It’s been a very long and busy week … too busy for me to even blog. But it’s been a week of fun and blessings and …
Remember, blog readers, when I told you about Skipper the cat living in my house once again and how I was sure he would help with some funny writing? Well he did give me a good story with his naughty swallowing episode, but I never thought I’d be writing this latest chapter. And although this blog is titled, “Family” I think most pet owners out there would include their pets.
Just two weeks or so ago Skipper was not acting quite himself so Kristen took him to the vet. Short story is we found out he had feline leukemia. His was quite an advanced case and he was too far gone for any drugs to help him push the leukemia into remission. Hiding under the couch, Skipper wanted to be left alone as his breathing grew labored and he started moaning as if in pain. Out of mercy, Ric and Kristen had to have him put down. Before they took him away to be put to sleep, Ted and I lay on the floor and cried as we spoke to him in his hiding place under the couch. Darn cat. How did he make us fall in love with him? After our final goodbye was said to Skipper, I had to go google-crazy to see what the bible really says about pets and animals going to heaven. I know – I know – animals don’t have souls. And some people get seriously too over-emotional over pets. He was just a cat. He was the best cat ever. And my best answer to whether cats go to heaven is this story I found: An elderly widow whose beloved little dog died after fifteen faithful years was grief-stricken. Distraught, she went to her pastor. “Parson,” she said, tears streaming down her cheeks, “the vicar said animals have no souls. My darling little dog Fluffy has died. Does that mean I won’t see her again in heaven?” “Madam,” said the old priest, “God, in his great love and wisdom has created heaven to be a place of perfect happiness. I am sure that if you need your little dog to complete your happiness, you will find her there.” I also found comfort in the words of my friend, Donna, who offered her condolences and said simply, “God made us to love our pets.”
Sadness over the loss of Skipper was squelched by the excited arrival of Jill and Andy, back home to the states after eight months on St. Kitts. With the completion of her second semester of vet school behind her, Jill was happy to be on a two week break from studying. And with having lived for the past eight months in a developing country, there was many missed experiences to now enjoy. Taco Bell, steaks on the grill, air-conditioning, visits with friends, and good beer satisfied cravings for both Andy and Jill. A trip to the dentist, salon, and optometrist (Jill needed new glasses – her current wire framed ones had started to rust in the tropics!) helped fill the days. As we quickly moved into the weekend, Ric and Kristen were off for a visit to Grand Rapids, and Andy to a camping trip with his buddies while Jillian joined in the pre-wedding festivities for her best friend Aleea. And since weddings bring family into town, Ted and I had the opportunity to entertain some of Aleea’s family with a sailboat ride on Saturday. The sailing was superb and Ted and I were blessed with new friends! On Sunday, everyone came back from Grand Rapids and camping to enjoy the marriage and reception for the new bride and groom. The wedding was lovely and also allowed us to reunite with old friends, and further enjoy our new ones.
As I reflect on the past week, I am in awe at the patchwork of activities and relationships that makes life so full of love and rich with blessings. Broken hearts said goodbye to a member of the family, welcoming hearts greeted family back to the country, friendly hearts traveled to spend time with friends, open hearts made friends with new faces, friends-since-birth hearts celebrated a wedding, and hearts were warmed as old friendships were rekindled. Donna was right – God made us to love our pets – and He made us to love.
1 John 4:8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
Joshua 24:15 But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.
Thank you God for giving us the ability to love.
Thank you God for family and friends.