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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Rough Day

I knew I was due for a rough spell. The last seven days have been comparatively easy.

It came today. My arm got caught between my bed and the wall while I was trying to get dressed. I cried in pain. I couldn't find my socks or put on my shoes or tie the laces. I screamed every step of the way.

And finally, once I was dressed and dripping with sweat from the effort, I gave voice to my real pain. "I failed Jolene as a mother." Tears fell.

I don't precisely blame myself for Jolene's death; but I have often wondered (long before she died) why God gave her me as a mother. I felt so ill-prepared to guide my very troubled girl.
I'm not getting into that today. Not really. Mom stepped in. She called my boss to let him know I'd be late. She fixed me a cup of tea and sat with me.

Then God gave me a moment of joy, through my cat.

While I lay on my bed sobbing, Talia watched me with wide blue eyes, obviously concerned. She followed me to the kitchen and kept me company while I drank sweet tea and ate a sandwich. Satisfied at last that her human was okay, she returned to play.

And the thought struck me as I watched her. Jolene now knows the answer to the question, Do animals go to heaven?

Anyone who has lost a beloved pet has asked that question. My feeling has always been that either way, we will be completely happy.

But now Jolene knows. Even now she may be hugging Andres (our 35-pound tom whom Jolene watched being born)--hugging that Talia never tolerates.

Thank God for Talia's unconditional love.

4 comments:

Lianne said...

Animals can be so amazing. I had a dog like that once. When I was upset I could literally see the compassion in his eyes. I think it's just one more of God's ways of showing us His love and comfort.

I'm glad to see you say you don't blame yourself for Jolene's death. Because it wasn't your fault, and I don't believe you failed her as a mother. I think it's natural for you to feel that way. Any mother who cares as much as you obviously did would feel that way. But this wasn't about you. It was about Jolene. So don't dwell on thoughts of failure. When they come, push them away as hard as you can. They'll only tear you up inside, and it won't change a thing.

Grace and peace.

Mary Connealy said...

You've just got to let the grief out, Darlene.

No one...NO ONE gets good at something like this because it only happens to you once in a lifetime, so no one knows the answers. No one can tell you the 'right' way.
Just lean on God, release the grief, and find peace in quiet moments with a pet. Or anywhere else God gives them

Tanya Hanson said...

Screams are okay, Darlene. And Jolene is definitely at peace, holding Andres...and my precious Tawny is nearby. She's our yellow Lab who crossed the rainbow bridge four years ago. I always read that angels are Labs with wings, and now I know for sure.

I don't have answers for any of the why's that bedevil us...but I do know Jolene's life was not without purpose. And that a wonderful friend such as you was a blessed mother.

Peace be with you. Go hug your kitty. My two black Labs are sure helping me through our own dark time.

Kyrie eleison

Darlene Franklin said...

Tanya, you would laugh about hugging my kitty if you knew our Talia. She stays closer than a shadow, but she never allows us to pet her. One of God's gifts the night we heard the news was the fact that Talia let me hold her for about 5 minutes.