A “Mom Fail” Moment

Inspired by Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop.

Prompt 1.) A mom fail moment.

When my son was born, our cats were already considered senior citizens in the lifespan of the domesticated feline.  My cats, Lizzie and Rosie, were nine-years-old and Grant’s cats, Scotty and Spanky (yes, my husband named them after The Little Rascals characters, even thought they are both females!) were eleven.  My goal was for Tyler to at least be able to remember our beloved kitties, which was how Grant and I met, so you could say that they were responsible for Tyler even being on this earth.

Rosie died when Tyler was only three.  It took him months to grasp that Rosie was never coming back and he broke down with grief about four months after she died.  I told him that Rosie was up in Heaven and that Grandpa Joe was taking care of her and that in Heaven she wasn’t sick any more, that she was running around playing and Grandpa Joe even had interactive kitty toys that he played with with her.  She was our “Play Kitty” once more up in Heaven.  (Giggle if you might, but I really believe this because what is Heaven without our beloved pets, and I have seen too much evidence to NOT believe that my father is…somewhere)

In July of last year, Spanky suddenly died, with no warning.  She died in the morning, I hid her from Tyler and when he went to daycare, I dealt with Spanky, as my husband was absolutely bereft from her loss.  I had to tell Tyler that Spanky was also up in Heaven with Grandpa Joe, Rosie, etc.  He did not like Spanky as much as he liked Rosie and the feeling was mutual so he did not grieve as much as he did over Rosie.

A few months later, my now four-year-old and I were reading in bed and he asked if one day Lizzie will die (Lizzie is his favorite and she feels the same way).  “Well, yes, but, hopefully not for a long time. But Lizzie IS an old kitty.  When you’re sick and old you die, right? Grandpa Joe was sick and very old and so he died.”

“Does that mean that WE will die someday?”

“Well yes, honey, it does.”

And that was my Mom Fail Moment.

What?  What?  You and me and daddy are going to die?  NO!  NO!  It’s not true, say it’s not true!  Say we will never die!”

He was hysterically crying, inconsolable.  I could have kicked myself in the ass with my hypermobile leg.  What the Hell was I thinking, believing that Tyler could handle our mortality?!

“Okay, okay, Tyler, it’s not true!  You are right, you, daddy and I will NEVER die!  Okay?  We are never going to die!

“Really?”, he sniffled.  “Yes, really.”

Yes, honey, the rest of the world, your grandparents, your animals, everyone else is going to die but the three of us will be the one trio who defies the odds.

It was not the truth, but he was not ready to hear the truth, just as he is not ready to hear that there is no Santa Claus (WHAT?).  I realize now that in time, it will just come to him and right now we have left it that only very sick and very old people and animals die.  Being a disabled mom with some very serious, potentially life-threatening illnesses, I am constantly stressing that even though I may be in a lot of pain and sometimes very sick, I am not dying.

And when that time comes, just as we did the deaths of our kitties, we will all experience the grief and shock that any death brings, and we will all deal with it in our own ways.

Freyja and cats and angels by Blommer

I Was the Stalker

Inspired by Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop.

1.) The Police said it best when they said, “Every breath you take/And every move you make/Every bond you break, every step you take/I’ll be watching you”. Write about a time you believed someone was watching you.

When I saw this prompt I became very sad.  Alas, I have never been stalked, only been the Stalker.  Too many stories to pick from but I had to choose one, my last Stalking time before I met my husband.  For more about “Larry” you can read here.

Larry was the unrequited love of my life.  He used to say to me, “You are my best friend, you’re beautiful, sexy, funny, smart…I’m just not in love with you.” Uhm, excuse me but what else is there??  We dated on and off (mostly off) from my mid to late 20s.  We had amazing sexual chemistry so Larry, although he did NOT love me, did happen to find me irresistable on certain occasions. And how I would live for those occasions.  For a while I refused to date anyone else except Larry, saving my body only for him.  He was who I loved, I had no reason to look for anyone else.  I was so convinced we would be together forever.

Unfortunately there was a chink in my armor and her name was “Maria” and she worked with us.  Unlike me, who was throwing herself at Larry, Maria was a little more subtle…and uglier!  How it drove me crazy that she was ugly and Larry had told me on numurous occassions how beautiful I was.  I didn’t get it. But I’m not bitter, over 10 years later, as you could tell.

I was living the plot of Ally McBeal.  Except I was nowhere near as skinny, I was voluptuous.  That was how Larry liked his women.  And Maria was even more voluptuous (fat!) than I was.  Larry worked with both of us.  He broke up with me and chose Maria.  Then they became engaged!  It was as if Larry flipped a coin and said,” Heads, Emily, Tails, Maria”.  I remember Larry coming over saying, “I have to tell you something.”  And when he did I screamed and cried, “No, no, I love you more than her!”  “Emily, I love Maria, I just don’t love you in that way.”  “But, Larry, don’t you see, I have enough love for the both of us.  Let her go, and give you and me a REAL shot.  See how happy I can make you.” My best friend held me in his arms as I soaked his shirt with my tears.  We stayed that way for a long time.  “I have only just gotten engaged.  I am not saying we are going to get married.” WHAAAAATTTT?  My head was spinning.  Larry made sure I was not going to jump off of a bridge and then left.

In the meantime, I DID want to jump off a bridge.  I called my parents and with my kittens, Lizzie and Rosie, spent the night.  I COULDN’T be alone, not if I wanted to get through the night.

Shortly after that announcement, Maria moved into to Larry’s for good.  And here is where my stalking began.  Larry was no longer mine to call and make sure he got home okay from one of his appearances as an on-air talent, like I myself was.  If Larry was a little tipsy, he would come home to Maria, I was no longer allowed to call him at home of course.  (This was before everyone had a cell phone)  I used to engineer his appearances during my night shift and I would said off the air to him, “Larry, are you okay to drive?  Are you sure?” How would I know if my still beloved made it safely home?

Well, there was only one way of course.  After my shift I would drive to his apartment, see his car in the lot and breathe a sigh of relief.  The bad part was that I would see HER car too.

I tried to break away, I really did.  I used to drive there every night after work and force myself to look at her car next to his.  “He is with her now.  Look at it. Know it and get over it, make yourself stronger, and move on.”

Only it didn’t work out like that.  It worked out like every time I saw their cars together after midnight, that I would just sit and cry and wonder why.  Every time.  I don’t know how many times I would repeat this destructive pattern.  I only know that that never seemed to make me stronger.  It was like going through our break-up over and over again.  I saw him and her every day, I worked with them, I was at their house at night.  Most likely they were sleeping as they had to wake up to be on the air by 5:30, but that was not what they were doing in my mind.  Maria was living there, enjoying Larry’s skills as a lover, cooking meals with him or ordering in, watching funny television shows, taking a shower with him.  But was she cherishing him, as I had?

One night, of course you knew this was coming.  I was driving away from Larry’s home and HE PASSED ME IN THE PARKING LOT!!  I was done for, he knew my car.  I could only hope his mind had been occupied and he wasn’t expecting me to be driving to his house.

I was wrong.  The next day he was at my apartment, asking me what the Hell I was doing driving by his place.  “You don’t get it, do you?  Just because you broke up with me doesn’t mean I stopped loving you.  I know you don’t give me another thought because you never loved me, but it does not work that way for me!  I still care about you.  I still worry whether or not you are going to get home safe and sound from your appearances!  I didn’t stop loving you, but I don’t get to know if you are safe unless I pathetically drive by your place. You certainly aren’t going to call me to let me know you got home all right.  What if you were in an accident? Don’t you see?  You call your mother, sister and Maria, but you don’t call ME!  I love you just like they do and I have never stopped, Larry!  The only thing that has changed for me, is that you don’t call ME any more!  What else am I supposed to do?  I can’t stopped loving you just because YOU say so, it doesn’t work that way!”

I was angry and crying at the same time.  Larry comforted me.  And then…he said it was alright and okay that I did that.  He didn’t like it, but Maria would never guess it was my car so it would be alright if I sometimes wanted to drive by and check on him.  He understood.  That was the weirdest thing about our relationship, he respected that I still loved him and had no plans to stop in the foreseeable future.

So, how does it end?  Well, Larry did marry Maria.  After five months, their marriage was over.  And Larry and I saw each other again.  Perhaps it was me comforting him this time.  He wanted to be with someone, if only for half an hour who loved him unconditionally and Maria was not that person.

At present, I am on my first marriage to Grant until death do us part.  And Larry is on his fourth.  I do not know who #three even was but it does seem like he has finally found his soul mate in #four.  And I am happy for him.

I often wonder what would have happened if it would have been me he loved and decided to marry.  Would we have been happy, would I have been his #two and his last?

We will never know.

For My Cat’s 14th Birthday

Unlike the post where I wrote a eulogy about my cat, Rosie, I decided to celebrate her sister, Lizzie, on the occasion of her 14th birthday.  The number ’14’ may not be a significant birthday per se, but Lizzie is a bona fide senior citizen and each birthday is precious.  I got Lizzie and Rosie when they were six and a half weeks old, they still needed to be spoon-fed. Unlike friends, boyfriends and roommates, they were a constant in my life.  My first cats whom were all mine, as a grown-up woman.

You may not know that because of Lizzie and Rosie, I met my husband.  He was a writer for a cat magazine.  I wrote him and sent him pictures of my cats and I.  The rest is history.  A little over a year later he and his two cats moved to New Jersey to begin our blended family.

When Rosie died, I thought that Lizzie would soon die of grief over the loss of her sister.  But with the unpredictable nature common to a cat, Lizzie did not seem too upset.  In fact, she seemed to relish that my time with her was now unlimited; she did not have to share me with her sister.

Lizzie has always been great with kids, and she and Tyler love each other to death.  Lizzie is completely fascinated with everything Tyler.  Although she is fourteen years old, she is still quite playful, allowing Tyler to chase her around the house and play with her.  She enjoys story time with us.

When I told Tyler that today was Lizzie’s birthday, he got really excited, thinking there would be balloons, new toys and a cake.  I explained that Lizzie just wanted some extra quality time with us, but as a special gift to her I would write her her very own post.

I don’t want to think about when Lizzie’s passes.  All of us will be a mess, but I especially worry about Tyler losing his beloved kitty.  Some day we will give Tyler a kitty of his own whom I hope will bond with him, but there will never be another Lizzie for any of us.

A Pet Blessing

Dearest God, Heavenly Father

maker of all living creatures,

we ask you to bless Lizzie,

who brings so much joy into our lives.

By the power of Your love,

enable her to live according to your plan.

May we always praise You for all Your beauty in creation.

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

Blessed are You, God, in all Your creatures!

Lizzie laying in Tyler's baby quilt

Lizzie laying in Tyler's baby quilt.