Soul Mates According to the National Institute of Health, various studies show that owning a pet, particularly a cat or dog, can have many benefits for people. They include; decreased stress, lower blood pressure, reducing loneliness, increasing feelings of social support and improving one’s mood. There are also other aspects that bond a person with […]
Our Can Opener saw this post and started to cry. Being the sweet cat I am, I of course, had to investigate and find out what made her cry and then get up from the computer and start praying for a place called “Ukraine.”
Please take a few minutes to read (and follow) The Chester Chronicles- and if you are a person who believes in prayer, please take a few minutes out of your busy day to pray for relief for the people (and children) and animals of Ukraine! Pray for healing of Ukraine and its people- and click the link below (or one of the links on Chester’s page) to help if you are able! So many people and pets (and wild animals) are suffering and need care.
Let them know they are not alone!
Humane Society International (animal rescue/ vet care / supplies/ food /shelter)
My Human has had a hard week. Good thing I’m here.
Every time my Can Opener seems like she’s able to move on from the loss of the Backup Can Opener in January, something always seems to happen to stir it all up again. Sushi and I have our paws full comforting her and trying to remind her to sing praise, (it lifts her above grief, sorrow and depression every time- if she just remembers to do it)! She never had to be reminded before. But now every day events bring back waves. We help her get through it.
We’re always hearing her sing praise and give thanks to the Lord for all He’s done for her and for the ways he has sustained and preserved her. Especially since the loss. But lately a couple of things have happened in the neighborhood that has never happened here before in the 15+ years we have lived here. One of those things was an act of violence against a woman down the street (who was attacked by her live-in- whoever). She was only walking to her car – the assailant followed her cursing and slammed her to the ground- she did absolutely nothing but try to get away. He tried to prevent her from getting into her car to leave- but she kept trying and she got in and locked the doors.
Then he went to the passenger side and tried to open it – (the Human and her sister and others saw it on the first warm, sunny day we had, when they were discussing plans for their gardens). They called the police right away- others just looked away.
Meanwhile, the assailant hung onto the car as the woman tried to drive away and he hung on for the longest time until she was able to go fast enough (without hurting him) to pull away and leave. He had thrown glass bottles at her as she was leaving, and other things- the neighbor closest to him who lives alone, watched it and did nothing but wait until the man went back in his house and then he cleaned up all the broken glass in the street and on the lawn.
The police came- but by the time the officer got here, the woman was gone and so was the assailant. That upset everyone in the neighborhood- but our Can Opener especially was grieved – she knows these things happen. But never has she seen it so close to her house. It left her (and her sister and others in the neighborhood) feeling vulnerable and almost as though they themselves had been assaulted.
This has always been a peaceful neighborhood where everyone watched after each other. Seeing this just added to the waves of (normal) grief that our human has been dealing with since January. It also showed her the need to pray for her neighbors. And to pray for the police officers and first responders who literally lay their lives on the line every time they show up for work.
For about 3 days our human couldn’t concentrate enough to help us post. But she has resumed singing praise when anxiety and depression rears its ugly head to threaten her peace, and every time it lifts her above all the chaos in the world and brings comfort, peace, and even joy in the middle of it all.
Jesus Himself is her peace. And He makes her know she’s not really alone- or vulnerable
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled. Neither let them be afraid.
Every relationship we enter knowing that one day for whatever reason, it will end. But that doesn’t make it any easier to get through when it does. And when it ends because of a sudden diagnosis of stage 4 cancer, the memories of all your loved one endured are relentlessly painful. And they hit you at the most inopportune times, and sometimes for no apparent “reason” at all.
Like when you’re going into your closet to pick an outfit for something, and you see something your husband loved to see you wear. Or you want to get a haircut, and automatically try to choose one he would like- or you go grocery shopping, and without realizing it, fill your cart with things he loved that you can’t eat – then you suddenly realize that you no longer need to concern yourself with those preferences.
The emptiness that suddenly hits you is indescribable. And you think to yourself, it’s only been 2 months and two days. How can I handle this for the next few months- or years?
You try to go on with life as it was before, because you have to. But everything has changed. Now there’s no one (except the cats) waiting for you when you get home- and no one to watch a movie with or share a cup of coffee with. Loud or sudden noises become extremely annoying, silence isn’t the comfort it once was, you realize you have to become very purposeful in order to do the things you know you need to do to take care of yourself.
This is where grief counseling helps so much. Seeing the impact that the loss of your husband has had on your family, you realize that you don’t want them to suffer another loss if you can help it. Exercise becomes a priority – (even though it’s the last thing you feel like thinking about)- Avoiding junk food and eating right is even more important because what you eat (especially when grieving) will definitely not only affect your health, but your mood as well.
Being with friends and family become critical – especially if you are blessed with a family like mine, where love and respect are most important. My heart goes out to those suffering the loss of a loved one without that critical support. How do they manage to face each new day?
This is what it’s like. But at some point, you have to make a decision. You can allow yourself to be overcome with sorrow and grieve to death- or you can choose to live with new purpose.
It’s not easy- but by the Holy Spirit you can receive strength for each new day, comfort in your sorrows, and a new life of purpose.
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” Isaiah 61:1-3 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/isa.61.1-3.NIV
“The wild feral animal that comes in your house and won’t leave (or listen to you).”
That’s the way the grief counselor described how an event like this – (a sudden devastating diagnosis and death of a loved one)- affects the human brain. And it’s completely accurate.
It’s also a great way to describe how the memories of the lost person plow into you when you least expect it. Welcome or not, they come flooding back like an unexpected assault right when you think you’re going to be okay.
It’s only been a little over a month- it still feels unreal- yet the ashes prove it is real.
Nothing is the same. Suddenly there’s no one (except pets) to greet you when you wake up in the morning. No one to brew coffee for and start the day with. No more dinners out, nor birthdays, nor holidays to share together. No one to give the much-needed hugs, validation, and encouragement.
And yet, there is so much to do. Little time to grieve, or even dare to let yourself feel. Numbly, life goes on unmarked by everyone but the family who are left with a tangle of emotion that they don’t even know how to vocalize. And the children- and grandchildren- who just can’t even process what’s happening.
They throw themselves into work, or play, or anything they can to get a reprieve from the hurricane of un-named feelings swirling around in their minds. And the 5 – year- old in her innocence and inability to grasp the finality of it simply turns it into a pretend situation with her Barbies.
I’ve been advised to write about it by both my counselor and my doctor. I’ve noticed that trying to carry on as I always did before isn’t working very well. The emptiness and feelings just refuse to be ignored. Yes, I know and am confident that my husband is no longer in misery and constant pain. And for that I’m grateful- What I watched him suffer, I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
I will write because they have advised me to- and somehow it really does help. I am returning to my daily workout routine (trying anyway). I’ve lost 13 pounds and my blood pressure is great- I’m eating well – I was already in the habit of eating ‘clean.’
But I have headaches every single day now and my hair has started falling out. Somehow this is especially upsetting, because my husband – (and everyone else) – has always loved my long hair. The Doctor confirmed yesterday that both the hair loss and the headaches are due to the stress that erupted like a volcano in December and continued as I provided hospice care for my husband until he passed away last month.
Apparently you really can’t get by on an hour or two of sleep every night for weeks, and not be affected by it. I am told that the hair loss will correct itself once the stress is reduced- so I am doing everything they said I should do- counseling, writing, making sure I get enough sleep, managing stress and resuming my exercise routines. Adding to this a scoop of collagen powder in my coffee every morning, a balanced, clean diet, biotin and other vitamins. I’ve also started watching comedy and making time for relaxing things that I enjoy but “never have time for.”
Laughter really does help- It doesn’t take away the feelings, but it does make it easier, and keeps me from dwelling on the things I can’t change. And where these things fail, The Lord Himself takes over. He reminds me that my peace, hope, and security is found in Him – even in the valley of the shadow of death. (Psalm 23)
I’m tired of hanging around with just Twilight. That girl has mental problems. I’ll be minding my own business (sleeping), and that little brat will come up and swat the fleas right off me just because she wants to play. I think it’s time to find myself a handsome boyfriend to defend me against the little white tornado!
So, I’m taking advantage of technology to help me find a handsome boyfriend. Just hope the Can Opener doesn’t catch me playing with her iPhone! Let’s see if these snaps will help me find a handsome Tom…
Of course, I don’t want to look too sweet- I don’t want to attract the wrong kind of tom and find out he has a harem and 300 kittens someplace, because I know he’ll treat me the same way and I’ll have to knock his stripes off and then start all over again- and then, with my luck his 300 kittens will come complain because I kick his furry butt.
Oh! I got a snap from a secret admirer! Let’s see what he looks like!
Oh, I’m so excited! And I’ll tell Twilight I saw him FIRST! She can find her own boyfriend!
Oh, heck no! What the heck is THAT?
Sorry, furface- you’re not my type!
Hey, Twilight! I found a boyfriend for you!! He’s CUTE!
I think I’m going to start over- and find myself a handsome tiger.
Now,that’s more like it…. I need his number! Meow.
This Monday will be Valentine’s Day- and it will also mark one month since my husband passed. It still feels like it was yesterday. How do I celebrate Valentine’s Day without him after 40 years?
I thought I was doing okay until I had to go pick up his death certificate and his ashes from the funeral home. I had known it wasn’t going to be easy, but nothing can really prepare you for bringing your spouse home that way.
I don’t want to dwell on this for too long. But it has taken me days to be up to writing about this and I will be starting grief counseling (hopefully this week)- and I know this will be one thing recommended. I had bought a new journal to write about the whole cancer diagnosis and why it wasn’t diagnosed until it was too late.
But I have yet to write a single word in that journal, because I stare at the blank page and my mind instantly starts seeing him doubled over in continual pain and struggling to breathe as he had been daily since about May of last year. I want to watch tv, and I remember the countless times we would “watch something together” and he would retreat into the bedroom in too much pain to care. Then I remember hearing him breathing at night and saying, “I think you should go to ER” (but he was in too much pain).
I start seeing the countless dinners I’d prepared for us, from which he would take one or two bites, then retreat into the bedroom in pain saying he was “full.” I remember the vain attempts to offer him something that would maybe- just MAYBE help him have a little relief – only to have him refuse it because he already knew it wouldn’t help.
I constantly feel the helplessness all over again of thinking he was going to die, and we wouldn’t even know why. I feel the anger at the doctors again also who saw his “something” on his small intestine that “they didn’t think was cancer”- and didn’t give him anything at all to relieve his constant pain and other symptoms while he waited an average of 3 months to be seen by another specialist who said the same things and referred him to yet another specialist– (with yet another month or two or three in between).
The last specialist he was referred to was 110 miles away – and when he finally was called (in November) by that specialist it was for a phone consultation. Still no relief for him symptoms meanwhile. The next thing we knew he was being rushed to the ER because of a blood clot- and nothing was the same after that.
I need to stop this for now – (though I hadn’t planned to)- There is so much more to say- but I want to encourage you all to not take for granted the time you have with your loved ones. Especially your spouses. When we celebrated the New Year this year, we knew something was wrong with my husband, but we had no idea that the Christmas we had was going to be our last Christmas together- and that the New Year we celebrated would be the last time we would ring in a New Year.
Whatever you do- treat your loved ones – with respect and consideration – don’t say things in anger and frustration that you can never take back. Don’t be oblivious to their emotional needs or frustrated with them when they don’t see things the way you do. Let them be who they are- don’t try to make them a copy of yourself. You have one chance in this life to BE the “someone special” to the “special someone” in your life.
Sheild and protect each other. Uphold each other’s dignity- and don’t tolerate anyone speaking evil of your spouse. BE SOMEONE SPECIAL to them while you can- today! Tomorrow everything could change.
Sushi and I have decided to stop waiting on the Can Opener to feed us, and to take matters into our own paws. Our cousin, Serafina, gave us the idea. A couple of days ago, the Critters’ parents ran out of dry cat food and borrowed some of ours. The big Critter forgot to take it into the kitchen when she got home from being at our house, and Serafina decided she wasn’t going to wait for feeding time. See for yourself!
Last week, the Can Opener had a mystery surprise delivered and she couldn’t figure out why she got it- she hadn’t ordered anything- but when we opened it, and we loved it! It turns out, it was from one of the grown Critters that came from out of town when the Backup Can Opener went to heaven… and we knew right away it was for us!
The Can Opener’s grown Critters are really sweet- when they came to help her care for the Backup Can Opener, they took turns caring for him at night so she could rest. They took her out to eat while their hubbies stayed with him because she was too stressed to even remember to eat. Now she’s worried about gaining weight! Anyway, they got her through it, and made things so much easier for her because she didn’t feel alone. And besides, she loves them and hadn’t seen them for a long time.
They brought gifts for her – and COFFEE- and new coffee mugs- and that made her smile too. And they sat around the hospital bed talking about their favorite memories of him. It’s amazing the difference a loving family makes at a time like that. They even thought about us kitties- and the Critters’ Dad, even said he would take over feeding Sushi and Me (and giving Sushi her medicine)- so Mom didn’t have to worry about forgetting to feed us.
But they’re gone back to their homes now- so Sushi and I aren’t playing games. We’re going to find ourselves some thumbs so we can open our own cans!
The Can Opener has been sleeping in lately. Probably making up for not being able to sleep for more than a couple of hours a night for the last month or more.
The problem is, if she sleeps late, we get fed late. But we’ll live- especially Sushi- she’s a large storage tank. I don’t think the diet thing is working for her- I haven’t seen her lose as much as a whisker!
The Can Opener is trying to carry on as usual, (what choice does she have, really)- but some days are harder than others. We know it’s going to take a while and we’re trying to be patient. Today I’m going to post some random memes to make her laugh. That is, if she can slow down long enough to read them!
I’m going to make the Can Opener rest today- (after she feeds us, of course). Have a good day- and keep those purrayers coming, please.
Some Days are better than others for anyone- but lately my Can Opener has some days that are really difficult. Like yesterday when she got a call from the Funeral Home. Of course, she also had flower deliveries as well- and that really helped. But I think it’s time I share some advice for her and for others that may be going through something as well. I call it “Twilight’s Tips.”