Tuesday, September 25, 2012

One of Life's Hard Lessons

Recently we have found out that our cat, Dusty, has cancer. 
Well, the veterinarian's educated guess is that it's cancer. We've had many tests done to find out what is wrong with him, but the fees were adding up and the final test to determine if it actually is cancer was just beyond our budget, so for now we are giving him the best quality of life we can.

Dusty 2001
Being a parent is a tough job sometimes. How do you explain to your child that the pet we have had since she was 3 months old is going to die?

 Let me tell you, it hasn't been easy. 
 While having casual conversation with a friend about all we have gone thru with Dusty these past few months, I didn't realize the impact my words were having on my daughter as she sat listening nearby. Man, what a dolt I was for not being more careful! It's not that she didn't know he was sick, but she apparently didn't realize how sick until I spoke of cremation and burial. D'oh!

But honestly, tell me...is there an easy way? No. I don't think there is any way but the blunt truth. 
Dusty is sick. 
He has a disease that will kill him. 
Four months ago he was a 13 pound ball of fluff and now he weighs under 8 pounds and is nothing but fur and bones.

Dusty and Allie on Yacht Street - late 2001

Every day we wake up and Dusty is still with us, 
is one more day we get to enjoy him. 


He doesn't do much but lay in the same spot next to his food bowl. He occasionally gets up and eats a bit. Thankfully the vomiting is few and far between.

He still goes down the stairs to use his litter box, but jumping up to the front living room window is no longer an option.

 I know that being a parent has its ups and downs. You want your kids to be full of innocence and wonder forever. You don't tell them that Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy aren't real. You make them believe for as long as you can. Phooey on the outside world and what they tell us! If my 13 year old son believes faeries are alive in our backyard garden, then dammit, faeries are alive and living in our flowerbed! What harm can it bring? Nothing. It just gives them the freedom to believe in the unseen.

 Besides, it's what we do everyday when it comes to God, or whatever being of higher power your religion worships.
You can't see Him.
 Or touch Him. 
But you know He's there. Something is there. 
Maybe it's just aliens.
Who knows. 
But to quote one of my favorite lines in a movie... 
"I'll tell you one thing about the universe, though. The universe is a pretty big place. It's bigger than anything anyone has ever dreamed of before. So if it's just us... seems like an awful waste of space. Right?" (Movie: Contact)

 All I know that I have learned from life is that we are born. 
We live. And then one day we die. 
Sounds simple, right? Nope. 
Whoever said life was simple has not lived a day in their life.
Let us reflect...

Allie - in utero. July 21, 2000

We are safe here. Inside our Mother's belly. Nothing can get to us. We don't know what hurt feels like. We don't cry. We don't know what it's like to love something with every fiber of our being and then have it taken away in an instant. We just float here and wait for the day when we get to breathe fresh air. 

Smell pretty flowers.

Feel the sun on our skin.

Love and be loved in return.


Touch something soft and furry.

Walk in the snow for the first time.

Throughout our lives we will know many people.

They will be our Family.

Our Friends.

Our Neighbors.

Our Pets.

We will know them for a little while or for most of our days. But know this...
We will love them with all our heart. We will enjoy the time we are with them 
and we will mourn for them when they leave this world.
We will remember them forever!

Sadly, no one can prepare you for death. Even when you know it's coming. When all the signs are there. 

You've been sick for a long time and just couldn't hold out one more day. You've suffered long enough.

  You don't get to see 
one more sunrise or sunset.

You won't get to feel
any more rain on your face.

 Whether we look to the heavens during the times we remember...

Or just sit and pray for the loved ones we've lost.

No matter how much we want to shield our children from pain and loss we have no other choice but to reach deep in our hearts and find the courage and strength to teach them that nothing lasts forever. 
It's a hard lesson. But one we all must learn.

While we still have our Dusty-kitty to love and pet.
There are many others I have lost during my lifetime that deserve a place here.

Please join me in the Lord's Prayer as we stroll thru the past and remember some who have come into my life, filled my heart and soul with love, laughter and tears, then gracefully took their leave to rise up and join the angels.

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.

Barbara K. - Mother of a friend
Doug's Grandparents: Pauline and Stanley Wiechec
Doug's step-Grandparents: Shirley and August Stutzner
Scrappy (top) and Cat
My Grandma: Lois Proctor
My Grandfather: Bert Proctor

Clarence - our Neighbor

My cousin Terri (center)
My Grandfather: Marshall Duffiney

My Grandma: Rosalie Duffiney
My Kitty: Scrap
Doug's Uncle: Donald Wiechec
My Uncle: Dick Duffiney

My Aunt and Uncle: Karen (Kaye) and Jim Morley
My Uncle and Aunt (Left and Right): Donald and Ruth Gezequel
My Grandparents: Arvilla and Walter Morris
Scrap (again)
Siblings: (from left) Aunt Iris, Uncle Roger (still living), Aunt Lorraine, Aunt Adelaide, Uncle Don and Uncle Dick (kneeling). Uncle Gary also deceased, but not pictured.

There are so many more who have gone from this earth, but now I will say to all of you....

Live like there's no tomorrow.

Jump in to each day and the make the most of every minute.

 We must learn to get along with each other.
No matter how strange others may seem.

Smile at every person you see. 
I can betcha a smile will make any person's day
and lift them up no matter how crappy they are feeling.

If you are feeling blue, and can't shake away the gloom,
go buy yourself a treat....like a bright red balloon!

 Never give up the fight!

Take a stand!

And by all means, make your voice heard!

We only have a certain amount of tomorrows. 
So make each today count!

Rest In Peace Dusty
March 1, 2001 - October 27, 2012

You will be forever missed.


  1. That was beautiful Ang. As the tears roll down my face, I know it will be hard to lose Dusty but I think you summed it up beautifully. Live for today and don't waste it worrying about tomorrow. XOXO

  2. Angie, this is a very eloquent reminder that NOW is all that is guaranteed. And a kick in the rump to put the past behind us. Also, thanks for honoring my mom like that. She'd be bawling as much as I am right now. Love you like a sister, girl.

  3. BTW, there are faeries in your flowerbed...right by my moms daffodils!

  4. Couldn't have said it better myself. The writer in you is alive and well. You were really able, to catch the emotion of the situation. Love you all
    (aka) Brother Bart