Strength To Carry On

Remember each moment that’s gone by
Even as you say farewell
Grief lets you know of the love
Rent from you by the veil
Each precious moment a shining star
Taking your heart as they fell

I was told once that you know you’re an adult when you have to make your own doctor appointments. I’ve found that, though this is true, it’s also…not.

You know you’re an adult when you have to schedule a final appointment for a beloved, but slowly dying family pet.

Just remember that your love for them can keep you warm after they’ve gone ahead.

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Robin’s Egg Blue – Moment of Beauty

My niece brought in a piece of eggshell that she’d found. It was a color she doesn’t normally see and wondered about it. She said it was beautiful and that she had to share it with me. It was the piece of a robin’s egg which reminded me of the little chirps I’ve been hearing whenever I walk the dogs around the property.

Sometimes we forget in the hustle and bustle of life to stop and look at the beautiful things around us. They can be the sunset with its glorious colors strewn across the sky or the smell of freshly cut grass. Sometimes it’s a tiny piece of robin’s blue eggshell against the dark rich soil of the earth.

Put the Glass Down

Who am I if I can’t carry it all?

If I falter…

Who am I if I don’t have what it takes?

No cracks, no breaks

No mistakes, no pressure

-‘Surface Pressure’; from “Encanto”
But it's so hard to go on
Utilizing every source of energy
Reaching further and further inside
Not realizing what you're courting
Only knowing you just can't stop
Until there's nothing left to give
Then you fall and can't get up

I’m not the eldest of my siblings. I’m the third youngest, in fact, which would sound like still pretty up there, but I’m the sixth child my parents had, so it really means that I’m just barely not the end, but not really one of the middle two. I’ve watched different siblings at different times try to carry not only their own loads but those around them. I’ve done it, too. We seem to take turns in my family with doing that. It helps with the burnout that each of us have lived through of one thing or another.

I’ve been told that working like that with one another is…odd.

I don’t know why, though. Isn’t that what family is supposed to be about? Yeah, you have fights and arguments, and maybe you don’t talk a whole lot with each other sometimes, but when you’re family needs help? When you see your siblings fall, don’t you step up and help them? Even if you’re still angry and hurt, you still love them. You can love someone, but not really like them all of the time. That’s just being human. We don’t even always like ourselves, so why would that be any different with others?

I don’t really recall if I’ve written about this before, but it’s been rolling through my head since watching that part of the movie. That sister was approaching burnout at what she saw as the destruction of her family. After all, if she’s the strongest of them and she’s weak when all of the magic might be fading? And her entire concept of her worth is based on what she can do? That’s a recipe for disaster, Disney movie or no.

It’s healthy for someone to take time away in order to rest. Even if they don’t go back to what they were doing before they burned out, it’s important. A person’s worth is more than what they can do.

Children of the Earth

I have never thought of my dogs and cats and other animals, both pets and farm, to be my children.

It just wasn’t what they were to me.

That does not mean that they aren’t important to me. That does not mean that I don’t love them dearly.

But they are not my children.

Now I do have siblings that see their dogs and/or cats as their children. It was never strange to me that this could be. We each need different things as we are all different people. The reasons for why some of my siblings look at their pets and think, ‘this is my child,’ just as there are reasons where I don’t.

What I do see when I look at my cat, or my dogs is a companion that is a part of my family, but not my child. They are dearly loved and I am ever grateful for the years that we travel through life together. There have been times when they were watching over and taking care of me and just as many times where I was taking care of them. Both instances were also hand in hand with us having our own lives separate though we do take time to just sit and be with one another.

For are those not things that companions have with one another?

I had a friend ask me once if I understood why others would look at their pets and think ‘children.’ I answered that I understood in a way. One of my siblings and his wife are unable to have children. They have two little dogs and three cats and are parents to those five little furballs. These are the grandchildren they show to my mother when she goes to visit and these are the grandchildren that my mom greets and loves just the same.

I have a sister that has two fine human boys as well as several other children in the form of a little dog and several cats. She loves them all just as much as the others. She mourns when some of her children reach the ends of their natural life long before she does, but that pain doesn’t stop her from loving them just the same.

I have another sister who is single with no human children, but has an aging cat that she took in as her child when the cat was already half-way through the cat’s natural lifespan. For a short time we had that cat with us at the last house when my sister was staying at a place that didn’t allow pets. Said sister rejoiced when she got a new apartment because it meant she could live with her little daughter again.

Again, I have another sister (yes, my parents had eight kids, there’s a ton of us) who does not view her pets as children. She still loves them and mourns them when they reach the ends of their lives. She has always been the quickest of my siblings to bring home dogs and cats because those animals actually followed her home of their own free will. They are still considered members of her family, but they are not her children.

Family and friends come in all shapes and sizes and species. They come at different times in our lives. Many come as complete surprises while others were carefully planned, but they come all the same. But just as humans need different things at different times, the same is true of dogs and cats.

Each being on this planet is different, even, or maybe especially, those that are of the same species.

There are, after all, just as many stories out there about animals adopting orphaned young from a completely different species. (In fact, I have a pair of ducks that hatched and raised a pair of chickens who follow them everywhere, as well as a pair of dogs that have three young, two of which are cats while the third is their own actual blood offspring.)

Springtime – Manic Monday

If it’s Springtime in Utah, my true love gave to me…

Twelve birds trying to pen-brake
Eleven hours of watching MASH
Ten cabinet doors to hang
Nine sleeping dogs and cats
Eight beings with coughs in the house
Seven humans on our land
Six weeks and counting
Five packages of tp in the store
Four adults going nuts
Three dogs that are happy
Two cats that are not
And waking up to freshly fallen snow

So life took an extra turn when I woke up to frozen solid animal waters and snow on the ground. The best part was that I was so tired that I didn’t even notice until my eldest nephew pointed it out to me. I’d been out there before he had when most everything was kind of frost covered and I hadn’t even noticed.

This wasn’t the first time since the Spring Equinox that I’d woken up with snow outside, so I’ve kind of had parts of this bouncing around in my head for a few weeks. Finally got to get it all out, though. (And the reference to coughs was that we all had colds of various degrees. We were tested and came back negative, but somehow still passed our colds off to the dogs. Everyone’s getting better, though.)