Spring of 2012 is hereby deemed the "Season of Suckage". Thank goodness the summer solstice is nearly here, because I'm ready for the wretched awfulness of this past season to come to an end. Spring, normally a time of new life emerging form the wintery darkness, has proven a time of trial and death for my loved ones and me.
The Grim Reaper has visited my family monthly since March, taking with him two of my grandparents, both of my cats, and one of my favorite hens. My gramp died a week ago Tuesday. In his final days he had a constant stream of people visiting him and sharing with him how much they loved him. Would that we should all be so fortunate in the end, to have those we love the most nearby.
I got home from work that Thursday to find Rudy hiding in my closet, succombing to intense pain in his back legs. Gene and I had had many conversations leading up to this point: what we would when the aging cats' health became unmanageable? Because we'd talked about it, our next step was clear, although still difficult. I truly believe it's an important choice to make before you're in the moment. We decided long ago that when they got to the point that they needed expensive treatments to prolong their lives past what seemed fair to all of us, we would bid them farewell in a kind and gentle manner.
It was heartwrenching to say goodbye to my sweet boy kitty last Friday morning. He'd been my steadfast friend for 14 years, adjusted surprisingly well to the arrival of the husband, dog, and baby, and loved nothing more than to sit on my lap. I miss you, little buddy.
(Aside: I need to bitch for a second that the Animal Emergency Clinic charges $50 to administer the euthanasia, PLUS $90 if you want to be in the room with your pet when they do it, PLUS $30 for a cremation. I would have laughed at them if I hadn't been sobbing. The Tacoma Cat Hospital, however, had very gracious staff who got me in quickly, listened to my concerns about Rudy, agreed with me, did the deed quickly with me right there the whole time, and took care of his remains. Their total price was $56, which included as much Kleenex as I needed to make it through the ordeal, kind words from the veterinarian, and even a condolence card in the mail the very next day.)
I'm really hoping that last week was the Grim Reaper's grande finale. If he's got more in store for me, I'm not sure I can take it. So far this has been a good week.
Things are starting to look up again. Yes, my yard is still an utter mess. I've weeded only a few times, not that you can tell! The tomato plants I bought in May are still in their pots, as is the hydrangea I purchased to replace the ugly rhodie in the front yard. It was damaged in last winter's ice storm and I never liked it anyway.
The apple and pear trees I planted last year survived the harsh winter. We got a few apples last year and I'm hoping that our neighbors' asian pear tree is close enough for cross-pollination. My favorite clematis died (dang those chickens) but my new honeysuckle has been attracting the hummingbirds. My hope for the honeysuckle is that it'll grow along the fence and create a wall of green and orange.
I surprised Gene in May with a new patio in the backyard and we're spending more time outside as the weather warms. I sit in the stillness of our miniscule oasis, breathe deeply of the scented flowers all around, and take a few moments to enjoy the simplicity of being.
Kaelen is a robust 6-month-old who's growing at the rate of over an inch a month, sleeping reliably through the night, making the miserable times bearable, and reaching for Rosemary every chance he gets. We adore him with every fiber of our being.
Life, as difficult as it has been of late, moves ever onward.