my teaching job, when I got my first corporate job, when Joey graduated from seminary, when Mom hurt her back and then had surgery, when Dad had surgery and we thought he was going to die.  She was there when he came home from the hospital and through cardiac rehab. 


And then she wasn’t there.  After a three-year battle with kidney disease, Puss went home on 12/7/07.  Most people aren’t lucky enough to get almost 19 years with their pet, I know.  But it doesn’t make it any easier.  I was at work that day and couldn’t go to the vet.  I feel guilty for that.  The only day in my life that was worse was the day that Dad had to go to the CCU.  And I still miss her so much.

For those of you who would say, “it’s just a pet,” I pity you.  You’ll never understand the indelible mark that tiny pawprints can make on the heart. 

And even though the pain of losing her is still great, I would never trade one day of the nineteen years I got with her.  It was worth it.


Loss and Blessings

I’m not going to say much today.  Two years ago today, my little fur-sister, Puss, went on to heaven.

I will spend the rest of my life trying to help other kitties; none of them should ever have to be alone or afraid.

As much as her leaving us hurt, I wouldn’t trade a minute of having her in my life for almost nineteen years.

There is no love quite like the love of a cat, and I pity those who’ve never gotten to experience it.

To love a cat is one of the most frustrating, yet totally rewarding blessings that life can offer.

Someday, I’m going to do something in a big way, a big, big tangible way, to help homeless and especially special needs kitties.  Just wait and see.  And I will have done it all for Puss.