It is rainy and gray and somewhat dismal outside. It’s been that way in the morning for days now. Then the sun makes its entrance and beams throughout the rest of the day.
There is a globe light on a tall pole near my yard that has been flickering since yesterday. I imagine it’s about to go out.
It kind of reminds me of a desperate signal from sea to land in another time and place.
Of young wives, breath held and hope still beating in their hearts, waiting to see if their husbands will come safely home. When the sea is a beast of an animal during a wild and thunder-rumbling storm.
This is spring weather in these parts. Lots of storms and rain and an occasional tornado dipping down to upend people’s lives.
New Little Red House Blog Header:
I’ve been giving much thought to my blog header. I took the one down that had Gracie in it. It bothered me to do so, as I’m surely not trying to erase that precious little baby.
But every time I looked at it I cried. So then I put a generic header up for a week or so, but it wasn’t really me.
Then yesterday I worked most of the day trying to recreate the one I had of the gold chair and the cats without Gracie in it.
I put a potted plant where Gracie’s image next to Ivy used to be. But that didn’t settle well with me either.
How was I going to look at that potted plant and not see the absence of Gracie?
So I made this simple red house header instead. The red house suits me. As does the deep green hues of nature.
What Changed Everything A Few Weeks Ago:
Sometimes I round the corner into my bedroom and expect Gracie to come out from under the bed and meow at me. She had such a scratchy-record kind of a meow.
She’d jump up on the bed and wait for me to cuddle with her.
Other times I round that corner and see her lying there dead on the carpet just inside the door.
That dismal night my heart seemed to flip-flop in my chest as I took in what was so hard to accept.
What is still so hard to accept.
How I miss that sweet little girl! My Gracie Mae.
I recall blinking my eyes and hoping that the horrible and traumatic sight before me would disappear.
Ivy watches closely, and if I make a small sound that Ivy thinks might be the sound of sadness, her head rears up and she looks at me. I try hard to drown my sorrow and smile back at her.
Her bright green eyes are piercing in their intensity, begging me not to cry.
Please, I have asked the powers that be, please, why didn’t you give me more time with Gracie?
I am met with a definitive and profound silence.
I’ll never see those beautiful blue eyes again.
The Loss Of Charlie Ross:
And then I’ll see Charlie, a passenger in my car facing forward, as I took him to the clinic that final time. I still kick myself because we would still have had more time together.
But he’d been doing badly for some time, and for some reason, I chose that day. And afterward, I realized I’d been planning this day for some time.
I’d been taking him to animal acupuncture for a few years to help him with pain. It was expensive, but I’d have spent everything I had if it reset him back to a time when there wasn’t so much discomfort.
Back when he could still run like a pup and climb up the steps to the couch and bed without help.
A Decision That I Can’t Come To Terms With:
I berate myself all the time for having done it. He wasn’t going to die that specific day without my hand in it.
He may have had pain and a chronic heart problem, but he was still physically there with me.
I can still see my Charlie boy sitting there in my car, excited that he was getting to go with me. He loved rides in the car.
And sometimes I envision cutting my skin until I bleed copious amounts of blood, though I know it wouldn’t help my sorrow. Sometimes I want to hurt physically because I hurt so much emotionally.
Don’t worry. I wouldn’t do that to Ivy.
My sadness and grief are sometimes so hard to bear. Losses that seem bigger than life.
The Effects On Veterinarians:
How do vets do it every day? Put pets to sleep? Which has always been a hard thing for me to say. Because they aren’t really putting them to sleep.
A recent study shows how it’s affecting them.
One out of 6 veterinarians has considered suicide, according to studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While male vets are 1.6 times more likely to die by suicide than the general population, female vets are 2.4 times more likely, and 80% of vets are women.
June & September 2021:
That was last June. And then in September timid little Gracie came to live with Ivy and me. She was such a cuddle bug.
I figure Gracie was born about the time Charlie left this earth.
It’s been a tumultuous year for me. In 9 months I’ve lost two cherished and beloved pets.
In less than 4 years I’ve lost three pets. The first was Abi. Then Charlie and Gracie.
And my life will never be the same without them.