I apologize for my lack of presence lately.  A lot has happened, and I just may make a “Life as of Lately” post later, but for now… I just need to get some things off my chest.

**Warning: if you’re not up to reading a somewhat depressing, lengthy post, I’d forgo this one if I were you**

This weekend was kind of hell.

It started off Saturday, busy day… Had to go places and do things– I had a fundraiser with my choir.  The BBQ scheduled to happen afterwards got cancelled due to rain.  I spent the rest of my free hours with J and then went to work.  I neglected my homework.  At the time, it was what I wanted.  In hindsight, a very bad idea.

Sunday was the final blow.  I didn’t know it was possible for so many bad things to happen in one day.  It was like a normal Sunday… I did normal things.  I tried to do a normal morning run/bike ride.  Before leaving, however, as I let my dogs out for their normal morning bathroom break, I noticed Tasha (my white cock-a-poo) was just sleeping in her pen and wouldn’t get up.  The past few weeks, she has grown increasingly weaker.  She had stopped eating and drinking– as much as we tried to get her to, she refused.  And she has been sick.  We combatted it for a while with prescription food and special medicine.  It held for a while. She was not suffering.  We did know, however, that the situation with her livers was inevitable, and we couldn’t diet/medicate forever.  She was older, too…  Truth is, she didn’t have much time left, and we didn’t know how much.  We had talked about caring for her, and what to do if maybe we ever needed to put her down (as much as I hate the thought of that… I wouldn’t want her to suffer… but then again, I wouldn’t want to help her die, either).  Not knowing what else to do, I prayed.

That morning, as she lay there, breathing really heavily, I tried to make her comfortable and I talked to her and I pet her and I tried to console myself. We were leaving for church soon– we were going to be late.  I had to tear myself away from her side, praying that she’d be okay until we got back.

So we go to church.  In theory, I had already known the sad fact about our seminarian– she was leaving to go to another parish.  She honestly was one of the only reasons I have enjoyed coming to church recently.  She was so knowledgeable and down to earth– one of the nicest people you could ever meet.  When she officially made her announcement at the altar(ish), I broke down.  A lot of people did.  And what made it sadder?  She was delivering her news right after we had received word that a member of our parish had died just minutes earlier.  I didn’t know the woman personally, but so many people gasped when they heard– she must have been really well liked.  She was young and had two little boys… She was apparently “a hard fighter”, so I’m led to believe she was taken by her disease. The whole congregation wept.

I prayed.

Before the service had started, I was walking in to find a seat with my family. Suddenly, one of the clergy members rushes by me, with a tissue to her face, openly sobbing.  I wondered, what’s wrong? Why is she crying? Upon sitting down in the pew, I hear the news being delivered to the congregation.  The gasps literally fill the air, and I’m still puzzled and shocked and sad all at once.   It was so much to take in.  The songs in the service were slow and solemn.  It fit with what everyone was feeling.  Afterwards, almost no one stayed for coffee hour.  They had “depressed” us away.  There was, however, one woman there.  She was watching a butterfly garden net thingy that someone had brought in as a little nature observation thing for the kids.  Inside were monarch butterflies and chrysalises.

“Look!” she told my little sister, who was hypnotized by the butterflies flying around in the little box of netting.
“One’s emerging from its cacoon!” Boo and I watched as a monarch butterfly, having completed its transformation, found its way out of its sheer, pearly, protective shell.  Slowly the wings unfolded as the nutrients flowed to its wings.  I was witnessing a miracle of life.

And that’s when I knew.  I think I knew that moment.  It was a sign.  I prayed.

After church ended, we headed home.  I had to get out of nice clothes and into clothes for work.  I kissed Tasha goodbye.

Five long hours passed. Work was slow. Time was scarce.  I couldn’t concentrate.  I was tired from my early morning run.  When I finally got home later, my older brother stops us at the door.  He tells us not to go in the laundry room (at least, not the little ones) because it had come.  Tasha had breathed her last breath.
My heartstrings were tugged in every direction imaginable.  I felt deeply saddened at her passing, angered at my neglect to stay with her and care for her, guilty because I hadn’t bathed her when Mom had told me to, and numb.  I must have sat there for a half an hour, looking at her and petting her cold, dense body.

We don’t really know how we’re going to take it until it happens… But I think I’m one of those people who needs closure.  I need to acknowledge things as they happen. And for me, that was petting my little dog and reminiscing about the first time I had ever seen her at the rescue foundation set up at a Petco. And I’m just going to say now that discussing mortality with a 6 year old is probably one of the most saddening, interesting, and eye-opening things you can ever do.

She looked peaceful–she could have been asleep in her favorite position.

I did not sleep well last night.  I cried for Tasha. I cried for Margaret. I cried for that poor woman who left a husband and two boys.  I cried for life’s injustices. I cried until I couldn’t anymore.

Sometimes, life isn’t fair.  That’s what life is, anyways? But I know the only way to move on is to look for a silver lining, no matter how dull.  Tasha is no longer suffering.  She, like my mom said, “is probably running around like the bullet she used to be up in doggy heaven”.  Margaret is moving up in her pastoral position.  It’s a big step for her.  Mrs. Kelly is no longer held hostage in a world of sickness; she is being granted admission through those pearly gates as we speak, her body free and beautiful running through the clouds and smiling down on her husband and children.

And me?

I’m doing okay. And I will be okay.  In surrounding myself with the people I love and what is truly important, I will find peace.

We will find peace.

Rest in peace, my little angel ❤ xoxo I love you so much, and I’ll miss you.