Why tears?

This morning’s local paper was filled with emotion for me. A long awaited obituary finally showed up and an article featuring my good friend and her store were in it.

About a month ago, we heard that the son of an old friend of ours died of a serious lung infection. We had been waiting for the obituary to show up with details of any celebration of life. It was nice to read what was written about the young man who died before turning thirty. Our kids went to school together. Our son was the same age as their older son and our daughter was the same age as their second daughter and they were friends. The son who died was a couple years younger.

After writing down the date, time and location of the celebration, I continued reading, only to find my dear friend, her daughter and their two stores featured in an article! What a pleasant surprise. Oddly though, as I read through it, so many tears fell. I still am not sure why. I am so proud of my friend and her daughter (my goddaughter) for what they have built together. I wished that I could have the same compassion she shows towards her customers. Sometimes I think I am too business like and a bit harsh. My ex- told me I was and that label has been a hard one to shake, in spite of being told by others how they see me. I wondered what I had to show for my life. What legacy am I leaving behind? I don’t have a store where I make people feel special, or shows that I have done something with my days.

After allowing myself to cry a bit. I reminded myself that sometimes as women, we just need a good cry. Nothing is wrong, it is just like taking a shower, only tears clean out our emotions instead of skin. I have plenty to show for my life. Children who are serving God and are responsible, loving human beings and parents. Grandchildren who are respectful and kind. Although it was God who gave the wisdom to raise children, I had to act upon it, I had to pray for them, and still do. I also have many friends whom we consider family and they consider us family. That is enough for me. My children and grandchildren are the fruit of my time, my prayers, my life. And, I pray that the way I live my life brings joy, and a smile to my Creator. Ultimately, that will be the crowing achievement for me.

Today, look beyond what the world labels as success. And may you be content with what you see. And if you aren’t, each moment that follows this moment, is a new chance to start something that will bring contentment, or change, or whatever you are seeking for.

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Goodbye dear Spanky…

Today, we had to say goodbye to our sweet girl Spanky and I need to share.

Spanky was a stray who came into our lives twelve years ago. A black cat who wore a white bikini. She was pregnant when we found her roaming the neighborhood. We started feeding her, but left her alone, thinking she might go back to wherever she belonged. She gave birth to three kittens in the a roll of carpeting, in the back of a neighbor’s truck. We decided to take her in when the young neighbor showed up at our door with a pure white kitten in his hands asking what he should do.

At that point in time, we had four adults, two dogs and two cats already living in our home. Fortunately our home and our hearts had enough room to fit her in. She quickly became a part of the family, although she truly preferred being a one pet family. She tolerated the other animals, and people, and became extremely loyal and attached to my honey and I. It took us almost three weeks to find the perfect name for her. I remember lying in bed next to my honey tossing names about, when he said, “How about Otis Spankmeyer the third? Spanky for short”. It fit her a personality, and the name stuck.

She was the youngster in the house. We got her spayed, and she outlived all the others. In 2011, we became empty nesters. My dad had retired, and my folks decided they wanted to spend some retirement years in their own place. They had moved in with us several years earlier when we purchased a large home with in law quarters. They took their cat with them. We downsized, just us and the two cats. A while later, we had close friends, family really, who were moving from another state to our town. They moved in with us for six months while they found jobs and looked for their own place. A few days later, I found cat pee on my down comforter on my bed! My first thought was that our older cat had started to lose her faculties. She was, after all, fifteen years old. We battled the peeing for a few weeks, and I was ready to put her down. Until… one day I walked into the room and found Spanky on the bed trying to hide some fresh pee!!!! That little stinker!!

A regimen of canned pumpkin for a possible bladder infection and replacing the comforter put an end to the peeing. The vet said she may have just been mad at us for bringing change into the house. She ended up having a love hate relationship with the guy who moved in. He loved to tease and play with her, and in later years would treat her to pieces of shredded mozzarella cheese when he visited.

Spanky loved to play hide and seek with her daddy when he arrived home from work. Often running from him into a room, waiting for him to come find her, and when he did, she would bolt to a different room. She was a triller too. Whenever she would jump, awaken to a pet on the head, she would let out a squeaky little trill. It was like an early warning that she was coming up into the bed to cuddle. She loved to cuddle in the mornings. She would crawl under the covers with me for about 15 minutes, and she would stretch out next to her daddy a little later in the morning for love. At night, she loved being scooped up by her daddy like a baby, and would gently paw at his chin while he stroked her back.

She was a hunter, and cleared the backyard of voles when we first moved in. Patiently she would wait at a hole, watching and listening, sometimes for a half hour, before suddenly springing and flinging a one of the little creatures into the air with her teeth.

These past couple months were filled with many vet visits, and she quickly gained a reputation as the “infamous Spanky” amongst the vets. They even marked on her chart beware of fast teeth.

Our favorite thing was sitting in the backyard on a warm sabbath morning, drinking coffee and watching her chase bugs in the backyard.

The tears and sobbing comes and goes. I know that with time, the hole she leaves in our hearts will shrink. We are entering another chapter of life. She brought us great joy, we brought her great joy. No one is immortal except the Almighty. But, the hole she leaves in our home may well make space to bless another abandoned animal in the future. She will be desperately missed. Rest in peace with no more suffering, our dear Pookie Bear, our Spanky Girl.