The Things I Miss

Saturday Morning

So I’m sitting here with these two on a Saturday morning, one week into the new world order of sheltering in place.  The house is still quiet, as I am the only one awake yet.

I can’t help but think about what the world is going through right now and how vulnerable we as a society are.  Our lives have been completely upended and we have no idea when we will return to any sense of normalcy.

As I look back, as recently as two weeks ago, but what now seems like a six months ago, I just want to list some of the things I now desperately miss.

  • Carpool – my children start online school on Monday and will probably continue this way for the rest of the school year.  The only upside I can see from this is that I no longer have to worry when I drop them off at school if it could be the last time I see them due to a school shooting.  I loved afternoon carpool.  It was a nice break and I got to read for 30 minutes before the madness began.
  • Lattes – I am a coffee addict, and much like my favorite foods, my lattes always taste better when someone else makes them.  I don’t go to Starbucks for a number of reasons, but I desperately miss the two independent coffee shops I went to.  One day, hopefully sooner rather than later, I will go to Ascension Annex or Turbo and have a latte again.
  • Eating out – I hate to cook.  I’m not good at it, my family complains often about what I make, so eating out was a treat.  That’s gone now, as are so many jobs for restaurant and bar employees.
  • Grocery Shopping – I actually use to complain about having to go to the store multiple times a week.  I feel like such a fool now.  If I even dare to go to the store now, I literally feel like I’m taking my life in my own hands, because I probably am.  The store workers don’t have the luxury of staying home and ordering delivery.  They are out there every day and deserve to be paid far more than they get presently.
  • Team Practices – Oh how I use to complain about this one.  The multiple practices a week I had to take my child to and sit there for two hours, not to mention the 20 minutes we had between getting home from school and having to leave the house.  If we ever get the chance to be that busy again, I promise I won’t complain about it!
  • The Gym – this was one of the few things that kept me sane and now it’s closed indefinitely.  Oh how I loved walking or running on the treadmill while watching HGTV.  What a gift it was to have all that equipment at my disposal.  Now I have to work out at home and it is not going well.
  • Running errands – Just being able to run out and get whatever you wanted or needed at a moments notice.  Those days are gone for now.  Stores are closed, shelves are bare and people are without jobs, so I know I have it good, but damn it sucks.
  • A healthy 401-K – I don’t even look anymore.  It’s too depressing.
  • Wearing makeup – Why bother.  No one really sees me.  At least I still shower and get dressed, but it’s sometimes not before 11:00 am.
  • Hugging people – Social distancing sucks even though I am an introvert.
  • Being alone – with my husband working from home and my children at home, there is no more alone time, except when I’m sleeping.  At least we all appear healthy for now and still have a roof over our heads.

Take care and stay well!

Saying Farewell

I always knew the day would come that I would have to do the unthinkable.  As I watched you grow older and frail, I knew that our time together was coming to an end.

Tyler sleeping

You not being part of my life was unthinkable, so I did just that…Tried not to think about it until I could no longer deny the awful truth.  I knew your hyperthyroidism was taking it’s toll, but I had no idea that something far more sinister was stealing you away from me.

Tyler helping with my art

You were such a huge part of my daily life, and for 17 years, you have been one of the best gifts I’ve ever been given.  I will never forget the day we first brought you home.  You were not the kitten I was originally sent photos of, the one that I was supposed to get.  

But when we got to your house, you literally chose us.  You were right there, trying to get our attention, and when I finally noticed you, that’s when I fell in love.  We were a perfect match.

Tyler in his younger days.

We’ve been together through so much, you and I.  You have been there for me during my best days and my worst.  You were there when we brought both of our beautiful baby girls home.  You tolerated all of the other animals we introduced into our home – the birds, the rats, the lizards and the dog.

Tyler and Zoey

It’s hard to imagine the rest of my days without you in them.  We shared a bond that was completely unbreakable, even now that you are gone, I still feel you here.

There are times I think I hear you sneeze or cough or think I feel you jump up on the bed.  I felt so bad for you as you had to suffer with all those sinus problems you had for so long and the toll that the hyperthyroidism was taking on you.  Why did you have to be the 1% of cats who was allergic to the medicine?  If only that would have been the worst of your problems, you would still be with me today.

Curious cat

Most people don’t understand the amount of grief one can feel when you lose a pet.  They say “It’s just a cat, you can get another one.”  You were more than just a cat, you were my best friend and there is a void in my life and an empty place where you once use to be that no other animal could ever fill.  

Tyler

I knew when this time came that it would hurt, but I never knew the extent of the grief and the depth of the pain.  I guess I’m lucky in a way, considering that this is the most devastating loss I’ve experienced in my life so far.  If it hurts to lose a cat this much, I can’t bear to think what it must be like to lose a child.  I don’t believe I could handle something like that and survive.  I’m in awe of those that do.

The day I had to take you to the vet and be faced with the awful choice of having to “put you to sleep” or letting you live a couple for months at the most, but be in pain, was the worst day imaginable.  On the outside, you still seemed fine, with plenty of life still left inside of you. This made it all the more difficult.  Would it have been easier if you were outwardly sick?  Perhaps, but I don’t think that matters in the end.

Those eyes

The x-ray told a more sinister story and presented a picture of something I had no idea was growing inside of you, something which took you away from me far sooner than I had expected.

17 years seems like a long time, but it wasn’t enough for me.  We made it through one more Christmas together and rang in one last New Year’s together, but I selfishly wanted more.  I wish we had more time, although it still wouldn’t be enough.

Tyler

Rest assured Tyler, there will never be another one like you.  You were truly one of a kind. I will never forget you and I am so happy that we found each other.   I wish you were still with me every second of every day.

You were fiercely loved.

My studio cat

 

 

A Life Documented

ephemera

One of my favorite used bookstores is in Breckenridge, Colorado and is called Old Man Berkins.  It’s kind of funny because the guy who owns it is probably in his early thirties, so he definitely isn’t old.  The thing I loved the most about the place was this big box they had which was filled with all of the stuff they found inside the books they bought.  Everything in the box was a dollar.  I wanted to buy almost everything in it.

I think I spent hours digging through that box.  I did my best to get as through as much of it as I could, but it took me a couple of visits before I felt I had looked at just about everything in it.  There were many treasures to be had in that box.  Once I saw this one, I knew I had to have it.

My original idea was to use the different pieces in my artwork, but that hasn’t happened.  It’s been three years and it’s still intact.  I’m not sure what I’m saving it for, but for some reason I can’t bring myself to take it apart.

Sadly, the last time I went back to Old Man Berkins, the box was gone.  It had been replaced with a box filled with old Playboy magazines, which were not nearly as interesting, at least not in my opinion.

If I ever make my way back to Breckenridge, Old Man Berkins will be one of the first places I go to and I hope the box of treasures is back.