Why My Heart Shatters

There are the happy moments in life; those moments seemingly frozen in time in your memory… the day you got married, got your acceptance letter from the university you wanted to attend, your first steps on a tropical beach. These are the ones we like to think about as much as possible. But on the other hand, there are also the bad ones; the really bad, heartbreaking, life altering ones. Those are the ones we try to avoid thinking about, but when you’re inside it, in those terrible times, that’s all you can think about.  I am in one of those times. I wasn’t going to blog this week, heck I probably wasn’t going to blog next week or the week after. I was going to avoid it because when I write it forces me to sit down and self reflect. Then I take that self-reflection and put it down on paper; my emotions raw, staring me in the face.

Last Friday was an awful day. One I can’t forget since. I relive those moments over and over again in my mind. The day I had to say goodbye to my beloved cat. To some a cat is just a cat, but to those close who knew my cat, he wasn’t just any cat. He was an amazing soul. He was so sweet and so loving that he made people want to be around him. Simba had such a calm, quiet nature. He just wanted to be near you, to be stroked a little while, maybe steal some food off your dinner plate. On sunny, warm days he just wanted to lay out in the grass, peacefully observing the world go by. Simba is the fur baby love of my life.

A few months ago his health started to decline; I could see it but couldn’t admit it. I told myself that he was just adjusting to life with a newborn in our house again. He started losing weight; his beautiful orange coat that he always kept in perfect condition was starting to look messy; his nose went from a cotton candy pink to brownish. In my heart I knew what was happening, but it couldn’t happen. I wasn’t ready for it. Sure he was fourteen and a half years old and had a medical condition, seizures more specifically that he had to take meds for to keep them to a minimum; meds which cause liver damage. Another day would pass and I would see him get weaker but I had to write it off to just a bump in his road and he would get better. The next week would come and he would be weaker still; it was ever more obvious he wasn’t doing well. Then early last week he started having seizures every day, some times twice a day and I realised the end was nearing. I knew he had to go to the vet, so we scheduled an appointment for him. The morning of his appointment I spent every spare moment I had cuddling him and talking to him. I knew there was a good chance he wouldn’t be coming home. But when the time came for him to go, I said goodbye, but not like forever goodbye because I told myself maybe he just needed a check up, some meds and he would be just fine. I must have checked my phone a thousand times in that thirty minutes waiting to hear from my husband. When I finally read the news, it was the worst case scenario. He was dying. There was nothing else we could do for him. My husband and I agreed we would take him home one more night and have him put down the following afternoon. I will spare most of the details from that night and the next day partly because it is still too hard to write about and partly because those are moments I want to keep special between me and my kitty. I will say however one of the hardest things I ever had to do was put him in his carrier to watch him leave. I knew I would never share another snuggle or give him another kiss ever again. Having him apart of my life was over. And my heart shattered while I sobbed. I kept telling him over and over again how much I loved him, how sorry I was this was happening to him and how much I would miss him always. And I do terribly. I see his presence everywhere still. I see him sitting in the kitchen eating from his bowl, I see him sleeping in the corner of my closet, I see him running through the grass in the backyard and yet I see him not there at all. A piece of my life is missing and they say it will get better. People have told me one day I will think of him and smile instead of cry. But I am not there yet.

I am not really sure what this life is all about; I’m not really sure why people and animals are placed in our lives only to be ripped away from us. It is pretty harsh. I only know this is just how it is. It’s all just temporary. I don’t say that trying to be depressing or morbid rather I say it because again I was reminded of the beauty and frailty of life. I was blessed with an amazing furry friend who enriched my life for over fourteen years and am terribly sad that chapter of my life had to end. But I can only keep going on and appreciating the people in my life still. I am just taking it day by day and enjoying the quiet times with my sons. I cuddle them a little longer, kiss them more often because those are the times I can forget the sadness and just smile.

To my sweet kitty out there somewhere, may you rest in peace and be free. No more pain anymore. You will always be in my heart Simba.


Children, Masters of Time: What They Taught Me

2016-03-31 10.51.32Kids are purely amazing. They will teach you so much about yourself if you are humble enough to let them. I read this quote by Lao Tzu once that really resonated with me, “If you are depressed, you are living in the Past. If you are anxious, living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the moment.” It explained so much about myself.  As someone who has suffered with anxiety throughout my life, I finally made the connection that I was all too often living in the future.

I am guilty of over scheduling myself. I sit every Sunday and look at my week ahead to ensure I have something planned for every day. Multiple events in a day are not uncommon in my life. I get bored sitting around the house even if for a few hours; it feels like a waste of time when I could be accomplishing so many other things. I prefer my schedule to be packed almost to the point of being overwhelming because to me that feels like I am making the most of my life, getting the most out of my life. No wasted time.

During the week I have errands to run and chores to do. Most times I have to drag my two sons along for the ride, much to their dismay. Of course by the end I have tired, grumpy kids to which I am saying just a few more minutes; just one more stop; stop whining; just let Mommy do this last thing. It always ends in bargaining and pleading from both parties just to get through my mile long do-to list. My mind is focused on the future, on the things I have to do, the events coming. Cards I need to buy for birthdays coming up, screws I need to buy for the project I am planning, those pajamas I need to buy cause my eldest has grown like a weed lately. But when I stop and look at my kids, I know they are miserable. They are living in the present moment and that moment sucks. Who wants to go grocery shopping to actually buy groceries? They want to go because there’s  awesome fish and cool lobsters to look at. Who wants to go to the mall to shop for that birthday present when you could be riding the glass elevator or pretending the stroller is a race car. Kids live in the pure and innocent present. If you are able to get out of your head and into the present moment, magic will happen.

Tuesday I decided was my ‘present’ day. The glorious sun was shining and I’d planned to take my boys for a walk to the nearest coffee shop and after we’d spent the rest of the morning playing in the backyard. During our walks, my boys are always calm and happy; my eldest and I talk about all the trucks passing by and my baby just plays and smiles at me. We reach the coffee shop and I pay for my coffee and muffin. My son says to me, “mom can we sit at a table outside?” He’s never asked me that before. “Sure, of course we can,” I reply. We find a table for two outside and he climbs out of the stroller and into the chair across the table from me. There is a special twinkle in his eye as he sits there chatting and eating his muffin; he is so excited to be a big boy, my coffee date, but he is nowhere near as excited as I am. There is no one else in the world right now that I’d rather be sitting across from than him. This is a coffee date I want to remember forever. Bashfully he asks me if we can go to the park on our way home. I figure he thinks there’s a 50-50 chance I could say no cause we don’t have time. Today we have time, so I say yes. Immediately he gets so excited and wants to jump back into the stroller to go to the park right now. I follow his lead. At the park, I stand back and watch him climbing, running and admire how fast he is growing up; pondering how he doesn’t need my hand guiding him up the chain ladder to reach the top of the slide. There’s no one else at the park except for the three of us and in that very moment I know why. This is my precious reward for just living in the moment with my boys. I get this time just for us and don’t have to share. They don’t have to share my mind with my lists; they have all my attention. We are perfectly at peace together. Happy, pure happiness in these moments.

Kids have the amazing ability to live in the moment and do whatever strikes them. It’s truly magnificent their pureness. My kids are certainly showing me the best and not so best of myself. They are the happiest when I ignore the rest of the world and just play with them. My love and attention is all they ask.

So I humbly acknowledge that I am aware scheduling every minute is not truly living life at all. Life actually happens in the unscheduled moments while living free. Those are the memories we make, the ones I treasure. My kids are teaching me more about life than ever before; they make me aware of what is important. There will never be a blessing greater than my two amazing boys. I hope one day they grow up to read this and know firstly how much they are loved by me, but how their Mom was humble enough to admit that sometimes maybe they did know better.


“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

(John Lennon, 1980, Darling Boy)

❤ Melissa