Last week was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week for our family. I was rounding out the end of the 2014 legislative session at my job, running on 4-5 hours of sleep per day, Livvy was (read, we all were) battling two new teeth, and our house was in a state of total survival mode. But that was not the worst of it. No, the absolute worst of it was that we had to make the most devastating decision my husband and I ever had to make in our lives. Our two cats, Mr. Cuddles and Miss Kitty, had to be put down. God, as I type this I cannot even believe the emotions rushing through me. They were both suffering illnesses, each fighting a separate heath issue, until they could no longer fight for themselves. I spent two very calm and restful days home with them, spoiling them with treats, their favorite canned food, long lounging naps on the bed, and a Golden Girls marathon while suggled up on pillows on the sofa. And, oh, how I cried for them. I cried, and cried, and cried until my whole body ached. I buried my face in their fur, and cried some more.
My mom came with me on that day, and held me while I cried. After we left, when we were in the car, just the two of us, I asked her to take me to buy two flowering rhododendron bushes- one for each of them. I placed the two plants where their water and food bowls once sat, and we kept them there until we planted them in the ground this week. We are going to make a beautiful garden around them, so we never forget.
Crying for four days straight takes a toll on you. I was weak, I was sad, and Jake kept asking, “Why is your face wet, Mommy?” My mom, seeing this, made the executive decision that we would spend Mother’s Day at the beach. It is rejuvenating, she said. Well, mothers are always right. On Sunday, we spent the day with my parents at our favorite restaurant, Lenny & Joe’s, and took the kids to Hamonasset for the afternoon. It was the first time in four days that I actually felt like a mother again. Mike was happy, the kids and I had such great fun together, and my parents played along and ate fish & chips, chocolate pudding ice box cake, and fresh pineapple.
My heart still aches for them, and I have moments during the day that I get a lump in my throat that I simply can’t break. But, for one day, in the middle of such sadness, I was the Mom to my family that was not there in a long time. And for now, we have a garden to plant.