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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Summer of Change


I wrote my last post in June but somehow missed publishing it. So much has happened since then. When I wrote it, I had no idea that just 10 short days later my father would pass away.

It was June 13, 2013. My dad had been sick for the past couple of years with COPD and emphysema, but no one in my family expected it to end his life so quickly. It was such a strange turn of events. He was healthy enough to help my mom through her back surgeries in late 2012 and early 2013, although it stressed his system a lot. And then, a new heart doctor thought he had a right heart valve leak that was exacerbating his breathing issues, and he put him on a new medication for that. Unfortunately, it was the wrong diagnosis and the wrong type of medication, and it ended up sending him to the hospital for a week in April. After that, he got better for a very short period and then started going downhill...fast. We knew he was sick, but we just couldn't accept to what extent. He passed away after struggling to breathe while getting up that morning. It has been devastating for my family, especially my mom, but God is merciful in not allowing him to suffer any longer.

He was a handsome, cool dude

So, the past seven weeks have been spent helping my mom continuously with everything from changing names on accounts to balancing her checkbook to encouraging her daily and allowing her to grieve. All in all, she is doing much better this week. I am thankful for our faith, and knowing that God is with her (and me!) every step of the way.

Then, on July 27, we returned home from an overnight trip to my mom's and couldn't find my 16 year old kitty, Mason. He ended up being stuck in the litter box because he couldn't move his back legs. It was a Saturday evening, so we had to take him to the emergency vet. We were told that he "threw a clot" (evidently something older kitties do) and they could fix him but it would likely happen again and we needed to consider his quality of life. Going to the vet has always been a traumatic experience for him and we didn't want him to suffer any longer. My husband and I had an hour or so waiting for the vet to discuss our options, and we thought it best to let him go. We had the opportunity to spend time with him and tell him what a good boy he was and how much we loved him. They gave him a shot to relax him and we stayed with him throughout the procedure. There were many tears. That little guy had been with me through so many life changes and it was hard to imagine what life would be like without him. But, we knew he'd been in pain with arthritis and mild kidney failure and it wouldn't have been fair to make him suffer anymore just for our sakes. We had him cremated alone, and now have his ashes. The emergency vet was wonderful and compassionate, and they also made paw prints in clay for us.

Rest in peace, my angel kitty

We had no idea that Mason's absence would have such an effect on our 11-year-old kitty, Maddy. She and Mason had not been close for quite some time. Mason was crotchety as he got older, and Maddy was always too spunky for him. They ignored each other for the most part for the past several years. But there was obviously a stronger bond than I realized, as Maddy is now grieving him terribly. It took her about 5-6 days to realize he was really gone, and then she started to get sick. I took her to the vet yesterday to make sure it wasn't anything physical and they did blood work, treated her for dehydration, and wormed her just in case she had a parasite since she had, to put it nicely, bowel issues and has been making a mess with it around the house for the past few days. As it turns out, the blood work came back normal and it's just the grieving process that she's going through. I wish there was more I could do for her other than love on her and then give her space when she wants it. She did finally eat this morning but is still very withdrawn. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.

Miss Boo sleeping on my desk

It is my hope that the rest of this summer will be non-eventful. We have a much needed long weekend trip to the beach coming up, and our first grandbaby will be here soon after in Sept. A season of joy and calm in my favorite time of the year, fall, would be ideal, but I know I'm not in control. I just continue to pray for patience and trust as God shapes us into who He wants us to be.