Two Sads and One Big Happy

Lucas and I keep joking that life is giving us a series of emotional tests. Luckily, I think we’ve done pretty dang well and are passing them with flying colors.

Most of them are relatively minor — broken air conditioning units, flat tires — but this week, life socked me with two sads.

Sad #1:

On Friday, I got a call that I’ve been anticipating for months. My grandfather (Grandpa Joe) passed away peacefully at the age of 98.

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At the risk of sounding heartless, this is a sad, of course, because my grandfather was a very important part of my life and I loved him very much. But in many ways, it’s not. He’d been quite ill for a long time and very sad since his wife’s death a few years ago. While it’s awful to lose someone, he was old, had a very poor quality of life and I think was more than ready to pass on.

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Thankfully, my parents were able to be with him for much of his last few months, and I hope that brings them both some peace. My mother (his daughter-in-law) blogged very eloquently about it here. I have some very happy memories of my grandfather, mostly revolving around our time at his house in Maine. It seems fitting that I was able to celebrate a very happy occasion at the same spot — my brother’s wedding — just months ago. Joe was not able to attend, but my father gave a touching speech that included a tribute to everything he and my grandmother have meant to the family.

RIP, Grandpa Joe.

Sad #2:

Speaking of letting go…for a while this weekend, I thought I was saying goodbye to another loved one — my sweet girl cat Laila. On Friday, my happy pet stopped eating food and started slinking around, only leaving her dark corner in the office to go sleep in her litter box. I knew something was wrong but felt helpless to make it better. All weekend long, we monitored her, trying to get her to eat (she finally did after a day but only licked at her dish) and hoping to just keep her comfortable.

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As a “senior” cat, I have given her a feline DNR — I would never let her suffer and will do everything I can to keep her healthy (she gets annual visits, special food/medicine, etc). BUT if she develops a serious problem that requires advanced treatment, I am prepared to let her go in peace. She has had an amazing life and if it’s her time, I’ll know in my heart that she was happy and that I was a good mom.

So when I woke up on Monday to a still-very sick kitty, I snuggled her and cried into her fur…then took her to the vet, expecting the worst. And I got it, sort of — because they have no idea what’s wrong with her. An expensive round of bloodwork showed absolutely no abnormalities and they have no idea what might be causing this drastic behavioral change. They think it could be dental disease, and that the pain of eating suddenly caused her to stop, which then led to dehydration and lethargy. We’ll see. She got a dose of anti-inflammatory medicine and some fluids that they hope will help her eat for a couple of days. If she goes back to the lethargy, they’ll consider a tooth extraction.

The hardest part is being with her. She lets me pet her, rubs her head (weakly) against my knee and even purrs, even though I can see she’s uncomfortable. It’s difficult being a pet mama. And it’s hard knowing that if she continues to be ill, I may have to revisit all of these emotions.

And then there’s…

Big Happy:

It’s my birth month! My baby is due this Saturday and while I have no idea if/when she will come by then or make me wait a few extra weeks to meet her, it’s a super exciting time for our family. My mommy comes to town next week and considering sads #1 and #2, I’m definitely looking forward to having something GREAT happen to us. There is definitely a feeling that as life ends, life begins and as hard as it is to lose people and pets, I know that it’s the circle of life.

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I have an amazing life and truly feel blessed to be where I am. Broken air conditioners and flat tires are nothing compared to losing loved ones, of course, but even those experiences make me more thankful for what I have.

What are you happy about today?

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Comments

  1. says

    My thoughts and prayers are with you through everything Katy! As one life ends another one begins. :) It’s a bitter sweet thing.
    Thinking about you girl!!!! xoxo

  2. says

    I’m so sorry to hear about your Grandpa – it sounds like he had a beautiful life!
    I can empathize with the kitty situation, I had a cat get sick suddenly (and at only 2 years old) and we held a constant vigil around him for a week before we had to put him down (he was born with Feline AIDS). It’s exhausting, and so frustrating not knowing what’s wrong or how to help. You’ll be in my thoughts!

  3. says

    Sorry to hear about your Grandpa and your kitty!! Hopefully your cat recovers soon. What pretty eyes!

    Yay for it being baby month :) I can’t wait for you to meet that sweet girl!

  4. says

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. It’s always tough to lose a loved one even when you’re anticipating their passing.

    I can’t wait to read more about your big happy!

  5. says

    Oh no…I’m so sorry to hear about your grandpa – though, I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes it feels like a relief, and that’s an emotional roller coaster in and of itself. It’s hard to admit that feeling, because it’s not an emotion we tend to talk about.

    And so sorry about your kitty…I hate when it comes down to decisions like that. Hopefully it’s just a passing illness (crossing fingers)…but you’ve got one beautiful bundle of joy that’ll be entering your world very very soon! Yee!!! (And you look fabulous, by the way!)

  6. Marcee says

    A beautiful and lovely post Katy. Wow …. you can certainly bring me to tears. That’s talent (a definite way with words) for ya!

    Your grandpa Joe & grandma Kathy were very special indeed. How fortunate that adorable little (blonde + braided hair!) girl is!

    The next “happy” ….. bebe will come into your world. We are all excited and happy for you Katy. Hurry babybug ….. everyone is waiting for your arrival!

    P.S. Get well soon kitty Laila.

  7. says

    I don’t think it’s heartless at all. In fact it’s the opposite, it shows you have heart and don’t want someone you care so much for to be in pain or suffering. One of my old coworker’s 3 year old daughter had cancer. It was absolutely heart-aching to hear how much that poor sweet little girl was suffering and having to fight. And as sad and awful as it is that someone so young has passed, there’s still an extent to which it’s good she has moved on and no longer has to suffer. She was too young to go and too young to have to deal with something so awful, but she’s no longer in pain.

  8. says

    So sorry to hear about your sads but very exciting news about your happy! We lost our puppy almost a year and a half ago and it’s still hard… I saw a picture of her the other day and started to tear up. Since I never really experienced death [my grandparents had passed away before I was born/ when I was 2 years old] it was the first lost I had in my life. Pets truly are a part of the family…

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